Posts tagged ‘grading’

I’m At THAT Point

"Young Asian Boy With Hand Sign" courtesy of arztsamui/

“Young Asian Boy With Hand Sign” courtesy of arztsamui/

You know when you haven’t done something in a while, and it keeps looking bigger and harder to you until you question if you could/should do it at all?  I’m at that point.  With quite a few things in my life actually.  And blogging is one of them.  And I know perfectionism is creeping in again, preventing me from getting anything done.  So, my goal for this week is to be “sloppy.”  Just do a sloppy job on everything, so it gets done.  Now, will it really be “sloppy”?  Probably not.  It will be just fine.  But my perfectionistic side will think it’s sloppy, and it will be satisfied that I’m labeling it as such.  Is this healthy?  I don’t know.  But at least I know it will get things done!

Things that I intend to do a satisfactory job on this week:

1. Blogging every day again.

2. Cleaning up the house. (every day)

3. Finishing up grading for report cards.

4. Updating my vlog profile on letsvlog and making another video

5. Writing (non-blog) every day.

6. Doing something job-search related/life purpose related every day.

7. Exercising every day.

Potential future posts:

1. Welcome to the School of Metaphysics

2. More Numerology!

3. Transcribing Intuitive Reports

4. Car to the Doc

5. The End of An Era

6. Dream Attack

Wonderful Weekend

"Dancing Youngwoman" courtesy of Ambro /

“Dancing Youngwoman” courtesy of Ambro /

I promised myself that I wouldn’t work this weekend (beyond my tutoring hours).  That meant no grading, no planning, etc.   Anything I needed to get done I would do Friday and Monday.   I panicked a bit when my mind/body put up extreme resistance to doing any work on Friday; I almost decided to grade a bit on Saturday or a bit on Sunday to feel better.  It would be my decision to do it, then, not a “should”, right?  But I ended up staying clear, and as I write this, working on my grading on Monday, I’m glad.

Because I had a fantastic weekend.  I got to experience what my life is like without schoolwork.  And it was a little odd, let me tell you.  For a while, I was quite lost.  I caught up on my e-mail and Facebook, I did some reading and writing, some meditation, and then I wasn’t quite sure what I was supposed to be doing.  Sometimes I just sat.  I went for a walk with Bowser.  I did some simple exercises and some Zumba.  Went food shopping.  Helped Brian with meals. (He’s really the master chef.)  We saw three great movies from the “nearly new” $1 shelf: Sherlock Holmes, Contagion, and Crazy, Stupid, Love.  All fantastic movies.  (What are the odds of that working out?!)  It was great.  I’ve been trying to “just BE”, and I think taking schoolwork out of the picture was a great help to that.  Not doing any housework felt great, too, although I know I’ve got to catch up on that at some point so that I don’t feel like a complete slob. . . 🙂

I’m thankful for a non-busy weekend that refreshed me for the week.  And now, back to grading. 🙂

This Week’s Accomplishments — Top 10

"Stars Abstract" courtesy of digitalart/

“Stars Abstract” courtesy of digitalart/ 

(“You’ve earned a gold star!”)

For some reason I tend to get bogged down and low when the toughest part of the week is over.  (Why? I ask myself: “Why???”)  In my effort to combat this trend and lift my spirits, I present here my accomplishments for the week:

1. Clearing out my living space. Most of my teaching books were moved out of the office and into the basement, and then out of the basement and out to the tutoring center.  Yay for clearing!  Then, I moved most of my Spanish teaching books from the office back to school.  (Soon I won’t be able to recognize that office room anymore!)

2. Taxes = Completed.  Inevitably attempting taxes will result in extreme agitation, a pain matched only by my intense grading sessions.  Thankfully, I managed to complete my taxes in one evening over the course of 3.5 hours, so the experience was contained and short-lived.

3. The hardest part of my week is over. The teaching and the majority of my tutoring is done for the week.  (I have one student on Sunday, and then I pick up again with more tutoring on Monday.)

4. The majority of my grading is done. I had open conferences on Thursday and was able to knock out a majority of my grading AND get a few needed odds-and-ends done.

5. I’ve been blogging every day. I think I’ve missed a day or two over the last few weeks, but I think I’ve made every day of this week.  Sometimes I don’t want to post because I think my blog is dumb and no one will be interested, but I’ve been able to push through that self-criticism and just get done what I’ve set out to do, knowing you win some, and you lose some.

6. I’ve been exercising at least every other day. This week has been tough, but with the mindset that I should be doing some sort of exercise every day, I’ve at least got that habit in place, even if I miss some.  Sunday was housecleaning.  Monday was Zumba.  Tuesday was walking around the school hallways.  Wednesday was dancing around the house.  Thursday I missed one.  Friday was yoga.  Today will be Zumba again.

