Memorial Day weekend is kind of a double edged sword for me. On one hand, it is a time to honor those who've given their lives in service to our country as well as the ones we've lost in less obviously noble but but just as honorable ways. That is a good thing to do at least once a year, I think.
It is also the weekend the maternal side of the Sheepish clan gets together to devour vast quantities of protein and carbohydrates whilst sparing a thought for those who have naught but vegetables upon which to dine. That is also a good thing to do once a year. It is probably not such a good thing to do on a regular basis, though. We would be a highly irregular family were that the case...
Lastly, it is a three day weekend. I don't think I need to explain the virtues of that in any great detail. If you don't understand why a three day weekend is better than a two day weekend, then there is really nothing I can do for you. I consider you a lost case. You probably also prefer to eat vegetables even if there is a perfectly good dessert tray sitting right there next to it.
But Memorial Day weekend is also the beginning of the end for me when it comes to my teacherly duties. No. That's not quite true. It is the actual end. I am suddenly seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and no amount of meeting memos or helpful emails regarding the ten billion things I still have left to do is going to turn it around.
We are in the home stretch. I have but a few Wednesdays left unto me in which I can natter on about the school day. I suppose I'll have to "enjoy" the blog fodder while I have it. Here's this week's version of the Wednesday Night Bullet Post.
I'll try to remember that I am enjoying all that fodder...
*Yesterday, I arrived at school after the New Teaching Assistant.
*She has been there all year. She isn't new anymore. I think I am promoting her to Supremely Organized Teaching Assistant. Or perhaps Remarkably Tolerant Of Her Scatterbrained Supervisor Teaching Assistant...
*No. I'm staying with the first one. It's easier to remember. I'll just have the Supremely Organized Teaching Assistant jot it down for me.
*I always get to school before she does. It is really the only thing I have left that marks me as Boss Of The Classroom. Except for yesterday.
*I greeted her and then said, "I have some bad news. I am done."
*And I am. Memorial Day Weekend was mostly rainy and it was hard to find the summer in it, but Monday was simply gorgeous.
*I found the summer.
*Today is Wednesday. On Wednesdays we have a late start to accommodate teacher trainings and whatnot without the expense of hiring subs to cover for us.
*Except today was not a late start because the high school has finals and it sort of seemed like a good idea to give the students ample time in which to prove they have learned enough to graduate. That is kind of important.
*I knew about this months ago. I even knew about it yesterday. I knew about it all of today.
*But none of that kept me from going back to the familiar schedule commonly referred to by some of my students as Wacky Wednesday.
*Which meant I was sending kids off to appointments that were hours away or already passed and telling specialists they had plenty of time in which to see kids when they actually had no time at all because the facilities they normally use on a Wacky Wednesday were in use by other teachers.
*Were it not for Tween Girl and her frighteningly keen eye for detail, I probably would still be there thinking it was noon and trying to figure out why no one showed up for study hall.
*This was not a good day for the SOTA to have to take her kid to the doctor. Her being late meant I had two whole hours of not knowing what I was doing.
*Interestingly enough, her horoscope today mentioned needing to be very alert and aware because her skills would be needed to keep larger projects and less organized people afloat.
*That isn't scary at all...
*The Thursday before the long weekend, students in the social studies classes were given a Family Tree assignment. We reminded all of them. Multiple times.
*We explained the assignment. Multiple times.
*We told them it would take fifteen minutes, tops. Multiple times.
We assured the classroom teacher that we, the ever alert special education staff, had this under control. We didn't say this multiple times because the classroom teacher has a lot of stuff to do and sometimes she just has to trust that we know what we are doing.
*Classroom teachers are kind of naive and foolish that way.
*On Tuesday, all the students looked at us blankly when we asked if it was finished. It was as if we hadn't said anything...multiple times.
*Since my students weren't the only ones to fail miserably with follow through, the classroom teacher gave one more day for them to finish. One. After that it was seven straight days of lost recess.
*Seven!!!! That is a lot of lost recess. Kind of a bold move for a sixth grade teacher, but I see her point. When most of the class blows off an important assignment, you really have to go hard core.
*Today, we asked if everyone had finished this simple fifteen minute task. The one we reminded them of multiple times and upon which their very recesses depended.
*Tween Girl smiled proudly and showed us her work. For TG to complete that assignment took some effort. More than most kids would need to expend. But her mom helped her and she did it. Bless her little heart. If not for her, I think I would have given up this teaching thing completely.
