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Week in Review: I Made It to Spring Break!

Hi. I’m at my folks’ house in Kansas, alive and…alive. ? I survived the first eight weeks of the semester.

And I’m beat. It’s 9:30 here, but because of my shift from Mountain Timee into Central Time and then the switch to Daylight Savings, it’s more like 7:30 by what I’m used to. But still, I’m just about ready to be in bed.

It’s a sign that grad school is wearing me down. I shared a post about it on Thursday. I felt like I was doing pretty good for a while there–but then I got sick, which got me behind for a couple of days, and I had to put my own course work on “hold” to grade my students’ project 1. And so I’ve been neglecting the blog, neglecting the dishes, neglecting swing dance (!!!)…neglecting pretty much everything except work and food.

Joyce does not forget food…pretty much no matter how busy I get. Like I grabbed myself this quick snickerdoodle smoothie as a lunch to go with some pretzels when I drove down to Denver to see my therapist on Monday. It almost made me late. In fact, I was late…but I blame Google Maps’ bizarre directions and the fact that I teach until noon, not the smoothie, for that.

DSCN0663So for this Monday’s Week in Review, here are my accomplishments from the eighth week of the semester, and a few of my adventures since flying home for spring break!

Capture1. Having had the stomach flu the previous weekend, I was feeling decently functional by Monday. So I taught three pretty good (if I say so myself) lessons about what makes for good inquiry questions. Asking good inquiry questions for research is one of the hardest things for students to understand, and the composition program here at CSU has developed a lot of great exercises for helping students to get to the level of the very specific. Frankly, it’s difficult for graduate students to get that specific. The major research paper of the semester is 7 to 8 pages, and that sounds really long to a lot of freshmen. Grad school puts that in perspective…by a long shot!

Friday, though, I knew the kids were squirmy and ready to get home for break, and frankly, I’d had a long week too. So I pretty much passed around a survey asking for mid-semester feedback about the course and sent them all home.

2. I also got caught up on grading little process assignments like in-class quizzes and two-point homeworks.

3. I finally got myself to the CSU dentist to get a referral for my wisdom teeth removal. Yes, you heard me–wisdom teeth removal. So…exciting? ?

4. I thought I had a draft due for workshop on Friday, and so I emailed my professor asking for a 24-hour extension. I was super-tired after the week, still had to pack for my flight the next day, and didn’t think there was any way I was going to get it in on time.

This was the response:

Joyce, Joyce, Joyce—We have this thing call Spring Break, so your story is not due to the class until NEXT Friday.  Chill.

To which I responded:

I totally had in my head you wanted the draft by today. I can easily have it by next Friday or earlier!

To which he responded:

So much for what’s in your head, eh Joyce?  So much for what’s in all of our heads.  Anyway, now you can relax and I hope you have a great break.

English professors are awesome and weird and hilarious. I sure hope I get to be one someday.

5. I went to see my colleague and classmate in the creative nonfiction program read her work along with a fiction and poetry student at a monthly literary reading we put on called Fork Socket. It’s a lot of fun, in part because it’s all us students putting it together. That meant, however, that my packing for the flight home got pushed off until late Friday night. Thank goodness my sweetheart helped me get ready!

6. After packing, we watched the first episode of the Battlestar Galactica mini-series. Wow–a lot more intense than my usual Star Trek.

7. Flew home.

8. And then, drove straight to the airport in Kansas City to Topeka to see my cousin’s new baby girl! I hadn’t met her yet. At 2 months, she’s only 8 pounds–almost like a newborn still!DSCN0680 DSCN0681 (2)My aunt and uncle and littlest two cousins also came up to Kansas to see the new baby, which was a delight. They are growing up so fast…already eight and five…and I don’t get to see them all that often. 12814175_10207704717568890_7972985320625647013_nWe all went out for Applebee’s and had a great time. That’s saying something for nine people–who are all related–and three of whom are under the age of ten!

9. This morning after a much needed long sleep-in, I took a lovely hike with mom. We saw the most beautiful pair of snakes along the path. If you look close, you can see them in this photo!DSCN0694 (2) DSCN0697 (2)10. This afternoon, I also met my brother and sister in law for a pot of tea at a new tea place in downtown Lawrence!DSCN0714But you know who I’m always especially pleased to see when I visit my family?DSCN0711Have a great week, everybody! And happy Pi Day!

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  1. Getting sick always throws us off, and I think your Spring Break comes at a perfect time for you to get totally healthy, decompress and unwind. Spending time with family and big furry felines helps too.

    Great job on accomplishing all the things despite the sickness, and good luck getting the time zones all worked out.

    Happy Monday and thanks for linking up.

  2. Cora says:

    I was abbbbout to say, “well aren’t you the teacher of the year” (you ALL deserved to get out of class early on that friday)… but then I read your teachers’ email and…you may have some competition there. Just kidding – I have no doubts you will be all the same kinds of awesome as an english teacher.
    What a special time at home this sounds like – with family and new baby! I hope you get in lots of relaxation so you can recharge. Make them spoil you rotten!

  3. That picture of your three little cousins is precious. I very recently became an aunt for the first time and aaah, babies are too cute.
    I hope you’ll have a wonderful and very relaxing Spring Break at your family’s. After all the stress and hard work you deserve to take time for yourself now.
    Also, your professor sounds really cool. Dare I say: like a “coole Socke” ;)?!

    1. Joyce says:

      Definitely eine coole Socke : ) And congrats on becoming an aunt–that’s awesome!

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