Thursday, February 21, 2008

Good Grammar Day

In my comp I class, part of the curriculum requires that I teach grammar. Now, supposedly at this level, I'm really providing more of a review, but of course, the average person, let alone the average student, generally has a very limited grammar background. So, while I don't spend a huge amount of time on grammar (it is primarily a writing class), I still try to cover most of the basics.

And, grammar is, well...not so fun for most folks. Unless I'm up there doing a tab dance and juggling electric saws, most students get that glazed over look, that "shoot me now!" expression on their faces. Therefore, in an effort to keep them awake, I try to get them as involved as possible. I do my quick and dirty coverage of the rules, but then I try to turn it back on them with handouts or group work.

Today, I tried something a little different. I had group handouts for them, but then instead of just telling them to mark corrections on the handouts, I also required that they find the rules in their grammar book (The Bedford Handbook) and marked those down next to their corrections.

I swear; I got all tingly as I watched them flipping the pages of the book. Yes, they actually had a grammar book open, and they were reading it! They were really getting into it, talking over the rules with each other and on occasion arguing a little when one student didn't agree with another. Now, how could any English teacher's heart not go "pitter patter" when watching that?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

At the End of One Tunnel

Ahhh....I'm starting to envision the end of one of my book projects! I can almost see it if I squint hard enough.

I was doing some major stressing for awhile. One night last week, I had this weird dream where huge wooden boxes where falling from the sky. I mean BIG, as in the size of semi-trucks. Bam! Bam! And, as with most weird dreams like this, I woke up as I was running for my life! So, yes, to say that I've been stressed...

But, I really have made progress over the past few weeks. I just got down and dirty and wrote and wrote and made jewelry and wrote some more, and the hard work as paid off because I'm "this close" to being done! In fact, insane person that I can sometimes become when doing this sort of work, I started playing with the idea of adding more projects to the book, but I had to snap myself out of my delirium. There just isn't time, and as it is, I'm delivering more than what the contract requires any way. It's just that once I get going I find it hard to stop. One idea leads to another, and while not all the ideas are great or even good or can even work, at least I get them.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Long Awaited Update

See, this is why I cut back on my pro-blogging jobs. I just don't have the time to blog like I used to :(

Though, that's not necessarily a bad thing; it just means I'm busy doing a lot of stuff, and most of it is work that I enjoy doing. So, here's a quick update.

Writing: I've got one more chapter to finish for my metal clay book. Of course, this is the projects chapter, so that is no small task I'm talking about. The biggest issue with this book is getting photographs taken. My DH has been great about helping, but when I design jewelry projects, I don't always know exactly what the project will be. I have ideas, and I start there, but the creative process can move me around in unexpected areas. Thus, it's difficult to be able to communicate this to someone else who is trying to photograph this craziness. I'm also still working on the bead book too, so I'm teaching during the day and writing like a mad woman every night when I get home. I have one more meeting for the DVD as well where I'll try to do the intro again and actually manage to get three cohesive sentences out of my mouth, and I'm going to do some voice over stuff for it too. Ugh.

School: Loving it still! As a part-time turned full-time teacher, other than the increased pay check, it is really a lot of little things that make me happy. For example, I have an office, so when students need to talk with me, they can come there during my office hours. I have a phone too, so I don't have to worry about trying to call a student who has left a message with the dept. chair. With caller ID these days, it just isn't safe to use your home phone for this kind of thing. When I need to make copies of a handout, I just have to jot over to the print shop and zip, bam, boom, I've got them done. These logisitcal issues were always a royal pain as a part-timer.

Weight: I'm finally back down to my pre-holiday weight. Some of that is due to being very sick for about a week and a half. Though I ate weird and fattening food (like a zillion fish crackers), I didn't have much of an appetite. Of course, now that I'm almost 100% better (got a little ick in the throat still), my appetite is back in full force, so I'm going to have to really watch it. So much writing and also being sick has limited my exercise time.