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Finding a Routine

27 August 2008

Cate asked, “Did you get unpacked and comfortably moved back in? Are the girls back to school yet?”

We’ve unpacked everything we brought with us to New Hampshire, but the attic and basement are still full of things like ice cream dishes and soup crocks, Christmas cookie cutters and photo albums. Strangely, the Consort can’t find most of his underwear, and the girls are doing laundry more often than usual. This is my first experience with this sort of packing gremlin. Where the heck is their stuff? I suppose I’ll find it as I work my way through the rest of the boxes…

The girls started school last Thursday. Trixie is in 7th grade at the same middle school Impera attended. The class is split into two “teams” — as the younger child, she had hoped to be on the other team (the Blue Team) than her sister was on, so as not to have teachers tell her, “Oh, I remember your *sister*! She was such a good student!” … Because as we all know, younger sibs don’t really appreciate that sort of conversation. In the end, she is on the same team (the Orange Team), but other than the science teacher and the social studies teacher, the faculty have changed enough that she’s feeling secure as her own person (and the sci. teacher and the soc.studies teachers are fabulous, so she’s happy to have them, as well).

Impera is a ninth grader — a high school student now. There were a few scheduling mistakes we found on the first day, but the counselor at the Central Campus (I’ll explain in a sec) is really great and she took care of it before Impera’s second morning. Our school district runs centralized advanced placement classes, so that instead of each high school (there are 6 in our city) hiring and paying salaries for upper level math, literature, science, etc., teachers, these classes are all taught at the Central Campus. Kids are bused from their home schools for whatever portion of the school day is appropriate for their needs.

Impera spends 5 of her daily 7 class periods at Central. Last night was Parent Information night at Central, and, holy moly, those kids are kept busy! I hadn’t realized that after this year’s classes, she’ll be taking AP classes in all her subjects. In science this year, they are covering a year’s worth of chemistry and a year’s worth of physics. Did I say, holy moly?

We’ve always told the girls that they need to play one instrument and participate in one sport. For both girls, this has been violin and fiddle (Impera) or clarinet (Trixie), and fencing (both). Before Impera started high school, we told her she should consider doing a school sport, as well. The Consort suggested cross-country running. That’s what he did in high school and he thought the sport would be appropriate to Impera’s skills, too. So, she joined the team. The girls are friendly she says, and the coach and his assistants are helpful. The season runs from now until the beginning of November. It’s a short season, sure, but practices are every day after school from 3 pm to 5 pm. Needless to say, we aren’t seeing much of Impera these days. She leaves the house at 6:30 am, gets home after 5, and then tucks in on the homework that keeps the rest of her evening busy.

It took longer than I expected to get Internet connected again at the house, so it wasn’t until Friday that I had even a chance of connecting. I’m still having some issues, and things won’t be solved until this Friday, but at least I can get online and retrieve mail from my clients. They were all accomodating during the move, but now the projects we postponed a week are at full throttle.

Which is why it should have come as no surprise that our telephone/answering machine died yesterday morning. I still need to replace it, but I refuse to spend weekday work-time shopping right now. And I hate shopping on weekends because the stores are so crowded. So, I won’t have an answering machine until next week, I suppose.

Oh, and the Consort invited a visiting colleague for supper on Saturday. (Did I mention that lots of our stuff is still in boxes?)

So, yeah, it’s busier than I had expected.

(Oh, and the tenant left big bags of dog food open downstairs (for the entire year, I’m guessing), so we’re currently on a massive mouse-capture initiative. We’ve caught a mouse each night for the past several nights. I sure hope we reach the end soon!)

12 Comments leave one →
  1. Three of Four permalink
    28 August 2008 8:44 am

    Yikes! Sounds very busy indeed!
    I’m glad that the girls are enjoying their return to school. I hope the high lasts all year & that the Consort finds his underwear. πŸ˜‰

  2. Three of Four permalink
    28 August 2008 8:46 am

    Hmmm. Seems the underwear goblins are at work on your comments. The one I just posted, disappeared!

