Monday, May 7, 2012

Day 249: Die to the past every moment.

I woke up this morning and read a section in The Power of Now before Priya and I clambered for "CAKE!" for breakfast. We enjoyed the aforeworshipped chocolate tuxedo cake with two forks in the bus en route to Flint Hill.

We read some Latin and I caught up with our bus driver Henry before arriving at FHS, where I was greeted by a firm "Ms. Gill!" Whose car should have pulled up but that of my little big brother Zane? We wandered around the school discussing Buddhism and bracelets before it was time for him to go to advisory.

I had a morning meeting with Mr. Chang, during which he conferred authority and a gradebook (zeugma? hendiadys? synonyms?) to me. We reviewed today's lesson plan and made sure I would have all the documents I needed, before he headed to a meeting and I sat re-translating the Latin I did with Priya last week, just to be sure I had it memorized before class. It's been a while. :)

During the next period, I reviewed a literal translation of a passage from the Aeneid with a Latin IV student. This section happened to be Pyrrhus' tongue-in-cheek words to the dying Priam, Woojin's favorite part of the epic.

After attending the Class Meeting of the freshmen, we returned to the classroom for a semi-simulation of my first class. But more importantly, I got a pep-and-good-humor talk from Mr. Chang on relaxing and enjoying myself once the lesson had started (the brunt work is basically all behind-the-scenes). I collected my thoughts over lunch, after which my first Latin II Honors class began!

I am actually very pleased with how my first class went. I was given a lot of leeway from Mr. Chang on how much we had to get through (what with it being my first time) but we were able to cover all the activities he had planned! We started class by going over the story I had reviewed in the morning. I was happy with how everyone participated, and stayed respectful of the young and "girlish" Ms. Gill from the start. I was able to embark on exciting but relevant grammatical tangents with them, and felt as though I was able to keep their attention, as well as joke around with them a bit. All in all, a good opening activity! After this translation, I guided the class through a quick check of an exercise they had completed the night before.

This worksheet led to questions about what distinguishes the hortatory use of the subjunctive from the optative and deliberative, which provided another opening for a mini-lecture, which I of course enjoyed. Having gone over this and promised a few students to look at this material more closely with them individually in the coming days, I distributed a long-term grammar assignment for them to work on in groups for the last few minutes of class. This last task allowed me to circulate around the room and catch my breath before handing back graded assignments and giving a homework reminder as the bell rang.

I worked with a student briefly after school before Howard returned from the exam he had to proctor and started giving me instructions on grading and test-writing. I sure have a lot of homework over these next few days! But I'm doing my best right now to disprove Mr. Chang's prediction, "someone's blog post is going to be short tonight," despite my newly acquired busy-ness.

After demonstrating and debriefing were done, I hurried down the stairs to catch the bus -- it had left. I managed to catch it anyhow by some objectionable means, and then there started a great conversation with my bus driver and good friend Dee Dee. Was she ever eager to hear about meditation? The questions she asked and innate understanding of the philosophy she displayed were the most impressive of any I've encountered yet. Her words about meditation were beautiful, and further strengthened my resolve to practice daily: "You mean for that one hour, you are free of all of your responsibilities? That one hour is just for you? I wish I had one hour for myself daily. I would look forward to that hour all day."

We leapt off the bus looking forward to seeing Dee Dee again soon, when I realized we would be seeing her even sooner than we had hoped. My dear sister had left my mobile telephone on the bus. I was compelled to go for my jog immediately, and grab my phone as Dee Dee passed our home on her return route.

I've been perched to write this post since I got back home, determined to finish this and meditate for an hour before beginning rather extensive preparations for tomorrow. Who knew teachers had more homework than students?!

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