Substitute groundhog

Well, it’s been about a week since my teaching workload ratcheted down, and I am here to tell you that it feels good.  Lucinda seems to be managing really well; I already knew she was a highly organized person and a good time manager, and I’m really impressed by her attitude about coming back to work.  It does suck, honestly, that she has to leave her five-month-old baby in day care even though she doesn’t want to.  But I can’t do anything practical about that except help to smooth her path at work.

Both she and Viola came in a little late today so that they could deal with different child-related things, so I covered Lucinda’s homeroom and the first twenty minutes of one of Viola’s junior classes, both of which were a pleasure to do because I am now teaching only three classes and I still had time to write an assignment sheet, prepare to meet with Sebastian, eat breakfast, meet with Sebastian, teach two classes, and have a meeting with one of the Middle School teachers in advance of observing his class next week, all without feeling hysterically pressed (although I did make the mistake of not going to the bathroom between one of the meetings and the class, and had to scoot out to pee while the students were watching the “Get thee to a nunnery” scene in Hamlet).

I’m keeping up with NaNoWriMo and still enjoying the process greatly, although more and more I feel that no one can ever read this, ever.

And I heard that my second-book manuscript was a finalist for a contest, which was a cheerful thing to hear.  I had forgotten about this contest, or at least decided that I probably didn’t win it (and I just looked at my records and I submitted the ms. in March, so of course I assumed I didn’t win it).  That reminded me to saddle up and get the thing out to a couple more competitions this month.

And I did some work for my online MFA students and wrote a long email about the difficulties I’ve been having with the online course to the dean and program head, and they responded in a very supportive way, so I’m feeling like less of a terrible loser about all that, and I’m planning to get out another set of work to the students tomorrow.  Still, though, I don’t think this course is a good use of my time.  I’m giving the students high-quality feedback, but the pay is low, and the pull it exerts on my attention is too strong.

There are so many things I’d like to blog about, including but not limited to the observation process, teaching seniors, and reading the comments on the Snork Maiden’s report card, but those things will have to wait.  I have about an hour and a half before bed, and the remaining 900 words on today’s NaNo goal aren’t going to write themselves (nor will this sinkful of dishes wash itself, but that can wait until tomorrow without too severe an effect on my sense of momentum).


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