Summer Goals Update

Summer is just whizzing by, so I thought I ought to examine my Summer Goals 2008 list and see how I’m doing.

Let’s see:
1. Begin and finish a MAJOR landscaping project.

We’ve actually exceeded my expectations for this project and made huge progress. I’m even attempting to reseed sections of my lawn in the middle of the summer heat.

A common misperception is that lawn planting is a spring or fall thing because the seed prefers the cool weather. I did my research, though, and found that it’s not the heat (it’s the humidity… no, no, no), it’s keeping the seeds wet enough when it’s very hot (okay, since it has to do with evaporation, maybe it IS a humidity thing!). So we’re diligently watering, watering, watering… I have high hopes. Yay us!

2. Begin and finish one grad class.

Okay, I’m in the middle of the class and it’s going well. The only thing is, I have to teach myself to chill out… repeat after me: every grade does not have to be an A, every grade does not have to be and A, every grade does not have to be an A.

To clarify, my grade is currently 100%. My problem is that I’m spending too much time on assignments, and it’s just not necessary. My fear, though, is that I won’t get an A on something.

That’s a lie. I don’t want an A on everything – I want 100%. Impossible expectations, anyone? So my amended goal here is to chill out and deal with it if I happen not to ace an assignment.

3. Take up swimming (as in laps)

I’ve tried. Really. Honestly. Unfortunately, I really prefer sitting on my (expanding) bum and reading. I haven’t given up, but I’m thinking that swimming across the bay with AM is never going to happen.

4. Learn Spanish

I’ve actually made some progress with this. Now, instead of being able to only discuss what prescription insurance will and won’t cover, I can also ask, “Is that your chair?” This is important. At school we often have situations where unclaimed chairs appear randomly near Spanish speaking kids. I’ll be indispensable!

Yeah, alright, that’s crap. I’ve actually picked up more Spanish reading Cormac McCarthy’s “All the Pretty Horses” and “The Crossing.” There are entire conversations in Spanish, most of which he does not translate.

I’m wondering if finding a jr. high level novel in Spanish and making a once-a-week lunch date with some Latino kids in my school wouldn’t help me more than walking around my kitchen talking to my iPod.

5. Clean out all of the closets and cabinets in my house

ROFL – I haven’t cleaned out a single closet or cabinet. Not one. Not a SINGLE one. Must get moving on this. Ugh – just disgraceful..

6. Simplify and incorporate technology into all of my curriculum units.

The simplification part is coming along. I have come to the conclusion, along with my ever-loving husband, that I just cannot keep doing what I’m doing in regards to grading load. So focus number 1 for me this summer has been re-thinking what I do and why I do it. I’ve made great strides. I won’t bore anyone with the details, but I think I’m on to something….

I suppose we’ll see whether or not I’m right once the school year is in full swing. Check back with me in November. That’s usually when I hit the wall..

7. Re-arrange my classroom.

I’ve been shoving filing cabinets and bookcases and desks all over the joint, but I’m still unsure how I’ll end up.

Actually, a lot of my choice has been taken away. I’ve just learned that my classes are going to be BIG this year, so I’ve got to figure out how to get another 3 student desks in my room and still have room to teach and “walk the rows.” Wish me luck – I’ll need it..

8. Learn how to relax again.

Though you cannot tell from the above updates, I’ve actually been doing a great deal of relaxing. I spend a huge amount of time in my pajamas, and yesterday I never even left my property. When I veg, I veg, and it’s wonderful.

A big breakthrough in this area is that (trumpet fanfair) my kids have finally decided to sleep in this summer! Whereas in prior years they’d be up at 7:00 every day, sometimes they’ll stay in bed past 9:00.

I know this sounds early to some of you, but to my parent friends out there, I’ve gotta tell you – this is as big as the first time they manage to get to the toilet before they throw up. Big time improvement.


So it seems that I’m making progress on my lists… all except for the closet and cabinet thing. That’s okay – we’re looking at a house in a better (and much coveted by us) neighborhood tomorrow. Although it’s doubtful that we’re going anywhere (you know about the housing market, right?), it’s likely that it’ll get me thinking about how much cleaning out I’d have to do if it all fell into place.


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