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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

No more energy

A picture of Riley, 1 day old, with my friend, Judy, visiting at the hospital.

I attribute my job as a kindergarten teacher in helping me keep a youthful and energetic outlook on life. When you hang out with 5 and 6-year olds all day, it's hard to act like an "old lady." I dance, sing and act silly.
In the last year or so, I have felt my age, after a day in the classroom. I have the kind of job, where I never ever sit. I am always on my feet. I have 18 needy students in my class. Even during the non-structured times in my classroom, I'm tying shoes, settling disputes, getting next lesson's materials's just non-stop action. The only time I ever sit, is during my breaks, and I spend that time reading and responding to the many emails I get daily, and working on my computer with notes home, or getting homework ready. But mostly during my breaks, I savor the quietness of my classroom. Kindergarten is very active; we are busy all day!

When I come home from a day at work, I am mentally and physically exhausted. I notice that afterschool, I really can't hold a conversation: I'm THAT tired mentally. When I come home, I could go to bed and skip dinner, most nights. Unfortunately, when you have a husband who works until 7 most nights, and you have 2 hungry kids of your own, you can't be selfish. So, the meals I make are either leftovers from the weekend, or quick meals that require no thought.

When I worked in WA state as a first grade teacher, there was a teacher there I met that I absolutely adored. Her name was Judy Kutch, and she taught Kindergarten in my school. She had a piano in her classroom, she called everyone "honey" and "dear," and she was one of the most vibrant people I have ever met. And she was close to her 60's when I met her. She had the most energy of anyone I knew. We all marveled at her, because she was like no other person we ever met. Most people who didn't know her name called her "The Pickle Lady" (that's what my husband calls her too) because she always had jars of pickles to give to you. I was in my early 30's when I met her, and could hardly keep up with her, then. Now, at age 41, she would kick my butt.

I think of Judy Kutch often, when I walk to my car after a day of teaching. I wonder how she had all that energy, in her 50's or 60's. Maybe it was those pickles.


  1. Judy is still just as energetic...she subs for my class, which is no easy feat this year. And yes, she still brings her homemade pickles to the staff room when she is at Illahee for the day! She is quite amazing, but then, so are you my friend! I miss you! Love ya Stace! Love, Lynda

  2. Lynda, I seriously think of her every night when I walk out of school!!! Please tell her I said hi. She is truly one of a kind. There's only one Judy Kutch in this world! I miss you too. Love you too!!!! XO Stacey