Saturday, October 1, 2016

Randomday; Housekeeping, Substitute Teaching and Parties, Oh My!

 I like to have a clean house, but cleaning large spaces, like entire living rooms, overwhelms me. So I tackled the tall storage cupboard in the kitchen a week ago... the one that I hadn't touched in about 6 years. At the top are all the stamp collecting hobby supplies.
 If you save all the important papers long enough because you don't want to have to file them, they become unimportant and you can toss them. Genius! Now, as originally intended, there is a shelf for the stuff of each person still at home, and a place to charge our electronics, and a place for household organization, and I'm stowing some of my Latin stuff there too. I found Steve's lost headphones too, hiding in plain sight. If only all of my organizing jobs could be broken down into such relatively small bites.
 And here are some Latin cards, more than fifty years old. I thought I recognized my Dad's handwriting, but he had always pretended to be no good with languages and have a terrible memory. Which, I guess, is why he felt the need to make flash cards. I had had them with my Latin supplies all these years but never had time to organize them when I was actually teaching, but it was a fun way to spend a few days now that I'm not teaching. Here's how I organize my flash cards for Latin: alphabetically by category, and the categories are: 1st declension nouns, 2nd declension masculine, 2nd declension neuter, 3rd declension masculine/feminine, 3rd declension neuter, 4th declension, 5th declension, oddball nouns; 1st/2nd declension adjectives, 3rd declension adjectives; pronouns (my Dad had made cards for every pronoun, so I just alphabetized them); 1st conjugation verbs, 1st conjugation deponents, 2nd conjugation verbs, 2nd conjugation deponents, 3rd conjugation verbs, 3rd conjugation deponents, 4th conjugation verbs, 4th conjugation deponents, irregular verbs, special verbal constructions; adverbs, conjunctions, prepositions. As I have told my students countless times, it all breaks down into Nounland and Verbland, and if you organize yourself and review your vocabulary, perhaps following my 3x5 rule (3x per week, 5 minutes at a time), the greater part of your battle will have been won. Now I have a neatly organized cigar box full of Latin flash cards with a theological emphasis. Again, a small container to organize, but it took quite a bit longer than the cupboard.

Oh yes, and I also defrosted and cleaned the fridge last week. Unfortunately the icemaker is no longer working despite several attempts to reset it. If I can find a small, enclosed area to clean a few times every week, I might actually be able to have a clean house for the first time in years!

I substitute taught the 3-5th grades for three days this week. I had forgotten what the younger kids are like. I had fun with them and some of the 3rd grade girls even gave me hugs! Middle schoolers never do that. Even so, the sheer quantity of small bodies for which I was resonsible for three hours each day made me utterly exhausted when I came home, and each day I had to have a nap. This confirms two things for me: this was the right time to retire and not have to teach every day, and I am one of those people that Donald Trump would condemn as having "not enough stamina."

The 5th grade had some sentences in their assignment like "Puellae pueros amant." And this prompted the quickest students among the girls to gasp and say "ooh, gross!" I told them they could use "like" to translate it instead of "love." And one said, "But that's even worse!" I had forgotten what 5th grade is like.
Tertia's 17th birthday party was a success last night, I think. We sent her off to school with invitations enough for both special ed classes and a few extra. It was charming that some of her friends who aren't in special ed came, had lovely manners, and played Uno and Apples to Apples with her. Because mothers worry about these things, and it's nice to see she has genuinely nice friends of all abilities. We had Little Caesar's pizza and fancy cupcakes, and tomorrow I need to give her a lesson in how to write thank-you notes. Quarta pitched in to make the games flow nicely, and she's going to help her sister put together a costume for "fandom day" on Monday, which kicks off spirit week at River.

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