Category Archives: school

our first first day of school

Today, our boy had his first day flying solo at preschool. My wife has been visiting our lovely little Montessori with him for over a month, and he has very quickly fallen in love with the school and his teacher. Today, when J dropped him off, he did not cry. He gave her a hug and a kiss, watched her leave from the window, and then got to work. He came home positively beaming with pride because he knows he can do it now. He knows this is a great new step. Tomorrow, I drop him off. I can’t help but think it won’t go nearly as well, but I have hopes that it will, that he’ll see it’s going to be great. I am under no illusions that he won’t ever cry, but I do think we’re turning a corner with our boy of the persistent separation anxiety.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But seriously, how do I have a kid in preschool?

 

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Filed under Boy Genius, school

school!

I can’t believe it, but I think we finally have a school for our boy. It’s a somewhat affordable Montessori near where my wife teaches. We took BG there today for a visit, and while he was terribly nervous that we were going to leave him, before we left, he managed to learn how to cut apple pieces, enjoyed some time with a lock box, and even procured a snack. I could see very quickly that this is where he’s going to thrive. We’re going to start him in a month. It’s going to be rough financially having him in school that costs at all,  but we’ll start him at just two days a week–two days when I can get quite a bit of work done while he’s gone–and work up from there.

I can’t believe how excited I am about this. We have natural Montessori leanings anyway. We have always involved BG in our daily activities, letting him help where he wants, encouraging exploratory practical play, so today when the director asked us what BG likes to do and what sorts of activities we encourage, it wasn’t so much of a surprise that she called us “Montessori parents.” It seems she thinks we’ve done great work in readying him for a school such as hers. We couldn’t be more thrilled.

I know it’s going to be strange being without my boy two mornings a week, but to know that he’s going to be somewhere that allows him to thrive the way he knows how to thrive makes me all tingly. That such an environment is also going to teach him to be gentler with his peers, to tolerate other children more, well that’s just a bonus, isn’t it?

I can’t believe we’re already here, at preschool, but we are, and I’m totally awestruck.

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the new girl

I don’t handle being the new girl very well. I was never really a new girl when I was a kid because I went to the same school from Kindergarten through 8th grade. When I went to high school, I had my friends with me. When I went to college, it was different because everyone (at least in the dorms) was new. In my former teaching positions, I taught amongst my mentors from graduate school, so I still wasn’t exactly new. But now, I’m the new girl, and I don’t like it.

Yesterday was the first day of school. I had to get up at 5am, leave by 6am, teach at 7am. The morning was fine, as was my commute, but arriving at school, things weren’t so fine. As the new girl, and a part-time, adjunct faculty member, I’m one of the people who matter least to the other faculty. Being an adjunct is a weird deal anyway. We’re part-time, have no job security, make less money for teaching the same classes, don’t get health benefits, and don’t have a voice in department decisions. We’re a step above warm bodies. So being the new girl and being an adjunct (at a place where I was turned down for a full-time position) is wearing on my confidence. It’s difficult to join conversations with those who have been there for twenty years, who see me as some green youngster who isn’t part of their community. I’m sure it will happen to some extent, but I left yesterday after my class feeling fairly dejected. To be honest, I came home and cried in J’s arms.

It didn’t help matters that my first class yesterday was frustrating. Half of my students didn’t show up because there was no room number on my classroom door! Some of them showed up near the end, so I had to give my opening talk multiple times. None of them laughed at my usual jokes. They were still asleep, still adjusting to being in their first college classes ever. They asked no questions and responded to none of mine. That class is going to be a tough one.

But there is always a silver lining, isn’t there?

My evening class was a different story entirely. It’s on this brand new campus with beautiful new buildings and lots of excited people. I arrived to find a coupon for a free coffee beverage in my mailbox, so I used it for a chai and got ready for my evening students. I met another English instructor, and she was lovely. This campus is a satellite campus to the main campus. It’s an adjunct. Many of us who teach there are adjuncts. People are nicer, more eager to bring one another into the fold. On top of this, the students were fantastic and fun. They laughed at the appropriate times, asked questions, and were generally eager to participate. I can tell already that they’re going to be a good group. When I came home, I walked in the door smiling and excitedly told J about my experience. I’m sure she was relieved that I wasn’t crying again.

And so it begins. I’m teaching again, back in front of the classroom where I belong–for now. It’s going to be an adjustment teaching these new people in these new places, but I’m welcoming leaving the house a couple of times a week for work. Working from home, as I usually do, can be a lonely venture. Now I just need a sense of collegiality, a feeling of belonging. I hope to find it before long.

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Filed under new beginnings, Ramblings, school, teaching writing

To Do

In two short weeks I will be teaching again. Cue the panic. I am teaching two classes that I have taught at other colleges, but not at this one. I am teaching a student population that will be somewhat familiar and yet completely different in this new locale. I am utterly freaking out. And so, I have to start planning my days a little better. With that, comes many, many to do lists. This is my first. I won’t share them all here, but maybe if I have something listed on my blog, I’ll actually remember to do it (Thanks for the inspiration here and here).

