Friday, December 30, 2016

feelin' feline

Yes, I am feeling very cat-like these days.  I sleep late, get up, putter around a bit, eat something... then nap.  For hours -- and then I get up and do the same thing.  I think I've been averaging about 16 hours of sleep a day since Christmas.

The thing is, with that much sleep, I should be feeling great, but every time I wake up I have this vague, getting-over-an-illness feeling.  It's probably correct, but I wasn't really sick, just chronically exhausted.

Anyway, I have to start putting some time in to work or I'll find myself right back on the hamster wheel.  Little things are getting done around the house, so it hasn't been a complete festival of laziness, and we went to see Rogue One (yay!) and a Coyotes game (sigh).  We celebrated our 22nd anniversary (!) by going out for dinner with the kids, and it was lovely.  So, it has been a really nice, vacation-y vacation, so far.  Nine days to go, though, and I better have something to show for it!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

a tiny list of accomplishments

Saturday, Christmas Eve: slept late, gloriously, and then spent the day mostly cleaning up and prepping dinner.  I got the presents sorted and DH handled getting everything wrapped, God bless the man.  We went to the 7PM Latin mass which didn't start until 7:15 because the 5:30 Spanish mass was concelebrated by the bishop and was absolutely packed to the rafters.  The Latin mass was not, and the music was spectacular, and I loved it.  We ate dinner after (only slightly later than usual, lol) and watched a Mission Impossible movie and it was fine.

Christmas Day: kids were up about 8AM, the earliest we'd seen them (voluntarily) in a week.  Opened presents first, not such a big deal anymore! Then I made scones and scrambled eggs (the boys made the bacon) and it was lovely.  Lunch was just salamis and cheeses and olives and pickles and the most delicious artichoke hearts, and a glass or two of DH's Christmas scotch-on-the-rocks, which was really delicious. Dinner?  I researched prime rib recipes for far too long but to good end, I think: I used the herb butter recipe that DD had recommended but not that cooking method, and it came out spectacular.  It turns out that poaching enormous lobster tails in butter really only works for the main part. I should have trimmed off all those little weird pieces around the edges because they just turned to rubber.  Still, it was yummy and yes, basically all I did was cook and eat. And talk on the phone -- both days, to various family members around the country, and that was lovely even though I miss everyone fiercely on these days. I see the photos from the big gatherings and remember what they're like -- wonderful and crazy -- and I wonder if there will come a year when we will make the effort to travel back East.  It could happen.

Today? My official day off -- I have too much to do to not-work the rest of the days I'm off school.  But today, my accomplishments include sleeping late (again), emptying the dishwasher, and applying for my transfer credit for my Project Dragonfly class, which involved jumping through several hoops.  I solved another puzzle in WordBrain (Clown level is killing me) and I read the entire internet.  Twice.

Tomorrow (later today, actually); DD has a quick appointment for a sleep study, and then trying to get into some sort of routine where some work gets done.  We'll see. Other plans for this week? Seeing Rogue One with the family on Wednesday morning, and going overnight with DH for a hockey game up in Glendale.  I'm starting to panic a little that I don't have enough time to do everything I'd like to do before I go back, even though I have all of next week off, too - and the kids don't!  First thing to do is make my lists...

Thursday, December 22, 2016

new goal

I'm writing about this as a way to hold myself accountable.

I am often confronted with unwanted student opinions about assignments, directions, rules, or what-have-you.  Typically, my response has been along the lines of, "I don't care if [you don't like it], this is what we're doing."

While factually correct, it's a pretty cold response, and I've always known it's not particularly effective.  It may redirect the student's behavior, but it doesn't do anything to redirect the student's attitude, and that's arguably more important.

I'm so pleased to have finally identified an alternative response that does just that:  "That's not what's important right now," or some variation on that theme.  This response does not invalidate the student's feelings, and even gives me space to acknowledge them: "I know you don't particularly feel like doing this right now, but that's not what's important..."

I've actually remembered to use it two or three times over the past couple of days.  I'm expecting more deployment in the future, especially as break time draws near.  And so far, the students are responding more positively, too.  I'm allowing myself to feel a tiny bit proud of this one.


I packed & shipped our Christmas boxes yesterday, so today, I felt much less pressured, almost buoyant...  which was a mistake, because I'm not done yet!

Well, I did grind through my literature review and make a round of edits before the end of the semester,  and it didn't even require a complete all-nighter. The number of times I've found myself running on 2 or 3 hours of sleep is just way too high this year.  Last night I got 5 hours -- perhaps that explains how good I felt today.

Anyway: I do have some grading to do, but it's not due until January.  I just have this sense that things will take care of themselves, which may or may not be accurate.  I have mental lists of things to accomplish but I can't seem to settle down and get them all crossed off.  I think I need to make an actual physical list for them to start happening...

Christmas in 4 days (3 now, actually...)!!!  Really, really looking forward to vacation.