Catching Up

So. This Wednesday the faculty at the high school where I teach have been summoned to a meeting where our long-winded superintendent and our technology dictator will “explain” to us the importance of putting our lesson plans into the program assigned for that purpose. In other words, we’re in for a butt-chewing. Ordinarily, I’d say people like me who are behind in that area deserve it. However, when you consider that people like me didn’t know what we were teaching until we reported for work in the fall, and that people like me then learned we are teaching four different classes, two of which I have never taught, and one of which has to be treated like two because it includes freshmen who, because they are supposed to be in a separate building so we can dupe the state into thinking we’re taking steps to get off the needs improvement list, has to have separate attendance, gradebook, and lesson plans, it’s no wonder we’re behind. Teachers at most other schools only have to teach two different subjects. Oh, did I mention we also have to take and record three grades per week? I like to make my grades meaningful, so I try to avoid the “participation” grades where everyone who’s breathing gets a 100 for the day. That means I actually have to grade the crap kids turn in. Yeah. It takes a lot of time to stay up on grades and assignments, so I don’t get lesson plans submitted very often.

As I write this blog I’m using time that was going to be spent entering grades. However, that program is down. So I decided to do some of those lesson plans. That program is down, too. Instead, I wrote a list of grievances to give to our superintendent. Many of my colleagues have said they’ll stand with me in protest and demand answers to questions about some of the stupid crap we have to deal with. But … will they really? I’ve found myself standing alone on a shaky limb before.

In other news, my oldest son moved out of our house this weekend. He’s a couple of months shy of turning 20, so I guess it was time. Still, it’s a hard thing to adjust to. Almost 20 years of having my first-born under my roof, and now he’s just gone. Where did the time go? Was I a good father to him? There are good memories, other memories that make me cringe, and some big gaps where I was just so wrapped up in college and/or work that I can’t remember what he was doing.

The loss is softened a little by the fact I claimed his old bedroom as my office. I’ll get it for maybe a year, until my youngest son and daughter just can’t share a room anymore.

I have not done much writing of late, mostly because I’ve been doing school work. Even now I should be writing a mythology quiz. However, I did recently talk to my agent about a couple of things. He suggested more revisions on the young adult novel I’m calling Love Curse, and we discussed what to do with an adult novel I’d previously committed to a publisher that is now way behind schedule and letting authors out of their commitments. So, I’ve begun working on Love Curse again; it won’t be a total rewrite this time. In fact, I think some tweaks and little adds here and there will take care of most of it. I just need some time!

Have a happy Halloween! You might not believe it, but I don’t typically do much more than take the kids trick-or-treating, but this year I did make a costume that was quite effective at scaring little kids at the school carnival. I look forward to getting a few screams in the front yard tomorrow night.

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