Monday, March 16, 2009

Monday Randomness (including last week’s randomness)

The snow has melted of my athletic fields, so we can begin to clean them up for the spring sports classes. On the main field, we have some work to do to repair damage from someone’s stupidity. They did donuts on the frozen turf back in the early part of the winter, and the ruts are deep in spots. I’m organizing a community work day involving the ultimate teams, my spring sports classes and the youth soccer group that uses our fields in the spring. Hopefully we’ll get everything filled in and smoothed out by the time the grass starts to grow. This has happened 4 times since we moved to this property. The simple solution is to put a fence up, but fences are costly. So, until the $10,000 comes around, I’ll keep organizing work days.

Finally, after 3 years of trying, I was able to get my administration to approve a budget that allows us to offer softball as a competitive sport. It doesn’t cost the school anything to offer it, under the plan I developed. Student fees pay the costs, and I was able to get costs reduced to a point where the financial risk was agreeable to the suits. I’m really happy! The kids deserve to have it. The next sports project: Basketball (which will be a real challenge, given that we don’t have a gymnasium at my school).

This week is hell week for the school’s musical, HAiR. The list of students who will be at the University (where the show is going on) is nearly 1/3 of the school. What do you expect from a performing arts based school, right? As you might expect, though, the effect on the academic program is sizable. To lessen this, I frontload my classes. I give a lot of stuff weeks ahead so that the students can coast past the week without worrying about missing new material. Those students who are actually in my classes will work on the assignments, play learning games and do research. I’m just there to help them keep moving forward.

Next week, the MCAS test starts. My 8th and 10th graders (80% of my students this year) will be taking the English part of the test over three days in the middle of the week. Another reason to frontload. I won’t even be in the classroom for the mornings that week. I’ll be proctoring the test, so what few students I have who actually go to class will report to a study hall. Oh, boy!

I’m nearly finished with a project I’d been playing with for over a year. I had a burst of creativity, and just rode the wave for as long as I could. It’s an RPG mechanic. A what? A roleplaying game mechanic. Go ahead. Roll your eyes. It’s ok. If you’re a gamer, you’d understand. I still have some fine points to work out, and then Caleb and I will playtest it over the next little while. If it works, I’ll use it for the stories we do here at the house. If it works well, maybe I’ll make it public.

I’ve written to my graduate professors to get feedback on the work I did for my seminar last fall. I’m curious to know if it’s worth spending more time with.

I went swimming this morning for the first time in two weeks. 8/10 mile in 31 minutes. I’ll take it.


Wheeler said...

"I was able to get my administration to approve a budget that allows us to offer softball as a competitive sport."

...If only we were able to do that last school year. At least you were able to get it at all. I'm surprised.

Mrs. Chili said...

How is it that YOUR snow is melted, and we only have glimpses that there's actually EARTH under there?