Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Damn the Torpedos...

...full speed ahead.

I'll accept any suggestions from readers for why this phrase has been cycling in my head the past week. I have no idea where the thought, itself, came from (for any of my freshmen who find this blog, the use of the word 'itself' is an intensive pronoun in this case). I know it is from one of my favorite "I'm-sick-at-home-and-will-watch-this-while-I-drift-in-and-out-of-sleep-for-the-next-2-hours" movies (Henry Fonda and Lucille Ball in "Yours, Mine, and Ours"), but other than that, I don't know why I've been thinking it.

Perhaps it is because February is going by so quickly - we've had a handful of snow days lately, and they all seem to be odd days of the month (I teach at a school with odd/even block scheduling; ergo, block 5 only meets on odd days of the month, like February 1, 3, 5, etc.) My juniors missed nearly 3 months of direct instruction from me while I was out on maternity leave, and now we've missed 4+ class days in a row due to inclement weather, including today. I worry about them being properly prepared for the writing SOL, which is the first week of March. But, I realize that this isn't worth stressing over. We'll just have to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and plug along once we do get back in class and the test and the remainder of the year will work itself out. (*By the way...where, exactly, does the phrase "pull ourselves up by our bootstraps" come from? I imagine some sort of Western or cowboy/herding reference, but am not sure...) I picture Dorie from "Finding Nemo" singing Just keep swimming!

Or perhaps it is the fact that my freshmen have had so much time taken from them, too. Maternity leave, again, is partly to blame for this. I love my long-term sub. She did a good job keeping the students involved as well as allowing me the time to bond with my son with very few interruptions. But, let's be honest, any sub, regardless of who it is, would not be me, and therefore, my classes would be off course. The freshmen had that happen with the novel they were reading, and to help them catch up a bit as well as compose themselves for the remainder of the year, I inserted what was supposed to be a brief unit on poetry in between the novel they just finished, and the novel we were about to start. Unfortunately, because of the snow, the poetry unit is veering wildly out of control and my second novel unit is off course. This, too, is not worth stressing over. Not when I have an adorable 5 month old to play with and attempt (and fail) to catch up on sleep with. No - I love my freshmen classes, but this, too, will pass.

The more I stress, the less I will enjoy my job. And if there is one area where the recipients of your job can sense when you are unhappy, it is in the schools. Children are emotion-sponges and will either capitalize on your feeling overwhelmed, or will empathize so much, neither one of you will get much done. As for me, I'd rather continue to enjoy my job and know that I'm influencing our young in a positive manner. (Yes, that got a little preachy. Mea culpa. In all honesty, though, I truly enjoy 'my' kids and have so much fun passing on my love of literature.)

Or, maybe to lighten the sudden turn in brevity I didn't expect to come from posting today, maybe I'm just seriously lacking in chocolate intake and am craving one of Fresh Market's chocolate napoleons...who can truly know? Damn the torpedos - I need to get Sydney packed up so we can drive to FM...

Oh, and one last note - Happy Birthday, Dawn! You are the best biological big-sis ever!

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