Undisciplined

I just can’t put myself to bed at a decent hour on a Sunday night.

I don’t have a darned thing to write about, yet here I am, not going to bed. There’s actually a longer piece I’m writing and saving in small bits; twice while I was working on it, my browser shut down and I lost the whole thing, so I’m doing it all over.

I was without wheels for the weekend, which wasn’t such a bad thing. Took the bus to work Saturday and Sunday. Saturday, the bus lurched and the woman standing beside me stumbled, and when I reached out to prevent her hitting the floor, I think I twisted something in my back. It’s a little twitchy back there.

Bruce Cockburn has a new album, which I found out the very day during which I’d earlier spent forty bucks at Amazon.com. Great. So I look it up, and it turns out it’s just a compilation of his instrumentals, plus a few others. This would normally be a huge draw, as I am a monstrous fan of his instrumentals (particularly “When It’s Gone, It’s Gone,” “Train in the Rain,” and “Sunrise on the Mississippi”), but I’m not spending all that money on a bunch of songs I already have. I’m already behind on updating my CDs to the “deluxe” editions, so I think I’ll find out what the new songs are and buy them on iTunes. Oooh, I just looked it up and “Rise and Fall” is one of the anthologized songs — it’s a song that previously was only available on a Japan-only release.

HawaiiDiner.com recently did a cheeseburger quest, and one of the top finishers was the monster cheeseburger (it’s a half-pounder) at New Diner’s Drive-In. I eat there all the time, because it’s convenient (5 minutes driving and open 24 hours) and when you know what to get, it’s quite good (roast pork or loco moco). So this weekend I tried the monster cheeseburger, and it was very good. However, I have two problems with it. First, is it that much more expensive per burger to use real mayo and real cheddar? That gross white stuff they slather on a burger in place of mayo is nasty, and while that fake cheese stuff is okay, it’s not nearly as good as a real slice of cheese. Otherwise, you could do a lot worse for $4.50. Make sure you ask for a knife, ’cause you’ll want to saw it in half.

That’s it. That’s enough. I have to get to bed.

Only twenty-nine more years ’til retirement.

Kiss on My List

I can’t think of anything to write, and I can’t stay up too late because I have to get up early in the morning, so here are a few lists.

Favorite Rock and Roll Voices:

  1. Paul Rodgers of Bad Company, Free, the Firm, and now Queen
  2. Robert Plant of Led Zep
  3. Michael McDermott
  4. Sammy Hagar
  5. Derri Daugherty of the Choir
  6. Gene Eugene of Adam Again
  7. Sting
  8. Stevie Nicks
  9. Bruce Cockburn
  10. Ronnie James Dio of Black Sabbath, Elf, Rainbow, and Dio

Sexiest Female Voices You’ve Probably Never Heard:

  1. Jonatha Brooke
  2. Patty Larkin
  3. Margaret Becker
  4. Jennifer Knapp
  5. Sam Phillips

Rap Songs for People Who Think They Hate Rap:

  1. “Summertime” by DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince
  2. “An Open Letter to NYC” or “Intergalactic” by Beastie Boys
  3. “No Justice, No Peace” by Intelligent Hoodlum
  4. “Fight the Power” by Public Enemy
  5. “California Love” by Tupac
  6. “Latifah’s Had it Up to Here” by Queen Latifah
  7. “Now That We’ve Found Love” by Heavy D and the Boyz
  8. “Same Song” by Digital Underground
  9. “I Left My Wallet in El Segundo” by A Tribe Called Quest
  10. “The Message” by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five
  11. “I Go to Work” by Kool Moe Dee

Bands with More than One Lead Singer at a Time:

  1. The Eagles
  2. Styx
  3. Journey
  4. King’s X
  5. Kiss
  6. Fastball
  7. NightRanger
  8. Fleetwood Mac
  9. Kalapana
  10. The Beatles
  11. Lost Dogs
  12. Cowboy Mouth

Underrated:

  1. Brian May as a guitarist
  2. Cheap Trick’s Next Position Please
  3. John McVie as a bassist
  4. Blondie as a band
  5. “Roll With the Changes”
  6. Alice Cooper’s The Last Temptation

Pottage

Have you got a slow-cooker? Good. I’m going to tell you how to make easy stew. This won’t blow anyone away, but it’s good, hearty, home-made stuff that will warm you up.

