Fall? More figurative than literal.

Living in a tropical (no, literally) climate, seeing the passage of time is different than it is in places where you can see the seasons change. It’s hard to remind myself that time is indeed going by when I can still wear all of my summer clothes and go to the beach on the weekend. If it doesn’t rain, that is. It doesn’t feel like fall, mostly because apart from an innate desire to wear autumnal colors and eat pumpkin products, I haven’t noticed much of a change.

That said, the past three weeks have been full of changes.

Dave was in town for a glorious ten days, and I took my first personal day to make a weekend vacation to the Keys. I’d never really been on “vacation” as an adult before, so that was cool, if a littl weird. The Florida Keys are a beautiful place, but odd. I couldn’t live there. We went snorkeling at Pennekamp again, swam at Bahia Honda, and explored Marthon, key hopping each night. I felt so far away from school, and un-teacher-like.

Then, a slap in the face with reality when school started up: parents’ night, uniform proposals, extended school day/year, and a mandatory staff “pep rally” the day after grades were due. I can now say, with a large self-suffering sigh that I have experienced the end fo a grading period at a large public high school. One quarter of the year is over. Late, late night filling in bubble sheets with grades, attendance, “comments,” and mercilessly failing 54 students. At first I felt kind of harsh about it, then all qualms vanished upon reading a lovely little note to “Ms. Williamson and her stank self…smells like nut-ass.” Thank you, children, that’s why I feel no remorse.

That happiness culminated with the “Zone” meeting, where the school board officials told us that we’d 1. be working longer hours, 2. be working more days of the year, 3. have mandatory saturday staff development, 3. “should try and make the Zone like the PeaceCorps” and 4. need to deal with the lack of resources and large class sizes on our own. Meanwhile, they somehow managed to find enough money to stage a full theatrical song and dance number (no, literally) about why kids should learn how to read. That’s funny, I really thought teachers were the people who wanted kids to read. Clearly we need more convincing. There was also a budget surplus enough to purchase over 5,000 “School Improvement Zone” polo shirts for every staff member, technicians and custodians included. So they can buy me a lame-ass polo shirt, but they can’t buy BOOKS for my reading class? I was a little perplexed at that.

But dwelling on such subjects makes me bitter, so let’s move on. Enough with the amargura.

Reportcards. Oh wait, that doesn’t get any better either. I never thought that teachers could hate report card day as much as students did. There was a mutiny (no, literally) in one class, and I had another student actually throw a balled-up report card at me. I was a little incredulous. A flurry of parent conferences have ensued.

Last week was eternal, and to make up for it I pampered myself this weekend. Bought new teacher clothes and painted shelves in preparation for the completion of my decorating scheme in the bedroom. Also, along with the roommates, picked out bedding (finally, the leopard sheets are getting retired), so that’s on its way. I feel so *adult* sometimes; new linens really made me happy. I also got fitted for glasses today, which pleases me to no end, even though they won’t be ready until next week.

Finally, to end on a positive note, I’ve confirmed my next jaunt to Philly, and have two glassblowing sessions at Hot Soup scheduled, which makes my freaking day. Saw a double rainbow over the beach on Sunday, and most of the girls on the soccer team really like me. Did I mention that I’m assistant coaching soccer and not getting paid for it? Yeah, I am.

Did I also mention that I started a Master’s degree program? Yeah, well, did that too. Sigh. But that’s another story for another day.


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