Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Not my fault

Today was my first day back at another place, with four classes of entirely new students. (Courses there are one semester only.) I spent yesterday preparing today's lessons.

Well, that was the plan, anyway. I INTENDED to spend yesterday preparing for today's lessons. In fact I spent most of yesterday on the phone, doing grocery shopping, doing an emergency load of washing, and then forgetting to hang it out because I was playing the OTHER two versions of GROW CUBE: GROW ver.3 and GROW RPG.

I have now solved them all. HA HA HA!

At around nine o'clock in the evening I was presented with a banner saying 'CONGRATULATIONS!' but my gleeful cackle was cut short by the sudden realization that I had to get up at six and still had no lesson plan. I made one. Then I made a second, backup plan, remembering the disastrous start to last semester.

My classes at that place were fairly awful all last semester, due mainly, I suspect, to the awful way I started. On the morning of my first day back, I turned the alarm off in my sleep, woke up an hour later than I'd planned, RACED to work without breakfast or any of the usual things I need to get me going in the morning (several cups of caffeinated beverage of some description, especially), and babbled to the poor students all morning. For the afternoon classes I suddenly came down with some kind of stomach upset that had me dashing from the classroom every ten minutes or so. The entire day was devastatingly horrible for me and for the students. I think the students decided, collectively, that I was a baffling foreigner they could never hope to understand, and gave up from the start. I was never able to win them back, and spent the entire semester feeling like a failure.

This semester I was determined that things would be better, hence the two lesson plans.

I finished preparing all the materials by around 11.30 pm, had a shower, and went to bed, setting the alarm for 5.45 just in case.

When the alarm went off my sleepy brain VERY NEARLY tricked me into thinking that it wasn't a work day today and I'd just set the alarm by mistake, but fortunately I was able to override my internal snooze button and catapult myself out of bed.

When I got to work I discovered that I had left a whole bunch of materials there from last semester (so THAT'S where it all was!) and found something I decided was far more suitable than the lessons I'd planned, which I put aside. My suddenly new, third lesson plan went down very well. But then, in a spur of the moment decision while the students were writing something, I rushed downstairs and made photocopies of the materials I'd prepared after all, and handed them out for homework.

The students were stunned. They had enjoyed the class, I think, but they weren't expecting homework on the first day.

Later on I started feeling a bit stunned, too. All four classes went well. I have a good feeling about these new classes, and I think the students do, too. But if they all do the homework next week I will be handed 120 papers to mark. The three places I work all have different starting days, and next week will be my first full week back at work. I will not have time to mark the homework during the week. WHAT WAS I THINKING?

I hadn't had enough sleep to be thinking, that's what.

After work I went to visit a friend who has been ill, and we had a lovely chat. I meant to stay only an hour or so, but had far too much fun and didn't get home until ten thirty.

Now I am tired and somewhat worried. My classes today went well, and my friend is looking good, but when I look at what I have to look forward to my heart sinks a little. Five full days of work next week, a weekend lost in homework marking, and then another full week of work. What if I have another brainstorm and give my OTHER classes homework as well? I'll have to at some point, anyway. Is this coming weekend going to be my last weekend off before December?

The weather may be still hot and humid but the summer vacation is well and truly over.

If I hadn't been playing GROW CUBE, I might have had my lessons planned and had an early night, as I'd intended. If I had had an early night, I might have not had a lapse of judgement and given homework on the first day back at work. If I hadn't given homework I might have had a weekend to look forward to after my first full week back at work, when I'll need it the most.

And that is why I blame Francis, who introduced me to GROW CUBE in the first place.



Lisa said...


kenju said...

Yeah, it's all Francis' fault. He held you down and made you play, right? LOL.....take the classes one hour at a time. Don't get overwhelmed, or the students will be also.

Pkchukiss said...

Thanks a lot...

You made me put off my exercise regime for the day.

It realy is that addictive!

fallensnow said...

I solved Grow Cube and Grow RPG! Fun!

She Weevil said...

Thanks Badaunt - this is giving me some stroke free, moneyworry free headspace. How do you know when you've solved it? It cheered and I got some legs on my thing is but all the levels weren't on max! Is it solved?

Badaunt said...

You will know. YOU WILL KNOW!

Fun, isn't it? Try the other two once you've finished!

(And yes, all the levels need to be max.)