You’ll almost certainly have to take a trip to the grocery store. Just do it. Pick up:

  • A large bottle of either tomato juice or vegetable juice. Whichever’s cheaper. The bottles come in what look like one-liter and two-liter sizes (that’s not what they are, but you’ll know what I mean when you see them). Get the two if you think you’ll like this and want to make it again soon. That’s what I always do.
  • Two to four potatoes. Don’t worry about what kind. If you get whatever’s cheapest, you’ll be fine.
  • A bag of baby carrots. Sure, it’s cheaper to buy whole carrots, but they aren’t as quick. Do it my way first, and then decide if the few extra bucks you spend is worth the effort and time you save. I’ve done it both ways.
  • Three round onions. Whatever’s cheapest.
  • A package of tapioca starch. It’s like ninety-nine cents and in the baking needs aisle.
  • Celery. As much as you want or can stand. I usually just leave it out.
  • About two pounds (plus or minus) of the cheapest cut of steak. Usually chuck or round.

Depending on what’s on sale, you’re looking at thirteen to fifteen bucks here, but you’re making a lot of stew, so it’s okay, and you’re only going to use half the tomato juice if you bought the two-liter.

Okay. The ingredients are actually a longer list than the recipe, so don’t freak out.

  1. Open the bag of baby carrots, wash them off, and throw them in the slow-cooker.
  2. Scrub the potatoes. You probably already have a potato brush, but if you don’t, just use the scourer you wash your dishes with. I’m serious. You wash your utensils with that dirty thing, right? Just scrub the dirt and stuff off the potatoes and then rinse them off — it’s faster and more effective with a scouring pad, trust me. I learned this trick from the Reverend John Burgess when we were both in college; he’s the only guy I know who probably cooks better than me. Cut the potatoes into stew-sized hunks. Just a few whacks per potato should be fine. Throw your potatoes in the slow-cooker.
  3. Peel the onions and give them a few whacks, too. It’s stew. It’s not supposed to look pretty. If crying is a problem for you, light a candle and set it next to the chopping board while you cut. Got that from Alton Brown. Throw the onions in the slow-cooker.
  4. If you bought celery, just cut it in five-inch pieces, hose it off, and toss it in. I usually just remove the stalks with the bay leaves and throw them out, when I bother with celery at all.
  5. If you’ve got a decent knife — one that cuts easily through a inch-and-a-half steak without any sawing — you’re probably fine. I don’t, so I use a pair of scissors. It’s quick. It’s accurate. And it’s safer than any knife that doesn’t do what I just described. I use mine so much that I have a pair just for food prep, but you can probably use whatever you’ve got; just give them a good scrubbing first. Cut the steak up into bite-sized pieces, but not too small (they shrink when you cook them). Don’t get fanatical about it. It’s stew. Whatever you end up with is going to be fine. Toss it in the slow-cooker.

    A note here about the order: It doesn’t really matter for what you’re making. They usually say to put the veggies on the bottom because they take longer than the meat, which is why I put the ingredients in this order here. The truth is that I usually put the meat on the bottom because that’s where the heat source is and the more quickly the meat passes through the danger-temperature zone on its way to being cooked, the better. However, I’ve done it both ways and there has been no noticable difference in results.

  6. Throw some salt and pepper in there. If you’ve got a few bay leaves, put them in, too. Pour most of the veggie juice over everything, saving about a cup. Mix a few tablespoons of the tapioca starch in the remaining juice, then add that to the slow-cooker, too. If the liquid level looks a bit low, just add some water. I like my stew soupy, so I put enough liquid in there to nearly come to the top.
  7. If you’re going to be out all day, set the slow-cooker on LOW. If you’re only going to be out five or six hours, set it on HIGH. I usually get the slow-cooker going before bed and then turn it off when I get up in the morning. Your slow-cooker is wonderfully forgiving — there’s very little you can do to ruin a meal prepared in one!
  8. You’ll know when it’s done. Your house will smell wonderful, and the carrots, which take the longest to cook, will be as you like them.

