Three Days of Labs…

OK. I think I am ready for today. It’s a lab day, the first of three. It’s the first time we’ll be doing stations with this crew. It’s not just stations: it’s ice and hot water and materials. I don’t entirely trust these widgets yet, but the solution is to toss any kid who doesn’t listen to a warning and behave appropriately. There’s some cool learning that can happen in the next three days if you’re paying attention and following instructions. Hopefully they’ll do that. It was a lot of prep and now I have to meet with the principal about printing costs, but since we don’t have a textbook or any print materials, I think we’ll be OK. There’s just no way to do labs with middle-school kids without printing stuff. They need to record their ideas and observations somewhere. Their heads are not good for remembering that stuff. I understand that.

I got home late, but knew I needed to keep working on one thing for school…a resource deck for the thing they have to write on Friday. What I really wanted to do was go for a walk, but it was already late and I had work to do, so I crawled onto the bike and worked there for a bit…

I had headphones in and was listening to science videos about thermal energy and pressure. Exciting stuff. I did more of it here after dinner…

And eventually gave up on it and went in to iron. There’s only so much work I can do in one day before I’m mostly useless.

Not this stuff. I can do this for hours. It’s a different part of my brain.

I do have video for the Patreon crew at this point of how I pick colors, so I’ll edit those tonight…and hopefully get them posted. This quilt is not ironing fast…

It looks like a lot. It is. But it’s only the first 200 pieces or so…not even. I have a few 190s to iron yet. I’ve spent almost 6 hours just on ironing the first 200 pieces. There’s been a lot of thinking and searching for the right color, apparently. Only 700 to go! Sheesh. At this rate, I’ll never be done. Plus grades are due next week. I’m caught up at the moment, but there’s an assignment due Thursday that will need to be graded over the weekend.

OK, so I prepped a lot yesterday after school, but I still need to set up the stations and get my brain organized. And then survive it all.

You Gotta Wear Those Shoes*

It’s Friday. I’m not sure where the week went. My weekend is looking a little crazy. Mostly because I didn’t do all the things during the week that I should have done. Typical. It’s OK. I’ll get caught up on the things that need doing. Delivering things here and there. Cutting stuff out. I think I can get it all done. Maybe. I really want to be ironing things together on this quilt, but I was tired last night (seriously, three meetings in one day, just 11 hours on campus or at the district office. It’s FINE.). I cut stuff out, but gave up early. I could have stayed up later, but I don’t think it would have been good for me today. I only have a little left to cut out though…

About half a yard. Maybe less. I have about 7 hours in so far…it MIGHT take an hour to finish…probably less. So that’s tonight…and then sort them. And then the fun part…cleaning my office so I have room to iron to fabrics. My second Patreon video might run a little late this month. If I start ironing tomorrow, I can probably put a video together early in the week. More importantly, can I hit my deadline? I think so.

Seriously though, I’m overwhelmed and buried by all the things. It’s going to get better. Soon. At the science curriculum pilot meeting last night, we decided to cut the pilot short…before we killed something. I think this is a good decision. It won’t solve all the issues we’re having this year…a lot of that is the kids…but it will help our sanity to teach the things that we know work and that make sense…because if I can’t understand what the question is asking in a 7th-grade curriculum, there’s a problem.

Weird things I do for science teaching. We need two buckets for next week. I have two, but they’re stickered. I did pull off the mostly inappropriate Jane’s Addiction sticker. Part of Greenpeace is still on there.

I figure they can survive Greenpeace. They’ve probably never even heard of it. Does Greenpeace show up on Fortnight? Because that’s the only way they’d know.

My two pieces have been hung in the That’s What She Said show that will open October 4th in Liberty Station (the one on the left)…

And the one on the back wall…

Interesting trio. This is the Martha Pace Swift Gallery in Liberty Station, just behind Solare (a restaurant). The openings will be from 5-8 PM every First Friday through January. So that’s 4 possible openings to come to. One of the things on my to-do list is to make the 4 Facebook events for those. It won’t take long…I just need to do it.

