Om Namah Shivaya


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I have to say that my school year has been great so far...

and I really hope it continues...of course there are going to be many many days in the near future where I don't feel good and have to do the bare minimum for a while but damn it's going well right now.

The 2010-2011 school year, my 8th, officially began on Thursday Oct. 12th. I was slightly nervous about how the kids were going to "receive" me (the 8th/9th graders, not high schoolers); but I put my awesome
"1st day of school" outfit on, wrapped my leopard scarf around my head and rocked it out. I was standing outside the choir room with Mr. Young (he is the orchestra director at RHS, has been with the district for years, is very nice and helpful to me. He's teaching 8th grade Orchestra with me as well...I'm glad to have him to learn from), anyways, I'm standing outside the choir room, greeting all the students as they walk past...(imagine the following in my best teacher sing-song voice)..."Goood Morning sir! How are you today?", "Lookin' good ladies but put your badges on please. Around your neck, not in your hand :)" "Boys! You *almost* have it all together! Pull those pants up now...thank you :)"

To which I get some smiles, a few stares, but mostly kids going about their business and aside from the Orchestra kids, no-one pays me any more attention than normal. This is good. Seeing those ninth-graders walk in...sheesh...I had these kids when they were in 5th and 6th grade. I remember how geeked out and excited they were in 5th grade when they started playing and how some of them couldn't figure out how to even hold it for a while! *laugh* I can't wait to see/hear them play and watch them develop into even better players.

A few of the kids asked me what happened to my hair or "Why yous wearin' a scarf Mz. Stout?" :) They're so silly. Granted, they've definitely grown out of the joyous 5th grader stage and into the moody teenager phase but they're still good kids. I told them and when the words "Breast Cancer" came out of my mouth I heard a few "awww"'s and they all sat up a bit straighter but they took it in and one girl even said "Psht. You got this licked Mz. Stout".

That was nice.

The second day of school saw me in my purple dress (forgot to take a picture) with energy to burn. The
nausea switch had been flipped off overnight and I was ready and rarin' to go. Runnin' around on the marching field that morning I must have been a sight to behold. Roster in one hand, gock block in the other I was ready to get down the names of the kids in the band. From kid to kid I went making it fun and silly..."Noop...don't tell me! You're Tonya! No, Wait...who are you?!" :)- Ha. It was fun and useful, I had their names by the end of the rehearsal. Too bad it was friggin' hot and I was all revved up on coffee and feelin' good that I got all hot and bothered by the end of the period. Nothin' like gettin' all prettied up for school only to sweat it out on the marching field first thing. Such is life.

I went to happy hour after school with teacher friends from school. That was the first "meal" I ate with a modicum of success in a week. I was happy. Happy to be feeling better, happy to have a beer in my hand and fried green beans in front of me, surrounded by the people I've known and taught with for 7 years, going on 8. Even though we were at two different buildings, we were still together. Laughing, talking, joking, was good.

Yesterday began the first full *week* of school. I'm not fully entrenched in my actual schedule yet; one of the advantages of my position. I start my day with band at Ruskin then I'll have three back to back 5th grade Orchestra classes with a good plan period for travel, and lunch as well from 1135-130, then I get to end the
day with *my* class, 8th grade Orchestra. *eek!* That's right folks! Ol' Patty's got herself an actual bonafide CLASS to teach! My name's even on the roster! :) It's pretty frickin' awesome if I do say myself. When this blog post is done I'll be working on classroom expectations posters thank you very much. :) So because I'm not up and running with 5th grade quite yet (but that does start Thursday with demonstrations) I've been able to take advantage of the "free" time to get quite a bit of work done. So far I've made my Handbook, Classroom Expectations/Policies and Procedures handbook, contracts, posters, lesson plans (still a work in progress), spruced up my office, LOA's for Drum Line, 5th grade beginning letters, demo instruments, 8th grade technique books and started pulling some music w/the help of Rod (Mr. Young). I've put together a seating chart form, put my substitute folder (which might actually get used this year and isn't just full of "fluff") together, and gotten to know Mr. Tope better. He's quite a riot. Just call us "Old D" and "Double C". I'm *really* glad I have him to learn from.

Oh and I'll have you know that I totally *rocked!* my shoes/outfit yesterday, and I thought it was quite a
riot that the gift the Ruskin staff made for me totally matched it as well. At Friday's happy hour I met Shelli Copas, counselor at RHS. She came over to me, introduced herself and said "Stop by my office Monday, I have a little something for ya." What? I was a little stunned...I mean, I didn't even know this gal and here she was telling me she had something for me...I was intrigued. :) So I stopped by yesterday and she handed me what you see in the picture...a pink chain of good luck, love and positive vibes (although whoever wrote the one about how to prevent bullying behaviors either didn't get what they were doing or was making some sort of joke w/me that I totally don't understand but whatever, thanks anyway). It now hangs on my office wall and is just really cool too see all the time.

Yesterday afternoon was a great way to start the week...Drum Line rehearsal...I swear I had a spiritual moment. it came when Kiestan just broke out of his shell and totally owned the quints, even making Mitchell jump back in surprise. I *knew* he was gonna make a good quint player...I think he's on his way. Then came the first time the basses just purred up and down the entire time without a falter between them. Oh that made a whole lotta joy burst outta me! Then the snares all phased into one another for a long moment of time and it was like they were one. The cymbals splashed above them all, adding their own sparkle to the group. Oh it was a beautiful thing. Please check it out. We still have quite a few things to do, add, change, polish...till we're competition ready but I know they're going to do great. I can't wait to see it; I'm gonna bawl like a friggin' baby I just know it. Please come support them if you can. Their most accessible competition is on Saturday Sept. 18th in Raytown. I can't remember at the moment which high school it is but I'll let ya know in a comment. :)

So then today I got busy finishing up, and altering some work I've been working on and had a good session with 8th grade. Had a good day with Tope and even garnered a compliment from him. Organized up my area at RHS, especially the music, got the quints rim guards on and a head changed out. Ate a good lunch while I worked on my "Oops" passes for 8th grade, then printed out some forms I've been needing and set up the room. It's good to be busy. I only wish the Drum Line would have had time to play Grizzly this morning as the Band was putting their stuff away. That would have made this day perfect...but there's always tomorrow. :)


  1. Loving those outfits, Miss. Especially the first but the pink scarf is fab and the jacket in the last pic is really nice. How energetic were you before you got cancer? You sound like a human dynamo. Superwoman!

  2. Haha! Thanks jaljen. Belive it or not cancer has brought me down a peg or two but on my good weeks (which this is) I'm almost back to normal. There's still many things I'm not going to be able to do (first football game especially) that are gonna eat me alive but that's the trade off with having this stupidness known as breast cancer. In the meantime where's my cape? :)