Sunday, January 9, 2011

One Down, 51 To Go

We're already arrived at the second week of the year.  Last week felt very long and my immune system was battling a number of attackers!  One of the reasons the week seemed long was the fact that I attended our local school board meeting Monday night.  The board is planning to make a series of budget cuts that will severely impact how we deliver instruction next year.  A core teacher in my current grade level will be cut, and the plan is to change our organization.  Currently we are divided into "pods" or teams of two teachers.  Each pod shares about 40 students, and each teacher teaches two subjects.  I teach social studies and language arts and I see each of my students for a minimum of 10 hours a week for core instruction. Next year, teachers will teach just one subject, and will teach the entire grade level.  So one teacher will be responsible for the instruction of approximately 110 students every day.  Under this proposed structure, I would see each student for about 4.25 hours each week.  A big difference in instructional time, but more importantly a huge change in being able to really get to know your students and build the personal connections that are so important at the middle level.  A group of us went to the board meeting to ask them to reconsider the proposed cut.  It was a long meeting, and a very long day!

This coming week is also going to be a bear.  I have a district level committee meeting on Monday after school, a regular staff meeting on Tuesday, the church's annual meeting on Wednesday, and on Thursday I have 3 obligations -- a board meeting, a church committee meeting, and the school district budget hearing.  In between I have to write sub plans as I am supposed to attend a day-long workshop on Wednesday.    I'm glad next weekend is a 3 day one!

As far as trying to balance have-to's and want-to's I didn't do a great job this past week, and it doesn't look like this next week will be any better!!  However on the want-to's --- here's a report!

I have abandoned a sweater I've been working on for several months until I can locate more yarn of a compatible dye lot.  If anyone has any Plymouth Royal Llama Silk in color 6605, dyelot 30007, I need 2 skeins!!  I did start a cowl from some leftover yarn which I will probably finish up later today.  I have to find the camera to get some pictures.

As for reading, I plowed my way through Ken Follett's newest, Fall of Giants.  My review is below.  I told my husband, maybe I should keep track of pages read, not just books read.  This tome was 985 pages long!

Fall of GiantsFall of Giants by Ken Follett
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I liked this first installment in Ken Follett's planned trilogy.  The novel spans the years 1911-1920, and follows the fortunes of five families.  The five families represent major social groups affected by World War I:  a Welsh coal mining Williams family, the English aristocratic Fitzherberts, the Russian peasant Peshov family, the German von Ulrich's, and the American Dewars.  Within these families are feminists, Conservatives, Bolsheviks, White Russians, Labour party members, warmongers, and peacemakers.  Many of the characters and their situations are a bit cliched.  Ethel Williams is the fiery housemaid who has an affair with the Earl and bears his child.  The Earl's sister is an ardent feminist and is in love with a German, her country's enemy.  I was compelled enough by the plot to keep reading, but I have to admit to some serious skimming through all the battle details, and some of the political machinations. At 985 pages, the story got derailed now and then, and I think some judicious cutting would have kept the important ideas and moved the story along a little more efficiently.

View all my reviews

1 comment:

Panhandle Jane said...

It is such a relief not to have to deal with school issues. I miss interactions with some students and some professionals, but I was feeling pretty beaten down by the time I quit.

In looking for your yarn, try the "In Search of . . ." group on Ravelry. I had good luck finding a match there not long ago.