Monday, 26 November 2007

Ode to Joy

I was thinking, as I went to work this morning, and then again as I came home early, while -the-sun-was- still-up early, of how much I enjoy the young folk in my family. Last weekend, we went to Binghamton to watch our children celebrate their engagement, and to participate with them in their joy. This weekend my parents and my niece, as well as the newly-engageds, were in my house, and the joy of their presence is still with me, even now, as I wait for my niece to tell me she's boarded the train in Manhattan to take her back to Providence, Rhode Island, where she is a sophomore in college.

There was laughter in my house, the kind I sometimes share with the girls, but not often enough. There was light, and sound, and energy. Even my parents, struggling with health issues, seemed to be happily affected by the gay mood in the house. I didn't cook a lot - though you wouldn't know that to see the amount of the leftovers - so it can't be about the food. We didn't DO a lot, though my niece turned twenty on Sunday, and we took her to dinner and a movie.

There was just a joie de vivre, a spirit of love and laughter, of pleasure in each other's company, that I have not experienced for a long time. It was sweet...and I savor it still.

Of course, I wrote a poem...can you blame me?


Some day
when I am old, and gray,
and all my limbs are feeble,
I will recall that day, when we
were all together, sharing one
last happy laugh...

...joie de vivre.

Some evening
when I am worn, and weak,
and every beat is more
than I can bear to feel,
I will review that hour, when we
all sat together, sharing one
last funny tale...

...joie de vivre.

Some morning
when I am slow, and dull,
and every step unwilling,
more than I would make,
I will reset the hour, when we
all loved together, sharing one
last happy hour...

...joie de vivre.

(c) Copyright 2007 by Teri Bannerman

Sunday, 18 November 2007

Thursday, 8 November 2007


Whoever said "He who can, does. He who cannot, teaches." (and I know who he was!) was a blaspehmous, unappreciative jerk, and short-sighted to boot! If it weren't for teachers, who would make the rocket ships? Who would perform the open heart surgeries? Who would replace the lost limbs? Who would write the Nobel-winning literature? Who would keep the peace?

Hurray for teachers, I say (and that includes hurraying for me!)! What a sad, primitive world this would be without us! No matter how you disrespect us, you can't live without us! Yes we CAN! We TEACH!

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Reflections on a Life...(Nostalgia...or Growing Up, Again)

So there we were, driving along in Yonkers, on the I87, about to exit on Central Park Avenue, and suddenly the tears were right there...behind the lids, behind the whites, behind the brown eyeballs. They welled up, and sneaked down my cheeks. I tried to resist the urge to wipe them away. I lost that battle...

It's 1983. I am 24 years old and newly married, living in my sister's house (no, she's in the US then), working in a Catholic public hgh school (someday, maybe, I'll explain that phenomenon!). My husband is teaching art in another secondary school. We are poor - teachers in Jamaica then made precious little. But we were contented. We owe no one anything, aside from student loans. We love the work we do. We have an extended family, in case of emergency.

It's 2007. I am 48 years old and 24 years married, living in our fairly newly-built house, working in a prestigious New York City public high school. My husband is an assistant principal in another New York City public high school. We are not poor, but what we are defies explanation, or, quite frankly, understanding. We owe everyone, including student loans for our sons. We wonder about the work we do. We have an extended family, who often depend on us in an emergency.

The feelings that overwhelm me in the car are so powerful, it is all I can do not to cry out with the pain of them. I know now, in an instant, what "heart-wrenching" means. It isn't that I wish for "the good ole days" back, although I do. It isn't even that I worry about the bad new days, although I do.

It's more that I cannot fathom the losses I have sustained, in my pursuit of the gains. The questions I live with now would never have occurred to me, naive as I was all those years ago. And my inability to find even the glimmer of an answer that does not tease more tears from my already leaking eyes, or wrench them from my aching heart, is the most frightening feeling I have ever known.

Perhaps, one day I'll get it. Maybe when I'm older...

Ha! I AM older, and I get nothing!

Maybe when I'm wiser... *sigh*

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Did You Know...

1) Elephants are the only animals that cannot jump.

2) The body's strongest muscle is our tongue.

3) A pigs orgasm lasts 30 minutes!!

4) Statistically, people are moreafraid of spiders than of dying.

5) All polar bears are left handed.

6) Crocodiles cannot stick out their tongue.

7) Butterflies taste with their feet.

8) A cockroach can live 9 days without it's head. It only dies because it cannot eat.

9) Humans and Dolphins are the only animals that have sex for pleasure.

10) A duck's quack has no echoe.

11) Starfish have no brains.

12) Mosquitoes have teeth.

13) Thomas Edison was afraid of the dark.

14) The word "Cemetery" comes from the Greek Koimetirion wich means Dormitory.

Saturday, 20 October 2007


Saturday, October 20, 2007. It's 12:30 p.m. here (and five o'clock somewhere else), and she's still in my jammies!

Now, now, don't pitch a fit, or descend into histrionics. And for Pete's sake, don't roll your eyes, either! She works darn hard every day of the week, rising with the birds at 4:30 a.m., and finally dragging her weary derriere back into her house between eight and nine each night. So she "sleeps in" on Saturdays - to catch up on the sleep she DOESN'T get on week days.

*hands on hips* Did I SAY she went to bed as soon as she got home???? Well then!!

So she's sitting in bed, pink jammies on, lappie on her lap (Duh!) writing, and watching the trees outside her bedroom windows. It's beautiful - green, yellow, orange, red. Leaves moving gently in the breeze, a few waltzing on the breeze on their way to the ground below. So peaceful!

So WHY, in the middle of all this "peaceful, easy feeling", does it suddenly intrude into her consciousness that there are groceries to be bought, laundry to be done, library books to be returned (since July! *gasp*), hair to be washed, papers to be graded? WHY?????

The joys of middle age? The curse of the anal retentive/obsessive compulsive?

The life of Teri.

Maybe she'll give in to the Pentecostal guilt and get out of bed. Of course, there's no guaranteeing WHAT she'll do once she's out...

Maybe she can choose the outfit to wear to work on Halloween, when she shall have completed another year of life. Hmmm...let's see...those black pants, that orange top, the Jack-O-Lantern scarf, skull earrings, pumpkin pin, ghost hair slide...

Friday, 14 September 2007

Hello out there!

So here I am, trying something new, on the recommendation of a friend whom I trust. I'm still trying to decide what I'll post here. Perhaps my poetry, and book reviews. This will probably not be the only short blog posting on this page! Until I feel secure about what goes here, I will merely post to keep it open.

So, for today, a poem posted elsewhere on the 'Net!



… that the road is long,
the hills steep, the river wide,
will I yet remain aloof,
or will I be your guide?


…that the song is true,
the tale real, the poem grand,
will I still remain above,
or will I take your hand?


…how the way will go,
the path rough, the mileposts few,
will I then remain apart,
or will I walk with you?

© Copyright 2000 by Teri Bannerman