Saturday, June 23, 2007

Duplication of Effort and Inconsistencies

My school has now created four separate websites for the entering class. First the admissions office gave us the admitted students page, then they gave us a bulletin board so we could get to know each other and look for roommates. Then the student services office created a site about orientation and enrolling. Finally they created another site where we could post our profiles and chat. Not only are there four completely separate websites, but each has a separate login. In addition, because the bulletin board created by the admissions office was pretty lame, some students created a Facebook group. So there are potentially three different places for students to post profiles and chat among ourselves and two places to look for information on the enrollment requirements.

Another weird thing... we had to send in a picture of ourselves that will be used for the hard copy facebook and given to the professors for seating charts. They asked for a passport sized picture. If you mailed it in they had a form with a little box showing that the picture should be 2 x 2.5 inches. But if you emailed it to them the requirements were different. If you were scanning it in they said it should be scanned to 3"x5" at 300 dpi. Which is weird because 3x5 is a totally different ratio than 2x2.5. Then if you sent in a digital camera picture, they said it should be at least 2000 pixels wide, which is strange because 3x5 at 300 dpi is only 900x1500 pixels. I sent them a digital camera picture that I cropped to 3x5 at 300 dpi. Based on what I heard from the various discussion boards they were pretty much accepting whatever they got, so it probably didn't matter, but I found the inconsistent requirement confusing.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

A little anxiety

In my last trimester of pregnancy, as it became increasingly obvious that there was a baby inside of me after all, the reality of my situation hit home and I began to wonder what I had gotten myself into. Maybe it was all a big mistake, maybe I wasn't cut out to be a parent. I am having a similar feeling now, with less than two months until law school starts. What have I gotten myself into? Am I really up for this? Am I really going to be able to handle school and family? Am I going to feel out of place with my classmates? I've thought about these things before, but law school is really starting to feel real now and that changes everything. I thought I had a pretty good feel for what law school is like from reading all these law school blogs and everything, but suddenly I feel like I don't have any idea what it is going to be like. I think I am feeling this anxiety now because there is really nothing for me to do before law school starts. Having things to do keeps my brain occupied, but now that my to-do list is basically empty my brain has nothing to do but worry. Not that I am worrying that much, but when I stop and think about law school now there is anxiety.

I have also joined my class' Facebook group and reading the discussions there has made me feel out of place among all the recent grads. Probably the Facebook group skews younger than our class as a whole. At the admitted students' days I met at least two people who graduated from college the same year as me and at least one of them was pretty set on going to my school, but I don't know what their ultimate decisions were. Anyway I have always known I would be one of the oldest people in my class, but that hadn't really concerned me until now. When I was in the Air Force I was older than most of the people that I worked with, but that never bothered me and they didn't generally notice. Now it is different though because I am married and have a child, it is that more than my age that will set me apart. I am not just worried about what my classmates will think of me though, I am also worried about whether I am really going to be able to keep up with law school and do all the things I want to do without completely sacrificing my family life. I know people do -- I have several examples in my blogroll -- but it still worries me.

At the same time, I am enjoying these last couple months of spending my days with the little guy. He's starting to be pretty fun -- he can do more stuff and is more expressive. We go to the park now almost every day. I found a couple of playgrounds that are not crowded in the mornings and I can let him crawl around on the equipment without fear of being trampled by shrieking kids. And with everything all set for law school I can really focus on him. That is what I am trying to do, instead of letting my brain think of all the things that might go wrong, or all the ways I might fail at being a law school student or a mother.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

We Have a Nanny!

So, after talking with her references, all of whom said she was wonderful, we offered the nanny we interviewed last week the job and she accepted. So childcare is now arranged for the school year. The current plan is that she will care for the little guy from 10:30-4:30 Monday through Friday. I won't get my class schedule until the first day of orientation, but the fall schedule of classes is online, and there is no class that goes later than 4pm, except a possible class from 4-5 on Friday afternoons. If I have the misfortune to be placed in that class then we will have to adjust our schedule slightly, but, otherwise, I should be able to be home by 4:30 every day. I anticipate leaving for school around 8 in the morning, perhaps right after putting the little guy down for his morning nap, so hubby will only have to watch him from when he wakes up from his nap (around 9:30 or 10) until 10:30, when the nanny arrives. I think it will work out well. I should get to spend a couple hours with the little guy in the morning and a couple in the evening before bed.

With that taken care of, my To Do list is pretty empty. I already sent the school everything they need to enroll me: transcripts, immunization records, etc. So now I can just relax for the rest of the summer, enjoy spending time with the little guy, and maybe get some more reading done. Speaking of the little guy, he's going to be 11 months next week and he is getting close to walking. He has been using a plastic file box and the dining room chairs as walkers: he pulls himself up on them, then pushes them forward and takes a step, pushes, steps, etc. He can go pretty far that way. I will often hold onto the back of the chair while he is holding on to the side of the seat and move it slowly along and he walks along with it. He also has been practicing standing up without holding on to anything. He only does it for a couple seconds at a time, but I know that very soon he will be running around. And in not too long he will be talking. It's exciting to see all this stuff happening right before our eyes.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Progress Report: Childcare Search

After my last post on finding childcare we decided that, rather than look for a family daycare for the little guy, we would look for a nanny. I just decided I wasn't that comfortable with the idea of a family daycare, and all the daycare centers I found are already full for the coming school year. Most nannies I have spoken with charge $12-15/hour and, since we will only need her for 30 hrs/week (since hubby will watch the little guy in the mornings), a nanny is actually cheaper than the daycare centers I looked at (although still probably more expensive than a family daycare), and she can also help us keep up with some daily chores, like dishes and sweeping/vacuuming, which is a big bonus.

So, I put an ad on craigslist for a nanny to care for the little guy starting in August. We got many responses, but only a few were promising. I made a list of my top three or four candidates and started calling them. The first two I spoke with sounded good on the phone, but one never sent me her references and the other one's references didn't check out (I spoke to one reference, but I got the feeling it was her mother or some other relative; the other number she gave me was a wrong number, and after I emailed her to see if I had written it down wrong she never got back to me). Another candidate did not want to work in our neighborhood.

But there was one candidate was at the top of my list almost from the beginning: she was one of the few who actually sent me a resume, even though I specifically asked for one in my ad, she had worked for a couple of families with children the same age as the little guy, and she worked for both of those families for more than two years, she also recently completed her AA degree. We met her yesterday and we liked her. I have spoken to one of her references so far and she gave me a glowing recommendation. So we are thinking she is the one. I still have a couple more references to talk to and we will do a background check, but I don't expect anything bad to turn up.

So hopefully she will work out and we will be all set for childcare for the year. I am still thinking that I will probably put him into a daycare next year, when he's 2, since I will be able to submit applications early enough to possibly get him in to one of the daycare centers(most of the ones I looked at have a winter application deadline for the following fall) and at that point he would probably get more from being around the other kids and in a more structured environment.