The fellowship of the ring

It’s happened: the Snork Maiden has become a Tolkien fan.  She is on the third book now and able to enjoy, with Stubb, conversations with lots of made-up words in them.

Meanwhile, speaking of made-up words, it’s Farch–a portmanteau word for that terrible frame of mind that descends in February and March.  The assistant head of the Upper School–I haven’t mentioned her before, but I will call her Hilda van Gleck, after the kindly rich girl in Hans Brinker–introduced me to this term on Thursday after I complained to her about the sudden descent of malaise, right on schedule, on February 1.

Actually, for me the shadows lifted quite a lot on Friday the 10th, perhaps just because of the giddiness of having made it through the week.  What with one thing and another–three trips to NLNRU and a special event one night at SA–I only got home before 10:30 one night all week.  This week involves meetings and deadlines and all manner of nonsense to cope with, but I’ve been able to get away with only going to NLNRU for my class and not on another day.

The other graduate teaching observations were much better, by the way.  Both classes were well conducted, had clear objectives, kept students fully engaged and challenged, and just generally made me feel good about our program.

Farch is definitely in full swing, though, because even when I’m feeling okay myself, I find myself spending time talking other people down from the ledge.  One of the SA office people had a tiny freakout the other day, and I had a long talk with Romola this afternoon about the difficulty of scheduling special events (in this case a movie screening) at SA.  She came to SA from a charter school where there was a lot of independence with minimal oversight, and at SA we have a very different culture.  We have a lot of independence in the actual classroom, but when it comes to anything outside the regular schedule, there tends to be a lot of consulting going on.  I’ve acclimated to this, but Romola takes it personally and feels that it signals lack of confidence in her judgement.  And since it’s Farch, she is getting testy about it.

7 responses to this post.

  1. I’m so happy for Snork Maiden for discovering Tolkien!


  2. Posted by Pym Fan on February 19, 2012 at 4:58 am

    Farch! Now, there’s a term I’ve been needing for many years. It should be a little less relevant now that I’m outside academia, but somehow I still feel the effects. Maybe it’s that the days aren’t getting longer fast enough. No doubt it’s something the Elves could explain a lot better than I…


  3. […] sympathetic about my not feeling well, and several offered to cover classes if I needed them.  (Hilda van Gleck, one of whose functions is to handle substitutions, provided a sub for the class I missed on […]


  4. […] We’re into the second semester at both schools, and time really seems to be flying by–almost the end of January!  Of course, soon we’ll be into Farch. […]


  5. […] always, I’m struck by how much we seem to need spring break by the time it rolls around.  Farch takes it out of you, I guess.  Testy colleagues, emotionally fragile students, all right on […]


  6. […] post and the discussion in the comments seem unnecessarily baroque to me, but that may be because Hilda van Gleck has so cleverly set up a SignUpGenius-based system for us.  Each duty is worth a number of […]


  7. […] I mentioned last May that Hilda van Gleck had decided to return to her hometown, where she is currently enjoying many snow days, and one of the younger history teachers had been chosen as her replacement as assistant head of the high school.  Let’s call him Domino.  (Why?  I don’t know.  Nothing sinister.  He just looks like a Domino.)  I stopped into his office to tell him something today and he visibly flinched, then explained, “I thought you were coming to ask for a sub tomorrow.  We have eight teachers out tomorrow.”  So it’s definitely Farch. […]


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