I’ll be back in school and eating school lunch in just a couple weeks. Frankly, I’m not looking forward to eating the lunches again. I keep hoping that there will be menu changes and that things will be better than the 101 school lunches I ate over the first half of the project. It’s probably optimistic of me to think that the food service companies that provide the meals might have retooled their menus. But considering the media attention being paid to school lunches in general, I remain hopeful that things will be better. Maybe I have to tell myself that (“It will be better, it will be better…”) so that I can feel ok about it. Also I’ve mentioned before that I have a sensitive system. My body has been happy all summer long. Upsetting that balance bothers me a little, but I will survive.
When I think about my job, I look on the bright side and think about my students and co-workers. I’m thrilled that I’ll get to see them again and get back into the school routine. I love my work. I work with kids who are needy in many ways. I enjoy helping them and I do believe I make a difference in their lives. I wish I could tell you more about myself, but it will have to suffice that my profession was a deliberate choice. I wanted to do this, I worked hard to get here, and I enjoy most days very much.
I love having summers “off” (this summer the blog has kept me very busy so it was not exactly “off”) but I dislike transitions. The transition from the end of the school year to the summer can be especially challenging because getting through the end of the year stuff can be stressful and exhausting. Then suddenly I’m at home listening to the crickets. In late August it’s the opposite. I’m at home, relaxing (and blogging a lot truth be told), and all of a sudden I’m at work, running around setting up my room, getting rosters together, and trying to plan. A year ago the transition in August/September was the most difficult I have ever experienced. I don’t know what caused my anxiety to spike, but knowing that last year was rough is helping me feel prepared for any emotional changes that come with the start of this school year.
Another bonus: Autumn is my favorite season. It’s hard not to feel excited by crisp, jean jacket weather. Then kicking leaves, going for comfortable walks without humidity and replacing my sandals with more rugged boots (I’m not a sneaker person, but I love comfy shoes). I enjoy Halloween (last year I wore a ridiculous hat and called it my costume) and eating homemade pumpkin bread. I’m vowing now to go to the pumpkin patch this year with the kid (I didn’t get around to it last year). And did I mention that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday? The months to come will be some of my most special.
Guess what? I was interviewed by Parents magazine for their September issue, which is on newsstands right now! Last week I was at the grocery store and was just about to check out when I saw a September issue of a magazine. I knew my interview in April/May would be coming out soon. I turned around and went straight to the magazine aisle. I found Parents magazine and I noticed on the front that their school lunch article was one of the headlines! I hurriedly flipped to page 219 (what a thick issue!) and found that my quotes were there, in the first paragraph no less! I wanted to grab the other people in the aisle and scream, “YES!!” But I refrained myself because after all I am anonymous. Instead I did a little excited jump because isn’t everyone excited in the magazine aisle?! Mrs. Q, (aka Me!), was in Parents magazine… What a thrill and what an honor. Check out the article — it’s informative with lots of expert opinions.
I will be speaking at the Mayo Clinic’s Center for Innovation’s Transform Symposium 2010 next month. They asked me months ago and I had to accept. I mean, who turns down the Mayo Clinic? We’ve been working out the details so that I can remain anonymous. I told them, “No photo, no video, no problem!” Well, they want to record it… Oh boy.
Of course the Mayo Clinic came up with a solution: Second Life. They do various speeches through Second Life already and so it’s easy for them to have an avatar of Mrs. Q “talk” about the project, school lunches, and kids’ nutrition. How brilliant of them — I shouldn’t have expected anything less. Not to mention everyone in the Center for Innovation is exceptionally nice. I have no experience with the virtual world, but planning the presentation has been such fun.
If anyone would like to figure out who I am by attending the conference, well, it’s sold out and I’ll be “speaking” through an avatar. How appropriate for the mysterious Mrs. Q.