10 Little Snowflakes

january 2028
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Principal: Lucy London
1st-3rd grade teacher: Oliver McCarthy
Prek-Kindergarten teacher: Miriam Dwyer
Student Enrollment

narrated by: Lucy

For the first time in as long as I have worked at Longfellow, which is quite a many years, we have a reduction in students. Census shows that we don’t have any surges in our populace for at minimum the next four years. So our classrooms are less occupied, and the students are getting more one on one attention. All of those things are good. It’d be even better timing to train a replacement principal for myself, while the classes are controllable. I turn sixty-three this year, and imagine I’ll go until I’m sixty-eight or so. Unfortunately I don’t know who to pick, Miriam or Oliver, and then I need a replacement teacher still. I’m putting it off despite knowing I shouldn’t, hopeful that some great teachers will be graduating EU shortly.

I like watching the students file in for the school day, and seeing how they mingle and interact with one another.

Oliver has quite a few nieces and nephews attending Longfellow right now, that he gets quite the bit of admiration in the morning.

Even Logan is a big fan of Oliver, and they aren’t related. He’s a pretty easy teacher to like though, and I always find that male teachers are a focus for great admiration from elementary kids.

My students are on their way to the junior high level of the High School, so it’s my job to get them prepared to the extra school work and social responsibility. It is really my perfect age for teaching, I like that they know all their basics, and we are just adding to their pool of knowledge.

I usually split twins up, but Marisol and Manuel work better when they are desk partners.

There is rarely much in the form of discipline with my class, though I know that this age is not above trouble-making. I keep a firm control of my pupils, which my other teachers cannot always claim for themselves.

So when there is a big disruption, there is usually an underlying reason for it that has nothing to do with my classroom or teachings. I heard Isla whispering urgently to Nolan but wasn’t sure what it was about.

I didn’t have to wait long to find out the cause for her concern, apparently he was on the cusp of a full blown tantrum in the middle of our History studies.

Isla tried talking to him to make him feel better, but I quickly took over so she could get back to her studies. I’m not always aware of things happening at home, especially if there is marital strife without a pending divorce, most parents don’t share those details until it is a done deal. But I knew of Nolan’s Grandma’s passing.

I called his parents in to discuss his emotional turmoil. While I know that Julia is his real Mom, as she had gotten pregnant when Bekah (my best friend) was her principal and teacher. We stick to the given knowledge at these types of meetings, and I don’t share what I know with them or with Nolan who has not been told.

I always try to lighten the mood at these types of meetings, especially when the student is not in trouble academically, but I’m concerned.

Unfortunately, I can’t make it completely light, and we dive in to the heart of the issue. Nolan is not adjusting well to the loss of his Grandma, especially since they all lived in the same home together. He is finding every moment at home one of turmoil, as she had been the one to make after school treats, and a big breakfast on the weekends.

Grant admitted that he himself struggled with the loss of his Mom, that he hadn’t probably done enough for Nolan.

They both seemed plagued with guilt, Leah’s seemed more related to not having a strong relationship with Norma.

We spoke beyond the morning recess time, that Oliver had to take over my class while we finished up. I suggested that they seek out counseling for Nolan, and perhaps themselves. Only when they asked if I had any suggestions did I feel okay to lend them my daughter’s name. I told them Alice was my daughter, but also skilled for speaking with children.

We ended the meeting on a high note, at least Grant seemed better with having a game plan for Nolan. Leah seemed to continue to struggle with her inner insecurities, but I didn’t have any solution for that. I felt better returning to my class and hopeful for Nolan to find a way to properly deal with his feelings of loss.

Meanwhile on the main floor, Miriam is still teaching the youngest students. She continues to shine with their bright personalities and with a gentle touch for those that are anxious about school. She always has a personal touch for each of her students, and knows just the right amount of silliness to add without making her class hyper.

Most of her class is not bookwork, but there is enough to teach the basics.

And it tends to be accompnaied with great complaint. Mavis and Evan are best friends from their Mom’s being friends, and they both equally complain about the alphabet.

Coming with two friends, has really helped Mavis jump right into the school setting though. She tends to be rather shy, but with Dax and Evan at her side, she seems to have settled right in.

There is an odd number of pupils this year for her class, so Miriam tends to pair up with one of the kids. Hatty and Diego tend to be the ones left out, as they didn’t come to school with friends already.

Miriam’s class heads to lunch on the first bell, which allows them to find their seats and get their food before the bigger kids plow through.

Then the rest of the students come down. In the past we have done assigned tables for each class, but have opened it up this year to allow all ages to interact. It’s especially helpful for those that have siblings in different grades, and I’m glad I made the switch.

Naturally there is always the one that causes issues, and in this instance, it was Isla throwing food at poor Diego.

Otherwise it goes really well, I like to see big kids hang out with the younger ones too. I think it can help them have someone older to look up to, and see their good behavior to mimic.

Nolan spent his lunch break discussing his Grandma’s recent passing, and I think it really helped that Mavis shared about her own Grandma dying and then a second Grandma dying, though she didn’t know the second one very well. Seeing how Mavis was getting on with this, seemed to help Nolan.