I really want to spend some time drawing this weekend. I’m hoping that happens. But first, off to school (no meetings today!). I think today involves 90 ice cubes and Dixie cups. Don’t even ask. It could be ugly. Or it could be interesting. Hoping for the latter. Really, it’s just water. It can’t be that bad. (Laughs hysterically because has been teaching middle school for 17 years and knows exactly how bad it might get.) I actually think the kids are starting to realize that their teachers aren’t kidding. I see improvement. I may feel differently tonight, but lately, it seems like they’re getting it. We’ll see (knock on wood).

*Patrick Sweany, Them Shoes

From Where, I Do Not Know…

Another long day. I’m hoping for a normal-shaped day today with a trip to the gym at the end of it. Luckily, I have nothing to grade yet…that’ll be this weekend. A bunch of videos to watch…that’s about it. School. It’s always a struggle in September. I’m really feeling overwhelmed. It’ll get better. It always does. But not today. Not right now anyway. I was so prepared when I left school yesterday, until I realized I’d left behind the two things I needed for the meeting I was going to next. Ah well. So be it. It’s fine. It’ll get done.

Deep breaths. Maybe a run around the block.

I got home late. Another 2-hour meeting. I was tired. I laid down. I stared at things. Someone fed me (best part of the day, maybe).

I revived. It happens. I stitched after dinner…I’m not sure why I keep stitching on this. I’m still not sure I like it. It may not matter.

I did email them yesterday and haven’t heard back. We’ll see. I’m not totally invested in this venture. This one is less cluttered.

I have one other I haven’t stitched on. Then maybe I’ll do something else after dinner. Something I actually want to work on. Sigh.

Oh yeah, so school. I can’t get anything done. I drew the cover page like two weeks ago…

No time to color it. Usually I can sit down with the kids in each class, moving around the room, and get it done. Not so in these classes. So it’s not done. At all. Sigh. I should do that. I should mail it to my daughter and have HER do it. Or my niece. Could happen.

Anyway. I started tracing early last night. I managed to find energy to stand, from where, I do not know.

I traced for about 2 1/2 hours or so. I’m a little over 5 hours in with about a 1/3 traced. So I guess I have 10 more hours to go. That’s gonna take a little longer than I thought. The plus is that I lost one event on Saturday, so I can trace for a while…maybe even while listening to the videos I have to grade? Maybe? But gym tonight and plans tomorrow night…so maybe I won’t be done until Monday. Yikes. Time is always tight. I work best with a hellacious deadline apparently.

I Did Not Sew Through My Finger.

First partial week of school in the books. Certainly there are some challenges we can see, and I sort of already feel incredibly buried in all the minutiae and the demands of life around it, although some of those are things I take on, of course. My brain right now is trying to hold on to 17 different to-do threads, mostly involving finding one thing and emailing someone about it. It’s disconcerting.

I posted a picture yesterday afternoon on Instagram of a new thing we’re doing this year called a Wonder Wall. I didn’t make it up…it came from here…but I really wanted to tap into the natural wonder that kids have about science that sometimes the standards kick in the ass. Like here’s what we HAVE to teach, and here’s what you really WANT to learn about.

Like skin walkers. And why humans can’t lay eggs. So we started yesterday with a brain dump (although my co-teacher called it a brain drop) on paper, which almost killed some of the kids, OMG, 8 minutes of writing questions, do you hate us? Hey no. You can do this.

WHEN CAN I GO TO BED. I ask that all the time. I actually model it and sometimes kids copy the questions I’m writing because writing and thinking are hard and I’m really much better at it than some of them. And then they had to cull it down to 1-3 questions to write on the post-its. At the end of the day, I stood and stared at it…

Why ARE there too many questions in your head, child? I’ve always had too many questions. I started in every class with talking about easy questions like what’s for lunch (I should know; I made it) or when is class over (that’s on the wall), and then talked about questions that I might know the answer to, like why am I so short, followed by the more difficult stuff, and for this, I always pick one of the more mouthy boys (and if they’re mouthy and I know their names on the third day of school, you know I need to connect with them), and I say I’ve always wondered what would happen if we took MY brain and put it in THEIR head, who would they be? Would they be me? Would they be a combination? And they kinda freak out. I’m OK with freak out in here.

