The flower that blooms in adversity and all that #sol17

In my comp class today, the plan was to finish watching Mulan to prepare my students for their definition argument paper. So imagine my surprise when I get to the classroom and see that they have CHANGED THE COMPUTER. And? There is no longer a tower!

Luckily, a CD/DVD drive was on the now tower-less computer, but it took me a minute to find it. Then, I had to figure out how to start the DVD since, of course, it didn’t autoplay nor would it load in Windows Media Player. The good news is that I had been down that road before in another classroom so knew to look for the VLC player, which was actually there and working.



So, we got to finish the movie, and I got to assign the paper. Whew. Because I really did not have an alternative if the classroom technology wasn’t working. Especially since Mulan is no longer on Netflix, so it’s not like I could have used that option either.

But now I’m wondering if that means I should carry my portable DVD drive with me JUST IN CASE whenever I plan to show a movie in class. I mean.


Slice of Life is a writing challenge hosted by Two Writing Teachers.

Slice of Life is a writing challenge hosted by Two Writing Teachers.


Nerding Out #sol17

Yesterday, I put this prompt up on the board for my creative writing students:

Write a scene in which a character standing in an open courtyard filled with people she (or he) knows finds out s/he’s been stabbed in the back by his/her best friend.

After they asked, I told them the open courtyard could be any super public place and the backstabbing could be figurative or literal.

When time was up, I asked how many of them got my literary reference. Two hands went up, but then one student admitted that she only got it after the other student explained it.

So, only one student got the literary reference. One!

Then, I asked if any of them knew what the day was, and a student said, “The Ides of March.”

And I said, “That’s right! The Ides of March!”

And then I showed them the following memes/gifs:

Continue reading

Lessons Learned for Next Time #sol17

No pie for me yesterday, alas. The pie crust I had in the refrigerator was no good, and I was not going to the store.

So, a couple of interesting things happened yesterday.

1. All but five of my students in my comp class DID NOT do the reading. Now, I know it was the first class session after break (on TUESDAY mind you), but ugh. It makes me so angry when that happens. Especially since the reading and homework were all I had planned to discuss for the day.

This has happened once before, so I did what I did then: I made the students who didn’t do the reading stay in the classroom and write an essay on why they needed to come prepared to class. Then, I took the handful of students that did the reading out into the common area and held class with them.

When I got back to the classroom, I collected the essays and threw them in the trash. (Yes, in front of the students.)

In retrospect, I’m a kinder person now then I was the first time so I think I could have handled it differently. Namely, I would have had them read the essay and finish the homework. The instruction time was lost, but I still could have caught them up.

I mean, giving them an opportunity to see how it feels to waste class time is still a badass move, but it’s not in line with my goals as an instructor.

Oh well. Maybe next time.

2. I was supposed to meet with one of my ministers, but he stood me up. After waiting twenty minutes, he finally contacted me after he realized he completely spaced on our appointment. Later that day, though, I ran into him at the gym. (Small town living, am I right?) Anyway, we then held an impromptu meeting in the swimming pool during my water aerobics class since we were both there and had the time.

Busy people: we take the time where we can find it.

Anyway, next time, I think I’ll remind someone I’m on my way before an appointment, so they can either be where they’re supposed to be or let me know if things have changed.

Slice of Life is a writing challenge hosted by Two Writing Teachers.

Slice of Life is a writing challenge hosted by Two Writing Teachers.


Pi(e), Papers, and Pork #sol17

Today is Pi(e) Day, so I suggested to my daughter that I make a pie to celebrate. She suggested an apple pie, I suggested a cinnamon pie, and we agreed that a chicken pot pie (or even a pot pie made with leftover ribs) would be best. Aw, compromise.

Did I make the pot pie? Well, I don’t know yet. This will post right after midnight, so who knows what the day will bring.

Anyway, this day, man. I went back to work, which was fine. As I was finishing up grading, I discovered that none of my students (NOT ONE) got an A or even a B+ on the last paper, so I am going to have them rewrite it since they really won’t be able to move forward if they can’t master those skills.

I also learned that the more ominous I sound before I pass the papers back, the happier the students will be with their grades. One student was so relieved she got a 70 because she had prepared herself for a “50 or something” because of my warning. Of course, that only works when people actually pass the paper, so I’ll see if that holds true tomorrow (er, today–midnight, you know).

So, yes, work was fine.

However, the big drama of my day is that it rained ALL DAY, which ruined my plans to grill some ribs. I had to oven roast them instead. I mean, they turned out fine (delicious even), but oven roasted is just not the same as grilled.


Slice of Life is a writing challenge hosted by Two Writing Teachers.

Slice of Life is a writing challenge hosted by Two Writing Teachers.


It’s Monday and spring break is over. #sol17

SO. TIRED. #sol17

I’m sitting here trying to think of what to write about, and all I can think is that I’m going to lose an hour of sleep and that I actually have to finish grading tomorrow. VACATION’S OVER.

(To be fair, I love Daylight Saving Time–I just hate that it always falls at the end of my spring break. RUDE.)

Anyway, here is an exchange I had with my daughter tonight. The background is that she wanted to get slippers. This turned into an unfruitful trip to TJ Maxx, followed by a fruitful trip to Rack Room Shoes and Target. Even though I told her I got my slippers from Burlington, she heard TJ Maxx, so we were there for less than five minutes before she realized the error. Target is closer to TJ Maxx than Burlington is so I suggested we head there first. She decided to detour into Rack Room before going to Target (they’re right next to each other), so then, we left Target and got into the car.

