Halfway through the school year, and my ability to grade another page is absolutely shot. No, seriously. 14 4-page finals in 6th grade, 18 5-pagers in 7th grade, 16 5-pagers in 8th grade. I started getting bleary-eyed after the 7th grade, but I was able to hand them back Friday, the day after they were taken for the first two batches. 8th grade always has to wait. What kills me is the full page of sentence translations. All of Gaul is divided into three parts, of which the Belgians inhabit one, the Aquitanians inhabit the second, the Gauls inhabit the third. NOT "is inhabited by the Belgians." Active voice. It's hard to be nice to anyone during finals and grading week. Today was spent almost entirely grading the 16 -- no, 15, one girl was sick -- 6-page copies of the Isaiah 40 Vulgate worksheet. My mental state could be best described as somewhere between "melted down" and "dead." Physical state is pretty much what it usually is after a grading marathon... headache, blurry vision, a column of fire from the base of my skull down to about mid-back, and really sore shoulders. I have "Panis Angelicus (18 copies of 3 pages) to grade for 7th grade still, but it will be next week before that's done.
After supper Steve took us out to Cold Stone and I had the "Falling in Chocolate" with their new truffle flavor ice cream. I am somewhat restored. Steve and the girls are going to watch the Pandorica episodes of Dr. Who. I'm probably going to skip out and have a hot bath and go to bed early. Or not.
I downloaded the Angry Birds Rio app for my Kindle this morning and have been playing it somewhat obsessively since on my grading breaks. It's either that or try to conquer the world in Civ 4, and my attention span is not that great.
Speaking of my Kindle, I am enjoying it a lot. Besides Angry Birds (which I had always secretly wanted to play but wasn't willing to get a smart phone for), here are some of my favorite apps:
Olive Tree Bible software - you can download several different versions of the Bible (I have a Latin Vulgate and a Greek New Testament as well as KJV and ESV) and you can do a split screen in 2 different languages or versions to compare. You can also load a chronological or other reading plan and check each day's assignment off when complete.
Duolingo - This is a free app for language learning, using similar methodology as the expensive Rosetta Stone. I have been (obsessively) learning Italian this way, although knowing Latin is definitely a big boost. It's addictive because it turns language lessons into a game -- you don't want to lose all your hearts! If you are so inclined you can link up to Facebook or other social sites and challenge your friends. You can learn Spanish, French, Portuguese, Italian, or German so far. And for free. Occasionally there is an unreasonable expectation for knowing a word or usage that hasn't been introduced yet. And as a devoted grammatical language teacher, I get frustrated sometimes that they don't just give you the rule so you can supply it. But it's a pretty cool app nonetheless.
Cogs is a fun game that was one of the free apps of the day after Christmas. You have to arrange gears and steam pipes to make little machines go. It's simple enough for kids to want to play but complicated enough to keep adults engaged through a series of puzzles.
Eufloria is hard to explain. You are supposed to plant trees on asteroids, harvest seedlings from them, and then use them to fight other seedlings from other asteroids. But it's fun and addictive in a hypnotic, zen kind of way.
I check every day for what the free app of the day is and usually I don't like it enough to download it. One of these days I'll do a bunch of mini book reviews from my Kindle reading. But that's all for now. I'm for a hot bath, a glass of wine, and an early bedtime.