Sunday, January 22, 2012

TSS - 1.22.12

It has been a good week.  Although that is in large part due to the shortened work week due to the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.  I could definitely get used to teaching just two days a week!

I have tried to keep relatively silent about school this year; first semester was difficult.  But I just had to share the excitement in my yearbook class.  I don't remember if I reported here or not, but somehow I consented to co-teach the year book class with the art teacher - neither one of us having any experience in yearbook whatsoever and with a staff of only three underclassmen who were equally inexperienced.  It made for a stressful first few months of school.  Fortunately I was able to negotiate a delay in the delivery of yearbooks until August, which meant that we had no deadlines first semester,  This was indeed a blessing.

However the great news is.....we now are a staff of twelve students!!  Many of these students are juniors and seniors - and two of them have actually worked on yearbook in the past.  What a joy it is to arrive in class and see students working on assignments without having to be prodded or coaxed.  I feel confident that we will meet our deadlines this year - and that the end product will be a quality one.

photographs taken week of
January 15-21, 2012
I completed the Finding Your Eye online course this week and while I would love to register for the next session immediately, I am using great restraint.  I have already registered for the Slice of Life project - which will begin on February 6th, and I think that is probably all I can handle this semester.  I believe this new course will help me to truly find the beauty in everyday life - and I am very hopeful that I will continue to develop my eye for photography.  Perhaps I will be able to take the subsequent Finding Your Eye course this summer.

I have managed to take a photo every day this month except for one.  While it would be easy for me to declare an early failure in the 365 project - I refuse to allow my perfectionism to rob me of fun in this journey.  So I continue to keep on keeping on....

My photographs are absolutely nothing to write home about, but they do represent what I have experienced each day.  And perhaps that is what the project is supposed to do for me this year:  serve as a visual journal.  And perhaps next year I can focus more on creative composition.

Nicki was the topic of my
travel writing essay this week
I am so far enjoying the travel writing class with Dave Fox.  Last week we had to speed journal four different entries - and I chose to share two with the class.  It is rather intimidating to put my writing out there for total strangers to critique, but I knew in order to get my money's worth for the course, I would need to be willing to take a risk.  I was pleasantly surprised that others enjoyed the writing, and I received some positive comments from the teacher as well.  It definitely encouraged me to continue.

This week we had to write a travel essay that focused on just one particular incident.  The goal was to write an essay that was between 500 and 800 words.  I learned that my daily blog posts during that trip truly helped me to recall details that have dimmed over time.  I also learned that I need to work on prioritizing details - as my "finished" essay was about 910 words.  I am anxious to hear feedback, but ready for some constructive criticism to help me move forward in my writing endeavors.

Well, once again this has taken a backseat in my weekly activities.  I am no further in the Harry Potter series (about page 50 of the first book), but I have skimmed some photography books, most notably Photo Idea Index by Jim Krause, and Exploring the Light by Rick Sammons.  I also picked up a copy of How to Write a Sentence; and How to Read One by Stanley Fish.  I can't remember where I saw this recommendation, but so far it is an enjoyable read - both as a writer and as a teacher of writing.

In Brit Lit we are beginning the study of Pride and Prejudice and while I have read this book at least five times, I am looking forward to re-reading this classic with the class.  It has been a while since I have allowed myself to relax in Jane Austen's description of Regency England, and I look forward to reacquainting myself with long lost literary friends.

I hope that this week finds you well and warm.  Our cold snap was apparently temporary, as we are now to have a series of fifty degree days.  Hardly seems like winter this year, but I am not complaining.


  1. Yay for the yearbook class! I would probably wake up in a cold sweat had I taken on a project with which I had NO EXPERIENCE and had no experienced help. Now you have help and chances are, with your love of photography, you will love this experience!

  2. I'm glad you're continuing with your photos! I've decided it's not just taking the photos that counts - knowing how to crop them, etc is part of the process too.

  3. Sounds like you have a lot of exciting things going on! I hope you have a terrific week.

  4. I will be working on the yearbook later today, myself. I'm glad to hear that there are people out there who enjoy doing the yearbook. I liked it the first two times I did it, and then tried to retire from the job. Failed.

    I'm going to look for the Fish book you mention. Sounds kind of fun.

  5. So glad you had an influx of Yearbook students this semester - what a huge project to take on! I'm sure the finished product will make you proud.

  6. Delighted to hear that the yearbook class is a pleasure! And hooray for only missing one photo day so far! Much more important is that you picked up the camera that next day:)

  7. Wow, you sure do have a lot going on! Good luck with all of your classes!

    Have you tried listening to the audiobook versions of Harry Potter? They are excellent (my favorite audiobooks of all time).

  8. I was on the yearbook staff at my high school for three years. It was such a fun experience. I loved doing it -- very creative getting to do layouts, photography, writing and so on. It influenced me in what I wanted to do in "real life."

  9. Sounds like you are off to a great and busy year Molly. Hoping the enthusiasm the students have continues. Have a great week.

  10. My son is in our school's yearbook class and for the most part he is really enjoying it! Sounds like you've been busy and really getting a lot from the photography and writing projects!

  11. Oh my goodness, I can't imagine trying to do yearbook with a staff of only 3 and no experience between them and the teachers! I did yearbook in high school and we always had experienced students to help bring up the newbies. It's such a lot of work even when you know what you're doing. Glad you've got more help now!

  12. WOw you have so much going on! I'm impressed.

  13. You are having such fun times with your courses! I'm so tempted by everything you're doing these days.

  14. I'm so glad that you have continued with your posts, Molly, and your photography, and impressed with your foray into the yearbook. Good for you, in spite of rocky starts.

  15. LOVE the new look of the blog - and your photo. Sorry to hear that the first semester of school was a struggle. Hope things are looking up in 2012. Love hearing everything that's going on in your work, family and hobbies.

    Good luck with the Year Book!

    And thanks for the kind words on my blog. Appreciate it!


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