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The countdown has begun

August 20, 2011

The last two weeks have been a whirl-wind for me.  I had one more road-trip for my Grandma’s birthday to get through, one two-day training, and then wow, school was starting REALLY SOON.  I had high expectations about planning out every hour of my course this summer, but as usual that didn’t happen.  There is a reason I am not able to work in the summer:  I have three kids.  This summer seemed to fly by.  We were so, so busy.  And here I am almost ready for the first day of school.  It doesn’t seem like it has been that long from the last day of school.

I feel a bit more prepared than ever because this is the first time I am not teaching something for the first time.  I taught this course last semester, although not well.  I am hoping that this semester I will be able to solidify some activities as a skeleton, and then I can pick and choose around that skeleton next semester and beyond.  I have my course laid out on the calendar, and I have my first week *almost* all the way done–even the copies.  I dragged my sick kids with me to school again yesterday to find my classrooms and pick up some stuff that needs to be collated before Monday.  I am re-reading the chapters and figuring out which essays to read.  My course home-pages are up to date and ready.

I have had all three kids complain that I am working too much.  But I don’t really mind.  I know that this is good for me.  This makes me think and I really love it.  I am modeling to them what it looks like to love your job,  and how to have a career.  I still believe, for me, that the best way to parent was to stay home with my kids when they were too little to be in school.  I don’t regret that, not even a little bit.  But I did give up my whole self in order to do that.  It was isolating and lonely and I had no real stimulation in the brain area.  It was such a hard job.  Now I can tell them about my day and show them what it is like to be passionate about something.  How to have a good work ethic, and how to over-come your fears and deal with mistakes.  Last year was not easy.  I am sure this year will not be easy either.  I just hope it isn’t quite as hard as it was last year.  I hope my going back to work gives my children something to strive for when they become adults.  They already want to help me do my stuff.  And some things they get to do, like stuff folders and sort papers.

The hardest part about going back to work is that my kids don’t go back until after Labor Day.  That gives me three weeks where I have to piece-meal childcare and worry about how everyone is doing.  I have one kid who has an ear infection.  (We were at the doctor at 8:30 on Wednesday night taking care of that.)  And one kid who has strep throat.  (We went in for a quick strep test yesterday because we were on day three of a sore throat, but had no fever, swollen glands, or redness in her throat.  It came back positive this morning.)  (Sarah and I just have colds so far.)  All of the sickness doesn’t help my worrying.  Divided attention is hard to have when beginning a semester.  Once they are in school, everything will be so much easier.  I won’t have to rush around getting them to a sitter in the morning and rush off right after work to pick them up.  I will have time to linger over my students and their work.  And MY work too!

I can’t believe that summer is over and that another school year is underway.  Are all of you feeling the autumnal pull as well?

*Special congratulations to Willow and Christina.  They are both coming upon great and exciting changes in their lives and I cannot be more happy for them!!

  1. August 21, 2011 2:29 pm

    Karin starts at her new school tomorrow. Yea verily, summer is over! EEK! And now: something on the calendar for every day, weekend until OCTOBER. Let the crazy begin!

    I remember how worried you were before you started working…and now, even if you’re worrying, you sound so HAPPY about it :)

    • September 18, 2011 9:29 am

      Happily worrying…that is my constant state! You are so perceptive. Your crazy is already planned?? I have yet to put my crazy ON THE CALENDAR~ YIKES!!

  2. August 25, 2011 5:12 pm

    You do sound happy about the worrying! I wasn’t around before you started working, but it’s really inspiring to me to hear you talk about getting ready for the school year, and balancing that with being a mom. You ARE modeling something wonderful for your kids, and for one soon-to-be mom over here in CA. Thanks for the congratulations, and for writing about what you’re thinking about here!

    • September 18, 2011 9:31 am

      Oh, Willow, I am ecstatic about your baby! I can’t wait to hear all about your pregnancy and that often difficult, yet miraculous transition into being a mom. It has already started, hasn’t it?

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