  • Spend quality time with my wife when we aren’t talking about students.
  • Cook and eat luxuriously long meals with my wife before we have to rely on the grab-and-go meal or the reheating of weekend leftovers.
  • Read the texts I’m assigning. It seems weird that I would order texts I haven’t read, but that’s what we often do. And I don’t really have to read the whole things, but I do have to familiarize myself with them enough to assign readings appropriately.
  • Plan my classes and write syllabi. It’s been so long since I’ve had to write a new syllabus with new course requirements, new college policies, new everything. Ugh.
  • Find some clothes that I can teach in during hot weather. Before, I had clothes for cold, rainy weather and clothes for cool, foggy weather. Those were essentially the same clothes with added coats, scarves, and umbrellas as needed. These same clothes that I wore in 40-70 degree weather will not work in 80-100 degree weather.
  • Learn to wake up at 5am so that I can teach at 7am.
  • Learn to be coherent and nice at 7am.
  • Join a gym so that I have something productive to do in the eight hours between my classes (I believe I’ve mentioned I’m teaching a hell schedule. Two days a week, I’ll teach from 7-9am and then from 5-7pm. These classes are in two different branches of the college in two separate towns that are fifteen minutes apart, both of which are around thirty minutes from my home. Gas prices, guilt, and practicality preclude me from driving back and forth mid-day, hence the need for something to do.)
  • Come up with some creative, romantic, fun, and inexpensive means for celebrating J’s birthday on the 13th.
  • Send in paperwork to cryobank so that we can inseminate as soon as the paychecks start rolling in.
  • Complete paperwork and other new faculty steps for new school, including fingerprinting, TB tests, and who knows what else. For the record, I’ve been fingerprinted and had FBI background checks performed on me three times just this year.
  • Watch many movies and much television without any guilt that I should be grading papers.
  • Read at least one book for pleasure.
  • Spend at least one night drinking and not thinking about what time I have to get up the next morning.
  • Revel in the absence of papers to grade.
  • Cut and dye my hair. I’ve given up on growing it out, and I’m tired of the mousy brown. I want a hip, short cut, and I want some color (anyone seen any really cute and hip styles that would look good on a femmy, fluffy, thirty-something queer professor type?) The dying of the hair, by the way, will ensure that I get pregnant this fall because then I’ll have to find a creative way to disguise my outgrowth midsemester. Maybe my students will get to see me with a shaved head.
  • Design a new tattoo and get it.
  • Remember that I love teaching. 

This is overwhelming. I think I’ll have a beer.

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Filed under school, teaching writing

She found me.

It finally arrived. All that talk of tampon crafts seems to have brought on my period, and not a moment too soon. I thought my hormone levels might make me run around the block naked with my hair on fire soon. I was not a pleasant person this week. Poor J.

We have to turn in grades today. This will be our second to last step to complete our jobs here. The final step will be this official process called “separation” where we will walk around the university obtaining signatures stating that we don’t have any outstanding library books or media equipment or oven mitts. This process is not a new thing for us, though. It’s something we have to do every fall because at the end of the semester, we lose our positions at the university. It’s depressing as hell. The campus is nearly empty. The heating is turned off. No one there is very happy because they’re still working, and all of the faculty are officially on break. And it always means good bye, but this time, it’s really good bye. So it’s going to be sad, and I think we’ll be doing it tomorrow, and I think we’ll need drinks afterward. Big, strong drinks.

 Other than that, I feel like I have so little to say right now. Perhaps I’ll post a holiday craft update in a day or two, for I will say I’ve been crocheting up a storm, and we’re also about to have our annual candle-making extravaganza. More to come on that later. For now, I’m going to snuggle up with some cats, do some math to figure out what my students earned this term, and go to the eye doctor to get me some new specs! It’s a big day in the Reproducing Genius household.

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Filed under drinking, Lasts, Period, school

Emerging

Wow. I haven’t blogged in ages. I’ve finally emerged from the mountain of papers though. I stayed up all night last night grading–until 5am (not even a drop of caffeine!)–and I finished. Today I met with my last class. They were an amazing group of people–mostly in their thirties–and they apparently loved me. They wrote me these sweet letters and gave me hugs, and were shocked that I wouldn’t be teaching for awhile. It was a good send-off, and I managed to avoid crying, which is amazing considering my state of mind today. Now I just have to calculate the final grades, turn them in, and my teaching career behind the Redwood Curtain is over.  Wow. Wow. Wow. I’ve had a few teary moments, a couple of major breakdowns and panic attacks, but the ball is officially rolling toward our move.

In TTC news, well, there is no news. Not any very good news anyway. Actually, that’s not true. I’m just being negative.

