Thursday, May 19, 2011

Completing the Checklist

I will say, 5:10 AM comes early every morning, but 3:30 AM was just a bit too early for me today. I had to get up, out of the house and down to school by 4:30 in order to decorate for our senior breakfast this morning. It stunk, it was early, but all of this is SO much better than coaching cheerleading. Been there, done that, NO thank you.

The cafeteria ladies really do a fantastic job. They actually wrapped 450 sets of real silverware for the kids. I bought a bunch of junk to throw on the tables. Here's a picture of one when it was about half way from being finished.
This is what has been my headache since March. We run a program called Unleashed Memories in which parents, family and friends all write letters to their students congratulating them on their graduation. I collected letters for 437 kids and with help of other students before and after school sorted them from March until just last night (and even some this morning). We stopped counting when we got close to 7,000 letters. Our faculty is wonderful. I can't do this project unless every kid has letters. Around May 1 I send out a panic email to the faculty saying who needs letters and they turn them out in droves. I'm talking hand written notes of encouragement. It's heartwarming. The community also brought by generic supportive and encouraging cards to put in bags I felt were a little thin even at the very end.

It's fantastic to see grown men cry at letters from their mothers. These kids listen to their parents tell them they love them each and every day but this is likely the first time they really hear them. Then there was a child who's mother sent the review for her AP Chem. test with a sticky note reading "School's not over yet." Love it!

Here is what the commons area looked like before we let the kids in. We had the lights dimmed because I was playing a slide show of the pictures taken at the senior dinner Monday night. I've already mentioned how awesome our cafeteria staff is. Look at this spread they put on for the kids. There was more than this as well. There was hand made potato hash with peppers and onions and gravy and grits and the fruit was in carved out watermelon baskets. The cinnamon rolls were hand rolled that morning.

They do all this AND have to feed the rest of the general population of the school (we have about 2,000 students total).

I usually don't get to eat at these events because I'm busy running interference, but I had my students trained. I tutored them in what to say when I came over and snatched a piece of bacon off of their plates. They were to respond, "Would you like another?" It was just hysterical when one kid came up and offered me a piece of bacon. Another brought me a biscuit while I was walking the commons and another some fruit while I was dealing with a problem with the letters. They're good, good kids.

Here's what it looked like in full swing. Actually, the picture misses half of the commons off to the right hand side so double the children you see here.

Did it go well? Eh...*shrug*. I've gotten amazing compliments from the kids. Some even made a thank you poster, but three parents have emailed that their kids are missing letters which makes me sad and irritated with myself, but there's no way in telling if the fault lies with us or the post office and when we've got our hands on 7,000+ pieces of mail without an automatic sorting system, something like that's bound to happen. So far, I've heard of 3 missing letters out of 7,000+, so it's not so bad.

Graduation tickets have come in so we're doing review games for our final while the kids count tickets. Now I need to wait for exams and pull failures' tickets, walking cards and diplomas. Next Friday is practice and away we go!

I also pulled another zucchini today and if the bees don't show up soon and start pulling their weight I'm going to log a complaint. This is a garden blog by the way.

Seeded post cards are ready to go! The package had 4 cards in there and not 8. Looks like I need glasses for my glasses.

The morning comes early, but at this point 5:10 AM is looking purty durn' good, my friends. Sweet graduation dreams.


  1. Hey your letter sorting was 99.96% accurate - not quite at the 6 sigma mark (3.4 defects per million) but darn close. Kudos for your hard work.

  2. You are ONE AMAZING LADY. Wow.
    It sounds like it went great-it must take a LOT of organization and cooperation to pull off something like this.
    No bees? At all??
    I've seen nothing but wasps up here. Oh, to see a honeybee.....

  3. Thanks, Emily! that good? I'm an English teacher. Sadly, math gives me hives. It's fascinating, and I want to understand it, but my mind just can't wrap around it.

    Sue, no bees. The occasional carpenter bee, but nothingto write home about. Wasps are few and far between, but out as well.

  4. You are one amazing woman! Congratulations on a job exceptionally well done

  5. My wife is a kindergarten teacher, which is the opposite end of the spectrum for you, but I have lots of respect for teachers after being married to one. I have harvested four zukes this week too.

  6. Kris, I could never, ever do kindergarten. It's the elem. school teachers who give the basis and the start there can make or break a kid. Kudos to your wife!

    Oompapa...You're bias, Mom. ;)

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  8. Heck I can cry just reading your post about it. I'm such a sap. I cry during commercials. lol and my verification word is rednes. I turn bright red whenever I cry and it lasts forever.

  9. Looks great, but wow will you sleep tonight!