Twenty-one stories

Oh, that last post was so many library books ago.  I’ve read the fourth volume of Knausgaard’s My Struggle, put the novel  Hausfrau aside after growing impatient with it, read some of the new Lydia Davis collection (her work is so concentrated, I can only read one or a few pieces at a time), a Sarah Manguso book, some of Ken Jennings’ Maphead, some of Beverly Daniel Tatum’s Can We Talk about Race?–a What Now? recommendation.  Still several very desirable books on my holds list–who knows how many of them I’ll get to (the reissue of Oreo by Fran Ross, the Oliver Sacks memoir, a different Sarah Manguso book, the Pierpont novel mentioned in the last post, Sarah Hepola’s Blackout).  Still need to get to those school readings, too.

Twenty-one days left of summer.  Or, rather, until the first day of school–of course there will be a rising babble of school-related noise over the next three weeks.  Murmurs begin tomorrow, as I meet with our new associate head of school, the man who’s taken the GGE’s position.  Most of it, that is; having been at SA so long, the GGE had become the person to whom one brought nearly everything, and it’s surely not possible (or desirable) for the new AHS to be that person right out of the gate.  Even in the waning months of the school year, I thought I was seeing greater autonomy from Ivanhoe and other senior administrators; they seemed to be making decisions that would previously have had to go up the line to the GGE or the then-Head of School.  A good development, too, I thought; the place has gotten too big to be overseen so closely by two people. I asked for this meeting to go over a few immediate questions about our department before the school year begins; it may be that some of these items are not things he can decide on, but he seems like the right place to start.

I’m anticipating a lot of much-needed growth and change in our organization and our processes, with a certain amount of accompanying confusion and uncertainty.  In some ways, I reflect, having two new bosses (for that’s what it is, really) is like starting a new job–one can’t count on being a known quantity.  I’m not nervous, but I am curious and excited.

So I’m preparing more carefully for this meeting than I otherwise might.  And yet I’m also aware that an important part of this meeting–arguably the most important part–is simply getting to know the new AHS and letting him get to know me.

Meanwhile, I’m plotting once again how to use this chunk of time, these three weeks, as school overtakes more of my time and energy, but before we’re well and truly immersed in the new school year.

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