This is a blog intended to bring our family and friends closer by giving them an opportunity to participate in a web discussion. I am new to blogging, so I don't know where this is going to take us, but hey, it's the 21st Century. Peace

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Final exam day

What up Folks? (aka, a gang greeting, though not intended as such at this time),
Today is the first day of final exams. For you non teacher folks that means that we go on an alternative schedule where the intent is for kids to come in, sit down, shut up and take a test that will determine 20% of their grades. It's usually a mixed blessing for teachers because administering the test is relatively easy, but grading them can be a chore. There is definitely a "light at the end of the tunnel" mood about. Though many perceive our profession to be one where we work a bit and then get significant days off, it's the "work a bit" that drives the need for some distance from our students and from the whole school environment. Essentially we need a break from the students and they need a break from us. Traditionally, when we get back in January we start all over again with a new attitude and hopefully some new clothes. Regardless, there was a strong administrative drive to make the school year a cumulative grading system. That would essentially mean that the students would not start with a clean slate second semester, but would instead be carrying the same grades from first semester into the second. This was all in the guise of trying to reduce failures. The faculty generally believes that it would have had the opposite effect: failures would have increased proportionally as the year progressed. Well, it didn't happen. Instead, they created an In Progress grade for kids getting D's and F's. These students will have the opportunity to make up those grades with some kind of tutor after school or on Saturdays. Allegedly all the classroom teacher has to do is provide the benchmarks or assignments the kids missed and the tutor will do the rest. We'll see how this all goes, but the majority of the staff sees this as us lowering the bar once again to accommodate kids who are too lazy to do the work the first time. Few will justify the need for this policy for kids who just needed a little more time to "get" the material. Needless to say...we are ready for a break.

Our holiday will involve a lot of activity. We have been to Karen's annual party. This was, as usual a fun party of mostly teachers who enjoy eating, drinking and chatting. The packages have been sent and the cards are going out tonight. Friday will be our outing with Pauletta and George. Dan and Nancy are coming in and we will be seeing them on Sunday. Hopefully we will see them more than that. Nora is staying at school until Monday because she has a doctor's appointment that she can't reschedule. Her friend Carlin, who has been in London this semester is going to drive down (actually over) to Augustana to spend the weekend with her.
Carole comes in on Tuesday, I believe and then boys start to arrive. Sean will be the first to arrive. Then Kevin, Alice and the boys from Kansas City. We haven't seen them in quite a while. We think they are staying with Charles. Tim and Gina and Caroline Grace are coming on the 26th. We will be attending the wedding of Lee and Steve, two friends from church and Appalachia trips on the 27th. So Carole will have to hold down the fort with her boys and their families. We hope to have a party of sorts in the afternoon on the 28th with Aunt Stel as the honored guest. It will probably be some kind of breakfast buffet. At least that's the plan for now. Carole wants a crash day on Monday before she leaves. I don't think we will do the New Years Eve party early this year. Last year we did it on the 30th for Carole's sake. There will be no Daniel this year. We will miss him greatly. He lends such a spirit to the holiday. Maybe next year.

Mary is doing very well, in my opinion. She has done a beautiful job decorating and has motivated me to help decorate and to get into the Christmas spirit. It has been one heckova year and I think we need some time to reflect on that. Our challenges and our blessings have been abundant this year but all in all, the blessings win out. Thanks for any support in any form you have contributed to them.

As always, you know where we are. Feel free to call, email or just drop on by. There will be plenty of Christmas cheer waiting for you.

Peace to you and to those you love.


  • At 7:58 PM , Blogger Amber said...

    Man, I wish I were on the guest list this year! I feel like now that I have a child, my holidays have been hijacked by grandparents. Perhaps soon, we can break away and come visit. Christmas is just not the same when you not at Rob and Mary's house.


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