Anxiety

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by Jem, Apr 30, 2010.

  1. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    Apr 30, 2010

    For the teacher appreciation week, I'm re-doing the teacher's 'lounge'. It's basically a space on our third floor at the top of the stairs that all the kids pass through to go into our movement room. There is a wobby table for two, a futon with mismatched cushions and a microwave. It's awful and ugly and cold.

    With permission, I'm making it over. I have two tables offered from freecycle-picked one up tonight and the other will be had tomorrow morning. I'm putting one in the room, and the other out on the deck so we can eat outside-beautiful view of the city. I'm going garage saleing tomorrow for a short bookshelf so we can have a book exchange, some dishes for the cupboards and some appliances like a toaster oven and coffee maker. A freecycler gave me a ton of vases that I'll fill with pebbles and wheat grass (very Reggio) and another freecycler is making us a beautiful rose bouquet from her garden.

    The one missing piece is a couch to replace the awful futon. I have dreams of a beautiful comfortable couch that the teachers can lay on. But they are all pretty pricey on craigslist, and the free ones are really, really ugly. I don't want ugly. I'd rather re-do the cushions of the existing futon that get an ugly couch. And so the couch nags at me. I must have a couch for my vision, but where to get one?

    And then tonight, I found it. A beautiful olive colored Eddie Bauer couch, for free. On the curb of a nice neighborhood in the city. Free for the taking. And too big for my SUV. And so all night, I've had a clenched jaw and a racing mind, trying to figure out how to get that couch to the school. I've called parents with trucks-no one answered. I begged dh to let me rent one-all the places are closed. I'm going CRAZY. It's ruined my evening. I don't even know if it's still there-I could rent a truck tomorrow morning, drive back to the city, and someone else might have taken it already.

    A co-worker e-mailed me tonight and said we could use her mini van tomorrow morning. I don't know if it will fit, but at least it's SOMETHING. But now I'll stay up all night wondering if it's still there, and when she can meet me there (I'm awaiting a response from her with that information).

    I HATE when I get like this. I get so focused on a project, I get crazy obsessive. It physically hurts. I'm all tense right now, and I'm a jerk to dh. Nothing that I do helps-I try to mentally calm myself down, do deep breathing, etc. It doesn't matter-if the reality is different than the vision in my head, I go crazy! And my vision clearly includes a beautiful olive green Eddie Bauer couch that is (hopefully) currently sitting on a curb in San Francisco. That will somehow make it to the school tomorrow morning.
     
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  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    May 1, 2010

    I think I would have knocked on the door of the homeowner and asked him to put it aside for me.

    Too late now. Good luck.
     
  4. tinytotsteacher

    tinytotsteacher Rookie

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    May 1, 2010

    My fingers are crossed that it is still there! I sure hope the other staff enjoy and thank you for your work on the make over! Our lounge has a recliner that was donated by a family. That could be an option. Also if you find the couch that fits your needs, but is ugly, there are many different slipcovers out there to use.
     
  5. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    I thought about that, too, Alice. But it was a do-not-disturb Craigslist posting, so I'm not sure they would have been happy with that.

    It's 6am here, and I just got a text from a parent willing to help me out. I'm waiting to hear back on when they can meet me there-they have a huge pick-up truck, so this would be better than the mini-van.

    I'm big into prayer, and I've heard an internal voice through all of this telling me to just trust and have faith, and if it's meant to be, it will be. I've been trying to listen, but it still doesn't quell the anxiety!!

    ETA: Looks like we're going to be able to borrow the truck from this parent while they are at work today. Huzzah! All good things work out. And if the couch is gone, at least we didn't spend money to rent a truck and find it out. I'll keep you guys posted. Still anxious enough not to be able to get back to sleep, but feeling a bit better.

    Events like this make me think I'm a little off on the emotional spectrum. It's frustrating not to be able to let things go, no matter how hard you mentally try.
     
  6. oldfashioned

    oldfashioned Comrade

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    May 1, 2010

    So how did this work out for you, Jem?

    This brought to mind something that happened long ago when my husband and I were struggling newlyweds. We had gone to a used car lot to look at a van that had been advertised (it was very "reasonable"; okay, it was cheap!) It was late at night, the used car lot was closed, but we walked onto the dimly lit grounds anyway and found the van. We thought it looked GREAT and couldn't believe it was so cheap. The next day, we rushed down to the lot to look at the van again while the business was open. WELL! In the bright, honest, light of day, we could see that the poor van was shabby and run down - really looked like it was on it's last legs and worth every penny of its cheap price. We couldn't get off the lot fast enough.

    Please let us know how that free couch worked out.
     
  7. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    Sigh. No couch. A lovely co-worker volunteered to go over with her boyfriend and mini-van, but when they got there, it was gone. So, so sweet of her to do that, though.

