Monday, August 25, 2008

it's all mine

I really should be asleep, but Brian and I went to Tupelo to grade for several hours and I'm cranked up on caffeine. C'est la vie. I'll pay for it by 5th period tomorrow.

Speaking of 5th period, I just emailed myself new "Operating Instructions" for my benchmark English 9 classes. They are as follows:

1. Raise your hand and wait to be called on.
2. Be quiet when it is time to be quiet.
3. Stay in your seat at all times.
4. No arguing.

Seems simple but... you'd be surprised. My classes are a handful this year, made more difficult by the loss of class-size reduction, so I have 35 fourteen-year-olds in class at one time. After lunch, no less. Joyous.

I'm in the process of grading my Advanced 9 summer assignments. It's taking forever because literally every single student did the assignment. Grading takes a lot longer when everyone does their homework. Funny how that works.

All in all, though, it's shaping up to be an eventful year. I like my students and having all three levels of 9th grade English is a fun challenge. I also feel more productive, more organized, and way more on top of my game than I did last year. It helps that having two blind students forces me to stay a week ahead in my lesson planning so I don't get stuck without a worksheet in Braille at the last minute, although I've been spending too long after school getting things ready for the Braillists this week. I need to remedy that soon.

Also, I'm all moved into the new house in Sacramento, so now I have a new neighborhood to learn and a sunny yellow bedroom to organize.

Pictures forthcoming!

Friday, August 15, 2008

say it again

I am fascinated by Michael Phelps, now the most decorated Olympian of all time. But who isn't, really? While watching him swim last night, I decided to do a little research...

  • Phelps is 6'4", but has a 6'7" arm span
  • His hands are the size of dinner plates
  • His ankles, knees, shoulders, and elbows are double-jointed
  • His size-14 feet are so flexible, he can lay flat on his back, arch his feet and curl his toes to touch the ground
  • His legs are the length of a 6'-tall man, but his torso is the length of a man who is 6'8"
  • He can burn up to 4,000 calories in a single workout
  • His heart pumps 8 gallons of blood a minute - twice that of a normal 23-year-old man
  • He swims nearly 50 miles a week during peak training phases
  • He consumes nearly 4,000 calories per meal. And he doesn't cook. Ever.
According to the New York Post:
  • For breakfast, Phelps eats three fried-egg sandwiches loaded with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, fried onions and mayonnaise, two cups of coffee, a five-egg omelet, a bowl of grits, three slices of French toast topped with powdered sugar and three chocolate-chip pancakes.
  • For lunch, a pound of enriched pasta and two large ham and cheese sandwiches slathered with mayo on white bread and about 1,000 calories worth of energy drinks.
  • Finally, for dinner Phelps can put away another pound of pasta, a whole pizza, and another 1,000 calories in energy drinks.