Monday, October 31, 2011

no more jack-o-lanterns

This is the first year in all the years we've lived in this house, I think -- 13 years -- that we haven't carved pumpkins. It was always my job to rustle up some candles from somewhere so I could light them and put them in the pumpkins out front. And then I had to remember to go out later, much later than the last trick-or-treaters, to blow out the candles and bring in the pumpkins, before they got smashed in the street. This year no one in the house wanted to do it, so we didn't.

DS1 opted out this year, knowing he'll be able to share his younger siblings' candy. DD and DS2 are wearing sensible footwear (as opposed to the pre-teen in stiletto heels who just left the door) and will probably be out with DH for another hour, hauling back more candy than they will even want to eat.

While at home things seem less stressed than usual, I'm dreading the rest of this week at school. Children on an all-candy diet don't listen or learn well. Best not to think of that, and enjoy watching Alice's excitement with each new group of children at the door.

She's very patient, and only occasionally
tries to fish a lollipop out of the candy bowl.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

pilfering trifles

Today I discovered the latest in an ongoing series of minor thefts from my classroom: the toy cars I'd bought last year for the 8th graders to use in our physics unit. So far this year, I've "lost"

- Basher Science: Rocks and Minerals: A Gem of a Read


- a set of 4 fine-tipped dry erase markers... one at a time... from my desk

- a lovely brain coral specimen that was given to me by a student

- a gallon-size ziploc bag of more than two dozen Sharpies and other permanent markers

- 18 Matchbox cars

The bag of Sharpies was in one of my desk drawers, all the way in the back, behind a divider. The Matchbox cars were in a plastic lunchbox from Disneyland, in a closed cabinet by my desk.

Somehow, I made it through the school year last year without losing these things (well, not the dry erase markers).

Every time this happens, I get upset. It's not the money. I have these things so that my students can use them, and so they are just stealing from themselves. It makes me very sad.

I need to figure out how to let this kind of thing go, but I'm not there yet.

Sunday, October 16, 2011


Tomorrow begins the second quarter of school, already... fall break was just a week but seemed like more.

DD & I flew into Boston for a quick trip out to see how Mom is recovering. In a word: splendidly.

Mom with one brother & his family

We were very lucky to hit the end of Indian Summer. There's something glorious about swimming in the Atlantic in October, when the water is tolerably cool and incredibly clear. We walked clear to the tip of Chapaquoit, with crowds of sandpipers fleeing before us.

Non-plussed, they'd just scurry a few feet away and wait for us to catch up to them.

We packed a lot into a few days: beach, shopping, cupcakes, Woods Hole... best of course was seeing family, including my newest grand-nephew.

Then home again, for piano lessons and assorted appointments and two days of a debate tournament. That left just today for getting ready for the week to come. Second quarter -- I'm taking a deep breath now because I won't be able to get another until Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

round peg, square hole

I cleaned up some graffiti in a girls' bathroom at work today, and now it seems as if I may catch flak for it.

The question keeps arising: what am I doing there?

Only two more days of classes until fall break, and a quick trip out to see Mom, who is nicely recovering from all her procedures. Yay!