Lughnasa Waning Summer Moon
Selling out wall to wall for remodeling! How could we resist? Kate needed a comfortable chair, the old and worn Swedish model no longer matches up with the curve of her back and her head lowered by shrinkage in her spine. We found one at the Stickley sale, not another Stickley piece but a fat comfy leather chair with plenty of back and head support, a nice ottoman, and a sale price far below list. Happy birthday! Every 74 old woman deserves a decent chair, am I right?
On the way over to the Audi Stickley store we drove along Co. 470 East. Which goes south. Confuses me every time. This divided highway, an incomplete ring road around the Denver metro, has been under construction since we got here in 2014. Like many civil engineering projects there is a lot of soil piled up in various places, barriers, zigzagging lanes, changing speed limits and concrete barriers on both shoulders. Trucks move on and off the narrow lanes. Instead of the neverending story, this is neverending road construction.
Kate made peach honey from Western Slope peaches we bought a week or so ago. A big lug. Ha. Looks beautiful. I’ll have to take a picture and post it here.
Over to Beth Evergreen. Down the mountain, around the curves, into Evergreen. Past the Catholic Church on 74 where a huge elk bull and a harem of maybe 40 cows and calves hung around on the church lawn like bikini clad women on a beach. We’re not to the rut yet, that comes in late September and October.
At the synagogue Rabbi Jamie and Alan were a bit late so I helped Leah, the executive director, unpack the new, padded folding chairs for the social hall. We’re getting new chairs for the sanctuary and will no longer store the additional chairs in the social hall. That will be a big improvement.
When Jamie and Alan arrived, we had a brief meeting with Tara, director of education. Alan and I have a September 5th family session with parents of b’nai mitzvah age kids and the kids. The new curriculum that we’re using focuses on the emotional and developmental needs of the kids rather than emphasizing learning of prayers and Hebrew. This will be, I understand, controversial.
In the teacher workshop that followed that meeting Jamie said something I found very interesting. It went something like this: Public schools focus on subjects, learning math, art, literature. Finding out what content appeals to you. Religious schools should focus on the self. Discovering yourself and how you fit in to the larger world. The new curriculum conforms well to this pedagogy, but as you can see it puts student personal development over particular content, apparently a big change for religious school.
Found myself feeling dull during the workshop. There were five teachers: Karen, Debra, Alan, Cheri, and myself plus Tara and Jamie. I know all these people well except Cheri. She’s new, a former resident of Israel. That carries a certain cache in Jewish life. On reflection my dullness may have been a low grade anxiety. A lot of Hebrew. These are all Jews. A lot of understood subject matter. I’m better there, but still my learning curve is steep. Having to imagine how I’m going to teach and do it well in an environment where education is very important.
I don’t think this anxiety will pass until I’ve actually taught a few classes and have a better feel for how that works, specifically how I will work in that setting. Don’t like feeling dull.