Tuesday Tell-All

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*Here she is, friends: my very own vegetable garden (for this year). Isn’t she beautiful? It may not seem like much yet, but I’m already seeing visions of overloaded tomato plants and chili peppers so heavy that their stems bow down in reverence. I take homegrown produce very seriously, people. This is an epic year for Matt and me–the year of our first vegetable garden together.

*(Of course, Matt is really not excited at all about the prospect of having to weed every Saturday for the next 5 months, but so be it. I’m happy enough for the both of us. Now I just need to figure out how to can things, so all our produce will be put to good use.)

*Since I’ll be on spring break starting after school today (eeeek!! so excited!), I’m planning on straightening up the garden this week and prepping the rows for some early growers. I think I’m the only person in the world who gets excited about weeding.

*When I grow up and we have “real” money (aka, when we don’t have to depend on my teacher’s salary for our sustenance), I want to buy a house with a lusciously large yard. I don’t even care if my house is all that big or fancy–I just want the most massive yard we can possibly afford. I’ve been dreaming about my garden for years now, so to be able to get some of my gardening energy out now is a very, very good thing.

*In other news, we don’t have Internet at our house right now. It’s quite obnoxious really, but I’m trying to make myself look at the bright side: for almost two years, our landlords have been paying for the cost of our Internet. Currently, they’re in the process of selling the place over to our new landlords. Considering how we and the former owners didn’t exactly have the best tenant-landlord relationship, I’m really happy about the switch. However, I’m not so happy about having to deal with getting the Internet set up and then having to pay for it monthly. How much do you pay for Internet every month? What’s a reasonable price?

*We’ve been without Internet for just three days now (I’m blogging at work, in case you’re wondering), but one thing is for sure: I get a LOT more reading and cleaning done when I don’t have the computer to distract me.

*I’m constantly setting goals to be more mindful about how often I use/rely on technology to entertain me, so this no-Internet thing is one way to force myself to be online less. Of course, I’m also going about half-crazy because I didn’t realize exactly how much I rely on the Internet for everything: banking, blogging, emailing, homework purposes (Matt), recipes, etc. In fact, because all the recipes for our Easter brunch were online, we had to bring our laptop to the church to use their wireless for about ten minutes while I copied all the recipes off. Ridiculous.

*In less than two months, I will be entirely finished with my first year of teaching. Hallelujah! (Of course, I have to get the students through all the standardized testing first…yuck.)

*Apparently I’m being observed both 5th and 6th hours today as part of my final evaluation. Too bad I just found out about it 20 minutes before my 5th hour begins, and I don’t have that exciting of a day planned. (It IS the day before spring break, after all–a third of my kids aren’t even here.)

*So there’s this assignment that my students have been working on (a descriptive essay) that they have to submit to this district website that computer-scores the whole thing. Now, I don’t entirely trust the fact that a computer is assigning grades at all, but one thing I’m still pretty happy about is that my students’ scores are WAY higher than they were at the beginning of the year. On the first writing assessment they did in August, the average of their scores in all the areas was just below a 3 (out of a possible 6), which is considered to be basic (several students were below-basic). If you get between a 4 and a 6, you’re considered proficient to advanced, and I only had one student out of 120 who had even broken a 5 at the beginning of the year. But now, with this latest assignment, I haven’t had a single student get below a 3, and almost every single student is receiving scores in the 5 range. In fact, my class average for all of them together is a 5.3 (which is in the “advanced” column). That’s pretty awesome, I’d have to say.

*Even if you can only trust a computerized score so much.

*Remember my resolve to eat at least 35 servings of fruits/vegetables a week? I have been nailing this goal lately–I’ve been including lots of fresh produce at every meal, and I’m just feeling so much BETTER, ya know? I still find myself craving sweets a lot, but they’re gradually coming on less and less the more produce I’m eating. I love it.

*Of course, it helps immensely that there are actually some fruits and vegetables starting to come into season now instead of it being winter, but still…

*Only 2.5 more hours until I’m on spring break. I can do it, I can do it, I can do it…

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