Thursday, October 16, 2008

A Long Long Day

Our school is up for our SACS visit soon. SACS is the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. They are an accreditation entity, and being accredited by them means that our school is recognized by colleges and universities worldwide as offering quality education.

Of course that is the extremely simplistic explanation. For a very very complicated process. We have to gather mountains of data for the group that comes to visit us, package it all up in a specific way, and ship it off before their visit.

This means a lot of digging for historical information and then digesting it and spitting it back out with summary explanations. As a data collector and writer, I've been involved with parts of the process as I help our administrators located what they need and now today we spent quite a bit of the day editing. We need to get the final product to a printer tomorrow.

You can about imagine the stress level at the school this week. I'll be glad when the paperwork is over and all we can do is move on with daily life and just wait for the people to come.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Napster Nap

My Napster quit working for a few days, and my player had to be reformatted. I don't get too excited about that kind of thing anymore. Just wait a day or so until I have time to download everything again. It's actually a nice excuse to break out of ruts and start fresh. I've been adding some televisions soundtracks like "Sex & City," "Grey's Anatomy," "House," etc. A while ago I stumbled upon mention of a group called Eddie from Ohio that I really like. And did you know that Chris Sligh, of American Idol fame, has a great Christian album out? It's very very nice.

I play music quite a lot at work. I do it for a few different reasons. First, it helps to add a little background noise for when the counselors are meeting with people in their offices. I really don't think people should have to worry about their conversations being overheard when they are meeting with their counselor. Secondly, I think it makes the atmosphere more inviting to the kids and parents. I play a very eclectic mix of music, from Classical to Celtic to Christian to Pop. The rock goes everywhere from folk to a new cd I found called Head, which seems to be what we used to call Acid Rock when I was in high school. I guess it's called heavy metal now. But back in the day we called it acid rock because it was generally felt that you needed to drop acid to really appreciate it. The guy's name is Brian Welch. Can't understand a word the dude is saying. It's just a lot of screaming. But I enjoy the reactions I get from students when they come into the office and hear what I'm playing. And the adults seem to enjoy hearing anything from Three Dog Night to CCR to Sara McLaughlin to Sarah Groves. The third reason I play music is to keep myself from going out of my mind.

Tomorrow will be a busy day at school, as we are testing some them the PSAT or ASVAB... the seniors are having college & career day (I have to take credit for the fact that Erskine is coming), and the freshmen are going to the Renaissance Festival.

Monday, October 13, 2008


It's good.

When I was younger, actually not much younger, maybe even up to only about 3 years ago, I hated quiet. I could hear the faint ringing in my ears when everything was turned off and no one was talking. That little bit of ringing would drive me crazy. I've had it for as long as I can remember. To deal with it I always had something on. A radio, television, or music.

And I always needed to be thinking about or doing at least two things at once. Reading while watching TV. Listening to the radio while reading. That kind of thing.

Now I find I like quiet. And when I do have something on, that's all I do.

Today was a very quiet day at work. There was no school and the teachers had a professional development day off-site. So it was just the skeleton crew of office staff and maintenance in the school today. We got so much done we were giddy at the end of the day. In fact, we all said we wished we had another one tomorrow. But I'm sure after a few days we'd wish for more commotion.