Friday, October 1, 2010

Rain and Breathing.

It’s raining, like, a lot. I appreciate the fact that we’re getting it; we haven’t had any in a long time (months) and the local flora is beginning to suffer. The thing is, getting 4 inches of rain all at once doesn’t quite make up for the deficit. All it does is run off, cause the drains to back up and make traffic a pain in the tuckus. One positive of the weather, though, is that it cancelled the soccer game that was scheduled for this afternoon. Don’t get me wrong. I look forward to every game I coach, but I’ve been burning the candle at all three ends the last couple of weeks and I could use just a little breather.

Since I ended up being at school all afternoon, I took some time to do a little housekeeping and organizing of the mountain of paperwork I need to grade while my students were taking their weekly exams. I’ll dig into the pile a little bit this weekend, but I’m thinking it’s about time for a personal day to really make a proper dent in it. I usually have to take one in early October to catch up on things because, between soccer and all the other little projects that are part of my early fall semester routine, it’s very easy for me to fall behind in my grading.

Fortunately, the pile of stuff isn’t as bad this year as it’s been in years past. Mostly that’s because I’m piloting some new routines in my courses this year that have lessened greatly the amount of paper I see in my in-box. I’ll share more about this later. Even though there’s less paper to grade, there’s still enough work to keep me busy. The trick is to find a good time to take away from my classes to do it.

Next week presents just such a time. By fortunate happenstance, I have just one soccer game on the schedule (today’s game could be rescheduled then, but that’s not likely.). Also, I have relatively few meetings during school that week and a field trip (not mine) will take students from my afternoon classes one of the days. It seems like a good time.

I just have to figure out what to have my students do that day. I want them to have something substantive (I hate when teachers just throw a video at their classes to pass the time). They’re working on describing things, but next week is scheduled to have lots of oral practice. Maybe a recorded something for them to listen to? A dialog, perhaps? I’ll have to talk to my TAs about those options. Right now I just need to find a quiet place so I can take several slow, deep breaths and listen to the sound of the rain falling. The sound of rain often brings peace to my mind.

[photo source]

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