7. Student successes.  I’m sure I have many small successes that I may not even be aware of.  But more recently I had a mom of one of my more reluctant tutoring students tell me that she had asked her daughter if she wanted to skip today, and the girl had said no, that she wanted to come in. (Yay!)  Also, another tutoring student who has had trouble getting anything done at all during our sessions has been much more focused the last few weeks.

8. I’m still vegetarian. I’m half-way through my 4th month of being a vegetarian, and I’m still hanging in there.  Almost cheated a bit Thursday out of necessity, but I couldn’t even do it.  (I may post more about that later.)

9. I’m limiting added sugars and salty snacks. I’ve been limiting myself to chocolate (mostly dark) and Shaklee salty snacks, and I’m still going pretty strong.  I had trouble turning down some round, sweet snacks on Pi Day at the school (out of politeness, believe it or not), but I limited myself to small pieces and bites and did just fine.  I wasn’t even upset about missing out on having more of the treats.  The only time I really struggled was when I hadn’t had enough to eat in general and then everything looked absolutely fabulous to eat during those times.

10. Following up with my life coach homework. I’ve been doing fairly well with my assignments from my life coach, already done with the major part of my assignment for this week (jotting down a list of interesting job titles).  The next step is to look more deeply into the healing professions, something I’ve already begun but need to look into a little more closely.

Well done, Teri!  I’m looking forward to another great week!


Bah.  I was so excited today because I had some extra time — and I never have extra time on Tuesdays — and then I was lost as to what to do with it.  And so I squandered it.

I didn’t get my snow day today, but I did get a snow afternoon.  Usually I have 3 tutoring students in the afternoon after my day of teaching Spanish.  But I canceled one and was able to keep and push  forward the other session, since I was now home early, and the student meets near my house.

But I couldn’t figure out what to do with myself when I got home.  Normally I come home and immediately tear off my work clothes and throw on some jammies, but I couldn’t do that, since I still had a lesson in an hour.  I felt helpless.  Do I snack?  (Yes.)  Do I write?  (No.)  Do I get some work done? (No.)  Do I do various inane things that I will not even remember hours later when I write the post? (Yes.)

And what also stunk is that I missed karaoke tonight because of the snow.  I LOVE karaoke, but it seemed ridiculous to cancel a tutoring session, only to go trouncing out in the snow later the same evening, throwing caution to the wind.  So, what did I do in place of karaoke tonight?  Sadly, I ended up typed up tutoring lesson summaries and responded to a bunch of work e-mail to parents about corrections and final grades for Spanish.

What the heck? Where was my snow day?  Where was my trade-off?  Why am I a masochist sometimes?

On the upside, I am now pretty caught up with parent e-mails, I am still fairly caught up with grading and planning, and I have a light schedule the rest of the week, since it’s the end of the trimester.  I know that this effort that I put in today will help toward making the rest of the week easier and will help me reach my goal of having more relaxing weekends.

The Thing About My Job Is. . .

My career/life purpose coach gave me the assignment this week to look at my job — teaching in particular — and look at what I like and dislike about it.  It’s that time of year again when the school year is more than half way over, and summer vacation/summer jobs are peeking over the horizon.  So, what am I drawn to?  What do I enjoy about what I do, and where can that take me?

I’ll start with do not likes, so that I end on a positive note:

  • Excessive grading (unless I’m paid for it!) — especially of projects and other complicated assignments
  • Excessive Planning
  • Balancing interesting activities with less intense planning and less intense grading
  • Working at home (and not getting paid for it, and not doing things I want to do at home)
  • Managing disruptive students
  • Managing off-task students
  • Dealing with a loud noise level
  • Keeping a classroom organized
  • Less pay
  • No insurance (which can also be a benefit)
  • Negative parental contact


And then there are likes:

  • The stability of the job.
  • The hours.
  • The variety of the job.
  • Going into a job and leaving the house.
  • Less pressure than last year with a specials subject (Spanish).
  • Interacting with people.
  • Students and teachers greeting me in the hallways.
  • Students saying they are enjoying an activity.
  • Managing students who are mostly on-task and interested in the work.
  • Helping teachers or students who need help.
  • Connecting with students/teachers.
  • Snow days (if there are any!)
  • nice lunch (on full days)
  • on my feet and moving around
  • having a good laugh
  • fun activities
  • positive parental contact, including open house and conferences

That’s it for now.  I may add more later.


