Friday, August 25, 2006

I'm So Tired I Could Cry!

This was our first full week of school, and I feel like I am operating on auto-pilot. I can't believe that I have to do this for 35 more weeks and be okay with it! School is fine; the kids seem immature, and are very talkative, but it's always so hard to adjust to the new group of fifth-graders. By the time they leave me in May, they can open lockers, bring the right books to class, and copy vocabulary like professionals. Come October, things will run much more smoothly.

I just feel like I have so much on my plate right now, and I don't know how to fix it. I have so much paperwork to do for school, and haven't even started grading anything yet. I need to produce something for Tuesday folders next week, but I don't know when I will have time to deal with it. We have so many meetings and trainings during our free time at school, it leaves very little time for planning and grading.

Besides school, I'm stressed about the sorority. I am currently the secretary of my alumnae chapter, and we meet monthly during the school year. I was president last year, and took care of letting people know when the meetings were, and most of the planning. We changed officers in May, and the new president has yet to send out anything to the entire chapter. I haven't heard from her since May, and our first meeting for this fall is supposed to be in less than two weeks. The officers haven't gotten together to plan anything, and we have to raise lots of money in the next few months to be able to send a delegate to Convention next June. My duties as secretary are to keep a membership list and the meetings, do a calendar, and mail out newsletters to people. I am trying hard not to step in and decide everything, since that's not my job anymore. I'm really not enjoying it right now, and would really like to step back, but I don't know how to. Our chapter is only two years old, and we have about twelve members. We meet monthly at different women's houses, and we do a couple of philanthropic things a year. It's kind of a pain to go to the meetings, for Darren to get home in time for me to leave, then I drive at least 30 minutes, and we sit around for at least an hour before we start talking about the business. I get home late, and am exhausted the next day. I just don't know if I want to do it anymore, and I feel really bad about it.

In addition to the sorority, I've somehow managed to hang onto my Creative Memories business. I really like getting the new products each month, and getting a discount, but it's something else for me to stress about. I feel like I have exhausted everyone I know who is willing to host a show, and I don't know how I will meet new people. My monthly crop nights are a lot of work, and I don't usually have a good attendance. I think it would be cheaper for me just to be a customer again, and buy what I want. At least I'd get to scrapbook again!

What else is bugging me? Darren has started riding his bike after work on Tuesday nights. I don't begrudge him wanting to go and do something fun, but Tuesdays are really hard for me. Zach and I come home around 4:45, and we are alone until 9:00. Zach doesn't listen to me as well as Darren, and he and I usually end up getting in a fight, and by the time Darren gets home, we are both angry. I know that I go and do things alone sometimes, ( and occasionally they are not meetings), but that's after I have Zach for two or more hours, and he goes to bed while I'm gone. It's just hard after a long day at school to entertain Zach alone.

Zach started gymnastics yesterday, and we'll have that every Thursday evening. I pick him up from his after-school program, we get about 15 minutes at home, I rush him out the door, and we fight traffic to get to the gym on time. He didn't want to participate in the warm-up yesterday, and is the only boy in his class. I don't know how long this will last; he's been in gymnastics for a year, but has always had a friend in his class. Plus, he's tired after being in school all day.

So, tomorrow is Zach's birthday party. I don't recommend having a child the second week of school, and having to plan a party. We are doing it at a place this year that does everything, so that is nice. However, we have company coming in to stay with us this weekend, which is fine, but I was up late cleaning the house last night, and since they will be here all weekend, that leaves me almost no time to get schoolwork done. Maybe my 13-year-old niece will want to grade papers?

Okay, time to tackle the mess that I made in the kitchen. That was cathartic. Thanks to the two of you for listening, if you haven't stabbed yourself with a butter knife by now.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

First Day Jitters

Zach and I had our first day of school today. To him, it was no big deal, but I was worried about him getting in trouble. After all, he DID call 911 last night!

We arrived at school at 7:25, and had to wait for the doors to open at 7:30. His teacher was running a little late, and when she got there, I took a picture of her with Zach. We found his seat, and he sat down and started looking through his pencil box at his new supplies. Darren and I kissed him, and he nonchalantly told us bye. I managed to wait until we left the building to start crying, which was a feat! He just looked so little sitting at that table, and kindergarten is so final! Up until now, he didn't have to go to school (not that I had a choice to work or not), but now, he has to be there for many years.

Anyway, I left Zach's school and drove to mine to get ready for MY first day. It was a typical first day; we collected supplies, set up binders, learned how to open lockers, passed out paperwork, took a tour of the school, and had 40 minutes in the gym with the fine arts teachers this afternoon. I seem to have a really good group of students this year, and I even have a deaf student and interpreter in my class for part of the day. The other students are really excited about learning sign language, and it will be good for them to be exposed to her.

It was a long day, not sitting down, not pausing in talking to the class. There are so many things to go over with dress code and procedures. Dismissal always takes a long time on the first day of school. The buses go to the elementary campuses first, then pick our kids up. So, they are always late on the first day, because there is usually a situation where a kindergarten student forgets where they live, and the bus has to drive them home. We were out by 4:30 today, which wasn't too bad. I don't think we have bus duty this year, which is odd. No one has mentioned it, and we didn't get a schedule for it. I'm not going to mention anything!

I was so eager to talk to Zach to find out how his day went. I didn't have time to think about him until after school, and couldn't wait to get to his school. He didn't want to leave when I got there; he was looking at one of his shoes under a microscope. Once we got in the car, and I asked him how his day went, he only wanted to talk about Mr. Robert, who is his YMCA after-school teacher. I kept asking him about his kindergarten teacher, and he was really confused about who his teacher is. I'm glad he likes the after-school program; he's been at the same daycare since before his first birthday, and I was worried about how he would handle the change.

When we got home, Zach finally opened up about his day. He told me that his teacher wanted them to go home and tell their parents they had a FABULOUS day. He also volunteered information about dancing in the classroom, and the teacher reading a book to him that I read last night. Besides that, I didn't get too much out of him. He said he liked it, and can't wait to go back tomorrow.

Tonight, I have to write student names on desk name tags, their conduct sheets, and cards for their classroom jobs. I get all four classes tomorrow, and hopefully textbooks. 179 more days to go!