Tuesday, October 27, 2015

T is for time

I sometimes feel that there is not enough time for me to do all I need to do, want to do and think I should do. The three are often mutually exclusive: for example, I need to mark essays, I want to make jewellery, and I think I should spend more time reading! I often feel like I'm getting tugged in three directions at once.

Maybe it's even harder for me because I'm interested in so many different things, and I'm not very good at focusing on several things at once. The result is a few months spent focusing intently on jewellery (the results of which are plastered all over this blog post!), the next few months spent reading all the time, then another few months doing something else, and after one or two other detours, finally eventually coming back to jewellery. Things get left on the back burner each time I turn my attention elsewhere. I left my dining table covered in beads for three months while I walked around everywhere with my nose stuck in my Kindle!

Some things I want to do or think I should do for work:

  • Finetune that rubric
  • Read up on techniques of teaching critical/creative thinking
  • See if there's a more effective method of teaching inferencing and other reading skills
  • Come up with ways to provide more scaffolding for the research project
  • Put together lists of 'essential idioms' to be taught each day/week
  • Figure out a way to help students practise said idioms
  • Improve lesson plans to get the lessons more structured
  • Consider how to incorporate music into the lessons
  • Read up on how to help students increase vocabulary
  • Set the final exam paper
  • Splice audio tracks for the listening skills final exam

...there are probably other things, but I've forgotten them for now.

The other thing I want to do is to fix up my official website (not this one). Been sitting on the domain name while the darn thing has been supposedly "under construction" for at least five years. When I attended a conference for work last week and presenters pointed us to their websites, I was reminded of mine. If I'd had mine set up, I could also have put stuff there and pointed people to it; it would have been like a sort of portfolio. The problem was I've never found a template I liked; I did eventually purchase a software that allowed to engineer my own template, but it still wouldn't do the exact things I wanted. I recently read somewhere that we should launch at 80% because the thing is never going to be perfect, and if you wait for it to be perfect, you'll end up never launching it. That, from experience, is SO TRUE.

Fixing the website will again require time.

Meanwhile, my little nephew is not well and I wish I could be with him. I visited on Sunday. What he has isn't serious in the sense that it isn't life-threatening, but that doesn't stop me from feeling worried. He's always been a cheerful little boy, and I guess I feel sad at the thought of his spirits being dampened. But on Sunday he seemed his usual self, active and alert, which soothed my heart a little. I spent time with him and caught up with my brother instead of marking essays, which I scrambled to mark the next day. It was worth it, though. If I only have a finite amount of time, the people I love will come first with me. People matter. Work needs to be done but it can be done later. If I don't grab the opportunity and spend these pockets of time with my nephew, they will pass and I can never get them back. I already can't believe how quickly he's grown. He turns 3 today and I can still remember visiting him in the hospital on the day he was born! Seems like that was just yesterday!

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