Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Back in the School of Things

School is in full swing again. It started last Wednesday for the younger two and on Monday for the oldest. Back to school means a lot of things:

  • back to biking -- and, oh, man, after, really, all of the spring and summer away from it, it was a lot harder adjustment than I thought it would be. Not the actual doing of it, but, evidently, my butt got out of condition, and it had an argument with the bike seat the first few days. My younger son said the same thing. My daughter, however, just gloated about how comfy  her seat is. [I have to add here that it was my daughter's fault we didn't bike through the spring. She caused an accident by arbitrarily stopping that ended up with me flipping over my bike and breaking the rear axle. Yeah, it took me a while to get around to getting it fixed.]
  • back to making lunches in  the mornings  -- Of all the things related to school, I hate getting up and making all of the lunches the most. I've tried doing it in the evenings ahead of time, but, evidently, I hate that even more, because I just won't do it on a consistent basis.
  • back to badgering the kids about getting their homework finished -- Yeah, I hate this one, too, but lunches are worse.
  • back to quiet during the day allowing me to focus on writing for more than 12 minutes at a time before I'm interrupted
  • back to teaching creative writing! The class will be two days a week, this year. One day will be for writing and reading and the other day will be for technicals such as grammar, punctuation, and story structure. [My son will only get to be in the class half of the year because of Spanish and art, which are both required while my class is just an elective. He's not happy about it.]
  • back to reading The House on the Corner! I've been asked to read the book to a new class of kids this year. I'm actually pretty sure none of these kids have ever heard any of the book before, or, if they have, it was years ago while I was still writing it. I think, though, this is the in between group that has not had any overlap from the reading in either of my son's or my daughter's class. At any rate, none of my kids are in this class this year, so it was a nice surprise to be asked to come in and read by a teacher that does not have one of my kids in her class.
Speaking of reading in classes, I found this
in our family folder last week. It's a thank you book from one of the classes I was reading in last year. Each kid wrote me a note, and some drew pictures.
A picture of the house.
Me reading to the class.
The thank you book was completely unexpected and completely awesome.

Since I'm going to get to spend more time on the technical aspects of writing this year, I'm going to be doing some posts related to that stuff. It makes me glad to be able to work with kids interested in writing and help them to develop their technique at an earlier age than most people get to. I mean, most of the writing samples I run across online aren't any better developed than middle schoolers', anyway, which makes me wonder what happened to their schooling, except, then, I remember the state of the education system and the lack of importance given to anything in the arts, which includes knowing how to write a decent sentence, and I quit wondering, but, then, I wish they would take it seriously enough to learn how to do it rather than just blowing it off and writing in 1st person because they think they can get away with it that way. I don't know... maybe, grammar lessons will be boring, but they will probably be accompanied by a decent amount of ranting, which can make pretty much anything entertaining, so I guess we'll see.

Hmm... It seems like I had one other thing for this post, but, if there was something else, it's gone now. At any rate, for those of you with kids going back to school, I wish you a very merry school year. Or, you know, the nearest approximation.


  1. I used to lead kids on nature hikes when I worked as a Naturalist at a state park. Loved the thank you letters they would send me a few days later. Really made me smile.

    My kid started back last Friday. Took awhile to get used to the quiet house, but it's awesome to have the entire day to myself again to write.

    Oh, and stop thinking of first person writing as a cop out!!

  2. Think it would be fun to teach the kids. (Fun for someone else that is.)
    No kids, but I always make my lunches in the evening. I'd starve if I had to do it in the morning.

  3. Retired, no kids, lunches made at lunchtime. Ain't I lucky?

  4. Work has been so busy with back to school stuff.

  5. All my kids are grown up now, but I used to hate the very first day of school because they each came home with loads of papers that needed to be filled out by the next day. :/ I got writers cramp getting them all done. I once since a note saying: Can't you use his brothers papers?

  6. L.G.: No, I don't think of 1st person as the cop out; I hate it when people choose 1st person because they are copping out. There's a difference! (And I only say is at all, because I've seen (traditionally published) authors saying it at least half a dozen times. It bothers me!)

    Alex: Come to my house and make lunches!

    Jo: Bah! :)

    Michael: I hate back to school stuff :/

    G_G: Oh, we get all of those at the end of the previous year. And I've tried that thing about why can't I just do this once for everyone, too. Seriously. Why do I need to provide contact info 3 times?

  7. I hate making lunches for school. I don't know why, I just do. I do make them the night before, though, as hubby gets up with the kids in the A.M. except when he's on business trips.

    You've got an exciting year ahead of you! I am so enjoying this, my first year with both kids in school all day. I got SO MUCH writing done Monday, which was the first day.

  8. I have the kids pack their own lunches before they go to bed. Even Lillian who is only 4. I do check them. I leave for work before they get up for school. I am trying to reduce the chances of yelling from Dad before school.

  9. Shannon: I wish I had already been writing that first year when both kids were in school. I can be slow like that.

    Stephanie: Oh, man, I would never get my kids into bed if they packed their own lunches. It's hard enough getting them into bed on time as it is!