Whew, there is a lot to cover from the past two weeks, so let’s just dive in.
1. First of all, my brilliant daughter got accepted to not one, but two study abroad programs: one for the summer and one for next school year. The summer one is at a Buddhist monastery in China and completely funded through scholarships. The second is at a university in Japan, so she has started a GoFundMe to help cover the costs. Please click over, read her story, donate if you’re so moved, and/or share her page with others. Everything helps!
My daughter is also posting all of her pre-study abroad prep on Instagram and plans to keep it up while she’s abroad, so if you’re interested in that, please follow her there (@starless_knight39) as well. At some point, she’s going to start a vlog about all her adventures as well. I mean, the girl is on the move and living all of her dreams. I’m so proud of her.
As part of the IBS Audio 100 program that I’m doing, the author asks that you rate your symptoms before starting, at the 27-day mark, and then again at the 100-day mark. After I completed the first 27 days, I decided that I should probably actually track my symptoms every day since I was mostly going by how I felt that week (which was fine), but I didn’t really have an overall sense of what I was feeling. There are a couple of apps specifically for IBS, but the one I chose is Cara because it’s pretty comprehensive.
Right, so, I have been tracking my symptoms and food for 38 days now, and here’s what I have discovered:
I am always stressed out
I always have a headache
My stomach always hurts/is bloated
The last one wasn’t that big of a surprise since that’s why I’m using the app in the first place. No, the big surprises for me were the first two. First of all, how am I stressed out EVERY DAY even right now when I’m on vacation? Second, I thought my headaches were under better control than that.
I miss wearing jeans and t-shirts. And just jeans in general. One of the (many) byproducts of my stomach issues is that it’s not usually comfortable for me to wear jeans because my stomach might poke out or just the feel of clothing on my stomach will bother me.
So one day I was thinking that what I need is the equivalent of maternity jeans but for non-pregnant people. But then I looked at some maternity jeans and those stretched bellies with fabric on top was not at all what I wanted.
So a thing I have been doing lately is watching old episodes of Chopped via Hulu while I cook. The show requires very little concentration and, somehow, the four–usually professional–chefs running around in a panic soothes me as I very slowly try to figure out what I’m doing in my own kitchen.
Anyway, this has led to me saying things like “This needs some crunch, a bit of texture” and then adding pumpkin seeds to a pasta dish. Surprise! That little bit of crunch made the dish better.
It’s the last day of Slice of Life, and I’m going to have to make this fast because it’s 11:41 p.m., and I just got home, but I want to make the deadline.
Today was a beach-going adventure. It was nice outside, so instead of going to walk in the shopping district in my town, I decided instead to go to the beach. Because it’s the beach. I don’t think I need to explain.
I am in a mood, and it started last night, which is why I didn’t do a midnight post for today’s penultimate Slice of Life post.
I am also kind of at a loss for what to talk about. I am working through some things in therapy that are taking a lot of my energy. As a consequence, I don’t feel like talking about much of anything. I’m sick of talking about food and what I can and cannot eat. I don’t want to talk about grading. My students are both delightful and infuriating/frustrating, so nothing new there (and everything is as it should be). I don’t feel like being interesting or funny or pithy (or fill in the blank). I just want to sit on the couch and not do anything at all.
However, I did sign up for the challenge and, in the spirit of that challenge, here’s what I did today:
Yesterday, I put my students into groups and had them work up their group contracts, which is what I want to talk about in my post. But before I get into that, I just want to share this absolutely brilliant moment that happened in class today.
So, I had my students do a self-annotation exercise, which involved many things, and one of them was double checking their Works Cited page. Two of the students in one of the groups had been absent the day we went over how to do the page, and another one had taken very good notes. Two of them had this exchange:
I have a lot to say today since I introduced my students to the group contracts mentioned before and actually, finally wrote up the assignment sheet for their upcoming group assignment. However! It is late (12:18 a.m. as I write this) and I teach at 7:30 a.m., so I need to get to bed.
I will say that the group icebreaker was a success. I asked them to come up with three celebrities (dead or alive) they would want to help them rebuild after the apocalypse, and their answers were fun. Lots of groups picked Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson because he played lots of characters who had to survive. One group (of girls) picked him because he would be able to carry them if they got tired, which made me laugh.
I did write down most of their answers, which I will probably share tomorrow (or not–you know me), but for now, I away to bed. Anon!
Right, so, Wednesday was also a good teaching day, but I got so distracted by the donuts that I didn’t talk about it.
First, we did an awesome self-annotation assignment that I stole from KO. My students were thoroughly engaged. The reflection question was “If you had 48 hours, what would would you change about your draft?” and they all answered, “I would fix it.”
A couple of students tweeted that it helped them a lot (although one said it reminded her of her high school class that she hated–sigh, you can’t win them all), so I am calling that a success.