Saturday, September 27, 2008

Better Late Than Never—Mary, Studio in the Country, July

Better Late Than Never—Louise and June, Poplar Branch Farm, Virginia, early summer.

The second installment in our Better Late Than Never photo series—Jason and (a small fraction of) his albums (the morning we headed out to Studio in the Country).

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Sock Hoppin'

So we've got the random and untimely photos covered. How 'bout some random and sort-of-timely-ish snippets from school-land. (The great tragedy is that my days are supremely full of the panoply of life in all its forms, good and ugly, but it all flies by so fast, I barely have time to notice, much less transform it into wry, pithy little posts. But as I promised, I'll do better.)

One of the recent highlights was last Friday night's "sock hop" which I chaperoned. It was simultaneously adorable, awkward, hilarious, and outrageous:
Adorable: Seeing the students all dressed up in their fanciest finest, trying on their turning-into-adults personas, was so very sweet.

Awkward: I forgot how awkward kids can be at that age. It took them forever to get dancing. Finally the girls cut loose (dancing with each other, of course). The boys never got past a couple of half-hearted foot shuffles. (This includes some of the same boys who can't stop wiggling and dancing during the day while I'm trying to teach them math.)

Can you guess what the favorite concession was? Pickles. Dished out of a massive plastic five-gallon bucket.*

Outrageous: In many regards, it reminded me of the adorable, awkward, hilarious middle-school dances I attended in my own youth. But there was one notable difference. They most certainly did not booty-shake like that at my school—four-foot-tall ten-year-olds doing staggering, physics-defying oscillations. Mon dieu!
Whoop, there it is.

* Did I tell you about the day all my fifth-grade girls came in from recess with wet compresses on their eyes because of of some pickle-juice-explosion salt-and-vinegar-in-the-eyes incident on the schoolyard?

Christian, Vivienne, and June—Perdido Bay—Gustav evacuation. (The picture isn't particularly fuzzy, but it's undeniably belated. I have oodles more that I never got around to posting. Maybe I'll start a "Better Late Than Never" photo series.)

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Bee-Syndrome Continues

"Busy like a...", that is. Apologies for the utterly dismal posting rate recently. The immersive nature of this newbie-teacher-gig makes my head whirl and swirl, and often I just don't find the room in my brain (or the time in the day) to string a coherent set of words together and post it here.

But I promise to do better. Perhaps a few incoherent snippets. Or some motley postings of random photos. Something. Stay tuned.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Others! Like Me!

My student was fussing at me because I wouldn't let her drink juice in class. "I'm mad at you," she said. "You wouldn't let me drink my pickle juice."*

Pickle juice, did you say?

I thought I was alone, a solitary pickle juice drinker** in a salty vinegary wilderness. But there's another. And maybe more...

I polled the class and, much to my surprise and delight (and amusement), found that over half of the fifth-grade girls identify themselves as pickle juice drinkers. ("Pickle juice is goo-ood!") Over half. Two thirds, even (which is to say: four sixths, six ninths, 66.66%, four-hundred and fifty-four six-hundred and eighty-oneths, 0.6666666666...). I never imagined my transition to teaching would be a straight trip to Pickle Land.

I've finally found my people.

* Though I'm quite fond of a good p.j. swig myself, I marvel at the extremity of actually packing a container of it, bringing it to school, and surreptitiously slurping it during class.

** I like olive juice too. Any other olive juice drinkers out there?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Like a Bee

...busy, that is.

Monday night I had my first (and I'd like to think my last) full blown what-the-hell-was-I-thinking-trying-to-be-a-teacher-that-was-a-terrible-idea melt down. But then Tuesday morning I said, To hell with that, and the rest of the week has been going just about as well as I could expect, all things considered. (And there are many things to consider.)

Bit by bit I'm getting it. And I'm still completely (100%, 1/1, 1.0) loving it.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Ten Years

As of today, the Lady and I have been married for ten years. (In a week, we will have been together for eighteen years—half our lives.) Gustav derailed our more elaborate anniversary plans,* but we managed pawn the kids off on friends for a few hours and make it to Galatoire's for a lovely (and immensely entertaining) Friday lunch. Good food. Great people watching. And the company was perfect.

* Not the first time our anniversary has been derailed by a hurricane. (And the wedding itself almost suffered the same fate.) Annou warned us against getting married during hurricane season. We didn't listen.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Home Again, Home Again...

Well, the return trip only took a slow-jogging six hours as opposed to outbound's miserable sluggish ten. The house smells a bit funky but is otherwise intact. The city is still half-populated. Plenty of branches and power lines are down, plenty of streetlights out (and the Natty Guard is back), but all-in-all, the city looks pretty normal-ish. (Not that it looked particularly normal before .)


Au revoir, Alabama. It's been nice, but we're happy to be heading home. Hopefully, the return trip won't take ten hours.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008


Well, we dodged a big old ugly mess. Our pleasant Alabama exile continues for another day or two, until the city reopens and the re-vacuation wackiness sorts itself out.

School is closed for the whole week—plenty of time to catch up on sleep and plan lessons. De-lovely.