Saturday, May 21, 2022

Freewrite on a Saturday in May

Walking this Route with Students Was So Fun!

I have 15 minutes to just write freely about what is on my heart. I love that we are being intentional about making our Saturdays free. I may meet with working people one Saturday a month but only if we totally clear Sunday. I had one woman who wanted to meet on a Saturday, but I suggested that we meet before our group/church gathering on Sunday afternoon. And this was great. So, the last two Saturdays have been totally free!

This Saturday, we are going to the new Downton Abbey movie. We were going to go for the matinee yesterday, but my meeting with someone went long, and I looked down at my watch, and it was 10 minutes past the movie start, but it was a busy Friday. So, it was good to just rest for the late afternoon and evening.

Yesterday, the map for the class I took over was for the Dog Park in Corvallis. I just didn't feel comfortable having my students walk by themselves through that part of town. So, I waited outside and encouraged everyone to walk in groups of two or more, and so I was part of a group of about six of us. It was very fun to find out about the different students in the class and what they were all about. It was also only our second semi-sunny day! This spring has been so overcast and raining. I just have been amazed. So, this next week (including today) is supposed to finally be sunny and good thing since we only have five more classes.

That's right ladies and gentlemen (is that even politically correct to say anymore?). I am five school days (13 total days) from being done with my OSU teaching career. I have 10 more classes to teach or walk! I am over the moon. I finally let go of the anxiety I had about this fitness walking class by making 12% extra credit. You have freedom as an instructor to do this or not, and I just felt like he had no cushion days (I give two for my Pilates regular 20-session class and one for my 15-session class) for his students or extra credit make up in his syllabus. But one of his previous students said he did that unofficially later on in the term. Why this guy did not have it in his syllabus I will never know. So much in his syllabus was really non-specific (no late policy, clearly defined absence policy, or attendance policy) that it was hard to take over. Also, he had so much to upload that first week, and students (and myself) had such a high learning curve! I finally just sat down all morning on Thursday and pounded out a Mindfulness Extra Credit Walk. I also gave them the option to do that combined with one make-up walk they might have missed or two make-up walks. I felt so relieved afterward to give them that option since, by golly, people get sick! He had no allowance for that in his syllabus. Note to self, look at the class and the syllabus before you commit to a class you thought would be really straightforward and simple. 

(I am putting WAY more hours into this class than I was contracted for, btw. I am only contracted for 7.5 hours of administrative, and I have already spent 13 hours just on the Canvas site, and that has not included all the back and forth with students on email. I have probably put in about 20 hours administrative, and it is only the third week of class.)  

So, I think I am finally over the stress of this class (let it go and have not fretted anymore) and LOVED walking with these students on Friday. That is where I shine and where I most enjoy the time teaching. I wish it was more of that than the administrative headaches and sitting at a computer answering emails and grading assignments. It is WAY more of that now than it is teaching, especially for this class I took on. So, I will miss the students but not the administrative headaches (especially with all the COVID stuff from last term - it was when I decided enough!). I will also miss my colleagues, but I think I am probably the oldest instructor they have now (or maybe second to oldest). Anyway, I am still hoping to develop Prayer and Praise Pilates (because my life is about alliterations from God :)).

So, today, I will walk this morning. Get TOGOS sandwiches with Goerge and enjoy Jackson Frazier wetland. Then I will go to see Downton Abbey: A New Era! 

Update: Barbie and Tim might come down, and we might go out for dinner after we go on our date. Things are looking up! (Also walked the labyrinth with George and RELEASED my fear of not finishing well at OSU. I am finishing well!) 

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