Monday, August 09, 2004

The Dread Sked

Yesterday was a ridiculously productive day. Between the time that I got out of church at 12:30 and went to Starbucks at 10:45, I: *draws deep breath* got my oil changed, mailed off my paperwork to the school district, did two loads of laundry, finished the revisions to a Sinfonia document I've been working on, got today's teaching at the store settled for everyone who's in school already, did some work on my financial summaries and started the dreaded schedule for the fall. *exhales*

Ahh yes, the dreaded schedule, or Dread Sked for short. It's like putting together this huge and complex jigsaw puzzle where sometimes the pieces don't fit quite right. I told some people last week that doing this is my second-most loathsome activity of the year--second only to preparing my income tax (and Dad does some of that for me anyway). The players: ten schools, approximately 75 students, way too many band directors to count. The ground rules: People who took lessons over the summer get first dibs, then people who took last year but not over the summer, then newbies get whatever's left. The problems: Schools change their schedules from last year, or even their bell schedules by ten minutes or so (I schedule myself pretty tightly, and even five minutes can make a difference on whether I can make a certain school on time); the school that insists on grouping all the woodwinds, brass, etc. together by classes regardless or band...but for marching season only, and then it changes after two six-weeks; the fact that the number of people who took over the summer may not coincide with my actual planned availability at their particular schools; band directors who can't understand why I don't have room for every saxophone on their roster, yet make no effort to bolster my ranks in the thin summer months. Oh yeah, and the severe lack of hours in the day, or at least the portion where it's practical to teach.

So I've started this thing, but it's too early to tell if it will be good or bad yet. I have one more middle school that still needs to give me its schedule, but I can already tell there will be some places where student demand exceeds supply of available slots. I'm at least hoping to have a respectable amount of time for lunch every day; that got downright unhealthy for me at times last year. It's ironic that I love my job but sometimes hate my schedule, but it would all be different if there weren't so many things out of my control.

Normally, I'd warn everyone that I might be cranky this week, but the whole side-project of helping Halfling with lab band audition stuff has proven to be a wonderful distraction. I have to get the Dread Sked completed before next week, but it's not in the forefront of my mind 24/7. I have a few more days to toy with it, but I'm pretty happy with how much I've already done.

What's wrong with this picture? Last night at Starbucks, I took a peek through the window into Barnes and Noble, where I noticed an interesting display on the endcap of the magazine section. Right next to the magazine Bible Review was one called B**ch, of all things. I wonder if someone was trying to make a twisted statement or if they were just using alphabetical order...

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