I’m getting ready to head off for Chicago tomorrow, so I figured I’d round up a couple things that weren’t really long enough or interesting enough to be whole posts. Maybe putting them in a post next to each other will increase their collective glory. It makes sense in my head. Proximity=Awesomeness.
Whatever, let’s just call it an experiment and move on.
Sometimes, I love my students. They can surprise you.
Example No. 1: Last week, I finally finished grading some papers from my composition class to hand them back. This one was a short How-To paper. One of my students wrote about bathing a newborn. At the end of the introduction came this sentence (more or less):
When I had a child, I didn’t know how to do this, so I’m writing about this because you, Mr. Davis, will soon be having a newborn to bathe.
She got an A. Not because of that—it was an A paper—but that certainly made my day.
Example No. 2: Another of my students in my class last night brought a baby gift for my wife and me. It wasn’t something huge, just a small gift bag of baby shampoo and lotion, diaper rash cream, and a couple little stuffed animals, but it was a really nice gesture and we really appreciated it.
My students like this are incredible. Not because they buy stuff for me or glad-hand me in a paper. It’s because those gestures show that the teacher-student relationship can still be reciprocal.
Sometimes it can feel pretty one-sided. At a small school like this, the emphasis is on the care we show our students. I make a concerted effort to know everyone’s name, even though I have about 200 students in my seven classes. In the fall, it’s even more. But despite all that, I have students—probably a quarter of them—who don’t even know my name, one of maybe four teachers they have that semester. I have students who don’t even seem to care about their own success, which makes it hard for me to care about it. I have students who, in that same How-To paper, blatantly copy something off the internet and turn it in without even looking at it. When a male student includes something about how he used this skill when his husband* was out of town on a business trip, I start to wonder how dumb they think I am.
*Maybe in other parts of the country, but that doesn’t fly in this part of Oklahoma.
But then some students remind you why you do this, that sometimes they actually recognize that you’re a real person who doesn’t live in the computer. And you decide to get up the next morning and grade more papers.
A few weeks ago, I went online and bought Karli a pregnancy pillow. She loves that thing.
So, apparently, do the dog and cat.
I believe all three of them would provide glowing recommendations on Amazon if they a) had fingers to type with or b) cared enough to do Amazon recommendations.
I’m not quite so high on it. More on this to come.
Before being pregnant, Karli had never had heartburn. A few weeks back, she told me it felt like her throat was on fire.
Karli, writhing on the bed like she’d been stabbed: “What is this?”
Me, reading my super-supportive pregnancy husband book: “That’s heartburn. It sucks, right?”
Karli: “Take it away; I don’t want it.”
Me: “I’m not the one who gave it to you.”
Karli, to her belly: “Squatch, when you come out, I’m going to poke you in the esophagus. See how you like it.”
Me, to her belly: “And put thumbtacks in your squished-up peas. Although the peas might be their own punishment.”
Best. Parents. Ever.
I still haven’t gotten that life insurance yet, and now that I’m about to board a plane, Karli’s not happy with me about it. She’s terrified that the plane’s going to go down and she’ll be stuck with Squatch all by her lonesome.
So here’s my internet plea to any Richie-Rich types who stumble across my blog:
If I die in a horrific plane crash this week, please take care of my wife and baby. Financially. Not in the carnal way. You make a move on my wife and my Squatch, I. WILL. HAUNT. YOU. But some money for them would be cool.
We’ve grown accustomed to this. The waiting period.
Not the waiting for a baby bit—that’s still slow-going. No, I mean the way we’ve lived for the last few years, since our last semester of grad school.
The “what will we be doing and where will that be this fall?” lifestyle.
The “everything is up in the air” lifestyle.
Only it’s a little different this year.
When we were getting ready to leave grad school, we were figuring out where Karli was going to law school and where I could get a job. It was exciting and taxing, and we ended up back in Topeka.
The next year, Karli decided to leave law school and I’d subsequently gotten into a doctorate program in Milwaukee. It was unfunded, so we were seeing if Karli got a job there before we took off. The economy in Milwaukee was in the crapper, so she didn’t, and we stayed. But we didn’t know that till about July, and we spent the summer at Karli’s grandma’s house. We were up in the air for a while before moving into the townhouse from hell.
Last year, we were ready to go. Our neighbors were assholes, the management at our apartment complex was a bunch of assholes, my boss was an asshole—I was convinced the whole world was assholes. Then I got a job teaching in the middle of nowhere and we jumped at it. Only—Karli was worried about her job situation. There was a job here that she was perfectly qualified for, and people with her qualifications aren’t exactly preponderant around here. But the job search for that position ran into some hiccups, and she got worried about having a job and enough money to live on down here. Luckily, her job she had in Kansas was awesome and let her telecommute part-time while living here. So for a while, even after accepting my position, we were kind of in flux, waiting for the future to happen. As you can tell, it all worked out, since I’m currently typing this from the bustling BFE laundromat. And Karli finally did get that job. Her first day was Halloween.