This thread though…

All the ones about death. I teach in a Title I school. I teach many immigrants and refugees. I teach traumatized kids. I know all these things. And yeah, the “Why am I still alive” kid is on my radar. I actually know which kid that is. Most of them I don’t. But he made a point of telling me it was his. And then running away. OK then. We’ve got some work to do.

The next step? They pick a question and research it and produce something for me. We’ll work on that. First I’m going to have my homeroom try to organize them in threads/piles (a lot of kids copied my Why am I short? question)…because right now, it’s a little overwhelming. And we’ll have to train them to think about this shit. But it’ll be good. The core of teaching science is helping them think critically. How do we answer all these crazy questions in our heads? How do we find stuff we care about? The one kid who wants to know about what it’s like in jail. Huh. Well. You can find that out. I’d rather you know that in your head before experiencing it for real. It might persuade you not to do certain things. Probably they’re asking for a reason…parent in jail is pretty common around here. Big project.

Meanwhile, I’m trying to get everything done at home too…on my list for next weekend (this weekend is buried) is to get these plants organized and transplanted as needed. The one that escaped and is heading across the steps…

It needs to be planted out. A lot of the succulents have escaped pots or outgrown them. Need to work on that.

We walked both dogs when I got home…

We did a shorter walk, but even with that, Calli was limping by the end. She seems OK today though, so she may just be out of shape after almost two months of very few walks. I don’t think the back leg will ever be fully back. But she wanted to walk and she liked it and she didn’t whine so I think we’re good. Maybe not 3-mile good, but good.

Boychild saw that. My head was down, watching for lizards. We came back and I read for a bit, researching the Amazon rainforest and wondering (I need my own Wonder Wall) why so many dumbass politicians are in charge right now, and what will be left of the planet in 30 years’ time and holy crap the boychild was cooking dinner, so the dogs sat with me.

Doggy time is the bestest time.

The Man’s band played at Petco Park during Beerfest last night…they were very excited.

I did not go for once, mostly because it was sold out, but also the first Friday of school is exhausting and they started so freakin’ early, I don’t think I could have made it there anyway. Today I am also blowing them off, because I have to finish this quilt and this book. I quilted for three hours last night…finished the outlining…

Face before outlining…face after outlining…

Much better. And I did most of the background, but around 11:30 PM, I realized my eyes were drooping and I didn’t want to sew through my finger (I’ve done that) because I was too tired, so I quit, even though there’s only about 30 minutes left on there. It’s 30 minutes I’ll be doing this morning, then going to get binding, washing it, and putting it on. Done early! Woo! A miracle. Now I just have to get everything else done. No worries.

Quilting Will Be Nice…

Even my computer is moving slowly this morning. It’s thinking about perhaps opening that tab, but um maybe um maybe OK there it is. Whoa. Much like my 2nd period will be today probably. Which should be fun, because I’m gonna make them think again. I made them build stuff yesterday, which was mostly OK, with a few notes, like don’t buy really wimpy spaghetti noodles, because it makes it REALLY hard (although still doable, so there’s that)…

And also you will have those three boys who just can’t sit still and you will already be telling them forcefully on the second day of school what having their parents sitting next to them will feel like. Sigh. Today I will sit with those boys and try to work on the supportive relationship that will make or break labs with them for the rest of the year. This group is ready to roll and we’re gonna have to roll with them in some way, shape, or form. I think today is rolly-chair day. I’m really gonna roll! My favorite. Also I need to get the nurse’s office to stop calling and wanting to have long convos during class. Short and sweet, y’all. I don’t got time for all your words! Oh yeah, and the two kids who will miss my class for 20 minutes every day? Um. OK. Not sure what to do about those.

Moving on. I came home and went to the gym like a good adult woman in charge of her strong body and the mind that wanted to read a good book. (It was a good book…the first of the Murderbot series by Martha Wells. Now I gotta get the other three…) While at the gym, I think I had 3 different school-related conversations going on. Until I was reading, and then I ignored all of them.

