Thursday, February 12, 2015

Desk Job

Part of me feels as though this week is flying. The other part of me feels as though this week is dragging. My throat tightens a little bit each time I think about the fact that there are F I V E school weeks until the STAAR test, but yesterday also made me feel a bit more reassured about the whole thing, giving me some direction for these next five weeks. I mentioned that on Monday I administered a mock STAAR exam for my students. Because the end of the grading cycle is Friday, grades are due Tuesday at 4:00pm, and most of us have between 60 and 150 essays and short answer responses to grade between now and then, depending on how many English I classes we teach, we were gifted a professional development and grading day yesterday.

While preparing for a substitute is often more trouble than it is worth, I was very grateful for this day. Because I am going out of town this weekend, and the weather in Austin is supposed to be beautiful, my plan was to have all of my grading done before Friday. I want to go to Austin without feeling like I have to spend time sitting in my hotel room grading, especially when there are quite a few people that I would love to see, restaurants at which I would love to eat, and places that I would like to go. So, I actually graded all of my essays and short answer responses over the course of both Monday and Tuesday afternoon. I had to take my car back to the shop on Tuesday, but sitting there for an hour and a half gave me zero grading excuses. I certainly made myself at home while I was there, that's for sure.

However, because the real STAAR exam will have two readers per essay, we wanted to mimic that as much as possible. So many times a student will be between scores, and most of the time, it benefits the student. If you have no idea what I am talking about, just bear with me. I'll get to my point, I promise. We also went through the results of the multiple choice portion of the exam, highlighting areas of strength, and of course, areas of weakness. This is where my pride comes in. While there are still miles to go before we sleep in both reading and writing, my students really impressed me with their performance on the multiple choice part of the exam. There are certainly glaring areas of weakness, but some of the things we have hit pretty hard these past couple of weeks showed. And I finally felt that maybe, just maybe, I am getting through to some of them. Slowly but surely.

Not only am I a volleyball coach, but I'm a STAAR coach too
That being said, this professional development day simply reiterated the fact that I am not made for a desk job. What professional development means is basically that you sit in a room, operative word being sit, and hopefully learn something. Okay, that's putting it very simply, and most of the time it is very beneficial - yesterday certainly was! - but I am horrible at sitting still. I feel for my students, because it's hard to sit all day and listen. I got very antsy, as I hardly ever sit down during the school day. I am constantly on my feet, walking around, squatting down to chat with students, and so on and so forth. And that suits me. Time passes quickly, I feel productive, and it amazes me how slow the time goes when I am just sitting in a chair around a table, or at my desk watching students work. And while most of the day was extremely productive, there were of course moments when we got off-topic, or had to take a stretch break, or just had to share the hilarious things our students wrote in their essays. There were certainly some funny ones.

Another reason I can't sit at my desk, whoops!
So, the point I am trying to get at here is that desk jobs are perfect for some people. In college, some people are really good at holing themselves up in a cubicle and getting lots of work done. Some people can sit down for hours at a time and be as productive as I can be in maybe an entire day. And I admire you guys, because I kind of feel like my students in the fact that I have to get up every so often, walk around, get a snack, change the environment I'm working in, and so on. Even yesterday, after grading for maybe an hour straight and a half straight, I honestly felt as though I had run out of steam and couldn't do it anymore. Low endurance, I know. Anyway, as I was leaving school yesterday I couldn't help but be thankful for the job that I have. Because it's perfect for me. I may get home at the end of the day (okay, 4:00pm ...) and be absolutely exhausted, but for some reason sitting all day in professional development is often more exhausting for me. Maybe I do have to be "on" all day, but I like having to interact with other people all day. For someone who loves to spend time by herself, every day is a new challenge in terms of thinking quick and remaining patient and being flexible. Plus, high schoolers just fascinate me. I know I'm not that far removed from the high school world, but I love just listening to them talk and watching how they interact. It's better entertainment than the movies!

Sometimes the most random things make for a great blog post. Or at least, I think it's a great blog post. You guys might think differently, but then again, no one is forcing you to read it!


Back to our regularly scheduled fitnessandfroyo events. The Austin Half Marathon is this weekend! And before a half marathon, my week of workouts always looks the same. Yesterday a run was on the agenda, and today, swimming. I was greatly looking forward to this morning's swim, as last night's run was a bit on the painful side. I have somehow developed a callus on the underside of my pinky toe, making walking and running very painful. I'm trying to toughen it up so that I can sort of scrape it off before the race, because otherwise it is going to be a very painful 13.1 miles, even if it is through a very beautiful city, on what is supposed to be a gorgeous race day.

But just to be on the safe side, I made a Walgreens run and purchased a whole arsenal of supplies. If one remedy doesn't work, surely another will, right? Fingers crossed! And I know I'm all about the pictures on this blog, but I think I'll spare you this time around. 

And now I'm off to pack for Austin, make some Valentine-themed cookies, and get a much-needed haircut. See you guys tomorrow!

*Disclaimer: This post was typed before the haircut. It was posted after the haircut. Just keeping things gucci around here. 

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