Wednesday, January 30, 2013

WNBP: A Delay By Any Other Name...

I hate to start a Wednesday Night Bullet Post with a vocabulary lesson, but I honestly don't see where I have a choice.  These school-specific terms are going to be quite helpful in getting through tonight's post.  You'll just have to bear with me.

And I promise there won't be a quiz or anything at the end.  Unless you want one.  But I honestly fail to see why you'd demand that...

Early Release:  The termination of the school day prior to its regularly scheduled conclusion.  Generally weather induced, but sometimes caused by workshops or randomly occurring nonsense.

Delayed Start: When a school district decides to postpone the start of the school day until it is safe to transport students.  Also generally related to weather and road conditions.  There are 2 hour delays and 1 hour delays.  My school district generally goes with the latter and this means kids arrive in homeroom around 9:15

Late Start:  (local vocabulary may differ on this one)  The pre-planned postponement of school hours in order that staff development needs may be met; generally done on a weekly basis and instrumental in cutting the cost of the five billion subs needed to cover classrooms should they send teachers out to do all this stuff during the regular school day.  Or the cost of paying said staff to go do it during non-school hours.  Students will arrive for homeroom at 9:45 on Late Start days.  That is later than on a Delayed Start day

There.  Are we all on the same page?  Is it clear as mud now?  Good.  Let us begin with this week's regularly scheduled bullet post!

*Last Friday there was an issue at the Learn-a-matorium.  A generator, possibly in protest of the crazily cold weather, began leaking liquid fuel all over one of the stairwells.

*In an effort to clean up the mess and ventilate the rather pungent fumes, the stairwell was closed off to traffic and mopping up/airing out activities began in earnest.

*I guess the mopping went well.  The ventilating sort of went awry.

*Fumes everywhere.  Stinky gassy fumes.  The kind that make the fire department suggest we all go outside.

*Except, as the school resource officer pointed out, it was well below zero out there and sending kids outside was counter intuitive.  And possibly abusive.

*All buses were tied up dealing with the schedule changes caused by finals at the high school so an early release was out of the question.

*And if you're thinking that perhaps finals might be secondary to the bronchial health of a couple of hundred kids, you are not alone in this.  But, much like us, you would be overruled.

*We put kids in the gym.  We put them in the library.  We put them everywhere one might think of except in the academic wings where the pungent fumes were thickest.  Parents were called through the auto-dial system in case they wanted to come get their children and we carried on.

*I was able to stay in my classroom, so I gathered as many of my charges as I could find, fired up the video game station and said, "have at it."

*That was Friday afternoon.

*We were all still smarting from Wednesday's horrific road conditions and failure of the local schools to implement a delayed start so you can imagine the overall mood.

*I think the only one who had a good time was He Who...PROJECTS.  He had a great day.  He got to skip math and look at pictures of Grumpy Cat on his computer.

*He spent his time going between my office and the main classroom quoting captions.  Enthusiastically and with great projection.  Best day ever.

*At least until he came out and merrily bellowed, "FOR THE LAST TIME, WHERE ARE MY BALLS?"

*Even without questioning context, it seemed best to curtail his Internet investigations for the day and find something more wholesome for him to look at.

*Today is Wednesday.  Wednesday is the day that grades 6-12 have a late start.

*I overslept by ten minutes today.

*Ten minutes isn't much.  But it is enough to have one rushing and flailing about frantically as if those ten minutes can be magicked back through sheer will.

*There was a bit of black ice on the road so getting out and on the way was sort of crucial.  Hence the flailing.

*I still managed to arrive at school by 7:00 and with plenty of time to tend to a few matters before the first meeting.

*Then I read my email.

*Which said we had a 2 hour delay due to poor road conditions.

*There was no notice of this.  No phone calls.  No text messages.  Nothing on the news.

*Apparently, the decision was made at 7:04.  Or so.  Information on road conditions kept coming into the superintendent's office all willy-nilly and no one got up the gumption to make the call until it was too late to really make it a useful gesture.

*Now the students who think they have to be at school at 9:45 actually have to be at school at 9:15 and are expected to know this in spite of not having been told.

*And there were buildings full of staff members twiddling their thumbs because they can't start workshops due to the fact that school isn't really open and that constitutes working before contracted hours.

