Sunday, December 10, 2006


How about a personal post for a change? Themes that have been dominating my life lately are pregnancy, school, Jodi's work and being disciplined with my time.

 Jodi's in her 3-4th month, still pretty inconspicuous but showing enough tummy for us to have picked up and worn a pair of stretchy pants and an honest-to-goodness expecting-mother's dress. For the most part she's over the morning sickness and aversion to 90% of foods that takes over for the first three months. Salty foods are still out, though, so her mom (who is living with us right now to help out) has cut back on the salty fish and preserved meats, much to my chagrin. Tonight we had a hot pot cooked in my rice cooker, which was pretty darn good. Jodi still wears her anti-radiation apron when using the computer; it still bugs me that there's such a big divide between the advice on pregnancy and radiation/EM fields in the English and Chinese literatures, but after sticking my toe a little further into the Chinese part I've come to realize that there are some cool heads over there too. In any case, I'm willing to go along with it: remind her to use the apron, call the home phone and not her cellphone, walk further away when I'm making a call... We had an emergency trip to the hospital a week ago but it turned out to be nothing but a little blood, which was great news and a nice excuse to make an extra visit to the doctor. Now, to get the reimbursement from the insurance company...

 School is still pretty busy. Sixth and seventh grades are humming along; I'm still getting a feel for how to teach AP Statistics; the math club isn't really structured in any way that I can be proud of, but has some bright kids in it; and the astronomy club is a little directionless and frustrated by consistently cloudy Saturday nights. It's possible that I'll be teaching AP Statistics next year, so I'm going to start researching books and syllabi for that class in order to be able to submit a syllabus that will pass the College Board audit next June. Actually, this week we forgot to get the observatory keys for observation night from the Chinese track teacher who holds them, so the kids who came were very disappointed and Mr Chris and I were very apologetic; we hope they enjoyed the game of Rummykub we played instead. This next week we hope to do a full inventory of the observatory so that the GA office will allow us to make duplicates and we won't have to scramble to find the keys every week. The middle school ping pong tournament just ended, while the high-school/faculty tournament is still in the second round; I'm involved as a referee and also as a player in the high school tourney. To be honest, I like teaching high school more than middle school but I like the middle schoolers more than the high schoolers. Does that make sense? Am I allowed to say that? It doesn't mean much anyways. And it's true that no middle schooler has invited me to the opening of a club that he's DJing at, like one of my Stats kids did this weekend.

 Jodi's English classes are a lesson in entrepreneuerial challenge. Our "partner" is driving us up a wall and since Jodi is infinitely more polite than I am, she'll probably never know it. Nonetheless we have three students signed up who will be finishing off the letter S with us in the coming two weeks. In the meantime, Jodi is investigating a possible exit strategy. Look for new developments in the coming months that may possibly push our house-buying efforts back by a couple of years.

 I'm still awful at being disciplined with my time, and setting priorities and following them. That extends to grading homework, fixing things around the house, and doing productive stuff on weekends. I really don't know how to fix that, but I'm trying anyways. There's a lot of stuff I want to do but don't do because of the pressure I feel from other stuff I haven't done yet.

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