Sunday, August 22, 2010

Back to School

My word! I blinked, and the summer was gone! It was a cocktail of house problems, health problems, a bit of travel, and trying to get some rest in advance of another grueling school year—I turned 52 on Wednesday, and I'm feeling every year of it!

While preparing to return to school, I went out to lunch with my grade level partners on Wednesday to a crowded little breakfast/lunch place called Scrambles here in Ocala [left]. The waitress, who was insanely scurrying around keeping track of orders and requests, serving food, filling water and drink glasses, and calculating the bills of fares for each table seemingly all at once, told us she'd used to be a teacher—but it was too stressful!

It's funny, children come into my class knowing less each year, I teach less to kids these days than ever, and with paperwork and requirements and new law after new law, I'm working much harder than ever to try to produce a single-digit score on a high-stakes achievement test that is alleged to sum up a child: Here in Florida, a 5 is a smart child, and a 1 is woeful.

There's a prescient episode of the classic sci-fi series, The Twilight Zone, which summarizes humans in exactly that way by their appearance [right]. This isn't too far off, only completely summarizing the learning of a child.

Well, c'est la vie! I still have to break down some information about the last of the Walpole v. Wiedemann trials and tackle to later lives of George, Agnes, and Violet Mills as they lived out their Golden Years in Budleigh Salterton. I also received a copy of Stanley Elkins's book, George Mills, for my birthday from a dear friend [and former student!], and while only marginally related to our subject here as previously discussed, it still may make an interesting subject for a blog entry or two.

We're really coming to a close in our study of George Mills and family, unless more information comes to light. Without assistance from his taciturn closer relatives and several outside sources that have simply haven't responded to requests for information, there'll eventually be little left or nothing to examine or reflect upon.

Until then, however, I'll do my best to both prepare for my first lessons on Monday and gather more information to post on-line for you this week!

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