lunadelcorvo: (Candleflame)
Wow. I cannot believe it is only 10 days til Christmas, halfway through December, and the end of the year! WTF happened to 2011!?

My classes are all wrapped up for another semester, grades turned in, and all that's left is to archive all my files for next semester. This semester was a learning experience, that's for sure! One class was great, really top-shelf students. Attentive, responsive, engaged, thoughtful. The other one...was not. I just didn't know what to do with that class - I changed tactics, I swapped out turned in essays for in-class work, I gave loads of extra opportunities to earn extra credit... Nothing could get them motivated. Horse, water, only so much you can do, I suppose... I am so glad I had the other class to prove that it wasn't just me! I suspect when my evaluations come back, it will show that they thought little more of me than I did of their participation. (Another reason to be glad for the other to balance it all out!) True, I did have a couple success stories; there are a couple Bs in that group that are more rewarding to me as a teacher than the As in my other class. This spring it's back to just one, so here's hoping it's a good one! It will be my third time teaching the same course, so perhaps that will help.

Otherwise, things are good. I miss my mom so terribly much during this season. I'm so deeply connected to my family via tradition, especially holiday tradition, that almost every holiday thing I do is a stinging reminder that I'm the last one left. But oddly, it hasn't been as hard as I expected it to be. Now I admit, maybe I have an explosion of 'losing my mom' baggage lurking under the surface, but so far, it's been what seems to me a healthy mix of tears and happy memories. (Then again, I always tear up around the holidays! So, I'm a sentimental sot, what of it?)

Maybe it's because it doesn't seem like it's been just a year. OK, I know I just said the year just vanished, but at the same time, everything is so different now. Last year at the holidays I was writing madly to get my thesis done, fighting the powers that be, and writing a final on Italian Art! Now I'm grading papers. It seems like two different lifetimes, almost.

But all in all, things are good. I'm getting ready to begin the holiday baking frenzy, the tree is trimmed, the gifts are wrapped, the house is (well about one third) clean. Niblet has today and tomorrow of school, and then it's full into break. Things are....good. I am, only a little surprisingly, good.

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Things I need to remember:
• Asking for help is not, as it turns out, fatal.
• Laughing is easier than pulling your hair out, and doesn't have the unfortunate side effect of making you look like a plague victim.
• Even the biggest tasks can be defeated if taken a bit at a time.
• I can write a paper the night before it's due, but the results are not all they could be.
• Be thorough, but focused.
• Trust yourself.
• Honesty, always.

Historians are the Cassandras of the Humanities

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