Wednesday, July 2, 2008


I believe that today should be, "Take your blog readers to work with you day." Sometimes I forget that I'm not completely a SAHM (stay at home mom.) I guess I'm a ptsahptwahptwohm.

There. Easy enough. I'm a part-time stay at home, part-time work at home, part-time work outside the home mom. Makes perfect sense to me. I teach two courses per semester. Unfortunately, the classes are in the English department. Well, not that's not really unfortunate since my degrees are in English and I like it. What's unfortunate is that English classes have lots of homework (essays) to grade. So that means that I spend at least two hours per day at home grading papers. So I'm home, but not really. I love my job. Reallyreallyreally love it, and I am not being sarcastic. The very first time I taught a class way back when I was student teaching, I knew I was in love with teaching. I still feel that way now. So, come on. Let's go to work!

It's 5 p.m. During the last two hours, my four children have been picked up from school, begun their homework, not eaten the dinner I prepared, and collected the materials or equipment they will need for their evening activities. That would be soccer gear/piano books/dance stuff/scout stuff/Bible study stuff, et cetera. Checkered has arrived home at some point in this process and there is a mad dash for the right kids to the right cars. Actually, since I work during the evenings, all the kids head to Checkered's little bitty car and head to their activities and I get in my big car all by myself and leave for work. There's real beauty to our system.

I have a work commute of exactly one mile. Sometimes it seems just right and other times it's way too short.

Here we are! Welcome to my evening home away from home.This is the faculty parking lot which has been conveniently placed right next to the buildings. It is designed to please those faculty/staff members who appreciate retaining a little extra wiggly jiggly in their walks.

Now look this way and you will see my building. It's a lovely architectural design. Notice the short college students to the left. Aren't they cute? They just had their fist fight interrupted by their annoyed mother a certain astute English prof.

First stop, the faculty mailboxes. Over the span of a school year, there will be hundreds of bribes, love letters, and offers of full-time work late essays placed surreptitiously into my mailbox.

At last, the classroom! My students are quite shy about having their photos taken. Notice how they turn away from the camera. Where, you ask, are the other 18 students? Well, of course, it is 71 degrees outside. Enough said. It is also 6:35. Class began only five minutes ago. They'll drift in eventually. Chillax!

I understand that I have been a bit tough on school teachers of late. There was some crazy reference to movie watching. Anyway, what will those students be doing in Dr. Caution's class tonight? Is that a television?????To be technical, the television is playing a movie. A MOVIE DURING SCHOOL!!! Okay, we are studying visual argument/film criticism. So of course we had to watch John Q in class before the students could present their projects. Please notice that there is no sexual activity taking place among the students. That, in itself, is a victory.

Break time!!! Yeah!!! Let's head out the healthy snack-bar. 3 Musketeers or Fritos?? Choices!Break time's over. Please be sure that your trash in disposed of in the ......Where is the trashcan? Did someone really steal my trashcan? You've got to be kidding me...

Hey! There's my colleague, Professor Really Nice Guy. He's a true intellectual and his brain used to scare me when we took an online training course together. Then I learned he is not only super smart, but super kind. (Are you appreciating my expanded vocabulary here?)

There's another colleague, Professor I-Run-Marathons-and-Still-Teach-at-Two-Colleges-and-Have-a-Family-and-am-a-Very-Popular-Teacher. Her name is a little tough to say quickly, but she is the kind of colleague every person deserves to work with at least once in a lifetime because she is simply lovely.

Well, class is over. Another evening well-spent with Dr. Caution. Time to retire to my spacious office and reflect.

I share this work-space with 34 other teachers. If we ever all show up at the same time, there's going to be a problem.

Time to think of home. There are lunches to pack, outfits to pick for tomorrow, agendas to be signed, faces to kiss, and emergencies to handle ("I forgot to tell you that my teacher said you need to make play do for tomorrow." "Did you remember that I have to have a ______ [supply any random color not currently in your house] shirt for tomorrow?" "Did you ever call Mrs. So and So back today? She said it was an emergency.")

Just another evening in the life of this ptsahptwahptwohm. It works pretty well for me.

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