Mary Oliver

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do

with your one wild and precious life?"

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Checking In with Good News

I have brought my school bag home every day this week, but instead of grading papers, I merely take it back to school and continue to add more papers to it. And instead of working on it tonight, I decided to finish reading Heather Ross' book, How to Catch a Frog. The book was lovely, if a little heartbreakingly sad at times. I had picked it up yesterday morning, right after an appointment to recheck my blood pressure, and was so eager to start reading it that I took my Honors block to the library, had them check out a book, and gave them a block of reading time so that I, too, could read. The block ended much too quickly.

My dad has been recovering from his surgery at an amazing rate and is in a rehab section of the hospital now. He is being discharged on Saturday and he's anxious to get home. I've been visiting him for 30 minutes in the morning on my way to work, and then stopping in for an hour or two after work, on my way home. Today was the first day I skipped the afternoon visit and that was because I was feeling a little under the weather this afternoon. I'm sure it's because of all the extra time I've been away from home since last Friday, so tonight is an early to bed night for me. Gracie curled up against my knee as soon as I sat down on the couch; guess she misses me.

Saturday night, after I left the hospital, I stopped in at a new place called Toast to eat a quick dinner. I sat at the bar and had a delicious meal of thickly sliced homemade bread, topped with an over-easy egg on broiled smoked cheddar cheese. The perfect comfort food. The photo collage around this light fixture is just one of the many cute ways this place is decorated.

Another night this week, I sautéed more of our asparagus, along with green onions and mushrooms, and when they were almost done, added a bunch of sundried tomatoes. I fried an egg to put on top of it all and ate another comfort food dinner.

That was the same night I walked to the beach and knit for an hour, to help decompress. It was a good night.

Another piece of good news is my trip to New York in two weeks, to see my oldest daughter graduate with her Masters degree! I'm so excited that I get to see her, not to mention how proud I am of her. The ceremony will be held at Madison Square Garden on May 15. I've rented another AirBnB place, two subway stops away from her, so she isn't too stressed about having company crowding in their little place prior to her ceremony. Using AirBnB has been a great way to explore more of Brooklyn on my visits, as each little neighborhood has its own vibe. As usual, I will take and share lots of photos.

Hope you have a good weekend; I'm hoping to finish up the shawl that I've been neglecting so I can start something new! What are your plans for the weekend?






  1. So glad to hear your dad is recovering. He is lucky to have so many visits from his daughter! Of course Gracey misses you in the meantime!

    Congratulations on your daughter's masters degree. I still can't believe Rachel is in graduate school. It is awesome to see our kids not just grow up but thrive, isn't it?

    1. Yes, it's such a relief when they find their path. Hoping my youngest finds hers soon too, but both my girls and me were late bloomers that way, so I'll keep the faith! Plus summer is coming! Hope to see you this summer!

  2. I hated the way papers kept hitching a ride with me, so I started to devise a way to zip through them. I always gave my students a lot to do, and I really felt that every single thing on every single paper didn't need to be marked. So I started to simply select, at random, a few items per paper to grade. Lightened my load considerably. A Rubric served the same purpose for essays. Rather than mark on the paper for every little thing, I could simply jot a number on the rubric (4 out of 5 on punctuation, for example) and write "commas".

    Apologies if you already know/do this as a matter of course. But I know I was always on the Lookout for tips and tricks to get me off the Grading Train.

    1. My motto for grading student writing is "Every word is not a pearl" which is to say while they need the practice of writing , I don't have to read it all. And our district has pushed the concept of choosing only one or two focus areas to grade but even so, the papers add up, don't they? And rubrics are definitely life savers. I try to limit what I grade, even if I don't broadcast that to the students, but it's just part of the deal, as you know. I usually make sure I take at least one or two days a week to not work on school stuff past dismissal to keep me from feeling overburdened and I don't take stuff home very often either. I'd usually rather stay late once a week to do it at the building, as that seems to work best. It's always a matter of balancing it out, but thanks for the pointers. You never know what others know unless you ask and I appreciate you taking the time. Summer's coming!