Ok, I have 10 minutes. Then I go teach art. We're doing Sumerian cylinder signature seals--little barrel shaped clay hollow tubes that are etched so that when you roll them on wet clay, it leaves an imprint. Remember the rolling pins for Pla-Doh that had patterns worked on them? Same idea but 2 inches long and made of sculpey-covered copper pipe. Then I bake them this weekend and bring them back next week and we roll them out. I'm looking forward to this one. I've really done research and I've got everything prepped. I feel like I have a handle on art class.
I am taking the Praxis (teacher test) to be certified K-9 in art, in fact, in the spring. The test looks a tad daunting. Plus it is completely unclear how many questions I need to get right. 120 questions and my score to pass is "158"? What does that mean? My sister Bevin is going to tutor me in art history a bit. I am completely self-taught but in Missouri, if you have a valid teaching certificate in a basic level (elementary, middle, or high school) you can test into certain certifications. It is now my plan to do as many as I can. My facebook pages lists my job title as "Jill of All Trades" and really it's just teaching but I can teach just about anything, save foreign language or perhaps music. But anything else? I can teach myself and then teach you.
So why the technical difficulties?
Jake wrecked his car. He's all right. No injuries. Fine. He's fine. The car, while just appearing to be dinged, is obviously made of styrofoam and peanut butter on the inside because it was totaled. For my foreign readers, this term means "the insurance company isn't going to pay for the damages because the car is worth less than the cost of the work needed to get it back to road-worthiness." It's a 12 year old car so I think if I sneezed on it, it would have been totaled. One step forward, two steps back. We were at a good place, finally, after months of tweaking expenses (and look: I'm taking a class to be reinstated as a teacher, taking a test to get certified in art, guess what, I'm going back to work next autumn if at all possible and Billy is ready for preschool and all that jazz) and now this.
So the car is totaled. And that means we either live on one car or we buy something.
We could live on one car. If. Jake is a computer consultant and therefore doesn't know, day to day, if he's going to the office in the county, or to the client 10 blocks from us or the client 35 miles away. Or Rolla. Or Peoria. Ok, we usually know when those are coming. But he often starts the day in Webster, goes to Earth City at lunchtime, and stops by south city before he comes home. He likes his job a lot and that's not the problem. The problem is we live in a schlumpy city that has miserable public transit and therefore he needs a car to do his job.
Everything I do on a non-emergency day, during the work day, happens within 3 miles of my house. I'm the one who would have to tweak her life. More than a bit but it could be really good for me. School is 10 blocks away; the grocery store is about that. Church is about that. The farmers market is 15 or 20 blocks. Speech therapy is tricky only because the direct route is under construction, but if I were biking, I wouldn't take the direct route anyway.
So it sounds ok, and if I were sitting pretty in March or April, I would dive right in and tell Jake not to worry for now. But it's November. January is coming. February. We don't live in Michigan or Vermont but it gets cold here. Icy. Freezing drizzle kind of icy. Bleah. Bike in that? I don't think that will work. Bus, sure. Borrow my sister's car on a Thursday morning. Borrow my neighbor's. Borrow Ann's. Borrow my mom's. Carpool. I could do it. If I had to, I could. I would. I would be willing.
Jake is less convinced and probably with good reason. It would make my life a huge hassle every single day except perhaps Mondays. Assuming no one gets an ear infection or croup or so forth. If everyone stays healthy, if we use the crock pot 5 days a week, if Billy and I decide to spend most of our Tuesday and Thursday mornings on a bus.
So then the question could be answered with a new car. Or rather, an old car. Someone else's old car. We've had awesome luck thus far with used cars--the one Jake just had the accident in and the Mazda are both used cars. And they're good. But our budget is small enough that I'm not sure we'd be able to repeat that luck. And we really need something to get us through the next 2 years until Billy is established in school and I'm established in school and the Mazda is paid for.
It's been a hard 5 days. I'm knee deep in Christmas sewing. The SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism--a medieval reenactment group) is coming over this evening to talk about archery to my girl scouts. It got cold last night. Kaboom. A lot of stuff.
So I'm going to drink the rest of this coffee, pack up my copper pipe and sculpey clay, and run run run to school to teach a group of 1st graders about merchants who lived 5000 years ago. The absurdity of it all.