karriezai: ([hg] betting on you)
Okay, so, life. I had my meeting with Suzanne... was both worse than and not as bad as I expected. Tracy thinks I'm behind on school work and I've been taking off days/being late to try to play catch up, and not talking to her about it. Which is far from the case. So, not quite what I expected, but at least she doesn't (exactly) think I'm a huge slacker. On the other hand, Suzanne warned me to expect Tracy to look in on me. Didn't happen this week between MSAs and Tracy having jury duty, but apparently I can expect her to pop in and see if I'm doing everything properly. I mean, I don't have the lesson plan book I'm supposed to, but aside from that... I do what I'm supposed to, so it should be okay.

I gained a ton of respect for Tracy at the seminar today. She let the class rant for an hour about how unreasonable and condescending our reading assessment professor is at the university and gave us advice on how to handle it. Very frank, helpful advice. And she demonstrated yet again how knowledgeable she is about classroom management. She has a treasure trove of random examples/experiences I never in a million years would have imagined. I'll be honest; I let my view of her as a supervisor color my view of her as a teacher. She's a fantastic teacher. She's not even a bad supervisor, she just has certain ways about her that don't mesh with my style, for lack of a better description.

Life is hectic. Danny is amazing through all of it, as I was practically bragging to Katie today. He drove to Whetstone during rush hour yesterday to fix my random flat tire, and drove my car for me today to get it fixed while I was at my internship. The thing with Morgan was hard, but I really think it made our relationship even stronger in the end. I think we both appreciate what we have more. I love the hell out of that man, and he's always showing the ways he cares about me.

My classmates are in a panic over our reading assessment class with Brie; I've had her before and she's crazy and condescending, but I'm making a high A in her class (I've only lost half a participation point overall so far, everything else has perfect marks) and although the upcoming workload seems overwhelming, I know I'll get through it like I always do. I did volunteer to speak to her with a couple other students about our concerns though--based on the advice Tracy gave. Some really great ideas. Approach it as the needs we have in order to get out of her course what we know she wants us to get out of it, like better clarification of expectations on assignments, examples of assignments before they're due instead of after people have fucked them up, and less of a workload. I told Lauren, who's ring-leading this confrontation, that I don't want her to feel we're ganging up on her, so I don't have to come, but if they want the support I'm there.

I also told Katie I'd look over her papers before she submits them if she likes. She's not a writer the way I am, which makes it hard for her. Brie, from what we can tell, is super-biased against imperfect grammar and writing mechanics, so I'm thinking if I can fine-tune Katie's papers she can get better marks.

I have some great behavior incentive stuff to try when I get the chance. I'm thinking I'll order the mailbox thing I want for the classroom, too, even though it's really more expensive than I want to pay for right now.

Big plans for SynTru--another example of money I shouldn't spend but really want to. Assirra has offered to add IP.Blog, and I want IP.Content too. Each is $50. I think they could really work wonders on the site... meh. We'll see how that pans out. Right now we're kind of surveying member opinions to see how popular they'd be if added. Assirra and Zap have worked wonders with SynTru since I haven't had time for it anymore. I'm constantly amazed by their dedication.

Speaking of, I have a piece of feedback due today. I think I'll go do that now.

oh crap

2/3/11 21:03
karriezai: ([house] [cuddy] oh crap)
Got an email from Suzanne (my supervisor at my internship) saying some things came up at the supervisor's meeting that she needs to touch base with Alice and me on. Seeing as it's just the two of us, I'm thinking it has to do with me being a slacker and Tracy (lead supervisor or whatever) knowing it. I don't think she likes me much because last semester I skipped one of her classes without emailing an excuse, and this semester I skipped the first after school seminar again without an excuse, and Monday she caught me getting to school late. It's the only time I've been late this semester, but of course that's the time she catches me. I have a valid excuse: I was sick all last week (still have the cough) and even had to miss Friday, though I emailed her for that, so I can just blame being sick. I did email Alice to let her know I'd be late, I just didn't email Tracy or Suzanne.

If that's the case, at least we'll be talking to Suzanne and not Tracy. I'm not fond of that woman, and Suzanne is much nicer and more reasonable. Blah.

