8/22/08

Housewife Log: Stardate Insomnia 0400

Honey, I can't sleep. I've got things on my mind, some good, some bad. Summer is ending and it is hitting me hard at this wee hour. There are so many things I did not get done in the summer time I had at home. My last semester of classes starts in 5 days and it promises to be a toughie. I'll have the hardest math class I'll have to take, I have to bone up and take my other last math course from a professor I dislike as he is still the only one teaching the class and I can't wait and see again, I'll have a very fun, but labor intensive semester-before-student-teaching teaching class, and another class that I am looking forward to related to adolescent development. Barring events beyond my control, gross time mismanagement, or utter failure, I will be finished with all of my classes in December and can take something fun, creative writing, scuba diving, underwater basket weaving, while I student teach in the spring.

And then, the kids start back and I feel so conflicted. I have been very active at my kids' elementary school in past years as The Lip Model and The Former Future President went all the way through the same wonderful school as well, but last year I just wasn't. I know it can make a big difference in an elementary school class for parents to help and I get conflicted as to how much time I can afford to give without my blogging being affected. Right, like that's negotiable. Actually, since I have been very inactive on my memoir and am battling urges to start over AGAIN, I am feeling very confident that as the flurry of Fall activity gets under way, I can rely on the urge to write to present itself full-force again. It always does.

You don't know it, but you had to wait a minute while I went and warmed up a left-over homemade hash brown with melted Mediterranean cheese (a cheddar containing sun-dried tomatoes and olives) on top. I'll take this moment to thank OkJimm for planting the new microwave seed in my head after my recent vacuum purchasing scandal. I have found that purchasing a new microwave can be postponed years longer than it should by positioning said archaic device on top of your refrigerator so that you have to tippy toe to get your food in there. There is no way to see in that sucker, to know exactly how bad things are, plus it makes it easier to visualize the radioactive goodness raining down to nourish your brain cancer that way. It just occurred to me that this is the ultimate test in Mr. Bee's tolerance for filth. There are some areas where I score far higher than him. For instance, the compost sitting on the front porch waiting to be taken out to the pile simply doesn't bother me. On the other hand, a toilet that makes me grateful Snaggletooth peed on the seat again (and then denies it again) because I didn't have to touch it to lower it, finally gets to me after a month or two. (I caught you believing that.) The microwave is a pure, unjaded test. He can't help but see how gross it is. I can refuse to. i think he'll win though. While a new microwave is about 604th on my list of things we "need," Jimm has caused me to reminisce on the days of yore when Jesus had to roam the earth with his inedible Hot Pocket.

I think there were two events in recent days which brought on my Ennui™: my recent blogger meet-up (which reminded me of what having a real 3-D friend is like) and Meet the Teacher Night at the elementary school. I like to save the best for last, so I'll tell you about MTTN. Firstly let me say, I love my kids' school. It will certainly be first on the list of schools I will apply to since teaching 5th and 6th grades will be within my middle school certification possibilities, though they've got it pretty going on in that way as far as teachers are concerned. I have loved my kids' teachers. Let's see... my kids have had 18 collective years at the school (holy shit- I never thought of it that way) and in all that time, granted there have been several years of the younger ones having the same teacher as the older, and granted the f'awesomenesses of some of the teachers has spoiled me for life, there has only been one teacher's classroom I have come to loathe The Genius's time in. Them ain't bad odds, I know, but I am not believer in the idea I've heard that goes something like, "Kids just have to learn to deal with bad teachers when they roll around. It prepares them for life, for entering a workplace where they are bound to get a boss or co-worker who's a dickwanker (I know- that's not really a bad thing, but just play along with the crazy lady and she'll go away faster) and then they'll be better able to take the punches that life inevitably throws them." Bullshit. A bad teacher is a bad teacher.

