Sunday, October 07, 2012
And at the End of the First Quarter...
The last week of first quarter begins tomorrow. It is always amazing how quickly the time goes by. One minute it’s August and you are nodding off during a professional development session that seems painfully familiar to something you talked about at the last professional development session you went to, and the next minute it’s October and you have three weeks worth of grading to complete in seven days. As this milepost approaches, it is a fine time to check and see how the year is progressing.
To this point, my classes are going wonderfully. My freshmen are great kids. They are attentive, funny, and curious on most mornings. And, even when they are not at the top of their game, they usually do very little to make things more difficult for themselves or me. That counts for a great deal in my world. My sophomores--more numerous and spirited--are still pretty good students. They too are engaged, interesting, and curious. A recent class chat about their own use of language and about a New York Times article on the President’s use of language was a really rich discussion. My sophomores are particularly social, and I am trying to use that strength of theirs by giving them more discussion-based lessons. So far, I like it, they like it, and it really encourages them to think about things (score!).
Yearbook, always a work in progress, seems to be getting itself off the ground after a slow start. I have some real go-getters (and a few sloths) who are shining right now. I will do all I can to keep them doing what they do (and nudging the sloths to action). I am encouraged.
In general, my “I’m okay, you’re okay” philosophy is serving me well. I am seriously busy all the time, but that has always been the case. I only occasionally feel like I am going to completely lose my shit because I have three weeks of grading to do in seven days, but that has also always been the case. I do not feel as if I am particularly being put upon any more than in the past (okay, maybe a little bit--but it's okay). However, I do feel (for the most part) calm and happy, which is a really great headspace to be in, but (again) no real change from the past. Truth be told, I still get overwrought while watching sporting events, but that is no change from the past, either.
So, I find myself asking myself, what is the benefit of this whole “okay” thing anyway? Well, it is probably like the Romney-Ryan tax cut plan: it is too complicated to explain the math. Suffice it to say that I anticipated that this year would involve a lot of stress-management challenges (and it has involved them), and I hoped that being aware of them, prepared for them, and accepting of them would make them less stressful. So far, so good.
Here I am, feeling pretty good, but as I type this I see, just at the edge of my periphery, a folder full of papers that compose a mere quarter of what lies before me to be assessed. And, so, I will leave off this particular entry to tackle that job, for before me looms a distraction from my professional responsibilities, as my beloved and oft-maligned Baltimore Orioles face the dreaded New York Yankees in the MLB Divisional Playoffs. Yes, that’s right, the playoffs. After fifteen years.
How can I not be okay?