Archive for August 30th, 2015

Dreamsnake

Terrible dreams last night.  In one, Stubb had been diagnosed with leukemia, and I felt helpless and panicked and out of time.  This dream was mostly about my feelings, which is why it seems as though it might be a teaching dream–about the anxiety of not knowing what to do and feeling that whatever one does, something terrible will happen.

Well, that and the fact that it happened two nights before the first day of school.

In the other, I was on the last day of a visit to Hometown, and I realized I’d forgotten to visit my grandmother.  (In real life, she died in 2009.) I was trying to figure out how to see her and also do the other things that mattered to me, wondering if I could also stop by on the way to the airport the next day, thereby having two visits.  I was also horrified at myself for forgetting, but unwilling to give up any of the other plans I’d made.

This could easily be a dream about teaching and administration.  Or it could simply be the residue of having spent quite a lot of minutes this weekend trying to figure out how to use the weekend well.  I split yesterday among course prep (reread 1984), errands (restocking the fridge and pantry, laundry), yoga, and conferring with N. (my mom’s friend, who is extremely handy, retired, and always up for a project) about a broken faucet.  (He went to Home Depot to buy a new assembly and ended up coming back with a more plumbing-oriented handyman he’d met there, who installed it for $70.  A good use of $70–N. could certainly have done it, but he wouldn’t have done it as fast, and he’d have had to buy supplies that this man had in his truck.)

Today, Sunday, the big thing is going in to campus to finish prepping the things there that didn’t get done during the week of meetings and interruptions.  I tried to figure out how to go to yoga and to Costco before going to campus, but the hours of both put me on campus too late for my own comfort, so I’m going to school first, then my mom’s to pay N. for the faucet, then Costco, maybe to my in-laws’ for a quick visit (should also call to see if they need anything from Costco), and yoga tomorrow night.

Here’s to peaceful dreams tonight!

New leaf

Feeling better.  Stubb and I have tentative plans for a weekend getaway in a few weeks.  And my brain has been taken over by the excitement of going back to school.

I have never had so many meetings in one week!  Fortunately, they were generally worthwhile, and some of them were excellent, with actual decisions being made and positive actions being taken.  The new AHS doesn’t say a lot, but what he says is very much to the point.  The new Head of School is more voluble–no surprise there–but he is also pretty concise and extremely thoughtful.  They both seem to be making tremendous efforts to meet people and to understand the institution they’re now steering.  I invited them both to come to the English department meeting, and they did!  So now they can recognize the members of our department and they’ve gotten a sense of what kinds of things we are working on, individually and departmentally.

Dinah and I are on a faculty committee to advise the new HS on the transition–that was one of the better meetings this week.  I think we all agreed that it feels good so far.  We did raise a couple of the most prominent grumbles of the moment, which seem to us to be symptomatic of our ongoing challenges with internal communication.  So it’s not that everything is perfect, but that the right notes have been struck, both to reassure and to infuse with enthusiasm.  While there is definitely a sense that the leadership has changed, that leadership seems congruent with the direction in which the institution has been trying to move anyway.

This week of meetings is actually challenging in a way I don’t think I’ve noticed before.  It’s important and fun to spend time with adults and have lunch together and organize our classrooms and make plans for the year ahead, but it’s also a week in which we are not performing our core function of teaching–and are maybe suffering from opening-night jitters–and it’s therefore a week in which many of us are easily unsettled.  Within my department, I fielded a few overreactions–at least that’s how they seemed to me–and I am greatly looking forward to everyone getting busy with the main business of our jobs this week.