Amidst our paperwork issue, I tried contacting Mr. G again, asking him–in a somewhat cranky tone–what was up and whether he was still interested in helping us, etc. He responded immediately, shocked that we would think otherwise, stating he was waiting to hear from us, that he was wondering if we might be pregnant. He apparently never got the “It didn’t work email,” so who knows what happened, but the guy is really a good guy–he’s just been busy this year, and hell, so have we. The short of it is, he’s really on board, which is very reassuring to this PMS-crazed lady. It won’t work out for him to send a donation this month due to the aforementioned Yuletide Ovulation, but he let us know that he’s ready to order more supplies as soon as we’re ready. We also reconnected a little as far as sharing happenings in our lives, which I think was important for all of us. It’s a lot easier to see that he really does want to help us when we’re actually speaking to the guy.

So this takes some of the pressure off of the paying for sperm/getting paperwork corrected issue, but that also means no spermsicles under the tree. It pains us both to go yet another month without trying, but there must be some reason for it. In the meantime, we get to have a festive holiday–even a wild New Year’s Eve if we want it–and that’s probably important with all of the emotion of finishing our careers up, leaving our best friends behind, and embarking on unfamiliar territory.

Oh my god. This is really happening.

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Filed under drinking, Ramblings, school, teaching writing, ttc

Early Morning Blather

After a good weekend full of Halloween-related activities (including a trip to the pumpkin patch and a wild ladies’ poker night!), J and I are ready for this week’s insemination. In fact, I originally thought today would be the day, but now it looks like I won’t ovulate until Thursday or Friday. This is good in some ways because it’s a stressful week of conferencing with students and grading every bit of their work that I have in my possession (read: a lot). But it will pose some interesting problems with timing if we have to do it Friday since we’ll be at a department meeting half the day. (Excuse us, colleagues, we’re just going to slip into the bathroom–together–whilst you all discuss our new remediation policies. That styrofoam cooler? Uh, that’s my lunch.

The problem is that this has been stressing me out. I keep wondering where the EWCM is, why I’m not feeling especially fertile, why I don’t have my faint line on my OPKs. Ultimately, it’s just because my body decided to throw me for another loop and start ovulating later again, but on Monday, I had myself convinced that the pain killers I had to take for the burn had stopped any eggs I had in their tracks and that I was going to have an anovulatory cycle (NO!). Now that a teensy bit of EWCM has shown itself, I’m just convinced that my ovaries have slowed down with the cold weather or laziness or as a cruel joke to keep me on my toes. Either way, so long as I pop an egg out, and there’s viable sperm in there to meet up with it, I’ll be happy.

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Filed under insemination, ovulation, Ramblings, school, sperm, ttc

Yes, I am still alive.

I’ve been such a neglectful blogger lately! Part of this is because we are in midsemester hell at school. Part of this is because I was out of town for the weekend. And part of this is because I’ve been battling the blood. I also couldn’t stand to push my wife’s sweet, sweet post down on the page. She’s so wonderful. 🙂

For about twelve hours at the beginning of this week, I thought I could potentially be pregnant. My temperature dipped and then spiked again, which was pretty weird. As it turns out, it was probably because the heater was left on all night because that very day, the blood came.

It’s been a rough week all around. Going out of town this time of year does that, though. Fortunately, things have started to look up. I had a good exchange with Mr. Goodman about some changes we would like him to make. He will be using a more effective, mainstream shipping procedure (and still paying for it himself despite our many offers to help!), and I will be giving him a three-day window during which he should check his email twice a day. He was very agreeable and more than happy to make this process smoother. We’ll see when the time comes, but I certainly feel more positive than I did a couple of weeks ago when I knew I was ovulating and the sperm was still twenty-four hours away.

J and I still have to figure out whether or not we want to invest in some spermsicles this month too, and we have to make that decision by tomorrow. Maybe using two donors would be the magic key–and maybe it would be money thrown down the drain. It never fails to infuriate me that these banks are charging an arm and a leg for what teenage boys spew into a sock on a daily basis. Ew. No, I’d rather not think about that now.

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Filed under Ramblings, school, sperm, ttc

slump

Teaching in the fall saps every ounce of creativity and motivation from my bones, hence the lack of posting here. I have too many classes, too many students, and too many hours in the day when I have to be at school. Frankly, I need the distraction of TTC again. I need to be consumed by something besides work.

It’s a sad thing when I ovulate and barely notice it. That’s what happened this cycle, and I’m even charting. I miss the excitement of those first few months of discovering this process actually happens in my body, and knowing that soon it would even be important that this thing happens. If all goes well, I’ll be eager for the next one to pop out–if Mr. Goodman ever returns from his overseas trip! Perhaps we should have put something in the contract about him not being able to leave California without both of our signatures. That wouldn’t be weird or possessive or going too far, would it?

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Filed under Ramblings, school, The Break, ttc