Saturday, September 11, 2010

Nine Days In

I feel like I'm drowning in work already.  I knew this year was going to be tough, and so far, I'm not wrong.  Changing grade levels is hard, harder than I expected.  Even though I am teaching what I love, English language arts(ELA) and social studies, it is a new curriculum with new expectations.  Although I have GLEs for ELA (Grade Level Expectations), there is no set curriculum guide.  The other 2 ELA teachers approach their subjects differently, and seem to assume that I know what I'm doing!  And I do, but it sure would be nice not to have create ALL my own curriculum.  It's kind of the same deal with social studies too.  I have the general topics, but no guide.  I've asked for copies of units, but so far I haven't gotten any.
So I'm back to spending 9 hours in the classroom each day , and a huge chunk of the weekend time, reinventing the wheel.    The schedule is hard too --- we start the day with our prep, and then have our kids for 5 hours straight without a break, for them or us!  I know that it will get easier with time, but . . .

To try to de-stress I read this first book in Alexander McCall Smith's newest series:

Corduroy Mansions (Corduroy Mansions, #1)Corduroy Mansions by Alexander McCall Smith
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this gentle slice of life in the Pimlico section of London.  Corduroy Mansions is inhabited by a likeable group of folks:  a middle-aged wine merchant who's trying to get his adult sponger of a son to move out; Marcia who is trying hard to get William to notice her; several young women who share an apartment, a less-than-notable Member of Parliament, among others.  There is even Freddie de la Hay, the dog William adopts to try to get his son to move out!  As in other Alexander McCall Smith books, the characters display all the foibles we humans possess, and it's well-seasoned with accurate observations of human nature.   The chapter titles are especially humorous - "Don't Try This at Home"  was very well-chosen!  I also appreciate the well-chosen names for several of the characters.  Terence Moongrove is a perfect name for someone who is attempting to connect with Beings of Light through sacred dance, and what else could Oedipus Snark be named?  While I prefer the #1 Ladies' Detective Agency series with its more focused narrative, I will look for the next books in this series.

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