Teaching and Acute Tonsillitis

Over the weekend, I wasn’t feeling very well.  Sunday was my day off from both jobs, which should have been Date Night with the BF, but instead it ended up being switch between sleeping on the couch and in the bed.  I felt terrible for being under the weather and not having a good date night with my BF, but he understood.

Monday I wasn’t feeling much better.  I debated on going to the dr.’s, but it is always a big decision because I don’t have insurance and I am self-pay.  I spent most of the day in bed trying to rest up and recuperate before I had to go to work that evening.  I even tried to get someone to cover my shift, but we are short on Bartenders and most everyone has a second job or school that restricts their schedule.

I thought about calling off, but that is not in my nature.  So, I put on my big girl pants and went to work.  Luckily, my co-worker was able to switch with me.  I still had to work a 6 hour shift, but it was much better than working the 8.5 hour

Tuesday, when I woke up I was still suffering from a major sore throat.  Since my mom is a medical assistant, I went to the clinic where she works to get checked out by the nurse practitioner.  Because I didn’t have any other cold or flu-like symptoms, she diagnosed it as acute tonsillitis.  She gave me a prescription for an antibiotic and sent me on my way.  She offered to write me a work excuse, but I declined.  There was no way that I could cancel class last night knowing that I was missing Thursday night because of the flair competition.  I did, however, e-mail the peer mentor that was scheduled to observe my class and ask him to consider coming another night.  Thankfully, he obliged.

Purple button up: Wal-Mart. Fall print scarf: gift. Grey trousers: Target. Silver watch: Fossil. Brown oxford shoes: unknown.

That took away a lot of my stress.  I also opted to have my students debrief after their first round of speeches.  I asked them all to reflect on how they did and assess what things they did that were successful and what things that they learned not to do for next time.  I think that it was a good activity.  I also finished lecturing on the presentation aid chapter before giving them the quiz over the material.  We had about ten minutes of class left afterward, so rather than starting a new chapter I allowed them to ask questions about their midterm.

One savvy student asked what type of answer that I expected for the essay questions.  We were able to go over two of the five potential essay questions.  I think that it was very smart that she asked that because I don’t have anything against reviewing the answer with them, or pointing out the exact spot in the book where they can find the information.  I just wish that we had more time to cover more material.

Some of the students were discussing coming to class on Thursday and having a study session with each other.  It makes me extremely proud to know that my students care enough to want to do that.  I know that several of them have class beforehand and are on campus, anyway.  I know that some of them will just take the night off, but I think that is o.k., too.  We all need a sanity break sometimes.

Sorry for the delay in posting.  Also, if you are experiencing any difficulties with the website, it is because I am in the process of migrating to another host and there are some bugs in the system.





Swept Under

If it seems like I’ve fallen off the face of the earth, don’t worry I can assure you that I haven’t.  But, it does sort of feel that way.  I’m at the point in the semester where things start to move faster and the first big assignment is due.  My students dread it and so do I!  It kind of feels like getting swept off your feet by a big wave.  You can see it way out there and as it gets closer you try to prepare yourself for it, but sometimes you just can’t jump high enough and you get swept under.  That’s how I’ve been feeling this past week.

Some how, some way I’ve been slowly getting behind on things– prepping lectures, making quizzes, getting the next big speech assignment packet sent to the printers, blogging, etc.  And it’s not even like I don’t have time– it’s that I don’t have motivation!  I seriously spent like 5 hours catching up on the Fall premieres of Dancing with the Stars, Castle, Criminal Minds, and a few other shows.  I know in a sense that I probably needed that time to just sort of veg out– I can’t shake that nagging feeling that I should be doing something more productive–laundry, dishes, practicing for the upcoming flair competition.  I’m just feeling so repressed by all of items on my iCalendar.  Everyday it’s something.  Tuesday nights I teach, Wednesday nights I close down the bar, Thursday nights I teach, Friday morning I teach and then work at the bar that night, Saturday morning I usually do chores and work at the bar, Sunday morning I open the bar, Monday night I close the bar and then we start all over.

After I get home from work (teaching or the bar) I try to spend a few moments of quality time with my BF.  Usually I have a day off from the bar in there somewhere– mostly Friday, Saturday, or Sunday and that becomes “date night” with the BF.  But, everyday it is something.  And on top of my work schedule there’s always extra meetings at school to attend.

In order to catch back up, you are going to get a two for one post!  This week has really started to feel like Fall and to me that means layering.  When I leave for school in the afternoons the sun is out and the weather can feel mild, but I know when the sun goes down that the temps are going to fall and when I come out of the building at 9pm its going to be a bit chilly-willy.

Black blazer: (thrifted.) Flowered print shirt: Wal-Mart. Coral earrings: (thrifted.) Red belt: (thrifted.) Black shorts: Target. Silver watch: Fossil. Button ring: self-made. Black booties: Dillard’s.