*There was about an hour of people staring blankly at one another and asking, "um...what do we do now?" before we all figured out that we could be photocopying stuff.

*Then you couldn't get near a photocopier for love or money.

*Phones were ringing off the hook as buses rolled past houses of half-dressed children.

*The elementary school couldn't figure out what to do because this was the day of their once-monthly early release day devoted to their own staff development and now they were going to have kids for an hour before sending them back home.

*Little Einstein, in his rush to catch the early bus, left his house sans meds and had to be peeled off the ceiling well before lunch.

*It was only when he caught himself doing a rather impressive imitation of a grasshopper (complete with the boing-boing sound to accompany his jumping) that he admitted, "I think I should maybe go see the nurse and take that pill now."

*The superintendent, who is new to the job and maybe still getting used to the idea, had to issue a written apology on the district web site. 

*And try to explain why there weren't enough buses to cover multiple runs to multiple schools with multiple hours of operation when there was a late start coinciding with a delayed start and an early release.  

*Can you say, "cluster?"  It was that.  And then some.  Between the near-death driving experiences many of us had the week before, the gas bath we gave the students a few days later and today's Late Start That Was Really A Delayed Start Debacle...

*Well, let's just say things are tense.  Parents are tense.  Teachers are tense.  Kids are tense. (mostly because their parents and teachers keep beating their heads gently upon the closest available surface and muttering ominously)  There is tension.

*I left school early today.  Only by ten minutes, but I figured I was owed that.

*Left a message with Mrs. Secretary Who Sits At The Back Desk in case anyone called.

*"Tell anyone who calls that I am done with this stupid day."

*She just nodded because it was, in fact, a stupid day.

*The commute got a bit dicey there for a bit.  And not just because of the weather and lack of delayed starts.

*I finished my audio book and the next in the series wasn't available.  I had to put it on hold at the library, but heaven knows how long that will take.

*I got by for a couple of days with Stonefather.  But that one is really short.  Panic was beginning to set in.

*Then I remembered I had an audio book credit paid for and awaiting my decision so I quickly downloaded Undead and Unemployed (Undead/Queen Betsy).

*Now, even though I have to drive back and forth over black ice to go to a place that may or may not be open for business and which has a lovely petroleum scent about it, I have something to keep me entertained on the way.

Now do you see why it was so important to know the difference between "delay" and "late?"  Late is late either way, but a delay has meanings galore.  And apparently "delay" also means having to go school at the usual time and then doing nothing when you get there.  Or it might mean you think you have to be in homeroom at 9:45 when you really have to be there half an hour earlier.  And that you have to know this on some deep inner level as opposed to the usual methods of gaining knowledge such as seeing it or hearing it.

But it definitely means you will be very glad the day is over no matter what version you use.


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

WNBP: Weird, Wild, Wacky Times!

Well, I'm not afraid to admit it when I don't understand something.  And weather?  That is just a mystery to me!!  It changes at a whim, causes odd atmospheric pressures that affect mind and body, then just when you think you've found a way to live with it, decides that it couldn't care less about the state of my hair!!!

Mother Nature, indeed!  No self-respecting woman would take a perfectly good hair day and throw it to the four winds.  I simply refuse to believe that.  "Bad Boy Juvenile Delinquent Nature" is more like it.

It's an odd kind of week all around here in Sheepish Land.  I darned near missed the Wednesday Night Bullet Post what with all the confusion...

*The past weekend was of the "long" variety.  The kind that comes in a 3 pack as opposed to 2.

*I spent much of the Monday holiday preparing for the mega-storm bearing down upon us.

*By the time I went to bed around 10:30, we were looking straight down the barrel at about a foot of snow.

*I set the alarm and packed a lunch anyway.  Sure, there was no chance of school given the dire forecast but it never hurts to prepare either way.

*Good thing.  By the time the alarm went off, the weather people were saying, "never mind" and balmy breezes were wafting past my window.

*There was no snow.  Not so much as a flake.  It was, in fact, a rather sunny day.

*Which is why you should always pack a lunch.  Sometimes 12 inches = 0.

*Math.  Something else I don't always understand.

*Of course the sub-arctic temperatures they forecast managed to make their way to my corner of the globe quite nicely.