In order to avoid Snaggletooth's being in her class this year, I sent a polite, but curt email to the principal, who has taken to a policy of not honoring parents' classroom requests, that either of the other two teachers would be very strongly preferred, even to the point that I would feel the need to move them to another school (I left out the part about it being either an alternative school or the school in the district in which we actually live rather than this one we anxiously continue to use the former Mr. Bee's address to keep them in- with his consent, of course). So, when we showed up to MTTN, I almost cried when I saw Snaggletooth had been placed in her class. I like the principal. He's a hard ass; I'll give him that. I don't say that because the ex Mr. Bee, who is a gym addict, sees him at the gym frequently, though this is true. I mean he's former military and has managed to survive being rather conservative amongst very liberal and demanding parents. I don't think he's conservative in a Republican way or anything, but he has to do tough things to get monies the school very much needs and he won't let any pandering to the parents stand in his way, even to the point that some have come to dislike him. I like him, honestly. I have talked with him many times over the years in matters good and bad and he's very reasonable, really.

Anyway, I approached him and said softly, "We can't stay at ¢∞£¢∞§." Now, I am no super catch in the parent department and though my kids have always been amongst their commended TAKS score performers, something he counts very closely- that's one of those ways I meant, I would never expect him to change policies for me unless the feeling was mutual or something. But, he did seem concerned. I asked him if he got my email (which I was not surprised he did not respond to, as that is another of his ways some parents have complained of- he's only got, let's see, 350 or so students' parents' needs to contend with) and he said he, in fact, did not receive it.

Uh.

Crap.

I informed him of the gist and he said he would see what he could do. What happened after that was all in my head and in my heart and I'm still not sure what I think about it all. I saw Snaggletooth's best friend's mom and we were sad the two are not in the same class, and I felt super gossipy to say under my breath that they may yet be. I pulled Snaggletooth over in a hall and had a little talk with him about how I felt and let him know that he may be switching classes, but we would go meet his teacher. I was careful not to say things about the teacher that were disrespectful, but did inform him there were things I did not like about The Genius's being in her class in the past and I had hoped for a different teacher.

We met The Genius's teacher, who has her foibles; The Former Future President had her assist in the classroom in her semester of student teaching and then the next year in her first year of teaching. In fact, she was even my mentor the following year in one of my teaching classes and I got to go in an teach a couple physics lesson in her classroom. I like her quite a bit. I looked at the overgrown garden I'd helped dig outside of her portable building knowing that I could communicate my needs to her and be a supportive parent. Then, we went on to Snaggletooth's assigned teacher. I am disappointed. It's obvious, and then I saw an old friend of mine from before she had kids, who had told me her children would be attending and one of her children is in Snaggletooth's class. I saw another pair of very nice parents with a son I know Snaggletooth to like quite a bit and already felt the pangs of taking him out of the classroom.

Crap.

I saw the principal and met the new assistant principal and said, "Ok, maybe we can just talk about this sometime soon." I said I saw some great kids and parents in the classroom and maybe it could work. He assured me there had been some improvements in the last couple years (he was as disappointed as I was with some things I brought to his attention a couple years ago- separating the boys and the girls into sides in the classroom and just overall having a sexist attitude, in my view, in how she talked to her students, in addition to some fairly serious disciplinary issues). We agreed to give it a go and he agreed if it wasn't working, we could work something out. The thing is that I know the thing for me to do here is to be open minded and to think of ways I can help this teacher rather than be less involved because I don't like her much. I have been a room parent in the past once and think it might be a way not for me to be controlling, but for me to transform my thinking about the situation. Having an inside line on what she might need to be a better teacher might help us come to an understanding that benefits us both, particularly in a way that makes me a better teacher in the end, but crap, I am not as altruistic as all this. I have my hands full as it is. But still, something makes me think helping a couple specified times a week might relieve some of my anxiety in the matter, plus her being isolated is one of the things I sense is going on with her.

Well, I have a much more fun thing to relay. A blogger meet-up post which I wrote most of a post about yesterday, but seeing as it's 5:18AM, I think I shall be back off to bed and pretend I posted this Thursday and post that one for Friday. This was one of those therapeutic ones that I needed to get off my chest. I've got a post in mind for later, a Flo Joe brewing in a PBR keg, a short story idea, and the memoir tugging at me right now. I've got a school matter to take care of tomorrow for me, school supplies and new tennis shoes to buy the baby bees, not to mention all the things teenage girls want and need for back to school. I'll get to those things after I clean my desk (which took a hit again), totally revamp the boys' room, clean and put new contact paper down on the kitchen shelves (believe me I wouldn't if it weren't sorely needed), plus the usual cooking, dishes and dog washing. Right. On the bright side, we may buy a new washing machine tomorrow.

