Sunday, December 5, 2010

Monkeys & Mockingjays


I’m almost at the end of finals grading chaos. To explain: In order to determine whether they pass or fail Developmental English, students need to write an essay that is cross-graded by two professors; if they disagree, it goes to a third grader.  There are about ten sections and fewer professors, so it adds up to a ridiculous amount of grading for us that needs to be finished rather quickly. We’ve been grading all week and we’ll finish up on Monday and Tuesday, but this weekend was the calm between the two storms, and I tried hard to take advantage of it, and not just by doing grading for my other class (sigh). 

On Friday and Saturday I finally got in some full workouts at the gym. It felt seemed like a great idea at the time, but now I’m paying for it with very sore leg muscles. Today I’ve been making my way around with an awkward shuffle walk complete with lots of wincing and moaning.  

I also read Mockingjay. I know – I can’t believe that it took me this long to read it either, especially since I preordered it for goodness sake! The book cover even chastised me with a wicked papercut.  But this way I was able to savor it – which just means I read it over two days instead of all in one sitting. I’ve seen a number of negative reviews, and I do understand them to a point, but I found Mockingjay gripping and moving and I thought it accomplished exactly what it needed to. It will stay with me for a very, very long time.  

I even made a little bit of headway on my own story, the hot mess with potential from Nanowrimo. I didn’t write any additional material, but in an hour of planning I managed to have two plotting breakthroughs. Now I just need to keep it cycling through my mind while I wait for the semester to be completely over. 

We also wrapped presents and put up our Christmas tree, which was exciting. As much as I grumble about incessant Christmas music, I do love the holiday and the build up to it.



I’m assuming that the Charlie Brown theme song is running through everyone’s mind now. The tree is definitely a little sad, but we love it, or at least we love the way that it doesn’t take up much space in our tiny apartment. And it looks a lot more lively now that we've been gifted with a host of real ornaments -- last time our best decorations were small stuffed animals and a garland of lime green monkeys from a plastic barrel. Which reminds me, I should find those guys again...

I can’t wait for the holiday – and the holiday break!

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