All weekend and yesterday prepped for class and graded and made handouts. Halfway to San Jose I realized I had forgotten the big folder with all that stuff! So had to improv an hour and a half of teaching. I think that turned out fine, but it was stressful and made me feel bad about myself for doing such a dumbass thing.
Lunch with my uncle. Got stuff for Moomin's party on Friday. I thought I would be late to pick him up from the bad traffic (and bad judgement) but I made it on time! Only just! After calling 3 people and the school!
Spent about 1.5 hours at school talking with teachers and just hanging out. Somewhat annoyed at opacity of school process. Very annoyed at mysterious crap around "The Test" and about general comments and atmosphere of "he should 'really' be in 1st grade by his age... developmentally... social... maturity.. etc." Oh whatever! What the fuck ever! Plus the attitude that education is painful and they must be saved and protected from it, lest they be traumatized by having their spelling corrected or being taught multiplication concept before Piaget, dead French guy that he is, says it's okay for their inchoate mathiness to possibly handle. Again, what the fuck ever! Annoyed. Anti intellectual hippies! Moomin's essays cute as hell, but stilted from dumb teaching of 5 point essay structure (too undeveloped to learn times tables, yet writing a 5 point structured paragraph over, and over, and over, and over...). Bah. His report card was lovely and I was especially happy to know that he participates more and checks out less. His teachers *are* fabulously nice, and sweet, and love him, and give lots of the kids individual attention and thought, which they can do because it's K-2 and they have the same kids for several years. So I appreciate all that part and their work. I think there is a basic philosophical disconnect... like the "let children just be *children*" attitude... well if they're GEEKY CHILDREN then they need lots of intellectual stimulation! Or, rather than thinking a person is reading "over" their grade level and they don't know all the words so it's not developmentally appropriate, realize that they're learning the words that way, from context and repeated exposure!
At home, I had a million emails to read and answer. I melted down a bit and cried in bed and bled all over and had cramps, the bad first day kind. Entire uterus fell out of me. Blood at the point where it was difficult to handle, and in fact i had been in the tiny miniature elementary school bathroom trying to deal with it... omfg. Out of control. Anyway. I had sciatica on top of that. In fact right now the cramps are much better and volume of insane flow is down to normal, but my whole leg is fucked up and my foot is alternately burning, hurting, and tingling.... peripheral neuropathy or sciatica or whatever you want to call it... I don't even care what to call it. It's so random! Sciatica hasn't happened for months and months. Please let it be gone tomorrow. Oh well! Must endure! Blog, you're where I whine about it so as not to whine to actual people in realtime!
Despite that I whined to Minnie over chat and called xyzzy and whined and got his counterwhine, which made me feel better since god, at least I'm not THAT whiny (as he pointed out with excellent doublethink that persuaded me that listening to him whine was super entertaining and useful... you see his twisted mind and powers of persuasion?) and then I laid in bed with a heating pad feeling doomed some more. I can't see xyzzy for days and then maybe on the weekend for some unspecified amt of time and then not for several weeks b/c of travel, which was a depressing thought and then the meta thought that it was depressing or affected me made me feel anxious. At some point I got up and played with Moomin and fed him a snack, and went out to dig in the garden figuring that mild physical activity would improve my mood and help be a distraction from pain. Also to get me the fuck off my computer for a bit. This worked. I dug up the loathsome stinkhorn red net things that were all over the front yard, and de-spiderwebbed and weeded the secret clubhouse. Then I started hurting again, but Nukie had come over and he and Moomin need some supervision when together, and lots of feeding because Nukie is always super hungry even if he has just had dinner. Got to see Peanut a bit too and fed her tortellini. The Acrobat and Pilot got me tacos from the great taco stand down the street and I'm forever grateful! I sat with Moomin to do homework and went over a bunch of his school papers with him and praised him lots. He sang "Red River Valley" with all the verses and choruses, from the back of a Magic Treehouse book & a made-up tune.
Right when I was coming out of total nastiness and despair, Caraja called me just to see how I was doing as we hadn't talked in a few days, which was really sweet and made me feel way better. We gossiped and she told me a story that was perturbing and yet also impressive. (Detail impossible to blog.) Literary gossip.
Rook came home and took all the right kinds of care of Moomin. They sang songs. They ate ice cream. A bath happened. I did some worky thinking and other stuff, which was interesting and I felt a combination of concern for the issues and excitement that the ideas are exciting and there is so much to learn and think about. Talked with cd and felt slightly dumb and then realized (again) that I'm talking not just to smart people but people who have been thinking about this same thing for several years, and I'm just coming into it from a related but oblique direction, and the fact that I can have a sensible and interesting conversation at all with someone like that means I'm respectably intelligent and my usefulness or future usefulness is apparent.
As Rook washed the dishes I felt a huge surge of gratitude that he was taking up my slack. It has been really rough on me in every way to go from 0 jobs (with school up till recently, and lots of blogging, but still, different) to 2 totally new jobs. It would be so much rougher if he were the sort of person who did not step up to do things. Or if I were fighting with him over housework or bossing him and reminding and nagging. Instead, not at all. He washes dishes, I do laundry. We've both been shopping. I think of him romantically in the same breath as the Marge Piercy To Be of Use poem and also think happily to myself that he is a good co-oper (both high compliments...) as well as a feminist man who does not just talk the talk. It is a bigger deal than you might think unless you've been in a housewife/stay at home mom role.
Hot tubbed. Aaaaaaah. Life sweet again.
My uncle came home and we had a fun talk that I found strangely heartening. He told a funny story about how when I was 3 and he was 5, he was reading a book and I was reading it next to him and he realized that on every page I was watching him and waiting for when he'd be done. I bet this is true, but probably we were a bit older. I remember reading things like Uncle Wiggly with him, and then all his Alistair McLean books. Anyway, we both have the crazy artist hippie neurotic anarchist insomniac gene, which skipped my dad and grandfather. He showed me his system of musical transcription of chord progressions which helps him be such an efficient teacher and composer and which got him in weird .. not trouble but, people kind of messing with him from big music companies and some "chilling effects" action going on. He listens to a song, transcribes it, and can teach it instantly and he has thousands of songs carefully written into paper notebooks with numbered pages and indexing. So with his fabulous system, even beginning students come for a lesson, want to something new which they bring in on a CD or tape, and walk out half an hour later able to play 2 new songs. If anyone knows of a studio apartment in the Inner Sunset he's looking for one, and if you want an awesome guitar teacher then let me know and I'll refer you! He just took over another guy's teaching business and so has 30 students, but room for more. Anyway, our conversation was fun and we have some basic attitudes in common. I'm glad he's out of the land of R*msfeld's vacation home and the various depressing things about living there. He also said the insomnia was killing him and was the root of his alcohol problems (also killing him). Sounds familiar.
It is amazingly soothing to blog all this and get it out of my head.
& so to bed!