Five Minute Friday, Uncategorized

Five Minute Friday – Pass

Participating in Five Minute Friday over at Heading Home again this week.  This week’s prompt is “Pass”.

Five-Minute-Friday-new

So, here goes:

At this time of year, “pass” is all tied up in grading for me.  I am a teacher, after all and we are nearing the end of the semester.  I consider myself to be a decent teacher.  I’m not great…yet.  But, I’m working on it and I think I do a pretty good job right now.  But, some of my classes are doing pretty poorly.  It is always a question as to whether their pass and failure rate are a reflection of you as an instructor or them as students.  In the end, it is probably a combination.   As the saying goes, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink.  I am someone who believes that you can make the water a little more appetizing to them.  You can even give them a way to drink that makes it easier for them to access the water.  But, in the end, you really can’t force it down their throats.  But, it is my goal to do more in my teaching to make the water attractive and to make it easier for them to drink.  I guess I want to be able to make them so thirsty, they can’t possibly turn the water down.

It is not easy though.  I need to improve.  I need to be more engaged.  I need to have a better plan and strategies and activities.  So, this summer will be somewhat dedicated to just that.  But, I’m excited about these changes.  I’m excited about the possibility of serving up water to thirsty students who WANT to drink it down!

 

Motivational Mondays

Motivational Monday – I Missed You…

still alive

Just in case you were wondering.

It has been a while.  I was really hoping to be more consistent here, but when stuff piles up, this goes to the bottom of the pile.  So, I haven’t been in a while.  But, today is Monday.  A new week.  It is the first Monday in May.  A new month.  The end of the semester is drawing nigh and I am looking at summer break with a bit of drool on the side of my mouth.  This semester has been a rough one (gee, I seem to say that a lot come the end of the semester).  But, once again I appreciate the teaching benefit of getting to “start over” each semester with new students and a clean slate.  I’m hoping the Fall 2015 slate stays cleaner longer than the Spring 2015 slate did, but who knows.

So – this week’s agenda is busy, busy, busy.

WORK:

At work, we have our end-of-year celebration for Speech and Debate on Wednesday.  So, I need to get graduation gifts, going away gifts (my Assistant Coach got a full time job at the local CC, so she is moving on), student awards (certificates were not printing right today, so I need to figure that out tomorrow and then have my student assistant get them all in frames on Wednesday) and then we’re Karaokeing (is that a word?) at a local restaurant that is frequented by retirees (we have quite a few under 21, so most of the Karaoke in town is out of bounds for them).  It should be interesting.  I might find someone to talk Murder She Wrote with there.  🙂

I also have committed to really working on getting my grading done for Chico State tomorrow.  That way, I can give everything back during the last class meeting on Wednesday.  It seems kind of insane to even think about being able to do that, but it would be so wonderful to have it out of the way before finals week.  We’ll see how much I actually get done.

My other classes are pretty much on cruise control until Chico is done since they go for another two weeks after Chico is done.  Then I will have to get all of those graded.  Sigh…

HOME:

My mom has agreed to come up this weekend instead of us going there.  It should be better, but I need to get the house cleaned up.  Right now, it is pretty much a mess.  And my DH is leaving on Thursday morning for a work trip and will be gone until Monday night.  So, not much help there.  We’ll see how she deals with the stairs, etc., but hopefully it goes well.  So, there is laundry to do (lots of it), dishes to wash, vacuuming to do, dusting to do, etc. etc.  It is never ending around here.

This week is Teacher Appreciation week, so I volunteered to help with Bean’s school’s celebrations.  Tomorrow I am getting a traveler of Starbucks and a dozen bagels and some cream cheese from our local bagel place.  There is a potluck later in the week as well.  I want to help out because I really do love the teachers at Bean’s school.  But, tomorrow is going to be an early morning – I need to get it over to school around 7 a.m.

REFLECTION:

I’m feeling a bit better about things.  I’ve got my calendars up-to-date and relatively synced.  I am getting things done slowly but surely.  I’ve taken my boss’ advice after a meeting earlier this week and I now have a “To-Do list” on each day of my Google calendar on which I put the things that need to get done that day.  The stuff hasn’t got done everyday, but as she says, “as I move it from one day to the next, it makes me realize what really needs to be prioritized.”  So, I’m going to try to stick with this one and really start being more productive.  I’ve already noticed a difference, but I still don’t check it nearly enough and I forget things that are on the list.  But, baby steps.

So, there is my motivational Monday post, 9 minutes before Tuesday.  My goal for next week is to get the Motivational Monday post up more than 9 minutes before Tuesday.  As I said, baby steps.  🙂

Motivational Mondays

Motivational Monday – Spring Break Edition

pi joke

A little humor in honor of Pi Day this weekend.

