My alarm goes off at 5:47 am every weekday. I guess that’s technically when the day begins, but most days things are moving along well before that. Josie likes to sneak in to our bed sometime between 12 and 5 am. I think she just waits until she’s sure I’m in that heavy sleep place so she can slip in relatively unnoticed and start lighting me up with kicks to the kidneys. Ruthless. But none of this is really the point. This wasn’t supposed to be about the routine, but more about the roller coaster day that was this Friday, October 3. So let me move along. I will warn you, it felt like a long day…
Oh. I just remembered the retro diary. Let’s do it that way.
6:17am The morning is the same as most others. Breakfast. Ask the kids four gajillion times to finish their breakfast and take their plates. Wait for Josie to go swap the shorts/pants that Robyn laid out for her the night before for a skirt of some sort. Ask if they’ve brushed their teeth. Listen to Josie scream as somebody tries to give her a ponytail. Check if Maddox has put his stuff in his backpack instead of trying to carry each individual item separately to the car. You know. Just the usual.
7:17 (should be 7:05 but it never is, is it?) The drive in starts pretty normal. Everybody’s still a little groggy from the super chill morning at the house and the kicked back style of our breakfast. We’re listening to a little Nora Jane Struthers and Maddox is talking about something to do with school while Robyn checks her Facebook on her phone. Traffic isn’t too bad until we get down to the intersection by the railroad tracks. That’s when it all starts to fall apart. Four lanes of traffic coming from four directions at a two lane intersection. No lights, no signs, no rules. Stick your nose out, honk your horn and hold your breath.
This is also the moment Josie decides to compete with Maddox for control of the vehicular airwaves. She starts singing one of her favorite songs, that I honestly can’t remember at this point even though she sang it at least five hundred billion times before we got to school. Of course Maddox doesn’t stop and listen to her, he continues his conversation as Nora Jane tries to continue her song too. Somethings got to give here, so that’ll be the end of the radio. Oh, and don’t forget I’m still dodging potholes and motorcycles. Somehow Robyn keeps everything calm and cool.
7:28 I drop the family off at the back gate of school and go park the car. We learned quite quickly that the walk from the car park was a bit too long for Josie’s little legs in the morning. This is just easier. This also means that I get approximately seven minutes of time to myself each day. I plug in the headphones and take a stroll in my own little world to the front gate.
7:35 I pick Josie up from Robyn’s office, get some knuckles from Chuckles, drop my bag in my room and head down to her class. I love this part of the day. She skips and laughs and waves her way across campus each morning. We go in and she signs her name on the roll. (on her own and she’s gone from skriglles to real writing since school started. she even adds her own smiley face to the “o” now). We talk a bit about how she wants to wait on her best buds and she wants me to wait with her. I talk her in to letting Miss Linda push her on the swing. (this works because she is “the best swing pusher”) Back to my room to check the pile o’ emails awaiting me.
8:00 Here’s where the day took a turn from the ordinary. Josie told us yesterday that she was going to led the peace song this morning for her class in front of the whole Elementary school. Ok. Sure kid. So the ES does their morning announcements, some fanfare for the end of peace week and up walks Josie with Miss Linda, takes the microphone and she belts out a solo song. Stunned. Stunned and proud.
8:15 back to the room to try to work, but really just try to download the pictures I just took. Share some via various social media platforms. Go help Robyn get the pictures off her phone. Update her computer for her while I’m there. Back to my room to try to get some work done.
9:15 still no work getting done. Various people have stopped by to chat or ask questions. Posting pictures devolved into various Twitter escapades. Granted they were school related, but just not what I was planning. I manage to log some activities for the last week or so and look a little into a plan for the coming weeks. I’ve got emails about tech stuff (i’m the integration guy this year in my one extra planning period) passports, writing assessments and our online grading platform. Also managed to talk a colleague into presenting a workshop after October break.
10:30 I’ve done a good bit of stuff, but it wasn’t what I had planned for the morning. I’ve had lots of people come by. Answered a lot of email requests and chatted online with the AP. All good. Just not what I was going to do. I finally open the couple of screens I need to start grading some projects and decide at this point with only thirty minutes until lunch, I’ll go check on registering for some professional development instead. That’s more fun than reading through project planners and notes about the thirteen colonies anyway.
10:50 That was a good conversation.
11:00 Lunch time. I decide to put together a quick online quiz for my classes to start the conversation I want to have in class today. Tyler comes in to eat lunch with me while I create it. Funny conversation there. I get a message from Robyn that the bank machine gave her a receipt but no cash. Not the first time this has happened. I make ten calls to the bank before I get anybody. Finally get connected and he assures me I just need to come fill out a form. Great. That’s what I want to do after school. Robyn has also got our finance dept on it. Also help put the finishing, finishing touches on a slide show for the assembly we’re having in about fifteen minutes. I’m not the only one that procrastinates.
