Thursday, August 30, 2007


New school: Huge, enormous, gynormous. Beautiful. Big! (6 academic wings, arts building, library, cafeteria seating 1000 and gym: 25 acres, 17 acres of grounds/fields)

Classroom: 5 computers, plus computer lab next door. Wood cabinets, file cabinets (plural!). Desk and rolling table. Windows (plural!). Lots of desks (which I nicely arranged).

Facilities: art rooms, large dark room, dance studio (wood floor, mirrors windows), instruments, practice rooms, astounding theatre (tons of seats, balcony, state of the art lighting and sound system, orchestra pit).

Photos are necessary but lacking.


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

life is coming, fast!

Wednesday and Thursday brought the rest of new teacher orientation. Basically I sat and absorbed as much information as I could, then spent the rest of the day looking attentive. I made a plan for how to start classes, outlined a syllabus and got answers to all my questions, plus a lot of questions I never knew I had.

Friday morning I had to get up early and wait for the cable guy to come change me to basic cable. The guy offering the great deal of 1 free month of expanded never told me that someone would have to come out to change things after a month, arg. Then I went to lunch in Boston with friend #1, headed to New Haven to spend a couple nights with friend #2, backtracked to back woods CT to see friend #3, scooted over to central CT to see the family, traveled across to RI for a day at the beach and finally reached home Monday night. It was awesome to see everyone, especially with the interesting variety of city/rural life I experienced. As much fun as traveling is, it was great to get home and putter around my own place. This really does feel like home now, and it looks like its my space- I've settled in!

Today brought a day full of training in Bridges to Algebra. Its a curriculum set up very similarly to my summer program, which is awesome. I'm interested to see the computer program we're supposed to use 2 days a week. The whole thing is very scripted, but the training dude seems to realize that flexibility is key, so this could work. Tomorrow brings further instruction on how to instruct this class. I'm missing all the school bonding and team planning, which is icky, but if I have to miss it, I'm glad that I'm missing it for a curriculum I like.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

boston and much more

Friday one of my friends from college came and brought 2 of her friends from camp. We lunched and headed into Boston to meet up with another camp friend and frolic. We got lost, explored Boston, generally enjoyed ourselves and the 3 of us headed back to my apartment after getting lost again (we left one camp friend in Boston). Saturday my brother came to visit and it was much of the same- get lost, hang out in the city, get lost again. I went to a barbecue with some of the teachers I'll be working with- they're really cool! It was just the 9th grade team for my sub-school but we had a great time, told a lot of stories, I got filled in on a few things and time passed very quickly. Then I headed back to the city and didn't get lost! Brought 3 people back to my apartment and only got slightly lost on the way. Sunday brought waffles - so delicious - and wall decorating. Most of my paintings/puzzles/posters are hung and the ones that remain have a place on the wall, I just couldn't find any more nails. Then, of course, we headed back south, to our second home for the weekend. DDR happened, as did a wild night that didn't end until the early hours of Monday. We never quite made it back to my apartment. Monday was spent leisurely (i.e. in recovery), we did manage to spend a couple hours lounging by the Charles. The ducklings were rather adorable. Monday night saw the departure of visitors and left me alone to prepare for new teacher orientation.

This morning I had to get up painfully early, I used to see 6:45 on a regular basis, but my body quickly adjusted to getting up later than that (especially when I had nothing to motivate me in the morning). Everyone in the school system is really cool. The superintendent is impressively motivating, positive and enthusiastic. The system is set up surprisingly logically. The high school is amazingly innovative and has facilities that are the best and the biggest in several categories. The city may be lacking in funds, but it has an abundance of charisma. My brain reached saturation point around 1:00 (2 hours before the program ended) but the day was well organized and everyone seems to have reasonable expectations of how much we can actually do as new teachers. Hopefully I'm still feeling this enthusiastic tomorrow!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


This morning I was walking down the sidewalk, minding my own business, then suddenly the air in front of my foot gets really hard and cuts my toe! Stupid metal base for a post that is no longer. Maybe there is some merit in wearing close toed shoes...

Then I got to school- there's still a lot going on at the old school, I can't imagine how we're going to be ready to open the new school on Sept. 4, but it'll happen somehow. The principal finally tells me there isn't a syllabus for the algebra classes. Now, this fact in and of itself is fine with me. I can make it up and use the textbook. The fact that he couldn't tell me when I first asked for a syllabus months ago- mildly irksome. The other class I'm teaching might be taught using a computer program, that the administrators were introduced to yesterday. Yea, we're flying by the seat of our pants for everything.

Visitors coming this weekend, along with a Boston trip or two. Then orientation starts next week. Today may mark the end of my entitlement to do absolutely nothing. Labor day weekend brings another visitor. MHC flashbacks will abound as we attend the Lawrence Bread and Roses festival. Still undecided if we will wear white, carry a vine and subject others to our singing. That being the day before I start school I'll have to decide what kind of and how much attention I'm looking to attract.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

big kid

Today I went to the bank and opened a new account, went grocery shopping and cleaned the bathroom. Yesterday I paid bills. I feel like such a grown up!

The rest of my time has been spent lounging- reading, watching tv and crocheting with plastic bags. I'm back in my James Taylor phase- I have 6 of his CDs and I've been listening to them in chronological order, reverse chronological order or at random. I wonder if my neighbors can hear my music, and if they can, who they think I am.

Tomorrow I might get syllabi for my courses. Maybe. I'm meeting the principal at the old school because I asked for syllabi, but he won't tell me if they even exist, let alone if we'll be able to find them at the old school. It would be really cool if we got to go to storage at the new school- I want to explore and see if it is actually ready! Just a few more weeks...

Saturday, August 11, 2007


Enter Internet. Its been a lonely 1.5 weeks here without internet connectivity, but tons has happened.

I have: a new apartment, new bed and dresser, new dining room set and cabinet (that I got to build-yay!), almost everything they sell in the Christmas Tree Shop, new car and most importantly- a shiny new adjustable wrench. You may think my priorities are a little off, but I swear the wrench was the most exciting thing I bought all week. I might have enough tools now to pull off the heavy duty tool belt when I head to Habitat builds.

I am headed out tonight with the only person I know around here- and know is using that term really loosely. He was our waiter at lunch and was excited that I'm new in town so I got his phone number. Next weekend someone is having a get together for all the high school teachers, maybe I'll make some friends there? Its not that I have trouble making friends when there are people around, I just don't know where to meet people- why don't new towns come with orientation and name games?

There were lots of other interesting little things that happened- like the water in my shower being installed backwards so I took a shower with the coldest water possible thinking that I was encouraging hot water. I also lost my voice for my first few days in town- so I had to have my mommy talk for me- that didn't make me feel very grown up or independent. Almost all of last weekend was spent in the car exploring and learning my way around. My friend and I got asked if we knew each other from college (we d0)- it was weird, because only old people get visits from college friends. When did we get old?

The only thing left to set up is decorating the walls. It is an intimidating task- probably because of the permanence of it- so I've been letting the pile of paintings, pictures and puzzles sit in the corner until someone comes to help.