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Wrapping up a Busy Week

March 12, 2010

Tonight I have been spending my time reading over the proposed National Standards in Literacy K-12 and the College and Career Readiness Standards.    I shouldn’t really say that I have been “reading them over,”  I have been downloading and organizing and printing them out.  Considering that there is one document that is 62 pages long, I have not printed everything, but I have printed a fair amount to read later, in bed.  It is difficult to bring my imac to bed with me.  (It’s heavy, and its screen is 21 inches.)

I am more excited than ever about teaching this class and these students.  On Monday, I was invited to attend my *first* department meeting.  (I know!  Can you believe that I am excited about a meeting?)  I felt very welcomed and it gave me a chance to meet some other professors who are teaching the same class that I will be teaching.  There was one woman who was about my age, and one other woman who teaches the exact class that I will be teaching.  I hope I am invited to the next one (I know!).  It just gives me a feel for what I am getting into, and I hope to be able to get to know my colleagues before the fall.  Yesterday, I observed one of the classes The Chair of the Reading Department teaches.  It is also the exact class that I will be teaching.  The students were presenting their research projects.  It was so informative to see how they organized their projects, and how The Chair of the Reading Department interacted with them.  It gave me permission to be their teacher and not to be some nebulous college professor.  The skills I witnessed were pretty low.  There was a lot of plagiarizing and reading of papers, many times mispronouncing words and people’s names (like Eisenhower).  This helped me get a general feel for what level I need to teach at, even if it wasn’t precise.  I also witnessed how The Chair of the Reading Department organized this section of her class.  She assigned research projects to groups of students that explained events that would be taking place in the next novel they will be reading.  Embedding prior knowledge!  Brilliant.

The bummer of the week has been the weather.  Last week was full of promises like those a playboy makes to get you into bed:  Sunshine, fifty degrees, grass all around the edges of the lawn.  Katie squealed, “Grass!  Grass mommy!  Look!” whenever we left the house.  I swear some of it actually looked green.  Everyone was talking about Spring.  Spring is here!  Doesn’t it feel like Spring?  I, of course, was trepidatious.  I was expecting a snow storm.  At least a foot.  I was wrong.  Instead, we have had rain.  Pouring rain, with the old man snoring.  Yesterday, we had our first Thunderstorm.  With lightning.  And downpours.  I had to use my umbrella.  Everything is muddy.  Plus, it has been so foggy that we have been living in a cloud–literally–all week.  The temps are still mild, but that damp chill that goes straight to your bones permeates my house.  Send sunshine.  NOW.

I have been procrastinating many aspects of my life this week.  Watching a lot of bad TV.  Attending too many (not at all exciting) meetings and missing my kid’s bed times.  I began my new book club book today:  Mudbound by Hillary Jordan.  It is good, but I am only about 40 pages in.  I will let you know when I finish.  I also started The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.  I can’t wait to get back to that one.  I am not too far in at all, but already I want to read more.  Rain is good for this, I guess:  Reading under the afghan.  I am all caught up on the TiVo, so I am headed to my wonderful couch to get back to it.

How was your week?  Are you reading a good book that you would like to share?

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6 Comments
  1. March 13, 2010 4:02 am

    I’m reading old fantasy comfort books that I haven’t cracked open in years…a huge long series of over 20+ titles :) But I will have to break it up for other stuff inbetween. Next up: Time of My Life by Allison Winn Scotch for bookgroup.

    My week just ho-hum…Anders is gone and that always puts a sort of pall on things. But we’ve got lots of good things going on this weekend and the sun just FINALLY made a reappearance so I have high hopes for a warmer weekend to finally melt some more of this snow!

    • March 28, 2010 12:07 pm

      I LOVE fantasy…what is the series?

  2. March 15, 2010 9:48 am

    I totally have Mudbound on my dresser, and need to renew it as I haven’t gotten to it yet…last night I started ‘The Knitting Circle’ and it had me crying…I do not like reading about losing a child, as it’s my worst fear, but this book is doing a good job of showing how a mother moves through her grief…and realizing that the rest of the world has its heartbreaks, too.

    Last week was good – I made a day trip to Hattiesburg to see my best friend, who was gearing up for a long drive to Arizona with her two kiddos (she’s moving there for a couple of months). We had a lovely day together and it’s something I am SO glad I can do – drop everything, throw Thomas in the car, and spend quality time together. We ate sushi and let the kids play at Chick-fil-A – which I love, that our kids are able to spend time together. It’s so surreal to go from being college roommates to having babies. We also surprised our college voice professor with a visit, and I think we really made her day.

    This week is Spring Break for most people. My mom is back in surgery today for the last step of her breast reconstruction. I am feeling selfish because I am really tired of her having surgeries. I wish we could be hanging out together this week. We hope to go see her at the end of the week, and I hope she’s up to it. Like I said, selfish, but I am okay with being selfish some of the time. In the meantime, we’re working on potty training, with real UNDERPANTS! So exciting!!

    I love that you’re getting to drop in and learn how things work for your new job…when do you start?

    • March 28, 2010 12:10 pm

      Is that it for surgery for your mom? I am so glad that she likes her new boobies :) I start my new job this coming fall. Or actually, in August. I still don’t have many details, but hopefully things will fall into place soon. Oh, and yes, isn’t it weird to go from being a kid to having kids? I think about that all the time!

  3. Jamie Fisher permalink
    March 16, 2010 2:27 pm

    I must say that your professional life sounds very exciting. It kind of makes me feel like I should be doing more at this point of my life. I caught up with an old schoolmate who is now the Director of something-like-Marketing-or-Development for a huge company where I used to live. Travels all over the country meting with important people. He asked what I do. “Um…make breakfast, go to the library, play trucks & Legos & Play-Doh, look for crabs under rocks…” Felt a wee loser-ish. But my kids think I’m awesome & who can argue with a 4 yr-old & an almost-2-yr-old? I hope you keep feeling all that excitement & enthusiasm! My week was fun! Busch Gardens with the kids all day Monday (weather was awesome!!). We’re big on animals, face painting & the little train ride. Tues was a quiet day & I worked in the eve (massage). Wed was a great day at the beach & a seabird sanctuary we visit regularly. Thurs & Fri were rain days, but since we don’t get much bad weather, we had fun going for walks in the rain & doing inside stuff. Very good friends & good discussions on Sunday–made me feel happy! I’ve become a low reader as I’ve gotten older (how did that happen) so I don’t read much because of that. I just read Steady Mom. Very quick reading…even for me!

    • March 28, 2010 12:14 pm

      I think I want you to be my mom. I am not going to let my kids know how much you do with your kids. Then they would expect more of me for sure. Your kids are lucky to have you! (And, even though it is sort of tooting my own horn because I have been home with my kids for the past nine years, I think raising kids is the hardest and most important job that is on this planet. You are not anywhere near loser-ish. But, that being said, I know EXACTLY what you mean. I refer to it as the brain as mush syndrome.)

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