Three weeks living in a hotel tests a relationship. Lots of “sharing” time is a reminder of how luxurious our lives are in the US. We’re used to soooo much space, much more than we need. And yet, it’s easy to get used to elbow room, which is just what we had on Northshore Drive. Lots and lots of elbow room. Not so at the York Hotel. But two days ago, our shipment arrived so last night we slept in our own bed in our own condo in our own neighborhood in Singapore. We’re still living out of boxes with sparse furnishing, but we have some space to call ours for the next two years and it feels oh so good (even if our living room is rather bare bones right now — please notice we do have a television and a modem for our internet . . . and lots and lots and lots of wires).
Tomorrow marks our school’s 2010 Open House, which means kids from preschool through 12th grade and their families descend upon the campus to discover who their teachers are for the year, to greet friends, to sort out their schedules and locate their classrooms, and to enjoy an ice cream social. We’re told to expect up to 10,000 (yes, that’s ten thousand) people on campus. Our school population across the grades is over 3,000 students so with parents, family members, and the large crew of teachers and staff, it’s probably a reasonable expectation. Let’s hope the weather cooperates (which means it’ll pour rain at some time during the day and then turn into a sauna afterward). Then tomorrow night there’s a dinner party for the all faculty and staff. Another gala social event with what promises to be an SAS tradition. Good food . . . and lots of it.
Along the topic of food, my most recent happy surprise came in the form of “toast with peanut” purchased at the Marsiling MRT bread shop early yesterday morning. Catching the 6 a.m. MRT means the alarm goes off at 5 and I’m out the door without pausing for breakfast. When I saw a sign for “toast with peanut” as I left the MRT station to walk to school, I figured I’d get it to-go and enjoy breakfast at my desk. Imagine my surprise (and joy!) when I opened my paper bag and the toast had transformed into a waffle. Warm, melty peanut butter and a slightly sweet waffle. All for S$1.30 (about $1 in US funds). I could get used to this. Apparently I have a colleague who ends her week by treating herself to “toast” with chocolate on Friday mornings. Not quite as healthy as PB, but I imagine melted chocolate tucked inside a waffle makes a tasty reward on the last day of an exhausting week. [Of course, so does a glass of good red wine — just not for breakfast!]
School begins on Monday — after a full week of meetings (upon meetings upon meetings) and more technology challenges (today we had a tutorial in PowerSchool and the newest version of Blackboard, and an introduction to something called DyKnow — at the same time the mouse on my brand new laptop decided to malfunction). The “on the edge” tensions from last week continued, but there were also many bright spots. One pleasure is our embarrassment of riches — piles of new young adult literature for our middle school reading/language arts curriculum. They’re now stamped, numbered, and on our classroom bookshelves, thanks to Jun and Rohani.
There’s plenty to do before Monday but it’s time to call an end to the meetings and devote these last few days to firming up teaching plans. And then . . . bring on the kids!