I have an entire Pinterest board filled with “Winter Shorts.”  I don’t know why, but I love the look of wearing shorts with tights and booties.  So, I thought that it was time that I re-created this look (again.)  I wore these shorts last Spring in an off-season way, but I wasn’t entirely in love with the look.  This time, I wore sheer black pantyhose instead of opaque tights and I think that it turned out a lot better.

When I got home from class my BF said, “You’re wearing shorts?!”  To which I responded, yes.  But if you think about it, wearing shorts is sort of just like wearing a skirt in the Fall.  And nobody thinks twice about a woman wearing a skirt.  Class that night is sort of a blur at this point.  I remember that we talked about evaluating speeches and watched some video’s, but that is about all.

Thursday is a little bit more memorable in my mind. Again, it was a day with Fall weather and layers were in order. I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to wear, but I knew that I wanted to wear a dress and “Fall-erize” it. I tried on a few of my dresses and added layers underneath or over, and in the end I ended up with this purple maxi-dress. Underneath of it, I have a long-sleeved light purple shirt. This is to give a little more coverage in the bust, and some additional warmth. Then, I added the brown jacket and the scarf that I tied to make it an infinity scarf. I was o.k. with the outfit, but I can’t say that I really loved it. I just sort of ran out of time and had a heaping mound of clothes piling up on the bed. Oops.

Purple maxi-dress: gift. Light purple scoop neck t-shirt: Old Navy. Purple scarf: Wal-Mart. Brown jacket: unknown. Bronze hoops: Charlotte Russe. Gold Watch: Wal-Mart. Brown boots: Old Navy.

Thursday night was not the best night of the semester.  Apparently, there were two questions in the online activity that the computer marked wrong, even though the students gave the right answer.  I had one student e-mail me to tell me about it, and then another.  I looked in to it and discovered that these two students were correct.  I responded to them both via e-mail and asked them not to mention it to the other students– I was curious to see how many of them were really paying attention and caught the mistake.

But, neither of the students had read my response e-mail and one of them came into the class blabbering to everyone about the mistake.  This got other students in on the bandwagon and had everyone whipped up into a frenzy before class even started.  And, they were all worked up to the tune of a total of one point.  The questions are worth 1/2 a point each.  Now, in the course there are a total of 1,775 points on the table.  So, 1 point is .08%.  It’s not even one percent of their overall grade!  Anyway, all they wanted to do was to focus on this and not on the lecture material.  They finally forced my hand and I had to address it at the beginning of class, rather than during the lecture when we covered the material that the questions were over.  I was thoroughly annoyed.  And, I didn’t hide my annoyance very well.

I also had an activity planned for them to practice impromptu speaking.  I come up with random questions like, What did you want to be when you were little and why?  The students go up to the front of the classroom and pick a question at random and then take a few minutes to answer the question.  All the questions are pretty silly and funny.  Mostly, it’s designed to give the students some practice with impromptu speaking and get them a little bit used to speaking in front of the class before their first speech on Tuesday.

But, they were all in a complain-y mood over the two questions on the online activity, so they were being sourpusses and didn’t want to play the funny question game.  One student in particular who went up there got a question about dressing up for Halloween and he gave every excuse as to why he couldn’t answer the question.  I mean, he totally could have just made something up, described a friends costume, a costume that he would really like to do, etc.  But, instead he wanted to be a stick in the mud and take all the fun out of the game.

It was just one of those nights that takes all the wind out of your sails.  I have them every once in a while.  What do you do on days like that?  Are you good at hiding your annoyance?  I can’t imaging what teachers of crazy hormonal teenagers do in situations like this!


Policies and Procedures

Thursday was a continuation of Tuesday: demonstration speeches.  The speeches were good, but I did have a few minor issues with a few things.  I had a student who was absent on Tuesday but didn’t contact me about missing speech day.  Apparently, she thought that she would be able to deliver her speech on Thursday– but she never spoke to me about it.  The syllabus is very clear about policies and procedures for missing class, speeches, quizzes, etc.  This late in the semester I expect that the students know the policies and procedures and follow them.  I’m crossing my fingers that my student will take the initiative and contact me.

I also delivered my teacher evaluations to my students.  I hope and pray that they were in a good mood and gave me constructive criticism instead of just airing their grievances.  We shall see– in about 6 months I will get them back.

The weather was a little better than the snow flurries on Tuesday, but not quite there yet.  Initially, when I planned this outfit I planned it with bare legs and brown sandals.  When looking back at the pictures, I didn’t like how the belt was a darker shade of brown than the sandals.  Therefore, I swapped the sandals for the brown pumps.  I also believe that it is only the second time that I have worn the brown pumps on the blog– all the more reason to wear them.

Magenta button up: JC Penney. Khaki pencil skirt: Target. Printed scarf: unknown. Brown belt: (thrifted.) Brown pumps: (thrifted.)

