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Holiday, O, A Holiday

November 20, 2010

Yesterday was report card day and now AJ’s out of school for a week. After a week of intense work activity, it’s suddenly feeling like a holiday.

AJ was actually excited about his report card this time, more than I’ve ever seen him. He came home with it gripped in his hands, not stuffed in his backpack as usual. And the bottom of the envelope was shredded as if he’d been trying to open it (the school tells them not to), although he denied everything. I think he feels like the report card means a little more this year. I think he’s had to work for it and also that he wasn’t entirely sure how it would be. But it was his best one yet. Straight A’s as usual, but a big improvement in classroom skills section. He got top marks for organization and following instructions — things he’s struggled with since starting school, due to his tendencies to be distractable. “Are you sure this is your report card?” I joked as I pointed out how much he’d improved — two full notches up the scale. He grinned. I attribute this to his having a teacher who is both very structured and organized and good at teaching those skills to her students, and also to the fact that she’s trying to keep him engaged. Our conference with her is on Monday. I’m looking forward to hearing what she has to say. AJ’s a little nervous about that too. He looked at the comments section of the report card which said only, “I’m looking forward to talking with you about AJ’s progress next week.” “That’s probably a good thing,” he said a little uncertainly, “Right?”

Today we are seeing our friends who moved away over the summer — just an hour away, but far enough that we haven’t seen them in several months. They are dropping off their older daughter (a first grader) at a friend’s nearby this morning and picking up AJ to take him back to their house to play with his friend N. This evening, we’ll pick up their daughter and take her over to their house and we’ll all have dinner together. We socialize so little that it feels like a party.

Before we go, I need to winterize the vegetable garden. I’m planning on trying lasagna gardening, since we have an overabundance of compost and mulch at the moment (not to mention lots of newspapers ready for recycling). And I could do with building up the soil in the area, which is a little poor and is also on a slope that needs some grading.

And then the Thanksgiving preparations begin. I did most of my shopping yesterday, but true to form, I forgot a few things. My cooking schedule starts tomorrow. I’ve got it down to a science now. Except for the part about remembering to buy everything. I’m still working on that.

Also keeping me going is an incredibly nice email I got from my editor. It took me all afternoon to write him an email asking if he’d feel comfortable writing me a letter of recommendation for my dossier. I hate asking people for things and those chores are always the most onerous to me. Within an hour or so, I had gotten a positive response in which he called my work “imaginative, conceptually solid and important,” as well as a few other nice things that are too specific to mention here. I will need the extra fuel, because I am trying to crank out a job application by 12/1. In addition to the usual cover letter, C.V., writing sample (I’ll either use my article or a diss chapter), multiple letters of recommendation and transcripts, I also need to write a teaching philosophy statement and a description of my research. I need to figure out exactly what those things mean, first. I’m guessing the latter has to do less with the dissertation and more with the what next, but I’m not certain. In any case, it will give me things to think about while I’m gardening.

What are your weekend plans?

One Comment leave one →
  1. November 21, 2010 6:20 pm

    Chess. Harry Potter. There was hardly room for any more!

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