I didn’t have to cook last night, which was nice. This week has been a lot of people not around at home or my changing schedules, so I’ve kind of been eating the same thing for days, it feels like. I worked a little bit on this…

which is So Close to being done! After that, I quilted for a little while. I didn’t get a ton done, but I got some…

Most of the land parts and the legs…

Just those mountains left, then the torso, arms, head, and sky. That’s tonight. Hopefully. And the background. So I can buy binding tomorrow and get this puppy done. I have No Freakin’ Clue what I’m working on next. I know I said that before. I’m saying it again. Oh yeah, I need to put a Patreon video up this weekend too, but I’ve gotten pretty good at editing them now, so it’s really only figuring out which of the 15 videos I recorded to use. The Man is playing in two shows this weekend, one of which I can’t go to anyway and the other one, eh, I’m good, I have a lot to do…but it means I’ll barely see him this weekend. I guess I will get a lot of work done, including some copyediting and maybe even schoolwork, although I’m kind of putting the quilting first so I can get it to the photographer early next week. It’s all good! I’m also debating teaching a class, just real short, introduce people to how I make stuff…I got asked to do it. I didn’t search it out. I have been going back and forth about whether to do it or not. It’s paid…but that’s not why. I wonder if it’s something I would want to do. That’s all. So I said yes. I think. Sheesh. I’m crazy. It’ll be FINE. Seriously. OK. This day. This weekend. Quilting will be nice.

Elemental Fiber

I keep forgetting to talk about my upcoming solo show in Pittsburgh. Like many of you, I got a show rejection, not surprising, but then the gallery where that show was going to be contacted me about a solo show at their satellite gallery, and that’s how this stuff happens. Very cool, and I appreciate the jurors who recommended my work for the space. It’s actually a glassed-in area of a public space in the BNY Mellon Center in downtown Pittsburgh (500 Grant St, Pittsburgh, PA 15219), and it’s the satellite gallery for Contemporary Craft. My exhibition, Elemental Fiber, will coincide with Fiberart International at the CC gallery, so that is also very cool. They looked at my work, had some tentative selections, then talked to lawyers (ah lawyers) and picked what they thought would work in the space. There is still nudity! It’s an interesting space, and my goal is to get there in the summer to see it (and Fiberart International, if possible), but I will miss the opening due to my daughter’s graduation from college.

So last night, after tutoring, I managed to pack up 7 quilts, shipping 6 to Pittsburgh and one to Form Not Function. Three boxes, 22.5 pounds of quilts.

It took a couple of hours to dehair everything, cut a few slats, I made a label for one yesterday, to make boxes, and negotiate all the shipping stuff. I’m dropping one this morning, and the boychild has to drive the other two to an official UPS Customer Service Center (only two in central San Diego, unfortunately). Such a pain, but totally worth it. You don’t think about the business side of making art quilts: entering shows, putting pictures up on websites, shipping work, publicizing it etc. It takes time and effort.

Same with the job. Yesterday, we realized we had some lab prep to do for tomorrow’s lab, and panic ensued. We had borrowed a magnetic stirrer (per the instructions) from the man’s workplace (nice of them to loan it to us) and made this stuff…

There’s a great video somewhere of me yelling Vortex! as the powder stirred into the water. Then we needed to make these glue strips…

So between the two of us, I think we have 5 experimental versions of this on different substrates. I finally put one batch in the oven last night, and this morning, I have what we need. But we’re pretty sure if we use the toaster oven that our principal got the school to bake glue that we will get into a shit-ton of trouble. Like that will stop us. Substrates used: white board, plastic covers, parchment paper, tin foil? (if she did it), even thought about wax paper or plastic wrap. Something about the smooth plastic doesn’t work as well…the glue pulls in on itself (“cohesion” and “friction” were commonly used last night in dinner-making conversation, as well as in texts with my co-teacher, which ended with us each buying shirts on Amazon, I think). Wanna nerd out? We can make that happen.

