1. Life has been absolutely insane, hence the lack of blogging. In fact, things are so crazy that I’m not even sure I punctuated that first sentence correctly and I’m not going to take the time to figure it out. I started my new job on September 12, so I have officially been employed there for two and a half weeks. I know almost all the kids’ names (those quiet ones are hard to learn), I have dealt with angry parents in person and via email, I’ve sent some nice friendly emails home to a couple of parents, and I’ve gotten my furniture and supplies somewhat organized. But there were absolutely no resources for me — no files of reading guides or quizzes or tests, no list of things 7th graders or 8th graders should read, not even enough textbooks or novels for all my students. And getting things purchased is harder at this school than any other I’ve taught at because everything has to go through the university’s accounting department (I guess) and it’s absolutely insane. So while I’ve been learning kids’ names and dealing with their parents, I’ve also been creating everything from scratch and learning how to navigate procedures like getting a box of chalk and making photocopies and reserving a computer lab.
2. This school is not at all what I’d imagined. I had the idea that since this is a university-run school, it would be like an educator’s utopia. Instead, I find it is completely disorganized (communication is terrible and there is no set curriculum because the culture is that teachers have a lot of freedom to teach how they want… hence the lack of resources for a newbie.) The student behavior problems, I admit, are mostly minor. The teachers, however, are completely stressed out because they are now having to implement all the state requirements for teachers just like everyone else in public schools, but they have had so much freedom over the years that this is like putting a noose around their necks — not to mention that the previous administrators didn’t do anything to prepare them for what was coming. The new administrators are doing their best, and no one seems to begrudge them personally, but the teachers are constantly stressed out and complaining and overall are pretty unhelpful to me because they are so overwhelmed themselves.
3. Stephan has been absolutely amazing during all of this. He has cooked almost all the meals, he has done the shopping, he has held me and prayed for me when I cried out of complete frustration. He lets me vent and bounce ideas off of him, and he seems okay with me asking for six dozen hugs a day. I honestly don’t know how I would get through this if it weren’t for him.
4. I had issues about the last school where I worked. I was discouraged that they didn’t hire me full time, and I was frustrated that I didn’t have a lot of guidance going into the position I did take. But the teachers there were extremely helpful and friendly and seemed to have much better attitudes than where I am now. In fact, when I emailed them begging for any resources on Animal Farm, To Kill a Mockingbird, and The Giver that they would be willing to spare, one teacher emailed me thirty-nine attachments of stuff. Another said to let her know when I could drop by the school and she’d have items for me. I am so blessed by these women. The school in general is more organized, and I like an organized environment. What I wonder is whether God has me at my current, disorganized school so that I can make a difference there, or so that I can see that where I had been before really wasn’t so bad after all. I think there will be another opening at my last school next year. Will I apply for it? I don’t know, and I’m not making any decisions about that until a position actually posts. But it’s in the back of my head. There is a little pros and cons list in my brain.
5. I think our rabbit, Licorice, is about to give birth. Based on when we bred her to Bear, she should be due roughly next weekend, I think. She is starting to pull out her fur to make a nest, and Stephan put a nest box in her cage. Her urine smells really strong, too, and I wonder if that is a symptom of pregnancy.
6. Remember when I had bunion surgery a couple of years ago? Well, I found I had a bump in my foot just under the incision, and my shoes would rub it and it was kind of uncomfortable. I thought it was scar tissue and tried to break it up myself, but that didn’t work. I went to a physical therapist, and she said it felt like bone or hardware, so I was afraid the screw was working its way out. I went to the doctor and he said it is bone — I guess a little bump grew on the bone when it grew back together. He said it won’t hurt anything, but if it bothers me, he can shave it off. I’m not going to do that now; I’ll wait to see if it gets worse.
7. Our garden is overrun with weeds and we have very little time to tend to it now. Stephan still goes out to get tomatoes now and then (we’ve got several gallons of stewed tomatoes frozen, and about a gallon and a half of tomato juice in the freezer as well) and he just picked two little pumpkins from our backyard garden. Our freezer is packed full, and we need to rearrange things before it’s time to put deer and rabbit meat in there.
8. I make no promises that this is the beginning of regular blogging again. Things are just too crazy right now.