A few modifications you might like:

  • Use half veggie juice and half white wine. Yum!
  • Throw a bunch of fresh green beans in the slow-cooker. You’ll probably have to reduce the amount of the other veggies to accomodate them. Fresh green beans in stew ROCK.
  • Use a variety of sweet potatoes.
  • Play around with the liquid. I like soupy, tomatoey stew, but it’s a very flexible recipe.
  • Just a pinch of sugar and a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce are a nice touch sometimes. Don’t go overboard with the sugar — a little goes a long way with these ingredients!

I used too many words to describe this, so I fear it doesn’t sound as easy as it is. Let me summarize:
Cut up some potatoes and onions. Open a bag of baby carrots. Cut up the steak. Throw it all in the slow-cooker with some vegetable juice and tapioca starch. Turn the slow-cooker on. Leave alone for several hours. Eat.

Something you should be aware of is that this is STEW. It’s very forgiving, just like your slow-cooker. An extra carrot here or one potato fewer there don’t matter. Also, if you like local-style stew, which is thick and floury (that’s how they get it that way), I can’t help you, because I am a minimalist when it comes to thickening. This stew is going to be soupy and tomatoey. Yum.

Let me know if you give it a try, especially if you do something different from what I describe!

Roller Coaster

I always have been somewhat moody.

I woke up Wednesday morning feeling a lot better, if still very, very tired. Wednesday is a good day for me, because as a sort of recompense for my taking four daily preps, including the yearbook, I don’t teach any classes midway through the week. I have the whole day for prepping and doing administrative paperwork (and, truth be told, whatever homework I’ve got due later that night). I was mostly done with schoolwork, so I spent the bulk of the day working on progress reports, which I really try to do good work on and am almost always turning in late. Got ’em done, two days before they were due. Worked on some yearbook stuff. Didn’t do much planning or prepping, but that’s okay. I won’t always have so much administrative paperwork to get done on Wednesdays, so I’ll get ahead on my planning the next time.

Class tonight was good. I didn’t have to present anything; I only had to have the written work done and be prepared to discuss the reading. It makes a huge difference, not having a presentation, and I had two last week. Again, I feel much better.

I got to chat with R for a few minutes before my class. It wasn’t much, but it was enough for now. Is it right that so much of my happiness is dependent just on spending some time with her? I guess that depends. Shouldn’t you want that kind of dependence on someone you love? It’s not an immobilizing dependence; rather, I find my days incomplete without spending some time with her. I don’t see anything wrong with that. She’s my favorite person and my best friend.

The novel this year is going to be a teen romance. I already have a pretty good story outline and some characters and even a setting. A cafe again, possibly again called The Village Idiot. That’s where most of my novel two years ago was set. It’s okay. I just need a place for teens to hang out that’s not a bar or a malt shop. I considered a pool hall, but it doesn’t work for the kind of girl I’m writing about. Oh yeah. My main character is a girl. I wonder if I can pull that off.

Never Did Run Smooth

Holy anole. I’m so fricking miserable right now. I need to just put myself to bed and get this day over with, but when I wake up in the morning, will I still be miserable, or will I forget about the fact that it’s been weeks since I’ve had a decent conversation with R, and instead realize that I love my job and that for the most part I am enjoying graduate school?

I have this student. He’s a good student. Gets As, mostly. He’s mostly motivated by those grades, mostly concerned about approval. There are worse ways to be, of course, but I worry about him sometimes. So today, with the others in his class sitting right there at the table, I asked him about it.

He said it wasn’t so much the approval or the grades as what the grades mean: They might allow him to get into the school he wants. It’s not the most prestigious of schools, but when he visited it, he said the feeling he got while he was there was much, much better than the feelings he got at other schools.

I told him that vibe is a good reason and that I hope he gets in, but I also said that if that school doesn’t want him, it wasn’t going to be the end of the world, because some other school would want him, and why should he stress about that? Because that’s the school he wants, he said. I said, “What you want is the school that wants you the way you are. If school number one is not interested in you, if it doesn’t want you, then you don’t want it.”

