I wouldn't have thought I'd feel so tired this afternoon because I cut down a lot of the class time today, but I felt quite drained. I guess one reason is the humidity. It's hot and rainy. Another must be because I did not have a proper lunch.
I am sitting down to a pasta and smoked turkey salad with a balsamic vinegar and olive oil vinaigrette. Hey--there will be much more to come of that sort of thing one week from now! I should stop and eat properly, but the ideas for today's blog are sprouting fast.
It is the last week of classes of the term and we are not doing regular lessons. With two holidays this week, election day on Wednesday and armistice day on Friday, and my day off being on Thursday anyway, I only have remaining classes on Monday and Tuesday this week. Mostly we are just doing review and preparation for the exams for part of the regular class time. I'm holding little class farewell and good luck celebrations for the three conversation classes, one of which was this morning.
I bought some juice and goodies for the conversation classes. One was held first thing today. It is a quiet group and the energy was especially low this morning, so I just gave them the refreshments and played a 25-minute video of episodes of Mr. Bean straight off Youtube. We just sat there, some people chatting quietly, others playing cards, some snoozing and the rest watching the video. They didn't seem to be into games and whatnot. We left early.
Other than that class, there was just one other one, a composition class. The third class of the day was canceled as we wrapped things up last week. However, one absentee from last week showed up, so I tutored him a bit then let him sit and practice essay writing for the exam.
Actually, I ended up giving that same spiel three times today, though I had only expected to give it once. I first gave it to an individual who came to say that he had to miss the afternoon writing class because of a family situation. I excused him then gave him the lecture in my office. In doing so, I wrote some notes and he photocopied them so that I could use them for the class later. It was tiring to explain that all to him and the other guy. I was tired before it was time to give that lecture to a full class. At least I had the notes to go by.
I was also marking the quizzes of the freshman class that wrote one on Friday as part of their final examinations. I wanted to get through it to report the results, though I am not going to return the quizzes to the students as we are supposed to keep final exams. For one thing, it is policy and practice so as to make teacher evaluations fairer. If they know their scores/ grades ahead of time, it will affect the evaluations, often pejoratively. ( I have to keep reminding myself of that.)
I began the marking first thing in the morning. I was surprised when I looked at my watch and found that it was already nine, and time for the morning conversation class to begin. I therefore did not quite finish breakfast. I got busy during my free period after that class, even with the extra time today, because the individual came by for information on the final exam, which cut short my plans for early lunch. I got down half a (cooked) packet of ramyeon, and part of a nut bar before it was time to go check to see if anyone had turned up for the canceled class, which, as I said above, was indeed the case. I got all the quizzes marked and entered the scores. Getting that work done enabled me to complete some more calculations of their course grades. I got it all done reasonably early, around 4:30.
I just made it to the post office in time to send my brothers a little cash to cover the postage they spend on my deliveries, with the remainder being gifts. They are struggling and I can pay for my own postage and help them a wee bit.
Perhaps the fatigue was also due to the relief of accomplishing my goals of the day. I was able to dispose of this day of classes, one class party, and the marking I had wanted to complete before the trip. In addition, I think I have collected things I wanted to retrieve from my office for use on my trip, and gotten them packed, which is another small relief. Moreover, I took out some more cash using an ATM on the way home, which was another nagging errand to cross off the list. Yes, things are almost ready for travel.
Tomorrow, I must pick up another batch of refreshments for the afternoon classes. With respect to the first class, which is the freshman conversation class, our plan is to finish the final examinations with an oral test. I'll have to interview all 22 class members in the first hour, so that we will be free to enjoy and little farewell do before we part. They're a lively group, so preparing activities is a must. I already have that in hand: for example, I'll be able to kill two birds with one stone when I see the last month's entries of their diaries because we will also pass the diaries around for autographs in the same manner that yearbooks are signed. Also, they will probably like to write wishes on balloons. Then I'll have them sing Row, Row, your Boat around. It's always a laugh.
The second and very last class will be straightforward. We have already done a review and some exam prep. We are free just to part. They are also an energetic bunch with a good attitude, so I think it'll be fine.
Tonight, I can relax knowing things are well under control. I have caught up with the must-do's of the to-do lists, and I do not have to rise early. I just hope I can get a couple of good night's sleep before the trip as it is going to be intense for the first four days until I am free to be a carefree tourist for four whole days. Even the conference won't be so bad since I am not giving a proper presentation but, rather, only standing by my poster for awhile. I can take in as much of the lectures and discussions as I feel like.
Now this blog is done, I can sit back and veg out this evening. I feel good, though sort of red-eyed and a little dull-minded from writing this thing. I won't be keeping up the blogging so rigorously while traveling, I believe. I will have to jot down things in a notebook and postpone entering them on this website. I will do my best to keep up.