Other than that, the internship is going well. I've had less trouble with getting up early all the time than I anticipated, though I do always push it until the last possible second before getting out of bed. I've taken over reading, and am in the process of fully taking over science and math. Need to do some planning for that after this, actually. We're starting cells and heredity in science, and math is statistics. I'm going to borrow one of Danny's tape measures and have the kids graph the class heights and find the measures of central tendency for the data.

Have not been writing. Finished a chapter of a Zelda fanfic, but nothing other than that. Rargh. But I mean, I'm busy. A lot. So I guess it's not so bad an idea to not force writing where it doesn't want to come.

I wish my cough would go away...
karriezai: ([hg] betting on you)
Hope everyone had a good Valentine's Day :D Danny and I celebrated Saturday. Just stayed in with alcohol, video games, Magic: the Gathering, and movies.

I've made lame money the last few shifts at work. Here's hoping the weekend will be better, because we'll need the money. Haven't heard back from Baka, our real estate agent, in a few days. Last we heard, the bank's figuring out the amount left due on the loan for the place so they can come back with a counter offer. I hope they get to it very soon. We need to get the heck out of this place.

School is hectic. Well, life in general. Internship 8-4 Monday through Friday, with an hour-long commute--though I do tend to leave around 3 fairly often to get to work/uni class/mandatory seminars. Three days a week at Hard Times--generally Monday and Friday evening, plus either Saturday or Sunday. Tuesday evening class at the university. Tutoring Shane on Wednesday. And a seminar about every other week on Thursday in a random location.

Teaching is good. I vastly prefer math and reading to science or social studies. I look at science and I'm just kind of like... "What am I going to do, exactly?" There's so much to choose from, but so little time to teach it. I'm taking over science now (slowly), so it's... blah. But reading is really good. It's so freeform you can do almost anything. And the kids are really taking to their writing journals. They love getting feedback.

I had to leave early today for my IUD appointment. I am the proud owner of a Mirena IUD that cramped like a bitch for the first couple hours. It wasn't super painful, just like really heavy duty menstrual cramps. But really gross since they had me come in and get it done on my period; apparently it hurts less then. I guess it's nice of them to consider my pain over their probable preference to not have to stick their hands in a bleeding vagina. For the next week I have to use backup protection, but then I'm good for five years. What what.

Also, I'm getting published. Alt Hist picked up Death in Theatre for its second issue. It's a new magazine, but it's been reviewed by Locus, among others, so it's getting good press. So that's looking up. Not that I've been writing. I'm really busy lately and feel pretty drained, and I'd rather not write unless I really feel like it because forcing myself to in the midst of all my other crap would just not be pleasant.

And I thought I did terribly on my Praxis II tests for Middle School Math and English, but I passed with flying colors. So I'll be qualified to teach middle school, either math or English--in theory at least. I'll be applying everywhere in Montgomery County (and possibly Howard too... or maybe Anne Arundel... depends on where we're living and such...) and then weeding through my options to figure out what I want to do. Because I really don't have any desire to teach science or social studies, but I want to teach math AND reading, so... blah. Makes a choice between middle and elementary school complicated.

Guess that's it for now? I mean, I've been reading--the Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld and now I'm working on the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare--but eh. That's it. Overall life's good, just hectic and somewhat stressful.

Oh wait! Mirage Games accepted my response to the first work order they sent me and sent me confirmation of the credits earned, but I haven't heard about anything else forthcoming. So that's kind of sad.
karriezai: ([asoiaf] westeros wench)
I just ordered my NaNo shirt for the year and put in my donation. I had a (very brief) moment of "Why would I do this when I secretly suspect I won't make it this year with everything going on?" but I squashed that feeling. This year will be perfect. Reasoning why? If I can do it this year, I can do it any year. And YES, I CAN do it this year.

