Friday, August 23, 2013

Mom, why are you calling me Buttercup?

School is in the building! The kids were starry eyed and tired on Monday, but basically happy and glad to be back (although Silas did greet the rising sun by throwing one arm to the sky and howling “noooooooooo”). All of their nagging questions of the past few weeks have been laid to rest: will my friends be in my classes? will I like my teachers? will I have homework the first day? etc etc etc. This is probably why they dropped into bed with a sigh of relief last night (or maybe that was me.) 

The answers, btw, were pretty much yes. Helen has the same third grade teacher that Si did, and I notice, by way of informal observation, that this teacher, who has a reputation for being "strict," also seems to get classes made up of well-behaving children. After two years in a row with Helen in the craziest class in the grade, wouldn't it be nice to have a year in which there WEREN'T weekly class therapy sessions with the school psychologist? Notice how I am assuming that in the Venn diagram of "crazy drama making" and "Helen's class," Helen falls in one circle but not the other. I guess we'll find out!

Si too. Of course, in middle school, drama is one of the required electives. But his first day's assessment of his teachers is 80% awesome and 20% OMG I can't believe she's so strict. One teacher looks to be a tough customer (not a bad thing, from a parent's perspective, although it does make me shrug a little: guess we'll be struggling with social studies this year) and by Silas's report the students were flabbergasted to have their Spanish teacher actually speak in Spanish on the first day (which made me wonder what his Spanish teacher spoke LAST year. Hmm.)


Speaking of class therapy sessions, my work - which has been kind of a wild ride lately, what with office reshuffling and staff restructuring and general let's-shake-it-up shenanigans - had an employee workshop (class? all-day retreat?) last week. You know, one of those team-building things where someone comes in from the outside and works with us on how to get along better. The particular topic of this class was assessing our social style - kind of like the Meyers-Briggs personality test, only focused on how other people perceive you.That was about as pleasant as it sounded, especially since we also assessed ourselves and then got to compare how our personal assessment stacked up against everyone else's assessment of us. I assessed myself as kind of a bossy person who usually speaks my mind, and everyone else (well, five people) assessed me as kind of a retiring introvert who analyzes everything to death. Well, the to death part wasn't on there. Still. On the one hand, I'm pretty sure the assessment is accurate. On the other hand: boo. Here I thought I was kind of the life of the party, in an understated way, and it turns out I'm just who I've always been. The serious one who doesn't talk much. Plus somehow I managed to overshare during class to the point that I kind of wince every time I think about that day - did I really tell all of my fellow employees that I'm tired of being thought of as boring? Apparently I did, as no fewer than three people have come up to me since and said encouraging, buck-me-up kind of things. 

Helen always gets irritated when I grip the wheel and holler "Buckle up, Buttercup!" but sometimes it's the best way to cheer me up about the constant go-go-go-ness of things. And man. The summer wasn't exactly activity-free, but it was a languid stroll in a rose garden next to having the kids in school.

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