This year, things are a little different, though. We’re still up in the air, but not quite in the same way. I’ve got a job in my field, so I’m not searching the teaching job sites twenty times a day, looking for a way out. Our living situation blows, and we know it’s not working the way we want it, but it’s pretty nice living somewhere so cheap that we’ll be able to pay off our student loans way ahead of schedule.
Things are mostly up in the air because we’re not sure if things will be right for Squatch when it’s no longer taking up residence in Karli’s belly. We don’t know if our apartment is going to work, and if it doesn’t, where the best place for us to live will be. We’re still waiting to figure out a whole lot of things, and for that, we have to wait till we hear back about a bunch of other things.
The main difference this year: We know that, come July, Squatch will be here and our lives are going to change.
How that will be, we have no idea.
The waiting* really sucks sometimes.
*Actual waiting, not the blog. That actually never sucks.
Just because I haven’t been around all week doesn’t mean I took a week off. I was just a little busy.
Next week, I’ll be heading off to a conference in Chicago, so I had to get some stuff done before I ditched town. Don’t worry bloggy-verse. I’m not leaving the pregnant lady all alone for five days. When I leave Wednesday, Karli’s mom is coming into town to spend some time with Karli and take over the preggo-watch.
Aside from my normal crazy teaching schedule, I had a bunch of grading I wanted to get done before leaving, then I also had a couple other projects to do. I figured I might as well show them off since I got this here blog and there’s not a huge audience who’s going to get to see these things.
First off, I figured I’d show you the poster we made for Squatch’s room as it actually looks.
And a couple weeks ago, we had a silent auction as a fund raiser for the Latimer County Arts Council. We made a variation on Squatch’s poster for that:
It made a few bucks for the organization, and we’ve had a couple other people ask us to make them some similar things, so it worked out.
The music teacher here has a concert coming up this Tuesday for the Arts Council, so I helped out with a poster for that, too:
I don’t think it turned out too bad. Then today, I finished up a poster for the reading I have coming up when my friends Matt and Leah come down in a couple weeks:
I’m on a roll. Who needs some more stuff designed? I think my next project might be a new site design for this place. We’ll see.
On another side note, I took some photos at the school’s baseball game today since Karli was feeling a little too pregnancy-ish today. And I had a friend join me.
So a busy week, but not a bad week. And come Wednesday, it’s off to Chicago. I’ve already been told that if I don’t bring back something for Karli and for Squatch, then I might as well just not come back.
A while ago, I got a book that I’ve been reading as we go along our magical adventure to Squatchland. It’s called The Expectant Father, which I’ve seen several people in the Bloggy-verse talk about before, so it’s nothing new. There don’t seem to be a whole lot of decent dad-to-be books out there, and this one’s at least decent. I recently started reading the “Month 5” chapter, since that’s about where Squatch is at on the cooking scale.
In this chapter, the author starts talking about pie charts. He says it might be helpful to do one where you divide up, according to importance, your different identities as a man. Another one is to show the importance you place on different fatherhood roles—reliable presence, breadwinner, coach, co-parent, reluctant father, blah, blah, blah.
That’s not how we do things around here. I did kinda like the pie chart idea, but I wanted to do one my way. It could be interesting to look at the different influences I might have in the type of father I become. And like in any person’s development, family can only account for so much. So where do the influences come into play that shape how I’ll be with Squatch? [Notes] Let’s have a look-see:
Some of those are fathers, some are father figures, and some aren’t, but they’ll be influences nonetheless. I’m sure I probably missed some in there. I always do.
I’m also sure it’ll change. Probably by the time Squatch gets here, and definitely a bunch more after. If I were a Star Wars fan, it’s probably a guarantee that chart would look a whole lot different.
That’s a thing, right? Meh—we’ll make it a thing for today.
Today, we went over to the photo studio at Karli’s office and took some 20-week shots. She’s beautiful—as always—and has graciously approved some outtakes for the blog.
Notes: For those of you who don’t know who the heck some of these people are.
Cliff Huxtable—The Cosby Show
Maxwell Smart—Get Smart
Splinter—Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Danny Tanner—Full House
Henry Warnimont—Punky Brewster
Roger Murtaugh—Lethal Weapon
Vito Corleone—The Godfather
Atticus Finch—To Kill a Mockingbird
The Wild Things—Where the Wild Things Are
Earl Grayson—Maniac Magee
Willy Wonka—Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Huck Finn—The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Wolverine—You’re dead to me
Yeesh, that guy yesterday was a buzzkill, amiright? Let’s not invite him back again, ok?
Today is the last day of the first half of Squatch’s cooking time. Tomorrow, Karli will be at 20 weeks (even though Squatch is measuring at 21 weeks and change according to the ultrasound lady). So after today, we’ll be on the downhill slide.
Then life returns to normal, right?
Why are you laughing?
It’s kind of like college, where after your sophomore year, you become the experienced upperclassman. You know what you’re doing, where everything is, and the end seems in sight. Only with the pregnancy, none of those things are true.
Plus, Karli and I both took five years in undergrad, so let’s make sure that doesn’t happen. Bad comparison—we’ll stick with that uphill-downhill analogy.
So those of you who’ve crested that hill already—or have done this before—any advice for us as we begin our descent into parenthood?
That analogy sounds a lot more negative than it should.