Sunday, September 12, 2010

TSS: 9.12.10

Well, this week was a blur.  Between trying to find 24 hour care for my mom, getting her situated in her apartment again, and school getting into full swing, I barely had time for anything else.  Until my life adjusts into a more predictable routine, I thought it might be good to segment The Sunday Salon into three parts:  personal, teaching, and reading.

The holiday weekend was anything but a holiday for me.   For some reason - I am sure dictated by insurance companies - the hospital chose to release my mom last Sunday.  While I am sure she was physically ready to go home, logistically it was a nightmare.  Her regular pharmacy - the one associated with the hospital - was closed; my pharmacy had limited hours and the hospital refused to give us a two day supply of meds to see us through.  After running all over the county, I was finally able to retrieve her meds on Monday afternoon - 24 hours after she was discharged.

In addition, she is not allowed to stay by herself due to her recent wondering episode and leaving the plastic pan on the stove's heated burner.  She is currently on the waiting list for Assisted Living, but until a unit becomes available she must have someone with her at all times.  Again, trying to schedule this kind of care when given less than 24 hours notice on a holiday weekend proved to be nearly impossible.

Consequently, this week I have had no energy to do anything except the bare essentials.  I am hopeful that this next week life will begin to level out and I can find the time to do a few other things besides teach - like clean the house, go grocery shopping, and perhaps read.

I am constantly trying to improve lesson plans and/or add new projects to the classroom mix.  This year I am teaching college level English Composition for the first time and this past week the students wrote their first rough draft.  While I have always utilized the concept of "peer edit" in the classroom, this week was the first time that I tried "group edits" - that is, each student read aloud his/her piece while the rest of us viewed the hard copy.  Students then offered constructive criticism and praise for the work in question.

Now sometimes my ideas are far more successful on paper than they are in reality, but I am pleased to say that this was one time that the new idea far exceeded my expectations.  The students really enjoyed the conversational feedback and I do believe each paper yielded a teachable moment for all.  I will definitely be using this strategy in other writing classes.

It was certainly not from a lack of "wanna" that I did not accomplish much in the reading department this week.  I tried to force myself to keep my eyes open long enough to read at least a chapter every night.  I am currently reading a short novella by Susan Hill entitled, The Man in the Picture .  This is for Carl's delightful challenge, RIP V.  Again, I am hoping that a more settled week, coupled with more fall-like temperatures, will yield greater opportunities for personal reading this week.

I have tried to keep up with blogs this week, although I find that I am not quite able to read as many as I would like, and unfortunately comment on even fewer.  I know that this unbalanced time of life shall pass, and I greatly look forward to spending more time with all of you soon.


  1. You have so much on your plate that it is nothing short of miraculous that you would find time to read anything at all! The trials and tribulations with your mom really point out the system we all have to deal with as our parents get older. It is so frustrating and can really suck the life out of you. Take time for yourself when you can and here's hoping that things will settle down a bit soon.

  2. Your life Molly sees like mine was in 1987. My mom was dying of cancer, I was a single parent to a 9 and 12 year old and trying to work full time and go to school. Sometimes it felt like I couldn't make it through another day. Surprisingly, somethings you get renewed strength when you need it most - I hope that happens to you.

    Have a great week--HUGS

  3. I have around 45 students in my community college composition classes so I actually put my students in pairs or small groups of 3's to have them read aloud to one another. I too believe in this variation on peer editing...I'd love to hear more about your it required?

  4. I am so sorry to hear about all the problems with your mother. It's so hard to take care of our parents as they age, especially when we're still trying to take care of our children. I'll be praying for you and your mom.

  5. You certainly had a week, didn't you. I hope your mom spends very little time on the waiting list. We went through the same thing with C.J.'s mom.

    I've had very mixed results with peer editing. I suspect it would work better with older students. Glad to hears it's working for you. I can really have the teacher a lot of grading time.

  6. What a week for you, Molly! It's so difficult when it comes to that point--and even worse on a holiday weekend! Ugh! We had to go through something similar with my grandmother. It was heart breaking and exhausting.

