Grading Day


At this point in the day, I am not sure what happened at the beginning of the day, it seems so long ago. Let me think…

I woke up quite early, and despite my aching knee, went to the pool, hoping it would help. It has been well over a month that it has been annoying me and I have seen an evolution of the pain. It never bothers me walking, but now it is particularly noticeable when I get in and out of the car. Thanks to Mary Kay’s knowledge of knee pain management, we came up with a plan. I am a few minutes away from an ice pack.

I headed to the grocery store, purchasing things for the impending cookie production and then came home for breakfast. MK was just coming down from the upstairs bedroom, having just put the baby down for a nap and we proceeded to have something to eat. I then proceeded to finish up my grading for the semester before putting together the grades, producing an excel sheet with the information and then, after recording the grades on the appropriate grade site, e-mailed the excel spreadsheet in to the Division 3 Office of Oakton.

We headed toward lunchtime, doing this and that, and the young charge napped, and napped, and napped. She finally got up and then the next two charges arrived after lunch and the younger of the two was put down for a nap by her mom while the older played.

Samantha and I headed to Language Stars and she had her French class while I headed home for a short time before heading back to pick her up.

Oh, the battery photo…I was on a mission to find this battery in the local Walgreen’s and although I was finally able to read the number, I did not spy any batteries of similar size that said they could replace this one. I got smart and googled it, found a ten-pack on and ordered it (free delivery with Amazon Prime). Now The ‘Dora the Explorer’ Book will play Dora’s crazy song and Kelsey will be happy.

Dinner ended up being with Christian, Samantha, and Kelsey. We cleaned up and put our tired bodies into the reclining chairs. A busy but rewarding day.

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Horrors, I left my cellphone at home…


Discovering that one does not have a cellphone on one’s person is akin to feeling that something is really wrong and that the entire day is going to be spent feeling that things are just not right.

I got in my car and was on the way to Oakton when I realized, that despite the fact that I had my phone on me during breakfast, I somehow left it at home. I had a sinking feeling and would have gone back (I was a few blocks away) had I had the time. Unfortunately, I had cut the time too close.

Although I had had good intentions and had planned on going to the gym before Oakton, I woke up too late. One of my things of late is to try and be better about getting my ‘Z’ time and if my gym time was affected, so be it. I did get my over a mile walk in with Stewie, so I did not feel too guilty.

One of the great sides of having an iPhone and interconnection with iPad (which I had with me) and a MacBook, is that I have access to my texting, and can see it on all of my devices. As texting has pretty much replaced calling, in most routine daily instances, I am not too concerned as people can get in touch with me via texting anyway. It is even possible now, to take phone calls on my devices as well. That is something I absolutely love about my Apple products.

These micro-computers, our cellphones, have certainly invaded our lives and have become ultra-important. As I was writing this, waiting for my ESL Conversation Hour to begin, I marveled at the two attendees who were there early. Both of them were playing (or doing work) with their cellphones. I keep thinking of those who have passed from this life and what they might think if they were viewing this scenario.

In the end, despite all of the complaints about the invasive nature of technology, we must remember that, in the end, we are the ones who control its entry into our lives. If they are really so invasive, why do we just not take the invasiveness out of our lives? Meanwhile, I will not apologize for my technology usage as it has decidedly improved my life and my productivity.

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Cured by a canine


When you are having a bad day or are feeling a bit under the weather, what is better than having a moment with your dog?

Samantha made me aware on Tuesday that she was feeling out of sorts. I found out right away when I picked her up from school. She came home and we fed her lunch as we took care of her, her sister, and her cousin.

Samantha ate quite well and then we went downstairs to have a “movie day,” a day that occurs when we steer clear of crafts and things and just try to chill.

Before I knew it, she was installed on the couch in the family room and had been joined by Stewart, our resident canine practitioner of the art of cuddling and nurturing. He was literally lying down on top of her as she watched a movie. With that you are pretty much guaranteed a quick recovery.

Is there anything better than that?

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The best explanation I can give for the feeling I had on Monday is that my head felt, at times, as if it were going to explode. The information that is moving from here to there as my neurons do their jobs is overwhelming at times.

What I was doing, once my Oakton stint was up, was to work at Oakton putting together my D2L sites, that being the online class sites that my students and I access to teach the first two semesters of Oakton French.

The big issue is that I am changing textbooks in the second semester class which made it more of a total overhaul of the site instead of a simple set of modifications.

I had to determine what I was teaching, make the exams and quizzes, and now I have to insert them on the site. Luckily, I had already done the tests, which are currently pretty much a day of work per each (as there are two) and I have, as of yet, to install the quizzes, although I already took the time to make them.

Besides that, I had to do what I spent a whole afternoon on Monday doing, revising the resource materials of explanation and help that exist on the site. With a book change, some of them were no longer of use and I needed to insert new ones.

I was deleting things, adding things, moving things around, and technology was helping and interfering the whole time. Once the main set up was made, and that is still affected by things I have to produce, I had to verify that they actually worked and that I had the correct information. By the time I had put in my five hours of solid work, I felt as if I had made little, if any progress as there is still a lot of work to do.

As of four o’clock on Monday, my head felt as if it were going to explode. Luckily, I had to close shop, and head to Winnetka to tutor and clear my head by explaining French and grammar.

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Grading Sunday


The day started out by grading the speaking exams of my students in first semester French. That was the morning and after that I kind of lazed through the morning until I took Stewie for a birthday walk. He was exhausted from yesterday, I had heard that he had gone to the dog park and apparently decided to walk on the pond, fell through, and decided to sit down in the water. He didn’t even care. He did get tired out though.

Following that, I took control of a warm day and cut down some mums and planted potted mums that have seen better days. Whether or not they survive is up for grabs, but at least they are in the ground.

Mary Kay came home from the Container Store with a solution to our issue of a wall that was not being properly used. The wall had several boards together, one being white and the other being a corkboard. As it turns out, the boards have seen better days and are not being used in a way that is beneficial to us. The Container Store helped out and MK came home with the materials from the store. I decided to work on it before going to my tutoring session at 3:00 so I was somewhat under the gun. I managed to pretty much finish, put away most of the stuff, and leave Mary Kay to deciding how to arrange the materials on the new wall. The idea was to take items now on the counter and find a new home for them on a metal wall that would allow for shelves, hooks, etc. The result was really very satisfactory and so satisfactory that I had MK order one more panel and therefore go from three to four panels and thus maximize wall usage.

Meanwhile, Mikey’s real birthday (he was non-existent today) and Stewie’s (he was literally ‘woofed’ and he spent most of the day in the back yard, chilling in the 50 degree weather) was pretty much low key. We were supposed to go downtown for a Shakespeare event but we ourselves were ‘woofed’ from the geriatric events of the weekend and decided not to attend.

I am glad we have the kitchen organization wall under control. I only wish the rest of my life and organizational wishes were as well taken care of.

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