Friday, February 11, 2011
We're not natural risk-takers, so the decision making process was laborious and (dare I say it) slow. I am sure other couples can come to an agreement much sooner, but we process everything, multiple times. The Mister is one who doesn't like to make a decision without examining all of the alternatives, and I don't like to make a decision until he's ready. It wouldn't feel right. So we walked, and talked, I cried a little, then we rested. Then we came back to it, walked some more, talked some more, I cried some more, and then we rested. This process went on for almost a week while a potentially fabulous job offer waited for our decision. When we decided to turn it down we felt elated and more than a little bit nervous. We were exhausted from our own process and so relieved to have finally made a decision. Nervous because we were leaving a secure career path for a plan where both of us would be starting over at the bottom.
I'm pleased to report that I'm very happy in my new career path. The Mister has started interviewing and we're guessing he'll be employed in his new career path in the next month or two. You make these decisions and hope for the best, but you never know how it's going to work out.
I'd say it's worked out fine.
Thursday, February 3, 2011
I don't grade to give grades anymore, I grade to provide feedback so the next paper will be better. Due dates are important, but a late paper is rarely because the student is slacking off. Most of my students work full-time, have children, spouses, etc. but they have decided this is the point in their life when it's time to do their degree. They can't put it off any longer or they have come to a place where they can't go further without it, so they sacrifice to make school work for them. When I'm teaching my focus is on providing content and activities that can be used by the students the next day. They're adults--they want to see why something is important before they will commit to learning it. There are a lot of pitfalls with that attitude, but it's the reality they're living and what I'm teaching had better be worth missing their child's soccer game or an opportunity to earn some overtime money at work. Frankly, sometimes it feels like I'm performing, but isn't there always an element of performance to good teaching? My students are motivated and they expect me to be on the top of my game.
These thoughts are on my mind because for the first time in a long time I have a student who is not committed at all. It's obvious she's here to get the piece of paper and has no intention of connecting what she learns in school with what she's doing in her life. It doesn't really bother me, but it does put her in stark contrast to her classmates, and it has repeatedly startled me. Having become so accustomed to a certain caliber of student, regardless of their abilities, this woman has reminded me of the struggles that many of my peers battle with, trying to keep their students motivated and engaged. She's become my gauge, my reality check, to what other schools and other students are like. I'm surprised to report that I'm grateful.
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
How to eat just one cookie.
How to design my own website.
- What the "phenomenological method" is. It came up in my reading for school this week and I'm not quite getting it.
How to sew in a zipper. I've done it once but I'm pretty sure it was an accident.
Where my retirement money is invested. This is embarassing, but I give my money to my retirement fund every month and I'm not sure what happens to it after that.
What eating pasta in Italy tastes like.
If the Pope ever wears jeans under those robes. Or wears jeans at all.
How child development progresses through the toddler years. Because there's got to be a rational explanation for my nephew's behavior.