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26 August 2007

These Are The Times That Try Men's Souls

I hate the first day of school, but I hate the day before the first day of school even more. It's impossible not to be nervous, and nearly impossible to sleep, minus medication which I don't take. I haven't had much last-second planning time this weekend on account of two birthday parties for one son, and a little assistant coaching for t-ball practice. Perhaps these activities have been good for me - taking my mind off things. That is, if Putt-Putt/Go Karting on a sauna-esque evening, and ball practice in Mespotamian summer conditions can ever be good.

Where to start when reporting on school happenings and new job trauma? I don't know - let's throw out a few random thoughts, and hope I survive the coming week, gradually finding the ability to put together cogent blog posts with available time (ha!):

*My room is barren and sad compared to the immaculately decorated rooms of the other English teachers. Hopefully I'll have a few years to refine things, but I've always had a disadvantageous man's touch with such things.

*No one thought I was weird for wanting to teach The Tempest to non-honors 10th graders. But for my troubles I have been put in charge of organizing a unit on potential activities, projects, etc. in case others want to incorporate it into their own curriculum.

*I'm in awe of some of these teachers - many of them gave workshops on Friday, and they have their stuff down pat. I have strong knowledge and the right demeanor (and attitude) I think, but as a teacher and classroom manager I still have a long way to go before I'm on some of their levels.

*In my five years at my former school, I didn't cumulatively hear the words damn, hell, and sh*t out of the mouths of teachers as much as I did in one week of workdays at my new school. I also heard the "f" word fly out of a science teacher's mouth twice in one conversation. Interestingly, the main perpetrators were almost all teachers/administrators nearing retirement.

*I didn't get my first lesson plan written until Friday afternoon at 3:15. Let's hear it for procrastinators.

*Our Open House night was cut short by a wicked thunderstorm that knocked the power out. So instead, we had to stay until 6:00 the following two days to give parents a chance to come by. Speaking of tempests, what kind of omen was that?

*However, no one is really checking up on us - we don't have to sign in or out (except workday mornings), or punch time cards, and it is assumed we are doing our work when and where we are supposed to do it.

*Did I mention I will never sleep well tonight? Yeah, I did. Well, what sleep I get will be harried by bizarre, frightening dreams that could keep a Jungian in business for a year (that was Jung, wasn't it?).

*I hate the first day of school. Pray for me, folks.

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