Middle School Open House and 15 miles on the bike

September 11, 2012 at 4:46 pm

Happy Patriot Day! It seems weird to say “happy”, doesn’t it? It’s such a somber holiday. Last year on this date I wrote my “where were you when it happened” story. I was nursing three week old Cal and watching the Today Show. We’ll never forget.

Last night was Open House at Cal’s school. I was looking forward to it because until now his daily activities at school have been a big mystery. I could not keep his classes or eight teachers straight in my head, especially since I had not met any of them. The differences between elementary school and middle school are enormous. This feeling of being so disconnected from the whole experience has taken some getting used to.

We got stuck in rush hour traffic, so Chad beat us there from work. We were just a couple of minutes late, though.


Cal was pretty excited to show us his routine. He led us up the stairs and through the halls.


He made sure to point out his locker.


We met up with Chad in Cal’s science classroom.


They had a short video presentation.


We were impressed with the chemical shower which YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO TOUCH!


Then we went through his entire schedule, class by class, and met all of his teachers.


This is P.E. where nobody takes a shower afterwards, even though the handbook assures us that it is encouraged. Cal says that’s what deodorant is for.


This is the rock wall, where they start at the end where it says “START HERE” and make their way horizontally across the wall. Cal showed us how far he had been able to make it (further than where he is standing below).


On to more classes.




In his “Independent Studies” class they learn research and discuss things such as “self awareness”. I think that is awesome. Everyone could use more self awareness. I know I could. We all have blind spots about ourselves. This is the book they use in “Independent Studies”:


Three of Cal’s classrooms had chemical showers. Better safe than sorry. We didn’t touch.


We went up and down stairs multiple times, which I assume means that Cal does the same during his school days.


He said that his school is like Hogwarts and he knows short cuts and secret ways to get everywhere. These side-building stairwells were not air-conditioned. That’s what deodorant is for.

Cal really wanted us to see the inside of his locker.


Sixth graders always get the bottom lockers.


I’m glad that now I can put faces to the names in Cal’s agenda and that I have a little bit of a better mental picture of his school days. Go Jaguars!


I fed the boys early before the open house, but by the time we got home I was starving. I made some kale chips before we left…


and I had some of them with some London broil for dinner.


The London broil was leftover from Chad’s tailgating at the Bucs game on Sunday.

After the boys went to bed Chad and I watched Coppers (BBC America show set in post-Civil War New York City), and I ate this:


It made me want to make pumpkin bread. Specifically, Nutella pumpkin bread. I think that needs to happen soon.

This morning Chewie and I walked Mack to school.

20120911-IMG_8084(it was still pretty dark, even though the camera lightened up the sky in this photo)

After we got home and I got Cal off to the bus stop, I made breakfast.



Then I went for an hour long bike ride.


I rode from my house to downtown, past The Pier, past The Dali Museum


past Albert Whitted Airport…


and finally turned around at the Cruise Port Terminals.


On the way back I made a few detours to stretch it out. I biked up to Albert Whitted Park…



then back by the marina…


and out to the end of The Pier.




The city just applied for the permit to begin demolition on The Pier. Plans are in the works for an entirely new design for the iconic structure. It’s very controversial here. Some people are really attached to this old pier. I’m for progress though. I want the next great thing. Bring on The Lens, or whatever design they decide on. It’s not like The Pier, in its present form, has been here forever. There were “St. Petersburg Piers” before this one.

They were flying the flag at half-mast for Patriot Day.



I made good time when I was out in my neighborhood, but when I was downtown there was traffic and intersections and sight-seeing. There was also lots of wind on the waterfront, slowing me down.


In all I did 15 miles in just over an hour.

bike map

garmin bike

Next time I’ll have splits. I didn’t have my Garmin set up to auto-lap when in bike mode, but now I do. It was fun! And hot. It’s definitely still summer here. I am so jealous of all the “cooler weather” and “fall” talk on the interwebs. Bah humbug.

After biking I took a shower and made myself presentable for volunteering at Mack’s school. I met him for lunch. We ate in Mrs. P’s and Mrs. K’s office. I don’t do the cafeteria.


My lunch, part 1:


Notice what is actually in focus in this picture:


It’s Joey the Hamster! He and Mack were reunited. He’s so much bigger and fatter now!


After lunch I went to Mack’s classroom and did a little work for his teacher.


She really didn’t have very much for me to do, so soon I headed out to run a quick errand. First I took an “OOTVD” picture. That would be “outfit of the volunteer day” picture.


Just noticed the rick-rack on the floor. Guess I could have bothered to fix that while I was in there. Oh well.

After leaving the school I went by the Trek Bicycle Store of St. Pete to take them a trashed bike tube (they recycle them)…


then I went home and had lunch, part 2.

20120911-DSC00237(salad with Trader Joe’s cranberry pecan chicken salad on top)

Pretty soon it was time to pick Mack up from school, have snack, do homework, etc. Now it’s time to go pick up Cal from the bus stop. No plans for the afternoon. Chad is going to a School Advisory Council (SAC) meeting tonight at Cal’s school. Yes, he’s going to Cal’s school two evenings in a row. Father of the Year!

Not quite sure what’s for dinner.