Memoirs of a Horse Girl will be one year old next month.
When I began writing this blog, I was not sure if I would have the staying power necessary for blogging. I made a modest attempt at blogging every day and then realized that I just didn't have the time. Since horses are never far from my mind, I am sure that I could come up with something to write about each day, but I do not feel that I would regularly have time for the editing and proofreading, as well as reading other blogs, which I really enjoy! I also seem nearly completely unable to write short entries. Once I get going on the keyboard, I like to just keep going! So short, daily posts do not work for me, but I am accepting of that fact.
|Every writer, musician, and artist needs a muse.|
During this past year, I have found my blogging rhythm. I write about every other day. If I have something burning that I am really interested to share, then I blog more often. If my schedule with work, family, and other stuff (house, appointments, etc.) requires more time during a particular week, then I might blog a little less. If you knew my school's marking period schedule, you would find that there is an indirect relationship between the number of blog posts published and the deadlines for interim and quarterly report cards. I spend many hours at home lesson planning, designing assignments, grading those assignments, and updating my electronic gradebook. That sort of paperwork interferes with blogging, because they fill the same void: sit and read and write and then do it some more. Of course, my job has to take priority, because I am paid for that one and I love teaching. I love my job. What I do not love are the many hours that I must spend at home grading. Hours and hours. Non-teachers or people who do not live with teachers will often have no sympathy for this. Teachers get summers off. Teachers get winter and spring vacation. Teachers get every holiday in the book. I know. I get it. I sincerely wish everyone had lengthy time intervals like my summer vacation to recharge their batteries. I wish that for my husband who only gets two weeks vacation outside of federal holidays. But what non-teachers or people who do not live with teachers may not understand is that doing paperwork for hours after school and hours on the weekend (including those holidays) really starts to burn the candle at both ends. It is impossible to leave your job at work if you must carry a fifteen pound messenger bag home with three hundred tests, quizzes and lab reports to grade. The time I am given to grade at school is completely inadequate. I use that time for lesson assembly, lesson clean-up, staff communication, parent communication, making copies, and running to the bathroom (If you are a teacher or work on a strict time schedule, you will really appreciate that last one). There just is not time for the multitude of paperwork which accumulates on any given school day during school hours. Often, there is not time after school hours either, but I digress. My students work hard. I work hard. These are good things, it is just that sometimes they interfere with my regular blog posts, and that has been enlightening...
What I have noticed is that if I write a post and let it sit for a few days, more readers tend to get to my written entry. Sometimes I check the "stats" and see that people, like me, are busy and need a few days to read what I have written. If I allow some time between posts, I tend to get more feedback in the form of comments, which I love and really make my day! This also relieves any sense of urgency, which I might get from blogging and, to be honest, I do not need one more deadline. I want blogging to remain fun and a stress release, because that is what I really need. I can take my time editing and proofreading, so that my writing is (hopefully) grammatically correct and free from typos (if I can help it). I want to set a good example, should my students or their parents become readers. I want to exemplify that writing is fun and something worth doing, even when time is short and the days are long. I am a science teacher, so my objectives are not to teach writing mechanics or compositions, although you better believe that scientific writing and lab reports are on the table! Bring the supporting details and data to explain your conclusions, leave those pronouns at the door, and, by all means, use science vocabulary! Writing has got to be one of the most difficult skills to teach, because so much of it is not mechanics. Writing has a lot to do with feel and timing. Rhythm. Not unlike riding. So I am trying to teach by example. I am still working, even when I am writing for pleasure. I found something about which I love to write. I hope that you continue to read my work, contribute your thoughts, and keep your own blogs going amidst your busy lives, because I know we all have them, whether grading papers is a part of them, or not.
Looking forward to the next 150 - especially with pix of adorable Harley!ReplyDelete
More adorable pix. Check.Delete
Looking forward to more of the beautiful Val (her horse) as well!
Congratulations on your 150th post! I know how hard it is to sometimes find the time to write it down and post it.ReplyDelete
Although I don't have lesson plans, papers to grade or students to teach I feel your busyness. I find it hard to first of all come up with something interesting to write about and then to find the time to do it properly. During the week I usually have at least two days with my two yr. old granddaughter which I take to and participate in pre-school or music, or gym etc. Then in the afternoon it's off to pick up her 6 yr. old sister at school. The rest of the week consists of the usual: grocery shopping, laundry, house cleaning, husband ( he always wants a meal at night, go figure?) add seven horses that need training, exercising, care or grooming. Then throw in the two dogs and I am usually only good for one post a week. I do try and visit everyone on the weekends or at night while watching TV. We're a busy bunch aren't we?
Wow! Life is so busy. In all honesty, I think that it is better to be busy than not, it is just that I feel like we live in a society where you have to run around like a chicken with its head cut off to get everything done on a regular basis. I used to be determined to get every single thing done (I was a straight A student throughout high school and college), but I think that I have hit my quota. I have to let something slide these days or I get resentful. Knowing what can slide can be tricky (especially when the answer is nothing!) and do not like the feeling of things being unfinished, but it cannot be avoided if I want to eat meals, sleep, exercise, ride my horse, clean my house, see my husband, and you get the idea!Delete
Here's to another year of being busy!
Great post! I am a teacher too (high school English) and you echoed many of the same things I think about school and blogging. :-)ReplyDelete
English teacher. I take a knee and bow (in all seriousness). Grading compositions has got to be the more laborious, challenging task and so important to create future writers and communicators. The language arts and literature teachers are often the last ones out of the building each day, because they have so many papers to evaluate.Delete
Thanks for sharing my sentiments.
Congratulations on 150 posts! As the daughter of a university professor, I spent my childhood watching my father grade exams so I get what you are saying in your post. I've enjoyed getting to know you and Harley and look forward to another year of posts from you!ReplyDelete
Oh yes, so you know what I mean. I often grade while my husband is exercising. He can finish all his exercises (around two hours) and I am still grading, which does not improve muscle tone, by the way. ;)Delete
Thanks! I feel the same way.
What a great post ....from one teacher to another ...I do know the time everything related to the job takes ....Some days I return from school to find I have no enerygy for much ....but I do enjoy my blogging and enjoy sharing snippets of my life with horses and also enjoy reading about yours ....I look forward to more news about your gorgeous HarleyReplyDelete
Thanks, Sally! Continue finding the time and so will I!Delete
Ironically, I just read an WP article this morning on what teachers are paid...you would like it :-)ReplyDelete
Congrats on your 150th post!
That IS a good article.Delete
If we follow the payment plan offered in the article, I will take one for the team and accept $2/hr instead of $3/hr. I wonder how three hundred kids in lunch duty is factored into the equation?
My husband is a college professor so I know exactly what you're talking about. He only teaches one class per semester right now but he's also expected to do a full load of research on top of his teaching load. Not to mention he doesn't get the summer off.ReplyDelete
Teaching is hard- you guys deserve all the props you can get!
I did a one-year independent study in college with a rattlesnake biologist. I learned a lot, which paved the way for the science projects which I do with my students now, but I realized then that research is only for those who love it, because it was so. much. work. Nights. Weekends. Eight-hour "sets" in the lab on top of a 20-credit semester. Crazy work. Major props to your prof husband, because he is living it!