Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Kidlets

So, middle school is an interesting crowd. I hadn't forgotten that, believe me. They are not an easy group--but so far, I think I'm doing well.

Today was the third day of school (day four of the new job) and I'm starting to get to know my new charges a bit better. And I can say, with all honesty, that my "cautious optimism" gets less cautious and more optimistic each day.

I am so excited about this job, folks.

I'm also waking up in the mornings fairly easily. I still have that "just push snooze" mentality for about 15-20 minutes after the alarm clock initially goes off, but that is nowhere near the lethargy and disinterest I felt in Antioch. There, I could hardly force myself out of bed after an hour of hitting snooze. Here, I can.

I like my apartment. It's taken some getting used to, and some creative storage, but I'm settling in to the place and feeling more at home every day. The second bedroom needs a little more work, which I'll get to this weekend. When everything is as I want it, and I've had a chance to do a good cleaning, I'll put some pictures up.

There's been a lot of excitement for me this week--and, of course, a lot of nerves. Starting a new job is always a little bit scary. The good news is, I'm handling it well and feeling positive and focused--not at all like I felt in Antioch, when I just wanted out.

The school is organized, and the two administrators run a tight ship. There are playground and lunchtime procedures for lining up, who eats when, where each class sits, and everything you can think of. It keeps things super-organized, and it is harder for kids to misbehave.

Of course, we have our gangster wannabes (this is, after all, Stockton). There are 7th and 8th grade students who are probably at least peripherally involved with gangs. We do our best with them. Most of the kids seem to be pretty good--but it's hard to overcome that gang influence.

I find that living on the opposite side of town from where I work is a very good thing. It's about eight or nine miles, and takes 10-15 minutes to drive, depending on how many cars are on I-5. I work in a rougher part of town, but I chose very well for where I live. A friend of Dad's knows the area and told Dad that I am in a good place. I have a Safeway and a Trader Joe's within 3 miles, so I'm happy!

So week one is almost finished, and I'm feeling pretty good. I know this job will not be without its challenges, but I finally feel like I can stand up to the challenges. After two years at DV, my confidence was it's good to feel competent again.

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