June 15, 2016

Poor Planning

The plan:
Leave school after one drink after the Leaver’s Farewell event. Try to get a quick run in, it has been two weeks since I last run, then go to Kaia’s skate class and cruise the ramps for an hour.


Stayed till 4:30 had three glasses of wine, stopped at McDonald’s had a large fries with BBQ sauce, an apple pie and a coke. Kaia’s session was cancelled, so I came home groggy and full- ditched the run and played guitar for a while, cooked a meal for Kaia’s class party tomorrow, put the kids to bed and marked for the last three hours.

Two stories:
1. The cooking
2. The marking

1. Kaia came up to me a few days ago and said that she needed to take a savory dish for her class party and she didn’t want to take any American food because it was boring. She wanted to know if we could cook something from Iran. I am not sure where her sudden curiosity or interest in Persian food came from, but I was stoked to hear it. After dinner we went in the kitchen and cooked a dish that I am not even sure is Iranian, but my mom used to make it and I loved it. It’s a rice dish with grated carrots, raisins and cinnamon.

I had Iran on my mind today because I was chatting with Luke about a trip he is considering to Iran. I would love to go back again and explore some more. I have not been since 2004 and it was beautiful that time I went. Also the day got me thinking about culture and nationalistic pride. I don’t have much to say about it, just thinking.

2. You might rightfully be asking why the hell I was marking student work three days after grades have been entered in mid-june and a week before school ends. The easy answer poor planning. I had six classes worth of work come in after grades were turned-in.

Because we had a few large scale assessments during this term and we do mid-unit formative check-ins and we do enough conferencing to know where most kids are at any given time, I felt fine giving grades without this latest assessment. The trouble was that even after the kids realized that their work didn’t “count” for their grade, they just kept working and writing and improving. It was really something spectacular to see. They have known for days that this “assignment” would not be officially graded, but that did not stop them from continuing to improve their writing right up to the last week of school.

I felt I owed it to them to read their work and give them some kind of feedback and validation for their time and effort. And so, every night this week, I have been plugging away and tonight I went in for the long haul. This marking was the last huge thing before the year ends. Sure we have another week and I need to move classrooms, get my head around next year, and a million other things, but the official curricular work is done and dusted.

Come on summer. I can taste that California air and San Rafael is an arm’s length away.

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