Tuesday, October 1, 2013

October One; September's Done!

I need to put some pep in my step! Grading first essays of the semester for Composition I this morning has not exactly put me in a good mood. For one, I lose all of my speed over the summer, turning into a slow grader. For two, the students do not know my expectations yet, and many of them have never written a college level essay. When I get discouraged, I have to remind myself: this too shall pass. The students who want to learn will improve. I highly enjoy this essay by a fellow teacher and former co-worker: it sheds a humorous light on the sometimes depressing subject of grading.

With the new month upon us, I want to take time to set some personal goals. Having dinner with a friend last night, we discussed how happiness comes from making a conscious effort to do things that are important to you. With the demands of work and every day life, it's too easy to stop doing the things that really matter; this will serve as a good reminder to get back on track. I encourage everyone to make their own list...even share in the comments if you are so inspired. What will you make time for this month? Here's my list:

1.) Writing
I've been asked to read some creative work for a faculty presentation, so I need to use the deadline as incentive to start (and finish) something new. Submitting work is a whole different beast, but I need to put my duotrope subscription to use again.

2.) Music
I don't mean I'm going to start going to concerts every weekend, or even be "in the know" about bands, but I miss listening to new music that excites me. I'm bored of every song on my iphone, and I've finally decided to change that. I emailed my friends that stay connected with music to ask for some recommendations. Actually having a playlist I like would greatly improve my gym time.

3.) Workouts
I've let myself get in a workout rut lately. Yoga twice a week and working out on a cardio machine every Friday? Not going to cut it any longer. I need to get back into my weight lifting routine, and mix things up at the gym. I'm even toying with the idea of signing up for a Fall 5K.

4.) Reading (for fun!)
I read so much for work. I read books about how to help students succeed, novels for American Literature, research for conference papers, and that is all great, but feeling guilty every time I pick up my new Margaret Atwood novel isn't. I need to give myself permission to read for fun again.

5.) Office Space
This semester has been so busy, especially with taking on last minute overload. I never took the time to fully move into my office, and the blank walls are starting to become depressing. In general, I've always envied my office decorating co-workers. I believe that the spaces we occupy shape how we feel, so I really need to make some improvements.

I don't want to overwhelm myself with a longer list of goals. If I could improve in these five areas, I would call that a very successful October. I really do believe that writing goals down is important. For example, exactly one year ago today, Brendan and I opened a savings account and set a goal. Today, I'm happy to report that we doubled our savings goal for the first year. See? Goals really do help.

I got this sweet picture as part of a wedding gift from Antiquaria today. Isn't it lovely?

I hope everyone has a great October. I'm off to read for fun!
<3 S, B, L&Z

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