Snow Days and the Sickness
We were off for four days that week and on Friday had a 2 hour delay which crushed Spring Break and chewed further into June and the beginning of summer. Cry me a river you think, and you are right, because us teachers have about 10 weeks off once the school year ends.
So here I am on the first snow day called this school year which officially kicks off the winter season, the time of year, especially after January, in which something is more talked about in Pittsburgh than the Steelers. As many people in the K-12 profession prefer, I wish for 2 hour delays instead. The obvious reason is that we can pile on those days and not have to make up a single minute. But that isn't all. See, during two hour delays we are supposed still arrive at the usual time. If the weather holds you back, no problem. Just get in safely. Often with canceled days, they come after a 2 hour delay was implemented and much of the staff has started their commute, just like today. And often the conditions are bad to terrible. The highway was indeed suspect today, with hints of black ice under refrozen slush. I am thinking you can lose control of your vehicle on that easily. I took my time, I really did and without too much nerves. Driving about 45 miles an hour in the slow lane, I reached my exit at about 7:08AM. Just as I rounded the bend of the exit, on the radio it was announced that the city school had canceled. I reached for my cell and saw that I had a text message waiting. Another teacher had sent it to inform that school had been canceled. Yes, I swore. After playing the snowy parkway game and without any scare but clear and present risk, I had to turn right around and do it again. Knowing the commute, I think you prepare yourself enough for one go at it and to have to head right back home to endure the nerves of icy conditions messes with your head. I talked to co-worker who said he had made it in to just sign in at the office. In the background I heard the grumblings of others who had driven all the way in just to learn of the cancellation.
Well, what do you do with the day then? Sometimes you head out to breakfast and laugh with friends like it was an in-service. Sometimes you go back to home and hop back into bed. Today I fell alseep on the couch with some morning talk show stuff on then woke to shovel some more and curiously be inspired to bath the Shih Tzu. Throw in a load of laundry while the time is borrowed. Then I realized what is really happening, some stir crazy cabin fever that is just beginning. A couple months of cold and steady snow, lack of proper light for normal brain function, holiday hang over, and being sick for a few days begins the itchiness to do something. I guess adding a blog entry is the sort of ritual that comes with visiting the bookstore cafe. Today is a little different. I actually picked up a couple magazines this time. Astronomy, Star Wars, Best Friends, Robb Report, and Smithsonian. I know, who cares. If you read my blog, all three or four of you, will you tell other people to give it a look too. Not that I am so important or compelling, but it may be cool to spark some conversation or have someone join and post a comment, even if they want to make fun of me or better yet, tell me off for talking about stupid things.
Paths in Clay, a novel
Paths in Clay is a coming-of-age story about Jack, Allan, and Miller; three friends who return to the “palace”, a place where they studied Koh Loh ceramics, an ancient clay tradition passed on from an extinct culture.
When finished with studies, one must depart from the palace and venture out, not returning until they have established a direction or "path" as a clay artist.
Ten years have passed since they left their great Koh Loh Master Potter. Reminiscing about their days as students, Jack, Allan, and Miller embark on their anticipated return to the palace, during a ceremonial kiln firing and celebration - a time when the Master Potter’s former students, their students, friends, and friends of friends all come together to fire their pottery in several wood-fire kilns.
The journey takes them far from their humid tropical region home of the lower peninsula and delivers them to the bitter season of the snowy highlands. When the three men arrive, Jack is face-to-face with his palace-time girlfriend, Kirsten. She informs the three men that their master has grown ill. Amidst a celebration, among old friends, Jack, Allan, and Miller will discover the true nature of their friendships and complete one cycle of their lives and enter the passageway to another. The choices they make will forge ahead a renewed purpose as their roles in clay traditions confirm their paths; passing on Koh Loh clay to the next generations of potters.