Saturday, July 31, 2010


Now, I have never been accused of being the world's most mature person. I think fart jokes are hilarious. I giggle anytime I hear someone say any word that even sounds like penis. And I've been known to throw a temper tantrum (or 50) a 31 year old.

However, when it comes to work, I try to be different. I have my moments, but in general, I view my work as an educator to be very important. I felt this way especially at my former school where the kids were so needy. At that school, every success was a step to closing the achievement gap. My passion will remain focused at my new school, which is high-achieving. However, I believe fully that teachers have a sacred duty to do their best for kids. All kids. School is my church.

Given that I feel this strongly about what I do, I have very little (read no) patience for yahoos who waste my time with petty crap. I get especially irked when people can't get over things. Yes, sometimes things suck, but if there is no solution, MOVE ON.

As a teacher, I could hide from these people (the ones who have been complaining about the same things for thirty years) in the relative peace of my class room. Yes, there were children in there, but they didn't bug me as much.

Some of you may be asking, "well, why did you become admin silly girl?" I became admin so that I could create a school. Tall order, huh? Until I get to the point that I am ready to be a principal, I am going to have to work in the trenches as a vp. And deal with all kinds of silly things, like I dealt with on Friday.

I can't go into a lot of details, but I can say that I work with a group of people who appear to think the rules don't apply to them. And now I'm responsible for enforcing those rules. Unfortunately, my big stick is more of a sponge sword than anything else. But I am very aware that all at my new school are looking to see how legitimate of a leader I am.

No pressure.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Things I've Never Done Before

I hesitate to think of this last week as my first as a vice principal (mostly because I dealt with few teachers, encountered no children, and left work most days by 1.) However, this week did bring with it some really new experiences.

So here's a list of all the things I did this week that I've never done before:

1. Wore full make-up and fancy work clothes for an entire week in July.

2. Introduced myself (thousands of times) as Vice Principal.

3. Got keys to my very own office (not cubicle or class room.)

4. Interviewed potential teachers for a math position.

5. Checked (well, attempted) references for a potential teacher.

Good stuff.

Now, the not so good stuff. Sometime this week I will need to call five people and tell them that they aren't getting a job at our school. Sigh. I will get to tell one person that she is...if I ever get a hold of her references.

Tomorrow starts another week. What I love most about this job is that I have no idea what is coming. Very exciting (and yes, terrifying), but it is so different than how I have felt as a teacher.

Again, good stuff.

Friday, July 16, 2010

On Our Own

This week was my last meeting-free week this summer, but I actually had a bunch to do. To make things even more interesting, Justin had an AVID training all week, so it was just me and Emerson. I felt bad for the little girl because some of the things I had to do this week were straight boring.

Monday we ran a bunch of errands: a preschool tour, Kinko's to print Haley's baby shower invitations, and Trader Joe's. Then we hung out at home, where we had a little lunch, Em "rested", and I worked on my Advocacy lessons. Things were going fine until I tried to print. No ink. No paper. Sigh. Eventually, after Justin got home with supplies, I tried again, but our printer wouldn't work. I was so beat and ready to just have it done, so I went to Kinko's (yup, second time in one day, for those keeping score.) It was expensive but done.

Tuesday started out real boring for Em, but she was a good girl (mostly.) I had to meet my soon-to-be former principal at Valley to sign off on the Advocacy curriculum. We chatted a bit and Em kept herself occupied by drawing on the white board. After getting approval, we head to the district office to budget and then print services. Advocacy done (kinda, I'm meeting someone from Valley next week to discuss how to implement the program.) That afternoon we met Justin in downtown Sac for lunch, which was very fun. I was pretty bushed after that. However, I had to go home and cut paper for my sister's baby shower invitations.

Wednesday, I worked on the invitations, and in the afternoon took Em to hang out with our friends Janet and Clementine. It was nice to hang out, but I'm pretty low energy right now, so I don't know how much fun I was. Em seemed to enjoy herself.

