September 08, 2009
precious little class

Today was my first day of classes for the year. Well, there are several generalizations in that statement. 1. We had two full days of meetings last week, so "first day" is a little unclear. 2. I spent the entire day, less an hour, working a Grade 9 BBQ with Teija, so I smell like propane, meat & sweat instead of anxiety and shampoo and there was precious little "class." (Is there ever?)

There was still an hour in there where I had to shine, even though I was trying to shine through weariness and grease. On the long-ago advice of Lucretia Nightshade, I have begun every class of my career in identical fashion: with an alphabetic seating plan denoted by nametag index cards on desks. The idea is that I would set up the room for them before the bell and stand at the door to greet them. Every student gets a handshake, a smile and direct eye contact as we introduce ourselves. Then they get a slip of paper, directing them to write certain facts on their name card.

Every year I start this way. In the beginning it was hard to smile because I was so nervous. In my first years I would kick out early birds so that we could do the whole thing in one go. Now that I'm into my 8th year, I'm getting so incredibly confident that I don't even do it at the door anymore; I can wander around the class getting people set up while kids trickle in. For a class like my current crop of 11 Faiths, this is crucial as they do not arrive at once.

I have come such an unbelievably long way.

I'm still trying to take care of myself in a manner befitting a girl who spent a summer getting trained in her backyard. Yesterday my whole family went to the beach for my end-of-summer ritual of not-thinking on Labour Day, and by the time I got Blake to bed I was completely fried. I did not want to do anything but sit on the couch and feel sorry for myself. Somehow I managed to keep a training date with Nic. So while I sweat buckets and the mosquitoes bit again and again, I practiced my jabs until all I could think of was my form. It was better than a sleeping pill.

Today was also Blake's first day of Grade 1, and his first day of all-day school in a long while. My parents are more keyed up about it than Blake; they're obsessing about his lunches and if he can handle staying in with his friends. Personally I would rather go through the stress of packing lunches and give him a chance to see his friends in other classes, than break up his day. I suspect that the trial period of lunches in my kitchen are more for my parents' sake than Blake's, but I suppose that everyone needs to get used to the new year, all the way down the line.

On a considerably more frivolous note, I made Blake ice cream for breakfast. As in, the yarn kind of ice cream, with silly smiles. Pictures soon, plus stories of my Sunday with Owen Pallett and the scary guy who harshed my mellow!

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Don't make me send out the Blake. He doesn't listen to *anyone.*