Saturday, September 18, 2010

Nothin' Like a Sore Throat...

It's been a long week.

And it's going to be a short weekend.

Followed by another long week.

Is it Columbus Day weekend yet?

Tuesday and Wednesday I was at the school until after 4:30.  Tuesday I didn't get home until about 6:30 and Wednesday I didn't get home until about 5:30. 

Thursday evening I noticed that little tickle in my throat.  The tickle that all teachers dread.  It's the tickle that might mean you're getting a cold.  When I woke up on Friday, my throat was feeling even more scratchy and my tummy didn't feel quite right.  But I headed off to school anyway.  It was picture day, so you can't miss that!

The day went by fairly smoothly.  All the kids looked so cute--the girls in poofy dresses and the boys with little ties and button up shirts.  I wasn't feeling worse, but I wasn't getting any better.  My stomach would go from feeling okay to feeling really nauseated.  That's a good feeling.

Finally the day was over, carpool had ended, my room was packed up for the weekend, and I dragged my exhausted self out to the car and settled in for my normal commute home.  I got all the way to the on-ramp for the Parkway aaaaaand...there's a police car blocking it!  Sweet!  I figured someone must have crashed on the on-ramp, so I would get on the Parkway going the opposite direction, make a U-turn and get on my way.  Minor inconvenience, but I can deal, right?  As I pass the on-ramp, I looked up to the Parkway and it looked like a parking lot.  Oh, good.  As I get on the Parkway heading the opposite direction, I'm weighing my options.  I can do my U-turn and just sit through traffic or I can get on 95 South.  I make a U-turn and pass a sign that says to expect delays on the Parkway for the next 5 days between where I get on and another exit several miles down the road.  So there's no hope that the delay is short.  I decide to get off the Parkway and take 95 South.  Normally, 95 South at 4:00 p.m. on a Friday afternoon is just plain stupid.  If you get on then, you'll be on it for a long time because it usually looks like this:


...and no one is moving anywhere.

But, miracle of miracles!

I hopped on 95 and there was only minor traffic!  It was a little disconcerting, but I was home by 4:30!  Not bad, considering I was thinking I would be lucky to be home by 5.

Anyway, by the time I got home, I was more tired and still feeling yucky.  Then I started to think.  I started thinking about a little boy who wasn't at school on Monday.  He wasn't there because he had strep throat.  He was back on Tuesday after having taken 24 hours worth of antibiotics.  Now, 4 days later I had a scratchy throat and a general "sick feeling."  I looked up symptoms for strep:

-very sore throat (check?  It was scratchy, but not the worst I've ever had.)
-red throat, sometimes with small white or yellow splotches (not sure--my mouth is dark and I can't see inside it very well)
-fever (no fever!)
-general sick feeling (check.)
-lower stomach pains/ache (check.)
-nausea (check.)

Hmmm...I was worried.  Matt and I went to bed and I tried not to think about it.

This morning, my throat is feeling much better and I don't feel so yucky anymore.  w00t!!!  Hopefully I just had a little 24 bug of some sort and I'm fine.

So that's my week.  Lots to do today and least I didn't have to get up at 5:30 this morning.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Remembering 9 Years Ago...

It has crept up on me again this year.  With the business of the beginning of the school year, it's hard to think of anything beyond the classroom walls.  But last Monday, I turned around and there it was, staring at me from the end of the week.  I haven't thought about it a whole lot over the last couple days...just brief snippets of memories and emotions invading my head every so often.  I tried to push them aside so I could answer a question about the math lesson or settle a squabble between two students. 

But now it's Saturday, September 11, 2010.  I don't have to go to school today and while there are things around me here at home that could distract me, I know they won't.  Even if I want to be distracted.  Because what happened nine years ago today had such a huge impact on my life I can't ignore it.  It represents a major dividing line:  a line separating the young, naive me and the more aware, less jaded me.  It destroyed a lot, but it created a lot, too.  It destroyed the old world, the world where things happening outside my own circle of family and friends didn't really matter or have much bearing on my life.  It created a new awareness and a new appreciation for our country and the things that happen outside of our country's borders.

Nine years ago, I couldn't fully understand what was happening.  The images on T.V. looked like something from a movie, not something that was really going on in New York and in D.C. (just 15 miles north of where I lived).  It was a scary day--do you remember?  I remember every detail of that day:  from the moment a girl entered our classroom at school saying something had happened in New York to coming home and seeing those videos for the first time.  I remember lying in bed that night, not able to sleep--not wanting to sleep--worried that something else would happen in the middle of the night.  Do you remember the next day when you woke up not knowing if it was really over or if there was more to come?  I didn't know what to do other than watch news all day.  What can you do on a day like that?

Now, nine years later, I still cry and still think about each moment of that day.  I remember my own emotions, I remember the emotions of people on T.V., I remember the patriotism and unity that followed.  And I hope and pray--so fervently--that this day is not forgotten.


Saturday, September 4, 2010

One Day at a Time

The first three days of school are over.

My kids are awesome.

But dang.  I am so tired.

After hours of planning with my other 1st grade co-teacher we found out the day before school started that we had reached the magical 28 children.  Just enough to officially split us into two independent classes and gain one T.A. to share between the classes.  All our planning, our daily schedule we had developed, our system of organizing materials, all our time and efforts went straight out the window.  We suddenly went from being on top of things and ready for the first days to feeling like we needed another week to re-plan everything.

There were a few moments during that day-before-the-first-day-of-school as I was trying to redo as much as I could in just a few hours where I got that huge sinking feeling in my stomach and felt for a second like I was going to throw up.  I knew I couldn't redo everything in that one afternoon.  So I just focused on the first day of school.  I wanted it to go smoothly for the kids and I knew I would have this lovely long weekend to do all the re-planning that needed to happen.  The first day went pretty well and I spent the afternoon looking at our plans for days two and three and redoing them where needed.

All in all, things have been frustrating, stressful, and sometimes so ridiculous you just have to laugh.  The kids seemed to have a good first week, though, and that's what really matters. 

I spent this morning redoing our daily schedules.  Normally, each 1st grade class has their own T.A. to help with our Language Arts block and teach Bible.  Since there are so few kids this year, the school board only approved one T.A. for both classes to share.  That means that we had to have Bible at different times and coordinate our Language Arts block so our T.A. would only be needed in one classroom at a time.

It was quite complicated.

I finally managed to work out a schedule that I think will work.  We'll see.

There's still more to do, but at least some stuff is getting straightened out.  Never a dull moment :-P

Oh, and P.S.
Do you know how I know that school has really started?

I went 11.5 hours on Friday without going to the bathroom.  5:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., baby.

Back in the saddle again...