This was only the second full five-day week we've had since December 6th.
And it seemed like a really long week. The kids are out of it and not motivated to do any work at all. I almost feel like I'm back in the first weeks of school where we have to go over everything again and remind them how to "do school", since it's been so long since we've actually had any kind of routine.
But Mrs. Eagle and I have found a new way to de-stress after school. We go to The Pool.
Our City Fathers, in all their wisdom, pissed off nearly the entire city by deciding to convert the community pool across from our school into a year-round aquatic center with the addition of an inflatable domed cover. You should have seen the nasty letters to the editor in the local paper about "how dare they put that aquatic center over in that part of town" (meaning the part where the poor folks live). That whole ruckus really annoyed most of us who work at The School because they were talking about Our Kids. Yeah, we know the Neighborhood isn't the best, and our kids are nearly all on free and reduced lunch, and yeah, we have gang problems and all sorts of issues, but is that any reason to deny them a covered pool because hey, we pay taxes over here in the 'Hood too!
So, they spent a couple of months working on the pool (because it snowed every other freaking day for the past two months) and it finally opened up a couple of weeks ago to much fan-fare and some really amazingly cold water. (It apparently takes a long time for a really big 500 meter pool to heat up.) And the Guidance Goober who is on a health kick (but who inhales peanut M&M's like no body's business and single-handedly keeps all the local coffee vendors in business) walked across the parking lot and asked if he could make a deal with the pool management. See, we had all these teachers Just Across The Parking Lot, and it would be really nice if they'd let us go together and buy family passes instead of making us all spend the big bucks and get the individual passes.
And the pool people said, "No problem!" and about ten of us are now "family" and have a much cheaper pool pass. We're actually considering getting t-shirts made up that read "The School Swim Club" or something equally stupid.
So, Mrs. Eagle and I have been going over to The Pool nearly every day after school. They offer water aerobics classes for $2 and we've done a few of those, plus we sometimes just go over to swim laps. But the best part is just the way that floating in the water makes some of the tension just ease away. (By the way, water aerobics is one heck of a work out - but it sure doesn't bother my knee like regular aerobics used to do.) I haven't been swimming since my own years in middle school so it's been quite a change of routine.
Every day there seems to be more and more people coming in to enjoy the pool and this week we've started to see some of our kids come in after school.
Which is interesting.
Because the kids almost seem embarrassed to see - GASP! - Their Teachers at the pool. It's a good thing that both Mrs. Eagle and I have reached the age where We Just Don't Care, and so neither one of us really gives a flip that the kids are seeing us in a swimsuit (which covers everything because we are of a certain age and our shape is well, round). Mrs. Sped next door to me, who is a fitness freak and a regular swimmer made the comment that she thinks it's good that the kids do see us at the pool engaging in healthy fitness activities. She has a point.
So it's nice to see the kids coming over and using the pool. It's a great way for them to get some exercise (and they aren't sitting in front of a video game console). They swim, they splash, they jump off the diving board, and they're having a great time. They're not running the streets, they aren't causing trouble, and they are having fun.
Really, isn't that what exercise should be about?