Dyssynchronous is a word–incorrect-looking and cumbersome sequence of letters though it may be, it’s as close a word as I’ve found to describe the out-of-timeness I’m experiencing.
As I overshared previously, I began my forty-seventh school year August 6. After an entire lifetime of Labor Day-ish starts, it was decided that I’d begin #47 on what our district terms its “Early Start” calendar. Notice the passive verb “it was decided. . .” It was one of those I’m-a-total-jerk-if-I-don’t-agree kinds of scenarios; I could have refused probably, but someone else would have been significantly affected then, and given my kids’ ages, it wasn’t an apocalypse-caliber event for Team Weir.
I’ve been back at work three weeks already. It should be mid-September. Leaves should be descending from elms and maples, brilliant in their yellows and reds as they float toward earth. Temperatures should start to dip, so that I am forced to grab a hoodie when I walk the dog. It should be my birthday next week! My office and my school are glacially cold–the thermostat in my therapy room read 62.4 degrees Tuesday, and I wear a blanket when I work in my office. And yes, “wear” is the correct verb. I need to bring back the work Snuggie. OK, probably Snuggie didn’t create a version specifically for the workplace, but they should. My point anyway is that it’s bitingly cold wherever I am these days, but when I step out of doors between schools or after work, I feel cuffed upside the head by the heat. It’s very confusing.
It should be autumn. It’s not that I am wishing away summer, but my long-established internal clock tells me it’s September 14th or so. And while I’m at it: Fall Ball. My little one made the 2019 baseball team, and they began a 5-week Fall Ball season last Sunday. ONE of their games of the five-week “fall ball” series occurs in autumn and only two days post-equinox, so “fall ball” is a lie. Sure, it rhymes so therefore is catchy, but it’s really closer to “New kids on new teams, good luck on the MLB-sized diamonds, kids, you CAN be thrown out at first even if you hit the ball to left field” ball. No wonder I’m so off!
In actual news. . .
Each of my son’s high school teachers’ course syllabi contained some type of contract wherein my child’s signature attested that he understands and promises to abide by the classroom policies and grading expectations set forth in said syllabus. Parents too are made to enter into these same contracts, so you sign, hopeful your kid isn’t a total dick when you’re not around (he’s probably not a total tool, I feel sure of that). Each syllabus contained too a comment section, captioned with text like “It would help if you knew this about my child.”
Weighing the should I/shouldn’t I? angel and devil positioned on my left and right shoulders, I wondered how much to disclose this early. You don’t want to lead with what he can’t do, but you want less that he be judged or graded unfairly because of the disease. Yes, his school knows he has a Section 504 accommodations plan–there’s a little flag in the district’s data management system, and in theory all school staff are to be made aware of this. But I work in this district myself, and if I had to hazard a guess, the only staff aware of what 504 truly means are the school psychologist, those teachers whose own children have/need a 504 plan, or those who have had a student with a 504 plan on their class list last year. I did not just roll from the turnip truck, y’all.
For the English teacher who requires that kids mostly sit still, I explained that muscular dystrophy causes fatigue and discomfort, and that my kid cannot remain still for extended periods of time. To the Biology teacher, I noted that muscular dystrophy stole my kid’s grip strength meaning he drops a lot of things (dig if you will the picture, beakers, test tubes, chemicals, microscopes in a lab–what will THOSE replacement fees look like, do you think?). To the band director, I wrote that marching band with a bass drum along a parade route is probs a no-go. He replied within a few hours, telling me that he would move him to a different, lighter drum, and one where the mallets are secured with wrist straps. How I love musicians.
So far, so good is a fair statement covering his first few weeks. His first official high school assignment grade earned an AD (which is an “A”, an “advanced” for those of you unfamiliar with standards-based grading), so yay. I dropped his freshman butt off at 6:40 AM today so he could spin vinyl on the school old-school radio station before school starts. There’s a football game tonight, and he joined the pep band, so look for him in the drum corps pounding out the backbeat to the Husky Fight Song tonight. He will always be my baby, but now my baby is making his own lunches, he’s taking public transportation to school most days, and he’s doing homework without being told. So far, so good indeed.
But not as good as this guy, a teacher at my kid’s school, locally famous for his Husky Lunch Songs. It’s worth the minute it’ll take you to watch it. Making hot lunch better, one chicken patty at a time.