My birthday must be next week

Look what’s blooming in the back yard!


Today was actually a pretty good day, all told. For some reason, my first and second hour class was in a behaving sort of mood today– or at least they entered a behaving sort of mood just as soon as the first kid to act up had his parents emailed on the spot– and the rest of my classes more or less followed suit. My main plan right now has to be to come up with a way to get through Monday without losing my soul to despair, which has been the pattern set by the last several Mondays.


Holy crap, is it the last warm Friday night of the year or something like that?  For the last several Fridays I’ve been able to write and/or read and/or grade more or less in peace at OtherJob because we haven’t had enough customers to keep me away from the laptop.  We got killed tonight starting two hours ago and just calmed down about twenty minutes ago.  And it was a crazy group of people, too– one group of Juggalos, one group of about fifteen Mennonites, and the local center for severely and profoundly disabled people had a crew out.  All at the same time, plus the usual assortment of families and couples on dates.

I cannot deal with Juggalos and Mennonites and Logan Center folks at the same time.  My brain can’t cope.  The Mennonites are all on Rumspringa and trying to buy weed from the Juggalos and the Logan Center kids keep asking who smells like pinecones.  Brain: broken.  At one point I was so frazzled I called a grown man “sweetheart;” I’d just been arguing with his daughter about which of us had had a longer day.  She was about seventh or eighth grade which tends to trigger my teacher vocabulary.   Luckily for me, he took it in stride– he turned to his daughter, said “He wins,” and then told me he was flattered but I wasn’t his type.

I may need to go home and get to bed soon.

Let me know what you think of the new site design, by the way.

Now that it’s over…

Dolphin-Sunset-HD-WallpaperLet’s talk about how the summer went.

In a word? Weird.

As I write this (which isn’t at 8:00 on Wednesday morning, which is when this is going to pop; I’m probably passing out locker numbers to my homeroom girls right now) I still don’t have ISTEP scores for the 2012-13 school year. We can argue– and I have, no link necessary– about how important these tests should be, and how much they actually accurately measure student learning, but the simple fact is that they’re really really important right now even if they should be. In a very real way, I’ve spent all summer unable to close the book on 2012-13 because I never got my ISTEP scores. I have kids who have already transferred or moved who I’m never going to get to be able to tell that they passed for the first time, or that they brought their scores up by more than they ever have before.

That’s kind of a big deal for me. Now, granted, I’ve got a lot of these kids back, so I can have the conversation with them this year, but it’s not the same. Psychologically, I haven’t let go of last year yet. I haven’t been able to process how well they/I did– for better or for worse– and figure out a way to adjust and/or do things better for this year, because I don’t yet know how well the changes I made last year worked out. And that’s a damn weird position to be in. (I’m hoping that by the time this actually publishes I’ll actually have scores in-hand, but I’m not holding my breath.)

Outside of school… well, it was still a weird summer. It started off too wet, transitioned into too hot– expected in northern Indiana in July– but then took a weird detour straight into Octobersville, which is where we’ve lived for the last month or so. Business at OtherJob hasn’t been what I’ve wanted it to be, because the weather never cooperated with us. And it’s made the job less fun in a way that I don’t like at all, because having something fun to get paid for is the whole point of OtherJob. I don’t like it when that doesn’t happen.

I built a deck. That was awesome. I cooked a bunch of stuff; also awesome. Ripped up some carpeting in my hallway and started working on the year’s biggest project, the new bathroom, which I’m hoping will be awesome once it’s done.

I failed at ukulele. That was unfortunate.

And then there was this place. I haven’t been a regular blogger for several years, and I managed to write damn near every day through the summer (when the hell did I start this place up again? Early June?) regardless of what else was going on. I think I only missed two or three days all summer, and while the posts haven’t exactly all been brilliant at least I’ve been writing. I’m hoping to hell I can keep up at least a four- or five-days-a-week pace once school starts; we’ll see. Weirdly, I think my schedule– my prep period is last hour– might help with that; it’ll give me time to get stuff done before school lets out, which will mean I won’t be at school as long, which will mean I’ll theoretically have time at home to write. I don’t want this place to wither, but I can’t pretend there’s not a real risk of it. The plan will be to always try and write for the next day so I can keep posts popping in the morning. We’ll see.

The biggest failure of the summer has been where it always is: writing fiction, which I’ve barely done at all. Which I never do, despite my constant desire to the contrary. But you’ve seen that rant before, multiple times, so I’ll spare you.

And that was that. Here we go again.