Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Wiped Out

My blahs have lead to a case of being wiped out. I am soooo tired. Whew! I am definitely chalking this up to being the end of 3rd quarter. This morning I didn't get out of bed until 8:10. Oops! Usually I am showered, dressed and packing my lunch by 8:10, and out the door by 8:30 at the latest. I'm having one of those I've-showered-but-not-hair-washed-and-makeup-free days. Sighs.

School: The bad--We've started a new grading program at school, which I detest. It is an online grading program. I love that my students and their parents are able to access their grades from home. However, I HATE the way teachers have to input grades. For one class with 24 students, I have 4 separate rosters... Though the students are in the SAME class, the system separates the ESE and ESOL students from the general ed students. Thus, I don't have all of my students together on one roster, which makes grading much more time consuming. (Yes, I can "copy" assignments from one roster to another, but I still have to click on each separate class to actually enter the grades.) In addition, the classes aren't labeled in a logical way, such as "3rd period," instead they all say "M/J Language Arts" or "M/J Intensive Reading" and I have to sort through them to determine which group of students are on the particular roster. And though you'd think they'd be in numerical order, my second period class is at the bottom of the list. ARGH! It is SO frustrating! I don't know what kind of total moron computer guru created this system, but I am guessing s/he is not a teacher! UGH!

School: The good-- The past 3 weeks I've been working on a Holocaust unit with my students. Today I found an amazing video in our school Media Center. It is a documentary called "One Survivor Remembers." The video chronicles the accounts of a Holocaust survivor, Gerda Weissmann Klein and includes her recollections of: the war, the last time she saw her family members, when she was taken to a work camp and when she was eventually forced to participate in a Death March. It ends with her description of when she was finally liberated by a German-American soldier (whom she eventually married!) I was thrilled that my students were really into the video, and honored it with seriousness. (I was worried they might not grasp the horror of the situation.) Included in the video kit were wonderful copies and replicas of artifacts to display to students: photos of the survivor and her family members, copies of Gerda's government certificate, maps showing the distance/routes of the many death marches, postcards between family members, a poster depicting the symbols that Jews and others were forced to wear (Jewish stars, triangles, etc.) My students seemed to really identify with Ms. Klein after seeing items from her real life and learning that she was their age when WWII started.

Tomorrow we are reading an excerpt from the "Life is Beautiful" screenplay, which is included in the 8th grade language arts book. Then on Thursday we'll watch the "Life is Beautiful" film. SUCH an amazing movie, I highly recommend it! I am ecstatic that my students are responding to this unit in a positive and appropriate way!

Home: The bad-- DH, whom I love and adore, had the stupidest idea ever a really bad idea. He was trying to be kind to our sweet dog, Viggo. His intent was great. The outcome was not. He let Viggo lick the dinner remnants off his plate. (Disposable plate, for anyone who is grossed out.) However, DH's dinner was SPICY THAI food. Can you predict what happened? Yup...I woke up to 5 doggie diarrhea piles splooshes on the living room carpet. "Resolved" them as best as I could. DEFINITELY having a professional carpet cleaner come to the house next week on spring break. Gross!

Home: The good-- In January during the few short weeks I was pregnant, I began to freak out about space. We live in a small 3-bedroom house. Our "extra" bedroom contains: a Gazelle (exercise machine, NOT animal!), all of my scrapbooks and scrapbooking materials, my acoustic guitar, DH's bass and electric guitars, and many, many books. Most of the items in the room are items I am not willing to depart with. We planned to move Emma into the "extra" room, as her current bedroom still has Baby-oriented wallpaper border...thus her current room would be the Baby room when #2 came along. Though no longer PG, we've started the process of moving Em to the other room. Part of me has been gently trying to nudge DH to consider moving to a larger house. For now, I agreed to wait until we find out what kind of home buying programs will be available once President Obama's "bailout" ideas are entirely in place.

Anyway, the "good" is that I'm moving on. I am staying (mostly) optimistic. Having Emma in the "extra" room will be ideal if I become pregnant again. We still haven't figured out where we'll store all of the stuff that's in the extra room. The Gazelle will go to the garage. The guitars and scrapbooking stuff will probably be stuffed into closets throughout the house. I'm looking at clearing the space as a positive move, whether it ends up being for a Baby, or to eventually sell the house. Yea, me!

The Blog: On a final note, I finally learned how to use the "strike through" feature. How silly fun! Now I can write my crazy and loony thoughts but censor them in an attempt to be humorous. HEHEHEHE! :)


Melissa said...

Hi! I am here from ICLW and just wanted to say that I completely empathize with the "bad" idea of your DH. We had something similar to us happen and it was a nightmare. Our dog sleeps with us and he had it while sleeping...EXACTLY YUCK!!! Good Luck with everything. Love the name Emma btw :0)

Mrs. Gamgee said...

With the baby room/moving Emma thing... I've been there, sort of. It was hard, but at the same time a cathartic step forward. Good for you for getting started.

And I am soooo sorry about the dog's upset tummy. Not a lot of fun cleaning that up I'm sure.

Carrie27 said...

I did a Holocaust unit last year with my 8th grade LA students, too. This year, not happening. But, I wanted to recommend a movie that is more current that your students may like, "The Devil's Arithmetic." There is a novel, which I have read, the students did not.

Oh, and having to have that many rosters in one class, would be very annoying!