So in an effort to get back on track, I am getting back on track. This is another way of saying that I could either grade or write this post, and, well, you see what’s happening.
The back on track really does mean that I have not been getting enough sleep, so in order to do a better job at that, I have to accept that I’ll have to do more grading on the weekends. This makes me sad face for obvious reasons, but! It’s also the end of the semester so I just need to suck it up and deal.
My daughter is nineteen today and because we’re living in the future, and she’s on the other side of the country, I FaceTimed with her to wish her a happy birthday and watch her open her gift. I got us tickets to see Hamilton, and she (a) guessed that’s what the gift was and (b) had a lukewarm reaction.
1. I didn’t “win” NaBloPoMo because I missed a day, but 29 out of 30 ain’t bad. Memo to self: write posts the day before and schedule them to go live the next day. That’s how I was successful at the Slice of Life challenge this past March.
2. I forgot to link up to all my posts from last week on my Monday post, so here they are now:
I missed posting yesterday because I fell asleep at 6:30 and didn’t wake up until about 1:45. Then, I drank some water and ate some food before going back to bed. I wasn’t feeling that great yesterday, so I obviously needed the rest, but I hate that I blew my streak.
Also, and probably more importantly, I missed a day of grading so am even farther behind. (I was going to put “further,” but I am behind by a quantifiable amount. Also, I strongly advise not counting how many papers one has left to grade. I do this constantly and it never makes me feel better. Because I always have so much more to go, see?)
I am supposed to go to a book club meeting/cookie exchange on Saturday, but I am SO FAR BEHIND I may not be able to go. I really need to consider this. Because I really do want to go AND I read the book. But Psych >>>>>>>> everything else coming up in my life. Which! You would think that would have motivated me to get more grading done today, but no. I chose instead to procrastinate by talking to a colleague about how to teach a class I might be teaching in Fall 2018.
I may have a problem.
Anyway, that discussion did help me figure out what novel I’m going to assign next semester: Station Eleven. Unless I do A Wrinkle in Time. Both could work with the theme of my class! (All books pretty much work with the theme of my class. The theme, btw, is cultural literacy.) (Also, now that I have reread my reviews and because the movie is coming out, I am leaning more towards A Wrinkle in Time. I will probably change my mind again.)
Also, I did finish drafting the rubric for my students’ final paper. So it’s not like I didn’t do any work.
I really need to learn to eat the frog. It’s been 13 years. Do you think I’ll ever learn?
I just saw Elizabeth Taylor’s White Diamonds commercial. In 2017. Once I see a Chia Pet commercial, I’ll really know it’s Christmas time. Ch-ch-ch-chia!
Well, tomorrow is Sunday, which means it’s back to reality. Which is just a depressing way of saying I have a ton of grading to do.
Also, it’s that time of the semester when grading is basically all I’ll be talking about because there are only two weeks left (!!!!).
I’m not ready.
I mean, I am definitely ready for the semester to be over, but I am not ready for the end of the semester–mostly because of all the grading. But also because I need to write final exams and rubrics and also, of course, grade.
Always with the grading.
I did have a lovely weekend with my friend and her family, and I did get some grading done and a rubric written (on Thanksgiving itself, no less). So I am definitely grateful for the time with delightful people and the space to get work done. Also, let’s be real: I got a much needed mental break by taking the past two days completely off.
But, as Shang from Mulan says, “Tomorrow, the real work begins.”
2. Praise the TV gods: The Good Place has been renewed for season three.
3. I didn’t finish any books this past week, so I’m still making my way through these two:
Pictured: And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie and Warcross by Marie Lu
4. I wore jeans to work today (for this first time all semester!), which may have made me a touch too relaxed with my students. We talked about gangsta rap (which I just call “rap,” I told them), I told suggested one student to stop studying something he wasn’t interested in, and I am pretty sure there was something about food in there. Oh, right. The one student said the granola bar he ate for breakfast didn’t count as food because he ate it in two bites. “That’s not even a snack,” he said. “That’s a taste.”
5. I am supposed to be packing for my trip up to the Bay Area for Thanksgiving, but instead I have officially started powering down. I guess it’s a good thing I’m not having office hours tomorrow.
