Saturday, February 22, 2014

The Olympics

My friends haven't seen much of me the last two weeks. It's the Olympics! Since I was a little child I have been mesmerized by all the jumping, gliding, flying, tripping and floating of the winter events.  I swear I could hum the Russian national anthem by the time I was ten. I thought it was the most majestic melody I'd ever heard.  Go figure.

I still love it all, especially the figure skating. If you read my blog while I was in Alaska, you'll recall that I found a frozen lake under a mountain (actually, everything in Alaska is under or on top of a mountain), and skated my little heart out, pretending to be Peggy Fleming ( What was fantasy to me, is real for these competitors this week. And I was able to watch it live in the mornings when there were few interruptions, and I could be among the first to see it all unfold in real time. Thanks for understanding, all of you friends who watched some of it with me and all of you who didn't try to drag me away. Believe me, it was spiritual!

So I had this strange anxiety dream last night (Don't start yawning until you hear it). I was teaching school again, just coming in on a Monday morning. I guess it had been a busy weekend because I had absolutely no idea what the lessons were for the week. In real life, this could only happen if you had just awakened from amnesia ("Oh, am I the teacher?") or discovered you had the winning lottery ticket and were only there to say goodbye. A day without lesson plans lasts ten years, and you are not well at the end of it (Don't ask me how I know).

But in my dream it didn't seem like a big deal. I was getting the children settled when in walks my former principal, the one I had when I taught in St. Pete years ago. She smiled and, with clipboard in hand, took a seat and said she was there to observe for half an hour or so. If you are a teacher, you get it!  Observation equals evaluation. There are only one or two a year (or there used to be) and you'd better be on for this. Your career could ride on it.

I distinctly recall the feelings I was having in my dream. The "OH NO!!!, ARE YOU KIDDING ME????" kind of aggravated panic, but also a "Hey, I can handle this!" kind of  in-your-face optimism. I quickly perused the reading guide to see what story I was supposed to be teaching. With an air of confidence and calmness I picked up my book and took my seat with all the children around me in a circle. The principal was still smiling expectantly, her pen in hand.

For just that moment, I think, in my subconscious mind anyway, I was on the Olympic stage. It had all come down to this one performance. All the college classes, the staff development, the meetings, trainings, experience.......all rested on this reading lesson that I had not a clue about. I knew I was about to experience "the thrill of victory or the agony of defeat" in my own realm. The world stopped turning for that few seconds as I took the, I mean.... opened the book.

This has got to be why I love watching the Olympics. It isn't about them so much as it's about me......the triumphs, the disappointments, the strength, stamina, and determination to git 'er done, no matter what the challenge. I need some Olympic Spirit!  Don't we all!? I am grateful for the chance to tap into that colossal chunk of inspiration,  then personalize it and use it to take my place among my fellow humans.

Want to know how the dream ended? This is hilarious! Just at that moment of truth, when everything was on the line, the door swung open and a teacher's aid announced, "Ice cream for everyone!" Without hesitation,  she proceeded to pass it out to the explosive cheers of the jubilant (if diminutive) crowd.  The principal left the room.

I have only one question......does this mean I won or lost???????????