We just hope some version of the lab works. We also have our annual meeting with parents this afternoon to persuade them that their kid should take our reproduction unit (parents have the right to opt kids out)…it’s scary how many parents don’t want their kids to know anything. Plus then I have to place them elsewhere and give them an alternative assignment, which isn’t the easiest thing in the world. At this point, I’m up to 10 of them, which means having to grade all those alternative assignments at the last minute too. Sigh.

I didn’t even finish grading a whole assignment yesterday. I tried, but there was too much management that had to happen. Sometimes when we give them independent work, we end up having to micromanage it so that they’ll actually DO it. Sigh.

After all that, I think I cut out Wonder Under for maybe 30 minutes. But you know what? I cut it out for 30 minutes. That’s a good thing. I’d like the Wonder Under all cut out by the end of my Thursday quilt meeting. Then sort it. Then start ironing to fabric on Friday night. I’d like all the ironing done the following week, because we’re going to LA and I’d like to be cutting stuff out on that trip. Or done! I don’t think that’s a thing. Then I lose a weekend to Boston and the girlchild’s graduation (lots of drawing and embroidery then), but I can iron down and start quilting. Yikes. Time is tight. My phone says I have 44 days to finish, but it needs to go to the photographer before that. I can do it. It’ll be OK.

There are 924 pieces in this quilt, but most of them are pretty small. So it was just under 3 yards of Wonder Under. Last night, I finished the first full yard and did a chunk out of the 2nd yard. Not fast. But progress.

I do have more travel photos. I just couldn’t deal with them this morning. Hopefully tomorrow, but I have to be up early two mornings running for meetings. Woo hoo! Sleep. Ugh. Go to bed early? Get no work done. Go to bed late? Brain stops functioning. Must regulate mood today. Deep breaths. A walk after work with the dogs and the boychild. Looking forward to that.

Revel In It…

The weather was truly beautiful this weekend…hints of warmth, but cool enough that you might need a sweater at times. Beautiful blue skies, birds singing everywhere, some wispy clouds in the sky…definitely Spring-like. I wish I’d spent more of it outside, but that was the way the weekend went.

I had a huge mess going on in the office/studio…

So I spent time on Saturday trying to get it under control.

I can’t start ironing for a new quilt without putting everything away…I stacked up all the loose fabrics by color and started organizing…

Kitten did not help…

She never does.

Then I went off to meet a friend for pottery painting…and wine…

Very relaxing…came back home and headed out for dinner. There really is no excuse for making my wine green.

Seriously. It wasn’t even St. Patrick’s Day. We came home and put a movie on and I tried to bust out this monster binding that I have not been working on…

I realized I hadn’t finished a quilt yet this year, and that never happens. It’s March! I should finish something. So I’m going to. But not Saturday night…Satchemo was so happy to have both of us on the couch…

He can be a very needy beast.

Now it’s ready for ironing. That table is clear, the ironing board is clear…pretty good.

But there were things to grade and stuff to do…here’s where I sat down and figured out the week…

Someone should clear off the table…again.

Eggshell pieces on the front porch…I haven’t seen any expectant parents around there…

Who knows what happened.

So we had a play to go to in the afternoon, but I wanted all this ready to go for when I came back…drawing hung, boxes of pieces ready to sort.

Background fabric ready to match…oh wait, after dinner, more stitching…

I finished all the binding and one sleeve…just one to go. This thing is huge. Then I graded for a while. I can’t NOT grade right now. Finally though! Into the studio and sorted the first hundred pieces…

It’s all dirt and rocks…

I made a run of 8 for the dirt, plus some other stuff that was in there…roots and a hole or two. Then on to the rocks…

Five different grays for the rocks…

I made it through most of the first 100 pieces…only 700 to go.

I guess I can hope I’ll be done ironing by the weekend. I think it’s unlikely, due to three nights out this week…but I can hope. This is one of my favorite parts, that’s for sure. So I’m going to be putting in some hours on it.

Kitten guarding my space…

But first, I’m going to school and hopefully having a much better day than Friday. Because I might notionally in my head sacrifice someone to the science goddess otherwise. Not really. But seriously, they can’t be as braindead as they were on Friday (sure, they could be worse…). Deep breaths. Positive thoughts. It’s still a gorgeous day. Revel in it.