Well, motivational Monday is upon me once again.  And once again, I am feeling a little lacking in motivation.  I am thankful it is Spring Break and I have no instructional duties for a week as I have a TON of grading to get caught up on and it would be nice to go back to school with it all graded and entered in the grade book and prepped through the end of the semester, which is actually spiraling towards us at break-neck speed it seems.  So, I guess I’m kind of motivated to do that.  I am also motivated (sort of – I’m feeling a bit ambiguous about my motivations versus my must-dos, but in the end, if I can converge those two things it would be great) to get all the laundry caught up and get the house somewhat clean and organized.  Oh, and I HAVE to clean up the backyard because the dog comes in with stickers all over her every time she spends any amount of time out there because of all the weeds.  So, yeah, my Spring Break is basically booked up.

But, I am also motivated to spend some quality family time doing things that are fun this week.  So, tomorrow we are heading an hour and a half north of us to Redding, CA to stay a couple of nights in a hotel (which, in itself would be enough for my DD) and go to Turtle Bay Exploratory Park (one of our favorite family outings, which we have annual passes to thanks to my in-laws) and maybe find a couple of other touristy things to do (although playing in the pool and reading and relaxing sounds like enough things to do for me).

Speaking of reading, I’ve been doing pretty good in that area.  I’ve already read three books since the beginning of the year, which is really good for me during the school year.  I’ve stayed off of Candy Crush at night and read instead and I’ve been motivated to finish books!  I’m excited about re-establishing my reading habits and I’m motivated to get as many books read this year as possible!  So far, I’ve read Inferno by Dan Brown, The Mangle Street Murders by M.R.C. Kasasian and Murder in Merino by Sally Goldenblaum.  I am currently reading The Girls of August by Anne Rivers Siddons which seemed like a good read for Spring Break.

I think that motivation sometimes stems from desperation (the procrastinator’s way) and some of my motivation will be coming from that (laundry, grading, etc.), but other motivation stems from desire and that will be my motivation to read and spend quality time vacationing with my family.  So, I’ve definitely got some motivation going on this week.

What about you?  What is motivating you this week and what are you motivated to do?

Six Word Saturday

Six Word Saturday – Work, Work, Work edition

BlackHole

Winter ends, Spring begins next week.

I am woefully unprepared for what the next week will bring (and the week after that).  I’m glad I taught this Winter session class, but I feel like my break went into that cavernous space pictured above (a black hole).  So, next week the Winter session is coming to an end and the Spring semester is getting started at my other campus and on Friday, I’m flying out to Missouri to a tournament.  Then, I come back and the Spring semester starts at the other campus and I have to have those Winter session grades in.

I was feeling relatively on top of things as the Winter session started, but that has quickly faded.  Between grading, prepping for Spring classes, figuring out the long list of things I need to do for the Spring semester for other activities I help with on campus and an added aspect of hiring an intern (who hopefully will help me with all these other activities I have going on so I can focus on teaching and coaching) is really starting to stress me out a bit.

As an added bit of challenge, because all of that is not enough, my DD has a pretty bad cold.  So far, she hasn’t run any big fevers or anything, but she does have a pretty nasty cough and a very stuffy nose.  I probably should have taken her to the pediatrician yesterday, but it was the first day of it and I wasn’t sure it wasn’t allergies because we’ve been having some pretty erratic weather (upper 60s, sunny, then rainy for a day, then back to upper 60s), but now I’m sure it is a cold.  So, I may have to put a visit to the prompt care this weekend as well.  Sigh…she is having to miss the first birthday party a classmate invited her to today, which kind of sucks.  But, such is life.

Anyways, I should get back to grading, prepping and cleaning my total disaster of a house.  I really wanted to start the Spring semester with a clean house and a positive outlook.  But, I think I’ll have to settle for starting the Spring semester.  Period.

How about you?  What’s your weekend looking like?

Six Word Saturday

Six Word Saturday

 

The calm before the inevitable storm.

That is what this weekend feels like.  It is strange to not have a big volume of grading to do or tons of class prep (there is a bit, but not volumes).  I have things to do (the house looks like a tornado hit it and I do need to prep for Spring semester at least a bit), but it isn’t totally pressing.  I become so used to the constant demand on my time and energy that when that demand is not there, I’m not sure what to do or where to turn or how to act.