I'll give myself this one, tiny bit of leeway: since this year is hard, I'll allow myself to write whatever the heck I want. In other words, it doesn't just have to be on one story. If I get stuck but feel the itch to work on my Zelda fanfic, so be it--as long as I get that day's 1,667 words, that's what's important, right? Right. I give myself this leeway because I feel so uncertain about Homesake at the moment. I'm finding it very difficult to settle on a POV. First-present or third-past are my typical fallbacks, but I'm thinking I might try first-past. Usually it feels so artificial to me because who remembers in so much detail that it feels like it's happening now? But I've loved plenty of books in first person past, so I know it's doable. Once I get into it, it might feel easier than first-present, even.

But anyway, that's my main concern: I don't 100% feel Homesake. But I sure as hell will try my best to steam my way through it. I plan to use my fifth graders ruthlessly to do so. I'm going to post daily/weekly updates (varying based on what days I'm actually at the internship, since a full week falls in the middle of November) and tell my kids to harass me if I don't meet my goals, basically. :) It'll work, right? I think having them asking me questions might help motivate me to keep working on Homesake so that I can tell them what has happened since last time I saw them. That's the goal, anyway.

I'm behind at homework. I'm going to have to super BS my next big LA assignment because I forgot to get all the writing samples I need. I'll have to use what I have plus some I filch off the internet. Blah. And this weekend isn't going to help. I did a bit of homework this morning, but I still have Math Module 6 (I started that by posting a question in the YWP teacher's lounge so I can use teacher experiences with math teaching as my research), the drafts of the first three parts of my Social Studies ATA, the actual response to LA Case 7 (though at least I read the case), and the previously mentioned writing instruction assignment for LA. The first two are due Monday. The second two are due Tuesday. Oh, and mustn't forget Classroom Management, which I think we have Tuesday this week--have assignments there too D: Damn.
karriezai: ([avatar] sweetheart/bitterheart)
Morgan reactivated her Facebook. Talking to her makes me pretty deeply sad, but I think it'll pass. I suppose if we want to be real friends again we'll have to sit down and talk... but we'll see.

Bit of TMI )

Anyway. Suffice to say. I did not sleep at all last night, and I was run down all day at my internship. My fifth graders were asking me what was wrong with my eyes and I had to explain I didn't get any sleep and my eyes were protesting, but a couple of the intuitive ones did not miss the fact that puffy eyes come from crying.

Fuck my life right now.

It'll get better. But I think... this might be the lowest I've been... maybe ever, and if not, certainly in a long while.

lalala

5/10/10 21:18
karriezai: ([nano] plot bunnies)
Ooh. Pretty LJ header.

I'm currently watching Ever After and avoiding things I should actually be doing, as per usual. Such as: I should be scanning in my driver's license to complete my egg donor application. ($10,000 for my eggs if I'm accepted and matched to a recipient!) I should also be piecing together materials/plans/crap/etc. for the upcoming assignments in my methods classes that I need to translate into class with my fifth graders. I was going to try using the first chapter of The Hunger Games for my reading DRA, but I think I'll change it to a short story from one of my two collections. Which I'll need to bring with me tomorrow to plan with Alice.

For my reference, I need to get the following done by the end of this week (my full week at Whetstone): collect two writing samples each from the two students I chose for profiles in Language Arts; complete my DRA for Reading with a small group of kids; pick at least two kids for Math (at least one with a recorded disability of some kind) to assess for understanding in a concept area and plan steps toward addressing any gaps in understanding; conduct Social Studies interview with students; complete midsemester PBA; get photocopy of Language Arts packet from one of the other interns.

ALSO. Print contract for Mirage Games, as if I haven't let that sit long enough. And finish up this egg donor application process. Sooner that's done, the better.

I waver in confidence with the development of Homesake as a young adult novel. I have a name now for all three of Grey's swords (and thus all three of the novels). I'm unsure about this "Grey" thing now because he will start the book as Roan now that I'm starting with his acceptance into the King's Steel. He will still want an alias, but will he be honest with Kayden? Or will he think it's best to just introduce himself as Grey so they aren't overheard in private using his real name?