    Sorry things are still a little hectic, but I’m glad that you are all getting settled.

  3. Peaceable Imperatrix permalink*
    28 August 2008 9:38 am

    Yeah, your two comments were in the spam folder. I wonder why that is? (Did you change your email address or something?)

  4. cowgirl permalink
    28 August 2008 10:40 am

    welcome back to the chaos πŸ™‚

  5. 28 August 2008 11:32 am

    Mice! What a lovely present from your tenant.

  6. 28 August 2008 12:09 pm

    Good to see that things are getting back to “normal.”

    I like your city’s approach to the AP classes dilemma. Next year when all of her classes are at Central (or even this year, for that matter), to which sports team will she belong? Does Central have its own sports teams, or does she retain membership in her neighborhood school for extra-curricular activities?

    My engineer is in third grade, and the homework burden is a big jump from last year. We are struggling with how to manage time enough to get it all in, as well as Cub Scouts and youth group starting next month. He wanted to join the choir this year, but I just can’t see that being feasible; maybe at the semester if he can learn some of these time-management lessons. If the storm hadn’t woken him early this morning he would not have finished.

    Meanwhile, the princess is in first grade, and fretting that her teacher doesn’t love her enough to assign homework!

    There’s never a dull moment. πŸ™‚

  7. 28 August 2008 3:08 pm

    Wow – hard work! I wonder why the US has such a poor academic reputation over here? I got very good GCSEs and A Levels and I never worked that hard! Sounds like your schools are a lot more rigorous than ours.

    Glad you’re home safe and settling back in. We had mice for a while. No fun. Hope the rest of ’em leave soon!

  8. Peaceable Imperatrix permalink*
    28 August 2008 4:42 pm

    cowgirl: I probably could have done a bit longer before chaos started in!

    Katharine: Yes, isn’t that just so sweet?

    Cate: You “belong” to your home school. always and forever. πŸ˜‰

    When the girls were younger, they’d get homework packets from their teacher: all the week’s work on Friday, due the following Friday. It helped them learn to schedule a bit of homework every day, and helped them learn to plan stuff like that out. Does your son’s school do that? As for your daughter, how about getting one of those workbooks, and she can do “homework” out of that?

    B: I should mention that Iowa has a great reputation for its K through grade 12 education. Iowan students score highest in the nation on the SAT (a standardized test for college admissions used mainly by East and West Coast universities) and second highest on the ACT (a similar test used by Midwestern universities).

  9. 28 August 2008 5:40 pm

    Back to school in August? Gosh. Next week, here, and the independent schools still have at least a fortnight’s holiday.

  10. Cateling permalink
    28 August 2008 11:24 pm

    We shall see how this teacher ends up sorting things out. We might have a week or two of “breaking in” left.

    I offered to pull workbook pages for my daughter to do as homework, but no go. They HAD to be from the teacher or they didn’t count!

  11. Peaceable Imperatrix permalink*
    29 August 2008 9:29 am

    Z: Yep. The schedule here in Iowa is pretty wonky. Most school districts do start in the second half of August. They all must submit a special request to do so, and they do! A few years ago the local paper did a report on it, and it seems to have something to do with high school (American) football schedules. In past years, we’ve had days so hot (most of the schools are not air conditioned) that a day or two of school had to be cancelled in the first few weeks. Stupid system, if you ask me (but they haven’t).

    Of course, that means that the kids are out by June 5, at the latest, and the kids like that, alright! (in the UK, kids are in school until July, aren’t they?)

    Cate: Sounds to me like the teacher may need to be in on a little plan, eh?

  12. 29 August 2008 11:17 am

    Yes, our kids were in school until July 11th this year, but don’t go back until next week. That homework sounds about on par with what ours get loaded with. We do the instrument and sports thing as well, but the boys do far more than one at the mo. It helps that some of the sports are integrated into the curiculum.

    Glad things are starting to feel more settled.

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