Thank God they can’t read my mind, ’cause all I could hear in my head was, “Hypocrite! Hypocrite!”

How do I know that this boy doesn’t LOVE this school? He might. And if he does, I’m giving him practical advice, but I’m not being very sympathetic, and if there’s anyone in the world who should be sympathetic, it’s me.

On the other hand, I cried about this tonight, and it’s been a good four months since I’ve cried about this. Perhaps I should allow myself the occasional relapse. Or perhaps when I wake up, I’ll realize that the very fact that she makes me cry is indication enough that it’s time to move on.

Yeah. And perhaps when I wake up, I’ll think Rod Tam is a brilliant politician and that beets are food.


I am strangely caught up with my schoolwork. That’s bizarre. I guess locking myself up in my classroom all dang weekend long was a positive thing. Sure, I didn’t use my time wisely, but that’s the great thing about having lots and lots and lots of time: You can use it inefficiently and still get everything done.

I didn’t get everything done, but I got done what needs to be done for now. I really need to get to the library and turn that paper from a great outline into a brilliant reality.

How much money w0uld I have to save up to quit my job and follow Bruce Cockburn around the country on his next tour?

I have this pipe dream where I win the Newbery and then I take a one-year leave from work and finance my own book tour. I hire V to be my secretary (Cathy would be my second choice, and Penny probably my third) and we hit every state, and go places famous authors never go, and I read exerpts of my book and meet kids and just love all the readers. I’ll go to retirement homes, too, and read to old people, ’cause I think they probably don’t get read to enough and my book is the sort of book that only kids and old people really get. Oh, and voting members of the American Librarians Association, of course.

I spend my off-days and several hours per working day working on the follow-up novel, then when the year is up, I come home and resume being a teacher. Then I do the tours only during summer vacations.

Guess I gotta write something first. That’s where NaNoWriMo comes in!

Okay. I’m feeling a little better. And only two hours later than I’d planned to put myself to bed tonight.

Ay me! for aught that I could ever read,
Could ever hear by tale or history,
The course of true love never did run smooth;
But, either it was different in blood,–
Or else misgraffed in respect of years,–
Or else it stood upon the choice of friends,–
Or, if there were a sympathy in choice,
War, death, or sickness did lay siege to it,
Making it momentary as a sound,
Swift as a shadow, short as any dream;
Brief as the lightning in the collied night,
That, in a spleen, unfolds both heaven and earth,
And ere a man hath power to say ‘Behold!’
The jaws of darkness do devour it up:
So quick bright things come to confusion.

Preach it, Will.

Weak End

Exhausted.

You know, one of the major things I’ve forgotten how to do as a student is estimate accurately how long stuff is going to take me. Also, I think I’ve forgotten how to treat an assignment with the appropriate effort. Smaller assignments, obviously, should require less time and should not necessarily be given best effort. I’m killing myself to turn in stellar work on some things that are just supposed to be everyday product.

I remind myself of Laura Quek, only I truly do not care about the grade I get. I might be mildly annoyed if my Bloom’s Taxonomy presentation earned me a C, but as long as I’ve got a B in the end, which is what I really need for credit and to get partial tuition-reimbursement from my school, I’m totally happy.

The thing is, I sorta set myself up. If I’d kept it a secret that I’m a full-time teacher in my tenth year, nobody would expect anything of me, but my classmates know who I am now, and they know where I teach, and now I don’t just represent myself in the classroom, but I represent HBA and ASSETS, too, and that’s quite a burden to be hauling around.

Okay, I’ll admit that I’m also having some amount of fun. I like teaching. I like a new audience. I like learning. Sure, there are ten million things I’d rather be doing with my time, but while I’m working on this degree, I might as well have some fun with it, and I do enjoy producing quality work.

I’ve been in school all day, and here it is past 8:00 in the evening. I’m taking too long to get through the assigned reading, and I’m not taking enough time to do my journal entries (I have to write weekly journal entries for both of my courses). I wanted to dedicate all of today and tomorrow to schoolwork and all of Monday to workwork, but that may not happen now. A colleague of mine is having computer problems, and he invited me to his house for dinner and to take a look at his machine. I remembered that I’m acquainted with a just-turned-twenty computer guy (a person I know from HawaiiThreads.com) who could use the professional reference, so I contacted him and now we’re both going over for dinner. I hope the guy can fix my friend’s machine.

