August 26, 2013

This was the first day of school with the whole staff present! Lots of people, and it was fun to meet some new folks. I’ve met quite a few from the Portland, OR area and a few from Washington, so the Pacific NW is well represented here. I also met someone here today who is my exact same age. We share birth DAY, MONTH, and YEAR! I’ve never met anyone like that before!! Oh, and I met one of my daughter’s classmates from WWC too! Today I got the keys to my room and met with the “specials” teachers. I didn’t get a chance to see my room, as I then had to attend a “vertical” team meeting with the middle school (MS) and high school (HS) music, art, and drama teachers. On the way to this meeting I began to truly get a picture of what it is I’ve been hired to do: literacy intervention. I’m trying not to let this news deflate my excitement balloon. I’m really more qualified to do this anyway. So, I think they picture me using mostly reader’s theater to help students read more deeply.  I’m trying to rapidly shift my thinking and figure out how to make this fun for both my students and me. I hope to meet with the “support team” tomorrow. I think I will talk with the principal as well.

I also learned that in most international schools there are 2 years of kindergarten (KG). In the US we call the first year pre-K. They call it KG 1 so that companies will pay the tuition fees for their employees. In other words, they will pay for KG, but not for preschool or pre-KG. I will be working with the KG-2 (so 2nd year of kindergarten or 5 year olds) through 5th grade. This was also news as I was under the impression it was 2nd – 5th.  Again, I’m trying to hang on to my optimism.

Meanwhile, my buddy teacher (the MS/HS drama teacher) really did and is doing a fabulous job of looking after me. She had arranged for me to buy last spring a whole lot of household items that most of my first year colleagues are having to purchase new. I got a 32” flat screen TV, DVD player, crock pot, microwave, toaster oven, clothes drier, toaster, electric hot water kettle, iron, ironing board, mops, brooms, wastebaskets, shower rod and curtain, extension cords, 2 sets of sheets, 2 sets of towels, comforter and cover, dishes, plasticware, cookware, and miscellaneous other things.

Earlier this evening, the power kept snapping off in my apartment and another apartment 2 doors down. There are 4 apartments per floor in my building and there are 5 floors. None of the teachers live on the ground floor, so that just leaves 1st -5th .  The singles building and the family building both have 13 floors, plus the ground floor and basement, so the annex, where I live, is a tiny relative just outside the walls.

I’ve also discovered an easy way for me to figure the time difference (rather than counting backwards from whatever time it is). On the east coast add 5 and change the am/pm (you-on the east coast – would subtract 5 and change am/pm), and on the west coast add 2 and change am/pm (you– on the west coast – would subtract 2 and change).

Photos done!

I have been working really hard at getting things stashed and stored so that my realtor could come take pictures. It finally happened today and the listing should be active as of tomorrow! I have butterflies in my stomach, but I think it is mostly from excitement! There is still lots to do, but showings could start happening soon. This will make for creative packing so that things can be stashed again for when people come through.  I would say the thrift shop is getting the majority of my stuff and not always gladly. Yesterday, my dear friend, Jena helped lug stuff over there and when I told him I had two carloads he said, “You do not!” I assured him I did and it was all he could do not to roll his eyes and groan. 🙂

Meanwhile, I still have not checked out from school as I have boxes there too. I have one or two more to pack up from there and then I’ll have to turn in my keys. That brings a mixture of gladness and sadness. Many of the people I have worked with are like second family to me and I will miss seeing them on a regular basis. I am so excited for Kuwait and the adventures it promises though. I figure I’ll be back in this area and will be able to check in with these friends again. 

Now I’m ready to take a little break from the strenuous prep for a few days. I think I’ll have some eye surgery. No joke, I’m having laser surgery today on my left eye. The right eye was last week. It is amazingly NOT traumatic. I can drive myself home afterwards. It is to repair a small tear in my retina, as was last week’s. So I’ll probably head in to school tomorrow to continue that project.