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Well it’s official. It’s folio season so that means I am falling apart. Cracked skin all over my hands and forehead, red and raw scalp, dry itchy skin all over my body (this is apparently a coeliacs thing) and I’ve got that manic energy that comes with knowing that all the boards are due REALLY fucking soon and I may be the only thing standing between complete and utter abject failure and a scrape though pass for some of my girls.

I heard myself shout somewhat hysterically to my seniors yesterday ‘I seem to be the only one with any sense of urgency here – where is your passion girls?!?’ I sounded like SUCH an Art Teacher cliché. The other in the room thought it was hilarious – especially as I barely even got a raised eyebrow from the class. (They think I’m cool – no really they do).

I actually secretly, not so secretly, love this time of the year. Eventually (I hope) the panic sets in with the art kids and they start producing work non-stop and with that production comes new ideas and extension and the ‘aha!’ moments that are vital to finish them off successfully. That’s if these guys ever get to that point.

But it’s not good for my adrenalin levels blah blah as per Dr Libby and her sciencey stuff about hormones and stress and stuff. We are probs all in the constant flight/fight/panic mode at the moment as we lurch from student to student trying variously to inspire, cajole, motivate, scare, soothe and push in to getting their work finished. I should be focussing on my belly breathing, slow walks and green tea in the morning.

But instead today I caved and inhaled half a pack of mini Whittakers almond gold.

Sorry Dr Libby.

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290 Let the countdown begin.

I have two and a bit weeks to go until my big girls at school all go off for study leave. After that point my major jobs will be planning the year 13 stuff for the cohort, teaching my juniors for the remainder of the term, and planning and writing all of my courses for next year.

I can’t wait.

At the moment I feel like the only way to survive the next two and a bit weeks is to clone myself. As well as guiding the few keen Photography students I have safely to their due dates (this Friday and next Friday respectively) where they will hand in their Folio boards worth 12 and 14 credits, I also have a to-do list of things to tick off for the year 12’s so that things are in place for next year.

Add to that staying healthy – as in not dying of all the teacher diseases that get us at this time of the year – and eating healthy and it all feels a bit much sometimes. (Did I tell you I have a sty?!?! My first ever – someone at work told me eye health is linked with work so that makes sense – doesn’t make it suck less though).

One of the jobs I got ticked off today was collating the votes for Prefects next year. Counting votes, creating an excel doc and ranking them then in order of teacher/student highest votes etc. The list is a long as my arm and even the short list is way too many. The problem is that I want them all to be prefects of course, but only a lucky few can take the roles provided. So back to the staff for consultation and robust discussion (that’s where they get to tell me about the time that Wendy didn’t do her homework that one time in year 10 and how April always opens the door for them every time and that why she should be head girl). I’m joking – sort of – the reasoning behind the for and against any student are usually more valid and it is always good to hear the staff experience of teaching my girls because after all – most of my job is chasing up the naughties! The ‘good’ kids hardly ever step foot in my office.

I am aware that I refer to them as ‘my girls’ and I’m not even embarrassed. They do feel like mine after four years now of Deaning them. Even the Kahurangi girls who aren’t technically mine still feel like my girls because I have so often been their ‘back-up’ Dean. I guess I need a little distance – my bias is showing ha ha.

Lucky I didn’t have daughters eh? They’d have had too much competition!

But maybe they would have been quieter? I see photos of my friends lovely little ladies on insta and facetard and they are always doing things like reading and baking and hanging in cafes without having to be tied to the chair lest they lose control and wrestle their way across the length of the room. I am aware that there are girls in the world that are not readers or bakers or even quiet by any definition of the word. I am related to one and I Dean many. I am also aware that my friends don’t post images of their girls completely losing their shit because it’s bedtime or sitting on their sisters head because she called her a name or any of the other stuff that all children and siblings do.

Hell even I edit out the really bad stuff.

But that pink grass sure do look pinker and waaaaaaaaay more peaceful from over here in minecraft addicted/no inside voice/death metal singing/room destroying/crazy ape bonkers boys of my world. And I bet their houses are tidier.

This weekend the Grumpy Dutchman has read the signs all accurately and done his best to both prop me up and keep the lads away while I am trying to recover from the working week sufficiently to survive the next. He took the lads out and left me to binge on apples (bad for my gut but they were calling to me as all things that are bad for you do) and netflix on saturday afternoon, and today while I was counting votes for four hours they went to the park. He also whispers sweet nothings about how hot I am when I am feeling as wide as the side of the bus and suggests quickies at inappropriate times – like when I’m dishing up dinner or trying to drive the car or am similarly indisposed. It is helping.

I am also finding that running is helping – it’s something I can do on my own and all I have to do is put one foot in front of the other. It’s a really good time to clear shit out of my head too – have those imaginary conversations that need to be had (you know you have imaginary arguments in your head – don’t deny it) and sort out how I feel about stuff before it happens in real life.

And speaking of which – I think it’s time for a run. Arty and I had better hit the streets before I get roped in to helping with dinner… Shit he’s coming – I’m out!

284 – First day of Term 4

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The first thing I did when I got to work today was to ring our local primary school to re-schedule my appointment to enrol our youngest son. We got the letter last term and I opened it and thought ‘Heaps of time, will think about that later’ and then suddenly it was later.  The school holidays were kinda like that. I had looked forward to them for so long – approximately 10 weeks of longing – and had made so many plans, and before I knew it they were over.

I always have a list of stuff I want to do in the holidays – sew, bake, op-shop, catch up with all my friends, sleep, read, visit the art gallery, spend quality time with my kids, ride my bike and generally have a life outside of school. It’s good to have goals. Even if you have no hope in hell of achieving them.

I DID manage to sleep a bit extra, get some marking done and sort some stuff for school. I managed to go for a couple of good runs, eat well mostly and me and the kids didn’t kill each-other. I am sad we didn’t manage to bike ride because the weather was beautiful but master 4 has requested that we ‘learn him’ to bike ride on the weekend so we are closer to getting back out there soon.

But inevitably I blinked and suddenly it was Monday and I was getting up at sparrows fart for work and hustling the kids out of bed and in to clothes.

Bam. Gone.

Kind of like my days as a parent of pre-schoolers. How did I get so old that both of my children are primary school aged? My eldest already talks like a teenager and I have to bribe him with internet access to get him to do anything. And now my little lad is starting school. He turns five in a month and he is SO ready. It is SO weird.

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