My school-issue laptop, the one with all my iTunes on it, is in the shop. The display crapped out for the second time in a year. So I plugged my iPod into another school machine and made a few of the wrong choices and everything on it is gone. Great.

This is going to sound ever so egomaniacal, but one of my favorite things to do now just before I crash at night is listen to my own podcasts. Nothing like the sound of my own voice to induce sleep, I guess.

I think I’m a pretty good reader. Not as good as a LOT of people I know (Valerie is probably the best), but what I lack in range I make up for in enunciation.

I am finding myself getting more and more involved in the LibriVox Project and might have to put up a new section of the podcast just for my LibriVox work.

Speaking of the podcast, I’m hoping to get the eighth installment up tonight. I need to get some more reading done first.

HawaiiBeliever.com seems to have hit something of a snag; I’m not surprised, but I’m not willing to let it die yet, either. Need to think about who my audience is and whether to let it wander in, like patrons at Callahan’s Crosstime Saloon, or to go out and find it.

On nights like tonight, I am both grateful for the alone-time and wistful about the fact that the people I considered my closest friends seem to be doing just fine without me. I called R this evening and said, “If you don’t have any plans, I’m going over to Ala Moana later tonight, if you’re interested.” Yeah, right. Even when she doesn’t have plans, she’s planning not to be with me, it seems. And she didn’t even call me back. Apparently, I only get her on Sundays at church and sometimes after church when we get lunch. Can I live with that? I don’t think I have much choice.

I wonder if Mr. HBA would “allow” her to go out with me if she wanted to. I mean, Loggins and Messina were last night, and since Penny is on a mainland trip, I thought I’d ask R if she wanted to go, but I don’t think I want to find out that our concert-going days are over. I’d rather, for the moment, pretend we’re still friends.

“If I Loose My Grip, Will I Take Flight?”

Slowly, one finger at a time, I am losing my grip. I wonder what would happen if I were to just loose my grip. I like the word loose used like that. In books I’ve read, the war-leader tells his army to put arrow to bow and take aim, and when the moment is right, he yells, “Loose!” and the arrows fly. It’s different from just losing one’s grip — it’s a deliberate, purposeful letting go, almost not a “letting” go at all. Those arrows are ready. They want to fly. If I give up my ever-so-declining control and allow the momentum of my course to dictate what happens next, will I merely coast to a gentle rest, will I crash headlong into some unyielding object, or will I find myself liberated, having slipped the surly bonds of earth, and kiss the face of God?

I went to my Wednesday night class only marginally prepared for the presentation I was supposed to give. It worked out okay, but only because I am a practiced winger, able to take material and quickly, spontaneously give it structure and purpose and direction for a group of students; I am also able to take structure, in the absence of real material, and find something meaningful to teach. But that’s with high-schoolers. Graduate students are a different animal altogether, and I was unsure I could pull it off. The lesson got great reviews from my classmates, but they could have been playing nice, although I don’t see why they should feel the need to go out of their way to untruthfully tell me I did a good job. Still, I simply cannot expect to get away with the same thing again.

When a classmate, later in the period, was supposed to present her work, she said, “I’m sorry; I don’t have a fun way to make you do my work for me, so I’ll just present this,” and really nailed me. Of course that’s what I’d done. I’d created a fun activity that effectively made my classmates present the material, leaving me just to facilitate. But hey, I’m a teacher, and most of my classmates are aspiring teachers, so if I can show them a thing or two that I have learned in my ten years in the classroom, I think I’ve done something worthwhile, even if I barely understand the chapter I’m supposed to be presenting.

I have made myself a meal at home exactly once in the last two and a half weeks. This is not good. I am picking up stew ingredients on my way home tonight and this time I’m actually going to make stew, and not leave the ingredients in my fridge until they’re no good anymore!

I have been surly as heck at work lately (some might say ever since the school year began), and that’s normally not me. I just feel I’m scraping by, the minutes pressing in against me like pesky little preschoolers all wanting piggy-back rides. I rush from class to class, trying to maintain the high standards I set for myself, but I know I’m only one or two unexpected developments away from finding my control wrested from me by my own state of barely being prepared.

