We went to Riis Beach for one last splash this weekend in between the madness of the kids’ first week of school and Mom and Dad’s first day teaching. The water was warm and we were there at high tide so the waves came up and were really impressive to look at and play in. We got there in the afternoon and the kids and the cousins stayed in the water for three straight hour, until we beached them (pulled them out of the water as unwillingly as mermaids and a merman). It was a wonderful end to the summer of Jacob Riis Beach visits (and Aunti ‘Neene couldn’t make this one). I guess I should mention also that we might not be able to ever go to Coney Island, The Coney Island of yore again: and I’m sad about that (Sigh).
I’m getting excited about my new classes, though, again the “new preps” are spelling lots of reading and extra new work. In a strange way I’m excited about teaching new classes in new ways, but it is always a lot more work. I wish that I had just settled down and done my regular preps, but I think that that is just a way to stagnate. While I want to improve my ENG099 skills/practice and get my ACT pass rate back up to where I started, developing a whole new prep for the common reading like I did last year just doesn’t excite me like trying these new classes.
At Opening Sessions I was talking with President Mellow and I mentioned that Dr. Katopes once published a book of fiction. I, somehow, ended up saying that I’d read it and send her my review. Getting a hold of it will be one of the problems that I have to overcome here: me and my big mouth.
When I started blogging my tentative syllabi for the coming semester I got some interesting hits from people who’ve taught the same books, been taught the same books and are interested in the graphic novels I’m teaching. The dialogues that began as responses to the posts went on as ecorrespondences that have given me interesting ideas and pointed out problems I might face. The internet can be helpful.
Oh Yeah, And I’ve got to give a quick update on the kids: Lennox is a big Kindergarten Girl at PS150 now. She, on Friday, left me at the door for the first time. I think she’s full of her new status as a big Public School Girl, and the wry pride I see on her face as she turns to say goodby one last time at the PS150 Kindergarten Annex on Across the street from our house is priceless.
Mason, who is still at PS150 is full of his new status as a 6th grader. That is big at the school and he has the upper-classman-swagger that is nice to see after a summer with girl siblings, girl cousins and a girl world that didn’t fit him. He also started Soccer on Saturday, and I see the life coming back into him each moment. The Schoolyear is a rebirth for all of us.
Chandler is just so great. She is growing into her new role as seventh grader like a beautiful garden. She has her metrocard and rides the subway to and from her school (chaperoned) every day seeing the world of the New York commute like, well, a New Yorker. Everyday she has a) tons of homework, b) complaints about the subway and commuters, and c) some really keen observation about the world she’s out there witnessing. I think that this exposure is making her more comfortable here in New York. I know that this independence will pay dividends, though I am nervous about her spreading her wings.
Yesterday Auntie Elena got tickets for a Broadway play for Linda and Chandler so Mason Lennox and I went to the Museum of Natural History. We all met up at La Caridad for dinner afterwards. The play was a great experience for Chandler and Linda, who chattered on about detail after detail of the matinée. We went to the mythical creatures show which the kids were really into (though I was a bit disappointed by). For me the real fun was when we got lost looking for “Dum-Dum” (at the end of the Margeret Meade hall) where we saw all sorts of animals and exhibits we never look at when we come with a plan. I think I’m going to stop getting maps when I go to museums to let the hand of fate guide me through the exhibits. It was great.
They are all growing well, Thank You God.