Saturday, April 2, 2011

Spring Break, or A Sudden Onset of Industriousness

Today is the first day of Spring Break, so this morning, I sat down and wrote out a list of everything I need to do before the break is up. It is a long list. Three loads of laundry and two batches of cookies later*, it is still a long list. Here are some highlights:

-Write a Unit** on the concept of the Hero in fairy tales, folk tales, and myths. As part of my effort to be as employed as possible in the coming years of economic woe, I have been taking classes and jumping through hoops to become qualified to teach English Literature in addition to Music. This Unit is the last hoop. I'm kind of excited about it. I actually get to teach the Unit in May. To real kids.

-Write a short play for Grandparents' Tea. I've been looking forward to this one, too. Every year, I have to come up with some little drama that links together whatever interesting songs I can find in our curriculum (that haven't been used already), and fit it to the talents and desires of so many fourth graders in such a way that the fourth graders in one class can practice distinct portions of the play without having to join the other class until a few days before the performance. It's a bit like sudoku, only with people instead of numbers.

-Run at least two miles, at least four times during the week. My friend and I are just beginning to train for a half-marathon. We aren't officially training yet because we don't own any of those funky running tights you wear under your work-out short shorts.

-Get my tattoo. Yes, this is the week. I feel a lot like the poor kid on the high dive who's been standing there, shivering, for hours and hours but still can't quite drum up the courage to step off the edge. I keep looking at the spot where I plan to put it and wondering if I'll feel cheap for having my arm forever stained with words. They're good words. Nevertheless, I still wonder.

-Survive several long days of lonely freedom without reading or watching fiction. For Lent this year I gave up 'fiction in solitary.' I added the 'in solitary' part so that my friends would not be doomed to watching documentaries on our traditional Friday Night Movie nights. And actually, the ban includes all tv and movies, as well as fictional books and websites dealing with fictional material*** whenever I am by myself, which is a lot of the time. As you can imagine, my Saturdays have become very long. Some days I wonder why I didn't just give up cheeseburgers and leave it at that.
I am convinced, however, that since God put this on my heart, good will come out of it. I'll just hope that my idea of good isn't too far away from His idea of good. :)

-Visit Friends and Relations.

Whewh! If I get even half of the stuff done that I've set out to do, it will have been a week well spent.

*Baked, not eaten
**Theoretically, teachers teach in 'Units' comprised of individual 'Lessons' which can be further broken down into 'Learning Objectives,' 'Direct Instruction,' 'Guided Practice,' 'Formative or Summative Assessments,' and other such soul-sucking terminology. Realistically, teachers teach in a haze of fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants improvisation that more closely resembles the mental contortions of a stand-up comedian who has just discovered that his audience is from another planet.
***I'm looking at you, imdb!