Saturday, 25 June 2016

Not Teaching: Week -1

I am taking a year off of teaching. Presently, there is one week left of school. (For promotion meetings, inventory, phone calls, etc) Why a year off afterwards? See my 2013 post “Year of Hell”. However, I plan to run a weekly blog over the coming year, because sure, why not have updates 3 times per week instead of twice!


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I’m kind of surprised I haven’t had an emotional breakdown yet. I think I have my wife and colleagues to thank for that. My back is killing me at times though, I’m probably sitting in chairs that cause bad posture. Last year (2015) I made it to some shows at the Ottawa Fringe Festival - but last year was also local strike action with no report card comments, plus I wasn’t teaching Data Management. Don’t think it’ll happen this year.

Item counts run Sunday (June 19) to Saturday (June 25).

Step Count: About 43,250.
This whole month has gone to hell. Last Sunday I had under 2,500 steps in a day for the first time since November 2015. I just didn’t care.


Desk at Work: More cluttered, fewer binders.

Part of the reason the desk looks worse is because I had to move all of the items out of my classroom on Monday, since the care staff needed in to wax the floors before summer school (on July 4). I’ve started bringing home a couple of binders every day though, to minimize the impact this Thursday.

Teaching Related Items (from Sun to Sat):
 -Finished grading a set of tasks. I forget when.
 -Finished grading a set of Summatives (1)
 -Finished grading a set of Summatives (2)
 -Finished grading a set of Summatives (3)
 -Finished grading a set of Data Reports
 -Emails/Calls about getting more Reports - seriously?
 -Emails about a mark adjustment for last semester
 -Finished grading a set of Exams (1)
 -Finished grading a set of Exams (2)
 -Started grading the last set of Exams (3)


Desk at Home: Unboxed Nanoha figures

Funny story. Just as I thought I was done writing to a deadline, a “guest post” availability came up at the serial “Legion of Nothing”. (I previously wrote an April Fool entry for Jim’s site, you can read about that here.) From Monday morning, I basically had 24 hours to get him something. And I couldn’t pass up that chance for visibility. Between that and relaunching T&T, the desk is messier.

Writing/Art Related Items (from Sun to Sat):
 -Finished drawing/inking a math comic by Monday; also scripted the next.
 -Came up with an idea, then wrote about 1,680 words of a “Time & Tied” short story.
 -Drew, scanned and edited a new cover for “T&T” Book 3.
 -Queued up “T&T” post, tidied up serial website a bit (including links + “About Me”)
 -Minor edit tweaks to “Time & Tied” parts 1-8 (more ***s).
 -This post. Written at the above desk.

Other items (not teaching or writing) for the past week:
 -Went to another colleague’s retirement celebration for a while
 -Mailed off some key letters (including a card for my dad’s birthday)
 -Watched reviews for why “Asterisk War” sucks in between grading papers
 -RolePlay group (Star Wars) this evening (Sat).

MUST DO items in the coming week:
 -Finish grading the last set of exams
 -Finish drawing/inking a math comic by Monday
 -Start doing three class sets of report card comments
 -Start doing three class sets of report card learning strategies
 -Department Meeting on Tuesday
 -Textbook Inventory (I honestly love doing that)
 -Check pronunciation of names being read at Commencement
 -Clear out the remainder of my desk at work before Friday
 -Queue up next “Time & Tied” posts by Friday


You claim this will get easier...?

WOULD BE NICE items:
 -Catch up with #OttSlowChat on Twitter
 -Housework (mow lawn - oh dear)
Is lawn a "must" yet...?
 -Recreate a buffer for my math comic

 -Post about Cubic Formula oddities
 -Post recap about OAME (from May)
 -Post recap about Math PD (from Feb)
 -See about getting a roofer for reshingling
 -Catch up with web serials I’ve enjoyed
 -Sign up for a summer yoga or fitness class
 -Write a TANDQ article on Decision Fatigue
 -Post recap about CAN-CON (from Oct)
 -Update my Twitter Profile graphic
 -Create video for Cubic Formula song
 -Do some editing on my T&T story
 -Actually market some of my creative stuff
 -Catch up on “Sailor Moon Crystal” (no spoilers!)
 -Catch up on “Bones” (no spoilers!)
 -Get back onto tumblr
 -Read some of the books sitting at my desk

