Here I am in the Victoria station, enjoying a piece of spinach pie and a cup of coffee. This is basically what I am doing this evening, given that I received no calls. It turns out this is perfectly fine by me. I didn’t wind up getting a nap, and as a result I’m a little slow tonight. On the other hand, I’m not nearly so tired as I’ve been in previous years, when I’ve been a total, helpless wreck.
Maybe I finally got the hang of this Parents Weekend thing. It certainly seemed easier than in past years. In past years, I’ve had five and a half hours of ten-minute conferences, and then continued my conferencing and shmoozing with parents all the way through luncheon and afternoon sports. This year, I had the first hour of conference times empty, and the last hour empty, and I had a nice twenty minute break in the middle of the morning. OK, it wasn’t supposed to be 20 minutes, but one of my conferences didn’t show up.
In a lot of ways, it was more relaxed than ever before.
This is not necessarily a good thing. If I have five and a half hours of conferences, this usually means I have something like fifty or sixty students overall. This year, I have less than half of that. On the one hand it makes for an easy parents’ weekend; on the other, it means the school may not have enough students. Talking to the chair of the Board at dinner on Friday somewhat allayed my fears — they’re talking about permanently reducing the school to this size, at least until the new dorm is built… which may be never, as he himself admitted. From an infrastructural point of view, our classrooms are less crowded, our most problematic building is unoccupied, and our staff-to-student ratio is much improved.
From a personnel standpoint, though, we need a few more boarding-faculty than we’ve currently got. Both my downstairs colleague and I feel that we’re a bit overworked this year in terms of extra-curricular duties and responsibilities. In the classroom we’ve got more time than ever before. In the dorm and on the fields and on the weekends, we both feel we’re scheduled to the nines. Right now, we’re down two boarding faculty members below last year, which means that the duty rotation is slightly shorter, and we’re “on” more frequently. Fewer breaks, more rushing.
I did get a major break on Friday. The dean of academics basically gave me permission not to be in the detention room all the time when I’m on duty there. I can wander all I like, provided I let the main office know where they can find me. I can be in the library, or the tech office, or assisting with another class… Freedom is a wonderful thing.
Still looking for a plan for tomorrow. In the absence of any calls or e-mail suggestions, I will have an early brunch at the VBC, and then I think I’ll go down to middletown and visit friends — unless I get the book craving, in which case maybe I’ll go hang out in a book store. I’d like to go catch ‘s feature at The Java Hut in Webster Square, but it looks like that’s not in the cards for tomorrow night.