Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Spring Sprung

Finally!

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The phlox by the mailbox has turned into a pink pillow of fluffy cheer.  I did not plant these, I only manage to weed the grass out once or twice a year.  This is the only time this bed is actually attractive!

 

I didn’t plant the Carolina jasmine in back, either. I’m very grateful the previous owners did, though!

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I did plant these intense blue characters, just last year.

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They don’t much like the heat of our summers, but it looks like they’ll give us a nice show every spring.  By next year, they should spread out to cover the entire bed, I think.

 

As promised, the little redbud has started its show, too.

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But just as exciting to me…

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…are the sturdy little pea sprouts emerging boldly from the dirt.

There is, of course, one little hitch…the change from 50-degree days to warmer temperatures shows no sign of slowing.  Tomorrow’s highs are predicted in the low 80s!  That could be bad news for my cool weather crops, if it continues.  It’s supposed to cool just a bit and rain by the weekend, so maybe this will just give ‘em all a jumpstart, eh?

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In the meantime, I have begun teaching again two evenings a week.  It doesn’t sound too onerous, but I also need another couple of evenings for lesson planning, grading and so on.  Funny thing is, when I was in graduate school, I used to prefer doing those to my coursework, so I used my teaching duties to procrastinate from reading long journal articles and writing similarly analytical jargon-filled expositions.  (Can you tell I have no regrets about leaving the hallowed halls of higher education?)

These days, however, it’s the teaching chores I put off by procrastinating with my blog writing!  Fortunately, I have finally discovered the wisdom of hoarding my old (handwritten) lesson plans to use as a jumping-off point for my planning.  I felt like this when I finally pulled them out and realized how much easier this could have been all along:

Facepalm

What…an…idiot.”

 

Still, I forgive myself a little bit…in my teaching career, I was constantly changing courses (and languages!), and this is the first time I’ve every taught the same course more than 3 times.  So by the time I had good, strong lesson plans, quizzes, activities, etc. to use with one book in one course, I was off to something different.

Hey, the best thing about teaching is that you keep learning, right?

Anyway, I have a great situation this quarter, with only SIX students in my course!  There are no men in the class, which seems to leave the women freer to be smart and assertive, without the usual tee-heeing and posturing that goes on in a mixed class (seriously, I can already see a difference).  More importantly, they all seem to be good, well motivated students.  They’ve already listened to some of my study and organizational tips, and have retained a few expressions I just mentioned in passing.  If they keep this up, they will raise the bar for me, too, and that can only be good for everybody.

14 comments:

  1. It snowed here today. Crap.

    But that made your flowers all the prettier. And my crocuses are blooming in spite of the weather!

    It must be hard on Rosie when you are away in the evening as well as the daytime. Oh, and hard on you, too :)

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    1. We've been dealing with mosquitoes for almost a month. There are definitely trade-offs!

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  2. Oh Alison, you're killin' me! Your flowers are so pretty. Sniff-sniff.

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    1. I'm sniff-sniffing too...because the world is greenish-yellow with pollen now. All of our cars look like tennis balls on wheels.

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  3. And, I had to do some shoveling today....

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    1. I've mowed three times already this spring. Twice last week, and it needs it again already!

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    2. Hmm...actually, it must be four times... ;)

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  4. Spring is almost here too.......just a whisper away!X

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    1. Sounds like you believe it now!

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  5. I love those little blue flowers - what are they?

    Your post threw me for a loop because I realized after reading it I was (for the first time since I bought the farm and quit) missing teaching! I still tutor, for cash flow and because I enjoy it, but there's nothing like the excitement of starting a new course with a new group of students. I'm glad you're reaping the rewards of all your hard work in the past - have fun!

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    1. It's called lithodora--thank heavens for the blog as a reference, because I have no idea where I put the label I know I saved! It was labeled as a ground cover for full sun, but I found out via Google that it doesn't like heat. So maybe the label should have said partial sun!

      I mostly get stressed by teaching--which is why I'm happy to leave it as a side job. But thanks for reminding me that I do actually love it. It's just the outside-of-class stuff that bugs me. :)

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  6. I dislike hot weather. I already miss the winter.

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    1. You're too young for the Grumpy Old Man act, Garret! Besides, that's why God gave us air conditioning.

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  7. Bonjour Alison. Glad I stopped by today. I enjoyed this story about spring... and teaching. Lovely colors to start, then your impressions about teaching. I can totally relate. I will be developing a couple of new classes for the local community college this summer when I return from Europe and can hardly wait. They will be French language classes for adults, as always, and they will be filled with cultural tips. I do enjoy teaching groups of students, and tutoring is not quite the same for me. A bientôt, Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

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