Wednesday, August 10, 2011

My Journey South: Second Tuesday and Wednesday, August 2006

It is amazing just how much can happen in a week's time...

The realtor told me to call his office sometime Tuesday to check on the apartment. It wasn't finished yet, but his nephew was the contractor and they were going to see how long it would take before someone could move in.

Even this seemingly simple task was more complicated then it needed to be. I already mentioned that I was having serious connection issues with my cell phone; there was no reception anywhere in the school building and there were only two phones available for teacher use (that made parent contacts a little difficult) and they had long distance calling blocked. When I asked to be allowed to make a phone call I was informed that they were official school use only. Despite my reputation for being quiet and mild mannered, I do occasionally let my temper get the best of me and my response was a curt, "If I don't find a place to live, I won't be teaching here...that kinda sounds like school business to me." 

I made the phone call, but it wasn't as helpful as I had hoped. They thought the construction would be done in about three weeks. This fit with the time my parents had planned to pack and bring down all my furniture and books and clothes and books and dishes and books (my dad has said he will never move me again because of my books), but meant three weeks of living in a hotel room.

[That afternoon we were finally told our schedules...and I really do mean "told," we all stood in a line and waited to be called so she could tell us what we were teaching and we either remembered or wrote it down. Upperclassmen were on a block schedule and underclassmen were on a regular schedule... Government/Economics, AP US History, test prep, and Speech and Debate. Somehow my response of "no" experience with debate had been translated as a "yes" and I was now a coach. When they found there was a misunderstanding I was given the option of backing out, but was talked into it...definitely one of the best decisions of my life! Despite having so many preps, my schedule was any teacher's dream. I had a "normal" 90 minute planning period in the morning, a 30 minute transition period from when my last block class ended and my regular schedule class started, and the APUSH class was on an A/B schedule so every other day I had an additional 90 minute planning period...I frequently look back with longing at all the time I took for granted.]

My family has been blessed with the friendship of an amazing family that we met while living in Chattanooga. My mom had been in communication with them and that night Donna called me. I won't say that I was exactly feeling better about my living situation, or lack thereof, but I was resigned to it, so when she asked what I considered to be my biggest need at that point I said a place to live. We talked for a little bit and she promised they would be praying.

The next day was the first day for students and despite my nerves and all that had been and was still going on, it was a great day. I have told and will continue to tell everyone who asks that my students were the best part of working at Allendale. It wasn't always easy but I wouldn't trade the two years I spent there for the best private school in the country.

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