Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A Lovely Long Weekend and Some This and That

We left Thursday morning heading towards Pittsford, NY to attend my nephew's high school graduation.  We decided to make it a mini-vacation.  We found ourselves heading to Corning, NY to visit the Museum of Glass. I'd been there over 40 years ago, and I didn't recognize anything!  We drove through some lovely NY state scenery down I-88 which I'd never traveled before and arrived at the museum about 4 pm.  It's open until 8 pm during the summer so we had plenty of time to visit the exhibits and attend a hot glass show.  After the museum we found a great restaurant downtown (Sorge's) where we enjoyed some terrific pasta.  We spent the night at a chain hotel in Corning, and then headed northerly along Seneca Lake.  We had hoped to stop at some wineries, but we were on the road too early.  None of the wineries opened until 10 or 11 am and we were on the road at 8:30.  The lake is beautiful, and the drive up Rt 14 was leisurely.  We got our bearings in Geneva ( a lovely college town) and then headed westerly towards Canandaigua.  After a short drive along the eastern side of the lake, we headed to my sister's town of Pittsford.  We played tourist (since that's what we were!) and took a 90 minute cruise on the Erie Canal on the Sam Patch.  It was a gorgeous afternoon and the canal scenery is really pretty.  Once back on land, we called my sister and headed to her house for family festivities.  The graduation was held in the RIT fieldhouse.  Despite the ceremony being 2 hours long (240 graduates), it never got boring.  The student speeches were excellent.  I was amazed by the poise of the young men and women speaking to an audience of close to 1000.  My sister and her husband hosted a great party for friends, family, and neighbors, and the weather couldn't have been more perfect.
Sunday saw us heading home, and after 8 hours on the road, we arrived back safe and sound. I have to give my husband a lot of credit. He did ALL the driving.  We usually take turns  - 2 hrs on, 2 hrs off, but my hands were so painful, I found it hard to grip the wheel.  We just took it slow, and stopped more frequently than normal.

Monday was laundry, catching up on mail and chores, and grocery shopping.  Today was a bit more of the same, except that I also worked on my ordering for my classroom  and had to head over to school for a bit to take care of some staff development things.  I'm co-chair of the district's staff development committee, and we're in charge of making sure all teachers have completed their requirements for recertification by June 30.  A couple of procrastinators had failed to get their completed paperwork in by the end of school, but had dropped it off on Monday.  I had to go in and check it all and add the "stamp of approval" to their documents.  It didn't take long, but it sometimes bugs me that some people leave it so long!

I managed to knit 6 rows on my socks this afternoon.  The dr said that I could knit as much as my hand could stand, so I'm taking it easy.  I have so many projects I want to knit -- some Christmas presents, a baby gift, and some sweaters.  I'm not sure whether I will succeed.

For the rest of the week:  pick up new glasses tomorrow, bring the business bookkeeping up to date, dentist, visit to the rheumatologist, water aerobics, finish my classroom ordering, and a celebration dinner at a favorite restaurant with a dear friend and his wife.  He's retiring after 36 years as a teacher and principal.  He will be missed by parents, kids, and the community!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Hot + Humid = Unhappy Person

The hot humid weather snuck up on me and I don't like it!  We've had a lovely long spring and for the past week it's been in the 50's at night, and the mid-70's during the day.  And very low humidity. When I woke up yesterday, it was already 67 at 6 am, and very humid.  I had a long morning at the doctor's and when I emerged from the medical center at 11:30 it was almost 90.  Today is day 2 of "Severe Heat Advisory".  The saving grace is that we are heading out on the road to my nephew's high school graduation.  So, while the prospect of a long road trip isn't that appealing, the day spent in the a.c. of the vehicle will make up for it!  And an air-conditioned hotel room will be nice.  Our house has no a.c. so when it gets sultry, it's really hard to sleep!  And of course, I am grateful that school is out.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Getting Some Answers

First of all, school is out!  We've never been out before June 15th since I've been teaching, so June 14 was a  huge blessing.  I did go in on Friday to attend a "Get Acquainted with Your iPad" workshop.  The district bought all the middle school teachers an iPad to use next year so I spent 3.5 hrs playing with it, with expert help available.  I had a terrific year, but it is so wonderful to be out for 9.5 weeks!

I've been having a lot of trouble with my hands (and other parts of my body) and I've been seeing the orthopedics dept as well as occupational therapy to deal with pain and swelling of my fingers.  After some blood work, it was determined that I needed to go see a rheumatologist, and wonders of wonders, I managed to snag a cancellation appt this morning.  Otherwise I would have to wait until September!
I apparently have inflammatory arthritis, probably rheumatoid arthritis, although the tests haven't been definitive.  At the moment it's being called "atypical" RA.  I got sent to the vampires again, and this time they drew 8 vials of blood.  I was also sent for a chest Xray - as a base line, since RA can attack heart and lungs too.  Joy! (not!!)  I really liked the doctor.  He spent over an hour with me, interviewing me as far as symptoms, and lifestyle,  and he of course did a neuro assessment.  I liked the way he made me feel comfortable, and took his time to get to know me.  So, while I'm still waiting for test results, at least I've got a preliminary diagnoses that explains a lot.  Now to learn how to control it.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

It's Almost Over!

Three and a half more days to go.  We are getting out earlier than we've gotten out in years.  This was due to only 2 weather days this year.  Usually we have 6-7.  It's been a great year for me.  I finally (after 4 years) got back to teaching 6th grade social studies and language arts.  Although language arts was a challenge this year because I had to give up my reading/writing workshop format to teach a prescribed curriculum, it was such a pleasure to teach 6th graders again.  And after 4 long years I got to teach 6th grade social studies -- ancient civilizations-- which is my passion!  What a difference it makes all around!!  The icing on the cake this year was the great group of kids we had.  They were genuinely caring, kind, and funny.  Yes, they were very young 6th graders (several who still believed in Santa), and they were terrible listeners, but I am having a difficult time saying good bye to them.  And I love that!  If I could have several more years of classes like this one, I could see myself teaching till past 60!

Yesterday two incredible things happened on a walking field trip to a local ice cream stand.  As I placed the order for ice cream for my teaching partner and me (myself?), a gentleman at the next window asked if I was a teacher.  I said yes.  He then insisted I put my money away, and he paid for our orders telling us that we aren't appreciated enough!  Later, as we were getting ready to leave the picnic area, I went back to the order window to get some ice cream for the principal back at school.  A woman commented on how polite, caring, and well-behaved are students were and she wondered what church group we were with.  When I told her we were from the local public school, she was flabbergasted and she told me that she had no idea public schools taught kids how to behave well.   (A sad commentary on public perceptions!)  I thanked her and told her that our school values are respect, responsibility, and integrity, so we try very hard to instill those values in our kids.

So, with only 3 1/2 more days to go, I'm glad to say it's been a terrific year, for a change!