This has been a tough week. I’ve had to get back into the swing of school, following our too-long Spring Break, all while being in the middle of production week for the law school musical. The nights have been late. The sleep has been less. My reading has suffered. And Mr. Angst now officially hates the law school musical. Frankly, I’m not fond of the schedule, especially since this week comes at time in the semester when I really need to be buckling down and getting outlines done. But I’ve been telling myself over and over that it’s just one week, that it’ll be over before you know it–and what do you know? It is almost over.
So right now I’m a little burned out, but I’m also really excited, because the show is going to be terrific. I just wish it had been easier to juggle all my obligations this week.
It must be near the end of the semester. I just saw a classmate highlighting a case book with a yellow dry-erase marker.
I went to my first Yoga class in almost a year today. It was a good class. It’s small, and full of beginners. About halfway through, after instructing us to relax out of Down Dog into Child’s Pose, the teacher asked me if I’d practiced yoga before, since I automatically moved into Child’s Pose without waiting for her description of it.
No matter that I know the easy, relaxing poses, though. The class was still terrific for me. I can practice at home all I want, but I won’t get the constant reminders to adjust my alignment, keep breathing deeply, focus my gaze. After class, the teacher gave me some DVD and book recommendations for doing a home practice to supplement the class. That was also good.
So all of that stuff is good. Yay! Good! But my neck and shoulders and hamstrings are already ow. Mostly my neck and shoulders. (I’ll feel it in my legs more tomorrow.) Basically, I’m just ow. Ow is a good thing, I guess–it means I’m moving and working my muscles. But it’s still ow.
Last night at rehearsal, I was walking down a row of seats (instead of using the cross-aisle) and I whacked my leg on a seat arm. The arms on the seats in the auditorium are small and hard, with hard edges. And within three minutes, I had a big purple bruise.
Today, it’s making it hard for me to walk up stairs, because the bruise is right on the quad muscle. I can’t cross my left leg over my right because when I do, my leg crosses right over the bruise. I can tell that, in a few days, this bruise is going to be one of those really remarkable ones, multicolored and puffy.
The trouble with Spring Break is that it gets your body all used to sleeping in and eating well and generally not stressing about anything at all. So when it’s over, you look around and realize that the four emails you got in the last week really ARE important and need to be attended to and all the free time you thought you had is really going to get eaten up by silly little errands, like collecting your props for the law school musical and buying a mat bag for the yoga class you’re starting on Wednesday.
So agh. I mean, I’m still sort of relaxed, but I’m also sort of not relaxed. Even worse, my schedule this week is full of activities that involve a lot of hurry-up-and-waiting. I hate non-productive time when I have lots to get done.
Spring Break ends tomorrow. I have to go back to class. I have to do reading. I have to start preparing for moot court. I have to keep working on my outlines and start taking practice exams. Ack!!!
So I spent this weekend relaxing, even more so than the rest of Spring Break. I didn’t work on my outlines, I didn’t read. (OK, well, I did read today, but it was a short novel, the one the bookstore didn’t have that I was lucky enough to find at another bookstore in the city. The one I ordered has not arrived, so it will be going back to the store.) Instead, I did some cooking and some shopping, and I went and got a manicure with two of my friends yesterday. We also got chocolate fondue. Totally sinful and totally delightful.
Frankly, I’m feeling pretty relaxed right now. I’ve been keeping up with my reading all semester, even while working on my brief; now that the brief is turned in, I have more space for doing my reading and working outlining into my schedule. Moot court is coming up, but it’s ungraded and I’m approaching it more as a learning experience than as a stressful competition. OK, yes, this week is production week for the law school musical. And I’m going to be on campus a lot for that. But it’s over after this week! And I’ll have two more weeks of school plus a week of reading period before exams start.
I am sure that in about two weeks, I will completely freak out about how little I’ve learned this semester. But right now, the guilt fairy is trying to give me an ulcer, and she’s failing. I just don’t feel like I’ve slacked off excessively over Spring Break. I took the time off, enjoyed it, and now I’m rested and refreshed for the sprint to the end.
Can you tell that, when the sun comes back, my mood automatically improves? We gained about three hours of daylight over Spring Break and I feel terrific.
This is yet another New York Times article that makes me sad. I understand that because school funding is tied to test performance, schools’ hands are somewhat tied as they try to improve the performances of the students who struggle the most. What I don’t understand is why all subjects are dropped except reading and math. Don’t students read in social studies? Or in history? And don’t they do math in (certain) science classes? So, OK, I can see that some students might need extra math. But why can’t social studies and history teachers incorporate reading skills into their lessons? Why do the subjects have to be dropped?
I understand that there are pedagogical differences in the teaching of reading, as a skill, than in the teaching of history. But students who are learning to read must be learning by reading something. Doesn’t it seem like there’s an educational market out there for textbooks and other materials that present history or social studies in ways that are consistent with reading pedagogy? If that market doesn’t exist, is it because there’s no money in it? After all, the school districts that can afford the best materials are those that tend to have fewer problems meeting the standardized test benchmarks. The poor urban and rural schools that need the most help can’t afford it. And that’s unfortunate. A generation of young people will leave school without experiencing the wonder of history or biology or chemistry, because, pedagogically, no one could figure out how to teach them those things while tying in sufficient math and reading skills.