Removed “get a banner done for my T&T story”; using a small graphic instead. And that’s where I’m at, with four days left of the 2015-16 school year. Come back next week to see what got done. #StillInSchool

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Saturday, 18 June 2016

Not Teaching: Week -2

I am taking a year off of teaching. Presently, there are two weeks left of school. (One for exams, one for promotion meetings, inventory, phone calls, etc) Why a year off afterwards? See my 2013 post “Year of Hell”. However, I plan to run a weekly blog over the coming year, because sure, why not have updates 3 times per week instead of twice!


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It was pointed out to me on Friday that I’ve taught my last classes until 2017. That hasn’t really sunk in, partly because I have a few other things going on in my life (which I don’t feel like sharing publicly just yet). I don't do emotions well. Maybe I'm in denial.

Item counts run Sunday (June 12) to Saturday (June 18).

Step Count: Over 48,600??
I forgot my pedometer at home on Tuesday, for only the third time all year (first time in 2016). It kind of made me want to cry. I’m getting rather emotional for a variety of reasons lately. Thank you to those who have expressed concern.


Desk at Work: Binders are away. Marking's at home.

Teaching Related Items (from Sun to Sat):
 -Generated an exam review for one class, modified one for another
 -Finished grading a set of tests by Wednesday
 -Made some calls related to missing Summative projects
 -Finished grading two more sets of tests by Thursday
 -Generated mark reports for all students prior to exams
 -Did more “Cubic Formula” work, regarding discriminant


Desk at Home: Papers to grade.

Writing/Art Related Items (from Sun to Sat):
 -Joined a Web Serial Twitter chat on Sunday night.
 -Finished drawing/inking a math comic by Monday; also scripted the next
 -Paths Not Taken, a post about my “vote for plot” serial is queued.
 -“Time & Tied” had some editing done to it, first time since mid-April.
 -The last 2,300 words on my Sunday web serial.
 -This post. Written at the above desk.

Other items (not teaching or writing):
 -Went out to dinner with friends on Monday
 -Bought and mailed a Father’s Day card
 -Dietician appointment on Wednesday was cancelled, but I didn’t check my voicemail 24 hours in advance, so that was an hour of travel time shot
 -Doctor’s appointment on Thursday
 -Doctor’s appointment on Saturday
 -Watched some NCIS:New Orleans with my wife, because Scott Bakula.

MUST DO items in the coming week:
 -Finish drawing/inking a math comic by Monday.
 -Finish grading a set of tasks by Monday.
 -Finish grading a set of Summatives (1)
 -Start & Finish grading a set of Summatives (2)
 -Start & Finish grading a set of Summatives (3)
 -Start & Finish grading a set of Data Reports
 -Start grading a set of Exams (1)
 -Start grading a set of Exams (2)
 -Start grading a set of Exams (3)
 -Queue up “Time & Tied” as my new running web serial by Friday


"Beautiful" is relative, it's 32 C outside, warmer in the classes.

WOULD BE NICE items:
 -Start doing three class sets of report card comments (*New)
 -Start doing three class sets of report card learning strategies (*New)
 -Post about Cubic Formula oddities
 -Post recap about OAME (from May)
 -Post recap about Math PD (from Feb)
 -Housework (mow lawn - this is getting put off too much)
 -See about getting a roofer for reshingling (*New)
 -Catch up with #OttSlowChat on Twitter
 -Catch up with web serials I’ve enjoyed
 -Write a TANDQ article on Decision Fatigue
 -Sign up for a summer yoga or fitness class
 -Post recap about CAN-CON (from Oct)
 -Get a banner done for my T&T story
 -Recreate a buffer for my math comic
 -Update my Twitter Profile graphic
 -Create video for Cubic Formula song
 -Do some editing on my T&T story
 -Actually market some of my creative stuff
 -Catch up on “Sailor Moon Crystal” (no spoilers!)
 -Catch up on “Bones” (no spoilers!)
 -Get back onto tumblr
 -Read some of the books sitting at my desk

Report cards! I can barely process that yet. And that’s where I’m at, halfway into June, with 2 weeks left of the 2015-16 school year. Come back next week to see what got done. #StillInSchool

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Saturday, 11 June 2016

Not Teaching: Week -3

I am taking a year off of teaching. Presently, there are three weeks left of school. (One instructional, one for exams, one for promotion meetings, inventory, phone calls, etc) Why a year off afterwards? See my 2013 post “Year of Hell”. However, I plan to run a weekly blog over the coming year, because sure, why not have updates 3 times per week instead of twice!