Also. Stuff going down with roommates making life more interesting/stressful. Dennis' brother and sister-in-law decided to raise the rent. Dennis doesn't have to pay anything (he never has, but at first he made it sound like he did), but Danny, Justin, and I are each expected to pay $350. For Danny and Justin, that's a $100 bump. For me, $200. For Danny and me, it's not worth it. Rent plus electric will be $900 for the two of us. So we're looking very seriously into moving out, even have cousin Justin on board to rent a room with his girlfriend so we can afford a better place. It's the down payment that worries me at the moment. Egg donation could really help, but only if by some miracle I get the fastest process possible. (I really should scan my license in.) There are some nice houses for sale in a really decent area for around $150,000. Alone, we couldn't afford it, but with roomies... definitely.

And if you're wondering why $900/month isn't worth it to live in a house, let me explain: it's a house with no central air or heat, with a roof that leaks, with a driveway that never gets plowed in the winter when it snows, and with various other defects. (They still won't give us a key to the garage. Where do you get off charging that much for this shithole and not letting us use the garage?)

Blah.
karriezai: ([avatar] azula people person)
Meh. I'm enjoying my internship. There are very frustrating parts, which I suppose is to be expected when working with kids, but overall it's a terrific experience. Fifth graders, ah. I had to switch one little girl to a new seat because the kids around her made fun of her when she tried to behave well (her mom works at the school, so if she doesn't behave she gets in big trouble), but when I moved the boy she traded seats with to her old seat, the kids who'd been making fun of her immediately said, "Ew, I don't like him! Can't he sit over there?" And he's a sweet, quiet little boy, which is why I thought it'd be a better seating arrangement, but apparently these kids are just jerks.

Anyway. I adore my mentor, and she has nothing but good things to say about me, so I think it's a good arrangement.

I recently finished reading Hero by Perry Moore and Eon by Alison Goodman, both of which I enjoyed quite a lot. Hero was a superhero story where the main character is gay, and I loved the whole premise and the eventual romance, even if the early crush in the story (on Ultraman) was a little awkward to me. Eon was a fantasy based heavily on Chinese culture, and I loved everything about it except one frustration: I hate it when the main character can't figure out the solution to a problem that is completely obvious because it just makes them seem stupid. For the most part it wasn't too bad, but there was one particular scene in the story when the main character's dense-headedness made me temporarily put down the book, sigh, roll my eyes, and squash my annoyance down before I could continue.

I should get back to The Way of Kings soon, but it's very heavy reading for all the stuff I have going on lately, so I'm hesitant to get too deep in just yet. I'll probably read Blood Ninja first. (Ninjas and vampires?! Hells yes!)

God, so much stuff coming up for my uni classes. I've got to find an efficient way to organize everything and get my crap together.

There's lots more, but meh, I don't feel like typing. I feel like reading. :)
karriezai: ([asoiaf] life's not a song)
I got an email from a guy saying he's the lead developer at a company working on a new MMORPG, and that they were looking for writers to design the story. He hoped that I would put out his opportunity at SynTru in case any members might be interested.

I'm naturally cynical of this, of course, but it sounds very professional and there's an attached website that looks pretty legit. I searched for any similar hoaxes or scams and found none. If anything, I expect he might be looking for cheap labor, but I guess I don't really mind that if I get real credit. It could be a way to break out, if it works out. Of course there's no guarantee, but hey, it'd be fun enough that I don't think I'd consider it wasted effort or anything like that. So I'm pursuing it for the moment, but I'm being cautious. Sending things that I can prove are mine (Honorable Mentions from WotF) or things I don't terribly mind losing.

School is going well, internship-wise. I'm not looking forward to the uni workload, though. My mentor is the best lady ever, and we match so well. She loves me just as much as I love her. She's super lenient, but I'm really serious about this so I'm not slacking. I'm going when I'm not required and everything. And I'm taking over as many lessons as I can even though it's early on. It's fun, plus it's practice. And the kids need to see me as a teacher before takeover in the spring.

Roommates are being a pain in the ass. We made a list of shit they do that pisses us off. It's pretty long. We've been ignoring it for too long, and we're going to have to talk it out.

I'll leave it there for now.
karriezai: ([house] oops)
Danny is home. We just watched Jerry Maguire, which was good, and now he's watching preseason Redskins, which is less good. I like watching the Redskins live, but I get bored easily watching it on TV--especially preseason games. I've never been a sporty person, so I guess it's not surprising.

