Thursday, December 22, 2005

Two Days to Go!
Only two days will the holiday break - YEAH! We are going long this week. This trimester is going to be tough on the students as we transition from learning skills to application which also brings more assessment of skills, rather than just credit for practice.

Notebooks also become very important and many students struggle with this transition. We have also been blessed with some new additions to our class - I am lucky that I have students willing to share what they have learned with the new students.

We are also finishing our videos from the This I Believe Project. It has been a trimester (and then some) project. Hope to have the results DONE before we leave on Thursday so we can watch a few of them --- once we figure out how to effectively burn them to DVD. Assemblies today and tomorrow... new schedule and that should be interesting -- hasn't been tried before.

Been working on assessing and giving students' feedback on work since about 3:30 am (couldn't sleep). My goal for this trimester is more formative assessments (i.e. checking to see where students are with the material and what they understand) and more feedback (aka responding to posts and responses to writing and assignments). Time for yoga and facing the day.. will be ready for the Dec. 24th shopping rush.. hope I can help my pal get shopping done EARLY and enjoy the Christmas Eve spirit. Then down to Mission Viejo for a few days and then rest and relaxation (and some chores) at home.

Look forward to seeing everyone in class again in 2006.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

December sure crept up on little cat's paws this year! I love December because the holiday music is playing, it is usually chilly enough that I can wear all my sweaters (the coldest version of winter that we have) and I get time to enjoy my family. I am a Christmas's what we've done in my family and there are so many other people of different belief systems, faiths and backgrounds who also share in the joy of this season

My family used to love traveling on the holidays usually skiing. When we were in town, I started a tradition of dropping off cards and small presents (cheap ornaments, trinkets) at their doors on Christmas morning. When my brother was older, he joined thefun, with me driving and him running up to the door. The idea was not to impose, just to leave something behind to let people know you were thinking about them. Kinda a random acts - sometimes I would sign things, other times I wouldn't.

I love sending out cards. I had a friend who once saw my boyfriend and asked, "Where's the Card?!! I want my Christmas letter!" That was a year that I was a bit down in the dumps and didn't get things out until January. I have written an end of the year letter, not so much family oriented, although they are always a big part of it because they are a big part of my life), but mainly about how to do some reflecting, things I've found, books, life lists, etc. ALways fun. Takes a while to get the cards ready, and I love it!

The first holiday event is happening today... a volleyball friend gathering -- people I have known for over 20 years. We all started playing Adult School Volleyball in Redondo Beach and although it's been years since most of us have touched a volleball in competitive settings, we have our own family group and celebrate birthdays and other life events together regularly. It's gotten use through some rough times, like losing a close friend on 9-11 (pentagon plane) and marriages (although not many amongst us0. It's great. This week I get to make my annual birthday milk and cookie event for the teachers at school.

When I was in college my birthday always fell the week that I as a photo major, was spending 6-7 hours in the darkroom working on my final project during study week the week before finals. So, to at least get to celebrate a little, I baked cookies, brownies, banana bread and wheeled them into the common area in the lab and set up the milk and such in the fridge and offered it to anyone who came in to work. My way of celebrating my birthday... Sometimes I told who brought in the stuff, other times, just let people enjoy it and smiled.

Time to head down south for the party... Have a great holiday season...