As I Return to Teaching

Summer is winding slowly down here, and as I’m about to begin teacher meetings, I’ve made some observations about the state of our lives pre-dive and how these may impact our form. (Yes, I’m watching the Olympics.)

1. Glory be, we officially have three working appliances again, after almost a year of one or more being semi-functional or nonfunctional at all times. The oven temperature still drops just over 10% during use, but this is better than the almost 50% drop in temperature it was previously doing, and it’s miles better than its nonfunctional state. With all the parts that have been replaced in all three appliances in a span of less than a year, I am cautiously optimistic that we may have a few months of a fully-functional kitchen before we are plunged back into kitchen chaos again.

2. I reorganized several closets and the office last week and pitched several unnecessary items, and am faced with a nagging truth: We don’t have enough room in our house no matter how you slice it. A three-bedroom house for five people where one adult works out of the house full-time and one does part-time is just functionally difficult. Add to that the fact that we have no basement (like everyone by the coast) and no attic space and we’re feeling like a family of five all trying to practice our swimming in a small, blow-up kiddie pool. At some point, either an addition to this house or a move to another house will likely be in order. Stay tuned to see which exciting option the Island Family will choose. It’ll be like HGTV, without the good design and upbeat narration.

3. I’m also ruminating over timeless issues of a more personal nature that generations of mothers facing similar challenges have contemplated. I am heavy with them at this hour, folks, so come feel my pain with me.

A. Having traveled so much this summer, I am long overdue for a haircut and highlights.

Seriously. This, I thought, was not such a huge deal until my hair stylist pointed out that likely, in the first few days of meetings, some picture will be taken of me that will show up in the school yearbook, be used for an ID badge I may carry for decades, and generally-speaking just haunt me all the days of my life and show up above my obituary in the paper someday. As someone who feels that most of the school pictures taken of her during her twenties made her look like a middle-aged late-stage TB patient, even with proper hair maintenance, this truth just didn’t sit well with me.

So, I am rectifying the situation at the salon today. We shall do what we can in these matters.

It’s deep stuff, I know.

B. After years of mostly waking to the sounds of small people with demands, I will now begin regularly waking to the sounds of the alarm clock.

Do you know how much I despise that sound? They have yet to create a word that expresses my disdain for such a merciless contraption. I’m not destructive by nature, but I’d happily drive over my alarm clock with my minivan or hurl it into the marsh given the slightest excuse.

C. It occurs to me that my professional wardrobe of the last few years (swimsuits, T-shirts, burp cloths and sweats) might not be appropriate for my new gig. And the professional clothes I wore four score and seven years ago, when I last taught teenagers by the Windy City, leaned heavily in the direction of winter pant suits, apparel that is decidedly less practical here on the island. So, I will stumble bravely into a new world of shopping, a world where I’m envisioning light-fabric sundresses that manage to somehow look less garden tea party-like and more professional.

We shall see, shan’t we?

Actually the truth is, I did attempt to shop once last week. But I had the three small people in tow, so we all know where those efforts led: deep into the land of nowhere.

In all seriousness, I’m anticipating posts shortly on curriculum, as I am now in the thick of it. As fair warning, however, also expect posts on subjects like why the fact that, while teaching, it’s prudent and legally advisable to “relieve myself” only during a designated five-minute window of every hour (the passing period between classes) really bites.

4 Replies to “As I Return to Teaching”

  1. Good luck shopping…I’ll be living vicariously through your return to work. We still need to schedule our series. Just send me a shout when you are ready.

    1. I’ll be doing some vicarious living through your life, too. 🙂 Thanks; I’ll contact you shortly.

  2. When do you start school down there? The Cub’s first day is September 6th. Good luck with the clothes shopping. I’d have to do a lot of that if I ended up back in an “real” office. For now I go to work in jeans and a clean shirt as I work in a tile and granite contractor’s office, which is usually full of granite dust, so I own very few office worthy pieces of clothing.

    1. The kids around here usually go back mid-August. It’s obnoxious, really. Except in May, when they often get out around Memorial Day. Then it’s great! 🙂 A granite contractor’s office, huh? I may have to pick your brain at some point in the future then, if we decide to replace ours. We do often wear jeans and a school shirt on Fridays, to show our school spirit (something all the schools I’ve taught at have done), so Fridays are always a little more fun and relaxed. Hope The Cub has a great start to first grade!

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