Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Last Day of Summer

Whoever said that the summer solstice was the longest day of the year had clearly not spent a day with three children who go back to school the next day. They are beyond ready and were literally doing laps around the dining room until thing 1 and 2 made enough noise to wake up sleeping beauty and we walked in the rain to the delightful Market Street Market for a breakfast treat of scones and a insanely sophisticated and expensive collection of cheese and baguette for lunch.

Yesterday’s series of open houses seemed really to get their juices flowing. I have to admit to having absolutely no enthusiasm for Eli’s start up. We have so far had a home visit, a meeting with the teachers, a visit to the classroom and a back to school picnic. This is his third year in preschool and over the weekend he informed me that he would get potty trained if I got him a new “waptop” I don’t think he needs to ease into things.

The big kids meanwhile do need some start up. When Jonathan suggested last night that maybe I should teach music history at their school and that he and Rebecca should both be in my class I knew we were headed for our usual fall transitional awkwardness. Rebecca thinks the school music teacher could use some help since she did not know that men can sing with very high voices so the music history thing made some sense to her. Once we move on from the home school fantasy though they both have lots of friends in their classes. Rebecca and two of her equally loquacious little girl friends already seemed to be taking control of the classroom. They had a lot of loud exploring to do before someone suggested meeting the teacher. He’s the new guy, extremely earnest, and looks about twelve. Best of luck to him. (and when did teachers and doctors become so young that they could be my children) The low point of that event involved loosing Eli. The kids were doing some moving between each other’s classrooms and Manuel and I each thought the other one had Eli. Suddenly we noticed he had gone on walk about. Thank you Tracy Weaver for locating him calmly and deliberately walking towards the door of the building way out of sight. She said something like “aren’t you Jonathan and Rebecca’s brother. Let’s just go ahead and find your family” before he took off into the mass of elementary school kids. The potluck in the evening meanwhile turned out to be a picnic. So after complaining all day about how much I hate potlucks, refusing to cook and sending Manuel to buy potato salad we arrived to find no food for our cranky kids to eat. (they don’t like potato salad)

In an effort to keep the kids and their equally enthusiastic friend busy today we have eaten expensive gourmet food, had a chamber music festival, started four bored games, put away exactly four pieces of laundry, and had various group meetings in which we discuss possible activities. As for the chamber music I need to send a shout out to Jim Ford who first introduced me to string playing in the public schools and must have tolerated an equally cacophonous joy on a regular basis. Ours was particularly delightful with Eli the hard rock guitar as accompaniment and Rebecca using the piano as percussive accent. Now they have settled on a game called Freedom Fighters which involves saying things like “Tell King George we’ll pay no taxes” Eli has inserted King Pharaoh into the mix.

In other exciting news I got a new Mac lap top on Friday. I finally might have the whole thing configured to my liking. Despite all of the fabulous things I’ve heard about Mac tech support I did talk to one delightful young person who suggested that if 16 was not a big enough font for my menus perhaps I shouldn’t be using laptops. I treated him to a rather extended bibliography of things I’d done on a laptop followed by a lecture about the hegemony of the visual and the inappropriateness of tech support people offering personal advice. I never got my fonts worked out but a little righteous indignation always feels good. So if anyone can figure out how to make Mac menu fonts bigger and how to find 400 tunes that got lost from itunes in the migration we will happily pay you in booze and cookies. I’m sure that in addition to the various kinds of therapeutic loud rock that must be in the 400 that there will also be hard to come by teaching and research examples that I will only miss the night before a lecture.

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