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Entry date: 3-3-2023 - Long days (and Mary) - Letters to My Friends

Dear Friends,

Yesterday was a tough day. My students were wound up from the get go and it was my fault. Last year I started a little tradition that I remembered today. We had a new student and last year, during the year, whenever we got a new student, I introduced them to their new class in a funny way by telling them some outlandish stories about their new classmates.

Of course I let them know I was only kidding and talked up the good points of each kid, but they love it. Yesterday, my students enjoyed it a lot, but it set the wrong tone for the day. Hindsight being 20/20, I need to make sure I do something to help them calm down and re-focus in the future before moving forward with our day.

I was also dressed as a makeshift Batman during the day which didn't help. It was Read Across America Day (also Theodore Geisel's birthday) and our team leader decided we would all use some cheap superhero costumes she had. It was fun, but again, it set the wrong tone for the day. I also couldn't stop using my gruffest voice and saying, "I'm Batman" over and over.

Anyway, I'm hoping for a better day today and in the future I will use the calming techniques I learned while teaching Social and Emotional Learning to refocus my students on high energy days. They deserve it and so do I.

Here's to having a really nice weekend. Can't wait to celebrate Rhondi's birthday with her.


For the second time in just a few minutes, Mary snapped back to consciousness wondering what the fuck was going on. She had no idea how long she was screaming for, but the giant black widow spider spinning over her head on the porch was just a fan again, albeit a fan with a mind of it's own.

Had the early warm early spring day gotten to her, she wondered. Was it the chemicals from the bug spray? Surely she was hallucinating. If Mary was anything, she was a rational thinker. There had to be an explanation for what she just experienced. She looked down at her bare left foot.

Again she felt afraid to look at the sole of her foot, but she sat back down on the chaise lounge and checked it out. There was nothing there. No spider bite, redness, or odd sensation of being extra 'alive.'

"What the fuck," she muttered. "I'm losing it."

Mary decided to go inside the house. At that moment she didn't care about fans or weeds or dead baby spiders. She needed to break free of the spell of the afternoon and she needed to do it quickly.

After shutting and locking the French doors, Mary ambled over the kitchen, still with one bare foot and one in a gardening boot. She opened the refrigerator door and grabbed the bottle of Pinot Grigio she and Connie hadn't finished the previous week. They had planned to finish it on Friday, but it wasn't going to see Thursday after the experience Mary had with the black widow.

She didn't even bother to grab a glass. Mary popped the wine stopper out and took a healthy swig right from the bottle. After stopping to take a quick breath, she tilted it back again and finished it off.

The rest of the night was a blur of popcorn, Modern Family reruns on cable, and a very hot bath. When Mary's eyes popped open at 5:30am the next day, she wondered if she had dreamt it all. As she brushed her teeth, she looked in the mirror and saw someone she didn't recognize. This version of herself was scared.

She was on autopilot for the rest of the day. As she coasted through her work, catching up on paperwork in the safe confines of her office, she kept thinking about the words of the spider. "Slowly" kept reverberating in her head.

Had it already begun?

(To be continued)


Poor Mary is in a predicament. How will it turn out?

See you tomorrow.

Sweet dreams.

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