It’s Monday & I’ve Forgotten How to Teach #IMWAYR

June 16, 2020

No joke. I submitted grades on Saturday for the end of our spring semester. I was doing prep for my summer class that starts Wednesday, and I could not figure out what I had done in the class before. Or what I was planning to do. What are assignments? How does one organize a class? Part of it is that I’m teaching the class online for the first time. But the other part was that my brain was seriously just like, “I don’t know, man. You tell me.”

I said to my daughter OUT LOUD, “I am a terrible teacher who doesn’t know how to teach.”


I figured it out eventually (I think), but it was not looking pretty for a couple of hours there.

So anyway, I’m going to spend all day tomorrow trying to get some actual content into my class before it goes live at midnight.

Oh! On top of all that, I had to send my students a welcome letter, and I was like, “WELCOME THEM TO WHAT? I DON’T KNOW WHAT I’M DOING.” But, yes, the letter went out, and I told them not to even look at the class until the first day of class on Wednesday. Let’s hope that works because, whoo boy, is it empty in there.

In other news, the pool in my complex finally opened up (on a reservation system), and I am so, so happy. As many of you know, my main form of exercise is water aerobics and with the gyms closed, I have not been able to do that. I was going to use our pool but they closed that down (which is fine and good and what needed to be done), but that means I haven’t done water aerobics in THREE MONTHS and I am feeling it. So I am super looking forward to getting in the pool tomorrow. I made a playlist with corresponding exercises, pulled out the wireless Bluetooth speaker I have never used before (🤞🏾), and bought a pool noodle at Target today. YOUR GIRL IS READY.

water aerobics

I look nothing like this while doing water aerobics (source)

I don’t even care that it might be chilly tomorrow morning. I DON’T CARE I DON’T CARE I DON’T CARE I DON’T CARE.

I don’t care. My body is ready. Hahahahahaha.


I watched The Lovebirds this weekend, which…okay, here’s the thing. It’s kind of two movies in one. On the one hand, it’s a romcom, at which it totally succeeds. On the other hand, it’s a murder mystery, at which it totally fails. Romcom = great! Mystery = what, exactly, were you going for there? So yeah.

Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani have great chemistry, and the movie is a lot of fun. So watch it for that. But I’m telling you, if you go in excited about the mystery part, you will be disappointed. So just keep that in mind.

I was looking forward to seeing this one at the movies, so I’m glad Netflix released it for streaming since the theaters are still closed.

I know the studios are going to push back Wonder Woman and Black Widow, which you know, FINE and also I GET IT, but, man, I really would still like to see both of those (plus Mulan!) right now in my home. I don’t need the theater experience! I just want to watch them!

Oh, well.

I finished two books:

The Harlem CharadeThe Harlem Charade by Natasha Anastasia Tarpley

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a super cute middle grade mystery with great messages about friendship, honesty, gentrification, art, and history. I have some stylistic issues with the story that I’ll list below, but honestly, those are things that bug me as an adult reader but that probably would be overlooked by most kids in her target audience. Well, maybe not the first thing.

– My biggest issue with this book is that Rose is left out of most of the action and also that she seems to be okay with it. I would’ve been less bugged about it if she were treated as more of a Wade from Kim Possible figure, but she was supposedly Jin’s best friend, and Jin just dropped her and started hanging out with these two new kids, having adventures all around town? *I* was bothered by that, so I know Rose would have been. Yes, I’m projecting. No, I don’t care.

– It took me a long time to figure out that Elvin was supposed to be the same age as Rose, Alex, and Jin. I sincerely thought he was, like, eight or nine for the longest time.

– Tarpley uses an omniscient narrator, but she’s not consistent in how she uses it. I thought each section was going to be from one character’s limited POV based on how the first chapter was set up, but then she switched to another character after a few chapters and then she would switch between characters in the same section. So that was jarring.

So, some minor quibbles, but all in all, a good, fun read.

View all my reviews

A Corner of White (The Colours of Madeleine, #1)A Corner of White by Jaclyn Moriarty

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ah, Jaclyn Moriarty is so great. This book is whimsical but not too clever for its own good. (I hate books that are excessively too, if you know what I mean.)

Great book, great characters. Reminded me a bit of Diana Wynne Jones, I have to say.

11/28/15 — reread this over Thanksgiving break. I still dig it.

6/14/20 — just a pandemic comfort read. It’s fun to re-read knowing how the whole trilogy ends.

View all my reviews


Hang in there, everyone.

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  1. Elisabeth Ellington

    Laughing so hard in rueful solidarity at completing forgetting how to teach. It happens. That gif is hilarious, btw. Good luck getting that course populated this week. It’s so not the time to expect a brain to be able to tackle a challenge. I hope you enjoy your pool time! I am hoping to grab Harlem Charade from my office tomorrow because it sounds like exactly what I want to be reading right now. I’d bought it a couple of years ago when I was trying to increase my library of mystery titles but I never got around to reading it. I also haven’t read that Moriarty series yet even though I absolutely adore her other books. Definitely adding that to the list.

  2. Chandra Lynn

    I was looking for the “like” button on the first part of your post. This is like 3 posts in one, girl! Anyway, we had to completely create ALL of our Fall courses for online delivery–from start to finish–just in case. I probably could have given you some pointers. 😀 I’m adding Lovebirds to my To Be Watched list. I read a YA novel last week–I’m Not Dying With You Tonight–not sure how I feel about it. Checking out A Corner of White after I read Afterlife by Julia Alvarez. I’m probably going to need a bit of whimsy after that.

    • Akilah

      “This is like 3 posts in one, girl!” — hahaha, almost all of my posts are like that. It’s just my brain.

      We’re online for fall! I was planning on revising my courses pre-COVID, and I’m still considering it, but I may be making this all harder than it has to be. We’ll see.

      • Chandra Lynn

        Our university actually made the decision to hold in-person classes this fall. Gasp! I’m not sure we should, but they’re putting all kinds of things in place to keep the students and campus safe. i think it will be more hybrid and alternating schedules with everything. Yes, until we get beyond this madness, go easy on yourself. But do start taking notes and working on your changes.


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