Working through….

So, some of you may recall that I was doing a special program for my kids — a competition in public speaking. Having wrangled for a while last winter to get the date changed from April 1 to April 15, I then blew my Bureaucracy roll and spaced three things:

1) getting students to sign up;
2) doing the paperwork with the school;
3) needing to prep, for real, for each of my classes.

So I did some re-rolling, and scored some excellent successes.


I went to assembly and got a dozen kids to sign up for the program, on Monday.

Tuesday I ran around like a duck with the head cut off. (Why a duck? That’s because I’m overweight, I like water, and I waddle.) Oh, yeah, I also went to ‘s dad’s shindig very briefly after getting lost in Worcester twice in the space of an hour and a half. Got to love cities where taking three left turns won’t put you back in the same place. Went to Frantic Rabbit, and came home.

Wednesday I got up really early, did this new thing for teachers at my school. I’m calling it Wednesday Conversations. The idea is that I bring doughnuts and make coffee, and ask questions of one faculty member who then becomes a springboard to a wider conversation about the art and science of teaching. This spring, it looks like Wednesday Conversations is going to be a morning, mid-day and evening affair, assuming anyone commits to the evening sessions or shows up. I’m excited about it, and depending on how it goes, I’ll continue in the fall. No one showed up in the evening, but I ran into someone at the VBC and learned that she’s leaving us. I don’t know how hush-hush this is, so I’m keeping it semi-private. I’m not at all close to this teacher, though I wish I knew her better as a friend and colleague; I know the students think very, very highly of her, and I said so. It’s terrible to lose a great teacher, but her reasons make a lot of sense.

Thursday, today, I filled out the paperwork all afternoon for going away tomorrow. Then I hiked the Red Trail with the OA kids, and let them play in the stream. I have to get a dozen water quality test kits and some stakes to paint bright orange or yellow or something, and set up some water-quality monitoring stations where we can study the environmental effects of the school on our own backyard. Plant the stakes at a couple of places along our stream courses, but not right on the paths, and we can do the same places year after year. I also walked down the stream from the second bridge on the trail to the bridge to the lean-to, and found a place where some oily substance was leaching out of the soil into the stream. I wonder if water-testing will raise a ruckus at all? Hmmm.

This evening, I went to the grocery store for food to conform with the South Beach Diet recommended to me by my doctors. I hate to say it, but the vegetarian plan for me wreaked havoc with my weight. I started doing the veggies-alone thing after I was diagnosed with kidney stones, and put on almost twenty pounds in short order. Erk. Between the daily walk with OA and the first bits of South Beach, I’m slimming down again. I’d like to be not at risk for heart disease, heart failure, and general unhealthiness. On getting home, I scanned a dozen images into my computer of Industrial Revolution equipment and scenes, and these form the basis of the seventh grade program for tomorrow. I also did up a couple of worksheets for Ben to use when he takes over my class tomorrow. I’m tempted to make up some worksheets for the writing classes, but no — I want all their stuff tied or typed or written into their working notebooks, not floating on worksheets.

Besides, it’s after midnight now, and I’d like to be able to get some sleep before I take nine kids off to the public speaking competition tomorrow.

Still didn’t get quite enough successes, though. One kid left without getting his permission slip signed, so he may not be able to go. Argh. Need to get up early and see if I can snag him and his parents to sign off on the event.

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