Of Seagulls and Snails

Oh hey, remember the time I almost got a job by reading Jonathan Livingston Seagull at work, behind the espresso bar? Maybe I should do that again.

(Didn’t get the job, but got a wild goose chase instead and a darn good story out of the whole thing.  Keywords: Quaker schools, busking by the White House, short-lived romance.)

Not that I really need another job right now. I have a lot of them. And I just applied for a new one. I teach violin, tutor, babysit, work at the front desk at my yoga studio, wait tables, make coffee (is there no verb for “being a barista”??) (I consulted Wikipedia on this one, of course, and found zilch, although I DID discover the term “bikini barista,” which is exactly what it sounds like–someone who serves “sexpresso.” …Ready, set, wikisearch it yourself.) And today I just interviewed to be assistant editor at a magazine.

But teaching kindergarten is my eventual career goal, although it may not look like I am terribly headed in that direction at the moment. I tutored for one of my favorite families tonight–the dad is a professor of early music, the mom is a ballet dancer, and they send their kids to Montessori school (which is why they need math tutoring) (no grudge against Montessori method for math, but after the whole building-block stage, it seems to ignore things like “being on grade level” and “state testing preparation”). Anyway, their house is full of books and cats and musical instruments and art, and I love being there. I usually tutor or babysit for a few hours, then spend another half-hour having tea and a heart-to-heart with the Mrs. about yoga, Judaism, poetry, and alternative education.

In fact, I discovered one of my very favorite YA books while babysitting for these kids. Shmenny and Shmwen were listening to a book on tape while we were doing watercolors, and I got so involved with the story that I went to the public library on my way home and checked out a copy for myself. The book is Saffy’s Angel, by Hilary McKay. There are four children in Saffy’s family, all named after paint colors–Cadmium, Indigo, Saffron, and Permanent Rose. They live in a ramshackle old house in the country, and the book takes place in England. Need I say more?

This is what I love about kids’ literature. It sweeps you off into someone’s zany imagination, and you forget about being a grown-up for a while. And then, when you have to come back to your day job, you have people like Indigo and Saffy to keep you company.

And, speaking of keeping people company, I am really quite ready for a cat. Quite very, I am. My lap is sadly catless at this moment in time. My cat shall be stripey and it shall be named Snail. I have probably mentioned this before.  And it is time to stop typing and go bake birthday gingerbread for my housemate.  If there was an overarching point to this post, I have forgotten what it was.

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