summer

End of Semester To-Do List

Things left to do until the semester is official done.

1. Grade 3 sections worth of final papers.
2. Enter grades for all 6 sections
3. Submit attendance to registar
4. Administer one final exam
5. Grade final exam

Then I’m done.

Can you smell it? The career change that is coming?

Oh yes.

Can’t wait to write my reflections on the semester. I’m waiting until I’m totally done.

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A Livable Space, Finally

So, I used to work at two schools. As of right now, I only have sections for the fall at one of the schools (the one I like better). Final exam at the school I hate (let’s call it the College Where We Nurture Our Students Instead of Teach Them –CWWNOSITT–okay that’s too long) was Thursday night. At the end of every semester my boss (who hates my teaching style because apparently I’m not sensitive enough) likes to meet with each of the instructors in the remedial program. At the meeting we discuss the semester, teaching pedagogy, and our growth as instructors. Well this semester I will not be driving an hour to and from this meeting.

I’ve been emailing my boss for about two weeks about summer sections and the only email I’ve received from my boss is about a student complaint. So yeah, I’m going to be a prissy little brat and not go to this meeting. On Thursday, after I had graded all the exams I put all the necessary materials into an interoffice mail envelope and drove out of the parking lot like the apocalypse was coming.

Now, I only have four sections to worry about (that’s right readers I taught six sections this semester). I spent today tidying up my apartment. As you know, I hate working in a mess. I’m pretty sure  my lack of productivity was in part because my apartment looked like a bomb went off all semester. For the first time since I moved in (December), my apartment is neat and clean–except for my workspace (irony much) which I will attend to once I’m done with the paper grading.

As I look around my little one bedroom haven, I’m relieved. I feel like I can now get my work done. I’ll be decorating (a first for me) starting on Friday. I have these beautiful art prints of famous book covers that I’ve been itching to frame and hang. Since my apartment is a big fat library, this decor will be appropriate. I’ll take some photos when I’m all done and show you my awesome space.

While I’m kind of freaking out that I don’t know where my June income is coming, it feels good to finally want to hangout in my apartment. It’s been way too long.

Maybe a party is order. By party I mean book club meeting.

Home Sweet Home

I’m on “vacation” at my parents house. Visiting my family is never a vacation, today I spent the day helping Dad out with some yard work, and tomorrow I plan on spending the morning organizing Mom’s “sewing/junk” room, heading out to Staples to get special paper, pens, and ink for my thesis. So while there is perfect summer weather here and I could totally use a tan, I’m hard at work.

This happens often when I’m home. I feel this obligation to help get things done. Mom is still working to fight the Sarcoma and well Dad isa  pack rat who has decided to finally clean out the garage. Oh and did I mention they recently renovated the house so everything is just chaos.

C-H-A-O-S!

The thing is when I don’t help I feel terrible, though I have gotten better at sometimes just doing things for me. I do plan on having a fun night out with some of my friends on Saturday and tomorrow afternoon will be spent curled up with a book  in a swimsuit getting a wicked sweet tan!

Though I am home to visit the family, I am also home because on Monday I’ll be defending my thesis. My parents live about an hour away from where I did my masters degree and so it worked out nicely that I was able to come home for some “rest and relaxation” and finally be done with my masters stuff.

I don’t know about you guys, but I don’t function well in chaos which is why I am always helping to get my parents house in order. I also think for Mom and Dad’s sake if the house was in order I think that my parents wouldn’t feel so depressed.

Lately, I’ve noticed that my parents seem so down. They’ve been through a rough two years with their being sick, and my sister, and the renovations; they can’t seem to get out of whatever rut they are in.

I want so desperately to help them. My whole life I have watched my parents work so hard and as they get closer to retirement I am now seeing them struggle with getting their house in order, and frankly, it is so difficult to just stand back and watch. I refuse.

I’m young and can help them, it’s just that there have been times when I’ve tried to help with, for instance, organizing ,only to return and see the same disaster.

