Monday, September 24, 2012

On a Roll

Three days and three posts? Maybe it is a sign of the Apocalypse.

Grading papers for my class of remedial students is soul sucking. I have really connected with these students, but COME ON! Most of them did not come to conference, so they did not make the changes that I recommended to their drafts.

Oh those drafts are so bad. And some are too short? Who would like to guess how many times I told them that papers that were even a smidge too short would fail? I'll give you a hint-- it was more than twice. It was so many times that I started to feel like a real bitch for harping on it so much.

Here is the kicker-- this is the easiest assignment they will have in college writing. The assignment is a four page personal narrative about a time when the student learned something.

No matter, tonight the girls and I are going to go listen to Tim Gunn be wonderful. He'll be at UCA in 30 minutes. The only down side is that I am skipping a lecture on brain based philosophy that Norb is sponsoring, and I feel really terrible about that.

But whichever-- it is time to go!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Cleaning Out

So, evidently, W has some hoarder tendencies.

Since Thursday:
Washed = 11 hamper-fulls of laundry
Tossed = 8 bags of trash
Tossed = 2 bags of torn up clothing
Tossed = pillows past salvage
Packed to give away = 3 boxes of clothing/bedding that are no longer needed

Now, his room is in the state that most rooms are in when a normal kid moves out. Now we need to figure out what to keep, what to store, what to give away and what to pitch.

We are thinking we might make that room the guest room, since it is across the hall from the guest bath. It is also smaller than Mea's room, which is probably okay. She doesn't intend to move back in, anyway. I'll get input from her before I move her stuff, though. That would let us turn Mea's room into a craft studio. Her room is bigger, if suffering from an awkward layout.

I suppose I should quite planning and work on grading the papers I brought home with me.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Empty-ish Nest

Our two oldest kids have moved out. Mea is in college, of course, and W has moved in with my step-daughter and her husband. Both, however, have left substantial amounts of stuff behind. Mea's room is slated to eventually become our guest room, or perhaps we'll open it back up to be part of the great room. W's room is going to be a craft room, and possibly also a guest room, if needed.

Between now and then, though, is the cleaning. I have picked up (so far) three white trashbags full of trash. AND eleven hamper-fulls of clothing and bedding. I've washed clothes and washed clothes since Thursday.

I've swept broken glass, granola bar wrappers, icing containers, chocolate chip bags, dirt, and bugs. I've picked up change, tools, pieces of sewing machines that he was fixing, pens and pencils (although I've thrown a lot of those away, too), a clip, a scope, Pokeman cards, books & lanyards.  I've thrown away magazines, notebook paper, handouts from school, a Victoria's Secret catalog, study materials for FBLA contests, receipts and more.

At this point, I am tempted just to back up the truck to the window and throw everything out and start over. I know that would be dumb. There is a nice dresser in there, some nice shelves, and several of my books.

W got upset when he realized today that I was really cleaning out his room. He thinks I should clean his sister's room first, since she moved out first. And I'll grant that Mea's room is a mess. If we were to have company, I would have do so some serious cleaning for them to sleep there. But she has come and worked on it some. And, perhaps most importantly, it does not *stink.* There is nothing that smells quite as bad as a teenage boy in the best of circumstances, and this is not the best of circumstances. He still had dirty clothes from his FBLA trip in early July. And there was food in a cooler in his room TODAY from that trip.

He also broke his bed. It was made from 2x6s.

When he first moved out, we were looking at it as more of a trial separation. At this point, I am not sure if any of us could handle if he moved back in. That breaks my heart. It does. But I am not sure how I ever dealt with the amount of stress that he causes. I am not sure that I could go back to living under that much stress. I am certainly not sure that I should be subjecting Miss O to that.

I suppose I should go check on the laundry. It is kind of unending at this point.

Monday, September 03, 2012

Back to School

Another August, another school year. I started teaching composition on the college level in the fall of 2003, which makes this my tenth year (but only my ninth year teaching full time). 

There is a part of me that feels like I am too young to have been doing anything for 9 years, but if I am honest, I know that is not true. My eldest is a sophomore in college this year. My middle child is a senior in high school, and my baby (my baby!) turned 10 last May. Adding in my years in public school, and I have been a teacher for 12 years. 

Twelve years. 

I have been a teacher almost as long as I was in public school, which seemed like forever. 

It kind of feels like I have been teaching forever, too, though. It is hard to remember before I was teaching. Probably because I didn't sleep a whole lot because I had two little kids who 

Maybe, though, it seems like I have been teaching forever because I love teaching. I love giving my students the skills to write competently and persuasively. I do not love fighting for attention. Every time I go up against a boyfriend/girlfriend, car payment, greek organization or sick child, I lose. I can't win. I need students who will meet me half way. I realize that my gen ed classes (or worse-- major prerequisites!) are not the top priority in my students lives. Really, I have noticed. 


Maybe the answer is to make college harder to get into. Maybe we should require students to invest something of their own, rather than allowing them rely completely on scholarships/financial aid. Maybe.maybe.maybe.