Monday, August 29, 2011

Schedules. Love Them.

So, the start of the new school year for all of us was fun and quite uneventful, for which I thank our routines. Apart from the new office mates across the hall, in an office which used to house one lovely colleague and now houses two fun-loving and rowdy colleagues, very little is glaringly new.

We did the tour around the kids' school on Meet the Teacher (aka: Bring Us the Supplies the District Can't Afford Any More Thanks To Budget Cuts) night, and dispensed boxes of chocolates. The tradition is to start with the kindergarten teacher the kids had, and go up every grade in order. Daughter, who began second grade, has done so with general good cheer and excitement, which is way, way better than terror and anguish like last year. Son's teacher used to be a kayaking instructor, which has gotten Son through the first week with minimal boredom.

The Schedule is set: who picks up kids on which days, and ferries them to which events. Hubby's rehearsals begin this week for his annual university play, and The Schedule takes that into account. Five nights a week of rehearsals for the next two months? No big thing. Because we did this all last year. We figured out how to juggle our work and the kids' homework and their many extra-curriculars, and now it's just a matter of doing it again. There's a general air of self-congratulation at casa LKL these days, and The Schedule can take much of the credit.

Also, as I had a very busy year teaching-wise and requested just two preps this year, and as my department tries to take good care of its human capital and granted my request, I have so much more head space. I know we just got started, and grading will find me soon, but still. Two preps? Piece of cake.

So, I am auditing a Spanish class twice a week too. So far, I love being a student, although there are a few moments of confusion when I'm not sure which side of the desk to empathize with. I have discovered, for instance, that it feels irksome when the prof confidently reads off the price tag on the back of the textbook and says it's a mere 18.95, when I just came from the bookstore and it cost 31 dollars. I don't mind the minimal expense, and it's a darned sight cheaper than many textbooks, but the realization that the professor has no idea what the book costs is alarming from the student side of the desk. I must take note of these things. And yet, when the students who all showed up without the book in the second class, and therefore also did not have their homework with them, I was annoyed at having to share my book with them. As an auditor I am trying hard not to be Hermione Granger in class, but it's difficult when there are so many Crabbes and Goyles and none of them have done their homework. I'm used to this from my usual side of the desk, but it's quite different when you're an Undercover Prof.

Anyway. It's Monday. Which means: Daughter has piano after school, and Brownies once a month, and Son has scouts. (Thank you, Schedule!)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Wait. What Were We Talking About?

Daughter: What's your name from?
Me: Probably Cassandra. The prophetess who could see into the future.
Daughter: Can you see me as a teenager?
Me: Yep. You're beautiful.
Daughter: Is my hair blonde?
Me: No.
Daughter: So you DIDN'T let me dye my hair.

Son, looking through old photos: No offence, mom. But I don't like what you did with your hair in the teen years.

Me, having a meltdown, to Hubby: I mean... What's the point in just existing? I come home, I watch Netflix, I'm happy. But I'm going to look up in twenty years and I'll be 63 and then what?
Hubby, wryly: Oh, they'll have come out with more movies by then.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Thanks, Jennifer!

Thank you!

Check out her great blog on writing for Children: Castles in the Sky.

The liebster award (meaning "Friend" in German) is meant to spotlight new bloggers who have fewer than 200 members--but hopefully not for long. The rules for accepting the Liebster award are:

1. thank the giver and link back to their blog

2. reveal your top 5 picks and let them know

3. copy and paste the award on your blog

4. and most of all have bloggitty-blog fun!

5. added by Jennifer: post a few fun questions for readers

My top 5 qualifying Liebsters are (in no particular order):

  • One Piece of Cake at a Time

  • A Good (Enough) Woman

  • Inktopia

  • Fie Upon This Quiet Life (I Want Work)

  • Design in Technical Writing

Please see my blogroll for a link to each!

And here are a few fun questions for you:

  1. What were you going to be called if you were not born the sex you are? (If you don't actually know, what name would you choose for your alternate self?)

  2. Why do you blog?

  3. What is your least rational pet peeve?

  4. If you write creatively, what's your favorite genre and why?

Feel free to answer in the comments!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Things We Learned This Weekend

  • Don't buy sewing patterns that cost more than 2.99, because I will cut them wrong;

  • Son knows sarcasm ("You made bacon and eggs for breakfast? Who are you, and what have you done with my mom?");

  • The "many hands make light work" theory that got over a thousand scouts to Joplin yesterday to help the schools get ready for the extra students they will have (due to the several schools that got destroyed in the May 22 F5 tornado) doesn't really work when: many of those hands are elementary aged, the work is all outdoors, the temperature is 105 degrees, you begin at 10am, and whoever delivered the mulch to the school playgrounds our pack drew had delivered "creatively" at best;

  • There are many more lines to repaint on said playgrounds than you'd expect, and the ground is so very, very far away;

  • You can drink about 15 bottles of water and never visit the porta-potty once when doing manual labor in a heat wave;

  • I am very glad not to have an outdoor job;

  • Sometimes the farmer's market eggs have giant chicken embryos in them, with visible chicken feet;

  • It's best not to break eggs open over a bowl already containing baking products;

  • My diet is working (Daughter: "You're killing Squishy! Squishy is dying! Squisheeeeee!")

  • Hubby will work for the scouts without complaint, but throws giant tantrums when doing it at home, like... today.

Thursday, August 4, 2011


So, here's what went down in July.

Son: summer soccer (in 100+ degrees).
Me: teaching.
Daughter: gymanstics team training (in Y gym with 2 AC units out).
Me: more teaching.
Son: nature camp with university biology folks.
Me: catching a defiant plagiarist.
Daughter: Made the top level for swim lessons. Learned to do a flip turn.
Me: did actually bike to work for a week.
Hubby: stayed up late gaming.
Son: claymation camp, followed by invention camp. Made elaborate roller coasters and video of a bank robbery.
Me: wore flip flops to all classes after the first week. Bought farmer's market produce from students.
Son: came home from "outdoor adventure camp" with heat exhaustion. Cried.
Daughter: began the Harry Potter series.
Son: saw the seventh film, three times. Cost us a fortune.
Me: more teaching. And an entire two seasons of Damages. (Yes, I unplugged but not from my beloved Netflix, which was the only thing that got me through summer school.)
Hubby: stayed up late gaming.
Me: learned to make GF bread from scratch. Learned the secret to enjoying baking is to stay on Atkins, where I have lost 20 pounds. Baking is now a lot more fun.
Daughter: Made this discovery: "Wait. So that's where I came from?!"
Son: Began a Yugio collection and formed a duelling club. Had a "Platform 9 3/4 party" to celebrate being 9 3/4 years old. Harry Potter robes worn by all (except one creative Sirius Black who had a face-painted beard and a dog nose). Many killing curses hurled around the yard, in between Quidditch and Potions class. Restroom renamed The Room of Requirement.
Daughter: learned how to put a ring sprinkler on her head and chase everyone at said party. Then filled the birdbath, colored it with green food coloring left over from Potions class, and everyone stuck their faces in the "Pensieve." Sirius Black went home with green eyebrows.
Hubby: Ran Potions class and a Quidditch match, and then stayed up late gaming.
Me: Hurt my wrist playing Scrabble on my Kindle.

Wonder what August will bring? Hard to top that!