Thursday, June 08, 2006

I began to write a post while I was out of town recently, but due to some BUSY circumstances, I haven't been able to continue. I'll see if I can come back to it, because it was all about a subject near and dear to me: good ol' hot glass.

However, I recovered from a visit to my family recently, on the occasion of my brother's high school graduation and of a lacrosse tournament his team won ( his last lacrosse games before college begins for him in the fall) only to find that my trip up north was a good breather from all the havoc of New Orleans and the vicinity. I came home to a house that smelled unfamiliar, even, and not just because cleaning up after our cats is not my husband's strong point. Dan told me that garbage pickup missed a week, so the stink lingered on our street for a bit. Oh, well, back to life as usual in these parts, I guess.

I received a call from the Montessori school informing me that my son had been admitted, which elicited a major sigh of relief from me. I ran into an instance of one hand of the school district acting in complete ignorance of what the other hand was up to...actually, it was more like a couple of instances. Some vestiges of the old systems of evaluations have resulted in a strange meeting with an Orleans parish school administrator, who basically rewrote the evaluation my son had already received from professionals on an official school form and then offered my son a place in a pre-K gifted class at a different school. Here's where the offer turned into Deal or No Deal - to accept the place in offered class, I would have had to forfeit the school application for the Montessori, when I hadn't even heard from them yet. What would you have done?

Personally, I hate being railroaded into most any decision, especially, I'm discovering, when it comes to my son's education. No deal for the different school. I walked off with a copy of the official evaluation form wondering if the administrator knew something I didn't know. It was a bizarre offer and ultimatum, and I was glad I had at least another option open: a deposit towards another school year at his present preschool.

Was I ever ecstatic when I got word of his Montessori placement...and then they asked for my copy of my son's official evaluation. It was easier for me to bring it to them instead of leaving it to the school office to obtain what was technically an in-house document, possibly because the parish school administrators are tough to communicate with right now due to their "traveling" status - no real permanent building to work out of right now. Weird, but okay.

Know what else is weird? I now have a job. I am now a head teacher at a local camp that my son is also attending...thankfully, I will not be teaching his class, and I will also have two other counselors working with me. Large portions of the day are preplanned, to boot, though I will have to stuff my post-pregnancy body into a swimsuit for large portions of each day. Maybe I will get my son up extra early and take advantage of the early care at camp to work out some - but that would be cruel to him.

As it is, I seriously broke down after my first orientation day with the other counselors and the camp supervisor, and it concerned the babysitting for my son, which fell through that afternoon and was pretty much nonexistent for the following two afternoons, too. I was just at a loss as to who to call, really, since I had only utilized one sitter since we moved back, and there were occasions when she just wasn't available that piled up as strikes against her employment as my son's sitter. With the help of my fantastic husband and the ears of Edie and Justin, we lined up one sitter for the next day and I got the morning sitter at camp to stay the day after with the incentives of more money and a ride back home. I'm very lucky to have such a support system, especially since I haven't worked outside the home in, oh, four-plus years.

Initially, I think my supervisor's gentle admonition that I find someone to watch my son, because, though he was good, the orientation was adult-activity time, was one that cut into me more than she knew, because looking after my son had been my job all these years. Asking me to switch gears like that was a little crazy for me, and I came away from my first meeting with kids way younger than I as my co-workers (the other senior counselor for my group - well, I'm almost twice his age!) feeling as though I might have bit off way more than I could chew. Justin, with his usual quasi-bullheadedness, advocated that I give 'em an ultimatum or just quit. Sometimes the man is all id.

What I tend to do is to say, even at my lowest, that tomorrow's another day. It's something the doomsdayers who believed in the date 6-6-06 as a horrible omen have to admit, even. We're all still here...and today, we might have bonded together a bit more, my fellow counselors and I. Our jungle-themed room is coming together, thanks to the great idea our senior counselor had and the great execution by all of us in getting it together.

Next up tomorrow, I have to get in the bathing suit and demonstrate how well I can swim - not to mention a demonstration of my gut and my butt. This is your body post-pregnancy kids...

Any questions?

Oh, good T-shirt for the folks in the northeast, worn by a counselor today:

This is your brain: (the NY Yankees symbol)
This is your brain on drugs: (the Boston Red Sox symbol)

1 comment:

Joan said...

Hi Leigh,

You don't have to throw away your Garnier Fructis. Just pack it in your checked luggage. And make sure it is in a very well sealed ziploc bag.

Best,

Joan Singer Frieman from the JPPC