You’ve only got four days left …

So, now it’s astronomy, numerology and the Mayan calendar that have the world ending. At least one world ended last Friday. That’s the world where no one would ever thinking of bringing a gun into an elementary school and kill young children.

About the only reason I even think about the end of the world is for the opportunity to reflect. Like in this post from May 2011.

I also just got a holiday card from the Syracuse Teachers Association. I really like its message.

That got me thinking about letting folks know their work is appreciated. Talking with a number of NYSUT members and other advocates at a Dec. 5 rally, I heard they are busier than ever. One of the Schenectady teachers who received National Board certification told me today that, while it was nice to be at a reception honoring the achievement, she really needed to be with her students.

Everyone is busier than ever, working harder than ever. Newspaper friends of mine have it rough: They have to tweet an event, then blog about the event and then write about the event for the next day’s newspaper. It reminds me of the Wordsworth poem that starts The world is too much with us late and soon. Here’s a link to the entire poem which, in my literature classes, we took to mean the poet was lamenting humanity’s alienation from nature.

I wonder what Wordsworth would have thought of Twitter and Facebook?

Which circles me back to the end of the world. I have artichoke seeds I’ll be starting in a few weeks. It’s not difficult to think about gardening in December if you plant brussel sprouts or cabbage. Both benefit from frost. I love going out to pick some each week. I hope to be picking more Dec. 22 and for weeks into 2013. If the world doesn’t end. But if the world does end next Friday it will mean the end:

  • of resolutions. That’s not too upsetting to me.
  • of the annual begging for more funds for education from pre-K through college. I must admit, it’s getting more frustrating each year to see budgets cut for early childhood and career and technical education, art, music and so many fantastic programs. So that’s not too upsetting to me.
  • of a Wednesday 4s volleyball league. Since my team is in sixth place out of six teams, I’m okay with it.
  • of a Thursday 6s volleyball league. Since my team is defending its first place status of six teams, I’m okay going out with that record intact.
  • of my Meyer lemon tree,
  • as well as the fig, hazelnut and cherry trees and the rest of the garden. That would not only upset me, it would also upset my young neighbors who delight in not just watching the fruits and nuts grow, but also eating them. It would also be the end of the asparagus, blueberries, garlic, golden raspberries, horseradish plants and the chives. Madelyn loves whatever is in season.”Do you have any food please?” she asks. Her mom is a teacher, so Maddie is big on manners. Jason is pickier and doesn’t eat much, except for the chives. He fingers the thin stalks to find the ones he thinks are most tender before he picks them. He knows that the chives he doesn’t eat will keep growing and eventually develop into a pretty purple flower. He also knows that the flower then spreads seeds so even more chives grow.

I hope the world doesn’t end this Friday. We’ve already got a higher education and health care rally at the state Capitol on Jan. 8. It’s from 12:30 to 2 p.m. Contact the United University Professionals chapter in your area for transportation info.

That’s just the first of many events NYSUT has scheduled. I hope to see you at some of them.

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