After having missed the first day of school for her plastic surgery, Hillary quickly got into the swing of things with her new teacher, Mrs. Kadrmas (who was also Abigail's second grade teacher), whom she likes because of all the reading she does to the class and has the students do on their own. Hillary noted that she was the only one to "get all the words correct" on the Dibbles test, a test of reading fluency that Mrs. Kadrmas gave the class. Other highlights so far for Hillary have been the math lessons and the music classes, in which they've been learning Spanish and German songs. She also always comes home with stories about her recess activities. Even her sisters sometimes join her on the playground for games; it's a mix of being good sisters to one another, I think, and being monitors to see to it that Hillary doesn't do anything likely to rip out her stitches (like playing on the monkeybars).
I have had an overall good week, but I am exhausted. Not only am I teaching courses that I've never taught before, but I'm also trying to figure out the procedures and rhythms of a new work environment (remember?). The students are all great so far (knock on wood), but preparing for classes takes a long time because of having to create new materials for each lesson (never having taught the courses before, you see--and having been left precious few materials by the previous instructors). We've also been holding morning seminars each day for students getting ready to do their student-teaching this semester. It has been fun to observe their teaching sample lessons and to respond to their concerns (most all of which relate to classroom management and student behavior issues, things that I remember having been worried about myself before going out to student-teach), but those sessions cut into my class preparation time. Thus I've had very late nights all week, and Pensive? No, Just Thinking has been pretty quiet as a result.
Our busy-ness will increase next week when the girls' after-school activities get underway: piano lessons, gymnastics, ballet, and church choir. Area children in grades four and higher have been invited to audition for DSU's fall theatre production, Seussical, a musical based on the stories and characters of Dr. Seuss. Hillary was disappointed not to qualify, but she has been supportive of her sisters, both of whom plan to audition next week. We have a CD of the original cast recording of Seussical, and the girls already have every song memorized. We've had whole-family feedback sessions as each girl has performed her audition song at home. If they impress the director and don't scare him off with their weekly schedule conflicts, we may be adding "university theatre rehearsals" to our list of things to drive our daughters to and from.
So long as (1) we still get to eat supper nightly as a family and (2) the girls keep their grades up in school and their attitudes positive at home, we will be happy for the girls to have this opportunity. Come back, Dear Reader, to find out if the girls make it into the cast!