*When I drove to school in darkness this morning, the car told me it was 12 degrees outside.

*When I drove home during the daylight hours, the car reported that it was 6 degrees.

*I realize that, to some, this is just a January walk in the park.  Nothing to write home about.  Why, they can clearly recall the time the mercury sank so low it drove the thermometer clear down to the bottom of the eight foot snowbank just outside the front door!!

*I, however, am not built for this.

*The cats are happy, though.  All that icy air triggers the monitor heater and it's been blasting away all day trying to compensate for the chill.

*Which is why I now have two furry heater-huggers sucking up all teh warmz.

*Various icky, nasty, boogery type germs have been making their way around my classroom of late.

*I am using disinfecting wipes like they are going out of style.  My hands reek of cleanser and are dry enough to sand paint.

*You can tell kids fifty thousand times to wear plastic baggies on their hands, but they'll still wander around touching everything with their bare, crusty digits.

*And laugh at you while they do it.

*I'm planning on duct taping them all under a protective plastic coating.

*It's just a matter of waiting for school board approval which I'm certain will be no problem.

*Jolly Boy came into the main classroom the other day as I was diligently wiping down all the pens and pencils available for student use.  He stopped, stared for a moment and then said:

Err...I hate to interrupt your anal retentive behavior but I had a question about this math paper.

*I had no idea he knew words like "anal retentive."  Much less how to use them in context.

*Either I'm the greatest teacher known to mankind or the little rascal has been goldbricking it for over a year now...

*With one staff person out for most of the past five school days, it's been kind of tiring over at The Learn-a-Matorium.

*Yesterday, after answering the billionth question of the day, I couldn't handle it anymore.  It was the last period and I was spent.  I put my head on the disinfected table and told them all I was done.  Mama was tired now.

*I guess I'm not the only one because He Who....PROJECTS looked up blearily and mumbled, "Daddy's tired too..."

*And today he suddenly became overwhelmed by the fear that God was going to strike him down for offenses committed during the holiday break and we had to bring him up to the classroom to show him funny cat pictures on the Internet for half an hour.

*Funny cat pictures can pretty much cure what ails ya.  Except for the boogery virus things.  Those require disinfecting wipes and a diligent teacher.

*Otherwise, funny cat pictures will cover it.

*For those who are keeping track of my Not-A-New-Years-Resolution, I have remembered to eat dinner before 7:00 every night this week.

*Once it was 6:57, but that counts.

*Tonight is a toss up since I just remembered I forgot to put dinner in the oven but I still think two days in a row is pretty good.

*Especially with all the preparing for storms that kind of don't really exist.

*I am loving the heck out of the audio version of Halfway to the Grave (Night Huntress, Book 1).

*Of course, the author could probably have used a grammar brush up at the time of its writing.  I kind of can't help but catch these things.

*But the story is so darned compelling that I forgive a little bit of over-writing and why one should proof read with one's direct objects in mind.

*I'm hoping the library has a few more of this series in stock.  Haven't checked yet.  But I still have a few commuter miles on this one before things get dire.

*In the realm of the printed word, I've become somewhat charmed by the Black London books.

*Street Magic (Black London, Book 1) started off a bit slow and I feared the worst but was hooked by the time it wound itself down to the conclusion.

*Demon Bound (Black London, Book 2) was safely snuggled in my Nook before the weekend was out.

*Remember, I thought there was going to be a storm.  I feared being trapped under a foot of snow whilst 6 degree temperatures threatened to freeze my nostrils shut should I leave the house.

*I needed something to read.

*However, as I noted earlier, the weather decided to go from Armageddon to Blindingly Sunny in the period of a few hours so I suppose I might have purchased in haste.

*But I'm OK with that.  A good book is never a bad purchase even if you have to read it during Sustained Silent Reading period and surrounded by middle school boys who don't much care if the protagonists ever get together or not.

*Middle school boys, much like the weather, are kind of incomprehensible to me...

And that's the week so far, at least the parts that are fit to print.  And by that I mean the stuff that isn't so boring you'd fall asleep right there at the keyboard, soon to awaken with a space bar imprint upon your cheek.  Which isn't going to benefit anyone, now is it?