6. Related to that last point, I have been grading so slowly these past few days. I should be speeding through these grammar reviews, and instead I have graded one set per day. Do you know the semester is almost over? And there are other things to grade? This does not bode well is what I’m saying.
7. The Jeopardy! tournament of champions just ended, and I am pleased by the winner. In fact, I actually liked all of the contestants this go ’round, and I don’t think that has ever happened before.
8. I finally put up my tree. It is pre-lit, so the decorating is already halfway done. Perhaps I shall add the ornaments before the weekend is out?
9. The coolest thing about my apartment is that I have a fireplace, which means I can actually hang stockings over it. First time ever! Too bad I won’t be here for Christmas. 🙃 But still!
Ack! I only have twelve minutes to write this post.
1. I discovered today that my students aren’t reading the rubrics when I give them their grades back so they don’t know why they’re losing points. I don’t know why this is surprising since I know they don’t usually read the comments on their papers, but I guess I thought that the rubric would make it easier for them to somehow get what was going on.
2. My students still are not asking questions. I was in a conference with a student and told him something was missing from his paper. Today, during class (a week after the conference), he admitted he didn’t know what I was talking about during the conference. So I asked him why he didn’t ask, and he kind of just shrugged.
3. Based on the former two points, I may try something different: instead of giving students their papers back as they’re leaving class (I mostly do this so I don’t have to hear them cry about their grades–and yes I tell them this), I may have them actually look at the rubric in class and ask questions about things they don’t understand. I will tell them that this is not the place for them to dispute their grade; rather, it’s a way for them to make sure they get what’s happening in the rubric and why they may be losing points on stuff like FORMATTING. I mean, geez.
4. Another student got a B on his last paper and said, “I just followed what was on the paper [assignment sheet] and got a B.” To which I responded, “Oh, you mean you followed directions so your grade improved?”
I mean. This is what I’m dealing with here.
Anyway, I am at that part of the semester when my students’ writing has improved so grading is easier–even if they aren’t always following directions or may still be struggling with some parts of the assignments. But I see the difference and the improvement and that means something I’m doing is working.
Will I fall asleep before I finish writing this blog post? Maybe! I am super exhausted–probably because of the time change. It could also be because I didn’t take a nap today or that I did so much grading and my brain is tired.
How much grading did I do today? I’m so glad you asked!
I finished an entire class set of papers, and it didn’t suck or even take that long. I don’t know if it’s because the assignment is more straightforward or my rubric is so baller or my students did better. It is probably a combination platter! The point is that I graded today, and it didn’t suck.
(This gif is highly inaccurate by the way, though my students and I both wish it were true.)
So that’s my part one of Something on Sunday.
My part two is that I had brunch with two strangers today because we all have a mutual friend in common, and she knows two of us are relatively new to the area (I’m the newest, obviously), so she emailed us and basically told us all to get together. So we did! And they are officially in my phone with their companies listed as “Friend of S.” Because that is the work.
Brunch was nice. My pancakes were meh, but the company was good. And! I got a little something to send my daughter…which I have to remember to go to the post office so I can do that tomorrow.
I will probably see and/or hang out with these people again, so I would say that is a win. Good job, S! You are a rockstar (for more reasons than just this, obviously, but today I celebrate you especially for this).
Be like S, people. Connect people who may be drifting alone in the lonely sea of a big move in a new city. Remind them that they have something awesome in common: you.
I am having a hard time figuring out what to blog about tonight. Mostly because I am dealing with some intensely personal and strong feelings, which kind of override my desire to be pithy and fun.
The short version is that there is so much about my move and my new life that is delightful beyond my wildest imaginings, but there is also so much that is different that I didn’t expect–mainly dealing with how little I’ll actually be able to see my daughter now.
The long version I wrote about in my paper journal. 🙂
Add to all of that the fact that I am overwhelmed by work right now, and it doesn’t make for a good recipe for blogging. The good news is that I have made a dent (though small) in some of my work load. But it’s as the old saying goes: How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
I am just taking work one bite at a time.
I also have errands to run tomorrow, like going to the grocery store and returning something to Target (because it’s broken, sigh), and other things. Also, I need to find a pair of ankle boots and a good windbreaker and a Christmas tree.
Speaking of Christmas, I am super excited that I have an actual fireplace to hang my stockings by this year. First time ever!