“If I loose my grip, will I take flight?” That’s a Bruce Cockburn lyric, by the way. When the world spins recklessly, turn to Bruce. That’s what I always say. Bruce or Jesus, I guess.

Yesterday was supposed to be huge for me, for reasons I’ll get into later. I had the day blocked out with stuff I knew I needed to get done, and then it was mentioned to me at 9:55 that I would be subbing for some colleagues at 10:00 for three hours. I nearly exploded.

Then it turned out that the person who communicated that to me didn’t mention that it wasn’t the whole three hours, but only the last ninety minutes of that time. Okay. I can handle that. But I’m still fuming from my initial reaction. Then, I’m told I’m not subbing–that it’s going to be someone else. So I get off campus to calm down and get some work done, and when I get back, it turns out that the someone else couldn’t get back to school on time (he’d been checking out one of our mentorship sites) and I was, in fact, needed. However, I wasn’t back on campus yet, having been told I wouldn’t be needed. So someone else had to fill in.

Crazy. I have never, ever, ever chewed out a colleague at work, but I came very close to it yesterday. That’s not really in keeping with the spirit of cooperation I consider such a big deal, though, so I kept my mouth shut. Later, when things have calmed down, I’ll discuss with someone the importance of getting stuff like this right.

A Little Whine, a Little Cheesecake

Something I’ve found surprising in my courses is the amount of complaining I hear from my classmates. It’s embarrassing. At first, I thought it was because many of my classmates are not far removed from undergraduate coursework, and they probably are still in that mode, but then I realized that nobody complains in class in undergraduate school. Right? I mean, if there was any in-class complaining, I certainly never heard it.

They’re complaining about the work, about the unclear directions, about the expectations. One classmate defended her complaining by saying she went to a prestigious college and it was nowhere near as demanding as this program.

Hello! It’s grad school.

Thankfully, there are some quite positive classmates, and they’re the ones I’ve been sitting near and speaking with during breaks and after classes.

Honestly, I think I’d feel ripped off if the coursework was much less demanding than it is. I mean, yeah, it’s killing me, but I want the degree to mean something, too. And I want to finish this degree as quickly as possible. Something else my classmates seem to be forgetting is that each of our courses is four credits. Four graduate credits. Two courses is just one semester hour shy of what’s generally considered full-time status for graduates, and most of us are working full-time, too.

I have to be really careful, because I have to work closely with these classmates of mine and if one of them should stumble upon this journal, I don’t want to alienate myself from him or her. Yeah, I know that sucks, but hey. Nobody really wants to know what’s going on in my head anyway.

There are some very, very, very attractive women in my program. I mean, there’s the usual number of babes, but there are a couple who are, you know, eyeball-fryingly beautiful. Hair like you wouldn’t believe. Breasts. Hips. Tummies. Tanned skin. Pale skin. It’s enough to make me almost overlook the complaining they do.

Almost.


I spent four hours working on chapter viii of Joseph Conrad’s The Secret Agent for the LibriVox Project. It was fun, but that was a lot more time than I could afford. Still, it’s a cool project and I’m happy to be part of it.

The iPod is unbelievably fun. I thought I knew, just from seeing others play with theirs, how fun it is, but you really have to own one to get it. I can’t believe I waited as long as I did before getting my rock and roll heart around one.

The secret ingredients on Iron Chef America have been boring. The dishes are great, but chicken, hamburger, and lobster are too easy for chefs of this caliber. Pizza dough was pretty interesting, but then they had Mario Batali do that one, when they should have had one of the others. It’s okay. It’s still really good television.

I’m redoing my “best songs of all time” project, starting over from scratch. Gotta rethink my criteria and method, but it’s still something I think about all the time. You know what song doesn’t get considered often enough? REO Speedwagon’s “Roll with the Changes.” That song just rocks. On a “best” list (as opposed to a “greatest” list), it’s going to be higher up than anything by the Rolling Stones, the Who, or Queen. Yeah, those are better bands, but their best songs aren’t as good as “Roll with the Changes.”

