These weekends always seemed so packed with things to do, and this weekend was no exception, although in the grand scheme of things, I think this one was one of the quieter, more relaxed ones we’ve had.
Sweet Husband came up to Hattiesburg this weekend. I hadn’t planned to go home because Sweet Husband’s mom and I were to head to New Orleans for a Writing Project workshop. Before he came up, he spent the afternoon playing bocci ball with his boss. I am completely in love with the idea that he is enjoying this time with his friends and is trying these new and fun things. I love that he is enjoying his coworkers and doing things that make him happy. I love that there’s some activity for him, getting out and doing. That makes me happy.
When he got to Hattiesburg with my puppies, we made our way out for dinner with his parents. I love my in-laws. They are warm and amazing people. I never mind spending time with them. It’s never an imposition. They are incredibly generous to us as well. If there is a way that they can help us, they will. One of the loveliest things about this life that I get to live is that I have this amazing family. I know that my mom is the same way; she’s far away and she doesn’t have the same opportunities that Sweet Husband’s family does to be with us. She would if she could, I know.
My mother-in-law and I foolishly listened to Sweet Husband and my father-in-law who told us that we needed to leave for New Orleans at 5:30. For a workshop that started at 8:30. Now, the only time it’s ever taken me more than 2 hours to get to New Orleans is when there has been an accident on the high rise. At that time of the morning, there weren’t going to be great odds of that. I KNEW it wasn’t going to take us that long to get there. Perhaps that is why I set my alarm for pm rather than am. I was still highly panicked, though, when I woke up at 5:12, 18 minutes before we were supposed to leave. My quick shower and throwing my week-old dirty hair into a bun saw us leaving only 10 minutes late.
We got to the workshop site around 7:30. We did get a little lost trying to find the correct building at the UNO campus. Still there and way, way early. Particularly when the workshop somehow really didn’t get rolling until 9:00 (flyer and registration said 8:30).
Now, some of y’all may know that I have a PhD in Adult Education, and that I got that PhD because I wanted to do professional development. Primarily because of my involvement with my local writing project site in Nevada. I got turned on doing professional development, and I’m really good at it (I think). It is always extremely frustrating to me when people pay for professional development and get things that feel rather sloppily and at times shoddily put together. I hate feeling like I’m not getting what I pay for. As a whole, the Writing Project has a reputation for putting together high-quality professional development – marked by strategies that have been effective in other teachers’ classrooms (classrooms just like yours in most cases), that you will get to practice with so you know how it works, and the opportunity to plan how you’re going to use it in your classroom
The morning sessions of Saturday’s workshop weren’t at all what I was expecting. The disorganization of the morning was the first strike. The fact that the flyer said the workshop was going to be about Common Core and there was little to no mention of Common Core was strike number two. Limited practice with the strategies in the morning was frustrating as well and counts as strike number three. What was redeeming, though, was the afternoon session. It really felt like what I expect from Writing Project professional development. We talked, we practiced with the strategy, and then we talked some more about how it would and could work in our classrooms. i really liked the discussion of potential pitfalls. I felt like talking about how the strategy could be problematic. Again, though, a short-coming in a workshop billed as being about Common Core had extremely little mention of Common Core.
The good thing about the entire day, though, was being around Writing Project people. I miss Writing Project people. When I first went through a summer institute, I felt like I’d finally found a place to belong. I feel a little like I’m “homeless” again, when it comes to the Writing Project. I understand that with a cut in funding both from local universities and the Federal Government that sites don’t have the funds they used to. I think, though, that’s possible to do the things that the Writing Project is famous for – the continuity meetings, the writing, the activities that keep teacher consultants bound to the sites – with limited funds. I know that I would pay for those things. If I was getting the quality that the Writing Project is known for.
So I appreciated getting to be around those people and their energy, listening to them, was worth the day.
Of course, because we were in New Orleans, after the workshop, we made our way down into the French Quarter. We’re in the middle of Mardi Gras season, so all of the fruitcakes (to quote Jimmy Buffett) were out in full force. We wandered down the street and around Jackson Square, before stopping to have a bloody mary. It was a lovely couple of hours, and we brought a Central Grocery muffaletta home with us.
All in all, a great day for us.
…and it was a great day for Sweet Husband and his daddy. They made the 2.5-3 hour drive to Starkville to catch a double header of Mississippi State baseball. Father-son bonding time at its best. Unfortunately, State dropped the second game (and today’s game as well, but that’s another story). But Sweet Husband and his Daddy had a great time together.
By the time they got home, we were all about ready for bed. Long days for all of us.
Today has been lazy. We stayed in Hattiesburg last night, which meant that part of today had to be about getting home. We hung out with the family for quite awhile and wound up leaving for home around 3:00. I spent a lot of time getting shots of daffodils while Sweet Husband and his momma were in her classroom. It was a good day.
I haven’t done any school work today but then again, I have a workshop in New orleans to attend tomorrow so a lot of stuff can wait for tomorrow.
However, I do need to begin thinking about my intentions for this week. I started that a bit this morning while I was sitting on the front porch at Gumbo Acres getting my morning pages done with the help of a bloody mary.
This week I had a really difficult time getting up to get my morning pages written. I’m not sure what was going on with me. I got my writing done (for the most part. Missed a day) but it wasn’t at the beginning of the day, which is when I need to do it. Not because that’s when Julia Cameron says that’s when it should be done but because it gets my day started right. It gives me the opportunity to create order to my thoughts and my day. So I think that perhaps my biggest intention for this week is to make sure that I am getting up to get my morning pages done.
Past that, I’ve also been struggling with the idea of exercise. I know that I’ve said I’m going to do it. There have been a couple of nights when I’ve actually even felt that I really wanted to. And then I didn’t. I don’t know what that was about, but I want to be able to enjoy my life. Being physically fit is a key to that. So. I need to make sure that I’m sucking it up and getting either on the treadmill or on the road.
There are a ton of other things that I had on my list of intentions this morning (20 of them to be exact), but I think that part of the problem is that there have been so many things for me to focus on that it gets difficult to actually focus on any of them.
I’m going to be thinking small this week – focusing on two things and doing them well. If other things get done, that’s great.
How was your weekend? And what are your plans for the coming week?