Sunday, January 29, 2006

You Know That Garfield Cartoon . . .

The one where he's bemoaning the fact he's been attacked by several Mondays at once? I'm feeling that.

Actually, I'm feeling the trip out of town, the laundry done, the time spent helping seniors on research papers, the trip to the grocery store, etc.

Monster #1's academic team had a tournament two hours away yesterday, and we left Friday afternoon to spend the night before, after a whirlwind of haircut appointments and packing. I never really got the whole concept of an academic tournament until I let a colleague rope me into being a reader for the big bash tournament he throws at our school every year. Now I totally see it! And I'm excited my kid participates. Watching the kids -- all of them -- is so funny! They're so serious and such good sports as well.

While I was moving Monster #1's team from room to room in a charming 1930's era schoolhouse, the DH took Monster #2 to a rather large swamp park to ride in a boat and see alligators. Afterward, Monster #1 wanted a trip to. Okay, even though I'll often vie with Elisabeth for the worst mother award, I think I deserve mom kudos for not only going to see the alligators but walking through the park in two-and-a-half-inch heels (blue suede pointy toes, too!).

Got home late Saturday night and crashed (I did all the driving -- but I did stop for a Starbucks. Yum!).

Worked with some of the seniors from my homeroom this afternoon on their research papers for the college class they're taking through our campus (our plan is for our kids to graduate with up to four college courses completed). I'd forgotten that some college professors don't really, um, teach the way high school teachers do -- they lecture. Let's just say some of the kids were caught in a quagmire of confusion and procrastination. I don't teach these kids anymore, so it was kind of fun to sit and work with them again (I know you're not supposed to have favorites as a teacher, but I loved this group).

So . . . after laundry and hanging with my kids and finishing Pompeii (oh, gosh, I'm out of reading material . . . must go to bookstore!) . . . I'm off to crash again.

Talk later.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Wipe Out

Or rather, wiped out. I had a teacher workshop today (assessment, feedback and Georgia Performance Standards).

Have I ever mentioned I can't sit still?

There's a reason you never come into my classroom to find me sitting at my desk. I'm up, in the middle of my students. I might be sitting in a student desk if I'm conferencing or perched on a stool or the top of a student desk if I'm teaching, but usually I'm moving around.

So eight hours in one chair, listening to a presenter? Oh. My. Gosh. I'm exhausted, and I feel like I've been run over by a truck. We did walk to lunch (have I ever mentioned my affection for high heels? My calves hurt now.). And I went for a walk with a friend while the Monsters were embroiled in an extracurricular activity. So I worked off the pent-up excess energy, but I'm still feeling the hours spent having to be attentive in that chair.

And before you remind me my students do this every day . . . they get to change classes and I provide lots of opportunities for movement in my class (I had two kids batting a balloon around the other day during group worktime. Me: "What are you doing?! W.S.: "Brainstorming. For our poster. We're tossing around ideas." Sure enough, they were. It's an awesome poster, too.)

Looking forward to my normal routine tomorrow . . .

Sunday, January 22, 2006

A Good Thing

Ever have one of those days that's special simply because it's not? I've been a little lazy today -- sleeping late, working in Monster #1's room (which looks great, btw), cleaning the living area, working with the dog, reading the paper, reading a little of Pompeii. No writing, no teacher stuff. Just being. It's been nice, too, and I feel recharged, ready for next week (although, cripes! I haven't done my homework for my Wednesday workshop yet.).

I think I'm going to just hang out with the Monsters for a little while tonight and continue my just "being."

Talk to you soon.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

The Good Stuff

I know you all probably think I'm the world's greatest pessimist (well . . .) or mired in negativity or whatever.


I love the good stuff, love it when good things happen to others, when I get an opportunity to witness the good that often comes out of adversity.

I'm thrilled for friends of mine who recently discovered they're expecting their second child. I'm ecstatic for a colleague and her husband who've waited years for a baby, experienced a failed adoption and recently adopted a beautiful baby boy. I've had the opportunity to watch our students at their best this week, enfolding and supporting a classmate who suffered a devastating personal setback. I'm proud of them.

And today, I'm just taking in the good stuff.

Monday, January 16, 2006


Scarfed this from Larissa:

Which Fantasy/SciFi Character Are You?

Possessing a rare combination of wisdom and humility, while serenely dominating your environment you selflessly use your powers to care for others.

Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.

