As a follow-up to yesterday’s post, my daughter woke up furious with me because I had betrayed her (BETRAYED HER). But she went to work and read some quotes on forgiveness and then she got really cold and had to call and ask me to bring her a sweater, so she forgave me.
Did she forgive me because she wanted/needed something from me or because the quotes seeped into her consciousness? She has decided that it’s a combination platter or, if you prefer, a little from column A and a little from column B.
Since I’m not going to record a video, I thought I’d do a short reflection here about my experience participating in this challenge.
1. Not surprisingly, I paid a lot more attention to what was going on around me since I had to come up with some actual content with at least a modicum of substance.
2. I had fun thinking about how I was going to describe the events that happened.
3. I got a lot of good responses on Facebook to my post with a couple of my friends even saying they really liked what I was posting.
4. My daughter has encouraged me to keep doing the types of posts I have been writing for the challenge. She thinks they’re the most interesting things I have on here (and only a little of that is because of how much she’s featured–so she claims). She said she was actually looking forward to reading my blog. (I don’t think she ever read it before, tbh.)
5. I am definitely going to require my creative writing students to do this as a daily writing exercise. I have not yet decided if I want to also do it with my comp students. I’ll do a pilot with creative writing and see how that goes first.
6. I have, of course, discovered some very cool and awesome blogs/bloggers that I probably would not have otherwise come across.
7. I am proud of myself for writing one post each day, but I am SUPER ANNOYED that I missed posting one of my links to the main page by FIVE MINUTES therefore making me ineligible to win a prize. I was so close to glory.
[7a. Sidenote: I am super competitive and hate losing.]
8. I was keeping up a daily journaling practice at the end of last year/beginning of this year that got derailed when I got sick. Doing this exercise reminded me how valuable of a practice that was. So I’m going to back to it.
Just to be clear: that doesn’t mean I’ll be blogging every day–just that I’ll make sure to clear my head in either my journal or my blog.
So! That was my experience. And because I’m a little nutso, next month (which starts tomorrow!) I’m doing the Blogging from A to Z Challenge, which means I’m not even giving myself a break from the daily struggle. And, no, I have not planned out any of those posts, though I do have ideas for the letters A and P. (My theme, btw, is gratitude, so I’ll try to find something each day to be grateful for that’s related to the corresponding letter.)
I hope everyone else who participated had a positive experience. And thanks to everyone who stopped by and read my blog this month!
Welp, my very long day just ended with me accidentally sending a text explaining why my daughter is mad at me that was meant for my mother TO MY DAUGHTER, and now my daughter is pissed at me, so I really don’t have the energy for anything else right now.
It would have all been alright probably if I had been a little less snarky in tone, even though I wasn’t making fun of my daughter or angry at her. She was already pissed at me, so it makes sense that her response was…not great. Quotation marks, man. Use them with care.
Today was the fiction reading I coordinated for my creative writing students, and it went well. About 25 people showed up, and a few even stayed the whole time. (Since this is a mandatory/graded assignment, it’s during class, and the class time is awkward: 11-12:15 on a Wednesday. While there are some hour and fifteen minute classes, most Wednesday morning classes are fifty minutes and start on the hour.)
There were some slight technical difficulties: the AV people didn’t bring a mic stand (I have to remember to specifically request one next time apparently) and one of the speakers didn’t work (so it was hard to hear if you were sitting on the right). Thankfully, both of those things were rectified before the event was over.
The speaker thing was a bummer, though, especially because there was some, let’s say, ambient noise coming from the rest of the library AND some of my students are really soft-spoken. Still, I am impressed with how well they managed to ignore all of the chaos around them. I had heard all of the stories before when we practiced during class, but I still enjoyed hearing them again. A few students from some of my other classes showed up, and they were pleasantly surprised at how good the stories were. One student said to me later, “I didn’t know they were going to be sad.” And most of them were but all of them weren’t. I think he missed some of the funny ones that came a little later.
I am so glad I started doing this last semester. I already talked to the poetry teacher, and we’re going to do a joint reading again in the fall since our classes are back-to-back. I’m really excited about that one because I teach during her poetry class this time, which means I’m going to force that class to go. Mwahahahaha.
I am ALSO probably going to force all of my students to do some kind of Banned Books Week readout. One of the librarians and I have been plotting. Mwahahahahaha some more.
So yes, one month from the end of the semester, so of course I am planning for fall. Right on schedule.
Ack! Only four days left, and I’m starting to run out of steam!
Okay, I’m not really running out of steam. I’m just tired. I went to water aerobics today, which wiped me out more than usual. I take a nap every day (EVERY DAY) without fail, and I took one today at 7 and I am just spent. I’m tired.
I would go to bed, but I made some lasagna rolls and I have to wait for them to cool off enough so I can put them in the fridge. Yes, it’s almost 11. This is just how I have to roll some days.
Tomorrow is a big day because I’m having the fiction reading for my creative writing students. I think I may just be too excited about that to think about anything else, tbh. Oh great, and I just remembered something I forgot to prep for my classes after the reading tomorrow. Oh well. Added to the to-do list so I can get on that.
1. I’m sitting here with an itchy scalp and the inside of my elbow just started to itch. And guess who is out of her meds to treat this condition?
For the record, it’s hives. And I have to take a blend of Zyrtec and Zantac for it. Yay. (I am out of the Zantac.)
2. I had a surprise observation from the coordiantor of the Honors program today for the honors course I teach. While I was slightly flustered by him initially–just because it was unexpected–I am glad he came on a day when I actually did some direct instruction instead of on a day that was reserved for work.
3. I am incredibly proud of how my daughter is handling a complicated situation. It just shows me how much she has grown in the past year.
