Friday, May 9, 2014

Easily Pleased and Other Flaws

I work for an extremely generous organization.  They offered me two days off to work on National Boards.  I took them.  I usually don't take the offered days off because I would seriously rather be in my classroom, but I am finishing up on my last two entries and I needed this day. 

One of my co-workers told me to go to a coffee shop to do the work, but I wasn't that tempted to do laundry or clean the floors or go outside and weed.  I just want to finish this thing and upload it and forget about it until December, when they tell me the scores. I'm at the point that every time I re-read my entries, I find something I can do better, and I just have to finish it.  I have been doing every end-of-the-year checkout thing they send me right away and turning right back to National Boards.  (Except, well, I haven't graded the 75 essays - though I have been hounding the kids who didn't turn them in). I did spend 7 hours in intense concentration, finishing the penultimate entry.

But now I am distracted! At this moment, my son is pole vaulting at the State Finals.  I wish I were there.  I wish, at least, my daughter was there so she could text me.  I have no patience - I just want to know if he got a PR.  I would be happy with a PR - and so would he, which is more important. It won't get him even in the top six, but it would be cool. 

So, I am sitting here, distracted, needing to ho Ľomau and just get through this last stupid entry.  Thinking about my son.  Thinking about (everything else that needs to get done). 

I am also thinking that the sound a chicken makes after laying an egg is awesome.  It's like trumpets announcing a present when you have old hens who are sporadic layers.  Yay! An Egg! 

I am easily pleased.  I admit it. I am easily pleased; I forgive at the drop of the hat if someone is even remotely kind; I have the sense of humor of a 15 year old.  I consider all these things both flaws and blessings - blessings because I am pretty happy a lot of the time, and flaws because I look foolish a lot of the time, too. I mean, who has chickens for years and still gets ridiculously excited when she hears that egg-laying cackle? 

Okay, time to get back to work.  I really want to not have to do this tomorrow.  I want, on the contrary, to go to work tomorrow and scan my entries on the nice copier and upload the entries on their nice internet and then finish writing my final exams, grading papers, and studying for the test portion of National Boards.  Tests I like better than watch videotapes of me teaching over and over and over and over again and then writing about what I see.  Ugh.  I guessed I am not so easily pleased when it comes to myself.  

Tuesday, May 6, 2014


Not farm progress - well, that, too, I guess.  My husband jerry-rigged the tractor to mow the lawn (we've been having a problem with the belts - the expletively expensive John Deere belts that break the first time out).  It looks great.  He still gives credit to Gibby Crazy Horse for keeping it mostly mowed and making it easier.  The new hens are completely integrated with their older flock mates with not much squabbling.  And I weeded a little, a very little, around the greenhouse and in the asparagus.  

No, the progress is on my bid for National Board for Professional Teaching Standards certification. I think I am done with two of the four entries.  I feel like I dived deep into writing today during my Study Hall, during my preps, during my meeting (cancelled) period, and during lunch.  I barely looked up from my drafts or computer screen. I can't believe I've been in this room for 10 hours. Fortunately, there were two periods with kids in here, but other than that - yikes.  I can't even tell if what I wrote makes any sense.  I need to step away and not think about it for a few hours. 

In the middle of all that, I fielded tons of email and wrote one version of my final exam - two more versions to go! I corrected one paper - just 74 more to go!  I texted my husband to ask him to pull something out of the freezer because I am so fried, there is no way I can cook tonight.  I had the temerity to ask my walking buddy if she wanted to go for a walk, but she's getting the school newspaper out, so I went back and persevered with my National Board.  Good thing, because one part I thought was pretty solid -I re-read it and it was utter crap. Well, half utter crap, and half so-so.  Now it is all so-so.  Sigh.  I don't think any of it is perfect, but it's due, so it's done.  You know what I mean? 

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Lunch from My Garden

Well, more or less...

I dug up a sweet potato, picked some bok choy, flat parsley, and garlic chives and combined then with green lentils and black beans from the pantry and seasoned it with paprika, coriander, turmeric, and tahini.  It's not very pretty, but it tastes good. 

We're thinking about ducks.  I haven't had much truck with ducks, but I am interested in trying. We generally have a standing puddle-like pond - it only ever disappears in a real drought.  We almost never have even two completely dry days in a row, so it's not much of a worry - if we ever did, we could just put out a kiddie play pool. Now, I am just researching how much of a pain in the butt ducks will be. I like the idea that they eat slugs and lay large eggs that are good for baking.  And they are more of a meal than a chicken would be, also a plus.  Muscovy's are very popular here, so I am leaning along those lines.  If anyone has positive or negative feedback about ducks, I would love to hear it! 

In other news, my son is "under consideration" for the State Finals for Pole Vaulting.  We'll have to wait until maybe Tuesday to hear if he's made it to the event on Friday.  It's on Oahu so if he goes, there may be an opportunity for grandparents.  On the other hand, the school where it is taking place is actually kind of a pain to get to, so maybe not.  For any Grandparents who are reading - Pole Vaulting is several one second bursts of adrenaline interspersed between rather long periods of waiting (or other parents' bursts of adrenaline), and Your Grandson is clearing about 12 feet and the top guys in the state are older, have more reliable access to a proper pole (long story), and will probably clean his clock.  It's still a great opportunity, so prayers and crossed fingers in order, please. 

We were so cheap we didn't want to pay the $20 to get all of us in to the Regional Finals, so we stood at the top of the hill outside the fence where we had a decent view.  We still couldn't see the height placard, so I texted the running coach who was down on the field and asked him.  I do love technology.  

My younger daughter has decided to start running next week.  Track is over and conditioning for Cross Country doesn't start until June, but she heard the times for the upcoming 9th grade girls on their 8th grade Big Run and is a bit scared about her place on the Varsity.  Nothing like someone nipping at your heels to get you going, as the sheep would say.