I'm off to see if I can make dinner hot before the 7:00 deadline and try to figure out something I can wear to school tomorrow that affords warmth without bulk.  Bulk is bad so soon after the holidays, methinks.

Or I may just throw caution to the wind and lay out a pair of capris with a matching scoop neck tank.  At this rate, that might actually work.


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

WNBP: Stoopid Is As Stoopid Does

I try to not judge.  I see stupid stuff all the time and it is often hard to not shout out, "Hey, that's just about the stupidest thing I've ever seen in my entire life!!!"

But I refrain when humanly possible.  I like to think that this will perhaps spare me hearing that haunting refrain the next time I perform some amazing feat of utter folly.

Let's see how this week has been shaping up via The Wednesday Night Bullet Post:

*Every Wednesday, my school district has a delayed start time in order that we might get in the five billion staff development tasks we've been charged with.

*That's why I wasn't completely shocked to see that school wasn't cancelled today.

*There was snow.  More than I thought we'd see if the truth be told.

*But, it was certainly within the realm of possibility that it might stop before it was time to bus the kids in, right?

*Of course the elementary schools aren't on the same schedule we are and they might all be subject to a fiery bus crash, but I told myself that there are those who know better than I when it comes to these sorts of things.

*We have to trust in those who know stuff.

*I did, however, swear vengeance upon those who thought to make me drive all the way in to school only to turn me around to go home again if that was what they were planning.

*It was with these thoughts that I gathered my things and stumbled towards the door.

*Which I closed behind me firmly.

*And upon which I next performed The Three Tugs Lock Test That Guarantees The Door Is Secured Against All Intruders.

*Then I stood in there for a while because I realized my keys were on the other side of the now locked door.

*It is hard to find people who can unlock your door at 6:00 in the morning.

*I mentally ran through the list several times so I know this.

*Kicking the door accomplishes nothing, in case you were wondering.

*I like to think that my readers are not the sort who might be impressed with my mad card skills when it comes to locked doors.

*I picture you all as a respectable group who don't want to hear what can be accomplished with an auto club card and the will to make doors open.

*I won't elaborate.

*Except to say that most nefarious types don't have to deal with a cat on the other side of the door trying to snatch the card or shove it back out as it wiggles around the door jamb.

*When I fell into the manse through my suddenly open door, I almost landed on the mighty defender of my home and property.

*He looked disappointed that it was over.

*I was fifteen minutes behind schedule at that point.

*And it was snowing a lot harder than when last I glanced outside.

*A lot.

*I passed three cars well off the road by the time I'd gone five miles along the Maine Turnpike.

*Then I stopped looking.

*I was half an hour later than usual to school.  Barely in time to make the first workshop session.

*Which, thankfully, was postponed to give everyone a chance to slide into the parking lot.

*I was grateful.  I needed time to just...sit.

*This is the kind of day where they send us all home early.  Which seemed kind of stupid since we'd only just gotten there.

*The only thing stupider would be to make us stay so that's what they did.

*Very few school districts closed.

*I know because I checked five billion times.

*At noon, I looked at the New Teaching Assistant and said, "That's it.  I give up.  A watched school cancellation list never updates."

*I was exhausted by then anyway.

*The drive home wasn't that bad, actually.  I heard of a few others who didn't manage quite so easily, though.

*Two cows died this morning, tragically struck by a snowplow.  Traffic was blocked on route 4 for quite a while.

*That isn't funny.  No, not at all.

*I don't like it when animals suffer.

*But we were all kind of stressed out by the whole storm thing so I have to confess to some strained giggles.

*While I was walking him to his locker after lunch, He Who...PROJECTS looked at me curiously and asked, "Ms. Sheep, are you too old to exercise?"

*He's on a fitness kick these days and has to be almost physically restrained from standing up in the middle of the cafeteria and announcing to all that their diets are killing them.

*Then demanding that they all join him in a rousing round of five hundred jumping jacks.

*I'm too old, apparently.  I'd probably be exempt.  Maybe I could hold his megaphone or something.

*I think I need a spare key.  I used to have one.

*But then I put it someplace for emergencies and I haven't the foggiest notion where it went after that.

*But I can't always count on my cat burglar skills.

*Or that my cat won't improve upon his ninja skills.