4. All of my students were required to write and review five books this semester. In my comp 2 classes, I gave them a list of books to choose from. However, for their last book, I told them they could read whatever they want. One of my students loves reading WattPad stories, but I told her she had to pick a published book. I also told her that there are some WattPad authors who have published books outside of the website. Today, she came in super excited because she found an author with a book. The best part? The author is local and writes about places around town, including the university.
I have mentioned Serial Reader to her since she loves the way WattPad content is delivered (chapter by chapter). But I may have to show her the site.
5. I have had Miley Cyrus’s “The Climb” stuck in my head all day. Here, have a listen.
Today has been pretty chill. My daughter wasn’t feeling well last night, so we both took it easy this afternoon and this morning.
That is, at least, until TV started stressing us out.
It started with Justice League, which my daughter is rewatching on Netflix. She likes the show (we both do), but she thinks Superman is the worst. She contends that he is the most useless member of the team and incompetent to boot. (This is her opinion. Don’t @ me.)
She has actually created a drinking game for the show, and one of the rules is to take a sip every time Superman falls out of the sky or gets knocked out.
Today is the first day I have no idea what to write. So, what I did today, in list form:
1. I woke up from a horrific dream. I blame it on not journaling (in my paper journal) the night before.
2. I called my friend to get some advice.
3. My mom surprised me this morning. My dad asked to use my car last night/this morning to get to work (he works from 5-9; it’s easiest to just do a swap the night before and then immediately after he gets off work), but my mom is the one who picked me up for the car swap.
4. I went to a support group meeting.
5. I came home and ate some cereal so I wouldn’t pass out during yoga.
6. I went to yoga.
7. My daughter and I were supposed to go to the bank so she could switch from her kiddie account to a college student account. She was not here at the scheduled time, so I went and got some lunch at Panera with plans to grade after. (Panera is one of my grading spots.)
8. Did not grade. Went home to take a nap instead.
9. As I was falling asleep I heard someone walking around in the house. However, I had not heard the door open. Went into the living room, daughter was there. Turns out she had been home in time for us to go to the bank–but was sleep. It was too late to go to the bank, so I went to lie back down.
10. I could not get to sleep. I got up and went to the coffee shop to grade.
11. I actually finished grading an entire set of papers at the coffee shop. Yay. I may have taken one swallow too many of the dirty chai. Boo.
12. I got home and performed some emotional triage with my daughter. This may be why I am so drained.
13. I put in a load of laundry and made pancakes for dinner.
14. I watched 1 1/4 episodes of The Great British Baking Show.
15. I fretted over what to write for this post.
Today I had the opportunity to sit in on a Trig class as part of a pilot program called Teaching Squares. (I have also previously visited an astronomy and zoology class.) While sitting in this class, the following happened:
1. I realized (reaffirmed is more accurate, but go with me here) that math beyond algebra is definitely not my thing. Not only did I have no idea what was going on, but I also didn’t care. It was especially apparent because the astronomy teacher (who was also visiting the class) was super into it and solving problems with the class, and I was just sitting there having flashbacks to when I took pre-calc in undergrad and trig in high school.
2. I loved my undergrad experience, but I really wish I had known more about community colleges and/or that dual enrollment was available when I was a senior. Taking a required math class that I had no interest in would have been SO MUCH better in a small class of ~25 students than the lecture hall experience I had.
3. This experience, along with a chat I had with my students a couple of days ago, reminded me how little effort I put into classes that I didn’t care about or knew I just needed to satisfy a gen ed credit. It gave me a little more compassion/empathy for my students who are doing the bare minimum to get by.
4. Visiting the math class after visiting the astronomy and zoology class also reminded me that I could and would be engaged in a class that is not in my area at all as long as I’m willing to listen. Like I said, I tuned out most of the math stuff (this is not the instructor’s fault–part of it is that it’s the end of the semester, so I didn’t have the refresher of some of the foundational stuff I needed to follow along; also, to be fair, I did learn some stuff) but I did learn some things. Same with the zoology and astronomy stuff.
Yesterday, it took me five minutes to figure out how to put my underwear on. They are a pair of boyshorts and the label on the inside has gone away, and there is no other way to tell which side is which. So I literally put them on, pulled them down, and turned them around about six times before finally just telling myself to PICK A SIDE so I could get on with my day.
Today was the last day to withdraw from courses for the spring semester. As I usually do, I had a conversation with my students about what it means to withdraw from a class: what it can do to (or for) their GPA, how it can affect their financial aid, what it might mean when it’s time to transfer.
However, this time, I did something a little different. I reminded them that getting a D isn’t the end of the world (they will get elective credit, but not gen ed credit). But I also told them that there’s value in staying in the class even if they are pretty sure they are not getting a C–or maybe not even a D–because they’ll be practicing the skills they’ll need when/if they have to retake the course.
I have at least three students who I know probably are sticking it out because I said that, which is, I think, a good thing.
On Tuesday, in my comp 2 course, I was putting in a plug for my fall creative writing course, and one of my students asked me if I preferred teaching creative writing to comp. And I told him, quite honestly, no. Creative writing is fun to teach because most of it is completion based, but the classes are very different. The part I hate about teaching comp, I told them, is the grading.
Anyway, they understood that. I also pointed out that for every paper they write, I’m usually grading 60-80 of them. So.
Then, one of my students came in late, and he looked a little…let’s say out of it.
Me, joking: Are you sleepy or high?
Him, completely serious: Oh no I’m not high. I’m sober four days.
Me, now completely serious: Oh good.
Dual-enrolled student: Wait, I thought sober was just for drinking.
Other student: Oh sweet, innocent, baby [classmate]. She’s so sweet. I love it.
The rest of the class then had a good laugh at the innocence of the high school student. She really is a sweetheart.