Well hello, my wonderful Coffee Share friends! Come on in, grab you a cup of tea and have a seat. Today we’re drinking green tea with a hint of honey and ginger, or rather I am. There’s coffee pods near the keurig and some iced tea in the fridge. Help yourself!
This week’s coffee share should be shorter than usual since not much happened (not much happens anywhere anymore, it seems), but I can’t wait to give you all the details about what has happened this week!
In other words, it’s probably not shorter than usual… You’ve been warned!
You may have noticed that my mood has greatly improved from last week. While I’m not completely functioning at 100% where my actual work is concerned, the work I did get accomplished was very rewarding!
First of all, I am frustrated because I’m behind on grading, which is only made worse by the fact that the kids suddenly realize that their grades DO matter and suddenly I have students contacting me left and right about what they have to do in order to pass. Meaning that every time I go to look at grades, the pile (if there were physical papers) is bigger.
If I was only focused on that, my mood wouldn’t be much better. The thing that has really improved my mood is the other work I got done.
See, the CoronaVirus situation means that the state testing was canceled this year. While this is a positive thing for most, there are seniors who cannot graduate without passing those 5 silly tests. This week, I got to be part of a handful of individual graduation committees. Meaning that I got to meet with students, their parents, and other teachers to discuss whether or not a student had shown enough progress to graduate without taking the test. At the end of each meeting (held on Zoom, of course), the committee votes to decide if the student is eligible to graduate.
This happens every year for those kids who, for whatever reason (disability, language barrier, behavior problems, testing anxiety), cannot pass the test. This year, some of these kids could pass but didn’t have the opportunity to take the test because, well, the end of the world happened.
As such, a lot of these students seemed really nervous, like they thought there was a possibility someone would vote “NO” and they wouldn’t be able to graduate.
Of course, everyone voted yes (at least they did in the meetings I was a part of), and the students and parents were so excited that in at least two of the meetings there were tears of joy.
In one meeting, the mother explained (in Spanish) that she was unbelievably proud of her child because they had moved to the country very recently and she felt terrible because she could not help her student due to the language barrier. She spoke no English, and understood very little. She just kept hugging her child and saying how proud she was.
It was one of those moments where your faith in humanity is suddenly restored.
Another really positive moment for me was when one of my students (one I’d only had for a few weeks before the quarantine started) sent me an email telling me that she could tell that I really cared about the kids and that, even though she’d only been in my class for a few weeks, I was truly one of her favorite teachers.
Meanwhile, I was hit by some inspiration this week.
On Mondays on Twitter, there is a hashtag game, #MissMuseMe, where she posts a pic and then asks you to write a sentence to go with it.
Something about the sentence I wrote stuck with me through the week until Wednesday night/Thursday morning I was able to put together a short poem. It’s been a while since I wrote a poem, so I was a little worried it would be garbage, but I’ve gotten some positive feedback from my friends I’ve shared it with offline, and at least one positive comment on here.
If you take the time to go read it, please leave me some feedback; I want to improve as a writer.
But be gentle; I really haven’t written creatively in a while until recently.
Speaking of feedback… I entered a microfiction contest a little while ago, and while I can’t post my story here, they allowed us to post in a forum to get feedback, and the feedback I’ve gotten there is mostly positive. Maybe it’s always positive because they are also people in the contest and they want similarly positive feedback, too.
Who knows? Either way, it’s made me feel better about my own little story.
I also found the inspiration to draft a few other posts that will be posting on here within the next week or so. It’s been a very long time since I’ve been ahead with my posts, so that is exciting!
I guess I really should have labeled this post “Weekly Coffee Share: Productive!” But I was more aware of how much every little thing seemed to affirm that I am on the right track.
That 4 or 5 month break I took at the beginning of the year to revamp this blog, along with the not entirely voluntary time to reflect (Thanks CoVid), seem to have brought me to the right place finally.
So, that’s what was going on this week in my world. How are things in your life? Are you surviving the Quarantine? Have you been going back out into the world?