11:40 Peace week closing assembly for the middle school. Dance class does a really cool spoken word/movement peace. They recreate the Iwo Jima monument with a peace flag and a human model reproduction of the Tank Man image. Good things.
12:00 Now I’ve got to teach. We talk about their projects that were pretty good and their struggles with MLA formatting. Therein lies the lesson. Kids have a hard time logging in to the site we’re using for the quiz. Not because it doesn’t work, because they can’t remember their passwords. I get that sorted and we’re ready to move on. Except that one kid raises their hand and asks what their password is. Kids push me towards the edge sometimes. This class isn’t the greatest if I’m honest. We struggle through it together though. It happens some times.
1:35 The end is in sight. One more class… Email says we got the ATM mess worked out. Awesome.
1:37 I get an email from our Finance Dept that our retirement contributions haven’t deposited in our account since June. Argh. And a couple of other emails requesting meetings about tech stuff. Planning periods for Tuesday are covered now.
1:45 Same lesson. Same struggles. Same, ok different kid, waits until everyone is set and I’ve asked if everyone is set and everyone has said they are set to ask how to log in. There’s always one. At this point I have to laugh. This class goes better. We laugh a few times. Kids are actually intrigued about the research they are doing on the current situation in Hong Kong. They’re actually debating a little on their own. Well, the ones that aren’t talking about random other stuff any way.
3:10 Done. Go wrangle up Maddox who needs my assistance to move a book case in his room. You see he’s dropped something behind it. Turns out its his certificate for being an Excellent Effort students five times. That’s important stuff. We realize some other stuff has dropped back there and he suggests we take care of it. That’s my boy.
3:17 I head over to admin to pick up our Passports with our new work permits in them and try to figure out this retirement stuff. I look at a lot of papers with stuff on them that mean nothing to me. But I take pictures so I can send them to the bank guys. I also manage to make a tentative appointment to try to get a driver’s license in the coming weeks.
3:40 back to Robyn’s office. I get the stink eye from Maddox cause I forgot to get him popcorn while I was gone. Robyn goes after popcorn while I go get the car.
4:00 car loaded headed home.
4:07 stuck in traffic
4:27 stuck in traffic approximately one hundred yards closer to home. I have no idea why its so bad today. Robyn gets out and walks ahead to trade in our water jugs. Our buddy loads them in the car as we crawl by a few minutes later. The irony of it all is that we eventually discover that there are policeman at each of the majorish intersections today directing traffic. Not sure it helped, but they were there.
4:47 home. This trip usually takes about twelve minutes. Kids are on the edge of sleep. Robyn’s had a mini nap of sorts. Unload the car and talk to Tina for a few.
5:07 I head out for a run. Its been a long up and down day. I need a release. Those clouds look kind of dark over there though…
5:12 No, its not raining that fast. I pass three guys standing in the road looking up in a tree. I don’t see anything at first, but I get a little further past and realize there are parrots in the palm tree. I stop and talk to Blessing who is the guard at the next house. She calls to another guy across the street to make sure the English word is actually “parrot”. One of the three guys tells me he’s going to catch it and keep it as a pet. They’re pretty rare he says. They come down from the Achimota forest from time to time. He had one, but it ended up in Serbia. I was confused too. Clouds look a little darker. Its a fun conversation, but I get some snaps from my new friend Blessing and head off.
5:37 I make it back to the house. I know you want to know how far I went to calculate my average pace and see how slow I am, but I’m not telling. Its quality not quantity any way. I’m inside for about three minutes and the bottom drops out. Maddox and Kwame come racing in looking for shelter. They promptly get out the drums and Maddox gets a lesson. Turns out Kwame can jam. Josie hops up to dance a bit.
6:00 neighbors come over for a drink and to talk some shop. Jeff and I manage to dodge the serious talk that Robyn’s taking care of. Like minds… Fun time with our new friends and their ridiculously cute puppy.
6:50 pizza time. I like pizza
7:45 kids to bed. Its been a long day. I get my snuggles with Josie and read an absolutely horrible book about Tinkerbell and her friends playing hide and seek. She loves it. Maddox reads on his own on my kindle. They’re both out as soon as the lights go out.
8:00 Check emails, Facebook, talk a bit with Robyn, watch an episode of New Girl and then sit down to write.
9:45 Robyn’s long since asleep. As she should be. She put a lot of work into a fantastic peace week at school.
10:45 Wrapping this sucker up. I’ll slap in a couple of pics and call it a day.