Thursday, September 11, 2003

So Once Upon a Time ...

A blonde "guy" stole this winnebago, and then I had to get a lame web host and lose a month or two of updates. Argh.

But! I have not despaired entirely since I now have my shiny, new hosting, and my blog seems to be cooperating. Yay!

So let's see - where do I start. How about August.

Early August was spent one weekend in Florida, one was at home, then there was the family reunion up by Peoria, and I think that left one weekend for the SweetCorn festival here in town before Kindergarten started.

Florida was nice. We only had a quick weekend trip because I am not supposed to take vacation in August. It was Bill & Nita's 50th wedding anniversary, and they were kind enough to include Jack and I in the celebrations, so we made the trip down there. It had been since May that we'd last seen Rose, so it was great to spend even just those few days there visiting with her and the rest of her family.

Our reunion was just fine. Amazingly, it was not a scorcher, there was a nice breeze, and plenty of activity on the Illinois River to keep the kids entertained. Aimée and Craig weren't able to come this year though. Grandma also didn't make it because she was still recovering from a chest type cold from her trip up through Canada with Uncle Frank I think.

We also had a house-warming party to attend for Phil and Cristina. They bought a house in the new subdivision that was built behind our old duplex neighborhood in Urbana. She had tons of family there, and Phil's mom even came up from Florida.

Jack started school at Stratton on the 28th. We were able to meet his teacher ahead of time at Teacher's Night, and she scheduled brief meetings with parents as well the Tuesday before classes. So far things are going really well. I think she and I are similar enough in our teaching ideas that there shouldn't be any clashes, and all of the kids in Jack's class seem genuinely nice - if a little bit rambunctious now that they are settled in - but no more so than any of his classmates from Marilyn Queller.

There are only supposed to be 16 kids in his class, but even now after two full weeks of school, I have only met about 10 of them. Jack's teacher said that some just don't come or only come late in the afternoon. Very odd. The ones I have met though, I already have their names down, and they have played the "No, what's your real name?" game with me a few times, too.

Jack had his visit with the Enrichment Specialist the other day, and it looks like she and his teacher are going to be pro-active with Jack (Yay!) and give him opportunities to do homework, extra activities, and projects with the bigger kids. I haven't had a sit-down chat with Ms. C yet, but she acknowledged that he is far enough ahead of the other kids that he needs to be doing more to keep him occupied.

This is a good thing too because he came home "bored" the first few days of the rule reciting. Then, about 1-2 days a week since then he has come home grumpy, and I think it is just out of boredom. The after-school program is there in the building, and that was chaos there for a while, so we went and had a talk w/ the Family Information Center. That helped a lot. Today Jack was still in the cafeteria with all the other kids, and they had them working on "homework." He was at a table with 3 older students doing a math activity, lol. Too funny.

Let's see. Work is work. My job description is changing in duties if not on paper. I will be taking on more project management type responsibilities now. We've had a pretty successful opening this semester, and the Dining reports have gone over well. We hit a few rough patches this week interpersonally, but I am hoping that will pass over.

I am looking forward to a vacation though, and I am hoping to take one soon. I would love to have a brief break before October hits because then Jack and I will be going to play rehearsals almost every night of the week. I have to plan for the days that school is out - I have winter break to think about - and I can't believe that will put us in 2004.

Today is the 2-year anniversary of September 11th. I was reading on the news that the tribute at Ground Zero had children reading the names of the people who died. I didn't think about it a lot today, but maybe because my morning started off with a lady calling in to a radio station talking about how her daughter was born that day. And, she tries to think of all the people who were born and the people who died, but she couldn't even get past her first couple of sentences without choking up. I didn't want to go through my whole day like that. Without realizing it this morning, I wore one of my red/white/blue shirts, and I had my bracelets from Jill on too. I had a good cry listening to the kids reading names tonight, and then I had a few chuckles at an editor's article on how he reacted on that morning in his apartment only two blocks away. I'm glad nothing has happened today to mar these rememberances.

One more thing - the book of the year that our director picked out is "Warriors Don't Cry." It is an accounting of the integration of Central High in Little Rock Arkansas by one of the girls from the "Little Rock Nine." I am only half-way through it, but I would highly recommend it to anyone. It is not a textbook - it is the telling from a 15-year old's perspective of her world. I shake my head reading it in some passages that people could have actually believed what they did and treated other humans the way they did - but then consider that it still happens today, somewhere, it does. And, we've just passed it right along to other "Different" folks. Why else would a Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender high school have existed in NYC? I think for our society today, we are at a strange mix of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy of the military and the segregation of the past. How hard is it to realize that this is the world we live in, and people are who they are? You can try to change systems, and governments, and rules - but you can't force people to change into what they aren't. Haven't we learned that yet with even the "simplest" of requests? Aren't women always accused of trying to "change a man," and men inform "us" that it can't be done? So, we can't change behaviors but we can change sexuality? Riighhht. Yeahhh. Makes all sorts of sense.

To quote our beloved werewolve from the Jossverse (that dwindles daily it feels like): "The kind that's not."

And with that, I must get out of here. I am sure I will think of 20 things I forgot to add the second I "ctrl-alt-delete-S."

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