Thanks for Showing Me Your Swiss Army Knife*

My cat freaks me out. I’m sitting here, typing at (staring at?) the computer, and she’s sitting there watching me, and then all of a sudden, she snaps her head up toward the ceiling and is STARING, like there’s a demon punching through the ceiling, so I stop (immediately) what I’m doing and stare at whatever space of bumpy ceiling SHE is staring at…and I see nothing. All the hairs on the back of my neck are up, but…ghost? Bug? She’s just fucking with me? I just don’t know.

Yeah, like WTF is that, cat?

Right now, there’s a dog under my feet, trying to catch the cereal I drop. I do drop cereal. He’s not stupid. It’s a smart place to be. Not a very fulfilling life, if you ask me, but he does ask for (and get) lots of pets.

I’ve made this pattern of getting the hell off school campus at least once a week to take the dogs out. It’s so much easier when we get more daylight (I think we’re past 5:15 PM for sunset at this point, so that helps)…I’m glad we chose (well, I chose) this hike yesterday, because there was lots of water still. Straight in front of us is the path…underwater.

It’s OK…it doesn’t take much to go around it.

There was water everywhere…

Friday we had like 3/4s of an inch…plus more on Saturday and Monday. That’s a lot for us.

It was chilly here yesterday…in fact, I think it was warmer where the girlchild is in Boston than it was here.

Nice clear skies though…we were pushing sunset, as always.

We saw one baby coyote, giant ears, rushing toward a hiding spot. And the vernal pool was full.

Just a few weeks ago, it was totally empty. Or at least only a damp spot. Ah nature.

Then back to the house and a million tasks, including a dinner made by moi. I was surprisingly efficient (although I didn’t spell either of those two words correctly the first time…I’m tired.). I spent some time dealing with emails and a list of possible pieces for my upcoming solo show in Pittsburgh. Looking forward to that…and this guy, still needing pets.

Never-ending mopey furball. He’s sweet. When he’s not barking his mad little head off.

Oh yeah, I also set fire to a lot of things in science today…

There was a lot of squealing for that.

Well it’s finally time for quilting this beast. It won’t be fast or easy, but it’s fun.

I didn’t get very far…I only had about an hour and a bit. First I had to fight the thread a little bit. As always. Every time, the machine has to be set up slightly differently to work right. It’s a guessing game. Plus this thing is huge, so it has to be manhandled to quilt it. Anyway, I guess you know what I’ll be doing with the next 20 hours of my free time. I do need to get it done though. The next one doesn’t exist on paper yet and it’ll be due sooner than I like…and the one after it is soonish too, and I’ll be on Spring Break for part of it, freezing my ass off in some campsite.

I’m looking forward to that actually.

So I got Figure 1’s bottom half done, and part of the hand that crosses her from Figure 5…

And then I wandered over into Figure 2…

There was some logic to how I did the stitchdown, and I seem to be following that order for the quilting. I should think about quilting all the in-between spaces as I do the outlining…maybe admit now that I will be using the same color? Or not. Decisions.

Right now, the decision is to get my act together and go to work. And be a productive member of society. Or at least get some grading done. That would be good.

*Laurie Anderson, Let X=X

My Head’s Above the Rain and Roses*

Yesterday a kid muttered while we were all working, “Yeah, Ms. Nida knows how to color stuff in.” Hmmm. Well. That’s something. I do have years of experience in coloring, although I used to do more of it. I used to screenprint my art, and I would make two copies of the original drawing, one for tracing the next screen iteration and one to color in, so I would know what colors things would be. I don’t do that any more. Can you imagine trying to color in a quilt this size with colored pencils? I’d be here for days. Months. So now I do it in my head. Yeah, I know that sounds crazy, but it’s true. A lot of things go on in my head. I’m thankful my brain allows that. It’s not always the best brain. It’s a worrywart. It responds to stress in a sometimes inappropriate way. It’s not always clear on tact. But it draws and colors like a beast. I think my 12-year-old brain would be absolutely thrilled by what my brain can do now.

