10 September 2005

Going Native

This first week has been about being part teacher, part science goddess---and part ethologist. I'm getting settled in to my new digs at the central office and it is certainly a whole 'nuther country down there. I've been trying to hang back and learn the culture a bit.

I do miss my more familiar surroundings---having lunch with the science teachers at my school and the regular rounds I'd make back at the building. There are large numbers of people at central office that I don't know, either by name or personality. I still feel like a visitor a lot of the time.

This is not to say that the office I'm in, Curriculum, hasn't been very welcoming and supportive. It's been fun to walk to the park for lunch with other staff. We're like some sort of odd street gang as we make our way to and from the waterfront (no gang signs yet, but we're working on it). If I've had questions or needed things, people have cheerfully helped me. Friday evening, the Boss Lady hosted us for wine and snacks. But I am still getting to know people---and certainly getting to know the "culture" of the office:

  • Shoes, or the lack thereof, are much more greatly noticed than in my school.
  • The Boss Lady's secretary has a lot of rules because she has a lot of things to keep track of. Don't mess with the rules.
  • People seem ready to "go to the mattresses" over access to subs for their various programs. I haven't been taught what the proper rules of engagement are, but I at least know I'd better darned sure pay attention when they're given.
  • The Supe wants short, bulleted lists of facts for any communications you have with him. The Boss Lady wants to know what may bite her down the road---and if you've planned for a way not to have that happen.
  • If it's something you're going to display on your desk, it had better be in a frame (excluding plants).
  • Should you dare to leave anything in the refrigerator, it will be gone on Friday afternoon. The container, too.

There will be more for me to observe and conform to in the coming weeks. The place is a hive of activity, although I've been assured that a lot of the chaos will die down once school has been in session for a couple of weeks. Someday soon, perhaps I will even pass for one of the natives there.

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