Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Hurray! A Week Off!


Things are weird right now. School is out for the week so I can sleep in all the way up to 7:00 now. But with time off comes the pile of grading that I stupidly made for myself. I had all the assignments due by last Friday so I could have the time to grade them over the week. That made sense. But now it's about the last thing I want to do--a reality made worse by the idea that a majority of my students did not do their assignments correctly, so I've got to decide how much time I want to spend digging around on GoogleDocs to find what they turned in and what is just hanging around. Wow, that was a long sentence. The other thing that's weird about having a week off is I'm saying things like, "It's already Tuesday." Only when you have time off do you get so worked up by the second day of the work week.

I finished reading Mark Buchanan's The Rest of God. People need to read this guy's books. He's about as entertaining and insightful as a writer can be. And with this book in particular, my identity as a Seventh-day Adventist is made all the stronger (though also needs to be taken more seriously). Find any of his books, they're worth your time.

Weirdest thing--I went to California this weekend to perform the ceremony at my brother's wedding. In short, there was no wedding, and the weekend was instead plagued by emotional awkwardness. It's a good thing in the long run, but it's really stuck in my head (can't imagine how much worse for my brother).

Hopefully, life picks up and I get things done. I'm planning on getting cats to the vet, getting contacts that actually help me see, rearranging a good chunk of my house, and seeing some movies that need to be seen.

Friday, October 9, 2009

50 Hour Week

Parent Teacher conferences are always a real pain. It's not that the parents are so bad. It's not that I don't want to see parents (because I do; way better that talking over the phone). The bane of it all is the extra eight hours I have to put in over the first two days.

I don't know what would make this necessary nuisance any better. Maybe line it up with a break or a long weekend. That would be awesome anyway because so many take a day off anyhow by the end of the week (apparently we have 8 teachers for which they couldn't find subs).

Luckily, my classes remain chill throughout the day and this weekend requires little to nothing of me. I will grade and read, play games, and not have to teach a Sabbath School lesson or preach. Stress should reduce, and life will be peachy.

In other news, I'm getting the itch to write again, but I'm truly distraught about how to go about it. Ideas are coming and going on a week that I can't focus on much of anything. And with my laptop urinated on and my destruction of my mouse for my desktop, I'm not sure how things will come to be (I've even been jotting down things by hand...BY HAND! It's all caveman-ish.).

Monday, October 5, 2009

Things that make you go, "@#$^%&!!"

Last night I went to see Toy Story and Toy Story 2 in 3D--good times. Though I can agree with a friend of mine that they are not my favorite of the Pixar crew (pretty sure Up will go uncontested for quite a while), but these two flicks are still pretty sweet. First of all, I haven't watched either in years, so to revisit them in a theater with the bonus of 3D was a great little outing. The downside to the evening is that it led for a later night than usual, and with that, my day has decided to seize me.

I woke up late. I was expecting that. I rushed to get ready and was about to get out the door when I noticed a funk steaming from my take-home-stuff-from-work bag. I think I had noticed it the night before when I went to the basement to feed the cats, but I couldn't identify a source, so I thought nothing of it. Now, with me fighting to get out the door, the smell was unmistakably familiar--urine.

"You've got to be kidding me."

In my bag, a folder full of graded papers and my school laptop marinated in a puddle of piss. It was a moment when I couldn't even think of a swear to fit my irritation. My wife felt horrible for me, but obviously her sympathy was all she could offer. I wipe the machine free of most of its foul feline coating and popped the battery out figuring that it could be anywhere among the cracks. Eventually I wrapped it in a grocery bag and headed for work.

Couple of hours later, and nothing has improved much. People have asked me if it still works. "I don't know," I tell them. "I'm afraid to check." Eventually, I did. I clicked the battery back in, plugged it into a wall, and it squealed at me. The sound was like a whale song, but higher pitched and furious. I picture a guy listening to the sounds in a room and interpreting. "Mmm...she's angry."

I'm angry.

Parent teacher conferences are tonight and that machine has my student records on it. Luckily, I know my students fairly well by now and we can talk about character and work ethic more than assignments.

The only other joy of today is that the computer guy at school was very cool about the who thing. I'm on a list to get a new computer by the end of the month anyhow, so my old one was going to be gotten rid of anyway. I'll be without a laptop now for a couple of weeks, he says, but after that, I'll have a better machine.

Nine and half hours to go before I head home...

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Writing Makes Me Giddy

So, it's not a lot of words, and it didn't take a real long time, but I just had a blast. I'm part of a group working on a collaborative web comic (something I was a bit unsure of given my lack of artistic know-how. But I just jotted down some ideas for three comics, and I think they're just dandy. And if they aren't, it was fun anyway.

I miss writing a great deal. With November a month away, I've been seeing people talk about and sign up for NaNoWriMo, and I hang my head in knowing that their isn't a thirsty penguin's chance in the Sahara that I'll be able to take the time to dive back into writing any decent amount of time until I get a school break (and even then, I'll likely be grading on all my back-assignments). So thank you Broken-Heart Bear for the taste of the good writing life.