Alarm is set for 7:30, but I'm awake long before that. I try to convince myself to go back to sleep while I can, but to no avail. I lay awake thinking of this or that at school that I should do or move or make or file.
8:05 out the door with Flash. This week he has had Science Camp in the morning and now Band Camp in the afternoon. Drop him off at school and return home. Eat a bowl of cereal while I check emails (personal and school) and then get busy on school work. Discover Eli has jumped the fence again while I was eating breakfast. Track down the dog and grit my teeth while cheerfully encouraging him home when all I want to do is wring his neck. Get a load of laundry started. Get back to work writing parent letters, making first-day activities, checking items off my long list of things-to-do while adding just as many as I go. Stop long enough to mow the yard before it gets too sticky hot this afternoon. Run in for the fastest shower known to woman, get dressed, throw my hair up and a hat on and run out the door again.
Pick Flash up at 11:30, bring him home just long enough to eat lunch and head off to his other school for Band Camp by 1. Drop him off at camp, keep driving on out of town to the district where I teach.
Enter classroom and sigh. It's overwhelming every time I go in there. Yesterday I was there for three hours and all I accomplished was opening five paper boxes the retired teacher left behind to discover thousands of copies of various math and writing pages. Sorted all the pages out (I should so take a photo of this) and then found another third grade teacher in the building to come help me determine what to keep, what to save for later and what just needs to be tossed. I had to leave before I could deal with all of that, so it's there waiting for my return this afternoon. Today I have acquired two filing cabinets. I don't know that I'll keep both of them, but I clearly have copies to get in order so they will be useful. I've also taken a more spatially-gifted teacher up on her offer to come help me with my classroom layout this weekend. For now, I'll just try to get things as organized as I can.
Return home and head out to the garden for a quick gander. Find out there's a dozen tomatoes ripe and ready as well as a zucchini, green beans and cucumbers. Leave the cukes, they will just have to wait. Come inside and get the beans snipped and blanched and then tucked into the freezer. Cut up and freeze the zucchini for soups this winter (I already have enough chopped zucchini for all the bread I could want to make this year). Stare at the tomatoes. Check email to find responses from other teachers on edits for my parent and student letters. Get changes made and letters ready to be copied at school tomorrow.
Make sure Flash is getting his Science camp assignment done, and then get him moved on to trumpet practice. Spend the next 45 minutes trying to keep him on task and encouraged when all I want to do is wring his neck for not practicing more this summer. Listen to complaints of how his lip hurts and how he can’t seem to hit the right notes and how he’ll never get this song memorized. Try not to be bad cop, knowing his band director will be all the bad cop he will need. Get a load of laundry moved from the washer to the dryer so I might stand a chance of having clean clothes for the rest of the week.
Decide to deal with the tomatoes. Blanch, skin and pack. Smile at the joy of owning a beautiful new stove that actually works, but notice the kitchen getting quite toasty with just the small pot of boiling water – worry at how hard the a/c is going to have to run once the canner gets going. Work around Flash who is heating up pasta for dinner. Finally get four quarts of tomatoes processing. Clean up mess in kitchen. Realize it’s nearly 9pm and I haven’t eaten dinner. Turn on oven to reheat leftover pizza.
Sit down with Flash to watch a movie (The Book of Eli – I just love this movie!) and keep getting up to go check on the canner. Watch the movie while thinking about all the things I should be doing for school. Try to focus on the movie. Realize I can smell tomatoes, which isn't a good sign. After 50 minutes of processing, pull 4 jars from the canner to discover 2 leaking. Jars are intact, but they didn't seal. Try to contain frustration at all that effort down the drain.
Movie ends at 11, take it back to the movie store before its midnight deadline. Return home still talking with Flash about the movie. Head to bed with head still spinning about my classroom, wishing I could at least get the room set up and arranged and basically done so I could focus on nothing but curriculum for the next three weeks.
Finally fall asleep.
And you wonder why I’m not blogging more!?