This afternoon I was sitting in the kitchen with Mom and she just looked so depressed. I can tell it’s because she can’t find any peace of mind in her house. We all work best in an orderly space.

There are a lot reasons why the house is upside down:

1. Dad thinks he can do every project himself and is, at times, cheap.

2. Mom is undergoing chemo and well, that takes it out of her.

3. Dad starts a million projects, never finishes any of them, and well right now the house has about 10 unfinished projects.

4. Dad gets overwhelmed by the projects and doesn’t know how to work efficiently.

5. They don’t have any help, besides me and I don’t live in the same state as them any more.

These are just a few reasons, but I find that as I’m getting older I find it a lot harder to come home, stay home, and not leave to return to my peaceful and neat apartment.

As I start my aggressive job search, I hope every day that I find something that makes me happy, helps alleviate the stress of paying the bills, and will be something I can do for a while. Since I’ve graduated from college, I haven’t been able to find a job–partly because I have moved and partly because of the economy and its impact on education–that I would want to wake up to and go to everyday for twenty years.

Dad has been a high school teacher for FORTY years. FORTY. 4-0. I know I could not do that but then I see how his and Mom’s life turned out, and I think I better get shit figured out real soon.

Nothing some R & R to put things into perspective.

The End is Near

So summer session one will be over in a week and then summer session two will commence on the following Monday. A whole weekend to rest. WOW! Still I’m okay with the intensity of it because when summer is over I’ll have knocked out 9 credits, taught creative writing and composition. Also, my novel is moving along. Feels good.

Still I can’t wait for that three week break before Fall. I may just bask in nothingness.

You call this a Break? HA!

So the spring semester has come to its end and in a week summer classes will commence. In. One. Week.

I’m fine with having only seven days to rejuvenate and refresh, what I have a problem with is professors who assign readings before class has even started.

W.

T.

F.

All semester we have to read and write and do work. Can’t we have a week to not think and just be? I mean really. Isn’t it bad enough we don’t get a spring break because we’re catching up on the semesters work on top of having work assigned over spring break.

I’ve been teaching now for two years and when I started I was teaching high school. While spring break doesn’t carry the same weight with high school students as it does with college students, it still is a well deserved break. I will sadly admit I nearly gave into the temptation to assign a book to read, but I decided against it. It was their break, their time to refresh, hit restart. Assigning work would have just pushed them towards burning out. I also didn’t assign work to my college students during their spring break, since it felt like a cruel punishment.

Here’s the thing, I get it, it’s a summer class there are only 6 weeks to do 18 weeks of work, but it’s SUMMER. Come ON!  Students enrolled in summer classes have most likely gone through fall and spring classess as well. This is our week to recover. I don’t for see much recovery for myself. In the short time I have off these are the few assignments I must have done by next week. Part of this work load stems from my having to have complete draft of my thesis by December, but still.

1) Read about 80pgs for one class

2) Read another 30 something pages for another class

Let me stress reading 150 pages isn’t that big of a deal. I promise I’m not that much a lame ass complainer. What I have a problem with is:

3) Having to write about 60-80 pages of my novel for my thesis chair.

I’m pretty sure I’m not going to get number three done. I’m being a realist and have also decided that refreshing is more important than writing. I know I know, what kind of writer am I?

Oh let’s not forget number four.

4) Read Dante’s Inferno to help my little sister in high school with a ridiculous paper she has to write. Have I mentioned I’ve never read Dante before? Well I haven’t, this should be some great light reading to do while I’m on vacation…

I feel like a giant complainer, but you know what? It’s my blog and if I want to complain and be a baby I will be. Actually, after I wrote out what I needed to get to done I realized, it’s actually not that much. I’ve already finished the first 150 pgs of reading today. So, I’m doing pretty awesome. I don’t officially leave for vacation until Wednesday, I wonder if I could bang out twenty pages of writing by tomorrow night?

Your thoughts on assigning work during summer and spring break? I’d love to hear from the teachers and professors out there.