Monday, April 25, 2011


It's always rough going back to school after a week's vacation.  It's even worse to know I'm going back for the hardest stretch of the year: the one that slogs on until we send the kids home for summer.  It's the fourth academic quarter and, perhaps, a lifesaving one for some students who weren't exactly on top of their game. Yet none of us really have much left in the way of appreciation for the whole process.  To make matters worse, this is going to be a very, very long final push. We are making up just over a week of missed days due to all the storms this past winter and no amount of "built-in" time is going to take the sting out of going to school until almost the end of June.

We all develop our own coping strategies.  It's that or start making paper clip chains and using them to escape from the third floor window.  And that never works.  Trust me.

It's really all about the coping.

Da Boyz, who let me sleep as long as I wanted for an entire week, suddenly appeared on the bed this morning, bouncing and chattering happily.  Apparently, the cats have plans and my being home was cramping their style.

I locked up the liquor and snack foods but I don't think that makes any difference.  Once they get me up and out the door, they rule the roost.

The Cheerful Teaching Assistant took one look at this day and immediately decided to lose herself in random life-changing fantasies.  She started out on some unidentified website and just started following links that might prove inspirational.  During first period, she announced that she would give anything to gain admittance to a local writing program.  She would stay at their coastal retreat a few times a year and immerse herself in the glory of the written word without the distraction of the outside world.  An hour and several links later, this plan morphed into taking an adult education class focusing on the art of growing shitake mushrooms.  By day's end, she was looking into applying for a position as an adjunct professor at a local community college.  I might be worried, but sometime around lunch she informed me that she would come back next year if I promised to can peaches for her during the summer.

The kids had a number of interesting strategies for making the trip back to school less painful.  The sixth graders avoided the whole thing entirely and didn't come at all.  Frankly, I can't say as I blame them but it made it kind of difficult to teach certain classes.  And empty room isn't much of an audience.

The Boy With The Bass-Booming Earbuds (known in the front office simply as Mayhem) worked through the morning classes but fell asleep before the noon hour arrived. Then he proceeded to wander the building for an hour or so, causing anyone who crossed his path to rethink their career choices.  After another short nap, he was ready to finish the day in a more academic manner.

As he left for the day, he called over his shoulder, "I promise to try and not get into trouble between here and my bus!"

 The Boy For Whom All The World's A Stage entered the room pontificating and kept up the chatter straight through the day.  He even talked during lunch which he eats upstairs with us so there was no break in the dialogue.  Since he gave me his apple and string cheese, I didn't feel I should say anything about it, though.

As for me, I tried to put on a sunny face.  At least for a while.  I spent the first few hours pretending I'd had a wonderful vacation, full to the brim of excitement and wonder.  When I realized that no one was buying it, I gave in and embraced my lackluster week.  A vacation is a vacation even if it's not everything you read about in the glamour magazines.  Sure, it rained most of the week, the taxes turned into a three day adventure and I had to give a check (one I sincerely hope will the the last) to my Professional Worrier, but it could have been worse.

 I got to stay up late and watch TV and there was no alarm clock to bug me in the morning except for that time I set it by accident and almost died of horror when I thought I had to go to work.  I stripped a good chunk of the wallpaper that the Very Complicated Kitty declared unacceptable and started removing for me.  I even took advantage of the two hours of sun that peeked through one day and shampooed the carpets while the windows could stay open.

And I got my hair cut.  Which means visiting The World's Greatest Stylist And Life Coach.

And that, in turn, means I get cookies and flowers.

What's that?  You don't get flowers and cookies when you see your stylist?  Well, that's odd.  Have you tried knitting her something?  Or giving her crochet lessons?  The kind that don't go very well, but are fun anyway?  You should maybe do that.  There's freesias and Dutch cookies involved, if my experience is any indication.  What the couldn't hurt.  Give it a shot.  Who knows?

That was a nice thing to have happen at the end of school vacation week and being full of cookies is always a better way to go back to the grind, in my opinion.  It's certainly better than being full of broccoli and bitterness, at any rate.

In fact, freesias and cookies are probably the best coping strategy I've come up with to date...



Jeanne said...

Your stylist is a gem, and so sweet to give you flowers and cookies. Alas, my stylist is not so sweet. She gives me a great cut, but no goodies. Then again, I don't knit for her. Hmm.

Kitty love to Da Boyz.

Lynne said...

It sounds like you're counting the days!

We're about to start the second of the four terms - a long way from summer vacation.

trek said...

I really need a haircut but I seriously doubt that the woman who cuts my hair is going to have flowers and cookies waiting for me.... le sigh...

Anonymous said...

Da Boyz let you sleep in for a week? That's a record, isn't it? Glad you had a relaxing vacation -- that's what they are for, after all.

April said...

Since I only pay my stylist at "Great Clips" $14.00 it's unlikely I'll get anything in return.