Thursday, August 21, 2008

Note to self: remodel bathroom next.

Well, the the first week back to school (no students) is officially over, even though I have to go in tomorrow if I want computers ready for one of the teachers whose classes rely on the computer. Ah well, c'est la vie, that's why I get paid the big bucks at the STS. (School Technology Specialist, and no, there is no extra money, although I get 2 extra free periods to do the tech work). Overall, not a bad week. There were relatively few technical emergencies, so I got all of my preparing for my classes ready. They moved my STS phone from my storage room, where I rarely was, to my classroom, so I have a phone right on my desk. They also moved my network plug from the back of the room up front at the same time, which means I don't have a long yellow cord wrapped all the way around my room, situated in a way that kids can mess with it. Yea! First faculty meeting went great, I got to make fun at this year's teachers with the worst hall passes. (If you don't remember, last year I had the most damaged hall pass, and the vice principal showed it to the entire faculty in order to stress the importance of taking care of it.) I went with a Miss America theme, and when we got to the Hall Passes in the Policy Manual I came out with a tiara on, said something about how as last year's Mr/Ms Worst Hall Pass I got to announce the new Mr/Ms Worst Hall Pass, announced the first runner up and then placed the tiara on the head of the winner. Yeah, it was funny. Anyway, we did all this up at in Midway, Utah, up in the Heber Valley, very rural area. We got up there the night before and stayed at the Inn on the Creek, a beautiful hotel right on a golf course along, yes you guessed it, a creek. They had the bath tub that I decided I'm going to remodel my entire bathroom for, a spa tub with jets and everything. Hot water, liquid soap and if I'd been sure I wouldn't have drowned, I would have slept there. Couldn't guarantee it so I had to settle for a soak before I went to sleep and then again in the morning. (Just for the record, we didn't waste a ton of the taxpayer's money, the Inn only charged us about 45% of the going rate for the rooms.) We had dinner up at the Principal's cabin, right up the canyon about 20 minutes from the hotel. This was the second year we've done this, it's good for the faculty to get away as a group and bond before the school year starts. Anyhoo, we had the faculty meeting today, were done with the faculty meeting and out of the hotel by 1:30. I was meeting the Principal and a counselor over at Wasatch Golf Course for a little lunch around 2:30 (best hamburgers in Heber Valley. Well, they were good, but probably not the best. So, I headed into "downtown" Midway (population probably less than 10,000, and that's even if you count pets) and checked out "Swiss Days". Not too exciting, but saw some really nice old houses on main street. After lunch I decided to go home the scenic way, up the canyon to Guardsman Pass and over to Big Cottonwood Canyon and back into SLC. I've gone over the pass before, but I've always taken the route that ends up in Park City rather than Heber Valley, so I wanted to check out this route. It was beautiful. Despite being a dirt road a lot of the way, it would have taken me only about 20 minutes longer than the freeway if I hadn't stopped every 10 minutes to check out the sights. At several points you could see over the whole Heber Valley, and the view from the summit was awesome. I got back to SLC right around 5:00, came home, cleaned the car, almost fell asleep watching CSI and then started writing this. Which means I'm pretty much done.

6 comments:

Jannx said...

Welcome Back Max!
A nice summary of your faculty retreat. I also enjoyed the photos. I was very impressed with the hotel. That is also the kind of bathroom I'd like to have if I had my own house.

About the retreat. My school also does an educational workshop retreat. I think it's opened to anyone who wants to attend(kitchen staff and paras were also invited). I've never gone. Ours is usually held on a weekend. Unfortunately, I need my weekends to recoup, recover, and relax. Also, teachers have to share rooms. For me, it would feel too much like being on the clock for me to enjoy myself. Last school year, faculty was told that there might not be money in the budget for a faculty retreat. Our "Teacher's Choice" was also cut by 60%. Teacher's Choice is the money we are reimbursed for classroom related expenses. Last year teachers were reimbursed for $260, this coming school year the amount is down to $150. Sorry, I got sidetracked.

Well, I think that's about it.

Oh, Salt Lake made the NYC newscast yesterday, something involving a police chase and crash.

Max said...

Jannx,
Yeah, our retreat is during the week, on contract days so we're actually required to be there. But since the alternative would be to have our meetings is our non-airconditioned building, it's an enjoyable working vacation. And like you, the entire staff is invited.
Here in Utah, what you call "Teacher's Choice" we call "Legislative Money", because it's funded directly by the Legislature, which means our district can't get their dirty little paws on it. It also means that every teacher in the state gets the same amount. Last year we got $235, and won't know how much we're going to get this year for another month or so.
The one day we're on your news and I'm out of town so I can't expand on the story. Bummer.
So, how soon are you headed back to school?

Jannx said...

Hello Max. Yep, now it's my turn. Teachers here in NYC are required to return Thursday, August 28th. However, I want to get a good start this year -- I know I need more than two days to set up. I will be returning when Admin is required to return, that is on Monday, August 25th. Besides, I need a few days to return to a work routine, so next week will be my "get acclimated to work again" time period. It will be nice to have a week to adjust before the kids arrive.

A Paperback Writer said...

The Homestead again? Or someplace else?
The Homestead's no longer in a rural area, though.
My mom grew up in Heber City, so believe me, I know about the changes there.
Well, my first week was far from ritzy, but I can definitely beat you on stories for today!
Go read my blog about what happened to me on the first day of school. I'm still amazed.

A Paperback Writer said...

Oh, and the closest thing we got to a retreat was breakfast in the school cafeteria on Monday morning.
I've worked a full week, including a 12 hour day on WEds with back to school night.

Max said...

No, this time we stayed at the “Inn on the Creek”, where we had our faculty meeting last year. They gave us an incredible deal on the rooms, only paid about 45% of the going rate. We keep having them up in Midway because the principal has a cabin about 3 miles up the canyon and we have dinner at her cabin. This year we hung out until about 10:00 pm just b.s.ing. It was a lot of fun. Not as much fun as you had though. I’ve never had a kid that needed kicking out that quickly!