Saturday, August 31, 2013

Back to School

School started this week ---teachers went back Monday for three days of in service, and the kids returned on Thursday.  It was a fairly calm start to the year, marred only by the fact that I have pneumonia.  I've been sick now for just about 2 weeks.  I went to the doctor on 8/19 and at that time I told him I thought I had pneumonia.  He checked me out and told me, he really didn't think so, that I probably just had a virus.  He sent me home with a prescription for a cough suppressant and instructions to call if I wasn't feeling better by Thursday.  I spent the couple of days, running a fever, feeling about as bad as I've ever felt, but when Thursday rolled around, I started to feel better.  Friday I felt like I had really beaten the bug.  And then Sat came.  The fever was back, the coughing intensified, and everything hurt.  Because it was the weekend, I couldn't get hold of anyone and I really didn't want to go to the ER. On Monday, I got in touch with the dr who decided to prescribe an antibiotic and to order  a chest xRay.  So up to the hospital I went late Monday afternoon.  I also filled the prescription.  Tuesday comes, I felt marginally better.  I called the dr's office first thing to get the results from the xRay.  "They're not back yet."  I called again at noon with the same response.  I called at 4:30 and again got the "Not back yet" response. Wed. morning I called and was told "We tried to call you yesterday."  I went a teeny bit ballistic at that point and I reminded the nurse that I'd called 3 times on Tuesday. She finally admitted that perhaps their office had made a mistake.  At any rate, the xRay showed that I indeed had pneumonia and should continue with the antibiotic.  As far as work was concerned, it was up to me as to whether I went in or not as long as I didn't have a fever.   So, off to work I went for the rest of the week.  I'm glad I did because those 1st few days are really important in getting the kids off on the right foot, but boy am I tired.  I"m glad we have a 3 day weekend, because I'm still not over this.  At least I'm starting to sleep uninterrupted by coughing for 5-6 hours in a row.  But now, I'm having trouble with the antibiotic and my digestive tract.  Oh well.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Last Day of Summer - At Least On My Calendar

This is it.  A glorious late summer morning.  Clear blue skies, crisp air with a hint of fall and lots of sunshine.  A perfect day to spend outdoors.

Wish I felt better.  For almost a week I've been laid low with fever, aches and pains, coughing, headache, and extreme fatigue.  I went to the dr on Monday because I felt the way I had back in 2007 when I had pneumonia --- crackling chest included.  He told me that it was "probably" a virus, that he didn't want to prescribe antibiotics, and that if I didn't feel better by Thursday to call him again.   Thursday I woke up feeling much better, at least for most of the day, and Friday I actually had enough energy to go run an errand.   I was still coughing with gunky chest but no fever or other symptoms.   You guessed it.  Sat morning rolls around and I feel exhausted again and I'm nonstop coughing.  The prescription cough medicine wasn't working well either.  I called his office, but as I had known ahead of time, there was no one on call.  Since I didn't have a fever, I wasn't sick enough to head to the ER.   I felt better by nightfall and I slept reasonably well last night.  I'm still coughing (and bringing up yucky stuff) but I've got some energy back.  And since it's Sunday, I know it's not going to help to call the office again.  If it wasn't for the fact that tomorrow is my first day back to school (no kids, just PD stuff) I wouldn't be too concerned.

So I spent the last week of my summer break mostly sleeping, or slouched on the chaise with a book I was too tired to read.  And of course wondering how on earth I will be able to get the rest of my classroom ready.  Out of our 3 days of in service we get about 2 hours of prep time.  My very patient and understanding husband has mostly fended for himself as far as meals.  I didn't eat a "meal" until Thursday night when he brought Chinese home.  I had some occasional nibbles of toast, some fruit, some soup, and one day I actually ate a bowl of Cheerios.  I mostly drank water, ice tea, or San Pelligrino grapefruit soda!

Today I have to get my school clothes ironed, find my lunch box and thermos which have been packed away all summer, do several loads of wash, and finish the business bookkeeping.  All of which I would have normally been working on during this past week.    I am also planning to cook a meal!!

So, today is the last day of summer.  Tomorrow a new year of teaching begins.

Friday, August 9, 2013


I have finished a sweater....except for the blocking and sewing of course.

This is Drift, by Norah Gaughan.  I used Berroco Vintage in Wild Blueberry.  I had to go way down in needle size to get gauge.  I used a size 4 for the body and size 3 for the ribbing.  I also had 2 skeins plus left over.

