Tuesday, September 6, 2011

My Cup (and Ceiling) Runneth Over

Today, in the middle of a class, it started to rain - INSIDE my library.

Since school started, we've had 2 tornadoes, 1 waterspout and a hurricane - all of which left my library unscathed. Then today, we were undone by the air conditioner -which decided to spring a leak. Naturally, I didn't have time to capture the event on film as it was occurring, but I did get a shot after the initial gush had soaked a bank of 6 computers, filled 2 trashcans and dwindled to a trickle. Oi.

When it was all over, a student said:  "Mrs. LaGarde, this is the most exciting spot in the whole school!"  Then his friend said, "yeah, even when water isn't pouring out of the ceiling!"  And I'm inclined to agree.

Since school started, I've seen 46 classes, checked out just over 1,000 books, taught 2 workshops and plotted countless collaborative schemes with a gaggle of classroom and library teachers alike.  As busy as it's been, I can tell that this is going to be a great year.

Even so, I can already feel myself getting a little overwhelmed.  The challenge for me will be to not end up like these ceiling tiles: split open by the weight of everything I have to carry.  I don't know about you, but I suffer from the disease of not only wanting to do everything, but of also wanting to do *everything* perfectly - or at least better than it's ever been done before.  Some people call that over achieving.  Others call it annoying.  Either way, I know it's not sustainable.

So, this year as I attempt to take over the world, (with no assistant and no budget), I'm going to try to remember the day the ceiling burst open.  Hopefully, that image will remind me to:

  • Set realistic goals.
  • Cut myself some slack.
  • Ask for help when I need it.
  • Breathe.

In the meantime, I'm grateful for an exciting start to the school year and a (mostly) dry library that refuses to shrink in the face of one disaster after another.  I'm not sure what the rest of the school year will bring, but I say "bring it."  I'm ready.


  1. Great post, Jennifer. When my ceiling leaked last year, all I did was fume (and move the reference section). Love the way you found some take away wisdom in this episode. Have a great year! - Beth Redford

  2. I love that kid who said- "even when water isn't pouring out of the ceiling!"

  3. I could of wrote almost the same post! (but I didn't). Tornado warnings, earthquakes, hurricanes, no power (school canceled three days). No assistant, new cataloging system (anyone got good lesson links for Destiny?). Students keep looking at me funny because I stop and say "take a deep breath" then they laugh. I will try to embrace the rest of your list and I will remember "I am not alone". May have to DM to commiserate occasionally, feel free to do same! Sounds like we are in the same boat. Boat? Boat? Did someone say boat? You may just need one in the library--lol!

    Also, I'll try to take more Instagrams! Life is too short, gotta have some fun!

  4. For sure, Charity. Commiseration and Instagram are two of my favorite things. :)

  5. I see your blog has attracted some amusing spambots! - Beth Redford