What a crazy busy week! And next week will be exactly the same. I leave the house a little after eight, teach my class…then once all my kids are picked up at 12:10 or so, I hurry to the parking ramp, drive home to pick up Preteen, hope he was responsible enough to get himself lunch because there’s no time to stop and get him anything, then drive back to the same building I just left to drop him off for his afternoon class. Then I go get myself a quick lunch somewhere. I had planned on using the time Preteen was in class to write, but I’ve been using it to catch up on e-mail (when the wireless Internet is working in the building I happen to be in), or on Wednesdays, I rush back to the Coralville Public Library for the teen writer’s group. I’ve also been using that time to prepare for the next day’s class. I planned this class back in May, but now that I’m actually in the midst of it, I find myself changing things – adding, subtracting, making up handouts. I cannot believe I ever stressed over whether or not I had ENOUGH material. I had WAY too much! But the good news is I can now do workshops for kids on: developing ideas, creating a character (multiple workshops), building a plot (again, multiple workshops…or all day workshops), point of view, setting, use of the 5 senses, and revision.
I’m still enjoying the teaching very much. We had a teacher’s meeting yesterday (so Preteen actually had to accompany me to my class in the morning because I couldn’t attend the teacher’s meeting AND drive home to get him for his class at the same time), and it sounds like I’ve got the best group of kids. Not only are they enthusiastic about what we’re doing; they’re all really well behaved, and they get along with each other. I have had absolutely no discipline issues. The only problem I’ve had with any of them is one of the girls was pushing extra buttons in the elevator. So I just told the whole class (and I hate when teachers punish the whole class…but I can’t leave any of them unattended…) that from now on, if any extra buttons are pushed, we’ll be walking up to our classroom rather than taking the elevator. (We’re on the fifth floor.) I don’t mind walking up five flights of stairs, but they weren’t too thrilled about the idea. So that seemed to take care of the problem. (Then I found out the woman who teaches in that classroom in the afternoon makes her kids walk up every day!)
The only problem I’m having with teaching in general is I could really use a Mac expert sitting in the room with me! I had no idea switching to a Mac for 2 weeks was going to be so complicated. I use a PC every day…it can’t be THAT different, right? Wrong! Fortunately, this old dog can be taught new tricks. I’ve learned how to get everyone connected to the Internet so they can print (don’t ask!), I’ve learned how to close stuff (what’s with the sideways stoplight buttons on the wrong side of the screen??? And the goofy icons at the bottom?), I’ve learned to save to a flash drive on a Mac, I’ve learned how to remove a flash drive from a Mac, and I’ve learned a lot about just general navigating on a Mac (still having difficulty with the one mouse button concept and the it-doesn’t-highlight-until-I-click-it concept). Fortunately, Word itself isn’t all that different on a Mac…I’ve been able to troubleshoot most Word issues on my own. But yet, some weird thing still crops up every single day, and I have to call the tech guys. There are two computer guys who wander the building and go help with computer issues wherever they’re needed…that’s their job! Am I going to get hate mail from Mac users if I suggest that maybe…just maybe… if the building switched over to PCs, they wouldn’t need two wandering computer techs on staff??? Anyway…my goal is to make it through one day of this class WITHOUT having to call the tech guys for help!
Back to my crazy schedule…once Preteen’s class is over, we walk around downtown for 20 minutes until it’s time for play practice (he’s in the children’s theatre production of Aladdin), which is also downtown. Then, while he’s at play practice, I often take a bike ride (because I’m a little obsessed about my exercise these two weeks since I’m eating out every day at lunch). We don’t get home until 7:15. Then it’s time for dinner, last minute class preparations, maybe a little TV with the family, and that’s it. That’s my life right now. I have done zero writing this week…but I’m hoping that will change next week.