It is that time of year again. Students are dragging themselves to the store to buy school supplies, teachers are putting up bulletin boards and sharpening pencils, and parents are breathing a sigh of relief. Yes, it is Back to School season.

For teachers, this is a time full of meetings, photocopying, curriculum work, decorating, lesson planning, brainstorming, and often, stress. These things are often expected. There is grumbling, whining, and even the occasional stomping of the feet. This is all for show.

Most of the teachers I work with love what they do. They believe that every child can learn and try to provide an environment where that is possible. Most succeed. Watching those teachers working with kids or listening to them talk about their commitment to education still amazes me. I sometimes stop and think, "Thank goodness all of the horror stories from my education courses about awful teachers aren't true."

Today, I was reminded that some of those stories are true. I attended a course in continuing education this morning. All of the people attending were teachers. It can be difficult to throw a whole bunch of teachers into a room when they don't want to be there. Those of us that wanted to be there participated and tried to be involved in the class. For others, it seemed as if they used the class as time to make obnoxious comments, talk on their cell phones, and belittle the work other teachers had done to prepare the class. It made me ashamed to be sitting near them.

I went into the teaching field to give students a chance to learn. I believe that in order to do that, I have to keep learning myself. Beyond some of the book learning from this morning, I learned a seemingly simple, yet important lesson:

Surrounding yourself with people who are willing to learn is one of the best things a teacher can do.

Summer's almost over as the w/u says.. and now it's time for all kids to panic, and hide, and then resign themselves to the yearly torture of actually going back to school.
"Sadly" because I'm homeschooled, I have no real problem with going back to school, or as I say starting school up again. In a way I enjoy it, but that's because I don't have to put up with teachers and other people.

Now people ask me all the time, 'do you miss other kids', and my answer is.. not really, I mean they're fine, but I don't really miss being around other kids. And I had my friend, who introduced me to my girlfriend, and thus I'm not missing out on any sort of socialisation that I'd want, I just got the socialization I want. So I really got the things I've wanted without the many other kids and annoying people, so really I'm alright.

The main thing I am happy about is that fall is going to start soon, and thus winter, and I will like some more cool weather, but weather wise it really hasn't been to bad except for a little bit of July. I just don't understand that summer is almost over, it really seems like it was just a few weeks ago it was starting.. crazy.

As my eyes gaze across the paper, I can hardly believe it's finally done with. "Congratulations! This letter is to inform you of your promotion...." And all I can think is, it's about damn time. I thought I would be exited. But truly it is a feeling of relief. To understand my anxiety of the situation, I haven't known, not for sure, for quite a while. It's been far longer than the three weeks my wife and I have spent apart, her in Bellingham, myself in Wenatchee.

We constructed plans, acquired an apartment, she enrolled at university, we rented a truck and we moved all of our belongings across the State all with this uncertainty of whether or not I would actually be gainfully employed on the other end. But I finally know. After months of waiting, I know. I'm moving to Bellingham, WOOT! Every town has its ups and downs. I've been here 13 years now. I have to say, I will miss it, miss my friends and my family, but I'm so glad to finally get out of this hole.

Last weekend a sadness over took me as I walked through my parents' house, my mom's house, the house I grew up in. It was empty save a few boxes and the piano that is staying to be enjoyed by the new owners. See I'm not the only one that's moving. Last fall my father divorced my mother. It was very unexpected. And though my dad has moved on, bought a new house, and is working on obtaining his next wife, seeing my mom pack everything up and sign over ownership of our home to some stranger had more of an effect on me than I had predicted. She's in Portland now and doing well and I am happy for her.

This week everything's been yellow. I mean that quite literally. Wildfires in southern British Columbia have flooded this valley with massive amounts of smoke, creating an ominous gel that filters the sunlight casting amber shadows and giving everything a sickening look to it, compounded with my mood. I'm ready to get out of here. My last day is Tuesday. And I will be more than happy to go. There's a song that I can't seem to get this out of my head, and perhaps it will fade as time goes on. Can't there be some happiness for me? Not in Wenatchee.

Today, along with my paycheck I recieved another letter. It was polite, yet to the point. "Due to economic conditions and labor requirements" I was being laid off.

So now, I don't have a job. Oh, I wasn't alone. My company laid off sixty other people, and more will follow next week. In construction, you are always working yourself out of a job. When the building is finished, you leave. In my case, I just finished training the owners of a new school on the central and local sound systems when the news came. My work is done, so am I.

I can't say I didn't see it coming. My company has not been winning many bids in the past year. In fact, we got only one, and it was a small project, and already nearly done. We have six projects all finishing at the same time. I'm not the first person to go, not nearly. I have been thinking about this day for a long time. But no matter what, it still came as shock, and it hurt. I'd been a good electrician, reliable, I worked overtime when asked and my work doesn't need to be redone. I always plan ahead, something many electricians don't do. But in the end, it didn't matter. When I finished, so did my job.

Well, today I'm finished. Anybody need a good journeyman?

Sprint came today and turned on the phone line for us. Again, it only took a few minutes, and like the cable guy, he was polite and didn't push any extra crap we didn't need.

Got a lot of work done (of the money-earning kind), then we began our first real hardcore series of trips back and forth between the apartment and the house bringing packed boxes and tear-down furniture. To my surprise, our entertainment center (purchased at our local unfriendly Wal-Mart) actually disassembled easily, and more surprising, went back together without difficulty at the house. No damage, no missing parts, no left over pieces. I doubt I'll get that lucky again.

I spent about an hour calling different truck rental places to find a U-Haul or a Budget truck to rent, since our big couch, bedroom furniture, and mattress & box spring are too big for my car. For awhile, it seemed like we were screwed, but finally we found a shop with a truck available. The only rub: we could pick it up at 5:00pm on Saturday, and return it by 9:00am on Sunday. We were very happy -- no midday Vegas sun to cope with while we moved. It's hot enough in this city without the radiant heat energy beaming down on us from that nuclear reactor in the sky.

Tonight we decided to take the little mattress out of the sofa sleeper, drag it upstairs to the bedroom, and sleep there. This gave me a somewhat more comfortable sleeping surface (concrete under carpet is not comfortable in the slightest), and we got better sleep.

Even without our bed, we've both begun to notice we've been sleeping very soundly here, unlike in the apartment where there was tons of noise and lots of irritating people around to wake us up again.

Friday was the first of what I hope will be many uneventful days in the new house.

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