I admit it. I was nervous. What was I going to wear? Who would I sit by? Where would I eat lunch?
I had all the “night before my first day of school” jitters that probably a lot of my students are experiencing right now, as they get ready to come into school for orientation tomorrow. Of course, unlike my younger days, I was able to mostly calm them with a glass of wine and I stayed up way later than my mom would have let me, watching Xfiles dvds and texting. Muahaha.
I can remember prepping to go back to school as a kid…our grandmas would take us back to school shopping…buying cool stuff for lunches, and planning outfits. I remember a particularly terrible hair-dye job I had done at the last minute. The morning of, my parents would make us line up in front of the big tree in the front yard and pose for pictures, with our new backpacks and lunch boxes and shining faces. I can vividly picture several outfits I wore. Fashion was so terrible in the 90s. I remember one year with shiny black pants, black boots with white socks (still occasionally guilty of that) and my hair was a shade of reddish purple, that I had SCRUNCHED and braided the night before. I wore glitter eyeliner and worshipped Britney Spears and Blink 182 and Snoop Dogg and had a Jansport backpack with “I Love John” written all over it in whiteout.
Going “back to school” as an adult, I had some of those same feelings. I was worried I would get lost, and I didn’t want to be that
kid person who showed up late and everyone looked at. I wasn’t sure if everyone would have a cool side bag or a backpack, and I didn’t know what to take to make sure I wouldn’t stand out. I yelp’ed around the place we were having class to check out lunch spots, and wondered if I would have to go alone or if I would have any friends by noon to go with me. I got my coffee all ready but was worried about drinking too much because I didn’t want to be that girl that kept getting up to pee.
Of course, the most important decision was what I was going to wear. Did I need to appear professional? Was my future husband going to be in the room? Could I come as real Rachel in my sweatpants? Would it be hot and I would sweat? Would it be cold? Was there a lot of walking required? Could I fall asleep for a little bit and not get caught?
I had so many questions!
I spent the day in one of the armpits of the Bay Area, a county office of education near Hayward, with some very friendly people. I was surprised at the age of many…it was a second career choice, or way after marriage and kids. One boy, pretty cute, definitely married. The neat thing about this program is that its online and pretty flexible. The not so neat is how much work there is. All this combined with preparing for my CSETs, teaching fulltime, running an afterschool drama program, coaching volleyball, and my commitment to the Giants.…I’m kissing any free time goodbye until 2013.
But the end will be rewarding and sweet. And my students will be pleasantly surprised with how easy my classes will be this year….as I’m already brainstorming ways to make everything multiple choice and self-graded….(if my boss ever reads this I am TOTALLY kidding.)
Tomorrow is Orientation for my students, and I can’t wait to meet the 6th grade munchkins! They are so small and scared the first few days, and listen and obey me very well…until they figure out that I am a big softie and they can tell me secrets and I hand out candy. I love how small they are and how difficult lockers are and how everyone starts the new year with great intentions.
New year, new things…one of those sounds like Miss Weight going to bed before midnight! Au revoir. Smiley face.