Friday, July 31 - It's Time to Renew My License

As I was leaving for lunch today one of the children in the Summer Enrichment Program asked me if I was the School Nurse! I guess since I dispense band-aids and ice packs you could draw that conclusion.

That brief interlude reminded me that it's time to renew my license. My Nurse Hunting License that is!

During the school year, whenever our nurse leaves her room, (which is more often than you would think) students are directed by a sign on the door to come to the office. Most of the time they can be helped with an ice pack or a band aid, but there are times that truly do need a nurse's attention.

Since she doesn't always tell us where she's going, and since she doesn't wear a bell around her neck, we have to hunt her down.

By now I know most of the obvious places she will be, like in the faculty room warming her coffee for the umpteenth time, or in the computer lab needing help from the computer teacher, or in the band room with the instrumental music teacher. So I start phoning those places for her. (Let it be known that if there is an emergency, I would page her on the intercom, however, we don't like to disturb the classes when it's not absolutely necessary.)

It was on one of these ocassions when I actually said to the computer teacher that I was on a Nurse Hunt. She laughed knowing the nurse's reputation and said she totally understood.

Not more than an hour later the computer teacher arrived in the office with two official Nurse Hunting Licenses granted to the office staff and good for one year.

I carry mine in my wallet.

If you know me and know my relationship with my school nurse you will understand when I say that sadly, I'm only allowed to use the phone during this hunt. Discharge of weapons is, unfortunately, verboten.

Yep, just checked it. It's time to renew!

Friday, July 24 - What Comes of This Seed?

About 3 years ago, out in the front of our school, a rogue plant appeared in the very neatly newly planted landscape. This plant, continued to grow, unchecked by the maintenance crew.

Much to our surprise, when it got to be about 2 1/2 ft. tall, these wonderful trumpet-like blossoms in white appeared. The plant continued to grow to about 4 ft. and had many blossoms which in turn, turned to spiny seed pods. The seed pods dried out and split, scattering their seed throughout the mulch in that area.

Soon, many little plants could be seen taking root.

People who came and went often commented on the plant and it's beautiful blossoms and wondered what it was called. I did some research and found out it is called Datura. It is a plant that many people grow in their gardens. It is not a weed.

My principal, didn't share the same opinion. After passing it everyday for most of the summer, he let the maintenance staff know that they should yank them all out when they did the final grounds clean-up before school started in September.

The only problem was that by that time, the plant had spread so much and shed so many seeds into the mulch that it would be impossible to totally eradicate it.

We plant seeds of knowledge inside and hope that they get nurtured and grow to be big thoughts someday. It's a process that you hope won't be stopped once it's started. One never knows what those seeds of knowledge can become someday. We should be so lucky that from those seeds come beautiful flowers.

What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, Fortune of the Republic, 1878

Can we not say that about a child?

Friday, July 17 - New Door Lock

there was a storm on Saturday night that caused a power failure
that caused the breakers to trip
that caused the alarm system to go off
that caused the security company to leave a message that the alarm system went off
that caused the front door buzzer to ring continuously until someone cut the wire about 9:00 this morning
that caused the office and faculty room refrigerators to defrost
that caused all the ice pops (10 boxes) to melt leaving a sticky pool in the freezer
that, when rebooted this morning, caused the fire alarm in the office to ring for over an hour

and, because the head of maintenance is on vacation in the catskills and is hard to reach, and he can’t explain to his summer office help how to reprogram the system to reset the lock, this is what he suggested doing to secure the building for the evening.

Keep in mind that the door opens OUT!

Friday, July 10 - Who Left the Mike On?

Note to Self:

Always remember to check if the office PA system is off before you start talking about how you were constipated all weekend and then ate the cookies that were brought in Monday morning and got diarrhea.

Friday, July 3 - Movin' On Up

We prepare ourselves at the end of each year for the students to "Move Up" into the next grade level. On the last day of school the second graders come over from their school and visit their new 3rd grade teachers. The old third graders visit their new fourth grade teachers and, you guessed it, the old fourth graders visit their new fifth grade teachers.

During this time, the old fifth graders are signing yearbooks, watching movies, or are outside on the playground.

Before the day is over we will be visited in the office to sign a yearbook, to be offered something from the class party, or to receive a gift.

It's nice to see our outgoing 5th's to say good bye and wish them luck. We've had them for 3 years. We know the frequent flyers who visit the principal, and we know the one's who have done well also.

But we not only lose students to moving up, we lose parents also. And again, there are the one's you couldn't wait to see go, and those that you will miss.

I received a package from one such family. This mom always treated us at the holidays, secretaries day, and at the end of the year with a container full of puppy chow. The homemade candy puppy chow that is. Delicious! This year was no different except for the note.

The children (twins) each wrote a thank you on the note, but then the mom added her sentiments. We go back a long way.

When her older daughter was in 1st grade I happened to be doing a long-term subbing assignment for her teacher. Through the years, while I was subbing, our paths would cross. Then when I took the office job, we saw more of each other.

This is a mom who always takes time to talk to you. To really ask you how you are doing and mean it.

She's also a mom who writes her children's notes on any available piece of paper, be it a paper napkin that's handy or the back of a grocery store receipt.

She's a mom who will paint her face green and don a blow-up leprechaun outfit and visit the school each St. Patrick's day and cause mayhem and laughter as she runs down the halls and around the outside of the school. And I have pictures of her dressed as a cow for Halloween, udders and all.

She's a mom who you will see running through the neighborhood with her dog on a leash, sometimes with her children following along on their bikes.

And, she's a mom who will drop what she's doing and come in to clean tables at lunch when someone else can't make it.

These are the one's you hate to lose.