I went to Hawaii!

Some colleagues and I presented at the Hawaii International Conference on Arts & Humanities (our topic was multimodal assignments), which means I finally got to go to Hawaii, one of my lifelong dreams.

Our conference presentation went well, though the turnout was light. We think it was a combo of being scheduled to present at 8 a.m. (later sessions had higher turnout) and not using some keywords that may have intrigued more people (e.g., “creative problem solving”). My colleagues are amazing and do really creative and innovative work, so it’s always exciting to hear what they’re doing in their classrooms–not to mention hearing from people at other institutions about the interesting things they’re doing in their classrooms. I got so many great ideas for assignments and not always from other English teachers. A really cool one I got from some drama/costume teachers is to have students create a shoebox that represents the mood of the play. I may play around with that next fall.

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The best of all quotes which is a picture I took of someone else’s picture on their phone because the slides went by too fast. Text says, “Critical thinking is thinking about your thinking while you’re thinking, in order to make your thinking better.”

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I threw some axes

(Note: I wrote this two days ago but finally got a moment to post it.)

I’m on a plane to Hawaii, which means I finally have time to update my blog. Y’all, being on vacation is hard work. Between my trip to San Diego and prepping for this conference (why I’m headed to Hawaii), I have been super busy. And somehow I left my house a wreck before this trip. Oh well. I can’t do everything.

Okay, so I went to San Diego because my oldest (by which I mean longest running since she is actually younger than me—we have been friends for over 30 years, a fact that makes both of just sit back and go “Whoa” when we think about it. Over 30!) friend was there for a conference (not the one I’m headed to, obviously). She asked if I would be around, and I was like YES!!! so I headed down there for a visit.

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#AMonthofFaves Goals, Goals, All Types of Goals

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#AMonthofFaves Challenges and Goals –  Reading challenges, personal goals, resolutions – how did you do? What are your goals for this month, this season or next year. Check in here.

These were my goals for 2018:

  • deal with my mail as it comes in ❌
  • eat the frog when it comes to grading 🤷🏾‍♀️
  • enter at least one writing contest ✅
  • work on my creative writing every day ❌
  • see Hamilton ✅
  • eat more vegetables ✅

✅ means done, obviously.

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Come on Down!

So, I went to a taping of The Price Is Right today, which was probably the most fun I’ve had in a long time and I have had a lot of fun this year. I mean, it was an experience.

Before I start, I do want to say that they made us sign an agreement before the taping that said we wouldn’t spoil anything “by talk or by text,” so I’m not going to talk about any of the contestants or anything but rather the experience of going to the show.

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It’s Monday! What are you reading? on an actual Monday! + #AMonthofFaves

Wow, so much happened in the past week that I don’t know where to begin.

1. The big thing is that the semester ended! I gave final exams, I graded graded graded and then graded some more.

end of semester bingo

My friend sent me the end of semester bingo card from social media, and I asked her if every square could be “Grading until you cry” and “more grading.” Because that was my main mood.

Oh, and also this:

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#AMonthofFaves: What Worked and Didn’t This Year

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Today’s prompt:

#AMonthofFaves Routines, Habits and Changes. What Worked this Year and/or What Didn’t. What habits, routines or rituals worked for you this year – either something you kept doing – or something new that you started? What did you try that didn’t work … or what did you used to do that no longer works for you?

Okay, I wanted to make this a teaching reflection, but I am still grading my students’ reflections so haven’t gathered enough evidence on that yet, so that will come later. In the meantime, here are some things that worked and didn’t for me this year:

1. I found a gym that offers water aerobics classes and, since this summer, have been going twice a week. That’s not enough but it’s better than the once a week at the beginning of the year. The summer break was a godsend because I discovered that the morning water aerobics classes are where it’s at, so this semester, I’ve been getting up on Friday and going along with my regular Tuesday night class. For the past two weeks, I’ve been forcing myself to go to the Thursday night class I don’t like all that much so I can get in three days of gym time. This has tremendously helped my mood as I’m sure you can guess.

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#AMonthofFaves: A Day (or Weekend) in the Life of Yours Truly

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Today’s prompt:

MON. Dec. 10 – A Day (or Weekend) in the Life. What did you do on Saturday, December 8th … or that weekend – December 8-9. Let’s take a peek into each others lives as as we chronicle what we all did on that day (or during the weekend).

It’ll be weekend for me!

December 8

3:30 a.m. – Wake up because I fell asleep at 6:45 p.m. after getting home from the gym. Eat food, futz around online (which includes trying to figure out why a book I know I rated on Goodreads doesn’t have a rating and why another book is showing up as having been read twice when I only read it once).

4:31 a.m. – Heat up some tea, read a little bit

5 a.m. – Have a lie down so I can get up at a reasonable hour and face the actual day

7:22 a.m. – Wake up for realsies, meditate, fool around on Facebook

8 a.m. – Get out of bed, shower, eat, etc.

9:45 a.m. – Head to my support group, run errands, eat some food, futz around online (this will happen a lot)

2 p.m. – Grade papers

2:10 p.m. – Slight grading crisis, phone a friend

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#AMonthofFaves 2018 favorites

It’s time for #AMonthofFaves! YAY! Many thanks to Tanya Patrice, Kim, Andi, and Tamara for hosting yet again.

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Today’s prompt:

#AMonthofFaves [The 2018 Favorites Edition]– e.g. to eat, drink, wear, smell, see, do, enjoy, best purchases, most used gift received, most used purchases, favorite concert, outdoor activity, place visited, most squee worthy moment of the year.

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Because 999 Times Wasn’t Enough, pt. 2: The New Normal (Nov 2018 Wrap-Up)

So, it’s been several months since I’ve done this (JUNE???), so let’s see if I remember how.

Okay, so I mentioned previously that work had been stressful for most of October (hahaha understatement), so I spent most of November recovering from that and realizing that, once again, I was a mess. I had gained weight again, I had new/worsening symptoms for my IBS, and I (re)discovered just how much debt I’m in. (And the latter two happened at the end of the month.)

Anyway, I was lamenting to my mom about my weight gain and how I don’t understand how it keeps happening because I know I need to manage my weight better to help control my IBS, and I know what to do, and I know how to do it, yet I am always surprised that when I don’t track my food or I make it to the gym less often, I gain weight and then have to start all over again. I mean, you honestly would think I have learned by now.

And my mom said simply, “Because it’s not your default to take care of yourself in that way.”

I was, as the young people say, shook.

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Patti LaBelle and Step Aerobics

Today is the last day of class before the end of NaNoWriMo, and my students are very studiously working on their drafts, so I figured now is as good a time as any to update.

1. First, let me just say that watching my creative writing students write during NaNo has been such a delight. They come in and get right to it. Headphones on, laptops or notebooks open, and away they go. I have put a prompt up on the board every day (some requested it), but I have no idea if they’re using them–I just know that they’re intensely focused on writing. It is a joy to behold.

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