But, I’m sticking with my usual schedule, just feeling less pressured by it.  Because I know in a matter of three weeks I will be knee deep in it as the saying goes.  I am teaching one less class this coming semester than in the Fall, but my travel schedule is worse in the Spring and I have some additional opportunities that have arisen that I WANT to do and do well, so I need to get focused and use this “down” time well.

The Winter Session class is helping me prep for my Spring class, which is great.  I think that class will be pretty much “plug n play,” which will help a ton.  My other class is going to take a bit more work because I’m using a different book (that is a pretty fun read and is going to change my perspective on the class a bit, which I think is good), but the syllabus is done, so it is now just a matter of me getting my act together on the class schedule, which is always the beast of burden that never seems correct in its predictions for how long things will take.  But, we’ll see.  The new book may help.

So, there it is. I will try to enjoy this Calm Before the Storm and relax a bit.  Good news – I’m 250 pages into Inferno – my first book of the year.  Hoping to finish it this week and get started on another!

Six Word Saturday

Six Word Saturday

In with 2015, out with tooth!

Well, this week at my in-laws has gone bust.  I’ve now lost my voice, my husband had to have his tooth pulled this morning because he was in so much pain and there was no one to do a root canal available on the holiday week.  We haven’t done anything fun because no one has felt like it much.  I’m still not feeling great and we have to drive back home this morning (about 7 hours) and since my husband is on pain meds, I will be driving the whole way myself.  My wonderful MIL did all of our laundry yesterday so we can go home with clean clothes, which is awesome.  If I remember correctly, my house is pretty much a mess, so there will still be plenty to do.  I also need to finish prepping for my Winter Session class that starts on Monday and finish my grading (finally!).  So, lots to do by the end of the weekend!  I will be happy if I I can get it all done and get my voice back by Monday.

I did get a new phone yesterday.  Not exactly the saving money venture I wanted to start the new year with, but my (broken) phone that I had changed to from my other (broken) phone kept turning itself off and wanting to be plugged in, even when it had 35% battery.  I am desperately in need of a dependable phone as much as I’m on the road and traveling between different jobs, so I bit the bullet.  Our bill is going to go up about $30 a month or so, but I am really going to do my best to cut back in other areas and keep this phone for a full two years.  I ended up getting a Galaxy Note and I’m pretty excited about it.  I really like the larger size, the stylus, the coordination with Google Chrome and other Google stuff.

Well, it is on the road for me!  Hope you all are enjoying your first Saturday in the new year!

New Year's Countdown

2014 – In with a whisper, out with a cough…

So, last year we had a quiet night at home on New Year’s Eve.  My husband was leaving for a work trip early and so we went to bed early.  This year, we’re at my in-laws, but with my cold hitting the hardest today, I may be in bed early again.  I slept on the living room couch last night because I was coughing so much and didn’t want to keep my husband and daughter up.  I was awake until 2:30 a.m. and then got woken up by my husband at 7:30 a.m.  And now, my nose is starting to fill again, my head is killing me (just took some Tylenol) and I am exhausted.  But, hey, at least I’m not alone with my DD.  That would definitely be worse.  Her cousin and Gigi are keeping her entertained and I’ve been able to more or less veg out all day.  Although, I need to finish my grading to meet the deadline for one of my campuses.  I don’t have much more to do, but with my head and throat hurting like it is, it is hard to get motivated to finish it up.

I have been putting off getting a new phone because I really wanted to change carriers, but I’m having a really hard time figuring out who to go with to save the most money and not get locked into some lease deal on the phones.  But, now I just may take the lease deal on an AT&T phone and stay with them after all.  I can’t decide.  If anyone has any advice you would like to throw my way, please do!  I am seriously considering downgrading my phone usage.  Right now I have my husband’s old iPhone with tethering and we have a big data plan and unlimited text and minutes.  I’m considering going without the tethering and reducing the data plan in a big way.  I’ve actually considered just getting a pay as you go phone and saving money that way.  We got a home phone for Christmas from my MIL and we have a phone line included on our cable package, so I don’t feel as desperate for a cell phone that does everything now.  I would still be driven crazy when visiting my mom because I would not have any internet there, but I’m thinking it may just be worth it.  Especially considering my new “Less Screen in 2015” resolution phrase.

So, if anyone has suggestions, let me know.  I’m going to do some more internet searches today and see if I can figure it out to start 2015 saving some money on my cell phone bills!

I can’t believe I start teaching the Winter Session class in only four days.  I also can’t believe I start teaching Spring semester in 20 days.

On a good note, even before 2015 has begun, I have already read over 100 pages in Inferno!  So, reading is off to a good start already.

What are your plans for New Year’s Eve?  Anything exciting?  Good phone plans?  Let me know in the comments if you care to!