    I am glad the "group edit" idea worked out well in class! I imagine it too could depend on the make up of the class. It sounds like you have a great group of students this year.

    I've heard such great things about Susan Hill but haven't read anything by her. I hope you are able to find time to read this week.

    Have a good week, Molly. My thoughts are with you. And if you ever need to talk, I'm just a click on the computer away.

  7. What a good daughter you are! I hope your mom realizes this.

    Hang in there. Keep a tiny corner of each day just for you. And know that lots and lots of book friends are praying for you....

  8. You are too calm for this, but I am screaming--at the hospital, the insurance companies, the pharmacies, for leaving your mother (and by extension you) in such a desperate situation. Trying to find 24-hour care--which is a misnomer--is difficult under any circumstances, much less on a day's notice. I am glad that you somehow managed to retain your sense, your awesome teaching ability, and a bit of reading. A sanity preserver if ever there was one!
    Hoping that this coming week is far easier on the personal front, a continued success in the professional arena; and that you somehow manage to squeeze in the reading. Not for a challenge, not for the blog, just for YOU.
    Hang on--you are in the thoughts and prayers of many, including me.

  9. Hope that things get settled soon with your mom; I know that's been weighing heavily on you.

    Love the idea of a group edit. I have often seen my kids have their work edited by a student that really wasn't up to the task. A whole group would give each student a balanced edit and teaches all of the kids more.

  10. The fact that you ended up on my blog today makes me even love you more. I can empathize a bit on the worrying about the parent. I can appreciate the fact that this issue is not going to go away for me for quite some time. It stresses me out, and I'm sure it stresses you out. Come to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!!! If you want to rant and rave, I am here for you. I will listen.

  11. Ah, Molly, I truly understand the stresses of dealing with parent care. It's just absolutely draining in so many ways. And people will persist in telling you to take time for yourself. With all the best intentions I know, but's so hard to do.

    Hugs to you, lady. Remember when your kids were little and they cried and cried and you thought you would go mad and then it was finally better. It's like that.

    I'm keeping you in my prayers too. Wish I lived near and could help you out. I truly do. :-)

  12. Molly, may God give you the strength to do those things He intends for you to do.

    I so appreciate your gift of time and attention to the elderly AND to our youth.


  13. Oh Molly, I'm so sorry you are having such a difficult time now. It's stressful enough to have a parent getting ready to go into a nursing home, never mind having to deal with medications and the shortfall in the health system. Here's a hug from Canada, and wishes that things sort them out very quickly for you there.

  14. Molly - it sounds like you are having a nightmare of a week. I hope things ease up soon for you and you can get back to normality.

  15. Molly - it sounds like you are having a nightmare of a week. I hope things ease up soon for you and you can get back to normality.

  16. The situation with your mom sounds nightmarish. I can't imagine how you can even deal with it, work and even find time to write a blog post or read. Hang in there .. this too shall pass.

  17. I know the nightmare you are going through. I think it was much easier to parent my children than it is now to parent my mother. It seems so strange that she can't take care of herself, but she just can't no matter what she says. I know the constant worry that robs you of your strength. All I can tell you is that it will get better. It has for me. My mom has now been in Assisted Living for 2 1/2 weeks and I am finally sleeping through the night.

    I'm keeping you in my prayers. It really will get better and you will be back to reading whole books again.

  18. Take care, Molly. It sounds like life is too stressful right now... hope things are going better this week.

  19. When you mentioned you're teaching English comp for the first time, I thought you were going to say how appalled you were with the poor writing skills of college freshmen. I know that's always my reaction the first week of teaching any college English course. I shake my head in dismay and wonder what in the world they're teaching kids in high school these days, because it's sure not good writing skills!

    When you need a break and need to laugh, pick up a copy of my newest Birder Murder mystery -"A Bobwhite Killing." It will help you forget the teaching headaches!

  20. Molly, I hope your week has gotten better - it sounds like you have a ton of stuff on your plate right now. Hopefully balance will settle in soon and things will go more smoothly. Your group edit idea sounds wonderful!


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