*A spare key really does seem like a good idea.  I should get on that.

*Soon.  Really soon.

*Fairly soon.

*It's important.  It should go on the "Things I'm going to get to any day now" list.

*I had to return an audio library book half listened to.

*I'm sorry.  But there are some stupid things I simply won't tolerate.

*If you are going to write about sentient zombies who can talk and operate motor vehicles then you'd best be doing it ironically.

*Or it's back to the digital download site you go!!!

*At which point, I will take out a copy of Halfway to the Grave (Night Huntress, Book 1).

*And it will be good so don't test me on this.

*It is better than Greywalker (Greywalker, Book 1).

*Which is good, but I'm finding it kind of hard to really connect with the story line or the main character.  

*It's kind of like the author really didn't feel much like telling the back story.  

*Should have gone the flashback route and just started in the middle of things, I think.

*But that makes me think the next one in this series might be better so I'm probably going to give it a shot.

*I'll get back to you.  

*Regarding my Not A New Year's Resolution:  I finally managed to eat dinner before 7:00 last night!

*I ate dinner at 6:55.  

*That counts.  

*This is all a work in progress, OK?  I'm not a miracle worker, here!  Change takes time!!

*It is now 6:29.  And I am thinking about remembering to eat dinner before 7:00 so I stand a good chance.

*Or I'll forget before I finish spell-checking the blog, something I've proven myself wont to do.

*What was I saying?  I got all impressed with my use of the word, "wont" and now I'm kind of sidetracked...

*Not stupid.  Just distracted.  

Now I'm tired from reliving all the day's stupidity so I should wrap this up.  Besides, there's something I think I said I should be doing and I want to be ready when I recall what it was.  It might have something to do with that rumbling in my stomach...

Yup.  I try to not judge the stupidity of others.  It seems like the Karmic thing to do.


Wednesday, January 09, 2013

WNBP: Post Holiday...Something.

Most of the teachers at my school agreed that this week might prove to be just a tiny bit...yucky.  At the very least, it promised to be harder than last week.

Let's face it: having a vacation, lots of prezzies and then coming back to a three day work week is pretty darned awesome.  It's that first full week back that hurts.

But it isn't the end of the world and I honestly can't complain about the kidlets.  They've been rather good about the whole thing.  With few exceptions, they've handled the return to work and dealing with their teachers like troupers.

I could probably take a lesson from a few of them if I wasn't so tired and fussy from being asked to work five days in a row...

Here's your Wednesday Night Bullet Post for the week.  I'm going to see if I can act more like an adult for the duration of one post.  Maybe that will keep things on track for Thursday and Friday.

*My car had eighty ba-zillion pounds of ice adhered to the roof from the last couple of storms.

*Yesterday, things warmed up considerably.

*Which meant that eighty ba-zillion pound of ice was rattling and shaking quite threateningly as I barreled home along the Maine Turnpike.

*I honestly didn't know what it was until I saw a great, whacking sheet of the stuff go flying off behind me to smash onto the highway.

*When I got home, I had to lift the rest of it off by hand because I don't want to be known as the person who took out fifteen windshields during the morning commute.

*It's all still sitting in the driveway because I don't feel like dragging sheets of ice off into the snowbanks this week.

*I already have to work five days in a row.  I shouldn't be expected to lug ice sheets hither and yon.

*I was rather put out to discover that there was nothing on TV last weekend.  Not even when I checked the On Demand channels.

*That is horrifying to me since television defines my life and reruns seem to be a negative comment on my progress.

*Then I discovered the last season of Mob Wives: Season 1 (Uncensored).

*I lost an entire Sunday to MW.  The whole thing.

*I forgot to call Mommy and Daddy Sheep like I always do.

*Darkness fell and I realized I had nothing prepared for lunches.  Ditto for Monday garments.

*I'm not proud of it.  It's not exactly Masterpiece Theater.

*But...I just couldn't help myself!  It was like watching a car wreck in slow motion or the Very Complicated Kitty trying to get past his own belly to clean the base of his tail.

*You want to look away.  You really do.

*But you just...can't.

*If I could spend an afternoon with Big Ang, I'd die happy.  I'd die laughing.

*Also probably full of wine and botox...

