OK-last year our district did not allow teachers to figure out cumulative or mid-year grades. Now, I did think that was weird, but I just went with it. So, silly me, I thought that's what we were doing this year. Of course, it got changed this year-only nobody told the teachers. So, I had to finish up my grades from home. Tomorrow is teachers only. I get to sit through meetings on assessing how to assess, accreditation, and other blah, blah, blah.
At least today was our last day with students until January 7. The middle school students had a party in the a.m. (it's always so fun to get them back after that) so I showed "Nurtured by Love" 3 times. The movie describes Suzuki's life, including life in Japan in WWII. When Pearl Harbor was mentioned, my students said "Oh, I think I've heard of that". Of course, the day before, a music appreciation student asked me if China was bigger than Georgia, so I guess that says it all for the status of our social studies curriculum.
On a positive note, this year's student gifts included several coffee mugs, some herbal tea, and hand lotion. Not a single violin ornament in sight. And I get to sleep in on Friday (that means 7 a.m.-if I am lucky). Happy Holidays!
Vacation is getting closer. Three more days with students,one day of staff planning, and I must finish grades tomorrow night. Many gigs have come and gone, with 2 more to go. Today was a 2 gig day. The 2nd one was about an hour away. Google map was great until the final 2 miles. This church had a little cemetery behind it-apparently a confederate one, as several recently placed confederate flags were in evidence. Sigh. There were 2 hours between the rehearsal and performance, and no snacks were provided, so I ended up getting some food at a scary Piggly Wiggly where my cashier had gold teeth.
Holiday Repertoire since Thanksgiving:
Corelli-Christmas Concerto (the world's slowest rendition EVER)
Hansel and Gretel
a collection of French Christmas music
assorted Christmas carols
Many Moods #1 & #3
several Broadway style cantata pieces (not to my taste at all)
Vivaldi & Bach concerti for 2 violin (played at our church for our rector who has run off to Nevada to become Bishop).
Oh, and happy birthday to Beethoven!
I survived another middle school concert (no t-shirt). Actually everything went pretty well. Only one of my kids skipped (insert practice feigned look of innocent oops here). One of my viola students managed to bring his sister's 1/4 size violin instead of his viola (like I am buying that story). So I tuned it down to viola tuning, and he got to look ridiculous. We had the high school strings join us, so we had a cast of thousands, playing things like "Winter Wonderland" and "Sleigh Ride" while it was a ridiculous 80 degrees. The concert also included chorus, band, and dance. And, like after every concert, my student who is also in dance, left her violin, assuming someone will get it for her. I get to repeat it this afternoon, so my favorite class is being babysat by someone else with problem children. I found an excellent article called "Travelling the Blues Highway" which I am sure they won't appreciate; in fact, I am sure they will be singing the blues about it (insert "I'm for real" or "GOLLY" or "she's trippin' already" here; the louder you say it, the more effective it is). Just trying to survive until vacation!
I have been reading the discussion on high achieving children and plan to blog about my own perspective at some point, but now it's time to wake up my own crew.
A couple days ago, I got an email from an old friend from high school. Back in the day, we put on Renaissance banquets for our Shakespeare class, and generally thought we were highly intellectual. It will be fun to catch up.
Yesterday was not fun, when my classroom keys went missing off my desk (and were probably lifted by one of my charges). During hallway duty today, I watched another girl (not one of my students) just haul off and punch another girl in the face. And the other girl acted like it was NORMAL to do this. Both seemed surprised when I escorted them to the office.
Contrast that to my first grade student who is beginning the second Seitz concerto in Suzuki book 4 and has been asking me questions about Sarasate and Paganini.
Today, I opened what I thought was a bill from the cable company. It was a rather large number for a cable bill, so my jaw was dropping; then I realized it was a check. Yes, my tired brain just thought the cable people were just sending me random money, but I eventually figured out that it was payment for an upcoming quartet gig. I think I am tired!
Community Christmas trees have been lit, Amahl can walk (and turned out to be a girl), and church performances have begun. Around the corner: the Messiah, Corelli's Christmas Concerto, a smattering of Leroy Anderson, the Nutcracker suite, and a school performance with too many cooks. And the back of my head was on Oprah for a second time. Happy Holidays indeed.
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