Did I mention that somehow I have lost three of the four bras I own. I think it may have something to do with The Lip Model's helping with laundry the other day, but nothing else seems to be missing and I just don't think someone was out to get their kicks stealing granny bras. It was probably the bra police. See. You thought I was joking.

Uh-oh, I hear roosters.

12 comments:

Christopher said...

For me, sleep is elusive if I drink any caffeine after 6PM EST, which is a pain-in-the-culo, since I'm a coffee adddict but there is decaf and its quality has gotten lots better over the years.

Also, no matter what, no matter how tired I am, where we happen to be, or how I feel, I always take an Excedrin PM 30 minutes before I lay down in bed. In fact, I have tried to fall asleep naturally -- sans the Excedrin PM, and I lay there, tossing and turning, and grow annoyed that Jim is sleeping and Ginger (our Lab) is dreaming of chasing squirrels in the backyard.

So I guess that makes me an addict. Go ahead on DEA, Homeland Security and every other Federal stasi, come a calling because I admit I am addicted to Excedrin PM.

DivaJood said...

Most definately the bra police. Unless it's the cat, in retaliation for the vacuum.

Randal Graves said...

I know that there are gnomes who munch on socks, but I've never heard of this bra police. Then again, I don't wear them except when playing dress-up.

My sometimes-better-half was a room mom once and we've been pretty lucky in not having anyone approaching joker status like the one teacher in here. I'm with you on the bad teacher thing. Dealing with characters doesn't automatically build character, it just turns you in a nut.

I'm not sure I'd want to be a room dad. I think I'll deal with idiot college students instead.

Man, woman, you're busy as fuck.

Anonymous said...

..."separating the girls and boys into sides in the classroom"?? Really?? Is this teacher Amish? I'd say hope for the best and prepare for the worst (it sounds like you're already doing that with room-parenting thoughts). It's true that bad teachers will prepare kids to deal with bad bosses, etc. in the future but I know that's not much comfort because,well, they're kids after all and you want the best for them. Good luck and I can't wait to hear about that blogger meetup. :P.

Comrade Kevin said...

I had an awful teacher in first grade who genuinely hated children. She was well known for said condition. No one could understand why she had chosen the profession due to the fact that she seemed to loathe every moment she was there and take out said condition on all of the students.

My mother, bless her heart, tried to get me out of her class, but her own father was dying at the time and she had her hands full preparing for his death, grieving, and then arranging the funeral.

okjimm said...

Wowsers......for someone with a lot going on.... you sure can write a bunch! :)

I am so relieved that the grade school thing is behind me.

I always hated the parent/teacher shit.

Kids in college is much easier.

Anonymous said...

Slightly off topic - but I seriously considered vouching for your, well, the unnecessary need for you to well, you know......

Offline, perhaps.....

Bradda said...

You had me at PBR keg...

Liberality said...

Busy as a bee is that Freida Bee, yes sir ree!

Dean Wormer said...

I'm just down to the one bra myself.

I really could stand to lose a couple of pounds.

aoc gold said...

The Star
(1)

Twinkle, twinkle, little star!

How I wonder what you are,

Up above the world so high,

Like a diamond in the sky.

(2)

When the blazing sun is gone,

When he nothing shines upon,

Then you show your little light,

Twinkle, twinkle all the night.
(3)

The dark blue sky you keep

And often thro' my curtains peep,

For you never shut your eye

Till the sun is in the sky.

(4)

'Tis your bright and tiny spark

Lights the traveler in the dark;

Though I know not what you are
Twinkle, twinkle, little star!

-----by aoc power leveling

James said...

The officer suspected they were bumping nasties in the portable biffy. Perhaps she thought her denial would pass the smell test and make it less nasty. Wilkins excused their actions and appearance by saying they were only smoking crack. The officer searched Wilkins and found a crack pipe with what looked like a small amount of cocaine residue inside.