The only reason I’m awake and typing this now is I can’t stop importing CDs. One more after Blind Guardian’s Imaginations from the Other Side and that’s it. Bed. I have got too much to do tomorrow.

Fried Day

Deep-fried.
Pan-fried.
Oven-fried.
Stir-fried.
Mortifried.

What a long, long, long, long, long, long, long week.

I knew it was going to be a killer week, too, which is why I took Monday off from work. I’d been waking up with sore throats for a few days, and knew that if I didn’t take a preventative sick day Monday, I’d probably need several recuperative ones later. So I used Monday to get my mom’s van fixed (leaky hoses in the cooling system) and work on my sexual abstinence paper. The research is plentiful but still lacking, by the way, and it seems (I say seems) that educational programs that involve students’ parents are more effective in delaying initial sexual activity than school programs without parental involvement.

Monday night in my Professional Educator class, we were supposed to have our mentor teachers there for some interactive activities, but my mentor teacher had to go home sick from school, so I was one of about six English teachers without a parent on parent night. It was fine, though. We had some nice discussion.

Tuesday back to school and we had a pretty good day. Wednesday was picture-taking day, and let’s just say that it was one of those days that, if I’d been a few weeks from retiring, would’ve prompted my immediate retirement instead. We had our open house Wednesday night, too, and ‘though it was successful enough, it was exhausting, and being on campus until 9:30 on a school night pretty much ruins one for the rest of the week.

Thursday I felt oddly unprepared and the day seemed to just float by, as in a dream. Typical, for the day following open house night.

Today I was on top of my game, teaching up a storm for mostly responsive (yet strangely off-kilter) students. I gave great instructions. They jumped right in and got to work. They messed up. I got impatient. We got through it.

After school, despite being behind on my school paperwork and needing a few hours to work on it (I’ll get to it tomorrow at the math meet, I think), I left school rather than sticking around as I usually do on Fridays, and met a former student at Ala Moana, where he sold me his very-slightly-used iPod (40 gb) for quite a deal. I then went to Hakubundo to pick up this month’s puzzle magazines (picked up Valerie’s and Ross’s too) and then drove aimlessly about for half an hour. Reid called and said let’s get some food, so I’m here at the Village Idiot on Wilder, waiting for a plan to be formed. They’re playing old Rush, which is kinda cool, because I’m not very early-Rush literate. I should be working on studies. I have to present a three-minute lesson on Bloom’s Taxonomy Monday night and lead the class discussion on adolescent identity development on Wednesday.

Have I mentioned recently that grad school is kicking my tail?

Okay. That was Reid on the phone. We have a plan. More later.

Progress Check

Well, it’s just past 9:30 in the evening, so let’s see how I did:

  • Take a long, hot shower
  • Shopping: hair ties, drain opener, groceries, and boxers
  • Bills
  • Laundry: Towels and linens
  • Psych: Chapter 6 and Paper Outline
  • Ed: Chapters 2 and 3 in one text; Chapter 6 in another.
  • Math team: Practice schedule
  • Literature: Journal responses, prepare questions for discussion Monday and Tuesday; figure out what to do Friday.
  • Algebra: Prepare answer sheets and refreshment sheets
  • Computer: Photocopy “draw my computer” assignment and upload lesson materials for PowerPoint assignment.
  • Yearbook: Secure athletics schedules; find out what LifeTouch is doing for us; email Jostens rep; burn files so HD can be re-imaged; email LAN guy so InDesign can be re-imaged to mobile lab and classroom computer; reserve mobile lab for InDesign lessons.
  • Check school calendar for a good Saturday for a LAN gaming party for students.
  • Take a good, long, brisk walk.
  • Eat fruit.
  • If time: print HawaiiBeliever cards for posting on physical bulletin boards around town.

I remembered a couple of things I’d left off the list this morning:

  • Count pennies for homeroom penny-war results
  • Play way too much Age of Mythology
  • Goof off for two hours with the colors and banner at HawaiiBeliever
  • Leave message for R to see if she wants a ride to church tomorrow

Well. That’s not very encouraging. Think I’ll got hunt up a steak dinner and work on that outline, at the very least.