All In A Day’s Work

In a stack of papers called Technology.

  • Apr
  • 09
  • 2008

Yesterday was a 12.5 hour day. Here’s how it went:

Arrive at 7:43am, far later than I like to arrive but about as early as I can these days. My night owl ways take a toll on arrival time.

From 8:13 to 2:45, my classes run like normal. Group survey presentations in Speech. A few Greek/Latin roots, STAR prep, and reading Richard Wright’s Black Boy in English 3.

3:00 to about 4:00, I work with my friend and colleague on department matters (which we never settle, by the bye). We also run through how to create an answer sheet using the district online data system. She’s a step closer to having the sophomore released STAR questions in the system – all neat, computerized, and aligned.

From 4:00 to roughly 5:00, my OCD kicks in and I work on typing someone else’s perfectly good speech outline organizer into my own Word document. I do this because I want to change a few references in the margin. The document will be mostly finished before I see how ridiculous this is. The absurdity is compounded by the stack of copies of the already-existing organizer sitting on the desk next to me, ready to go. I finally stop work on that Word document. The outline that already exists will do just fine. I acknowledge that it took me almost an hour to realize this with a shake of my head as I glance at the clock.

5 to 6 and the OCD is still strong. I print out at least six copies of this next handout as I work on the seventh iteration. Each of the six, no one can tell the difference between them, certainly not at first glance. Maybe not even at fourth glance. The tenth version is the one that goes to print.

It gets really dicey at about 6. My Speech class is working on impromptu speaking next. I need to improve the way I approached some of these ideas last semester. Organization is incredibly important in this style of speaking and I didn’t deliver that message well last time.

Begin Thought Stream

I’ll create lists of keywords, all of them ideas about a given topic. So pets is a good first topic. I’ll write a list of possible pets on the board and begin class by looking at that list, asking students what the topic of that speech would be. Yeah. Then a list of drinks right next to a list of vacation possibilities. This’ll be a nice way to talk about organization. This is a lot of writing.

Hmm… it would be better if those lists were each jumbled, requiring students to put the words in order as well as figure out the topic. But that’s a lot of writing. And what if one group has a good reason for keeping the list in this order, while the rest of the class wants it in that order?

So maybe write these words on index cards. But that’s a lot of writing. And I have to write these big enough so students can see from the back of the room. Or I could print out each word. Magnets would keep them on the whiteboard and let me move them around.

Wait! Type them up in Word and use the projector. Students call out the order and I just highlight-n-drag words around. That could work. And no writing. Still, I’m at the front leading the conversation. The same kids who always talk will contribute. And there’s no remnant of the conversation other than the Word document on my machine.

Hang on… I used this thing to help create the English master schedule last summer. The page had a bunch of boxes on it that I could click and drag around. That would be perfect here. It’d be the same as lists on the whiteboard, just lists on a Web page. Lots of boxes with keywords in them and students can move them around on any one of the computers in the room. Then we debrief with each group reading off their order. And if I put a textbox at the top of each set of keywords, groups can even type in a topic for each batch of words. That’s good. I like it.

Where did I put it? What was it called?

End Stream

I find it and put it to use, but it ends up costing me quite some time to arrange, debug, and write. I think I went overboard on this one.

The idea for this blog entry hits me, but it’s far too late to write it. It’ll wait.

It’s 8:13pm as I head out to my car. I have not eaten since lunch.

Evening highlight: walking into Cosentino’s, U2’s “Two Hearts Beat As One” is on. I love early U2.

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