Sunday, June 26, 2011

Wall Calendar in a Planner World

(photo courtesy of

The world of education is filed with planners, and not just the paper or electronic kind. Most teachers are natural planners, wonderful at structuring their worlds. They make plans in advance, stick to routines, schedule what comes next.

I am a wall calendar in a planner world. I need big blocks of space that make me feel as though anything is possible.I can adjust to the smaller blocks in a desk-size planner, can do short stints in a pocket planner, but lined pages make me feel too confined, and graph paper might just put me over the edge. And don't even get me started on Blackberries and Smart Phones. I prefer that my phone be less intelligent than its owner, thank you very much.

During the school year, I adapt. A lot. In the summer, I aim for as many of those big, beautiful blocks of white space as I can find because those white spaces are filled with promise. The promise of projects that don't fit into pocket-sized blocks, days spent reading, writing or just plain dawdling for as big a block of time as I can imagine. Days that I can meet friends and linger over lunch. Or pull out board games and have a marathon without worrying about where I need to be next.

Sometimes, I envy the planner people. Their lives seem so smooth, so organized, while mine can seem like a crazy free-for-all. But when I think about being boxed in, I decide that trading places might not be the deal I'm looking for. It looks good on the outside, but makes me all knotted up on the inside.

So, I'll stick to admiring them, and waving at them from across the white expanse of my big blocks of unscheduled time.

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