I started this in May and just finished knitting last night, so that's not too bad considering the 27+ days of temps in the 90's with extreme humidity, and the end of the school year madness.  It was  an easy pattern to follow and the pattern was easy to memorize.  I just need to find 6 buttons and sew it all up once it dries!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

It's Time . . . .

To start re-organizing and prepping my classroom for the year.  I went in briefly last week to unpack a few books and get the lay of the land.  Yesterday I went in for a few hours, but so did 2 of my team-mates, and we spent more time yakking than working.  I went this morning for about 2 hours and got quite a bit done.  I would have stayed later, but a very chatty custodian kept stopping in and I realized that if I stayed I'd get very little done.

My big challenge this year is that I will have a student in a wheelchair and her one-on-one aide in my room so I have to maximize floor space and moving around space for her.  My room is quite small (as is my pod-mate's) so we have each have a lot of reorganizing to do.  I removed a file cabinet and one table so far.  Fortunately they're trying to keep our class sizes small -- at the moment my largest class is 18 but as often happens, the numbers change.  And because our pod is the smallest (only 36 student to share), any new kids will get placed in our rooms.  Once my room hits 20 students it's a squeeze for us all.  I'm debating giving my desk the heave-ho, but it's really the only place where I have lockable drawers for confidential info.  I've always wondered what it would be like to have a room with lots of space and storage.  In the 20 years I've been in this building, I've had a spacious room for a total of 3 years.  I've moved 8 times in those 20 years too.

School starts in less than 3 weeks so I'm really trying to maximize my leisure and get as much done as I can at school in as little time as possible.  Wish me luck!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

August = Sunday Afternoon

August 1 is the date that strikes fear in my heart ----  and in the hearts of many of my teaching friends.  Don't get me wrong, I love my job.  I just hate the fact that all-too-soon my leisurely morning cups of coffee, my stay-up past 10 pm evenings, my afternoon snooze on my porch will be pleasurable memories.  School starts this month --- in 3 weeks for me, to be exact.  Where did the time go??  In my mind, I've always compared summer to a weekend.  June, with its 8-10 days of summer vacation, reminds me of Friday night.  I'm tired, often exhausted, and I need to collapse in a heap on the couch.  I know I can take a night off because there's a whole weekend ahead.  Plenty of time to get to all the chores that need to be done, with maybe some "me time."    July is Saturday morning --- still lots of time to do all the projects and activities that need to be done and that I want to do.  And then August hits.  Now it's Sunday afternoon, I have to get up and go to work tomorrow, and I realize that I haven't accomplished a tenth of what I needed to do, and now there's very little time to get to all the things I wanted to do. The workweek looms, and I'm not ready!

This summer was supposed to be moving into the new house.  But it's not ready yet -- still need kitchen counters, finish work, plumbing fixtures, the deck railings put on so we can get an occupancy permit.  And due to the heat and humidity of most of July, I haven't made a dent in the decluttering of the present house.
DH has had to spend more time at the office than he'd planned.  It's good because it means that he's had a lot of billable work, but we haven't taken any of the day trips we'd planned.

On the other hand, I've read a lot, relaxed a lot, and I've even watched a lot of Netflixed TV (sitting in front of a fan, trying to find relief from the heat and humidity!)  I did some knitting too.  I've also spent quite a bit of time rethinking some of my classroom procedures, policies, and teaching strategies. Now it's time to start heading into the classroom to get it arranged and in order for the upcoming year.  We are not given any room preparation time during our in-service days - all of it's done on our own time.  And as usual, the custodians have done a fabulous of cleaning our rooms.  Our carpets all got washed this year.  Unfortunately when they return the furniture, it's never where it started.  I went in to school Tuesday to unpack supplies that had arrived.  My computer table which should be against a back wall, has been moved to a completely different place, and my file cabinet is totally across the room.  I will need to grab my DH or a few colleagues to help me move those things back to where they belong.  Oh well.  

I will miss all of the free time.  The older I get, the harder it is to give that up.  Retirement is beginning to look more and more attractive. . . After this year, I will be "old enough" to receive my pension, if I so choose, so I will have the luxury of taking one year at a time.  It's freeing to think that I'm going back because I want to, not because I have to.

And so I will enjoy the remaining 3 weeks, despite knowing that it's Sunday afternoon