Friday, December 06, 2002

Welcome to the Working Week(end)

Latkes, for the last night of Channukah

It's Friday, so you'd think the week's work would be done. But teaching at boarding school is like nothing else; "after school" in the evenings, on weekends, on state holidays like Labor Day and Columbus Day and MLK day, the kids are still here, so we're still technically working. Summer vacation for teachers is thus not a free gift, as some people think; it is a whole year's worth of missed weekends, evenings, and vacations granted consecutively. In no other job I know do you work 260 12-hour days straight (with one two-or-three-day weekend "off" every five weeks to write progress reports, and a one week "vacation," really a full-press grading period, at the end of each term), and then have 100 days off.

With both Darcie and I working here, out of the dorms and heavily involved in activities which naturally spill over into student social events and afterhourstype activities, we have a worst case scenario. The two of us are each expected to work a minimum of two weekends in ten, but we're involved in enough activities and club advisorships that we end up working about four in ten each instead, and since one of us needs to be home with the baby when the other is working, we can't double up on when we do our weekend responsibilities. Thus, we are left with one or two weekends a month as our only time off. And this weekend it's Darcie's turn to be on.

Darcie works for Student Programs, the group of folks (all female) here at NMH who coordinate all-school events, proms and dances, craft activities and holiday celebrations and concert trips and shopping expeditions and record swaps and whatever else students need in order to have complete lives outside of the dorm and classroom. Technically, she's the Program Coordinator, which means her primary responsibility (other than advising the yearbook and doing advising in the dorm) is planning and coordinating events; she's kind of like a combination cruise director, interior decorator, and party coordinator, and she's very good at what she does. This weekend she's on duty Saturday and Sunday, which means meeting busses as they leave and arrive for off-campus events, overseeing the faculty member who is doing ASA (Assisting Student Activities duty) at each event as it goes on, and generally being "the person in charge" at all events as they happen.

But tonight she had the night off, while I helped host the student Channukah latke party (my job was potato grating; it's not all fun and games here, you know), so she's at Ginny's dance concert with Willow. I hope the baby didn't decide to talk to the dancers on the stage like she did when we went to see My Big Fat Greek Wedding about six weeks ago. And I hope, too, that they get home soon. The Channukah party was lots of fun -- about 25 kids showed up, and we played dreidel for M&Ms, sang songs and said prayers, lit candles and broke bread, and generally had a grand old time -- but it just isn't Channukah without the wife and kid. I miss my family when they're gone.

posted by boyhowdy | 9:32 PM |

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