Saturday, September 3, 2011

Where? (Or How School Stole My Brain)

You know, when I decided to move, take a new position at work, two weekly group meetings, AND add a tutoring job to my agenda, I did not expect to be on a month-long furlough. No, not even remotely what I had planned on.
Oh gee and golly..

It's not that there hasn't been anything to say--in fact, there's been plenty . . .
I just can't remember any of it.

See, I'm at that point where I can't even remember what day of the week it is. Today is Saturday, right? I didn't just randomly skip work? It is? Oh good. I was worried there for a moment.

Where it used to be that I had three or four days out of the week with little to no commitments, I now have one. Sort of. I also have 80+ essays and/or assessments to grade on a regular basis. Time management was never my strong suit, and now I'm having to learn it fast. Phew.

Twice a week, I tutor four adorable kids, ages 4-13. For the two youngest, I use Angry Birds as a motivator . . . laugh all you will, but do you have any idea how interesting it is to try to keep a four-year-old boy doing homework? Frequent breaks and motivators are a must. And golly he's so cute. His seven-year-old sister is in on it, too. "Mrs. Bocci," she told me one day, "you introduced us to a game, and we fell in love."
Yes, Angry Birds will do that to a person.
Wednesday, we al had the bad case of the wiggles, so we took a ten minute break to play hide-and-seek. The thirteen-year-old even joined us.
And we still got all our homework done on time. Whoop whoop. Love these kiddos.
Even the sixth-grader with such a powerful sense of justice that he wants to nuke Italy for their crimes as the Roman Empire. Oh, how I laughed. Sweet kid, sweet, heart, love that justice . . . but it was interesting trying to talk him out of that.

The new job, teaching middle school, is awesome.
I love it.
It's hard work, it's time consuming, but golly I just love the material and I LOVE these kids.
And you want to know what's really, really cool?
They love me.
They even call me "hip." I haven't been called "hip" in . . . . well, ok, never. A couple drew a note on my board before class on Friday reading "We LOVE Mrs. Bocci!" Oh warms my heart.

It took me a couple of weeks to accept that they sincerely like me. I was scared out of my wits before parent orientation--where we overload the poor parentals with oodles of info on the school and how we run the classroom, and all I received were compliments . . . and it freaked me out.
"So, Sarah, I have heard wonderful things about you after your orientation," my mom said in a phone call.
"Oh really? That's good . . . and frightening. Now, I absolutely can't mess up. Like ever. I started high, and I have to keep it there."
"Sarah, everyone loves you. No worries."
"No, really. All of these compliments are so intimidating. Like all these good things people say, they scare me. Like I have to be perfect forever, and I can't mess up because if I do then everyone will hate me and . . . "
"Sarah, honey, that sounds a little mental."
No kidding. But I'm better now, promise.

Actually seeing kids and parents happy with me has helped, lots. Seriously, I'm greeted with full-out grins.
Considering that several of those parents are school staff/faculty or somehow know my mother, I think being on good terms with them is a good thing.

We have made steps in finishing up the cottage. We still need to spruce up the exterior (possible new paint job and definite yard work), so once that's finished, there will be before and after pics. We still need to finish putting things on the walls in most of the rooms, but it's looking a little bit more like a home. Just a little bit :]

All that to say . . . soon, I'll be reorganizing my brain to actually tell you some funny stories and post pics of the home in progress, but, for now . . .
I'm sorry, but braindead. A zombie may be able to type more coherently than I can at the moment . . . and that's frightening.


  1. Yay!! I loved reading all about life in middle school! And I'm dying to know who you're tutoring. Do I know them? You should FB message me and tell me :-) And it doesn't surprise me at all that you are doing so fantastically in middle school. Anyone's who has ever met you even once can tell that you live and breathe literature :-P Besides that, the 7th grade class is a hoot, with some of the sweetest girls around. I LOVED subbing for Amy last year!

    I'm glad to hear that you're settling in to the Love Shack (aka The Cottage, Dream House, etc.), and I can't wait to see pics!

    I totally understand the whole lack of time for anything but school. I feel like if I'm not writing lesson plans, I'm THINKING about writing lesson plans, or worksheets, or year long plans, or (even worse), trying to think up viable ways to assess them... Oy vey...

    Hang in there, my friend. I miss you!! Say hi to the hubs and the cats for me :-)

  2. I'm glad to hear you have so much good stuff going on :) looking forward to seeing the pics when you post them!


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