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tuesday, december 20, 2005

i can't believe it's been so long since i've written.

on second thought, yea, i can.

it's been busy. very, very busy. school's finally out, but for the last week or two there, it was nuts. i still have over 100 essays to grade. thank god they moved the due dates for final grades for the semester. i swear i was caught up, then things got a little nuts. prepping for finals, getting the last of the project work done, getting the make up work graded, talking to a few parents who were finally concerned about their kids grades. plus a zillion other things i suddenly had to do that i didn't know about until . . . well, until they had to be done, pretty much. people cut me some slack since i'm the sub and never had to do all this before, but, still, the last few weeks of school were nuts.

even with the craziness, there were some neat moments, and a few not so neat moments. here's an example of not so neat . . . .

student: when was this assigned?

me: some time last week.

student: i don't remember it being assigned.

me: it was on the board. *pointing to the board that i've been referring to every day for the past 2 months*

student: oh, well, i don't read the board.

*blink* and this kid wonders why he's failing? then there's the student i made arrangements with his mother for him to turn in his work well after the due date for late work . . . and didn't turn it in. this particular kid told his mother he had all those zeroes on his progress report because i hadn't graded that stuff yet. and all the kids got at least 3 reports with missing tasks highlighted.

on the neat side, a couple of students told me they much preferred the way i was teaching because they were learning something. the previous teacher tended to grade for completion, i tend to grade for correctness. i think, too, that they like knowing i'm in the same place as they are with the literature. i hadn't read the odyssey before this either. several kids brought me gifts and cards for christmas. and the teachers have been incredibly helpful. i even got to go to the holiday luncheon, which was really nice. more than a few have even said they'll miss me when i'm gone. so, despite the fact that i have an entire class not getting themselves together, the majority of the students are settling in and actually starting to warm up a bit. granted, they aren't enough to make me want to teach high school, but they're nice, bright spots to my day. i even had some wonderful surprises on my last project assignment to them.

they had a choice of 7 or 8 options for their finally odyssey projects, one of which was a soundtrack. i actually considered not putting the option on the list, but i'm glad i did. each option ended with the line, "aim for professional quality in your work." you can imagine how many kids actually paid attention to it. anyway, a few did, and one of the soundtracks was just absolutely fantastic. he had a professional quality cd cover/insert, had put a nice cover on the cd itself, and the music was just incredible. well, chosen and the explanations of why he selected them worked really well. i mean, can you imagine "the magnificent seven" going with the odyssey? well, it did! i just couldn't hand it back to him with a pile of other projects, so i went to him and told him how impressed i was and that i wanted a copy. he gave me one the next day. and i had several other high quality projects turned in that i either got copies of or got the one i graded. some of these kids are really gifted.

then i spent this weekend being sick and recovering from finals and the rush to get out by 3 pm on friday. and yesterday cleaning up my office, sorta, and the house for kitten's arrival. this morning i got a call around 9:30 from kitten herself saying she was about to arrive, so this morning was a rush to get to the bus station to pick her up. she's now wrapping gifts while saxy makes breakfast. we'll probably watch a movie, i'll probably grade some more, but, yea, it's been busy. so, i suppose i can see how i've not written for a few weeks.

i do hope to get to writing and such things over vacation, but we'll see. i need to do some research on teaching poetry, which is what we're starting off with when we go back in january. thank goodness too! the other option was to kill a mockingbird, and i wasn't looking forward to that. poetry, i can do, and look very much forward too. i may need a little help in figuring out how to teach it in the way the school wants it taught, but i won't feel like an idiot about it either.

for now, i'm trying to enjoy the few weeks of peace i have. oh, and i need to work on the new design for whysper as well. but, other than that, taking it as easy as i can. starting jan. 3, i'll be busy again.

word of the moment: phlegmatic

stolidly calm, unexcitable; unemotional; having or showing a slow and stolid temperament

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