Last weekend I was in Nashville visiting my son and his girlfriend, my brother and his wife, and the Birth of Impressionism exhibit at the Frist. It was a glorious weekend filled with joy, laughter, and beautiful art. I was truly able to get away and fully relax, even though I was barely gone for 48 hours. I must admit that it was mighty difficult to get up on Monday morning and go back to school. The only thing that kept me going was knowing that the last final will be given on December 17 and I would then have two-and-a-half weeks of freedom.
I have focused most of my personal time on either Christmas shopping (which I am nearly finished; I think a final trip to the mall tomorrow and that will do it), or reading some terrific books on photography. I have mentioned that I signed up for an online class entitled Picture the Holidays at Big Picture Classes, and while I have not taken many pictures so far this December, I have filed away the daily prompts and read up on some creative photography skills. Two books in particular that I have enjoyed lately are Visual Poetry by Chris Orwig and Within the Frame by David duChemin. I also discovered a book yesterday that I am anxious to study entitled Photos that Inspire by Lynne Eodice. The more I read about photography the more I am convinced that I know very little about the subject.
I have also enjoyed reading the daily prompts from the site Reverb 10. To quote:
Reverb 10 is an support on your journey.Again, I have not made the time to actually write each day, but I have saved the prompts and plan to spend some time over the break reflecting on this past year and looking ahead at what I hope to accomplish in 2011. If you have an interest in doing the same, you can find the daily prompts to reflect on your year and manifest what’s next. Use the end of your year as an opportunity to reflect on what's happened, and to send out reverberations for the year ahead. With Reverb 10 - and the 31 prompts our authors have created for you - you'll have here.
I have not done a minute's work on the NaNoWriMo novel since November 29. I am hopeful to make that a January project: to actually finish the novel (I probably have about five chapters to go) and then to begin revisions. One of the 'prizes' for completing this exercise is to have a copy of the "manuscript" bound by CreateSpace. I hope to take advantage of that kind offer before the June expiration date.
The teaching life has focused on end-of-the-semester wrap up in preparation for finals. The eighth grade class had auditions for A Midsummer Night's Dream on Friday and managed to make this a very difficult decision for yours truly. I am giving thought to performing the play as a series of individual scenes rather than straight through. At the beginning of the year one student asked if we could have a "William Shakespeare" character added to the script and he could act as the narrator. I like that idea. This way all students would be able to perform an important role in the play and have fun.
My finals schedule is not ideal as I have one final on Tuesday, one on Wednesday, one on Thursday and THREE on Friday!! I have tried to develop a grading schedule which will allow me to maximize my time at school and reduce the impact of grading over the weekend. I sincerely hope to have all papers graded and final grades calculated by noon on Saturday which will then leave me with a six days to prepare for the Christmas celebration.
gift, 24 hour Christmas songs on the radio, holiday cookie and candy making, festive decorating and gift wrapping - that December 26th is always somewhat of a let down. This year I hope to continue to enjoy this season of hope by reading some special Christmas stories.
One of the books that I hope to read is Greg Kincaid's newest novel, Christmas with Tucker, the prequel to A Dog Named Christmas, which I thoroughly enjoyed reading last year. The author will once again be appearing at our local library on Saturday, December 18, and I hope to see him and purchase an autographed copy of the book.
I hope this week brings you and your family peace and joy in the midst of holiday preparations.