This past Friday afternoon when I left work, I felt like a huge burden had been lifted. I had reached that point where writing teachers feel as if we're slipping into the abyss of essays that need grading. The essays are not all graded, but at least I have a break.
I'm a slow grader...not even gonna try and make excuses for it.
I'm not a snooty teacher...I promise...but I can only read so many student essays at a time, especially if the students write about the same essay topics over and over again :( Please imagine hundreds of essays comparing and contrasting dining at home vs. eating out. Really, after two or three essays, tops, there's just not that much original material left to talk about :/
I try to encourage my students to write about something original, something that they know a lot about...I know that they will write a better essay on a topic like that, but I also know the essay will be easier for me to grade...a quicker read in many cases bc I'll actually be interested in what I'm reading.
My friend and colleague, Missie, sits down with a stack of essays as soon as they've been turned in. She mechanically grades that stack right then and there. She won't even talk to the rest of us if she has essays to grade.
It just wears me out.
Our Thanksgiving break is the best week of my year...I get to be Mommy, my house gets cleaner than any other time of the year, and I get to cook for days. I've got my menu made and the turkey is already thawing in the fridge. I stick to the same basics, especially the family traditions (canned cranberry sauce, no discussion), but each year I might add a new recipe to the mix just to see how things go. One Thanksgiving issue that bothers me is when I reach that point of the meal prep where it seems everything needs to be in the oven or on the stove at the same time.
Do you know what I'm talking about?
The cornbread dressing and sweet potato casserole are the two main sides that really throw me for a loop each year. They are both so big and need to cook for the longest...and that's AFTER the turkey is finally finished cooking. I always find myself juggling pots and pans in and out of the oven for the last couple of hours before mealtime.
I stumbled upon a website just yesterday that lauded using crock-pots for both of my main sides.
I never even thought about the crock-pot as an option!
I then googled both cornbread dressing and sweet potato casserole in the crock-pot to see what other people said, and all I found were positives. I think I'm gonna try it...I'm a little nervous...what the heck will I do if they turn out yucky?
My other questionable recipe for this year is Giblet Gravy. I struggle with gravy. For the life of me I do not understand the idea of making gravy out of a turkey's neck and innards :p I used to eat it with no problem...until it became my job to make it. I usually just give in at the last minute and make a simply brown gravy or turkey gravy from one of those McCormick packets, but I found a recipe and step by step instructions yesterday that I might can handle.
The Best Books of 2012 lists have started popping up. This was the first one I've run across:
Some good stuff here, but I always find it interesting what some folks think is "best." Of course, I guess we'll be having this conversation for as long as there are readers in the world with differing opinions.
I'm participating in the Gratitude Giveaways this month, hosted by I Am A Reader, Not a Writer. Check out my list of gently read books for optional prizes and then check out the list of over 100 blogs participating in the hop.
Unless you've been under a rock, you know that Hostess has filed bankruptcy. That means no more Twinkies, no more King Dons and no more Wonder Bread (amongst a whole bunch of other stuff).
It's kinda sad to see iconic American products reach the end of the road, isn't it?
Even sadder though are the people and families who've found themselves without jobs.
I can't even imagine.
I found a couple of other articles I think are worth sharing. The first one is about 80 year old author Phillip Roth who has decided officially to retire. It's interesting to read about what his life as a writer entailed and how he is using these last years of his life in such different ways.
The other article is about a child who was diagnosed with an inability to feel pain. Did you think that only happened in the movies or on tv? Me too. This article really brings to light some of the day to day dangers of living with the disease. Sadly, not many children survive to adulthood. Imagine having an inflamed appendix (which should hurt, but doesn't) but never knowing you were in danger until it killed you. Imagine that being your child. Very interesting stuff.