Although more sleep would always be appreciated. I was convinced by the end of the day that yesterday was Friday. (It was not.) I sat there grading last night on the couch, almost falling asleep (certain hours of the day really kick my butt cognitively), sure that I was sleeping in this morning (I did not. Because it’s not Saturday.). Painful realization. I’m trying to get caught up on grading, which is a never-ending proposition, but all of a sudden, I was significantly behind and I panicked. I finished one assignment last night and input some grades and got most of the way through another assignment. It’s progress. This weekend is a clusterfuck, though, so I need to be on task.

It meant I didn’t get as far with the ironing as I wanted…I didn’t leave myself enough time to finish…

First I pulled the torso off the teflon with Kitten watching…

And then I started ironing the head together…

She has a bee on her cheek and then a leaf with a beetle. At 12:06 AM, I decided that would be at least another 30 minutes and I couldn’t do that. So I went to bed. But now I really want to see it done tonight. I want to see all the heads in one place, all connected. The plus is that I’m not in charge of dinner tonight, so I have a chance of pulling this off. The minus is that I really do need to grade stuff as well. So we’ll see how that goes. I’m excited though. I haven’t seen this thing in color, except in my head, and it’s nowhere near as vibrant in there as it is here. Plus the contrast against a dark background is going to make it pop. Geez, call in sick and finish it! No. That’s not responsible. I’m mostly responsible.

Yesterday’s unit cover page for my science kids…

A nice relaxing day coloring with the kids. Except the ones who are never relaxing.

Next week is a bunch of labs, so I should enjoy today’s quiet (they’re watching videos and figuring stuff out without my help)…well, I’ll be grading and trying to get those kids on task who are never on task. I think my co-teacher will be on her third day in a row of labs today, so she should be losing her shit. It’s so hard not being on the same page…we’re too used to working together and supporting our nervous breakdowns. When she finishes piloting this unit, we’ll be back. In 6 weeks. I have my own stints of labs coming up.

Simba in his lookout position, ready to guard us from any intrusions…

Sweet little asshole. He did not help with the grading though. And I think he’s really part cat.

OK. Now it really IS Friday and I am dead tired. But I’ll survive and rally and hopefully really really iron this thing together tonight, instead of all the other nights I thought I’d iron it together. Yeah. Hopefully.

*Green Day, Still Breathing

The Sun’s Zooming in*

Go vote. Now. Unless you’re like me and you already did…dropped the ballot envelope off at the library on Sunday. Everyone associated with my house has voted now. Good stuff. May the force be with us.

I’m at home. Grades are done, unless those two girls with non-working websites email me before I leave for the ultrasound. I did in fact get up early to eat and drink stuff before the deadline. We’ll see if it helps. I then tried to go back to sleep, but no. Dogs. Cats. Brain awake. So much for sleeping in. I suck at it.

I do still have grading to do…it never ends. I have to write sub plans for the days I’ll be in Boston. But what I really want to do, besides walk the dogs, is finish ironing.

I started late again last night, mostly because of grading. Ready to pick out flesh…I went through all 6 boxes of pink and finally found the right transition between 4 and 6 in the last bin.

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I laid out all the fleshy pieces…

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And I started ironing them down. It’s a weird puzzle I do…

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How do I save the most fabric but fit all the pieces on there? Like that.

It was after midnight and I looked at the clock and thought, ugh. Gonna have to be up early. So I left the last two fabrics for this morning.

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The box is getting fuller.

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So that puts me in the 600s, but I have all the innards and hair to do. Mostly bones and cardiovascular stuff. So that’s also this morning. Or afternoon.

This was yesterday in class…

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We’re piloting a new unit and it’s difficult. Mostly because I don’t have access to all the electronic stuff, and then my kids don’t either, plus I keep getting myself absent, and this curriculum is not at all friendly to guest teachers. Or to taking a rest from talking, for that matter. Lots of direct instruction.

Anyway. I’m going to shower and NOT eat or drink anything for a while and then go get this thing done so they can show me a picture of the alien in my gut. And then work and iron and all that stuff.

*The Clash, London Calling