The Obligatory Back-to-School Post

One week down. I'd know how many to go, down to the last day, if Eve had the same teacher as last year, because that teacher kept track of how many days of school were left. She also knew how many days were left until her retirement, but she seemed to really enjoy teaching despite that.

Eve was up until after eleven the night before the first day. I think it was partly a shifted body clock from summer craziness and partly excitement. I was a nervous wreck (not for any good reason, just because overreacting is who I am and what I do), and trying to hide it, which was less easy when she ended up in bed with me from nine-thirty on watching the clock and speculating on how she was going to feel going to school the next day on 'one hour of sleep'. She tried reading. I scratched her back. She cuddled her Build-a-Bear with the heartbeat. She wouldn't listen to music because she's convinced that if she goes to sleep listening to music she gets nightmares -- I tried to explain to her the inherent unreliability of anecdotal evidence, but she wasn't buying it.

I don't know how all the other schools do the first day, but I hate, loathe and despise the way our school does it. At 8:15 they open the doors to the gym and everybody crowds in and has to move around in unmoveable conditions looking for the big piece of paper with their kid's name on it. It's hot and airless and really just adds immeasurably to the crappiness of the experience. Last year when we found the list with Angus's name on it the teacher wasn't even there yet. I was happy with the teachers they got, though. Angus has the same teacher he had in grade two for English, and she really got him -- if he said his stomach hurt she'd tell him to have a snack and put his head on his desk for five minutes before letting him call me. He has the male teacher he had for math last year for French, which is good because he loves him, and bad because the guy's French is really quite bad, but oh well. Eve has the teacher Angus had in grade three for a month before things got switched around, and I like her, plus I'm kind of relieved she doesn't have the teacher I was afraid she was going to get. I think of her as the mean teacher, but that's not really fair. Pam's daughter has her, and as Pam puts it, "she's serious. We're silly". I'm sure the kids would be fine, but we might get in trouble. I'll probably be thinking up creative ways to bust Pam out of detention before the end of the year.

The last couple weeks of summer were lovely. Eve and I hung out with Sabrina and her super-delicious two-year-old (and her dog -- it would be a near thing to say who Eve loved more) for a morning, and went shopping for school clothes -- this was the first time she actually wanted to try things on. I'm pretty sure that she not only has a better fashion sense than I did when I was seven, she probably has a better fashion sense than I do now. It's kind of annoying.

I'm journalling this and I know it must be really dull for anyone who isn't me. I'm wobbly and uninspired. I went for a couple of walks and baked an oatmeal cake. I'm trying not to fall back into bad habits on the sleep and diet front, with... mixed results, let's say. Maybe I need a mean teacher to whip me into shape.


Julie said…
i like these journaling posts. it's a brief moment in time in pure and simple thoughts.

glad the teachers worked out, well maybe for the french teacher that can't speak french.

sucks for pam.
Nicole said…
Our school does a similar thing, except it takes place in the courtyard with teachers just holding the papers with class lists. So you have to have some sort of idea who the teacher might be to find out which teacher you have. Confusing? YES.
Pamela said…
I love the title - obligatory back-to-school post - haha! I'll be doing one next week when my boy starts JK - yikes! Not looking forward to it. And I can so relate to being uninspired right now. Maybe once the kids are settled in school we'll get our creative juices flowin' again.
Anonymous said…
That does sound like kind of a nightmare of a first day.

At our school all of the returning students went to their old classroom on the first day for 30 minutes, to take attendance and find out who their new teacher would be. And the kindergartners lined up in the gym for however long it took you to get to the front to take attendance and confirm you interview slot. It was actually fairly non-hectic, but a waste of a first day since we were home within the hour.
The Mayor! said…
Yep, that first day used to find us checking out boards in the foyer too...then they began posting it a week ahead so if you wanted to wander over & take a look early, you could...we did! Then last year they finally went back to the good ol' days the way we used to do it...putting it on your last report card, the teacher & room # you'd have for the following year. We are all MUCH happier with this "normal" system!!
Sandra said…
I know right, little girls nowadays are so fashion savvy!
You two are so close, I could practically feel it!
Ms. G said…
Mine wouldn't go to sleep the night before either. The next day they were excited and popped right up at 5 AM like they needed to. The next morning? It was back to threats of water buckets. The one nice thing about having them in highschool is that they go to orientation on their own. I get to skip that zoo!
Shan said…
We have none of that at our school because it's so small. Only 160ish students in the entire school. We have one teacher for each grade, so you never have to wonder who's class your kid will be in. Abby was remarkably calm about starting school, but Maya... oh my she's just a bundle of nerves. I can't wait until she starts (Wednesday) so she can stop being so anxious and nervous all the time.
Anonymous said…
I love the title of this post. You don't know how many "obligatory" posts I've read in the past few weeks. And your school's first day intro? Horrible. You poor thing! (And the kids, of course.)
I have no idea how we were allocated classes, but I'm pretty sure it didn't involve finding your name on a list in a crowded hall. Sounds uncomfortable!

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