I keep forgetting

I keep forgetting: The weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas are always a little nuts.

  • Kids are getting sick more often.  (And teachers, too.  Lucinda was sick over Thanksgiving; Viola was sick this week.  Dorothea broke a filling on Thursday and I covered her Friday morning class, a freshman class with a bunch of the Snork Maiden’s friends in it.)
  • The seniors are getting college acceptances.  And perhaps some rejections, although it seems as if a lot of them are pursuing the strategy of trying to get a reassuring early acceptance to a school they’d be willing to attend, so I’m hearing a lot of “I got into _______, but it’s not my first choice.”  Anyway, this is starting to be distracting.
  • The painful, even more distracting rejections will probably come a little bit later, as the really super-competitive places release their decisions.
  • Although the fall play and the fall sports seasons are over, the winter sports season is under way (the girls’ basketball team was in a tournament every weeknight this week) and the music and dance classes are ramping up rehearsals for the holiday program.  The Snork Maiden is going to miss most of her double English block the next two weeks because of early dismissal to perform in holiday-themed assemblies.

So if the kids are distracted and some of them aren’t doing all their work, I need to recognize that it’s not necessarily anything to do with me.  Though I do need to hold them accountable–they’re supposed to make arrangements in advance if they’re missing class or leaving early.  And I scheduled a bunch of reading quizzes because my seniors need the points–at the midpoint of the quarter, my AP class average was something like 84%, which is low.  My regular world lit class was higher, at around 88%.

We had a big open house today–the main admissions event of the fall–and I was more nervous and keyed up than usual, because this was my first year at this event as department chair.  Everything went very well, though.  Romola, Dorothea, Sebastian, Gwendolen, and another one of the Middle School teachers (Dorothea and Gwendolen teach primarily Middle School) and I taught short sample classes, and we talked with a lot of prospective students and parents.  It was a nice reminder that people do get excited when they see all the good stuff we offer, and I’m glad Sebastian got to see the big departmental fair that followed the sample classes, because it does give a good overview of our programs and offerings.

A large selection of current students show up to serve as student hosts and answer questions–the Snork Maiden has done this in the past, but not this year–and I have to say that one of my favorite parts of the day is how serious they are about it and how friendly to the prospective students.  I happened to have the same student host assigned to my classroom this year as I had last year–a very nice football player and sculptor whom I’ve never taught but have known since he was Romola’s freshman student the first year we shared a room.  He’s in regular junior English, in Orsino’s class, so I’ll probably end up teaching him next year either in the world lit class or in AP, if he decides to take it.  I just peeked at his schedule and see that he is taking all regular classes now,  but I notice that when the college counselors want to have one of the athletes add an AP class senior year, they often ask English.  I have quite a talented basketball player taking her first AP class with me right now, and she is putting in good effort and getting reasonably good results–some rough reading quizzes as the adjustment to AP-style multiple choice is difficult for her, but her diligence has helped make up for those, and she comes faithfully to work on her papers with me.  We tend to open the door wider with each successive year, so that while students really have to demonstrate advanced skills to get into the tenth-grade honors course, they just need roughly A-minus work in either the regular or the honors class to do AP Language in eleventh grade, and by twelfth grade AP Literature, we’ll pretty much let in anyone who has good work habits and B’s, if they really want to do the work.  (Meanwhile, the really advanced students at that point can take Dr. Tea’s post-AP course and write two long papers instead of taking an AP exam.)

So even though that event eats our Saturday, it is a worthwhile use of time, and I really appreciate that the kids are willing to do it, too.  I brought one of the Snork Maiden’s friends home with me and took the two of them to the mall to do some holiday shopping.  Meanwhile, I took a walk to my sister’s house, hung out with her and the kids for a bit, and walked back–she lives about a mile and a quarter from the mall, so I got some exercise in, too.

On Sunday I have one! more! recommendation! to finish and upload to a few different places, and some other pieces of work to do, but there should also be time to work out and do laundry–oh, there needs to be some serious laundry done here.  The Snork Maiden is nearly caught up on her work from the days she was absent this week, and she might be able to catch a movie with a friend.  And then on to yet another weird between-Thanksgiving-and-winter-break week.  Just have to keep all that expected weirdness in mind.


One response to this post.

  1. […]  Other good news has come in–a very talented sculptor into an excellent art school, and the basketball player taking her first AP into a solid […]


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