Sunday, April 21, 2024

Trying to Keep Up With Spring

This is less of a creative post but it's kind of me thinking about what it takes to be creative so I'll put it here in the blog no one reads anymore. 

This time of the semester (close to finals) is always kind of tricky, especially in the Spring. I generally try to avoid teaching summer classes, mostly because our contract is for just those Fall to Spring 9 months and summer is "extra." I don't need the extra to live to support my life so if I can let other teachers who DO need the income have that time, then I will. And I'm also kind of happy to have the summer to regroup, to make my inner introvert happy and bored. Happy and bored makes me a much better, less burnt-out teacher again in the Fall. 

But Spring-- Spring we are all a bit tired. Students aren't "NEW" to this anymore, and they maybe aren't quite as rosy and enthusiastic about things like "learning to write a research paper with MLA sources!!" Now with parenthetical citations!! (To be fair, it's been parenthetical citations for a pretty long time, so it's not really a new thing, but I was going for a vibe there.) 

Not an eclipse. Kinda the night sky; Stars and Moon.  By LoFfofora Licensed via Adobe Stock. Please do not reproduce unless you pay them too. 

And so a week or so ago (it was longer than that really but who is counting) we did Total Eclipse of the Sun activities. Except in Texas, the clouds mostly came out to play and ruin our glimpse of the small dragon who occasionally comes out to take small bites out of our star. It did get a little chilly, the sun went dark for about 30 seconds, the birds caught zoomies and students, who had clustered around the quad and gotten snacks and eclipse glasses, milled about, not sure exactly what to do and a lot disappointed. 

My smallest offspring and I stood on a walkway up a bit higher and watched. A couple of the dual credit high schoolers were also up there and we all peered at the sky to see clouds part, which they did a teeeeeensy bit. Then the eclipse was officially over and we went back to our day. Pretty underwhelming for us, honestly. 

I did really like what my college's student life offices tried to do. They had music blasting, including "Total Eclipse of the Heart" (which we also looked at in my classes.) "New Moon on Monday." Other moon related songs. And when the sun briefly went dark, the campus lights came on and students dutifully "oooooh'd." 

Moving on into this coming week, we are moving into Research Projects. It could go well; it could be difficult. One never really knows. I will get some essays that make me smile and I will grade them and we will do Presentations and then a few weeks from now I will dress up in the cap n gown and traipse in to the cap n gown music and sit there smiling and clapping for the students who have passed their first two years of college and are moving up to the next couple. Some of them will have written Research Projects for me in the past. The dressing up in cap n gown and cheering for students in a milestone is still one of my Favorite Things™.

And so, it is Spring. We might want to fall backwards into piles of cherry blossoms (sort of a reference to this long loved sad poem) and melt into the landscape of our own sorrows. But this is Texas, and we don't have cherry blossoms. So I guess we're just gonna melt into the oncoming heat (coming soon to a small campus near you) and be glad it's not quite summer YET. 

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