I can do this

10 days left with my kids this year, and I had my first “maybe I should turn around and go home or at least drive off a bridge” moment on my way in to work this morning, which is really weird, because this hasn’t been that kind of year. Like, yesterday was probably the worst day since I’ve been back, and yesterday was nothing when compared to a bad day in literally any other year I’ve been teaching. Like, darn, I had two hard classes and wrote two kids up. Suck it up, Buttercup; I think my record was, what, seventeen in a day at the Hell School in Chicago? And that was a year when I only had maybe 60 kids in a day and not 140?

(Well, okay, I’m probably not actually seeing sixty kids a day right now, but you know what I mean.)

I’ve got the rest of the year planned out; I need one good day and I can actually get all the assignments written out for those classes. Hell, if I had any balls I’d just put all of them online right now as a grand experiment in what the kids would actually do. “Here is all of your work for the rest of the year; go for it” might be a really interesting thing to say, and it’s not like anybody is watching me too closely right now or would be mad about it if they were.

… hell, I might actually do that, just to see. The data collection aspect of it might be too much of a pain in the ass to be worth it, though. But it would be a fun story.

I need to start some hard-core planning for next year. I’m getting lazy, and I need to break out of that; it’s been a long time since I had the same job for three years in a row, and I need to make sure I’m actually doing a better job next year than I have been. (Not that I’ve been doing poorly, mind you, but the thing about even my first year at my current school was I had to hit the ground running, and this last year and the last quarter of the year before that have been “figure-it-out-as-you-go” kinds of years. I need this one to be well-planned and effective, and I probably ought to alter some things about my practice or at least try out some new shit and see how it works.

Lots to think about. That makes it video game time, obviously.


…my plan for vacation is “sleep.”

In which I’m planning my nerdery and also I’m stupid

We’re heading to Chicago for C2E2 tomorrow; we only bought tickets for the Saturday part of the show, but we’re going to stay with my brother on Friday night so that we don’t have as long or complicated a drive to deal with on Saturday morning. I spent some time tonight looking around at who was planning on being there and trying to wargame out who I wanted to see and how much standing in lines I thought my eight-year-old might be willing to tolerate. Which is … probably not too much, honestly.

I have a handful of people on my list: two comics writers, Gail Simone and Al Ewing, both of whom should be easy enough to find at their Artist’s Alley tables, Noelle Stevenson, who my wife also wants to meet and who is responsible for the excellent Netflix She-Ra program, and a few science fiction authors: John Scalzi, Sam Sykes, Robert Jackson Bennett and S.L. Huang. I have absolutely no idea whatsoever how difficult it will be to get autographs from these people, and I’m not about to subject my kid to lengthy lines, but is Sam Sykes gonna have a long line? I mean, probably not, right? Who the hell knows. There’s also the minor decision needed about whether I’m gonna bring stuff with me for autographing, which takes up space and requires me to carry said stuff around, or if I’m going to plan on buying things for signatures, which, okay, it’s our anniversary so I’m gonna splurge a bit, but I don’t know how many extra books I need just for signatory purposes. I mostly want to just meet these folks; the signatures are frankly all sorts of secondary to that purpose.

Now, take all that, whip up a bunch of unnecessary COVID-19 related paranoia, and pour said paranoia all over my plans like some sort of infection-based gravy. There have been sixty damn cases of the novel coronavirus in America, and I know how to wash my damn hands, which is the best way to avoid it. I’m just not super eager to be northern Indiana’s patient zero when I contract this shit and then spread it all over a damn middle school. Am I going to let this change my plans? Hell no, although I’m probably going to spend a smidge more time with my hands in my pockets than I might otherwise, and there’s definitely going to be more hand-washing than usual. But it’s in the back of my brain anyway, because stupid, and because oh right I have an actual anxiety disorder and anxiety disorders love this shit. Like, there’s nothing an anxiety disorder loves more than going to a 100,000-person-strong nerd convention during the opening weeks of a pandemic. Loves it.

Unrelated to anything: I am listening to a Kesha album right now, on purpose, and I’m rather enjoying it.

Anyway, I’ll post tons of pictures– pretty sure I can’t be infected with anything through my camera– and the usual end-of-month posts will be happening as usual. Whee!

In which I miss out

There were apparently something on the order of fifteen thousand teachers protesting at the Statehouse in Indianapolis today. Most of the public districts across the state, including mine, cancelled school today when it became clear that it would be utterly impossible to staff the buildings given the number of people taking personal days to attend the protest. I was not personally among them; I know a bunch of people who went, obviously, but given that my mother is currently back in the hospital and the only viable transportation to the protest was by bus (I am not about to fight fifteen thousand extra out-of-towners for parking in downtown Indianapolis) I was deeply leery of being three hours away from home and not actually personally in charge of when I could come back.

So I didn’t go. Which, honestly, is probably for the best; I have Twitter and my blog when I want to talk and/or think about politics, the governor wasn’t there anyway, and I really didn’t need to spend the day in a simmering rage. If I could have had a guarantee that no one would try to talk to me while I was there it might have worked out okay, but that seems unlikely. Instead I stayed home and played with cats and also played the new Star Wars game on my PS4, which is not the most productive use of my day but possibly the most sane.

The new cat’s name might be Dr. Doofenschmirtz, by the way.

In which I am unkilled

I’m in my typical Monday semi-coma, reclining in my recliner (that’s what it’s for) and trying to motivate myself to, like, eat dinner or clean something or read something or do anything but stare at my computer, but the following is still true, and I’d like to take a moment to celebrate it: tomorrow is the last day of the first quarter, meaning I have survived the first quarter of my return to teaching.

If I can make it through the first quarter, I can make it through the first semester. And if I can do that, I can finish the year.

I’m still not sure if I want to do this next year again. I don’t know if this is a “permanent” return or just a single-year thing; we’ll see. But the first quarter didn’t kill me. And right now, I’ll take that.