Her: We should just go home. I’m tired.
Me: No, you want slippers. Let’s just get the slippers.
Her: I’m tired.
Me: You’ll be happy you got it out of the way.
Her: If I’m driving, I’m going home. (Obvs, since she was the one who wanted to go to the store, she had to drive.)
Me: No, go to Burlington. I’ll drive home.
Her: I’m just so tired.
Me: I’ll drive home. It’s fine.

She drives to Burlington and barely sings a single song on the way there.


SO TIRED. source


Me: Wow, you really are tired.
Her: I told you.

Go to Burlington, get the slippers. Leave Burlington. She complains about how she was tired and could have waited until tomorrow. Then, she wouldn’t have felt so rushed. Blah blah complain blah she’s so tired blah.

Get home. (Do you already know where this is going? I’m sure you know where this is going.)

Her: My friends are at Steak ‘n Shake. Can I go?
Me: I thought you were SO TIRED. Remember how TIRED you said you were. ‘Oh, I’m SO TIRED. I think I’m going to DIE because I’m SO TIRED.’ Remember?
Her: I’m home now, so I feel better. Plus, I’m an extrovert. Being around my friends will give me energy.
Me: But how will you drive when you’re SO TIRED?

This went on for a while (until she left the house, basically). I never claimed to be mature.


Slice of Life is a writing challenge hosted by Two Writing Teachers.

Slice of Life is a writing challenge hosted by Two Writing Teachers.


Why do you whine like you’re running out of time? #sol17

Although I did everything I planned to today, I feel like this day just got away from me.

Since today is the last day of break (weekends are for prep…and the grading I didn’t finish), I didn’t force myself to get out of bed for 9 a.m. gym. This turned out to be a mistake. The 10 o’clock class had a sub, and the class was nothing like I was expecting or wanting. The sub’s pacing was all wrong, and she kept talking to the class like we didn’t understand what was going on. (This may be because she’s a regular aerobics teacher and not a water aerobics teacher. But I could be wrong.) It was very bizarre.

I tried to get my mind right and relax into it, but I just could not get with it, so I wound up leaving after about fifteen minutes. Then, I realized I could make it to 11 o’clock yoga so went home, changed my clothes, and then headed to the other gym for yoga. Which was fine, but threw my schedule off.

Everything after that went pretty much as planned, but I didn’t get any significant couch time in until after 4 p.m., which is just not right for this, my last Friday before it’s back to the grind.

Slice of Life is a writing challenge hosted by Two Writing Teachers.

Slice of Life is a writing challenge hosted by Two Writing Teachers.


Eighteen #sol17

My daughter turned 18 today (yesterday technically–again with the midnight posting), and this birthday has been interesting to say the least.

The original plan was to go to New York to see Hamilton, but that proved too expensive so I had to sell the tickets/cancel the trip. (This was all my daughter’s suggestion, btw. She said she would rather use the money for her college deposit AND she could see that trying to figure out the money for the trip was stressing me out. Sometimes she’s not selfish [her words].)

Then, my daughter kind of realized that what was supposed to be this epic New York trip to celebrate her birthday was going to be a day in our small town with a lot of her friends out of town for spring break. Also, trying to pull something together at the last minute was, you know, trying to pull something together at the last minute. Plus also, one of her friends that she really wanted to hang out with texted her this afternoon to tell her she had just gotten back from the ER and has the flu that’s been going around.

I kept asking her what she wanted to do, and she kept saying she didn’t know. Then, this exchange happened:

Her: Olive Garden?
Me: You want to go to Olive Garden?
Her: I don’t know. Is that too basic?
Me: Is it? It’s your birthday. Is that what you want?
Her: We should go to IHOP.
Me: [laughs] IHOP?
Her: What?
Me: You went from Olive Garden being basic to IHOP.
Her: What’s wrong with IHOP?
Me: Nothing! It’s your birthday! It’s just funny.
Her: I just really want some pancakes.

So we went to IHOP for brunch with my parents, and then she went shopping/hung out with some of her friends who are still in town for the rest of the day.

She also asked me to make her a blue cake because Percy Jackson.

So, you know. Interesting. And not at all what we originally planned.

Slice of Life is a writing challenge hosted by Two Writing Teachers.

Slice of Life is a writing challenge hosted by Two Writing Teachers.





When the Student Becomes the Teacher #sol17

Today (yesterday, technically, but this will post after midnight) was the Day Without a Woman strike event, and since I’m on break, I decided to strike from obligation and running errands. I also chose to engage in radical self-care, which meant doing stuff for myself without thinking for one minute about anybody else. (This included staying off social media for my own sanity.) I had planned to go to a local event, but I had already given my daughter permission to use the car and then I fell asleep before my friend got back to me about giving me a ride (and it turned out I had the wrong number anyway).

This morning, I went to the gym, and the water aerobics instructor is getting over a cold, so her voice was pretty low and she said talking was kind of hard for her–especially the projecting she usually does to teach the class. So, since all of us were regulars, we all took turns describing each of the motions we were doing, using the terms and language she usually does. Sometimes we would also add in our own little tidbits (e.g., one woman shouting “Don’t be a wimp!” when we were doing triceps).

I look nothing like this while doing water aerobics (source)

The instructor said it was one of the best classes she ever had, and she was so glad we were there that day. She was especially pleased to know that we actually listened to her when she talked. She did say, though, that she was very happy she couldn’t hear what we were thinking during class given some of the ad libs we threw in.

Slice of Life is a writing challenge hosted by Two Writing Teachers.

Slice of Life is a writing challenge hosted by Two Writing Teachers.



A Day Without a Woman #sol17