*Because everyone else...well, lets just say there won't be much recessing going on for the next seven school days.
*I swear to you, if I see on more blank look I am going to scream.
*I got an email from the mother of He Who...PROJECTS today. She said how much he is enjoying the independent study project I assigned and wondered when it was due. She has some photographs his grandfather took during WWII and thought he would like to scan them into his slide show presentation.
*That is when I realized something. I have assigned a major project. However, because it is really a clever camouflage for teaching some executive functioning skills, I honestly didn't think about the due date.
*And now I will be grading major projects during the last week of school. I will be doing this frantically in the hopes that I might possibly make the deadline for report cards.
*I am an idiot.
*Fortunately, I have a very small class and there won't be more than four of these projects to deal with.
*But still...only an idiot assigns a major project this late in the year and at a time when "done" is the word of the day.
*The other word of the day can be "idiot," I suppose...
*The Annual Sheepish Family Cook-Out was a rousing success. My job was to bring the Cheesy Bread. I know this because, for months now, various relatives have been reminding me.
*I was late. My bread baking, a normally simple activity, was a series of disasters which began when I got my hand stuck in the stupid drawer under the oven (there's five minutes of my life I'll never get back) and ended with two loaves unwilling to exit the pan without leaving a part of themselves behind.
*I made an extra batch to cover for them and texted Daddy Sheep to let him know I was delayed but on my way.
*Completely forgetting that Daddy Sheep would be manning the grill and possibly fending off the helpful suggestions of relatives who wandered away from the herd at the snack table.
*He didn't get my text. Instead, the herd remained unaware of my intentions and, according to a variety of sources, they all wandered around asking, "Where is the bread? Gee, I hope the bread is OK."
*I arrived to cheers and cries of, "The bread is here!!!"
*Baby Brother Sheep said, "We were afraid you'd gotten into an accident and the bread was in a ditch somewhere."
*At least I know I'll be missed should something ever befall me before the Sheepish Family Cook-Out.
*For the record, when you get your hand stuck in the stupid drawer under the oven you can't help but get a little introspective.
*"So this is how it ends," you think. "All my good works and the only thing I'll be remembered for is this. I'm a cautionary tale about stuck oven drawers and the importance of not sticking your hand in there to loosen things up."
*Yes, I was reduced to a Saturday Night Live skit.
*I had a heck of a bruise, but no one seemed all that impressed. Maybe next time I should show up at the cook-out dangling the actual oven from my arm as proof of my dedication to addressing their bread addiction.
*I had a great time. I got to see lots of people I don't normally see and I stayed well past my bed time.
*I also came up with a great new definition.
*Family: The people who see how many leftovers you take home but don't bat an eye and reserve comment until after you leave.
*My lunch needs for the week are taken care of.
*Since the school year is winding down, I'm kind of rushing to get through the audio books I wanted to listen to before commuter time ends.
*The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle) continues to enchant. I have only one complaint. It's not really a complaint. It's more of a wish.
*I love having it read to me, but I can't help but think it's really a book that was meant to be read.
*Some stories are just like that. I can picture the printed page and I just know it would sound better in my head. Does that make any sense at all?
*Beautiful writing should be read. I think I'll remember that when I go for the sequel.
*Or I won't remember that because I am "done" right now and forgetting pretty much everything. I will probably forget before I hit "publish" tonight. And that is OK. It is a wonderful audio book.
*In fact, it is very likely I will forget because once I start a series on audio, I tend to want to finish it that way.
*But maybe you will remember and do better.
*I'm also still working my way through Cold Days: A Novel of the Dresden Files.
*God, I missed Harry! I'm almost finished and I think I'm slowing down just because I want to spend a few more days with him.
*The Dresden Files series actually works beautifully as audio books.
*I've tried them in both formats. Just sayin'.
That said, it suddenly occurs to me that my hair is drying without me. If this were summer vacation, I wouldn't care. But it isn't summer vacation. I may be done with this school year, but it isn't quite done with me. Hence, I'd better see if I can get this follicle situation under control before I'm left with a mess that needs more taming than I have time for tomorrow morning. I should probably also see about finding some appropriate clothing and perhaps feed myself some dinner before breakfast time rolls around.
All this is stuff I've been doing since September. None of it is all that hard. Except now it is because of one warm sunny day that didn't involve a commute.
And probably also because of students who look at me blankly after multiple repetitions...
2 days ago