My blog about knitting, teaching, and being a mother to two energetic young boys.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Another First Day...

Tis the season to be jolly... Oh - wrong season. Yes - 'tis the season I head back to work and entrusted with educating the masses. I am always so worried and nervous about the 1st day. After 13 years you'd think I'd have it down & be able to breeze on through. I do know I'll be fine. I am confident in my abilities, however - I feel the first day is so important - first impressions and all that. I want the kids to know science - specifically chemistry and anatomy, is fun! I want them to know I mean business (No - you may not go to your locker!) I want them to leave excited about being in my class. So - what do I do on the first day? Go over the rules? Give them a synopsis of the course? Nope - I sing. Yes - I sing. Well, lip sync is more like it, but I always eventually let my real (horrible) voice shine through. I so love a captive audience. Michael Offutt has written and produced tons of songs about chemistry. Sometimes I sing "They Call Me A Chemistry Nerd", but lately (last couple of years) I've chosen the more upbeat "We Dig Chemistry (it really is a blast!)". I put on my tie dye lab coat & nerdy goggles & take the stage as soon as the bell rings. You would not believe the look on the faces of those teenagers. Wow. Usually by the end of the song after much encouragement from me - many students are singing the chorus. It's a great way to let the kids know they aren't just in any science class. We also discuss how music and rhythms can help us remember difficult concepts. I also use it to let them know that sometimes we have to take risks in order to move forward - if I can get in front of a group of teenagers I don't know very well, then they can take the risk & give Chemistry a chance. It's been a week since the 1st day and my students continue to ask if we're going to have more songs.

Ahh! I have no arms! (Wow - that really looks freaky!)

The boys have both settled into 3rd & 1st grade. I'm including the annual '1st Day of School Photo In Front Of The Fireplace' photo. Dang - they're getting all growed up. Orion says 3rd grade is going to be way more work - he's looking forward to the challenge. Iain claims 1st grade is going well & that the day is longer than it was in kindergarten. In our district, kindergarten is full day with very few exceptions, so he's on the same time schedule as last year. Perhaps the day just seems longer because they don't begin every morning with fun/free choice time - they get straight to work! Don't you love the plaid? Iain claims plaid shirts are the choice for school pictures. Every formal picture he's had in the last 3 years (preschool - kindergarten), he's worn a plaid shirt. He picked this one out for that very reason; at least it's a different color than last year's plaid shirt. So - what are the chances we'll make it through 12th grade with a plaid shirt every year? Hmmm.....

Even though the start of a new school year means I'm 'busier than a one armed coat hanger', I'm making time for knitting. Here a few F.O.s I promised to show:

"Patrick's Pumpkin" hat

Fiber trends pattern - well written & a very quick knit. I think I finished this in a day. I had a little 'goof' while attaching the 'leaves' to the rolled brim, but with a bit of fudging, I think it's all good. I used the Galway worsted yarn - great color selection & new-mom friendly. This hat is for the new baby of one of my colleagues. I think I need to knit a few more...

"Summer Seafoam Scarf"

This pattern is from the Churchmouse Yarns & Teas July-August newsletter. I used two skeins of Jo Sharp Soho Summer DK Cotton in a navy (can't find the ball band.) & a Addi Turbo #6 needle. Very simple & quick knit as well. I knit most of it on our return drive from Seattle to Anchorage & was able to wear it on the 1st day of school. Finishing a scarf is quite the accomplishment for me - I have the attention span of a flea, so I haven't finished a scarf (I get bored with the pattern too soon) since I knit scarves for my grandparents back in 1980!!

Here's a close up of the stitch detail. Dropping stitches on purpose was so fun because it felt like you were doing something naughty. I wonder if knitting the Clapotis gives you the same feeling.

Well - off to work on my impulse knit.



Courtney said...

I remember having to go back to school after a summer....gosh I dont miss those days LOL :-) I love the scarf and beanie..both very cute

Holly Jo said...

I love that you sing to your students. :) The boys look psyched for school and that's good.

LOVE the pumpkin hat. Lucky little one.