Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Working on the house

I've been preparing my kitchen in anticipation of scraping the ceiling.  We plan on putting up a tin or fake-tin ceiling this summer.  I will finish taking down everything on the cabinet tops today, my husband will wash clothes this evening, and I will cover the lower cabinets and appliances tomorrow and start scraping.  My father would probably tell me that I take too long to do these things.  I think he would be right, but I like to do quiet things in the heat and humidity of the afternoon.

My younger brother, however, seems to think I do a lot in the summer.  He skyped me yesterday and made a comment about how busy I am when school's out (I don't remember his exact words, just the gist of what I got from them.).  I do know that I hate doing the work, but I love the results, so I do it.  Plus summer can be a waste if one does nothing useful.  Besides, it's either do physical labor or exercise by walking down the greenway.  Right now the physical labor is winning.  Going up and down the step ladder for a couple of hours each day is great for my leg muscles.

I'm also trying to finish my Moodle site for the first quarter of a math class.  I know that I will either have a study hall or a different math subject this fall, and I want to be ready in case the latter happens.  I also need to do the same for both my Intro CS class and my Honors CS class.  One thing I learned this past year is that I need to insure that my CS students cannot find the answers to their problems on the internet.  For some reason, they don't think they're cheating when they do that.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Opportunity knocks!

My son and I went to the school yesterday morning so that I could have an accounts payable "bill" signed and faxed to our host's office.  It should have taken all of 5 minutes, but it took closer to an hour.  The business manager was on the phone, so we had to wait.  A teacher borrowed my son to help him with computer hardware problems in his classroom while waiting.  I taught a new teacher the basics of using his homework website.  Then I got the paper signed and faxed.  Son was still working in the one classroom, so I spent some time talking with a graduate I taught a few years back.  Son was still working, so I spoke with a teacher about setting him up with a Moodle account for testing purposes.  Son finally returned, but he had not been able to fix the problem.  Funny thing is that the school pays for 2 full time tech people, one being my son's boss who was out yesterday, but the faculty call on my son whenever they have a problem and he's at the school because they have had no success with getting help from the other tech person.

Meantime, I finally took my serger sewing machine to a repair shop.  It's been broken but usable for more than 10 years, but I was always leery of leaving it with anyone to fix it.  The last time I left a sewing machine to be repaired (in another state), it really wasn't, so "once bit, twice shy" am I.  I hope these people do a good job because I need a reliable repair place for my other sewing machine ... the one that has the problem that was never fixed. 

In regards to both the one tech person at the school and the repair shop that never repaired my machine, I wish people would understand that life is far more than earning money.  One's life has to have meaning as in doing the best one can do for others, like fixing machines or solving computer problems.  Perhaps it's my religious view, but I believe that we all need to help each other whenever possible and appropriate.  No one was ever put on this earth "to make money", no matter how much he/she wants to believe that.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

If I'm not being paid for the summer, why am I still working?

Frankly, I cringe when people talk about teachers having "summer vacation".  It's not true.  Teachers are 10 month employees who are not paid for the other 2 months of the year.  Vacation is paid time off, so teachers do not have summer vacation.  They have unpaid time off.

I note this because I am still working on school stuff.  I am currently creating new websites for new faculty as they get hired.  Today I go back to the school to arrange payment for the host company of our teachers' homework sites.  Of course, I am still working on lesson plans for the fall, but I know I'd do that anyhow.  I think my father did a very good job of instilling in me the need to do everything as well as I can.  Hmm.  Is that a good thing or not?  Time to think on it.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Early Summer Thoughts

It's been more than 2 years since I last posted. I was surprised to find that my blog was still available; I take that as a good sign. This summer is different from the past 2 summers. My family moved my mother to a nursing home near me, and I spent the past 2 years seeing her at least twice a week. She died mid-January this year, and now I have a summer with more time to work on my personal interests than I have had in 3 years. One would think I could come up with lots to do, but I haven't.
I've had 2 summers of having to find time for myself and my interests and other things like working on our house. Visiting my mother on a regular basis and planning things for her gave me structure to my life whenever school was out. The same was true for whenever school was in session, but my school work took precedence in structure -- I just made sure that I had 2 times set aside each week to spend with my mother during the school year.