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dog scratch fever

I've been a little under the weather the past couple days, which is troublesome considering I have to start teaching tomorrow. The touch of fever has been affecting my sleeping, as is so often the case, and it only makes it worse that Rascal has got a case of the itchies lately. I blame the onset of dry weather*. When he really gets going on the scratching in the middle of the night it shakes the whole bed—even when he's lying on the floor, in fact. Leah keeps suggesting that we give him a bath and dose him with some puppy-targeted moisturizing shampoo, but I don't think I can face that sort of activity in my present sleepless state. You see the problem?!

*Dry meaning not humid, that is. It hasn't rained here in living memory, and perhaps it never will again.


working in shifts

It was our second anniversary on Tuesday. Unfortunately, we never managed to see each other: I was out of the house from 7:30 to 6:00, and Leah was gone from 4:00 to 9:30. At least we had reasonable coverage for the puppy! This will be the way for the next several months, as I teach during the day and Leah learns in the evenings (and late into the night). Still, we'll get to see each other Friday nights and all weekend. And we've managed to spend a whole lot of time together over the past month or two, so I guess we can take a little bit of separation.

Even worse anniversary-wise, we meant to go out for dinner Monday night, because Leah's class was due to get out at 6:30 in the evening. Unfortunately, around noon she decided to make a change in her schedule and picked up a 6:00-9:00 class to replace the earlier session she was planning on taking. So no dinner for us, but we still managed to exchange some very nice wooden presents. Is the second anniversary really supposed to be wood, or did we just make that up? We had fun with it, in any case.



Since just teaching every day wasn't enough, I took some big tests today: the kind that are supposed to take four hours each. I had two of them today. When I went into the test center (Lynn English High School), the sky was leaden and overcast, and a bitter wind blew stinging droplets of sleet into my face. But when I emerged, after many hours of academic battle, I was greeted with a cloudless sky and the wonderful warming rays of the sun. I heard birds chirping, and saw fuzzy white puppies leaping and frolicking on the grass. Ah, how much better life is this evening than it was this morning!

Note: all atmospheric and creature-related events described in this post are 100% true. Really!


cold season

It's turned chilly around here, just as I expect for mid-October. We do still have the bedroom window open and haven't frozen in our beds yet, but the nip in the air definitely presages the coming winter. There was even ice on my car window this morning, which I thought was rather strange as the temperature wasn't anywhere near freezing; obviously it was some sort of local effect.

Of course, in the education business cold weather means one thing, and indeed the sniffles are out in full force among the third graders. The tissue box was full the middle of last week, and now it's empty—and the tissue consumption ratio only accounts for those children who don't wipe their noses on their sleeves or their hands (happily a small percentage in this class, it seems). Some teachers are very concerned—not to say paranoid—about preserving their own health, and refuse to go anywhere near the little ones without surgical gloves and, I don't know, burning sulfur held in a brazier, but no such precautions are necessary to me. After all, today's kids get sent to school with an individual-sized bottle of Purell hand-sanitizer, so how germy can they possibly be?!

Two days of cold weather and I maintain my good health. Check back for updates as they develop.

river effect

With the dramatic differences between daytime and overnight temperatures these days, I've been able to enjoy a curious phenomenon on my way to work. On the border of Bedford I cross over the Concord river, the waters of which have lately been first chilled by the frigid autumn evenings and then warmed by the quickly-heating early-morning sun. This abrupt shift in temperature produces a very local fog, which rises to a hight of perhaps 100 feet and reduces visibility within its bounds to under a quarter mile. Under a quarter mile left and right, that is; the whole band of cloud is only a little bit wider than the river, and the Concord is not, at that or any other point, a mighty Mississippi. So about two seconds at 40 miles an hour. It's very pretty; the overall effect is something you might see in a fantasy movie. It's like crossing into the faerie land of Carlisle, MA!

not going as planned

I told several people today that all I wanted to do all weekend was sleep. Now, when the weekend can quite plausibly be said to have begun, I am already not sleeping. Failure!!

lessen planning

Why do we need to create lesson plans? Isn't the time it takes to come up with them and, more importantly, to cram them into the requisite forms, merely a distraction from important matters like recovering from teaching all day? I am an off-the-cuff sort of individual... can't you just take my word for it that I know the subject matter, and that I will think of an appropriate and engaging way to convey it to the students when the time comes? What's that? You can't? Well then, I suppose I'd better get back to work.

In all seriousness, lesson planning is vastly more interesting when I know I'm actually going to, you know, teach the lesson. More worthwhile somehow.


the unobserved life

Socrates didn't know what he was talking about. I am here to tell you that not only is the unobserved life entirely worth living, it is also far more relaxing than the other sort. At least, that's the case when it comes to student teaching: I had my first supervisor observation today and lordy was it stressful. You would have thought I'd never taught a lesson before, seeing how nervous I was before I had to get out there on stage, as it were. Once I got started things weren't so bad, but I still think the best thing I can say about the whole experience is that it's over. One down, five more to go!

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