*One of the features of the sixth grade experience in my school district are The Puberty Talks.

*Long time readers may recall those from back when I taught at the other school.

*I'd forgotten about them.  Now I remember because we had them today.

*Boys in one room.  Girls in the other.

*He Who...PROJECTS has a few social quirks.  It was unlikely he was going to be able to sit in the "boy" room without engaging in a great deal of commentary.

*Long rambling commentary, some of which might be related to the topic at hand or an answer to a question, but mostly the stuff of classes that go well beyond the allotted time.

*He means well.  And he's curious.  Just not always socially aware, is all.

*I decided to have a little chat with him beforehand.  We discussed how to respond to boys who might get silly and embarrassed.

*We agreed to ignore them.

*We also discussed how it's OK to ask and answer questions when called on.

*But we agreed that any long stories or extended questions should be brought back to our classroom where they could be addressed without arousing the ire of fifty or so sixth grade boys who just want to go to PE.

*Then it kind of went south...

Ms. Sheep:  Remember, you'll learn more by listening than by talking.  And don't be surprised if some of the boys get silly.  This is where you learn about puberty and becoming a teenager and sometimes that's embarrassing for some kids.


MS:  No.  Not cell phones.  You're going to learn about some of the changes that will happen to your body when you start to become a teenager.



*I sent him off to his puberty talk and hoped for the best.

*He did well.  As the other student I had in there.

*The Boy With The Cuteth Lithp EVER stomped into the room when it was all over.  He was put out. And had something to say about the whole matter.

*"Thothe guyth need to jutht grow up!!!!"

*I couldn't have put it better myself.  Or in a cuter fashion because that lisp is seriously the most darling thing I've ever heard.

*Puberty talks make me tired.  We should not have the puberty talks on the first full week back after vacation.

*I can't tell you how much I'm enjoying listening to Undead and Unwed (Undead/Queen Betsy).

*It's sort of like Mob Wives.  You really want to be better.  Especially since there are some definite issues with the reading and editing of this novel.  And it's not great literature to begin with.

*But I'm snickering my way down the highway each day and I'm not afraid to admit it.  This is just a fun story!

*I also checked out a copy of River Marked (Mercy Thompson, Book 6) from the library.  

*I didn't finish it before it had to be returned last time and it was already on hold so I had to wait.

*I think I'll have time to listen to the rest of it before the clock ticks down now that I don't have a pesky week and a half break to keep me away from the morning commute.

*This is a strategy for getting past that whole post-holiday-back-to-work-for-five-straight-days situation.

And now I realize that I forgot dinner.  Great.  That is every Wednesday since I-don't-know-when in a row.  I am starting to think that this particular New Year's Resolution (of a sort since I don't really DO resolutions...) isn't working out very well.  I honestly thought I was capable of remembering I have to eat one last meal for the day on a regular basis and before 7:30 rolls around.  Now I have to figure out the time ratio between my supper and my evening snack which is going to take up half the time left before bed!

I blame the five day work week.  I should write a letter or something...


Wednesday, January 02, 2013

WNBP: All In Our Places...In Theory.

Well, that's it for the holiday break.  I spent the first day of 2013 finishing up a few of the random projects I'd set for myself during the down time and then focused on Getting Ready.

I'm not saying it's a resolution or anything.  I don't do resolutions.  But I will admit to wanting less of a hurry/flurry thing going on in the mornings.  I reasoned that half the problem was a lack of preparedness and vowed to have everything ready to go come Wednesday morning in order that I might make it to work on time without having to break any land speed records.

How did I fare?  Well, let's just say I'm glad today was one of our Late Start/Staff Development Days.  And that I wasn't the only one dashing into the building with flat hair, a gas tank nearing empty and half a cup of coffee sloshing around in a dirty travel mug....

Here's the Wednesday Night Bullet Post, rife with tales of the return to the routine!

*I was late.  I don't know exactly where I went wrong.

*It might have had something to do with my hitting the snooze button and muttering, "I am some kinda wicked prepared so I don't have to get up on the first alarm."

*Or the second, apparently.

*The third actually kind of jolted me back to reality and I honestly did still have plenty of time...

*But lost it somewhere in the next thirty five minutes of morning routine roulette.

