First Week of School

It’s a Saturday morning.

The boys are outside playing baseball. I’m downstairs writing this blog. This open journal entry.

The boys spent the week going to school at Horace Mann Elementary. Second grade and third grade. I spent the week at The University of Iowa. Undergraduate and graduate classes.

We’ve survived the first week of school.


This place is different than the last place.

Dropping off the boys at their neighborhood school is something of a panic attack. There is construction on the street near our house. The only street to get out of our neighborhood. There is a labyrinthine detour. Eighteen blocks to get two blocks. And then you get to school. Find a parking spot on the side streets. Walk through a mob of children with our children. Hugs and kisses and they go away to school.

Katie has yet to see one of the weekly newsletters the teachers at our previous school sent out. And mums the word on what sort of curriculum they use at Horace Mann. It’s enough to drive two educators crazy. Nothing alarming, really, just different than the last place.

It was a delight to be with students again. Teaching English Education courses with undergraduates and graduate students. I teach in the evenings. My mornings and afternoons last week were littered with meetings and email. I’m nervous about finding time to write. Time for my family. Time for myself. One of the best parts of being a professor is the flexible schedule. I don’t want this new job to eat that up. I can’t live like that. Won’t live like that. So I’m going to need to be careful.

And I’m working with new people in a new place. A new program. They dynamics are, of course, already throwing me. The politics of academia are enough to turn your stomach. Into what? A peach pit of despair.

Peach pit of despair would be a great name for a band.

Friday came and I was emotionally exhausted. The boys too. What a week. This place is not like the last place.


Settling in is going to take time. All of this has been a process. Things are so different now than they were last fall at this time. My mind is racing. My stomach reeling.

All will be well. And all is well. It’s just a lot newness to take in. And that’s what I’m doing. Taking it in.

But I’m not going to do anything productive on this fine, Saturday morning. Other than go lose a couple of games in the new Madden. I’m terrible at the new Madden. I think that’s part of what happens when you turn forty. You become terrible at video games. I’ll keep you posted as to whether or not that hypothesis proves true.

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