Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Final March

March is finally coming to a close. Actually, the month is going quite quickly. I'm not sure if this is because I have a huge project due soon, or if nine years of teaching has built up my tolerance. Either way, I'm feeling rather at ease.

Yes, my project is due for my master's thesis very soon. Yes, I have a ton of work to do before that. But I know pretty much everything I need to do to finish. I see myself being exhausted, but I can visualize myself actually finishing my masters. It's pretty dang exciting.

I can't believe that it's been over two years since I applied to the admin credential program. It was a rather random choice of mine, actually. In typical Hillary fashion, I got tired of waiting for my husband to make a decision so I just made one of my own. Yes, it was rather hasty, but I felt the urge to change. I'm not sure if it was because of my discomfort at being in a new district, but I felt the need to prove myself.

The past two years have been extreme. First, my classes were intense. Within the first month, I regretted my choice. But then I survived. But my classes, and Justin's, took a huge toll on our lives and budget. We will literally be paying for this choice of mine for years. Ouch.

However, I will be the first person in my generation, on my mom's side, to earn a master's degree. It's a big deal, and I feel really good about it. Especially as I get closer to May.

This week I didn't get a ton done on my project, but that needs to change this upcoming week. It's Spring break and I need to spend the majority of it finishing my project. My self-imposed date to turn in my final draft to my professor is April 16th.

Time to stop blogging; time to start writing. :)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Marching to the Beat

Of my own, cranky, tired drum. This week actually included quite a bit of personal, quiet time. On one level, it was wonderful; on another, it was frustrating that I did not get more work done.

This week at school we had the Ca High School Exit Exam on Tuesday and Wednesday. We gave the test to our 10th graders in the morning, so from 8 to 11 both days I had my class room all to myself. It was beautiful. I did not clean my desk off as I had planned, but I did do a bunch of planning and other stuff. It was really nice.

Also, I drove to Sac state twice this week to work on my thesis, so I got lots of time in the car to listen to the news. It wasn't terribly productive, but I got to chat with people from my credential program. That was nice.

In general, I have been hiding out in my room a lot. It's really depressing at work, partly because of all the surprise pink slips. People are really bummed out and unhappy. Also, we found out this week that a former student was killed very close to our campus. I did not know the young man, but it is horrible anytime a young person's life is lost in such a tragic, senseless way. Furthermore, I have a feeling that the situation is not resolved. Lying low seems like a good idea.

In terms of my thesis, work is progressing. The next couple weeks will be very intense, but I am moving along nicely. I hope to get some work done this weekend because we are actually staying in town for the first time in six weeks. This work week involves some time consuming things, like Open House and a union meeting, but it should be pretty straight forward. Then I have Spring break.

I can't believe that March is more than half over; it feels like we just started the month. But I am happy with how productive I've been despite how tired I am. Yes, I wish I was eating better. Yes, I wish I remember what it felt like to exercise. But I am comforted to know that this "march" will soon be over.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Marching One By One...

Hurrah! Hurrah!

This week I did feel like a little ant. Every accomplishment was a HUGE mountain to climb. I felt ready to be overwhelmed by a giant flood or avalanche at any minute. And it was one long march.

Last Saturday, my dad came over and made pizzas with Em. Justin and I went to see Alice In Wonderland in 3-D, which made me feel old and silly. Nothing like putting 3-D glasses over your own glasses to make you feel like a dork. But it was a good movie.

On Sunday, we drove to Williams to drop Em off with her grandparents. Our daycare provider was on vacation last week, so Em got to spend a week with her cousins and my sister-in-law. While I hated being without her, I am so glad that she was able to have a great time.

I worked on Advocacy lessons on the laptop all the way up to Williams and all the way back. Then, I worked for another 3 hours or so at home while Justin slept off a nasty cold he's had for weeks. But I was able to finish my last Advocacy lessons for the year.

We went out to dinner at a cheap Chinese place (not so good, btw), and that started three days of poor culinary choices. We went out to dinner both Monday and Tuesday nights, but luckily we were able to go to restaurants that we like but that Emerson does not--sushi and a Mexican bistro with skeleton paintings on the walls. By Wednesday, I was sure I had gained five pounds and not written a lick of my thesis.

Wednesday and Thursday Justin kept me focused on writing. It was very annoying (especially when he threatened to shut off the internet), but I was able to go from 22 pages to 33.

Friday started out well, but then I got a surprise. Even though I'm a tenured teacher in my district and the district is not eliminating Eng positions, I got a pink slip. I was expecting it a little, but I had really hoped it wouldn't come.

After the pink slip bombshell, I was ready to leave for Redding to see Em. We stayed the night at Justin's and then headed home. Lucky Justin had to chaperone a dance last night. While I was bummed for him, I was happy that for the first time in six weeks, I was at home on a Saturday night. Em and I had a girls' evening. We made pesto pasta and watched a Barbie Mermaid movie. It was a good deal.

Today I hope to get some work done on my thesis. Later today, Em and I have a birthday party at Build-A-Bear.

This little ant needs to march herself to the shower.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

March Forth

So I shared a really stupid joke with my kids the other day on March 4th. I told them it was the only day of the year that is a verbal phrase--March forth! Very lame.

However, it's a suitable battle cry for where I am now. February (also known as the month of No Calories Left Behind) is finally over. Yes, all the celebrations (Justin's b-day, my father-in-law's, my mom's, and our anniversary) are fun, but now they are over. March is finally here.

I'm not religious, but March does take on a rather Lent-ish feel. It's the month where I start to get my focus back. I march forth. Slowly, but surely I work my way to the end of the school year. I'm always pretty exhausted right now, so it's all about incremental accomplishments. Step by step.

Here are my upcoming steps:

1. Turn in my last set of Advocacy lessons for the year (Thank Gawd!)
2. Rescue my poor desk at work from its paper infection (Oh, yes, I totally want to each HONORS English--idiot.)
3. Finish my literature review for my thesis and put an end to research once and for all (I'm sure this is an untrue statement, but it feels good to lie to myself.)

Observant readers will notice no goals for diet or exercise. I will try to exercise (this week was a stunning failure...only an hour for the whole week), but I need to be honest with myself. My thesis is a HUGE time suck, and it's really easy to beat myself up over not exercising enough. That will just have to wait.

So, here we go. One step (however begrudgingly) at a time.