Oh Yeah, It’s Monday

It’s just one of those days.

When I pulled out of my garage and drove the three blocks to my subdivision’s swimming pool I was able to get annoyed twice. I am not even sure how that’s possible. A car pulling out of their driveway and not looking forced me to come to a complete stop. And at the stop sign me and another car arrived facing each other at exactly the same moment. I had my indicator on waiting for them. THEN they turned on their turn signal.

Not a great way to start a Monday at 6:30 in the damn morning.

I overslept too.

Normally I’m up by 5:30 so I have time to make my coffee and do other little things around the house before I go and spend 150 minutes in water aerobics. Today I had barely enough time to lather up on sunscreen.

And suddenly we are heading towards the end of July.

Which means summer is almost over.

NO!

In a few weeks I will be registering the two kids at high school and then summer will really be over and yet there is SO MUCH left to do this summer.

You know, those crazy ass things I had on my list.

Like read 35 history books. So far, I’ve read four.

And defrost my big freezer (fat chance, that sucker was just restocked with a ton of meat on sale). And scrapbook more. And finish editing my L.A. novel (I am ALMOST finished with it. Another twenty or so chapters and then it will only need…hopefully…some line editing and fine-tuning). And get the freezer full (after I defrost the sucker, of course) of freezer meals for those busy days/nights when I will be coming home from school right around the dinner hour. And read a handful of classics.

Right now I am a mixture of exhaustion and a dash of overwhelmed. I’ve got a kid laid up after foot surgery (and I suddenly have to drive him everywhere. Super fun, let me tell you). I’ve got another kid getting ready to take driver’s education and hopefully between now and school starting a car will be in his future. I’ve got school books to read, ASL videos to watch so I can try and have a miniscule leg up, and novels to read before I may not have as much time for fiction. I’ve got dentist appointments, a floor that needs refinishing and would require us to be out of the house for three days, and a garden to tend to. I’ve got a non-fiction book I’m trying to self-publish and another novel I am trying to rewrite/edit. I’ve got an aggressive swim exercise routine seven days a week I go to. And I’ve got to keep the fire burning on a potential job search that could move us yet again somewhere else.

Okay, for now I’m going to manage to walk down the hall and drink more coffee and rewrite another chapter when what I really want to do is pipe my coffee intravenously as I take a nap under the fan. Oh, hello Monday, you bastard.

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Back To School – Again

In just over 6 weeks I will be going back to school. (Again.)

And I’m scared shitless.

Will I be able to keep up? Do I remember how to take notes? What kind of backpack should I get? Do I remember how to study or write papers? Do students use laptops to take notes or do they still use quill and bottles of ink like they did the first time I went to college? How will I stay awake during the dead space in my schedule right in the middle of my normally sit-on-the-couch-read-and-nap time between oh let’s say 2ish and 3ish? Will I look like a geek on the first day of school trying to find my classes? What if I’m called on? (They don’t do that, do they? Nah, I should be fine.)

And – why the hell didn’t I just sign up for online classes?!? Dammit to hell and my idea that I wanted to actually BE in a classroom with a real live professor. Blah blah blah.

My husband says I’ll be just fine. My family and friends tell me it will be okay and I’ll do great and it’s all like riding a bike – except I haven’t been on a bike since I was a pony-tail-wearing-brace-face-tween. Oh Gawd, what have I done?

I’m taking a language because that and an English Literature class were the only two outside my major of history that I apparently didn’t satisfy when I was getting my first bachelor’s degree. Anyway – a language. I am horrible with languages. Some people have an ear and I don’t. I took seven years of Spanish. I attempted many years of Spanish. Attempted. The highest grade I ever got was a ‘C’ and I skipped for joy at the end of it. But, for some reason unbeknownst to me that class didn’t transfer or I only took a semester when I need a year. (What.Ever.)

Anyway.

I’m taking American Sign Language. All summer I have checked out DVDs from the library to prepare me for sign language. I’m not 100% certain I will have the “ear” for ASL either but it was really my only hope in life to pass a language requirement.

I have an English Literature class and two history courses this semester: U.S. History (Hi, basic-ole-history) and something they call The Study of History – which I am very excited about.

Yes, four classes.

Because I’m a nut job.

And because I want this second bachelor’s finished as quickly as possible so I can move onto/into grad school. If I don’t fail anything (as the History Chair kindly informed me) I should be finished with this degree by the end of next year. I have fifteen classes to take and after ASL and English Literature all the classes will be upper level history.

Hours and hours of history. Ah, bliss…..

As long as I can get past looking like a granny on her first day of school carrying a David Cassidy backpack with matching lunchbox.

Now I am off to order some of my books online from Amazon (golly gee, you can do that now!) so I can start reading them ahead of time. I’m old, aren’t I?

Oh, Teachers

This may not be very popular.

Tell me, why do you go into teaching if you know (I mean, you KNOW, right?) that you will have to deal with children all day long? And that you won’t make a ton of money? And that almost every school district across the land is broke (give me a break) and that means paper and art supplies and colorful tissue paper will have to come out of your own pocket? Okay, yes, yes, you LOOOVVEE children. Uh huh. Is that why you begin counting down the hours until summer break when it is barely Valentine’s day?

In all the years of dealing with schools and teachers I only encountered ONE (One, folks. That’s it) that said she woke up every day super excited to get to work and begin teaching the kids (science no less, blech) and when summer came around she was miserable and could hardly wait for autumn and back-to-school.

One teacher.

Out of somewhere near 150 teachers total.

And those class lists.

Give me a break.

I get that the teachers pool their supplies, which is annoying. I remember helping a teacher one year in elementary school on the last day of school and her closet was full – I mean FULL – with boxes and boxes and BOXES of crayons, markers, glue sticks, tissue, and baggies. An entire shelf filled with reams of paper. And every year the list is the same. Maybe it isn’t the teacher putting out the lists and the district is to blame but as a parent the school year is expensive for us too and I couldn’t quite shake the feeling that the teacher was hoarding those supplies from one year to the next.

It cost me over five hundred dollars to get my kids registered for school and buy their “required supplies” per the class list. And that is before we do anything else like backpacks and new sneakers. So when I hear the teachers complain I always sort of say to myself that it is pricey for everyone involved. And yet in my school district we seem to keep passing bond after bond giving the district more of our tax money and yet I am paying more than ever to send my kids to public school.

“Eleventh grade class fee”. What is that for, exactly?

We spent a school year on the east coast and I remember walking into the schools to register my kids with my checkbook in hand and yet there wasn’t a place to pay for anything. I actually went into the office because I thought I must be missing something. Nope. No expenses to register the kids. Come again? I felt like I won the lottery.

Every August I swear I spend more money on school related expenses (and my kids don’t even play sports through the school or that would tack on another hundred bucks per kid per sport) than I do in December for the holidays. Seriously.

I know it costs teachers a lot of money to keep a classroom going but shouldn’t they be taking that up with their bosses and not the parents? And you have to know the realities while you are still in college deciding to become a teacher, right? At least the teachers get discounts everywhere from bookstores to art supply stores to craft stores. Parents don’t get discounts – instead we are forced to buy packs of dry erase markers and special, expensive rulers and binders.

And this doesn’t take into account all the other things parents have to pay for throughout the year like field trips, supplies for projects (my son was in physics and needed magnets that cost fourteen bucks for one tiny magnet for a one minute presentation), ink for printing reports, flash drives, and specific calculators.

All I’m saying is no one forced you to become a teacher.