I just have a hard time making time to blog during the semester. There's so much going on and the day starts so early, goes full speed ahead, and ends with a quiet house and me trying to get a few minutes of quiet time.
Today was exciting. It started out great and it got better.
First, it was Ben and Milo's birthday. So we started the day with hugs and congratulations. They got to take cupcakes to school to celebrate and I managed to dodge the rain and get on the bus before the downpour.
Then I got the better part of an article about teaching math conceptually read before the first World Languages class. This was the first class since their student-teaching experience ended last Thursday, which meant for Michelle and I, a rediscovery of how much of our own classwork we could get done with all the extra time freed up by *not* typing up observation notes and lesson plan feedback. Still, it was good to see them all this morning. Working with undergrads has some things in common with working with fourth-graders. You get attached in no time.
After class we (Michelle and I) headed back to the office to eat lunch (she brought a yummy soup for us both) and to chat and to try to get more reading done. She headed off to her afternoon class and I fetched my car and went to get my mail, hoping for Max's report card. No luck, but we did get a lovely advent calendar from Grandma Donna and Grandpa Richard and the twins got a stack of birthday cards. I put those all aside for the future, triaged the bills, and headed over to the high school to finance Max and a friend who were carbo-loading (that's a joke. They're 14-yr-old boys. They just food load. Any food.) before theater rehearsal started. From there it was back to campus, having passed the magic hour (4 pm) when I no longer have to park in the next county with my student parking pass--I can park for free in the parking garage right next to the building where my evening class is.
Right before class I got an email from one of my advisors saying that an idea I have for a research project is not half bad and we should get together soon to go over it. I need a 1-credit independent study with this fellow to round out my ESL-certification requirements, so I had come up with an idea this weekend. I thought he might say no, because I have to work on my thesis this spring, too, but no, we'll meet and maybe my next research project will be with elementary ELLs. That would rock :)
We had class, it went well, and then I gave Michelle a ride out to her car (it started to rain buckets) and then I headed over to the church where Chris was waiting in the hallway with his reading material. He is the best ward mission leader ever. We hung out and talked and soaked up the happiness of the church building while the twins did cub scouts and ate birthday cupcakes. Then Chris ran over to the high school and got Max and I took Ben and Milo and friend's daughter home. When Chris and Max got home, Max gave Ben and Milo their birthday cards (+ Wii points) and performed for them an original rap he wrote to commemorate the occasion of their 9th birthday. We will try to record it later this week. Right now he needed to get some homework done and then collapse into bed.
There were lots of messages from loving family on the answering machine for the twins and they loved that. There voice mail on my phone for them and they loved that. And there was a call from California from Grandma Donna and Grandpa Richard and they loved that. Tomorrow night we'll have our "official" family party with Grandma Gaye and the rest of their cards and presents, but tonight was good, too.
Then we all went to bed, but when my head got to thinking instead of sleeping and Chris fell asleep listening to me talk about stuff (he gets up an hour earlier than I do to take Max to seminary every morning-trust me, I didn't take it personally) I got up again to go write some thoughts down. Then, just for the heck of it, I checked the high school's website and after signing it I found Max's report card. And lo and behold--it was all manner of As. Regular As, A-'s, and a genuine A+.
Any sleepy feelings I might have had went skidding out the window and I texted Grandpa and Grandma in California (because it was still a decent hour there) to tell them the good news. I'm so proud of all the hard work Max has put into this quarter. He really has made a tremendous effort to do his best, to improve his writing and his homework consistency, and I am ever so proud of him. We don't pay for As or use other "rewards" because we think those suck the intrinsic motivation out of school. We want him to set high standards because he knows he can meet them and it feels good to succeed, not because he'll get a wad of cash for it (and anyway, I can't afford those grades. He's got 8 periods of classes--no lunch. For that I could buy him a new cell phone and have change. I'm not doing that either.)
But we might take him out to lunch. A bottomless pit of french fries and a bacon burger and unlimited peanuts at Five Guys and an embarrassing stream of "We love you"s and "We're so proud of you"s. That's a good lunch, I think.
And now I should really attempt to go to sleep. Probably if I stop playing on the computer (and stop trying to cram for the graduate-school version of a vocabulary quiz) I'll blink and wake up at 7am to the alarm :)
Tomorrow is Wednesday and Wednesdays are my qual methods class, getting ready for the twins' birthday party, an hour of speech therapy for them, dinner, cake, and presents :) Another good day, don't you think?
Only two more days till curtain goes up. They do a school preview of The Winter's Tale at 10 am and then the actual performances Friday night, Saturday night, and Sunday matinee. Grandma Gaye and Grandma Judy will each go this weekend with their respective offspring. Then it's full speed ahead into Thanksgiving break. This year we're going to Philly to be with family there :) We're getting a hotel room Wednesday night at some variation of the hotel Marriot chain, and coming back Thursday evening. By this time two weeks from now, we'll have a Christmas tree in the corner. Good times :)