Outdoors we all head. As long as the temps don’t dip too low, we go out even in the snow. I’d rather stay indoors for recess, but find that lunch break recess really requires all three of us teachers on duty.

I find that Evan Holmes may be a bit of a troublemaker as she destroyed the snowman that I made with Nolan. She seemed pretty pleased with herself as well. I haven’t heard of this behavior from Miriam at all, so I’m hoping it was just a one time mistake on her part.

Dahlia and Rita Popper became fast friends, and were having a blast making snow angels.

Marisol gave first grade, Tyson Siew some pushes on the swing, and was directing him how to pump his legs. It was all rather impossible though, as the snow was nearly up to his knees when he was on the swing.

We don’t hear a single complaint from the kids about the cold. They all seem to really enjoy themselves.

Tillie and Wyatt seem to be making some bets on if school will be cancelled the next day, except they both think it will and can’t decide how they can win pencils from the other.

I personally wouldn’t mind a snow day myself, and hope that the kids are right with their wager. My mother-in-law, Myra has been especially down with the passing of Norma much like Nolan, and could use the company.

Little Mavis attempts to jump out toward the bars when she finally gets a turn at them. They are the most popular equipment for recess, and I can never understand the appeal, give me a slide and swing any day.

After recess, Oliver takes his students to the library for checking out books and lessons on the computers. The Mac lab is in need of more computers, but I don’t see that happening any time soon, so us teachers have to finesse the way we do lessons on them, and what we do with the students waiting their turn.

Most of the kids love having time on the computers though, it is one of their favorite days of the week.

Sometimes Oliver doesn’t keep his waiting students quite in line, Tillie does handstands, and Miriam’s art class can hear her thumping around above them.

Thankfully Oliver jumps in with some reading after the other kids are set in their lesson. Domenico Pacelli tends to be a quiet, and sweet boy, generally studious. He is a welcome treat from his older sister Gemma, who was quite a handful, and I hear from Bekah, still is.

We all take turns with the art room as well, Miriam’s kids make the biggest messes and I’m always glad they pick that up after themselves.

It really gives all the kids a great sense of accomplishment, and they love having easels to paint on instead of sitting at a table with a sheet of paper.

By the end of the day, we are all ready to head home, but unfortunately us teachers always have work to finish up before we can.

Grading paperwork, I think we can all agree, is the most tedious part of teaching.


Notes: I don’t know who will replace Lucy, I’m thinking 68 would be a good retirement age for her, give or take. But I’ll have to see who is most qualified, and go from there. Miriam has the experience, but Oliver has more education. I really don’t want to make my elementary school be understaffed, so I need a teacher replacement as well. Here’s hoping there is another teacher in my high school or perhaps college that I have overlooked (in the way of a pnpc).

All of the kids really do adore Oliver, and I know when I was in grade school, we all loved the few male teachers. I really hope I can get another male teacher at some point soon as well.

And there is no surplus of kids headed to school. There are only five babies/toddlers in my hood right now, six if you count baby Jagger.

Unrelated to the update, I’m feeling very frustrated with wordpress compressing my photos that are uploaded to my own servers. The pixel quality is really dampening my enjoyment of blogging right now. 😦 And I’m not having any luck with finding a solution. I have my own domain (a .info one) so not really great, I got it cheap for photo uploading/sharing. I could move and host there, but setting up wordpress seems like a pain that I don’t have time for, so I feel stuck and I hate that feeling. If anyone has any ideas for a solution, I’m eager to hear them.

Thanks for reading!


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9 thoughts on “10 Little Snowflakes

    1. Oliver is the most liked teacher, helps that he has quite a few nieces in his school!

      As for principal…I haven’t had a criteria in the past, not when Lucy and Bekah got their titles. But from now on, I want them to have a masters degree and experience. As none of my current teachers qualify, I’ll have to send one/some to online school to get it done. There’s still a few years before it will be decided, assuming there are no unfortunate ROS rolls or unexpected deaths/illnesses.

      With going for the masters, I’ll look at the new teachers at the high school too, they won’t have the experience, but they might have an easier time attending online school than single-Mom Miriam, and I’m not entirely sure I see her interested in the principal title. She seems very happy with her youngsters. So I have a lot of thinking to do before Lucy can take her pick! Thanks for commenting Starr!

  1. Aw, poor Nolan, this has got to be really rough for him. Lucy was a great counselor for Grant and Leah, it’s nice she could take the time out of her day to provide that. From a gameplay standpoint, it seems like playing a child at school in aspirational failure would be rough and if that’s what happened, I love the story you wrote around it. Sims 2 is so specific in the sims’ reactions to things and their memories and relationships. It really struck me as I started reading this update how many friendships and stories start in school–like Dahlia and Rita Popper– it’s the time we readers really get to know the kids in your new generation. I hope Evan Holmes is going to be ok– is it her personality to be aggressive or was it just a fluke behavior?