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This post, with me still in school, will ideally remind me of what June is like, and generally act as a contrast to later posts. I have now taught my last lesson in all my classes (more or less, 3U is weird), so the “Teaching Related Items” below might actually be taking place DURING the school day (8:30-2:35). Seeing as I don’t have to prep new lessons during my abundant spare time.

Item counts run Sunday (June 5) to Saturday (June 11).

Step Count: About 52,740.
This was the first week SINCE 2015 that I had two consecutive days (Sun & Mon) under 7,000 steps. Though I also had over 10,000 steps on Thurs & Fri without being at a conference or anything.


Teaching desk at work: Tidier?

Teaching Related Items (from Sun to Sat):
 -Cappies Gala celebration Sunday night. (~5 hrs)
 -Finished setting exams for my 2 courses - by Tuesday. Oops.
 -Finished grading a set of 9 exponential tasks.
 -Staff meeting on Tuesday.
 -Set/Adapted tests for all three courses.
 -Teacher’s Council meeting on Thursday.
 -Sent in receipts for PD reimbursement (at meeting).
 -Finished setting alternative evaluations for a student.
 -Last Anime Club of year, Friday lunch.
 -Extra filming for Math Music Video (a student effort).
 -Kept up with student and parent emails (didn’t initiate).

(The Writing desk looks like last week, except the Nanoha figurines are on the floor, and my laptop is on the desk.)

Writing/Art Related Items (from Sun to Sat):
 -Finished drawing/inking a math comic by Monday
 -Another 2,000 words on my Sunday web serial.
 -This post. Written in the living room.

Other items (not teaching or writing) for the past week:
 -Doctor’s appointment on Monday.
 -Kinesiologist appointment on Wednesday.
 -Housework: unclogged eaves troughs and replaced lightbulbs.
 -Booked a nice place for dinner (relatives came to town).

MUST DO items in the coming week:
 -Finish drawing/inking a math comic by Monday.
 -Finish grading a set of tests by Wednesday
 -Dietician appointment on Wednesday.
 -Finish grading a set of tests by Thursday
 -Doctor’s appointment on Thursday.
 -Finish grading a set of tests by Friday
 -Another 2,000 words on my web serial.



WOULD BE NICE items:
 -Finish grading a set of tasks by Friday (*New)
 -Start marking Data Summative Reports
 -Start marking Exponential Summative Reports (*New)
 -Start marking Graphing Summative Reports (*New)
 -Post about Cubic Formula oddities
 -Post recap about OAME (from May)
 -Post recap about Math PD (from Feb)
 -Housework (mow lawn)
 -Catch up with #OttSlowChat on Twitter
 -Catch up with web serials I’ve enjoyed
 -Write a TANDQ article on Decision Fatigue
 -Sign up for a summer yoga or fitness class (*New)
 -Post recap about CAN-CON (from Oct)
 -Get a banner done for my T&T story
 -Recreate a buffer for my math comic
 -Update my Twitter Profile graphic
 -Create video for Cubic Formula song
 -Do some editing on my T&T story
 -Actually market some of my creative stuff
 -Catch up on “Sailor Moon Crystal” (no spoilers!)
 -Catch up on “Bones” (no spoilers!)
 -Get back onto tumblr
 -Read some of the books sitting at my desk

I’ve removed “Book an eye appointment (been over 3 years)” since a provincial benefits plan is in the works before November, and it may be equivalent or better. I’ve added a whack load of marking. And that’s where I’m at, a week into June, with 3 weeks left of the 2015-16 school year. Come back next week to see what got done. #StillInSchool

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Saturday, 4 June 2016

Not Teaching: Week -4

I am taking a year off of teaching. Presently, there are four weeks left of school. (Two instructional, one for exams, one for promotion meetings, inventory, phone calls, etc) Why a year off afterwards? See my 2013 post “Year of Hell”. However, I plan to run a weekly blog over the coming year, because sure, why not have updates 3 times per week instead of twice!


