Oh by the way ... I passed my Florida Teacher Certification Exam in Chemistry last Saturday ... proving once and for all that the 53 year old human brain can be as flexible as a pole dancer in a yoga class, if it needs to be.
And mine needed to be.
You see, teaching chemistry is a requirement of my new role as the entire high school science department at Cedar Key.
Normally, I could have taught chem for one year before having to take the test. It's called "teaching out of field".
In my case, because I taught it for one semester 5 years ago as a favor to a desperate principal, I did not have that year. Back then, a host of subs and replacement chem teachers had run screaming from the building, and the principal came to me and said, "What would I owe you if I asked you to take on Chemistry next semester ? ... oh, you would lose your planning period too, that's the only period we can do chem."
I took it on, the kids and I learned as much chem as we could in one semester and that was that.
That little stint as a chem teacher came back to haunt me this year since it counted as a full year for me so passing the chem test was a requirement of my job.
Oh By The Way ... even though I use plenty of chemistry concepts in my other science classes, I had not thought about stoichiometry, oxidation-reduction rates, heats of formation, molarity, electron orbital geometry, or organic chemistry for about 30 years.
So about 3 months ago, I dropped my night time novel and began reading chemistry at bedtime.
About 2 months ago, I got my hands on a Chemistry Exam prep book, favorited a bunch of chemistry tutor websites, and began making flash cards and solving problems.
About 1 month ago, I kicked it in to high gear, told the family I could not go with them on the summer vacation to the mountains, and began spending whole days right here at this table crunching problems.
About two weeks ago, I became a shadow, a ghost, a flickering memory of a Dad, husband, human being ...
One week ago today, I checked in to a La Quinta motel, 3 miles from the test site in Jacksonville, and went in to DefCon 1 mode.
Saturday morning last, I took the 2.5 hour, 100 question computer based test and I beat it.
And now summer is almost over.
Oh by the way ... that was the final hurdle in my grand plan. You see, when I left my old teaching position at my former school, it created a vacancy ... a science teacher vacancy.
Just as a certain someone graduated from USF with a degree in secondary science education ..an honors degree too!
Oh by the way ... my daughter Emma is the newest science teacher at the school I left and they don't even have to change the name on my old box in the teacher mail room!
Not that she didn't have other offers (they are still coming in), but she wanted to come home to teach in rural Florida.
Oh by the way ... don't you love it when a plan comes together?