Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Writing My Name in the Dust

Remember this summer when I posted every day?

Remember when I did the weekly re-caps of my fave reality shows?

Remember when I pledged to still post at least one craft tutorial and one new recipe each week, a goal to encourage me to still be crafting and cooking during the school year?

Pardon me a few moments, my tear-filled eruptions of boisterous laughter over that last one is make it a bit difficult to type.

The school year has started.
Key Club is in full swing.
Relay season has begun.
Needless to say, life is busy. BUSY.

I am too busy at the end of the night to even expend the mental energy on trying to find "balance"- that elusive goal of working moms that want to cling on to some sense of self beyond all the roles and titles thrust onto them by society.

I have not had time to read blogs, let less write one lately.
In the car is my school bag, with a set of essays I am half through grading, and three sets of quizzes that I haven't yet started to grade... and if I think about it a moment longer, I am going to get too distracted to peice together my thoughts here.

Saturday was the first day of Autumn. But the weather certanly didn't wait for the red X's on the calendar to reach the 22nd. The weather turned crisp overnight and the likelihood on fitting in one more trip to the water park or the beach is a fleeting thought.

Friday night I came home and watched the shows that I had stored up on the DVD from last week. Not only have I not had the luxury time to write about television, I haven't even had the time to watch it most nights. Saturday I had Event Chair training in Virginia Beach for Relay. Some good tidbits of information came from the morning spent with staff and other local Event Chairs. Then, I ran a bunch of errands while I was on that side of civilization.

Sunday was Jason's birthday, the time of year that comes when I'm no longer shacking up with a younger man ;) because we become the same age for the next 7 1/2 months. Sunday morning was also the first big Key Club fundraiser, a breakfast at Fred's for which we invited the families of all the newly inducted members and the club officers waited tables for tips.

The kiddos took on their waiting duties well, even delivering Jason a birthday cake with a humbly mumbled rendition of "Happy Birthday." Then, Jason hibernated into the upstairs cave to wrestle with a pile of school work while I took Justin the Chesapeake to celebrate his belated birthday. We had lunch at Red Robin and went to see some sadly predicatble horror movie (aren't they all, anymore?)
Then Monday comes... and we do it all over again. Such is life in this crazy world.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Dreaded Back to School Task

I was so, so... SO... foolish to think I could continue to tick "To Do's" off my Summer Bucket List after the Teacher Work Days had started for this upcoming school year. Well, the kids don't report for another 2 weeks I kidded myself. Well, summer isn't officially over until September 22nd I bargained with myself.

The last two weeks, the last week specifically, has been busy-  very busy. The work days have been long and the nights spent working on school stuff have been late- very late. I am ready though! At some point along the way, maybe this year, maybe even starting in years past, I have accepted the calm resolve that the First Day will not come to a crashing halt if every poster in my room is not hung, or if every worksheet is not typed and copied.

As serene as that knowledge may be... every poster is hung, and every worksheet is typed and copied (for the first day at least). And, let's called them "scaffolded activity forms" and not worksheets ;)

So, with the classroom all ready for the first day- cosmetically and instructionally- I had run out of reasons not to turn to... The Dreaded Task.

The Dreaded Task was not lesson plans for me... because they were already turned in... early!

The Dreaded Task was not even the Introduction Essay the kids will have to write in their classes come Tuesday (not my class)... For the record, I don't know any teacher that assigns a "What I did this Summer" essay as Hollywood stereo-types, but that is probably greatly due to the fact that at the high school, level we realize that we just may not want to know what the kiddos did over the summer.

Anyone that doubts how forthcoming a high schooler will be in their writing, ask a teacher that used to assign Free Writing journals. They will share anything... never again, never again.

No, the Dreaded Task was shopping.

I hate shopping. I hate shopping in all its incarnations- gift-shopping, holiday shopping, clothes shopping, shoe shopping, car shopping, even grocery shopping. Alas the kid needed a backpack and shoes, and Mama needed some new pants, so shopping we must go.

On Friday, Cameron and I dropped Benjamin at Pre-School and headed to Chesapeake for some marathon back-to-schooling. A marathon that had to end by 3:30 to get back to pre-school for pick-up.

The day began with a hair-cut... cutting as much of the self-induced bad summer dye job as we could and maintain some semblance of style. Then we hit the IHOP for an early lunch.

Backpack was a quick grab since he already had a general idea of what he wanted and where he wanted it from. Clothes shopping was easy. We wrapped it up with just one stop at Aeropostale. I was really rejoicing in the benefits of being Mom-of-Boys. We were making good time and this had the promise of not being a stressful shopping trip... until the shoes.

Ohhh, the shoes. Three hours of a five-hour shopping trip spent on The Shoes. Running shoes for cross country? $100 shoes for $30? Yes, Thank you. No problem. Every day school shoes? Three hours...

Neon green and orange are probably not going to be the easiest colors to blend with your wardrobe... When you weight less than 90 pounds, bulky high tops are going to kinda look like construction boots on your skinny calves... Do you have a secret night-life as a street-corner rapper that I don't know about?

I survived. (He survived. The shoes survived.)

But the next day I had to go BACK to shop for myself. Buying clothes for myself = The Most Dreaded of all the Dreaded Tasks. It is possible that I spent three hours in one store. It is possible I tried on 40-60 tops. It is a definite that I bought 2. Of course, I couldn't even accomplish the important task of the day, which was to buy pants. Apparently, at 5'6, I must have the legs of a Munchkin since I need Petite pants.

I was able to order them online in the store and get free shipping to the house though... and I was still able to take advantage of the BOGO store sale, so all was well until I had to explain to the clerk that if your register won't let you mark an item free, and you are going to show a 50% discount instead, then you have to take the discount from BOTH items to get the same deal. Oy! When this English teacher is giving you Math lessons, all is not right in the world.

I did try to hit one more store and look at clothes and shoes, but that experience was even more tragic, so I gave up and drove back home.

I do have to admit, there are two kinds of shopping I like- book shopping and office supply shopping.

I gutted out the school supplies shelves in the closet to inventory before going shopping. This pic really doesn't do it justice. There is more stacked beneath the table and on the chairs around the room. I could easily be addicted to school supplies and I have been very reserved not to to stock up even more with all the crazy-good prices during Back to School season. It also helps living over an hour from office supply stores (and book stores), which is probably a good thing considering my weaknesses. (And the fact there is always a Michael's near them...  and if I were being really honest here, I would have to include craft supply shopping on that list.)