I started this three days ago on the first day of school. Three days. It feels like two weeks. One one hand, momentous transitions are happening and life is speeding along—Julia in high school and Coming of Age at church. I have a class to teach beginning next week. On the other, we are still doing “homework” to keep up with math and reading and I’m juggling buses and pick up days to get figure out Julia’s fall therapy schedule, and struggling with respite needs.
We had a few, anxious days last week trying to make heads and tails of the new high school world. A long meeting with the art teacher who may be on board, the gym teacher who seems like a nice guy and the case manager. I had been rather a bitch to him on the phone the day before—unanswered emails and case manager switching leaving me trying to get in touch with the wrong person were my excuse.
The meeting managed smoothed over a few issues — yes, she will have chorus (which we signed up for but did not appear on the first version of her schedule), art, gym and biology with typical peers. Reading and math in the special ed cluster which I don’t yet understand. I don’t know how a cluster differs from the small group work she did in middle school. I have the feeling that there will be a lot of computer programs to individualize work of a largish group. How much learning and advancing goes on and how much busy work is a question that I have no way of answering now.
Then we had the long weekend and we had almost nothing to do. We worked in the garden, tidied up outside, swept and hosed down the deck. I started working on the very old kitchen cabinet that will eventually go into the dining room.
We spent a healthy part of Monday shopping for school clothes and found a few things but came up short on skirts. Julia loves wearing skirts but most of what we found was too short and somewhat inappropriate for school. These are her opinions, she has a modest streak a mile long. She styles her clothes in unusual ways, putting colors and textures together that I would never dream of, but the kid is no floozy.
Julia came home from the first day of school exhausted. We laid down and listened to a guided meditation before heading out to a cello lesson and church meeting in the evening. It was too much for her but she made it through.
Then on Wednesday, it turns a bit chillier and the wind pick up and suddenly it looked like fall with a smattering of colored leaves on the ground and the need to close some storm windows and turn on the heat —just a little bit — to dry out the cold damp that had crept into the house.
Reports from Julia about this first week have been pretty positive. She watched youtube videos on papermache sculptures for her first project in art and brought in her sketch pad to show her art teacher some of her ideas. She is enthusiastic about biology and remembered to ask me to sign class contracts and permission slips. She had a good deal to write about in her daily school journal.
So far, so good. And the bus failed to pick her up only once. Forward!