School is in, y'all. I know you freaky northerners stay out until after Labor Day, but that's not how we roll down south. Our last day comes at the end of May and we go back the second week of August. I've been back two weeks now because as a teacher, I get one less week of vacation (that's five fewer days, Chris) than the students so I can be filled with in-servicey goodness before their return.
As I wrote in this month's Lamplighter column (p. 20), I really like this time of year. Sure, it's sad that summer is over. I love being able to stay home with the kids and having those weeks to swim, lounge, and play together. But let's be real, after a while I've had my fill of the 24/7 four-child experience. I need about 150 publicly-schooled teenagers in order to really flex my muscles. A girl gets bored with the easy life after a while is what I'm saying.
After week one with my new batch of students, I am in lurve with my schedule. For the first time since coming to the High school, I don't have first hour planning. When I started two years ago, I'd given birth on the last day of the previous school year, so my principal cut me some slack and gave me planning during that 7:30-8:30 time slot. That slack has now run out. I'm proud to say that I made it to work between 7:00 and 7:05 every day last week. We'll see if I can keep it up. Anyway, I have 2nd period Honors (this is really first period, but we call homeroom first, even though we rarely go to homeroom, because that totally makes sense), 3rd standard, 4th honors, 5th standard, then lunch, 6th period planning, and 7th journalism which only has 6 kids in it so far. In other words, I have four solid hours of teaching and then I'm pretty much on my own for the rest of the day. The purpose of the journalism class is to put out the all-but-dead school paper, which I have just taken over and am trying to revive. So it's more of an on-going project kind of class than anything else. I am really liking the kids in all my classes. I'm noticing, particularly in the honors classes, that the onslaught of Laurens and Britneys of the past two years has been abruptly cut off. Weird. These are the first 90s babies, so I guess the change is fitting. The trend must have been toward unique names because as of yet, I can't spot a trend. A lot of K-sound names like Kinika and Kennisha, but no one or two dominant names are jumping out at me.
It takes us a little while after school starts to get back in the swing of being gone all day and then coming home and maintaining the castillo. Today my house finally got in my face and reached the level of filth that causes me to get on my knees and scrub the whole bathroom with Comet. I'm pretty sure that hasn't happened since I was pregnant with Genevieve and had pica that caused me to want to do nothing but scrub things with Comet, sniff the fumes from the running dishwasher, and daydream about eating sand, so yeah, it was gross in there. (Not that gross, people. I've cleaned, just not this thoroughly.) I also took every single thing out of the nasty fridge and scrubbed the shelves. SAM, who was helping me with this chore, was moved to remark that "Its not so much that your fridge is small, but that your expired condiment collection is so large." Then she threw all my banana peppers away based on the sell-by dates. Wacky germaphobes. I had to use my beloved Pampered Chef scraper to chisel out the dried lake of Ovaltine-infused milk at the bottom, but now the inside of my fridge is all dazzlingly white. It makes me happy every time I open it. I also did a general tidying of all the main living areas (er, all both of them), swept all the wood floors and the kitchen, Swiffer wetted the kitchen, and forced the kids to clean their rooms. The boys' room was pushed from nasty to Child Protective Services-worthy by this weekend's cocktail hour junior squad, so I went behind the kids and got the last bits and vacuumed while SAM graciously excavated the window seat toy box in the girls' room and made most of the objects in the room vanish into it. So now we have clean kids' rooms on top of a Cloroxy-fresh fridge and a Comet sparkly bathroom. What a nice way to start out the week!