In my six years of teaching, midterms and finals have always followed the same schedule. Final 1 is from 8:30 - 10:30, Final 2 is from 10:45-12:45, and then the kids go home. It's what I had in my high school, and it's what, I think, is done traditionally almost everywhere. It would be pretty useless to try to squeeze in some lessons after that 12:45 exam, and the grading during this time is intense. It works out for everyone.
Today, however, we received a notice that the kids had to be held at school until the regular dismissal time. Teachers were only informed via a PA announcement. We were informed that this would occur for the rest of the week - that kids would have to attend shortened classes and lunch from 12:55-3:10 for the rest of the week. No reason was given, but it was clear this was not an in-school decision. It came from downtown.
Therefore, we did a lot of nudging and winking with the students, and from 1:00-3:00, there were no students in the building. I met with some kids, did some grading and planning, and marvelled at the lunacy we had to fake our way through until the end of the day. The hubris displayed by people who think they can change a longstanding schedule made weeks in advance over the weekend is just astounding. Luckily, common sense won out in this neverending battle between what is right and what looks right.
A few other things today:
1. I had my first morning workout in a long time, maybe even this school year. I went to the Stadium Place YMCA, and loved it. My day flew by, and I felt so good afterwards. The only thing is, it's now 5:40 and I'm ready for bed, having been up for 13 hours on just 6 hours of sleep.
2. I can't sleep, though, because I have to watch The Deer Hunter tonight. A kid begged and begged me to write his essay about The Sorrow of War on this film, and I figure I'd better see it before I grade it.
3. I finally had a followup appointment about my shoulder. No surgery needed, which isn't surprising because it's been feeling a bit better since hitting the gym again. I have a partial tear in one of the rotator cuff muscles, but it's so minor that it probably won't need repairing. I got a cortisone shot and was on my way. The doc says that there will be no side effects, except for 5% of people who feel more symptoms of the pain they felt before. Unfortunately, I'm one of those 5%. Ouch!
4. I nearly wrung a kid's neck today. Good thing for our basketball team, I didn't. He's going to fail, though.
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