Thursday, March 17, 2011

Redshirting kindergartners...WTF?

I've been giving a lot of thought to where Andra will go to school for kindergarten, and when. Connecticut's cut off date is January 1, so she could go when she's 4 and 9 months, two falls from now. I teach in a rich, white, snobby district with great academics, and as a teacher, I could bring her to that district for free...there are a number of teachers who do. I live in a poorer, minority, failing-school labeled neighborhood. To my great surprise, we decided (though it took a lot of gong back and forth) to stick with our neighborhood school. (A recent party where we met a bunch of neighbors with kids around the same age, plus some who are older and in the school, totally confirmed our feelings on this. We can make up any holes in her education...we can't make up for the utter lack of cultural diversity and general reality that the other town lacks.) Then there's the issue of when...send her when she's eligible, or "red-shirt" her. Red-shirting is incredibly common in the the rich town where I teach. I've also been spending time (too much) reading blog posts and message boards about this. The basic idea is that everyone wants to give their kid an edge. But I just don't see that logic. All the time in the world isn't going to make a dumb kid smart, for one. And regardless, who the hell is your kindergartner competing against?? Sure, they will then say, oh, it's not kindergarten, it's so that when they take the SAT's they're a year older, and when they are in high school they are a year older...well, see my first point about intelligence. Do these people not realize that there are a LOT of stupid adults out there?? Age doesn't make you smarter. Then there's the fact that I teach high school. I don't care what anyone says, those kids aren't competing against each other. If they think they are, or their parents do, so be it, but the bottom line is, everyone is there to do the best they can for themselves, and no grade another student earns can detract from that.

That said, I am totally stressing that Andra won't be potty trained at school be September. That is one thing that time CAN help.

Friday, March 11, 2011


Had time this morning to work out before school, due to the testing schedule this week. I was going to run, to get 10 miles in for the week in 4 runs (hey, that would be a great thing right now), but some of the special needs kids were on the treadmills, so I lifted instead. I need to make up some more organized routines...but I did do some new things I read in magazines, and overall had a good workout. I need to keep up the momentum now...

I had a hard 2 months, with not feeling well. Lost my motivation. How can you work out well when you feel awful, tired, drained? I didn't necessarily see that at the time...I tend to be hard on myself. But in retrospect, there wasn't a lot I could do. Now that I am more normal, I'm getting back on track. Outdoor group rides with the group I swam with last year start in 2 weeks (on my birthday no less). It will still be COLD, but I hope to get out there ASAP.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Ahhh...three. Yes, there was some walking, because I want to run faster than I can. But...three miles! It's amusing to me, when I am walking now and I can do so without limping, I don't want to stop. SO different from how I felt the past two months. I wonder if the virus I had, with all the GI symptoms, also affected everything else...joints, muscles, general achiness. At any's been a great week. I love running to music and sweating again!

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Two point five

This is state testing week at school, so the schedule is all weird. I didn't have to proctor today, so I didn't have to really be at school until 10. Around 8:30, I decided that I really wanted to get a run in before I got Andra off to daycare, and ran 2.5 on the school treadmill. EXCELLENT. Feet didn't hurt too much, I ran at 6.1 (yesterday was 6.0), and did 25 minutes (so a bit more than 2.5 miles). I woudl have kept going, I think, except I needed to go teach. The downside to it all was that the coaches' locker room apparently doesn't have hot water. So, a super quick cold shower and a blow dry of sweaty hair...but whatever, I feel great! Makes me wish I had a job with more normal hours...if I could work out at 7 every day, I think I could do it. Oh well, maybe this summer.

The question now is, what am I going to do with the fact that I can run now (again, it's always day to day, far so good), and I feel so good about doing it? The ball is in my court.

Monday, March 07, 2011


Ran 2 miles just now at lunch. Lifted a little too. Ankle stiff but ended up ok, I even cranked it all the way up to an 8:00 pace for the last minute (spent most of the run at 10:00). I keep telling myself this...but I just need to get back into a routine. If I could run, or do anything, 6 days a week again, even 20 minute runs, I would feel so much better. More disciplined.

Seeing ankle doctor today, I want to get physical therapy mostly on the Achilles and have them do a gait analysis now that I actually can run. Most days at least. Part of my struggle is it's hard to plan when I don't know from day to day if running will be painful or doable. I know in my last post I said I can't run anymore...I didn't mean there aren't days I can run, but that I can't be a runner. I can't go out and do a 10 miler. I don't see anything more than a 5k, MAYBE a 10k in my future. I can't just pick up and have an easy run. Every run now (aside from it being short due to my not being in good enough shape anymore) is painful to some extent, has mental issues (will this hurt? will I be able to finish the run?), and lacks the spontaneous joy of being able to say, I'm a runner! Because I feel like a wannabe.

But still, even if I don't feel like a runner, I ran.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

On not running

Turns out (after I had a fun colonoscopy and biopsies were sent to the lab) that I probably had infectious colitis. Basically, some nasty virus that stuck around for 2 months making me miserable. There was microinflammation in the samples sent, but luckily they ruled out anything serious. Plus, it seems to have resolved itself after I had a good long puking episode a week ago Friday (which happened during last period of the day, and I just told my kids to leave...then I went to the bathroom and puked). So...I am feeling better in that regard.

With the weather turning a bit more spring like, I am dying to go running. However, my last few attempts have been thwarted by...pain, what else? Between my bad ankle and what feels like the bones pinching on nerves on some steps, and my Achilles (it's really the base of my heel on the sides, I guess that's the insertion point for the Achilles?) on the other foot, I basically just can't do it. It's killing me. Even walking again. Saw a woman running as I drove to school yesterday (and today), and honestly I just teared up at how mad I am that I can't do it anymore. Nothing substitutes for running. Nothing is the same.

There's another teacher here whom I see every week or so, and maybe a month ago she was all excited to tell me that she has started P90x. She used to be a runner and very in shape, but about 5 years ago she was diagnosed with some autoimmume eye disease, and was on prednisone for a couple years and gained 15 pounds and had double vision that made her stop running. Yesterday, she was so thrilled that she had run 2 miles on the treadmill. She echoed what I've been feeling, that nothing takes its place and that it's so frustrating to realize you'll probably never get back to where you were in terms of pace, ease, distance. I don't really know what to do with it all. I'm going to try today at the end of the day to do a treadmill run. Maybe it'll go ok, maybe not. I haven't lost my passion for running, but I've lost my ability to do so. That day finally came. Maybe not for good, I hope, but. It sucks.