Monday, September 04, 2006

Nothing like waiting until the last minute

I'm working today. Yes, on Labor Day. It's the first day of classes and as someone who supports the work that goes on in those classes, I can't really miss. Plus I missed Friday because of the mystery illness.

School begins for the kids tomorrow and my own class begins tomorrow.  None of us are quite ready. The kids were to read at least one book and write a book report. They read a ton of books over the summer and they are just now writing their reports. It will be their main goal today. I've been saying something to them about this nearly every day for the entire summer. They've waited until the day before school starts. Mr. Geeky says, but they've read a ton of books and then I say, yeah, but if they don't do the cheesy assignment they've been given, it won't make a difference how many books they've read. Which, of course, pisses me off. Because not only do they have to do these reports, but they have to read "certain" books. Can you think of any better way to make a kid hate reading than to say, "You can only read these books and you have to write about them in this way"? Yeah, me neither.  I don't see why the kids can't be encouraged to read as much as they want and to turn in a list of the books they've read and if they really need further proof, maybe they can write or draw something about their favorite. The structure of public education is beginning to wear on me.

The kids went shopping this weekend for clothes and school supplies.  I dropped Geeky Girl off at a friend's house on Saturday and the mom informed me that she had packed all 4 of her kids backpacks already.  (Please, you SAHMs out there, tell me this is not normal behavior.) When she asked me if we were ready. I said, nope, I'm going to buy stuff now. I think she was a bit flabbergasted. I explained that I'd been pretty busy getting prepared for my college's classes to start. I had actually planned it this way. Unless I'd done my shopping back in July, this was the only weekend school shopping could happen. We'd lost Geeky Girl's list, so we had to make some educated guesses.  I'm sure she'll come home on Tuesday with a new list.

And it's not just the kids who are pushing things to the last minute. I, too, am still tweaking things for my class and only have the first three weeks of the syllabus worked out. Actually, I don't like to be too structured in my syllabus and allow the class to determine some of the direction. For now, the rest of the syllabus will consist of the order in which the readings will be read.

Does all this waiting until the last minute stress me out? Yeah, a little, but to me, when you have this much to juggle, you just have to learn to deal with these last minute things. It will get done and really, what harm will come if it doesn't?

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