Is This Normal?

The chaos that is the Kerbers

One day more…

…until we make it to the official start of Spring Break and head to Venice! It doesn’t sound like the weather is going to be great for us, but I honestly don’t care. As long as we can be in shirt sleeves and get outside, I’ll be fine with coming home pasty white with no tan lines. I just want to relax, enjoy my family, get my mind off of work, and feel some warm sunshine. I hope that all of those things can happen.

I always say that the week before Spring Break is one of the toughest weeks of the school year, but this year it is exceptionally difficult to make it through these last five days. If ever there were a more deserved get-away, I don’t remember it. I honestly cannot wait to get there. Can. Not. Wait.

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Another disappointment

Yet again I’ve been dealt a blow by the powers that be in Unit 5. The Assistant Supt. of Curriculum has decided to cut the high school library positions from three (1.5 at each school) to one. That one person will have to cover both schools.  And do all the purchasing  and processing for both schools. And provide direct instruction at both schools. And provide support and materials for teachers at both buildings. And distribute and collect thousands of textbooks at both schools. And send out overdues each week at both schools. And inventory over 40,000 books (counting both the library collection and textbooks) at both schools. And…etc, etc, etc.  Needless to say no one is very happy at the prospect of this devastating cut. It seems like an impossible task for one person, and of course the district administrators don’t seem to be too interested in any of the logistical solutions at all.  They just seem to have a “oh, we’ll work that out” attitude about it all.

But personally, that’s not even the worst of the situation. Because two of us will be cut, and because I am again the lowest person on the seniority list, there was very little chance that I would be the person in the library. The most senior person decided to go back to the classroom rather than face the debacle that has become the library. The second senior person decided to stay in the library, which guaranteed I go back to the classroom. The only position open for which I’m qualified is an elementary art position. So, it’s back to where it all started…elementary art.

I have mixed emotions about all of this. I am wishing I would have kept a lot of my art stuff that I got rid of years ago, that’s for sure. I’m confident in my ability to teach art…that’s not one of the concerns at all. I’m not looking forward to starting over in new building, or two, or three. Almost all of the elementary specials teachers travel, and since these are new positions I’m sure they will be bits and pieces at random schools. Who knows where I’ll be. And meanwhile, I won’t be with all my friends at NCHS. I think that’s what makes me the saddest of anything, because the staff in that building is a really exceptional group of people. Then there’s my ISU teaching career. It could be over. I mean, really, will they want an art teacher teaching school library classes? I guess again, I’ll just have to wait and see.

All of this is out of my control, which is brutal for me. Dave always says that a total lack of control is like my kryptonite, and he’s totally right. I’m doing my best to stay positive and hopeful…I really am. It’s on to new adventures…

Junie B.

Lately Emma and I have been reading the Junie B. Jones series. She is loving them.  I can certainly see why…I’m sure she can relate to Junie B. in many ways. There are days that I can relate to Junie B.’s mom, that’s for sure. Anyway, Dave heard about a Junie B. Jones musical coming to the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts, and I knew that we had to go.  I got tickets for all four of us, even though Ben was insistent that he would not like it at all.  He’s MUCH too grown up and mature for Junie B.

The show was this afternoon, and we were all very excited to go. They had all kinds of kids activities before the show, including coloring pages and games. Emma played “Pin the bow on Junie B.”, “Cupcake Toss” and “Food Fight”.

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Once we got done with games, we headed up to our seats. It was almost showtime! Emma was just so excited.

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I have to say that I loved the show! There were a bunch of cute songs, and they really captured the essence of the Barbara Park book series.  Emma liked it, but she was still not feeling great, so by the end she was pretty tuckered out. I know that Ben liked it a lot, too, but he would never admit it.  But I did catch him laughing and grinning many times throughout the show. I’m so glad that I basically forced him to go. Plus, we saw so many friends there. I swear that every kid we know in Bloomington-Normal was at that show. Such fun.

President Kerber

Today, this came home from school:

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It’s difficult to read, but this is what it says verbatum:

“If I were president, I would put video cameras hidden all over the city. If robbers come anywhere we could arrest them. I can run fast so if someone needs something I can get there fast. I love animals so I will take care of lots and lots of animals. I tell my mom and dad speeches all the time so when I’m president I’ll be really good at speeches about America. I’ll treet all people ekwill no matter how old. I’ll help teachers teach kids more about presidents by writing some of the stuff I do every day. I will probably have a lot of stuff at the White House that teacher need stuff to teach the children. I can probably give you whatever you want to use for teaching the children. I will never forget you.”

I love this piece of writing so much. It sums up a lot about Ben’s personality; the constant desire to do good and get rid of bad guys, the false confidence and delusion that he can run fast, the kindness of wanting to treat people equally (even if they’re old), and the sweet, caring, lovable boy who wants to take care of animals and will never forget teachers. I love that little boy.

Another sick day

This time it’s Ben who’s suffering. Yesterday he was complaining of a tummy ache most of the day.  At first I thought he was faking, but by mid afternoon it was obvious that he wasn’t. He was lethargic, warm, and had that sick breath that is always a sure sign that something’s not right. He spent most of the day in our bed watching movies and doing little else. Around dinner time he went into the bathroom and finally the vomiting started. The poor little guy.

So, he and I are home today. It’s been really nice spending time with him…I just wish it didn’t have to be because he’s sick. He seems to be feeling a lot better, and he even had a little bit of lunch a bit ago. Let’s hope he can keep that down and will be on the mend the rest of the day.

Yay March!

Although the time went relatively quickly, I could not be any happier to see a month go.  I can’t stand February; it’s cold, it’s dark, and there is rarely any sunshine. March isn’t usually much better at first, but at least there’s a light at the end of tunnel with Spring Break on the horizon. Three short weeks and we’ll be headed to Florida for a substantial dose of warmth and sunshine. I can’t wait.

Last year March was so warm that at times the kids were playing outside in short sleeves with no jackets on. I can’t imagine it will be that warm again, but March is hopeful…because we know that weather is just around the corner. I do love winter, but by the end of February, I’m just ready for it to be done. Bring on Spring, March…bring it on.

Late shift struggles

It’s Dave’s late shift week, again, and as before it’s been a trying week.  The kids and I miss having him around in the evening, for sure. I think the hardest thing for the kids is going to bed before he gets home. They really struggle with that. And, since he gets home around 7:45 or so, I don’t even get to see him very much before I have to go to bed. In general, it stinks, and I’m really glad that he doesn’t have to work these hours all of the time.