Saturday, October 24, 2009

Unfinished Business

I seem surrounded by unfinished projects, chores, books, plans, etc. It's bothering me today.

The Biggies:
1. A 3-5 page paper for a writing class I decided to take for credit. I could have just taken the workshop, learned what I wanted to learn, and then apply what I wanted to apply in my classroom. But no, I decide to take it for credit. How hard can a short paper be? Well, when you haven't written one for almost 20 years, it's hard. Never mind that it's a "simple" paper: Construct an argument for a principal, curriculum coordinator, or concerned parent that supports the reason why this program is worthwhile. But before I can write this paper, I have 2 books to read, and I must find at least 3 quotations from the reading material that support my argument. Again, simple --after all it's basically what I ask my 6th graders to do in their reading journals. The other part of the credit is that I have to complete a short story inspired by some art work I completed during the class. That's just about done, but again, it's only "almost done."

2. Finish developing the science project inspired by the above-mentioned class. I need to find the supplies (watercolors, paper, brushes) for 43 students, decide on which of 3 project ideas I've come up with to follow through on, and figure out when to teach the art lessons that need to be taught before implementing the science unit.

Other projects that are less important, but hanging over me:

3. My Vintage Vest. I've done the back, and the left front. I've started the right front. I really want to finish this so I can wear it. I also am sick of knitting it!

4. The Lace Reader. I have been reading this book for almost 2 weeks in bits and pieces. I am enjoying it, but I just haven't had the time to sit for any length of time to have a good reading session.

5. A Wrinkle in Time. This is the book I'm reading during sustained silent reading at school. It's hard to read and supervise 20 kids who are supposed to be reading. This is a re-read for me; probably about the 5th time. I still can't figure out why upper elementary teachers are so eager to teach this book, and I especially can't figure out why so many special ed teachers think this a good book for struggling readers. It's a terrific novel, one of my favorites, but I would never use it in my reading classes. It's difficult material to understand! And I can't see how I could steer appropriate public school conversations around it. I WOULD use this book in a confirmation class setting, or in a Sunday school setting in a minute. And I read it once in graduate school as part of a "Teaching Students with Special Needs" class. We had to choose one of the characters and create an appropriate educational program for that character.

6. Genealogy research: This is not a project that really can be finished, but I wish I had a long period of uninterrupted time to work on this one.

7. Renovations: We still haven't found anybody to help us with the work of replastering ceilings and walls.

8. Laundry: Is it ever done?

9. This list --- these are just the items that are most bothering me this rainy morning!

1 comment:

Panhandle Jane said...

You're an English teacher. Of course, you will struggle trying to write the absolutely perfect paper. That's our curse!

I share your opinions about A Wrinkle in Time.