Thursday was all about baby shower invites and cleaning up. Justin's parents were stopping by after a trip to Vegas, and Jerome, our longtime French friend, was also going to be in town. Luckily, before they came, I got the invitations done and addressed. We had a nice dinner and home.

So I enjoyed spending four days with my daughter this week on our own, but it was nice to have back-up again on Friday. I'm just so tired lately that it's hard for me to do a lot on my own with her. We went to the mall on Friday for some shopping, and I never would have survived that without Justin and Jerome.

Next week is my slow return to work "normal." I'm going to start Em back in daycare to get her back on a regular schedule, but we'll go slowly. I should be able to get her there at 8 or so and pick her up pretty early. She always gets so tired when she's back in daycare, so I thought a slower transition would be better. We'll see...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

One Secret Revealed

Ta-da! I am a vice principal.

Now, I've know this since June 25th, but my district likes to increase the tension as much as possible, so I wasn't allowed to say anything until the board approved me. Of course, I said it to some non-work-related people, but was tough.

I am very excited. It still doesn't feel real. I keep expecting a call: "Um, Hillary, we're sorry, but we made a mistake...Oops." I'm not sure when it will feel real. Maybe the meetings will help.

Oh, the meetings. Oh, the meetings.

Yes, I knew they were coming. I knew being a vice principal was not just about telling people what to do. But still. The meetings are terrible. The only thing to come out of a meeting--another meeting.

Don't get my wrong. I like to work hard. In fact, I am pretty much nonstop while at work. (At home is entirely another thing.) But I've come to the realization that "working hard" as a v.p. is wildly different than as a teacher.

As a teacher there is a simple formula for work: I teach, they learn, I figure out how much they actually learned (usually through painful essay reading), and we repeat until we are completely exhausted. And then there are the bells, the wonderful bells.

For the past decade, my life has existed in hour-long chunks. Now I am unsure what to do with myself. I am very worried that time management will be an issue. Yes, there are bells at my middle school, but they don't totally apply to me.

Wait, that's exciting.

Did I mention I get a walkie-talkie? :)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Keeping Secrets

I have two really big secrets. It sucks.

One I can reveal next week, so stayed tuned. I have kept this one for over two weeks and I'm DYING.

The other is not really mine to tell. So I will wait.

Now, I am terrible at keeping secrets. I hate it. They eat me from the inside. So it's been an interesting experiment to see what a self-described-secret-destroyer does when she's the one with secrets.

My coping mechanism? Telling key people who I know can keep their mouths shut. They're not very happy with me, but then I am able to prevent myself from exploding.

And to be honest, the best part of secret having? The telling, of course. It's actually kind of fun to do a slow reveal. That way I can experience the joy over and over again. Very cool.

So, more to be revealed. Soon.

Friday, July 2, 2010

A Return to Healthy Choices

It has been a whirlwind couple of months (scratch couple...a whirlwind six months.) Because of this, my focus on health and exercise has taken a back burner. During the school year, I was able to eat okay because of my schedule. Exercise really stopped happening around March.

To be honest, I probably wasn't eating enough and I know I wasn't getting enough vegetables and fresh items (I was the queen of Lean Cuisine.) Restricting my diet is a slippery slope for me because of my past eating issues.

So when summer started, I was not in a comfortable place with food, and some raging bad habits had resurfaced, like not eating enough during the week, and eating too much on the weekend. No balance.

This week I attempted to strike a balance. I ate well, making sure to eat fresh fruit and vegetables. I had a glass or two of wine most nights. And I exercised four times this week (Jillian Michaels = ouch.)

So today when I weighed myself and discovered I hadn't really lost any weight since I last weighed in two weeks ago, I felt fine about it. Honestly, I had probably gained weight while on vacation, but I didn't weigh myself last week to find out.

I'm heading into Fourth of July weekend with the plan of relaxing, having fun, splurging a bit, but still making sure I make choices I can be proud of.