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Yesterday was the last day of school.

I kept trying to write about this year as principal at HOPAC, and I kept getting stuck.

There was just too much to say. It's all been crammed into my head for 10 months and I haven't had the time to process it, let alone get it out. Not really writer's block. More like writer's traffic jam. So I start trying to write, and it's like those glass ketchup bottles you keep shaking. When it finally comes out, it comes out all at once.

So, forgive me if this reads like spilled ketchup.

This has been the most intense year of my life. For once in my life, a year did not speed by. I think back to August and it feels like an eternity ago.

Never in my life have I had a year with so many thoughts in my brain at once. I used to think that I was good at remembering details, but now I have to tell people, Put it in an email or I will forget. My mind had to switch between too many topics in the course of a day to remember anything anymore.

The kindergarten teacher is on maternity leave. Her substitute teacher is able to work every day except Wednesdays. Between myself, the first grade assistant, and the kindergarten assistant, we manage to get Wednesdays covered. Then the kindergarten assistant leaves to go to some training. So that means I need to move the first grade assistant into kindergarten all day on Wednesdays. The second grade assistant will help the kindergarten teacher while the kindergarten assistant is gone.

And while my brain is doing gymnastics over Wednesdays in kindergarten, a child comes rushing into my office saying, Mrs. Medina! So-and-so just threw my brother's water bottle and ruined it and I need to call and tell my mom right now!

No darling, you don't need to call your mom right nowBut I make notes: Email mom of boy with ruined water bottle. Email mom of boy who ruined it. Come up with work project as compensation for boy who ruined it.

This is why I could never write a post entitled, "A Day in My Life as Principal." Because it would look something like this:

9:05  Work on Powerpoint for next week's assembly.
9:07   Get phone call from teacher asking for help with a behavior issue.
9:08   Arrive at classroom.
9:10   Pull student out of classroom to talk outside.
9:11   Get interrupted by a student on the way to the bathroom, who tells me that she likes my skirt.
9:12   Thank that student, and then remind her that she needs to have her shoes on. Wait while she goes back to get shoes.
9:13   Shoo away a crow who is masterfully opening a child's lunchbox.
9:14:  Receive a text message from a teacher who can't find a particular math manipulative. Make a mental note to help her look.
9:15   Continue talk with student. Discuss consequences. Make a mental note to make sure I follow through.

And that's just 10 minutes of one day. No wonder things kept leaking out of my brain.

There’s been the intensity of thinking, but also the intensity of emotions. I never expected to feel so deeply and in so many ways.

So as I sort through how this year was amazing and heart-wrenching and how it changed me, I am going to organize it by emotion:





Stay tuned. All the ketchup is coming out of the bottle.

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