Last Friday, the last Friday of Lent, was my first science symposium (our version of a science fair) at my new school. It was remarkable for many reasons, but mainly for the fact that the students actually enjoyed doing it. We had some technology issues, sure, but overall, the process worked well. Since we had the time, all the students presented to the class, and then to the younger students during the day. In the evening, their parents came. I had to send them all home at 8 o'clock, but I was home by 8:15. I think I put away a single folding chair -- parents and students put all the tables away in no time flat. It seemed a little unreal at the time, because it was a very long day, starting with getting everything set up in the early hours before our regular Friday morning mass, through school hours and then a staff meeting and then grading all the display boards before the parents came in the evening. Somehow it all worked.
But now that it's over, I have to switch gears quickly to planning my 7th grade field trip. We had scheduled a parent meeting for Monday, so another thing I had to do last week was nail down our transportation so we could figure out how much money we needed to collect from the students to cover costs. I sent all the information over last week, and still hadn't heard back on Monday, so I sent a "hey, we need a quote!" email, and got back, "Oh, we decided not to do it" -- about 3 hours before the meeting! Scrambling ensued, the other bus company we work with was contacted, and they were great, and we had a very reasonable quote within an hour. *whew*
That left me enough time to go home, put together some dinner for the boys, and then sit down and put together a power point for the parent meeting. Back at school, I notice my computer is off (weird!) and turn it on again, when suddenly the lights go out, and the emergency lights come up, and that's how we ran the meeting. I mean, it was funny, because mine was the only building with no power, but the parents were all in there, and no one wanted to move. It was probably a net benefit, because we moved things along pretty quickly -- we had 3 different topics to cover and we still wrapped up in just over an hour. The parents seem happy about the field trip (UA SkySchool) and I have a lot of parent chaperones already signed up. So, even though we were literally in the dark, the meeting went well.
Tuesday morning: still no power! I brought my morning classes to the computer lab so they could see the presentation and videos I had planned for them, and by lunch time the power was back on. The rest of the day went OK until I started cleaning out the refrigerator while I was prepping dinner, when I clogged the garbage disposal. I've done this a few times in the past and I do know how to run a disposal. It cleared a couple of hours later, and fortunately we have a double sink, but it was just gross for the entire time I was prepping dinner.
Wednesday, my long day: no problems, really, until the end of the day, when I found out that a weird thing that happened in the morning was more concerning than I thought. I had stepped out for a few seconds to grab something off the printer next door, and came back to find one of my students standing at the front of the classroom. I got a laugh in response to my "What are you doing out of your seat?" question, but I shrugged it off since we were heading down to the science lab to see how far we could drop our shell-less eggs before they'd break (not that far, of course!). It turns out that the student had done a cartwheel - and whacked her leg on a desk or chair on her way back down. Another teacher noticed the bruise and asked about it, and found out how she got it. My heart just dropped when I heard what had happened. I feel very lucky that the student wasn't seriously hurt! I ended up pulling her out of class and then calling her mother to let her know what happened. Fortunately her mother was very supportive, and she apologized to me about it very thoroughly, but still, it was very upsetting.
Home, finally: a huge pile of grading to do, but I'm exhausted. DS2's piano is going... better (I don't believe I've mentioned here that his original piano teacher fired him, seemingly out of nowhere but actually quite justified, last month) but his lessons with the new teacher are back to a later hour, and we don't get home until 8:30 the earliest.
So I'm exhausted and writing this instead of grading. Last week was intense with all the student presentations and the symposium, but I didn't feel stressed. This week I feel I've lurched from one crisis to another, but nothing's actually been that upsetting. I thought, this afternoon, I would be totally justified in feeling overwhelmed and crying over all the stuff that's happened this week, except I don't feel overwhelmed. Maybe I finally am growing up, or maybe all my extra prayers are reprogramming my brain towards peace, because all these problems pop up but then they get resolved, and no one needs to freak out about anything. There's a lot to be said for learning how to be flexible, and I'm getting a lot of practice at it this year.
Tomorrow we have a half-day, and then, finally, blessedly, no school on Good Friday, and all of next week off for our very delayed spring break! (Between now and Sunday: house cleaning, picking up the two college students, shopping for Easter dinner, baking [something - lemon squares?], brining the turkey, etc etc)
After break? Only 6 more weeks of school! It's going to fly.