Monday, October 03, 2011

10/30/11 First Day!!!!


First day at a new job today. I'd forgotten how freaky those are. Perhaps this one moreso because it all seemed so normal and happy. Am I on The Truman Show?

I also keep hearing how things will get crazy and busy, and I can certainly see how -- I saw an email conversation in which my company couldn't grab a customer because he was on the East Coast and we were 3 hours behind. That's pretty tight timing. Right now I'm just learning the language -- so many terms and assumptions that everyone tosses around as general parlance, and I have to either hide a puzzled face, ask later, or just be stumped. But experience helps here -- I know it will fill itself in later and that hearing these mysteries is part of filling in all the blanks.

I was greatly comforted when my new closest coworker showed me a lab and sent me a hands-on configuration document to test out -- now I'm happy. This is what I can do.

No matter how I look at it, this was by far the right decision -- even if I hadn't been leaving a completely dysfunctional ridiculous situation.

I wasn't expecting this, but I got a real office! Like, with a door and walls! This never happens in Silicon Valley!

With a dual-screen setup for my HP laptop (HP! Never had one!). I also get a Blackberry, which I'm already mixed on.

Mom should be amused by my first-day outfit, since she helped me pick it: gray stretch trousers from Banana Repulic, and a 50% silk cardigan on sale at Banana. The shirt is from Title Nine, of course. It's really not clear how strict the dress code is, but since I was really past the jeans-and-T-shirt phase of life anyway, this is fine.

Another huge bonus is that my commute is not only a little shorter, but it's much more reliable. It's reverse-commute, so will not wary widely as my old commute did. If I left at 4:30 at my old job, traffic was Ok, but 5:30, and it was a nightmare. This route, those two times won't be much different. So in theory I should be able to pick up kids earlier. And in theory, drop them off later -- could we skip $100s of dollars in childcare by dropping the 1-1/2 hours of morning supervision that we only use 15-20 minutes of?

OK, enough about me.

I was really surprised: Julian got a great grade on his "Jack and the Beanstalk" book report, with 5's (the highest score) on everything except a 4 in "use of props" as he didn't have any. Not surprisingly, he scored a '2' (lowest) on his ability to listen politely to other kids' presentations. I'm not sure how strict a grader this teacher is, but she had these words to offer parents about the report:

Please don't draw the pictures for your child. It is their report and they should have colored self drawn pictures. If I felt that it was not a child's work it is reflected in their grade. Most did a great job on their presentations. I will be looking for improvement. Some students did not point to their book report at all, or just read from it. Thank you

I don't know, is that a common thing around the country to remind parents not to draw things for their kids?

Julian's teacher has a new method of emailing the parents the homework, so we get it Monday in email and print it. For us that means Julian can't start it until I get home and have a chance to sit down and print it out. However, Julian does have his preprinted week's worth of math homework with him, so he starts on that while I'm printing the language homework. And then he blows through the math, with no hesitation or questions, in about 20 minutes. It's really striking to see the school's putziest, whiniest, laziest excuse-expert toast this homework.

Could that point to a "Julian is bored' explanation? We wondered that for Gabriel, but Gabriel just didn't care, and he'd make stupid careless mistakes. We'd told Gabriel that if he's "bored" in math, that he could show that by acing every test -- but he never did. Julian is acing every math test, worksheet and homework page including the optional sections so far. I can't imagine where he finds the time amidst all that pestering, complaining, lollygagging and trips to principal's office.


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