What do you think– should I wait for my student to contact me or should I contact her?

“This is How You Do It”: Demonstration Speeches

On Tuesday, my students delivered their last informative speech– the speech of demonstration.  As I mentioned previously, this time the assignment had a twist.  In order to force them to do a more thorough job of audience analysis and adaptation the assignment specified that the topic had to relate to their program of study in some way.

I’ve done this same twist before and it always yields some very interesting speeches.  The students get to be “experts” because they are talking about something in their own wheelhouse.  They are becoming better public speakers with each round of speeches.  I reminded them to start with their attention-grabber, like I always do, but this time 90% of them actually did!  There was a big boost in the overall number of A’s and B’s this round, too.

I know, whether they will admit it or not, that they are learning something in my class.  And that makes me extremely proud.

Of course I wanted to wear some of my new clothes, but the weather just didn’t cooperate.  It snowed on Tuesday.  And, since most of the items that I purchased were Spring/ Summer geared, I had to think fast.  Luckily, the colder temperatures gave me a chance to wear my new pink cordueroy blazer.  But, I changed up the outfit from the original one that I posted.  You know me, I can’t leave well enough alone.

I changed the cream colored cami for a crisp white button down, the gray pants for denim colored trousers, and the open toed sandals with laced-up oxfords. It’s fascinating to me how these few swaps can really change the whole feel of an outfit.


What do you think?  Do you ever plan an outfit and then have to change it up at the last minute because one thing or another?

Colorblocking and Oral Presentations

On Thursday my students were supposed to give oral reports based on a group project that they completed in class on Tuesday.  Since it was somewhat of a carefree day, I dressed a little on the casual side.  Also, because I was cold when I woke up that morning.

Class that day was a little rough.  I thought that my students would welcome the opportunity to do a group project, but they didn’t seem to like it as much as I thought they would.  Well, the group part they seemed o.k. with, it was the oral presentation part that they didn’t seem to like.  Even after all this time and all these speeches, they still have some difficulty organizing their content.

This outfit is a good example of color-blocking.  But, I felt like the pieces were too disparate.  Luckily, I have this scarf that perfectly ties these colors together.  Actually, this outfit was created around this scarf.

I was going to wear my brown boots, but the last time that I wore these blue cords I wore my brown boots.  So, I opted for these gray ones, instead.  Also, because they pair very well with my gray peacoat.

After I thought about it some, I realized that my students were all in a tizzy because they had gotten their outlines back. Although I didn’t think that the grades were bad, I can see how some of them may not have gotten the grade that they wanted. Many of them received the same percentage grade on their third outline as they did on their first and second, but that doesn’t mean that they are not improving. Each time around the requirements increase–as does the point value. So, by getting the same percentage they actually are improving!


The weather really threw me for a loop yesterday.  It was sunny, but not quite warm.  After the warm spell that we had last week it was really hard to pick something to wear.  Plus, I wanted something that was quick and easy, but that looked put together.  I don’t think that I accomplished my goals.  Let it be said that I really don’t like this outfit.

Also, I had sort of a rough day in class.  I had several students come in late, many that didn’t complete their homework, and it seemed that not very many of them read the material.  I am trying to incorporate more teacher-led discussion, but it is very difficult when students don’t read the material.  Plus, the group activity that I had planned depended upon everyone doing their homework.  So, it was kind of a disaster.  And, since I have been dealing with family issues outside the classroom, I know that it upset me more than normal.

Brown dress: Target. Purple tank top: Old Navy. Printed scarf: gift from mother-in-law. Brown cardigan: Target. Purple cluster earrings: unknown. Brown pointy toed pumps: (thrifted.)


So, you live and you learn.  I don’t think that I’ll be wearing these elements together again anytime soon!


Plan “B”

Today was the continuation of speeches for my T/TR class, that meant another casual day for me.  I started with a pair of blue corduroys and then had the brilliant idea to wear a pouf-sleeved teal sweater and tie it all together with a scarf that has blue, teal and kelly green.  I was so proud of myself and my outfit.  But, then I put on the teal sweater that I may or may not have worn to a Superbowl party this past weekend and discovered there was a stain on it.  So, that outfit was out.  I felt a little defeated, but I quickly pulled out a workhorse cardigan that I’ve paired with the blue coords before.  It may not be the most inspired outfit, but at least I didn’t go to school naked.

Flowered cardigan: Old Navy. Blue scoopneck t-shirt (underneath): Old Navy. Purple scarf: Wal-Mart. Blue courderoys: Old Navy. Brown belt: (thrifted.)

I have a “fancy” outfit planned for tomorrow.  I noticed that my outfits on Friday’s seem like I don’t put in very much effort.  When I look at the outfits that I have worn this semester the 3 that are my least favorite are the 3 outfits that I’ve worn on Friday.  So, I plan on breaking this trend starting tomorrow!