*Everyone made it in to school today, although I wasn't the only straggler.

*We looked pretty darned good, too.

*Let's face it:  We are never so buffed, pumiced and polished as we are after Christmas.

*Every stocking is stuffed with health and grooming products, the kind we never think to use on a regular basis.

*I saw more polished nails than I've seen since the last holiday season.

*My nails were not polished and, as I mentioned, my hair was kind of flat.  But I still had that post-holiday glow about me that can only come from new lotions.

*For what it's worth, buffed and polished mean nothing if you forget your lunch on the kitchen counter while you scramble out the door on your first day of Being More Organized In The Mornings.

*Mr. Principal started our meeting by saying, "Well, I notice quite a few new hairstyles this morning!"

*Which was a pretty good opening line, I thought.

*I slept great last night!  I was worried about that, what with all the insomnia I've had lately.

*So how come I was so tired today?????

*I'm not talking "gosh, I think I need a second cup of coffee" tired.

*I'm talking wiped out, falling asleep on my feet tired.

*I don't have regular recess or lunch duties, but I stick around the cafeteria and playground just in case there's trouble with any of my students.  It's kind of an unofficial duty.

*Which means I get to sit down on the stage at the front of the cafeteria instead of walking around giving stern looks and keeping an eagle eye out for flying mashed potatoes.

*I dozed off on the stage.

*Just for a second; there was no embarrassing tumble to the tile involved or anything.

*But the crowded cafeteria?  The loud cafeteria?  Whilst sitting up on a stage?????

*I suggested that my teaching assistants send someone up to check on me during fourth period when they are out covering classrooms.

*We agreed that the kids probably wouldn't do anything too horrible to me should I fall asleep on the floor.

*They'd probably cover me with a jacket and then go quietly play computer games, shushing anyone who came into the room for fear I'd awaken and start wildly teaching English.

*But it still seemed like bad form to be snoozing during class time....

*I have made an executive decision.

*Dinner time is now 7:00.

*I used to schedule dinner for 6:00.  Then I'd forget all about it or somehow assume that dinner is something which magically produces itself, ready for consumption at the appointed hour.

*Dinner is now scheduled for 7:00.  I'm going to pretend I am a very cosmopolitan and continental type of person who dines late.

*As opposed to a middle school teacher with morning organization issues who needs to be out the door at the crack of dawn and who forgets her salad on the kitchen counter.

*And whose socks didn't match this morning either.

*The continental/cosmo types don't ever have that kind of thing happening in their lives.  They dine late, sleep deeply and swoop gracefully out the door sometime around noon for their pedicures.

*I have come to expect somewhat grumpy kids after a long school vacation.  That's just part of the game.

*This year, the little tricksters surprised me by being quite pleasant.  Dare I say it...even happy to be back!

*Everyone claimed to enjoy his/her break and had fun stories to tell.  It was a very pleasant day.

*At least the parts I remember since I may or may not have been dozing for God knows how long.

*And if you don't factor in the whole Aren't I So Much More Organized Now fiasco.

*I decided to pick up a copy of Deadtown (A Deadtown Novel).

*It's one I started reading on my Kindle app last year, but didn't finish.

*I read across devices.  It's a quirk.  One that Amazon doesn't really appreciate all that much.

*I figured I might as well pay for it twice and finish it on my Nook as opposed to wondering how it all turned out.

*It isn't my favorite series, but certainly good enough that I picked up Hellforged (A Deadtown Novel) before the last bell tolled on my holiday break.

*And in the car?  Oh, I found a fun little "listen" for the daily commute!

*Undead and Unwed (Undead/Queen Betsy)

*Not great literature, by any means.  And I wasn't sure about it at all.

*But it's got good "snicker value."  

*And anything that can make you snicker while you're dashing through the dark, hoping against hope that you make it to work on time is worth the price.

Well, I see by the clock on the wall that it is 6:35.  Since dinner still hasn't gotten around to mysteriously appearing when needed, I guess I'd better go craft something.  Having forgotten my lunch, it seems prudent.

Then it's off to the closet to select tomorrow's outfit and check the sock color in the "good light."There is yet another school day ahead of me tomorrow and, with some quality planning, I'll bet I get there early!

It could happen...