    It was a rough day. I had a list of items I was looking for at garage sales-very basic items like a large coffee maker, a ~4 foot high bookshelf, dishes/silverware/serving platters, toaster oven and other odds and ends to round out the lounge. I had a whole list of sales to go to, and was sure I'd find everything I needed. Uh, no. The first sale did have some nice baskets and a large glass bowl, but that was it. (On a personal note, I got an amazing deal on antique glass bottles-fifty cents each!-for our built-in bookshelf.) The second sale had a few white glass mixing bowls, but again, that was it. The third sale had sold the coffee maker they advertised, as well as several other items I had wanted. By that time I had to get home to drive Dh into the city to register for his triathlon tomorrow, and I was very frustrated. Basically I had a table, some vases and a few bowls. NOT the dramatic re-decorating of the lounge area as I had envisioned it.

    Dh saved the day, though. After registration, he suggested we bum around by the school and see if there were any thrift shops. We found a Salvation Army and they had dishes, a very nice Krupps coffee maker, a small book shelf cabinet that worked perfectly, two beautiful glass jars I'm going to fill with red vines and trail mix, several coffee mugs and lots of great hardcover books to fill the book shelf. We got to the school and I spent two hours cleaning and putting everything together. I measured the futon/couch frame and I'll just make some new matching cushions tomorrow that will fit. I also have to run to Micheals and get vase fillers like pebbles, shells and dried grass-I have tons of them around the room on the shelves and they will look great with those natural items in them. I found salt and pepper shakers at one of the sales, so I put those on the new table. We put up corkboard squares in a 3x3 pattern by the table so people can post invites and pictures. I found a cutting board, so I put that, the two jars for the vines and trail mix, and the coffee maker on a skinny table by one of the walls. And I put the books and the large glass bowl on the book shelf cabinet-I'll fill the bowl with pine cones on Monday. All the wall shelves have the vases, and I took down some of the gaudy art so the walls are pleasantly clean and white. A friend is donating a bouquet of roses from her garden, so those will be on a table, and I'm going to bring in bagels and coffee 'stuff' for breakfast on Monday.

    Whew. Still much to do tomorrow with the last minute items and making of the cushions. Dh's race ends at noon, so I should be fine.
     
  8. futureteach21

    futureteach21 Habitué

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    Sounds like it ended up okay, Jem! I always go garage sale scouting! Right now, I spend time stocking up on anything I could potentially use later for my classroom- mostly books. But today I found a 200 ft role of sentence strip paper for a dollar! YAY for garage sale deals!
     
  9. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    That's a huge roll of sentence strip!

    It must have been a day for rolls. A guy sold me two hugely thick rolls of drafting velum AND the metal roll holder for $15. Perfect timing, as we're working on our first real Reggio-style unit on architecture and drafting.
     
  10. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    May 2, 2010

    Jem, If you have a Dollar Tree near you they have a couple of different types of pebbles and shells in the section for candles and flower stuff. It is much cheaper than Michaels.

    Also, thinking about the architecture unit, have you seen the following site? If you scroll down to the photo slideshow on the bottom, some of them are of a project where the children created a city. The display of their photos, drawings, paintings, box towers, etc. are stunning especially with the twinkle lights used to show the windows at night. A great representation of a teacher using several of the "Hundred Languages of Children" to learn about a concept and darned pretty too.

    http://reggioinspired.ning.com/
     
  11. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    May 2, 2010

    Jem, it sounds like anything you do to the staff room will be an improvement.
     
  12. DHE

    DHE Connoisseur

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    May 2, 2010

    Jem, you have to show us pictures when you are done.
     
  13. Maithal

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    May 2, 2010

    Yes, I definitely want to see pictures posted.

    So, send them our way! : )

    Good luck! Your coworkers are absolutely gonna love this new "lounge" space.
     
  14. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    May 2, 2010

    You've got it! I totally forgot to take before pictures, so when you see after pictures tomorrow, you'll have to imagine basically awfulness for the before. ;)

    I'm off to get vase fillers (buttons, pebbles, lavendar, shells, pinecones and tall grass), ribbon to frame the cork board, food for the cupboards (salt, pepper, coffee/filters/creamer/sugar), dish soap, tea) and jars (red vines and trail mix), a bread knife (we have a bagel holder I'm donating), drinking glasses, a toaster, a toaster oven, new clock, silverware, etc. Oh, and I need to make the cushions tonight. And get bagels for tomorrow.
     
  15. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    May 2, 2010

    Are you getting reimbursed for all of this?
     
  16. futureteach21

    futureteach21 Habitué

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    May 2, 2010

    Jem, you really are a force to be reckoned with. When you set your mind to something, you do it. I admire that about you :) I can't wait to see pictures!
     

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