Trinity Valley has been an amazing school for me. I have been given the opportunity grow and learn as a professional and to work with students from around the globe. I will miss the friends and connections that I have made here.
At the same time, I am thrilled to be joining the staff at Ransom Everglades. A top independent school and right next to my alma mater (the University of Miami), I am exited to take up new responsibilities and explore new endeavors.
I will continue to post on my blog about my adventures in technology in education.
Apologies for the lapse in postings, it’s the end of the year and things have been rather hectic. At Trinity Valley, we have just graduated the class of 2012 (congratulations to all of you) and next week is finals. I will try to begin posting again soon! Thank you for your patience and for those of you who have expressed concern!
As all teachers know, finals week can be exhilarating while at the same time exhausting and trying. Students are stressed yet excited and ready for break. We’re all pushed for deadlines – writing exams and grading them. Plus, I think my family is expecting gifts or something…
So, here’s a list of things I’m doing to stay sane this week
I’m taking an hour every day for me – I don’t answer the phone and I’m not checking email. I’m watching TV, leveling my WoW character, or just staring at the wall.
I’m hitting the gym to work off my anxiety and stress.
I’m eating healthy (at least 2 meals a day, 1 might be garbage). I’m trying to eat the requisite servings of vegetables and fruit every day.
I’m indulging – I bought some Christmas Chocolate (some small chocolate bells) and I’m allowing myself one soda (not diet) a day. I enjoy it. I deserve it.
I’m managing my time – or at least trying to do so. I won’t be writing all my exams at one sitting and I won’t expect myself to grade them the same way.
I’m taking a few moments of every day to just enjoy the season – my colleagues, my friends, and my family.
So, what are you doing to survive the second most stressful time of year for a teacher?
Any teacher can tell you that the end of the semester is always a struggle – rushed deadlines, end of semester grades, students that can smell the winter break around the corner, in addition to all of your own at home stress and focus. Apparently, forcibly drugging children is considered “wrong” and “illegal” by some people, so we have to push through it.
Today, two of my students reminded me why I love my school (and the kids that I teach). Today, during lunch, two of my kiddos decorated my office with some holiday cheer! It gave me the extra shot to get through… at least the next 24 hours.
When I was 19 years old, I ventured into the jungles of Central America to excavate a Mayan Site. It was a Classic, Late-Classic Site located at Chan Chich outside of Gallon Jug. It was when I fell in love with archaeology and field work (one of the few things I miss from my times in academia). It was also when I knew that I did not want to work in the jungles of Central America. Have you seen the size of their spiders? I mean, seriously? They’re huge! Also, they have one of the most poisonous snakes in the world, a Fer-de-Lance. Our site was over run with them and I killed at least two with my machete (yes – I own a machete and I know how to use it – properly). Recently, I uncovered a couple of pictures from my first field work. I have decided to post them, even though they’re incredibly unflattering (terrible clothes, no makeup, covered in sweat and grime). Still, they remind me of good times!
The other day, I had a few students hanging out in my office (I am a floating teacher, I have no room to call home, so I have a small office in the library). They were sharing with me their music and I was horrified. “Why?” You ask? “Was it loud? Obnoxious? Laced with profanities? Encouraging violence? Complaining about the world around them? Promoted a message against ‘the man’?” No! It was none of that! In fact, I would say that it was wholesome, unobtrusive, inoffensive, easy to follow, melodic… in short, drivel.
Call me old fashioned, but part of being a teenager is being rebellious, bucking the ‘status quo,’ annoying your parents and everyone else over 21. The music of today’s youth represents none of that. I think they even use it to bond with their parents as opposed to rebel. A few of my student even gleefully told me stories of how they went to concerts with their parents. Horrifying. Of course, that may also be because going to a concert these days costs a small fortune.
When I was a teenager, half of my music tastes were solely to annoy my parents. I poured my babysitting money into cassettes as my mother continuously destroyed them believing that they were literally satanic. Kids these days have never even heard of a cassette or an 8-track… I listened to angry rockstars sing about love, the establishment, warfare, dropping out of school, fighting for your right to party, or any myriad of things that angered the older generation (the only requirement). I remember when I purchased Ice T’s iconic classic “Cop Killer.” Did I mention that my father had worked his way through Law School as a police officer? That went over well…
So, what is wrong with the world today? I propose that it is the music of ‘the kids these days.’ It’s their music. It has no marker of rebellion, anger, or discontent that marked the youth of my generation. Buck it up children!
I am the proud mama of two puppy-dogs, a terrier-mutt mix named Boudicca (named after the Warrior Queen) and an English Mastiff named Dixie. Both our girls are rescued – we got Boudicca from the pound and Dixie from Mastiff Rescue.
Boudicca (left) and Dixie (giant)
Today, I was able to pick up my baby girl Dixie (by baby girl, I mean my 135 lb, 6 year old English Mastiff) from the veterinarian. Yesterday, she had surgery to remove a diseased anal gland that has been infected and impacted for about six months or so. It is a terribly gross problem and if you have ever owned dogs, you have likely had to become familiar with their ickiness at least one time or another. After six months of antibiotics, compresses, and flushes, we decided it was time for surgery. The surgery was a success (so far), and she was kept over night for pain relief and observation. I passed the time by fretting and annoying the vet techs with regular check ins.
Poor Dixie. In addition to the pain and anxiety that comes with surgery, they further humiliated her by shaving her rump (they claimed it was for better access to the wound site, but I’m sure it was just for good comedy value). They also gave me a cone of shame to use if she licks at the wound site (she’s surprisingly agile when she’s itchy). If you’re unfamiliar with the cone of shame, here’s a great explanation from the film Up
Interestingly, they call the the Cone of Shame and Elizabethan Collar. I feel that this serves just to further humiliate the animal and owner. So now, when Dixie goes to bed or is left alone for a length of time, she must suffer this indignity (and I’m fairly sure I come closer and closer to death by justifiable dog mauling):