Galadriel is a character in the Middle-Earth universe. Duh-huh?

A Glimmer of Light

At the end of the tunnel. (Or it's a train set to run me over.)

But . . . I did manage to write two pages this morning. I'm trying for a couple more before Monster #1's dental appointment. I have some quizzes to grade tonight, but no real "teacher" work since my kids are working this week on a performance task and I'm serving as the facilitator instead of the instructor. (Have I mentioned I love performance tasks? I'm thinking once I polish up all my units from this year, I should post them online somewhere.)

Elisabeth will be pleased to know my two pages dealt with a certain hero dealing with his past and his possible clairvoyance.

Off to scarf a quick lunch and put laundry away. Talk later.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Miscellaneous Meanderings

Well, I'm up, I've had my coffee, and I'm feeling better. Not Pollyanna positive, but better. Today, I need to get the beginning of AFF off to author Melissa James for the critique I won in Larissa's auction. I'm kind of low-key excited about finding out what she thinks of it. I'm still not in a "let's jump in and write!" mood, but I'm feeling less of the urge to dump and delete everything and run off to Cedar Key where there are no phones, no cars, no problem.

Realized also that I haven't offered a submission update lately. HOTM is still out at four houses (hmmm, so far I'm 0 for 6, LOL). TAC is still at SIM. I try not to let the waiting and wondering stress me out, but you know I do.

Our renovations at home have stalled out as a result of the holidays, but I'm hoping February will have us back to work on that. I won't let anyone but my mother in the house right now because it looks so bad, and some days, letting her in is iffy. I will be so glad when we're done, at least with the main living area so I can have friends over again. My friend Pam thinks the upheaval of renovation -- being unable to keep things organized and really clean, feeling isolated because it's such a mess all the time -- coupled with a little teacher burnout and the writing stresses is at the core of how I've been feeling the last few months. She may be right. In the past, I've always handled stress well -- but I wonder if I've overloaded my coping ability this time around. I do know that things that would never have bothered me before now tend to make me very edgy and that the moods tend to have a spiral effect to them. I find it difficult to pull myself up from the down moods (and I know I'm driving the wonderful CPs insane -- I'd dump my whiny self if I were them. But I'm working on less whining and moaning and feeling bad, out loud at least. I swear.). However, I've started exercising again -- walking with a friend a couple nights a week and I'm trying to work the treadmill back into things -- and that's helped somewhat. Did I mention I get addicted to the exercise high?

We're planning a trip later in the spring, and I'm looking forward to that. There are only four more months of school, and I'm really looking forward to that. Even better right now -- no school Monday. I get to sleep in again tomorrow. And I'm most looking forward to that!

Saturday, January 14, 2006


I'm reading Pompeii by Robert Harris. (Along with an anthology of short stories by Joyce Carol Oates and The Untelling by Tayari Jones.)

Anyway, at the point where I'm reading Attilius, an engineer in charge of the Aquaduct, is trying to figure out why it's failed, why the water has stopped flowing.

I can so relate to that. For the last six months or so, writing has been a chore. I can't remember the last time I had that "Oh, my gosh, I love this idea, this story, these characters and I can't wait to get to the keyboard" feeling. Usually, I'm looking for anything at all to do to avoid it. I've even noticed that, for a myriad of reasons, my posts here are falling off, getting shorter and shorter.

And there's stuff lately that's making the feeling worse. I have doubt demons (big ones) out the whazoo. So it's not necessarily that I need to "fill the well," but that I need to find a way to generate self-confidence. I have to do it.

Why is that such a scary thought?

(I think I'm going to go veg out and read. I think I make a good ostrich. I could cross-stitch. I've already been painting today. Anyone else have avoidance strategies they want to share?)

Thursday, January 12, 2006


So I'm struggling with this and I thought I'd toss it out there for y'all to answer. I'm obsessing over something and I can't seem to get my mind wrapped around it.

How do you use conversation and scenes to move the plot forward? I thought I was doing that . . . but I guess not. :-D

Thursday, January 05, 2006

If I Ever . . .

. . . say the words "teaching research skills" again, someone please reply, "Historical narrative."

What was I thinking when I dreamed up this unit, anyway?

Monday, January 02, 2006


Lots of nasty weather moving through -- rain, wind, hail. A tornado already on the ground. My parents have had a lightning strike.

And it's just beginning. According to Kent the Weatherman, we're in for this all day.


I'll check in later.