I ran another lesson today with the kids. I brought in a whole bunch of books for a lesson on how to pick a book to read for fun. It didn't go perfectly; the power had been out for a while and remained out for the whole lesson, and making kids concentrate when it's dark and hot is pretty difficult. One group in particular was very disruptive, with the throwing my books around and yelling. Frustrating. But Alice thought I did very well, even if afterward I couldn't help thinking of little things I could have done better. I guess that, since it's only my third day, not doing brilliantly is not altogether unexpected. Especially under the circumstances. But many of the kids were really excited about my books, which made me happy. I just wish I had extra copies to lend out... but I'm not comfortable lending out a bunch of my hardcovers. I did lend out the Halo book that follows the first game, though--mainly because I don't mind if I lose it. I found it to be boring. I liked the prequel book better; Shane has that one, and I know he'll return it.

I still need to get Graceling back from Megan, and the Keisha'ra books from Yuka. I'm definitely more concerned about getting Graceling back. I don't think I'd miss the others terribly.

Anyway, so far I love the internship. I could do without the University classes, but ah. They'll be done in a couple months. And they'll probably be a huge help despite being annoyingly jam-packed with assignments.

Things I'm concerned about: The actual curriculum/making lesson plans by day-week-month-year; being a disciplinarian for the kids; and of course fitting all the University work into the internship and what limited "free time" I have. Oh, and writing. x_x;
karriezai: ([asoiaf] seems i must be a warrior)
Righto. I've started my internship. It's made for some long days, but it's totally worth it so far. I'll be keeping this relatively short so I can go shower and perhaps even sleep at a reasonable hour.

Thursday and Friday I went for the professional development days. Friday I woke up at 6:30, got to my internship by 8, left at 3 to get to work at 4, where work was BUSYASSHIT and I didn't get off until 1am. Now, I made $184, so it was worth it, but talk about a long day. Saturday was also very busy, but with no morning events, so not so long. Sunday I woke up at 6:30 to take Danny to the airport, dropped him off, came home and showered, then slept another hour before leaving for work at 10:40am. I was going to be late morning person, but Raechel was risking overtime if she closed lunch, so I stayed late so she could be cut before she hit overtime. I worked until about 6, made $95 or so.

Monday I went to Whetstone for the first day of school. Met all my fifth graders, and found that when I actually put effort into learning names I can pick them up very quickly. By the end of the day I knew all 23 kids even if they approached me out of context. It was a crazy first day--we had an iPod stolen before lunch and returned by the end of the day, and we have this really bright boy in class who is really disruptive and had to be removed twice for a talk... It's crazy because he's a great writer, clever, but just can't be respectful enough to keep from making all sorts of noise when other people are talking.

After school finished up at 3:45, I left for work and got there barely before 5 due to various traffic ... blahs. Worked until 9:30. Yesterday I had University classes. I thought I was done trekking across campus to the math building, but AGH my second Tuesday class is the building just PAST the math building, it's awful. All the others are in the Ed building, which is right on Lot 1, super close to where I park. After school I went up to Whetstone for the ice cream social, which was nice. Katie was there--one of the few classmates I already knew before introductions yesterday. She's super sweet.

Today I was at Whetstone again with the kids. I met the math and reading classes, which are partially homeroom kids and partially new faces, but I picked up on the new names very quickly. I helped Alice (my mentor teacher, who is beyond amazing) pick out books for reading class teams, and I get to do Ella Enchanted with one of the groups, which makes me unbelievably excited. I love that book. After that I rushed home to tutor Shane.

Tomorrow I'll be at Whetstone again, and I'll leave a little early to run pick up Danny at the airport, back from his conference in San Antonio. If he's up to it, I'll take him to Whetstone so he can see the school. If not, we can wait until later.

The only other news I have, I guess, is that I made a B in the class I was worried about! Yay, no Cs on my record.

AND OH. Did I mention that I read the third Hunger Games book, Mockingjay? It made me bawl. Danny was home for the end of it and he laughed at me crying and it pissed me off so badly. But it was an amazing conclusion. I don't think it'll be long before I'm rereading the series.

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