Sunday, September 5, 2010

Goodbye Summer

All in all it's been a very nice summer. We didn't really go many places, we didn't really do much, but we are definitely back on our feet, rested and ready for a new school year. E is out of the woods and gaining ground and pounds. Miss M is prepared for and needs preschool like a fish needs a good kick in the pants, I mean, water. Even Bob and I have carved out some time to be, well, Bob and I. So here we have:

Remember my goal-setting post? Well, here's my list, broken down. Of course, excuses are included.
  • Detail every room. Actually move stuff when I dust and vacuum.
Pretty much done (and steadily being undone by the sheer process of living life). The faux fur fan blade covers have come off. (Pssst! That means I dusted them!) It's still a messy house, but no teacher who saw the inside of my desk in grade school would have predicted any different for me. "A clean house is the sign of a wasted life", and a life is a terrible thing to waste, right? We have had some success; we are more together & organized. We will stay that way for at least two weeks, maybe more if we really put forth some effort. More importantly, we have purged, we have rearranged, and our dust bunnies have been given little plaid pet beds and coordinating collars.
  • Give baby toys a good wash in Clorox.
Uh...antibodies. They're called antibodies.
  • Update the girls' baby books with photos. This has not been done since Little Project's birth.
Done, and darn cute.
  • Transfer all classroom CDs to be used in the fall on the lovely new iPods the department generously got us Music folk.
Not there yet, but I started it at least. I'm still getting used to iTunes, and iTunes is weird. It's neat how they have free downloads every so often. Otherwise, all of Apple seems to be charging people more for computers they have less control over and ultimately can do less with. Fanboys, back down. "Genius" and trendy stuff aside, I think it's kind of like paying a lot of money for a "Dummies" version of software and hardware. And do not get me started on the iPad. Big expensive toy, not tool. I very much disagree with iTunes's proprietary nature (for instance, making it a giant freakin' project to use any music service but their own and duplicating all your preexisting music files in their own format, doubling the space they take up, and...yeah, I could go on). And I have never, ever, used a workaround for that. Perish the thought.
  • Try not to get to giddy thinking about toting around an iPod instead of shuffling through the entire CD library every week, plus more on travel days.
Well I'm not traveling as much as I used to, but the iPod is still thrilling and quite useful. I am downright giddy at the thought of creating a playlist for each week's Music classes and Chorus rehearsals and just using that cute little-but-powerful speaker, traveling everywhere around school without pushing a stereo cart... *happy dance*
  • Find out exactly what the heck is up with my teaching travel schedule next year.
Got it, though the daily schedule of the Related Arts teacher always changes when the classroom teachers figure out their own routines and things get shifted around. Do your stretches, flexibility is key.
This year is going to be interesting, schedule-wise. I had some added flexibility due to our dwindling numbers, flexibility I will probably never enjoy again after next year's adjustments. I really intend to make the most of this; co-teaching, extra programs, projects, private lessons, etc. But to quote a very astute Music-teacher-friend from LVC, "I do not provide preps. I provide Music Education. " Any questions? No? Good, now let's go form an Orff ensemble...
  • Paint touch-ups around the house. Painting is way more fun that cleaning.
It is, but that doesn't mean I actually did it. Besides, my "detail" cleaning is what everybody else thinks of as just plain and expected "cleaning". So no painting this summer. Maybe I'll get crazy over Fall break, who knows! The brushes could still come out! Or I could just wait till we decide to sell the house, when the kids graduate...
  • Have my classroom ready to roll by September.
All good. The days I spent at school in August were really very fun. After I walked in and was promptly flattened by the magnitude of the multifaceted job before me, that being a classroom in summer mode, I grappled with exactly what I should do first. This took only 2 hours of hummingbird-like activity in which I accomplished nothing but moving boxes, chairs, and other crap around. Then I actually got to work and (mostly) got it all done, lesson plans for Tuesday included. I changed my room around a bit too. I get antsy and move furniture about every 18 months. It's good for the soul.

Classroom, post-furniture move, pre-decoration. Less institutional, more "gatheringy". Looks waaaaay better now. But I of course have no picture of that.
  • Give Miss M some artsy-craftsy time with Mommy.
Um, yeah. We finished her "numbers" book, we made some little critters out of foam balls and pipe cleaners, we painted the letters that hang in her room to match her wall. Otherwise: Bring on Preschool!
  • READ. I want to finally read Don't Know Much About History, because, well, I really don't. I also want to tackle The Female Brain, and I have two more Philippa Gregory novels waiting patiently on my nightstand. They've been there since Christmas. Beckoning.
The Female Brain is still uncracked. Well, the book, anyway. My brain is nicely cracked. Half-way through Don't Know Much, and loving it. It's a good way to bring out the cynic in all but the biggest lover of Fox News, but at least this text explains a LOT. Unfortunately, I left it at my mom's house in PA when we visited. Then my sister accidentally took it home thinking it was one of her books, and it's in the mail on its back to me. In the meantime I finished a fabulous, I-mean-LOVED-IT, Philippa Gregory called A Respectable Trade. Yes, I will find other authors. What can I do, I feel like she's been churning them out like Danielle Steele lately! Or did I just have kids and get distracted? I also have about 80 classics to get caught up on at some point, probably when my girls take Lit classes. Or in retirement. I'll be one of those "friends of the library" ladies. Now then, the query of grave importance in my life at this time: Do I start The White Queen, or do I wait for Don't Know Much to come back home. Oh, what to do!

Overall, not too shabby. Our other great accomplishments have been noted and posted and shared and over-shared on facebook, so I won't wax nostalgic any more. But let's just say we loved this summer, we're looking forward to this school year, and of course, the next beautiful, glorious, fabulous summer after that as well. Right now, it's probably just best to focus on going...

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Thomas said...

Have I told you lately how proud I am of you?

Megella said...

:-) You just did. Right back at you, and thank you, too.

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