    It sounds like great timing for Lucy, that the next big class will be a couple years after she’s planning to retire, if you can just figure out who is best to train and apply for principal. That’s what is so intriguing and amazing about your ‘hood, is the interconnectedness of everything and everyone, and the history.

    It’s funny, sometimes male teachers are able to keep overall order more easily without being as strict, and it really rang true to me the way Oliver’s kids were a little out of line waiting their turn, but love him and got back in line when he read to them. My husband is a teacher and he readily admits, just being 6’2″ and a guy makes classroom management much easier. He doesn’t care for micro-managing his students but overall they are all really engaged and on task. Miriam, too, seems like she’s really found her niche as a more nurturing early learning teacher.

    This was so full of great detail that I read it yesterday, let it soak in, and then read it again today. You and Carla are really an inspiration with your ‘hoods and your stories.

    1. Aww thanks so much Shannon! ❤ How sweet about your husband, sounds like a great classroom to be a student in! I'm glad that these updates help you learn the next generation, it helps me too! Especially in regards to friendships.

      The memories are really sweet in TS2 as well, Nolan discussing his Grandma's death, and then Mavis responding with the gravestone about her own Grandma was really great for me! I hadn't even thought about how Mavis has lost two Grandmas in a short period of time. She was never close to ether, not like Nolan. And yes, he was in aspiration failure, but some grilled cheese and playing with friends gave him the needed boost by the end.

      Evan is decently nice, but her aspiration was a bit low for some reason, and I think that's why she attacked the snowman.

      I actually don't have a big class coming in, looking at the next 4 years, and there's only something like 5 kids total. Alicia and Elise having babies, will give me two more. I would like to have a few larger classes again, like 3-4 in a grade. I know Erin would be all over signing up for that, but overall, I don't have a ton that are having more babies or ready to start. I sort of miss the crazy days when I had 7 kids in one year!

      Thanks for commenting Shannon!

  2. So true about male teachers and this age group! It’s especially true of younger male teachers like Oliver. We have a young male teacher librarian new to the school this year and the kids adore him already (we’re 7 weeks into the school year).

    Poor Nolan. It’s natural for him to be missing his grandma so much. They must have been extra close, seeing she lived with them. He wouldn’t be used to not having her around. 😦 It’s great that Lucy could call Grant and Leah in and recommend sending him to see Alice.

    I am loving seeing this newer generation of kids at school. I love that Evan and Mavis are best friends and I can see them not being too keen on school! Just seems to fit, you know?

    The pics of the kids having their recess in the snow are awesome! I don’t think I ever recall it snowing while I’ve been playing my school, come to think of it!

    That last pic of Oliver – I feel you, man! That was me on Tuesday afternoon. I was so mad about it too, because I should have been able to leave much earlier than I did but everything went wrong that day, lol!

    If it’s a comfort at all, I can’t notice any decrease in quality of your pictures lately but I hope you can find a solution anyway.

    1. Too funny on your new male librarian! I can just imagine little kids being excited about him!

      I felt bad for Nolan, he was in aspiration failure and had a rough time getting anything done. By the end of the update, I’d gotten him some grilled cheese, and fulfilled playing with friends, and got him out of the red. I think his household will be peculiar to play when it comes back around.

      Mavis and Evan, I can see Evan getting Mavis into trouble! Grade work is no fun, I feel for you! When I was a kid, I always played teacher and thought that part would be fun, but then I’ve done some gradework, and could not have been bored! Kudos to all my teachers especially creative writing ones… I prefer writing, but when it comes to gradework, math is the way to go! It is ether wrong or right!

      Thanks for commenting Carla!

  3. I love how full and busy your school is! I just adore that photo of them walking single file behind Miriam to lunch! ❤

    Poor little Nolan. I hope they can find a way to help him work through his grief.

    That is so strange about your photos (although I don't really notice anything wrong with them at all, but I'll take your word for it since I don't know what they looked like before). Especially with private hosting, they really shouldn't be compressed at all. The only time I ever had that problem was when I used Photobucket, but once I moved to my own hosting, everything was fine. Do you hand code your images, or upload them through the wordpress UI? I wonder if that might make the difference?

    1. I love making the little kids go to lunch!! I use Inge’s school system, and then I call Class 1 (Miriam’s) and they walk in a line to the lunch room! It gets me every time! ❤

      Nolan was doing better aspiration wise by the end, but I'll be curious to see how his family is when I get back to them. Norma was a huge personality and caused Leah a ton of grief, while the men were around her finger. It will be a strange dynamic I think.

      For the images, I upload them to my own server, and then I link with html to my images. But if you look at my images, it is like wordpress makes a copy of them (to make them load faster perhaps?) and the quality is less than what I linked to on my server. And I can't find a way to stop wordpress from doing that. Thank you for not noticing terribly much! I find that it is more pixelated on my sims with medium-dark skintones, especially Lainey's beau, Michael when he was cuddling with Silas. That update frustrated the tarnation out of me!

      Thanks for commenting Laura!

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