My drug of choice is writing––writing, art, reading, inspiration, books, creativity, process, craft, blogging, grammar, linguistics, and did I mention writing?

Monday, July 24, 2017

Mapping Out the Last Week of Summer School (Personal Update/Meta)

This post is as much for me, my planning lobe, and my easily shamed sense of accountability as for my readers, but for the eight of you who might care about my update schedule and the three of you who wondered what happened on Friday and why even my "weekend heavy" schedule has fallen apart, it has entirely to do with the impact of "week six" of summer school. As we round wrap up the final week of teaching middle schoolers how to care about Latin roots, prefixes, and suffixes, our "pledge drive," and begin to scrape the bottom of the bandwidth barrel for even our jazz-hands-heavy not-hiatus, let me tell you what you can expect from Writing About Writing for the next few days:

  1. Teaching is tough and teaching this summer has been extra tough because I've been writing curriculum and lesson plans for not one, but two classes as I go. 
  2. I sort of thought things would be easier once the curriculum and lesson plans were written for the first class. (The second three weeks is just me teaching the same class again to a new batch of kids.) And they WERE, but I was also starting to slide into the grind. (See #3)
  3. The grind: When a schedule is young new and everything is exciting and interesting and life is new and fresh and a sunset still causes a noble moment of pause, you can easily cram too much in. It's why the first week of Nanowrimo goes so well for so many people.  All this writing that kind fits on paper is doable and the spirit hasn't broken yet. But eventually, if there's not some R&R in there, all that productivity starts to fall apart. My grind has always been about 4-5 weeks: just enough to get through college final season (which for an English major starts early as the essays roll in). Front loading the grind can cause seemingly FAR easier schedules to still be overwhelming later on--as there has not been a full recovery yet.
  4. So, in my case, as the weeks of summer school grind on, I need longer and longer to recover, and by the sixth week, I'm usually pretty cooked. There are some thousand yard stares and at least one moment of questioning my life choices. Fortunately no casualties. 
  5. As long as I've been blogging, I've been doing summer school. (They both started the same year). And pretty much, by the end of the six weeks like clockwork, I kind of blow off an entire weekend, everything sort of falls into shambles, and I'm lucky if I can get a post up about my favorite color. (Not a thoughtfully written piece about my favorite color; just an announcement with a picture of said color somewhere in the post.) So that's where we are. The last week. And even though you could set your watch to the sound of the collapse, I'm sitting here trying to wiggle my big toe.
  6. This next week is going to be pretty light. My main goal is just to get through it. That's going to involve a lot of Fallout 4, Final Fantasy IX, and tying myself to the mast so that I can't kill myself when I hear the sweet siren song of guilt that I'm being unproductive.
  7. I'll see if I can find a guest blog for tomorrow. 
  8. Wednesday we're off. That might change after next week–the new schedule could be pretty regular–but for now it's still in effect.
  9. Thursday we're going to post the last of the "pledge drive" posts, and hope that we squeak out just enough to keep Writing About Writing from having to start hosting ads.
  10. Friday I'm going to make last call for our current poll nominations. If you haven't been over there yet, it's shaping up to be our biggest poll ever, so drop a nomination and/or a second.
  11. Saturday I'll put that poll up. Or rather, I will put up the first quarterfinal because......DAMN.
  12. Mostly, though, it's going to be a weekend off for me. Not an admin weekend. (I'll do that on the weekend of the 5th and 6th.) I actually need a weekend OFF. If I try to work, I will freeze me in liquid nitrogen and then shoot myself after saying a terrible pun in an Austrian accent like: "This is not self care, my friend. Chill out."
  13. Monday I'm going to come out swinging. (And I mean SWINGING!  I have some *GREAT* ideas.)  Not only back to full posting fervor, but you might even see some things you haven't seen yet.
  14. Thank you all!  You've all been very patient with jazz hands through my summer school. One of these days I might make enough that I don't need to teach at all, but it is not today. 

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