Monday, June 08, 2015

End of Semester Floppy Brain

The pool opened today, so we took a well-earned break from syllabus writing, and headed over. The water is still quite icy, but it will feel like bathwater soon enough.

I will be able to relax once the damned thing is en-route to the Board of Ed. I'm about five good days from finished, and I'm already dreading the course. Oh well, there's always maths! Maths will always love you.

This photo perfectly illustrates how divided I am. Equal parts light and dark. Right down the middle. I'm trying to summon some enthusiasm for teaching, but the end-of the-year burn-out is keeping it at bay. Thank god the pool is open. I do my best thinking watching the college students sitting poolside, thumbs flying on their phones. I'm pretty sure they're texting the person sitting next to them-you can tell by the way they occasionally turn face-to-face and say something. I watch them and think, "If only someone had made them read Renaissance Humanists, they'd have something interesting to text to their friends."  That's a lie. I don't think that at all. I think about them pissing in the pool, not showering off sun lotion before getting in, and being generally horrible young people that stay out all night drinking, and then sleep it off all day poolside because none of them have jobs. Except for the sweet girl that lives a few doors down from us-because she has a job, and isn't the type to piss in the pool. But the rest of the lot are rotten.

I have to teach the Reformation this year as well. Fun. Second semester I'm teaching the Spanish Civil War, and WWII. More fun. Toss in some English, maths, and science to keep it all intolerable interesting, and that's the way next year is shaping up.

It was such a long year. I'll feel like a person again after that syllabus is submitted. Then, I can sit at the pool all day. Maybe I can get a college student to show me how to text message (I have never sent one-no idea how that works). Or sleep. Sleep would be good. Wake me around the first week of September.


I'll be working on these pale, pasty legs of mine.


Sue said...

And that is exactly why public pools are heavily dosed with chlorine!! It also rots your swimsuit, its that strong, the chlorine not the piss!! I am in awe of anyone that home schools, I wouldn't have had the patience or the attention span. I would have been the one looking out the window and suggesting we wag class!! Enjoy your lovely sunny weather, and I cannot believe you do not text??

Mim said...

Ooh, Spanish Civil War will be interesting. We spend a lot of Spain, and it really does still have a big impact. The place I felt it most was Granada, where people are still searching for Lorca's body, which of course stirs things up. Toledo comes close behind; being closer to Madrid it saw more action than a lot of the southerly places we've visited, and the Alcazar there was pretty well destroyed.

Curtise said...

Oh man, I cant imagine having to plan out your own syllabus, and not be able to share all the hard work... You deserve as many days lounging by the pool as you like. You can even piss in it too - go on, I dare you!
Now the Reformation is a fabulous time, all that religious, political and social ferment, the sects and the extremists, the martyrs and the zealots, then the Counter Reformation in all its madness. Love it! And I'm sure you'll teach about World War II far better than my kids' school does - they seem to think the war only existed on the home front, it's all rationing and gas masks and evacuation and the Blitz, with barely a discussion about fascism or the Holocaust. Never mind all the other countries involved, and why... Actually, I've changed my mind - let me have a go at that syllabus after all!
Lovely frock, btw - and hot legs! xxx

Beth Waltz said...

Ummm. Can't think of a single happy thought in connection with the Reformation, the Spanish Civil War or WWII. Maths doesn't make me smile, either. Might one focus on the geography of it all? Maybe some key biographies? Ah, the wonderful WWII cooking series produced by the Beeb?

Science seems more elevating. For example, I'm dosing a patch of poison ivy (acquired from a roving cat) with tecnu goo. Reading the box, as you do, I've learned that this stuff was developed "in 1961 during the Cold an effective waterless cleanser capable of removing radioactivw dust from skin and clothing." And then the inventor decided to try it on his kids poison oak rashes.

Nice shot, that sun and shadow effect on the floral!

Goody said...


I'm not sure anything I'm doing deserves awe. I only have one student-the poor classroom teachers have 30 or more. Some days our attention is focused better than others.

@ Mim
I figured we read Homage to Catalonia for our "big" topic reading, and I have some material on the Lincoln Brigades. I have a gigantic biography of Lorca sitting on my bookcase waiting to be read. I'm not sure I'll get to it before the semester starts, but I should give it a look over, I suppose.

Our state doesn't require a syllabus if you use a purchased curriculum. The ones I've explored tend to be either so religious they don't teach science, or so
general that I'd end up needing to supplement anyway. That said, I know some very smart people using them and their children are doing great. We found a fit that works for us-but yes, it is an insane amount of work. I suppose I ought to post the syllabus online so others can get inspiration from the bibliographies.

As for the war-we focus on the home front in our schools as well. Pearl Harbor, and how *America Saved the World* (read that dripping with sarcasm) by dropping an atomic bomb, was about all I got at school. I'm going to teach Manchuria, and the war in North Africa, but at some point I have to teach Stalingrad, which I REALLY don't want to do. Fortunately, it is grade five, not a university survey course, so I can keep it er...light?

I'm off to go piss in the pool now.

Goody said...

@Beth Waltz

Yes, it is going to be a bit of a downer next year.

Did you Duck and Cover when you put on the salve?

"Hey kids, come try this stuff I made for nuclear fallout." I'll bet life in that family was fun.