"Winter Bird" courtesy of maple /

“Winter Bird” courtesy of maple /

How do you know when something is a good-for-you should and when it’s a not-for -you should?  I’m a very emotional person who tries to follow her intuition but hasn’t figured out the difference between intuition and irrational fear or resistance.

I just went two trips around the walking path with my dog Bowser, taking advantage of the 50-degree weather.  (Yes, it’s true – Chicagoans have a warped sense of what’s warm; but tomorrow it’s going to be 30 degrees colder!)

I didn’t feel like going out, but I felt I knew I “should.”  Felt I knew I should.  So, is that a good should?  I knew I’d come back feeling refreshed and full of fresh air in my lungs, and I did.  I knew my legs would feel stretched and my head would be clearer.  And those both happened.  So, even though I was reluctant to go out at first, it wasn’t really a “should”, was it?

Today I’m spending the day getting my “should”s done — grading and planning for the week, but I want to get my “want”s in, too.  There’s this blog.  The walk.  I’d like to get some more writing in somewhere else, too.  There are the shows I’m watching to help me get through the workload (right now I’m watching the first few episodes ever of SNL, inspired by something I read in a bathroom reader).

I intend to make this a great week, even if I have to spend half the time convincing myself of it!

Crazy, Crazy Day

The following is a synopsis of my nutty day today because I like musing and venting about such things.  Thankfully, it had a happy ending . . .

I started off OFF this morning.  I went to bed a little grouchy over a facebook argument, and I woke up from dreams of cheating —  dreams that I had another boyfriend and dreams that I had cheated on my vegetarian diet, eating meatballs and meat sauce in my pasta.  What was that all about, subconscious self?

Brian woke at 7, my alarm went off around 8, and I hit the snooze button continuously until 8:45.  I just DID NOT want to get out of bed.  I don’t know about you, but anything around 9AM is sleeping in for me these days, and I could possibly sleep even later.

Of course, at that point, I knew I only had an hour to get ready – an hour to shower; comb and dry my now longer hair; get my self together; gather my things for writing workshop, lunch, and tutoring; get Bowser’s crate prepared for him; and take Bowser out.  I knew I was pushing it.  As it neared 9:45, I made it to the living room to gather my things, and I noticed my purse was on the floor with a few things lying around it.  I threw everything back in and decided to peek at my phone.

My mom had called multiple times, and so I checked in with her.  My sister had forgotten lunch, and she wondered if I could get lunch to her, since I was headed to see her class anyway.  Flustered and agitated, I said I would and that I then had to get off the phone and get my butt in gear.  I threw everything in Bowser’s crate and took him outside to make sure he took care of his business, and rushed him back into the house. That’s when I noticed that there were quite a few other items of my purse still on the floor, hiding behind the coffee table, some with small chew marks.

At this point I was doing my guttural screams of frustration (still toned down, so as not to terrify my neighbors).  I knew saying anything to Bowser would be completely meaningless at this point, and I shouldn’t have left my purse out, anyway.  I packed Bowser up, grabbed my stuff, and headed out to start my day.  Sometimes all I can take is one block at a time, one moment at a time.  I felt like this week was going to be one of those weeks.

Thankfully, the middle of the day was fairly normal.  I made it to my sister’s writing workshop with plenty of time.  My writing workshop lesson/writing tutoring went well.  I got some grading done, which has been quite a motivational struggle for me this weekend, and I waited for my afternoon tutoring appointment.

Then, I decided to check my work e-mail.  I was thrown off by an unusual e-mail that I later realized was likely misdirected.  I looked at the clock, realized I was again cutting things close, and raced out the door.   Dang it!  Here I go again, making things crazy! I thought.

Of course, the lights weren’t with me, and the cars in front of me weren’t in any hurry.  Despite this, I made it in time, breathed a sigh of relief, prepped my tutoring things, and settled down to wait for my tutoring student . . . who, as it turns out, happened to be sick that day.   Thankfully, the school secretary noticed me and informed me of this, so I packed up again and headed back out the door.

It felt so good to be home.  Grading consumed much of my weekend, and tutoring,  planning, errands, and classwork took the rest of it.  I’ve been overwhelmed and begun to dread these last two weeks before the holidays.   But tonight, after cleaning up a few things, taking Bowser out, changing into my comfy clothes, and settling down with a great beer, an inspiring movie (How About You), and the rest of my papers, I unexpectedly found peace.  My crazy day was done.  I was home.  Though I still had work to be done, I had nowhere to go (except for yoga, which would hopefully not be stressful).  My harried-ness and crankiness were over, and I knew I would enjoy the rest of my evening.  Things were going to turn around for the better.

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