School starts Monday. I had all summer to prepare for the first day. I didn’t. I had all of last week in my classroom to prepare. I didn’t. I even have the weekend, but I’m sure I won’t be ready until Monday morning at 8:50 when the kids walk in the door and wait for me to tell them what to do. They will then do something very dissimilar than what I just asked them to do. They’ve been ready for weeks.
After a weekend to settle back in, the teachers reported back to work last Monday. Everyone was talking about the exciting things they did this summer. People traveled and saw new things and experiences. Everyone really loved my story about how we packed all of our things into boxes. They were on the edge of their seats when I described in detail how I picked up each box and placed it in a U-Haul trailer. You wouldn’t know their amazement by the way they pretended to not care. At all.
The week without students went past quickly and without incident. This year I planned better for the start since I may have gotten smarter. We’ll see about that on the first day, but at least I feel better prepared. I hope that feeling doesn’t go away the second the kids walk into the class.
On Friday morning, my parents showed up for a ten-day visit. I don’t think it will take ten days to tour the whole village, but they should have an intimate knowledge of Nunam Iqua by the time they leave. They’ve already seen the school and have met most of our staff. (Four people)
Our house up here is a two-bedroom/one bathroom, so there is plenty of room for the four of us. But it does change our day-to-day routine a little bit. For one, Monica insists I put pants on when we eat. Even when I explain that I don’t plan on going outside she is pretty adamant about it. So, I put pants on and try to act natural.
Another thing that is different is what we hear. 70yr old men make sounds that can be quite alarming. I’m not sure if I should say anything because nobody acknowledges the noises. Mom pretends they’re normal or at least she ignores them. They frighten me. The noises I mean. Well, my parents do a bit too.
They also say things that I don’t need to hear. One of the last things I need to hear coming from the next bedroom right before I go to sleep is my mother saying, “We can still cuddle.” That is something I cannot un-hear. It does make it a little harder to get to sleep after having that running through your head. We were also treated with “Honey, were are my clean underwear?” This implies two things. One, a 70 yr old man is naked, wandering around the house, looking for his underwear. Two, there is a pair of a 70 yr old man’s dirty underwear lying around somewhere. I hope to God they are not the tiger striped bikini type.
I think I’m as ready as I will be for the kids on Monday. Monica is working as a substitute classroom aide this year and will be at work Monday also. I hope she listens to me when I try to boss her around. I’m sure she will. I just wish she’d hurry up and find those dirty underwear so I don’t step on them in the dark.