Friday, May 28, 2010

Trying to perk, school choices, and nightime belly dancing...

Yesterday was just one of those days wherein I simply wanted to go to bed so that I could wake up the next morning and start anew. They happen to everyone every once in a while and you just have to endure, kwim?

On my car... Mike is looking into a few other garages (friends of friends) and we're going to try and get another estimate or two. But honestly, I'm not optimistic that we'll be able to get the a/c fixed. Regardless, we really don't want to spend more than $300 on car a/c, and barring divine car intervention (does Jesus do auto repair?) I think that it'll just have to stay as is. I'm a little grumpy about it, but honestly, I just need to grow up. In the climate in which we live, it's not a big deal for any length of time. It'll be uncomfortable when I drive home from work on warm days, but I'll just have to offer it up. There are many worse things in life.

On the school thing...I did lots of thinking about this yesterday. And of course, research. I was encouraged to see that at least one local Catholic school charges the lower-priced parishoner rate for anyone that belongs to a parish in which there is no parochial school. That will be us. And the parishoner rates really weren't as bad as I feared. I know that there's also tuition assistance programs too. It made me feel better to have this information.

Overall though, Mike and I talked about it last night, and I think we're going to have to give the public school a go for the upcoming school year. If we don't like it, we can switch Hank for first grade. The main thing at issue is of course money. Mike will still be in school full-time next year, and on top of that, whereas he usually teaches 2 courses per semester as adjunct faculty, in the fall his schedule will only allow him to teach 1. We'll have less money coming in. And, as you all know because I talk about it all the time now :) I'd like to conceive. Major money concerns.

In addition, it's true that it's not fair to judge the school based on a single morning orientation. Every review that we've heard from parents that have or had children in the school have been glowing, including one yesterday from our neighbors with 2 girls enrolled. I think we need a real time experience to go on. Plus, we don't know that the environment would be any less rigid or less assessment-crazy at a given Catholic school. We'd have to get more information about both places before making a firm judgment. Hank's kindergarten year will be a good information-gathering time for us. We can go from there.

I'm still feeling a bit out of sorts about the whole thing, but I'm praying and trusting that somehow it's going to work out just fine. I cracked open my Catechism last night, and was reading the section on the education of children. I forgot to bring it with me so I can't quote the actual text, but the jist was that parents are the ultimate educators of our children. We are not morally obliged to make any specific choice about where to send our children for school - whether it be homeschool, Catholic school or public school. We can send them wherever we feel is best for our particular situation, but in the end, *we* are responsible for passing the faith on to them, and I intend to do that to the best of my ability regardless of whether Hank is in public or Catholic school. In many ways, I think I stay focused better with praying with Hank at home and teaching him spiritual things *because* I know that outside of attending Mass, this is the sole place he's learning about his faith. Should he stay in public school, I'm also looking forward to both of us becoming involved in our parish's CCD program. Hank would start attending in first grade, and I'm planning to volunteer as a teacher.

This is all off in the future somewhat, but it helps me to talk it out. That's why I love this blog so much :)

Ok, so enough stressful stuff. I've been belly dancing my little heart out lately and praying that my sheerish curtains are doing their job and not giving the whole neighborhood a free show. The reason for this is a major upcoming milestone for your Catholic Librarian: my first solo.

Last Friday at class, we were doing our usual thing when suddenly Claire announced something new: We'd be working on our improv skills, improv being dancing solo with no planned choreography. I thought this was a great way to challenge us and force us out of our comfort zones, but I have to say, I'm a bit anti-improv :) Given my personality, I like everything Nothing, not even an eyebrow arch or saucy smile will be left to chance.

So, we all took turns improving for a minute or so to a song, and as you can imagine, I was sweating overtime. I get nervous now about performing, but as long as I'm in the group I do just fine. Everybody looking at ME is not something I'd ever been able to enjoy. My classmates had done this exercise before, but because I'm still fairly new to the advanced class, this was my first time. I put it off as long as possible and then forced myself up. I made it, but it was pretty rough :) In the heat of the moment, I could only remember about 3 steps, so I kept repeating things and tripping over my own feet. Not a good look.

After class I was pondering where I'd like to go with my dancing. I really love it, and we have a hafla coming up to celebrate the opening of Claire's new studio. She's encouraging all of us to do solos. Lest I be pressed into this dreaded improv nightmare, I started planning a choreography posthaste. It took me several days just to pick a song. Finally, I settled on a drum solo, and I really love it. I've planned out about a minute so far, and I have to say, I like it. One thing I realized from the improv exercise is that you don't have to be constantly in frenetic motion when you're doing a solo. There is a place for slowing down, focusing on some hand or chest movements, even pausing in time to the music. As well, you don't have to reinvent the wheel and come up with "new and exciting!" all the time. String together some basic movements, some combinations from class, mix in some travel steps and some of those slower sequences for isolated movements, and 2 minutes later you've got yourself a cute solo.

I'm pretty terrified, but cautiously optimistic. Now I just need to secure a costume with the magic word attached (cheap!). We'll get there...

Happy Memorial Day!


  1. R probably told you I just got my a/c fixed, too. Price quote was about the same, except then my mechanic couldn't find the part anywhere except from the dealer (everyone kept giving him ones that were supposedly right but which didn't fit), and they charge much more, so all together it ended up costing almost $1,000. Not happy AT ALL.

    On the school front: I hang out on a local message board that covers about a four-town area, and each school is different. There are a couple in particular that have gone nuts on the "no cupcaqkes" thing, and another one or two that seem to be kind of unwelcoming, but most seem to still be pretty normal, while still conscious of being secure places. Most of what we've personally seen has been more relaxed, like "it'd be great if you could send a healthy snack and maybe not Doritos...". For what it's worth, the one teacher we had who specifically asked us not to do cupcakes at birthday time was his pre-K 4 teacher -- at Catholic school. (I made cranberry muffins, and they were awesome.)

  2. thanks, Ken! I am feeling better about everything :)


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