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This post, with me still in school, will ideally remind me of what June is like, and generally act as a contrast to later posts. Heck, I’m curious as to whether I’ll have a learned response to stress in January and June of 2017. Not to mention whether this is anything like where YOU are at this time of year?

Item counts run Sunday (May 29) to Saturday (June 4).

Step Count: About 65,900.
That’s something I suspect I’ll lose, as most of my non-teaching pursuits are sedentary. That’s also an unusually high amount, due to last Sunday including ‘Anime North’ (Saturday alone, which isn’t included, had 22,434 steps - a new record).


Pictured: Current state of my teaching desk at work.

Teaching Related Items (from Sun to Sat):
 -Finalized a test. Generated a review.
 -Marked two sets of tests (about 120 pages)
 -Feedback generated for six rough data summative reports
 -Finalized the MCT Summative (regressions) optimized for Desmos or TI-83 (that got interesting)
 -Secretary duties for Annual General Meeting (AGM) for Carleton-Ottawa Mathematics Organization (COMA)
 -Returned a phone call and met with a parent after school
 -A couple other calls related to students with week old tests
 -Helped out with the Grad Breakfast (~45 min Thurs)
 -Donated to students doing “Relay for Life” and dropped by after school (~60 min Fri)
 -Usual Anime Club, Friday lunch


Pictured: Current state of my writing desk at home.

Writing/Art Related Items (from Sun to Sat):
 -Managed a post about Supergirl which I’d been trying to pull together for a week.
 -2,000 words on my web serial, posting Sundays (it takes about 5 hrs)
 -This post. Written in the living room. (The desk itself still has my "Anime North" merchandise stacked on it.) Of note, my math webcomic update had been buffered from before AN.

Other unrelated items (not teaching or writing):
 -COMA dinner after the AGM on Monday.
 -Doctor’s appointment on Wednesday.
 -Dentist appointment on Thursday.
 -Booked in to attend ConBravo (July) and got a hotel.
 -Watched Linkara’s 400th episode.
 -Discovered I can only scroll back about 10 days on Facebook.

MUST DO items in the coming week:
 -Cappies Gala celebration Sunday night.
 -Finish setting exams for my courses by Monday.
 -Finish drawing/inking a math comic by Monday.
 -Doctor’s appointment on Monday.
 -Staff meeting on Tuesday.
 -Kinesiologist appointment on Wednesday.
 -Teacher’s Council meeting on Thursday.
 -Finish grading a set of exponential tasks.
 -Finish setting two tests by Friday.
 -Finish setting alternative evaluations for a student who had been away.
 -Book a nice place for dinner (relatives coming to town).
 -Another 2,000 words on my web serial.



WOULD BE NICE items:
 -Post about Cubic Formula oddities
 -Send in receipts for PD reimbursement
 -Book an eye appointment (been over 3 years)
 -Post recap about OAME (from May)
 -Post recap about Math PD (from Feb)
 -Housework (mow lawn + replace burned out bulbs)
 -Catch up with #OttSlowChat on Twitter
 -Catch up with web serials I’ve enjoyed
 -Start marking Data Summative Reports
 -Write a TANDQ article on Decision Fatigue
 -Post recap about CAN-CON (from Oct)
 -Get a banner done for my T&T story
 -Recreate a buffer for my math comic
 -Update my Twitter Profile graphic
 -Create video for Cubic Formula song
 -Do some editing on my T&T story
 -Actually market some of my creative stuff
 -Catch up on “Sailor Moon Crystal” (no spoilers!)
 -Catch up on “Bones” (no spoilers!)
 -Get back onto tumblr
 -Read some of the books sitting at my desk

There’s some other things that’d be nice, but no way I’ll get to all that this week anyway. And that’s where I’m at, starting June, with 4 weeks left of the 2015-16 school year. Come back next week to see what got done. #StillInSchool

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