Long and languid weekend with plenty of family time. Simon got a run at the T.O. dog park and he was grateful for the chance to chase the birds above the grass while Santa Ana winds blew strong to the west and kicked up dust in our eyes.
Friday was what is known as “semester-break” day. The kids don’t have school at the high school, anyway, and it’s supposed to be a day where teachers pour over data, punching grades into the computer, mouth-chewed pencil, and stacks of papers on the desk….
Not so much.
I learned long ago to efficiently administer finals and front load the grading by assigning essays, when I assign them, with specific requirements. That way, reading the essay becomes a simple matter of checking for the milestones, making sure the grammar is related to English somewhat and doesn’t have stupidity written all over it.
The rest are those insipid multiple-choice standardized numbers. Run ’em through the computer, get a report back–load it into the grade program. Boom. It’s funny to say that. I remember just about 14 years ago using daily paper sheets to take role and hand-written grades. It took hours longer in those days and as a young whelp trying to impress the administration, I was always present–at least in the morning–at teacher prep. day.
These days, I’m more interested in not having admin. around. If I can avoid them, so much the better. They slow down the teaching process, ask impertinent question couched in educational-ese so they can feel more important, and frustrate the kids’ learning by inserting themselves “invisibly,” so they think, in the classroom. Only those with IQ’s of 20 or lower ignore when an administrator is in the room, though, so even the worst kids are at their best.
In any event, Friday I spent with Sue. She’s still struggling with odd symptoms, though she seems to be improving and her blood tests are still normal. We’re waiting to see if the swelling in the lymph nodes goes down. If it doesn’t, we’ll have to go to the next step and do a biopsy of the area. Doc is convinced she is still suffering side-effects left over from sulfazine. We, of course, hope that’s the case.
Friday night felt like the clouds might move in from the coast and some moisture, albeit not rain, would blanket the area. That didn’t happen and before sunlight on Saturday, the Santa Anas kicked in. They were remarkable for their ferocity and Saturday was wind blown and blurred. Other than the dog park, it was an indoor day.
Writing assignments are picking up a bit and that’s a good thing and the first week of spring semester is underway.