For now

Taking a break from the nostalgia to think out loud about the rest of this break.

I’ve mostly taken the first five days of it off…sleeping, fighting off a cold (it really doesn’t seem to have bloomed yet, but I feel it lurking in my head), reading indiscriminately (not quite the same as last summer’s binge-reading, but some of this and some of that; also a graphic novel recommended by the talented artist who works as an assistant in the high-school office), and spending time with family: a Hanukkah party, our almost-six-year-old nephew’s basketball game (seriously), trivia night, lunch with cousins. A few errands and chores around the house. A bit of exercise.

Started my Seinfeld chain today.  Actually, I got ambitious and started three: writing, exercise, and work around the house (mostly tidying and decluttering).  The goal is fifteen minutes of each every day, always with the option to do more.  So, for example, a regular exercise day is usually either a 25-minute bodyweight workout or 35-45 minutes walking/running; under this plan, I’ll still aim for 15 minutes of something every day (just a walk if it’s a “rest” day), but most days I’ll do more.  There will, I hope, be days when I write more than 15 minutes (Morning Pages and blogging don’t count for this), but 15 minutes is the minimum goal.  And 15 minutes of house stuff is easy, and relatively brainless in the evenings once we go back to school.

Apart from these things, I have some fairly hefty school projects to do.  I’ve decided that grading and prepping will be done in the second week; I want a full week (actually nine days, including the first two weekends) off from that.  I’m thinking of going in to SA on Monday and Tuesday morning of next week, actually–maybe three or four hours each day to do the grading and prepping below.  The school work is as follows:

  • Read three books that are under consideration to add to the tenth- and eleventh-grade curriculum.  Decide whether I am willing to support adding them, or prepare to articulate my concerns to those grade-level teams.
  • Comment on, and assign grades to, thirty-some paper drafts for the juniors.
  • Read and grade a handful (maybe seven) senior papers that came in late last week.
  • Prepare classes for the first week back, including rereading a short novel and reviewing an AP multiple-choice practice section.
  • Create rough drafts of first-semester exams for the juniors and seniors.
  • Thank-you notes to the students who gave me gifts last week.
  • Edited to add: Work on plans for a new approach to second-semester AP Lit.

Then there are the personal plans and to-do lists:

  • Writing.
  • Exercise.
  • Tidying.
  • Time with Stubb and the Snork Maiden, separately and together.
  • Book and get a haircut.
  • Get a massage (already booked).
  • Coffee with Dr. Tea and Theresa (former student, now a junior in college).
  • Pay bills.
  • Birthday present for nephew, baby shower present for Elinor*, etc.
  • Emails, always emails.
  • Edited to add: Summer colony applications, submissions.

It’s not too pressed, really, is it?  I mean, I will have no trouble keeping busy, but I should also be able to have fun and relax.

*Yes, Elinor is expecting a baby, and some of her SA and non-SA friends are throwing her a little party when she visits during break.  I’ll mail the gift to her home, though, so she doesn’t have to schlep it back with her.

4 responses to this post.

  1. I’ve also been having a winter break of mostly sleeping and reading somewhat randomly, and just yesterday I made the same decision you did — to leave the grading for next week. I’ve clearly really needed the time to just laze about, and next week will be plenty of time to do the grading/prep I need to do.


  2. Posted by Pym Fan on December 25, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    What a list! It doesn’t sound like much of a break, but at least it’s time away from school. Take care of that maybe-cold!


  3. Also leaving the grading for next week–mental recharging is in order before I can really tackle their work with the consideration they deserve.


  4. […] two weeks of winter break is long enough to get ahead in everything–for example, this item on my list: “Create rough drafts of first-semester exams for the juniors and seniors.” […]


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