Tuesday, July 1, 2008

the Writer Lady's challenge

I've been absent from my blog for too, too long, but today I received a little kick in the rump from one of my favorite YA writers, who is encouraging the readers of her blog to write for 15 minutes a day about anything at all. I'm going to give it a shot, although I have a feeling that on a few days I'll be my usual slacker self, sorry to say.

Today was the first day of the official '08-'09 school year. Students on the year-round calendar hear in Los Angeles had one day off (yesterday) between x grade and y grade. Elementary school Friday, middle school today. Not much in terms of a transition period. I needed way more than a full summer to get used to the idea of going to 9th grade, and the poor, withering, blubbering, teary-eyed, terrified freshman out there on LA's B-track got a whole three days.

Other fun and funny things that happen on the first day of school in LA -
1. The computer system responsible for maintaing class rosters doesn't work. It's too much, I can hardly stand it. Teachers were not given accurate lists of the students that should appear in each class period, nor could they use the computer system to take attendance for the kids who did miraculously show up. I can only imaging how many 6th graders wanted to cry today, how many teachers are counting the minutes until their first cocktail (teachers are huge drinkers, you know), and how many parents will be shocked and awed by the stories of wonder that their kids bring home this evening.
2. Countless students were put on tracks without their parents knowing before today which track that would be. If you aren't familiar with this system, we have A, B, and C tracks (each about 900 kids), and they are staggered to accommodate overcrowding. So today, B and C tracks begin. C track will be in school for the next 4 months. B track will be in school for 2 months, have a two month break, and come back for 2 more months to complete their first semester before christmans (the worst one by far). A track is on vacation until B track goes off, at which time A track will be here for 4 months straight until Christmas. Sooooooo, today lots of kids showed up for the first day of school only to be told that they have been placed on A track and should come back at the end of August. Really cool for a kid, but maybe not so cool for a parent.

The library isn't open today or tomorrow or the next day, largely because the school district won't be updating out computer records for a while, so we can't check out books to kids yet. So I have been hauling books today, shifting them two cases to the right to make space on the shelves. I bought $200,000 in books in the last two years and I am running out of SPACE! It's a daily struggle to find room to squeeze in all of these new novels.

Ok, that was just 13 minutes, but I've now been interrupted by two history teachers and an english teacher. One history teacher wants to give me hundreds of tattered books he found in a cabinet (NO!), the other is ready and waiting to laminate, the other needs help with his web page. Gotta go, gotta go.

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