Sunday, June 27, 2010

Back again--Part 2

Classes are over for the summer.  All that's left are finals on Monday, and then I have to turn in the grades, but that shouldn't be too much work.  I suspect I'll get a few e-mails on Monday and Tuesday, after grades are posted, with people wondering about their grades.  I really hope that it is nothing major, that is, I hope I don't have to deal with many upset students.

I've been thinking, too, that this experiment--this blog--is almost over, too.  I started last August, and July is coming up fast.  I'm somewhat in a state of disbelief that this blog has lasted as long as it has.  I have 55 posts so far, which averages a post a week over the entire year.  It's half as much posting as I originally intended, which was 2 posts a week.  I still feel good though.  I've never kept a diary of any sort for so long--I used to always be amazed, absolutely amazed, by those who could keep diaries.  I never had the discipline, or the interest.  Yet, here I am.  

The blog has served its purpose.  I find words coming to me much easier now.  I think teaching helped, too, having to get up in front of people everyday and making sure the thoughts that were in my head came out of my head in coherent sentences.  It's one thing to read.  It's another to craft those words together yourself, and not just take in what another has put together.  

Teaching  has been a good experience.  I do like having the schedule.  I like having a goal each day--this is the lesson plan!  It wrecked my sleep schedule--I would go to bed at 1 am, wake up at 5 am to prep for my 9:30am class, then around 3 o'clock or so, come home, sleep until 7 or 8 pm, wake up and be awake until 1 am....and wake again at 5 am.   It was a strange schedule, but I adapted, and towards the end, felt well rested each day.  It was confusing at first, I must admit.  I'd wake up, and wouldn't be sure if something happened yesterday, or the day before yesterday.  I had been used to marking my days by when I went to sleep, and when I was sleeping twice in one day, it threw that system out of whack.

I think my stomach is also thankful that classes are over.  Towards the end, I thought for a while that I was getting an ulcer.  

People have asked me, what grade would you give yourself?  I think I'd give myself a C.  I was not the most prepared teacher.  I think there might have been things that I explained better.  I think I might have incorporated more activities into classes, made it not be as lecture oriented.  But I went over all the material that I needed to go over.   And my students' exams have averaged around a 76%--right where the average needs to be.  I think I did expand over and above the book a little bit, so that I was not redundant.  And, as far as I know, no went marching over to the dean's office to complain about my teaching.  So, I give myself a C.  We'll see, later, if the teacher evaluations agree with my own assessment.

Besides classes, not much has been going on.  The only thing worth mentioning is that a few weeks ago, after taking my car through the automatic car wash, I was double checking the hood, and I noticed several small rust spots.  They have been repaired, and as always, I had to make it into a project: 1000 grit sandpaper for the rust, primer, touch up paint, 2000 grit sandpaper, polishing compound.  That's five different items I purchased for 4 rust spots, each the size of the tip of a ballpoint pen.  I don't know why I go overboard on everything, and yet, if I don't, I feel like I haven't done enough.  

It took 2 weeks to do everything.  I applied a coat of touch of paint every night for a week.  But before that, of course, each day, I'd go out to my car with a bucket and a sponge, wash off the dirt from the hood, dry it, and then, after that, I'd apply a tiny dot of paint to each spot.  My neighbors, I'm sure, now know me as the girl with OCD about washing the hood of her car.  This is what happens when you live in an apartment complex with no A/C and it seems, a third of the residents having toddlers that like to go outside as the sun sets.  

I now own way too much paint:  paints for the suitcase project, paints for the purse project (6 bottles!), and now, two more paints for my car (paint and primer).  

And finally:  Squirrel!
It's a piebald squirrel.  I usually only see one or two a year.  This was taken with my new camera, handheld, at 17X zoom. 
(Apparently some towns celebrate the fact that they are the home to colonies of white squirrels  or black squirrels )

The penny remains.