Monday, March 23, 2009

Long Term Projects, Short Range Plans

I've been working with my class on a rather large project for the last six or seven million years.  It is one of those stupid things that I think sounds wicked cool when I conceive of the idea and which quickly spirals out of control in its complexity.  Before I know it, I'm knee deep in unmotivated children who have no interest whatsoever in the topic, let alone the project requirements.  But I'm committed at that point.  There will be an epic display of student work or I will die trying.  

Last week, we began discussing the due date for this mammoth undertaking.  The darling children all made their suggestions (which ranged from "tomorrow because I'm bored with this" to "never because this is so stupid.") and I reviewed their progress.  I finally decided that April 1st was the best date as it would give them another week and a half to wrap these things up and I figured I might still have an iota of sanity left at that point if I conserved my not-crazy carefully.

Then it hit me:  April was just around the corner.  This suspicion was confirmed today when one of my teaching assistants happened to comment that the spring vacation is now less than three weeks away.  

April?  Within shouting distance?  How can this be?

I've always thought of the time between Maine's February vacation and the April version of this event as The Dreaded Eight Week Stretch.  It is usually somewhere around eight weeks long, give or take, and it can be a bit brutal.  The weather is bad.  There are no holidays of any real consequence in there to break this up a little and the kids are not exactly user-friendly for that period of time.  

So how is it that this Eight Week Stretch went so fast?  Maybe it was the snow days we had scattered throughout?  Who knows...I'm not going to complain.  I'm just going to enjoy the fact that there is another school vacation within shouting distance.

With vacations come time on my hands and that can be a wonderful thing if I happen to have ways to fill that time.  If I don't, then I tend to spontaneously think of stuff to do that is probably not within my skill set.  (sort of like the project I've got the kids working on right now...).  If I'm not careful with my vacation time, I might end up thinking that I can paint a mural on my bedroom wall, grow a garden in my living room and learn how to be a lion tamer.  

I need a plan.

Fortunately, the vacation is still a long ways a way and I don't have to come up with anything right this very minute.  But, even if I did, I think I could pull together a pretty good plan without even thinking too hard about it.  If you don't know Susie, you should know Susie or, at the very least, you should be sad about not knowing Susie.  

Susie is awesome.  Seriously awesome.  As in the "so awesome that she probably glows in the dark just a little bit from all the awesome-ness."  She is that awesome.

I sometimes wonder how I ever got so lucky as to know someone this awesome. (and who dyes fiber like nobody's business...)  Susie recently offered up some yarn as prizes for folks who helped her out by voting in an online contest.  As I happen to like clicking on things and this was all that was required to vote, I was happy to oblige.  Who knew that there would be such a generous reward?  I had heard tell of a skein of yarn.  I even got to pick my hues!  But a little extra skein for funsies?  And sparkly batts of spinnable goodness?  I'm in heaven, here!!!!!

Did I mention that Susie is awesome?  And that she puts pretty crystal stitch markers on all her yarns that I wear on chains because I cannot bear the thought of them not being seen everywhere and as often as possible?  

Between the thought of a coming vacation, the fabulous new fibers at my fingertips and the coupon that Big Fish Games sent me today as compensation for some ordering issues, I think I have a plan.  A good 'un.  Very, very good.

If you need me, I'll be here hugging my yarn and marking off the days on my calendar...



Anonymous said...

I cannot wait to read of The Plan! Does it involve chocolate in any way? Will AGK get to play? Does it require a trip to the dollar store?

Betsy said...

May you be hale and healthy so you can ENJOY this vacation!

If it were me, I wouldn't plan...plans are for summer vacation, not those glorious breaks in the middle of the school year!

Anonymous said...

April vacation = Chicks with Sticks! YIPPEE (There will be no getting sick this time; you understand?)

Mia said...

you're getting ANOTHER vacation already?

I really should have been a teacher - except i hated school hehehe

Karen said...

Start taking extra vitamins now. You don't want to get sick and miss all the fun on vacation again.

trek said...

Given the AGK's recent activities re: wallpaper, you might actually benefit greatly from mural painting....

Just sayin'.

We here get one week of spring break. It is gone, done, over. May seems a long, long way away from here...

Knitting Linguist said...

Hooray for upcoming spring breaks! Except for the bit where things have to get done first... :)

catsmum said...

Are there going to be 3" x 5" index cards involved in the vacation plans at all ?
cards are good - they make Sheepies feel all organised and virtuous
even if the specific Sheepie involved subsequently totally ignores them ...
just sayin' iz all
card system = good