Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Counting, crating, and closing...

This is the week after graduation at LHS. That means the faculty is busy with "end of the year stuff" to accomplish before summer can officially get underway. Today was busy with an interesting variety of things... first the exhilarating activity of the annual inventory. This is when I get to count my chairs, desks, and (believe it or not) the clock on my classroom wall... all for insurance purposes. I am sure you will all be relieved to know that I still have the same trashcans (yes, we count those too!) and clock with which I began the year. It's an all too familiar drill... and now I can report it is finished.

Next, I had to box up (oh, and COUNT them too) my books in my classroom and figure out what needs to be ordered for fall. I was pleased to be able to save my department a bit of cash as my books were in really good shape and even with shifting numbers, I will have plenty for fall. Next year all LHS students must complete 4 years (instead of 3) of English in order to graduate. Most do this already, but the state has made it mandatory and, thus, so have we. This means full classes for next year and I will teacher only senior level courses next year. So the crating was completed and the room was starting to look pretty "ship shape".

Finally, the exciting event... I put the wrap on the yearbook and shipped the final pages to the publisher at 6:06 pm tonight! I did my annual "dance of joy" in the hallway... and, as usual, no one was there to see it except Ed who is not as impressed with my hilarious gyrations as he once was. I did a repeat performance of it for Sydney when I arrived at home. She was much more appreciative of my efforts as she was sitting in her bathtub when I did it and decided to accompany my joyful whoops and crazy boogie with some serious splashing of her own. Gret was between us at the time and got nicely drenched as a result! MORE fun! So the yearbook is "put to bed" - adviser speak for "I am done editing this puppy, AT LAST!" One fact to note, we had a 93% hit rate... the highest ever! To those of you who are yearbook speak newbies, this means that 93% of our students have MORE than just their school portrait in the book tagged with their name in the caption. I am certain the format the staff chose is the reason for this because we did sort of a "journaling" approach to the YB this year. It's very cool and I am excited about what the reaction of the student body will be to it.

So a good day of "counting, crating, and closing" out the past school year... bring on some summer! (Now, if only this crazy rain we've been having would stop...)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Testing, Testing, 1,2,3.....

It's that jolly time of year again... FINAL EXAMS!
At present, I am sitting in a room filled with students all hunkered over the tool of torture I have devised for them. Today's topic: Mythology! Then they hand them in and they get their revenge... I sit here for 4 hours grading all the papers. There HAS to be a better way, right? Wrong! But by Friday, I will be ready to celebrate Summer! Come back for updates!
Now, see if YOU know:
1. Which Greek goddess was the twin of Apollo?
2. Who was the ugliest Greek god? ... He was lame and deformed when his mother threw him to the earth in disgust (goddesses aren't generally good moms!)
3. Which goddess is known as the protector of marriage and married women? (hint: she's the same goddess who did the damage in #2 above!)
4. Which goddess arose from her father's head fully grown and wearing her battle armor?

If you respond in the comments section I will grade your work too and give you a score. :-)
Answers coming tomorrow! Tune in!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

It's time for a Rendezvous: Lewis & Clark Style!

It's Festival time in St. Charles! May means it's the LEWIS & CLARK RENDEZVOUS!

What a gorgeous, sunny morning greeted us today! Perfect weather to head outside...and down to the riverfront we went. There we found the Lewis and Clark Rendezvous well underway. This is an annual St. Charles festival celebrating the stop made here by those intrepid explorers before they made the trek of their lives starting in 18-oh-something or other. It's a big deal and attracts re-enactment types from all across the country. They had a chilly night in the 40's to camp out in last night, but awoke to a gloriously sunny day today. Sydney was most fascinated by all the colorful clothes and the music. We had fun watching her discover her shadow and also her efforts at trying to push her stroller from down below!

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Little Girls and Pretty Flowers

We have some new excitement at our house. Sydney has come to live with us along with her mommy and daddy (we let her bring them along). There's a great reason for all this excitement; Gretchen and Leon are building a new home. They were equally blessed in that their former home sold quickly and that means they are nesting in with us through the summer. As grandparents, we're ecstatic!

Last weekend was the weekend of the big move and everything sailed smoothly. So now, while we are still shuffling a few things around here and there, we are no longer empty nesters for the next few months. What fun it's already been to wake up to see see Syd having breakfast in the mornings and to get to read to her whenever we want to. She's been busy playing outside and seems to think nothing much about all the big changes. I guess when you're little, as long as you have the people who love you all around, the rest of the world is perfect too. There's a lesson in that...right?

What follows are some of the iris and columbines that are blooming all over my garden Enjoy!