I print my day plans in two week chunks. The next one I print will have the word “December” on it and my little time management calculator tells me there are just 25 school days left in this year. Last week was final exams and this week we’re tackling final report cards (final reports with half the term remaining?!)
Reflecting on the job, I’m certainly a lot more comfortable with processes now and think occasionally of how much easier a second year would be. I also think about the changes ahead returning to my home school with a new room of faces who have already had several months with my exchange partner. I wonder how this experience here will manifest in my approaches, organization, planning, engagement when I get back. Our two schools are very different and it’s been enlightening to live and work for a year in a system that’s dominated with big data, standards test, and behaviourist philosophies.
On the home front, we’re starting to think about the list of jobs ahead of us as we reset the house, fit in a couple more excursions, and pack (yikes!) for the journey home. We’ve decided on some time in California and Vancouver before heading back to Winterpeg where temperatures will be well and truly below freezing.
There are a couple of social engagements on the calendar with friends and we try not to think too hard about “lasts” but there will be a bunch of them coming up, each tugging at our emotions. We’ll get one last picnic in the mountains with the kangaroos, and another dinner and musical night with our friends. Carlen is off to Canberra with his school for a few days in a couple of weeks, and we’ll take that opportunity to finally visit a vineyard or two.
As much as we would be happy to stay, we’re sure looking forward to a few things when we get home: hugs and visits with our families and friends, cinnamon buns, grated horseradish, perogies and cabbage rolls, hot dogs over an open fire, cheap fuel, fields of canola and sunflowers, the Big Dipper and Casiopia in the night sky (and seeing Orion standing upright!).
Actually, that’s one thing I’ve found interesting and, at the same time, a little unsettling – looking up at the night sky and not really recognizing anything – hard feeling to explain. I’ve always loved the stars and knew where everything was – a sense of place in the cosmos. Here is different – unfamiliar, disorienting. If I think too much about it I can get emotional for some reason. Had great experiences here with telescopes and observing the night sky. Suppose I’ll miss the Southen Cross when we’re back too.