5/02/2009

HIATUS INTERRUPTUS

I haven't posted in more than a week, an unusually long absence. I thought I'd catch up.

STATE TESTING:

The 21st, the last day I posted, was also the first day I was involved with the CST's (California state tests). It's difficult. Not only do we lose instructional time for four days spread out over nine days of instruction,but we have many students absent from our classes. Between truncated periods (which tempt students to cut) and official make-ups and sophomore-only tests (the 10th graders have an additional fifth day of instruction), teachers like me are almost forced to adjust every aspect of instruction during this time.

It's not to say that I don't get some things accomplished besides administering tests. I catch up on grading, I plan the rest of the year's curriculum and I do in fact teach....somewhat. But 'teaching', in this case, consists of presentation without consequences. I don't want to give a bunch of assessments when anywhere from 10 to 50 percent of my students are missing from period to period. So I cover new material to some degree, but I have to build in time for absent students to play 'catch-up'.

THE BALLPLAYER:

And, to top it all off, my wife's family is in turmoil. My wife's nephew, whom I've posted about before, is reaching a critical point in his amateur career as a baseball player and much of our family life has revolved around it, to the point that it seemed prudent to me to go away for the previous weekend. Trying to stay married, and all that.

It's tough, because the kid (who at one point was leading the Big West in hitting) had a major setback. He picked up a particularly nasty flu, and as a precaution he was given a spinal tap to rule out meningitis. Only, they botched the tap, failing to seal it properly. This led to excruciating headaches, which combined with weight loss and lack of playing time, has pretty much left the kid a shell of his former self. He's still hitting around .350, not too shabby, but in college baseball that just puts him in the top 350, not the top 10. He's not been producing runs the way he was expected to do at this point, and has even been benched a game or two by his coach. All of this as a junior, with the major-league draft beckoning. His timing couldn't have been worse, and the kvetching and excuse-making and soul-searching on this end has gone on past any point where it could be helpful.

THE NUPTIALS:

Yesterday, one of my wife's best friends had a rehearsal dinner for her son's wedding. My wife's #2 son is the groom's best man. Today, we have a wedding. An outdoor wedding. And it's been raining in our neck of the woods. Oh, well. At least I don't have to park any cars, as the #3 son has been deputized to do. My job consists of dressing well and not bumping into the scenery, then leaving early for band rehearsal.

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