Sunday, December 18, 2005

A little bit of snow

I woke up to a little bit more than a dusting of snow and this makes our second snow this season. It's as if someone is teasing us, however, because it is not enough to totally cover the ground and will likely be gone by the end of the day.

But it does make it feel like winter.

The semester is almost officially over. Grades are due Monday morning. Normally I rush to notify students of grades prior to their official announcement. With the update of the computer system, they are now available as soon as we post them. Since there are a few students who believe they are "A students" without feeling the need to demonstrate same, I'm going to create less stress for myself and wait to post grades until they are do. As mentioned in some recent blog discussions (including comments made on other blogs), grades are earned all semester. What's amazing is students who choose to clearly not follow instructions because "they don't agree with them" and, even when given what is basically "study hall" time, they still do not make corrections. Then, they don't know why they are not awarded an A they feel they so clearly deserve.

My situation is a little bit different from other instructors, though, since most of my students eventually go out into a student teaching situation and will get to much more quickly see what it's like to be on the other side of the desk. And, 14- and 16-year-old minds are often even less rational than those of some of our college students.

But, as other academic bloggers have mentioned, this is the time we feel overwhelmed by the negatives of our jobs and are ready for one of the rare benefits of our jobs, the winter break. Although most of us are working during the break (class prep and/or writing of various kinds that we didn't get to during the regular semester), it is a break from the regular schedule and it gives us more time to focus on the both the non-academic sides of our lives and to more clearly decide our own schedules (or at least let our family do it for us ;-) ).

And, right now, summer is busier than the regular semester because of all of the work that goes with implementing Teaching American History grants. We were able to start a new one last year and were in Year 2 of an existing one. I also participated in the NECC conference in Philly and snuck out to Vegas for my birthday in July. (Note: If you have trouble with heat, don't go to the desert in August. I should have learned that before now . . . .)

Time to walk the dog before the time gets away from me. Then, I'll proceed with cleaning out all of the office shelves so that I can find everything and feel like I know what needs to be done next and still be able to find it. I think we all need to ask for a personal assistant just to keep track of our paperwork (and to do our grading would be especially nice).

Collection of some Kansas Bloggers at Bloggin' Outloud. Thanks, Lyn
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