Tuesday, October 19, 2010

End of the 1st Quarter

When I went to school, I don't remember there being so many distinct academic time frames:

Fourth Week Progress Report
First Quarter
Midterm Progress Report
First Semester
Second Quarter
Second Semester
Fourth Week Progress Report
Spring Progress Report
Third Quarter
Fourth Quarter

Seriously? What's the deal people? Do we just work better under deadlines? Do we thrive on the pressure of countdowns and time limits? I guess I mention this because parent-teacher conferences are this week, which means we are at the halfway point of the halfway point (1/2 of the first semester is over). Now, just so you know, the only grades that appear on a student's transcript are those at semester; therefore, this mid-semester conference is meant to alert parents (and students) of any negative consequences their lack of academic focus might have created, and allow for time to remedy the situation before semester grades appear. 


On to other thoughts. 

I got out my sewing machine this weekend and went to town on a Bible cover. I know, not the most extravagant of crafting projects, but still...it was fun. Unfortunately, I did not do a fantastic job. Some of the fabric creased when I put it through, and I mis-measured one side. But the process of sewing was fun and allowed me to relieve some stress that I've been holding on to for weeks. Who knows, I may end up sewing every night if it helps!

Speaking of stress, does anyone have relevant ways to deal with massive amounts of it? Yoga? Tai chi? Baking? I need some options.

I've been reading Jonathan Safran Foer's Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close lately, and I don't yet know what I think of it. Here's an excerpt that I feel represents the eccentricity of the book:

I went through hundreds of books, thousands of them, they were all over the apartment, I used them as doorstops and paperweights, I stacked them if I needed to reach something, I slid them under the legs of wobbly tables, I used them as trivets and coasters, to line the birdcages  and to swat insects from whom I begged forgiveness, I never thought of my books as being special, only necessary...Later that year, when snow started to hide the front steps, when morning became evening as I sat on the sofa, buried underneath everything I'd lost, I made a fire and used my laughter for kindling: "Ha ha ha!" "Ha ha ha!" (pg. 28). 

This particular passage comes from Oskar's letter from (I think) his father, whom Oskar lost in the attacks of Sept. 11th. His father left him a key, and Oskar is now destined to find the lock which will open the key and, according to Oskar, solve the mystery of his father. I haven't gotten very far into the book, mainly because I keep it at school and read through during each period's allotted independent reading time, but it has my attention at least. I'll let you know when I finish...

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