Weekend Coffee Share, Schooling in the COVID Era

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Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Eclectic Ali.  It’s a half-caff day! I am introverting because it’s better than trying to communicate with a mask, something I am growing tired of.  I’ve been back to work since 8/12 and started teaching students on 8/20; while it’s been great seeing work friends and trying to joke and get to know my students, they don’t get it through the mask mumbling. I can’t wait to communicate and laugh freely, to high-five and hug without fear. But that’s not where we are.

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This starts year 21 of teaching for me.  It is hard sometimes to teach in a mask, and the air from my speaking makes it hotter inside the mask.  Yesterday, I put on the face shield and took the mask off, staying way in the front of the room.  In the back of this picture above, you see the desk shields.  Students have to look around them to see what I’m writing on the board.  They also have a lot to adjust to just as we teachers do.
I finished my physical therapy for the frozen shoulder. I’m not 100% (and the doc had said that would be the case), but still, the difference is amazing! I’d say I am somewhere between 80 and 90% now.  Of course, I’m continuing the exercises I learned in physical therapy.  This is the second time I’ve been through it, but I forgot some important details from the 1st time to the second even though it was only four months.  I also was quite fearful to do too much after I’d hurt my shoulder this time, thus, getting the frozen shoulder.

So, it was good that I was pushed little by little to exercise it, and I stuck with the same PT which made it easier to trust the process and to believe it when he said I could do this. Believe me, I can do things now with my arm and shoulder that I was afraid to do for years!  We talked about limits and he thinks I could do anything within reason. I can be the judge.  I’ll ask the doctor about this next month, too. Should my next adventure be skateboarding, skydiving, axe-throwing?

Anyhow, for now, my adventure is teaching middle schoolers in- person during the COVID pandemic, keeping them safe from others and themselves while opening up their minds to Literature and our language. At the moment, I feel ready to head up this mountain. Actually, sky-diving sounds good right now, since I’m such a risk-taker. 🙂

I got my exercise in for today on the Gazelle exerciser on my porch and did my arm/shoulder exercises.  Other than that, I am indoors, socializing on social media and actually, doing a little bit of writing!  I am working on the novel in progress, Ellie the Time Traveler, and she is going to intersect with Malachi in true star-crossed lovers fashion! Love can be bittersweet…..

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That’s all I’ve got for today! I am feeling pretty good, glad to be writing again and not wearing a mask for a while.  I hope you all are enjoying your weekend!

 

Weekend Coffee Share. My Calling. 8/10

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee share, hosted by Allison at eclecticali.wordpress.com

 

I’ve had a fruit V8 and now it’s time for my half a cup of coffee. You may enjoy whatever you like!  It will likely be another hot day.  It has already been a good morning.  Back to School season is in full swing, and I have been up before or at 6 a.m. all week, working non-stop either physically, to prepare my room, or mentally, to prepare my lessons.

I stayed up ’til midnight last night and woke up promptly at 6:30 a.m.  No 8-hour sleep-in for me.  I’m already getting into the grind, but I rebelled. After laying in bed, stretching and mentally preparing myself for not being able to sleep late for a year, I spent 20 uninterrupted minutes sitting on the porch watching Bixby’s nose twitch and ears perk. He enjoyed it too, I’m sure.

We observed a lot, like the fact that the sun felt good and my new neighbor gets picked up on a Saturday by a big truck blaring Spanish talk-radio, and some other neighbor’s brakes squeal, and the next door neighbor goes out on his ten- speed at 8 a.m. Also, there was still dew on the ground, so I knew I couldn’t get sunburned, on the porch, at 8 a.m. Nice start to the day! Now my brain is awake.
I need to continue porching it through the fall season, too! 

This video is from a July morning on the porch.  I thought you would enjoy it.  Bixby features frequently in my blog posts and Weekend Coffee Shares.  He is my adopted shelter dog and also a girl’s/writer’s best friend.  We go on adventures together and we sit and observe the world together.

 

Since I have mentioned Back-to School, I want to tell you how truly wonderful it is to take the road less traveled.  I went to a training this week that was not packed full, none of my friends were going to  it.  It was about helping kids understand advanced text.  The instructor spoke to me right away and offered me a matchbox car.  That was fun!  Then we had to talk to others about why we chose the one we chose.  We loved talking about that.  When we answered a question, he asked our name and asked the whole ‘class’ to say “Thank you, Pam.”  There were about 40 people in there, but we talked, we moved around, we used our brains.  We were actively learning, and that’s what we need to do with our students.  This was a wonderful break from an over-crowded meeting room with people on their laptops while someone at the front ‘talks at us.’ It got me really pepped up for what I need to do daily, which is, get to know my kids, and then inspire them to do the work that will help them learn the most.  I think about writing full-time, but I know my work in the public school system is not yet done.  It isn’t easy, and many spend just 1-5 years teaching in public schools, but what is best for the kids? I want to do what is best.  This is were we determine or help affect the culture of our nation in the future.  It feels like an important calling to me.  Writing keeps me sane, but maybe my writing will also inspire someone and get them thinking about how we treat each other?  That can be done in any genre.

On the writing front,   the Malachi manuscript is still with beta readers, and I am entertaining ideas for the cover.  I will be taking my last Teaching Gifted endorsement course this fall, so I may have to slow down progress on that manuscript, but I am holding to a goal of publishing it in the first few months of 2020.  Progress is being made on both of my Detours in Time series books to be produced in audio version.  I’m excited!  Detours in Time may be available for audio purchase in about a month! I just finished listen to the first narration and have sent corrections requests.  Yikes!  This is an awesome feeling.  My narrator for Undercurrents in Time is also getting started.  I’ll share more on that later.  In the meantime, here is a brief clip of the narration for Detours in Time:

https://www.untiedmusic.com/emory/Chapter_11_teaser.mp3

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That’s what’s going on in my world!  I hope you all enjoy your weekend!  I know I need to exercise now, but I think a hot bath may also be on my schedule for today.  I think I have worked for it.  🙂

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