I know that a week is only seven days. That doesn’t change. A minute is sixty seconds. An hour is sixty minutes. A day is twenty-four hours. A week is seven days.
But I swear, this week must have lasted for thirty-seven days.
It just kept going and going and going. And not in a good way.
Why is it that when you’re having an awesome time – like when you’re on vacation or spending time with your family, or eating cheesecake – time seems to fly by, but when you’re struggling through something difficult or boring, time drags its feet like a ten-year-old being forced to go clean her room? (Trust me. She takes about three hours to walk down our hall when she’s going to clean her room against her will. And our hall is not that long. Seriously.)
It’s almost the end of the first nine weeks of school, so that means that all of our students have to take tests in math and ELA (English Language Arts, if you aren’t in the know!). They have to take a post test to show what they’ve learned in the current units and a pretest to show what they don’t know about the next units. And how crazy is that? They aren’t supposed to know what’s in a unit that they haven’t been taught. So all the pretests serve to do is make them feel inadequate and frustrated. Our teachers don’t like it either. But they are professionals who are dedicated to doing what’s necessary to teach kids. These tests have been mandated, so the teachers will do what they have to do to teach what’s necessary to help the kids do their best. Kindergarten and first grade take their tests with paper and pencil. But second, third, fourth, and fifth take theirs on computers.
Our school has a computer lab set up for testing, but we have twenty-seven classes, so the computer lab can’t accommodate all all of them. I was given 24 computers with which to set up my classroom as a second computer lab for the duration of testing. It makes sense that they are using my room since no other class could be displaced for two weeks. I’m staying in the room to help the kids get signed in to the testing site and then to answer any questions or solve computer issues.
This week, two second grade classes and two third grade classes tested in my room. It has been brutal. The kids have done okay – aside from the occasional, “Mrs. Pate, I accidentally logged myself out. What do I do?”
It’s been brutal for me. It’s very tedious and not fun.
It just makes for a long day. Which makes for a long week.
And I’m doing it again next week with all four fourth grade classes.
I would SO rather be teaching! When we’re singing and dancing or drawing and painting, time seems to fly by. I only see each class for 45 minutes a week, so we have to stuff a lot into a class period. By the end of the day, I’m exhausted, but I’m happy because I know that I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing.
Elizabeth and I got home after school today and I pretty much collapsed onto the couch. Michael and Christopher went out to mow and weed eat. I was glad that I had doubled the recipe the day before so the kids’ dinner was covered. There was still Low-Carb Lou’s meal to cook.
Michael eats a lot of the same foods every day. Eggs for breakfast. Sausage and cheese for lunch. Some kind of meat and vegetables for dinner. He never complains, but I know it has to be boring. He’s doing well on the Atkins Diet, but I’m sure it gets monotonous. I decided to try to make something a little different for him tonight. He really liked it.
Chili Lime Roasted Cauliflower
- 1 head of cauliflower
- 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 teaspoon of chili powder
- 1 teaspoon of cumin
- 1 teaspoon of garlic salt
- 1 lime
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Cut the cauliflower into bite-sized florets and place in a large ZipLoc bag. Pour in the olive oil, seal the bag, and shake to coat the cauliflower with oil. In a separate, small bowl, combine the seasonings. Pour into the bag with the cauliflower. Seal again and shake the bag until all the cauliflower is coated.
Line a cookie sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray. Pour the cauliflower onto the foil and spread it out evenly. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Remove from the oven and squeeze the lime over the top.
Well Duh #1: If you want to kick it up a little, use chipotle chili powder. That’s what I did for Michael because he likes things spicy. I served it with ranch dressing as a dip just in case it was too spicy, but he really liked it.
Well Duh #2: DO NOT use frozen cauliflower for this recipe. Really. Just don’t.
Well Duh #3: Lining the pan with foil is not a deal-breaker. It just helps with clean up.
The only good thing about these two weeks of testing is that I have been reminded how much I love my job. Teaching music and art to 700 kids is hectic and crazy and exhausting, but it’s a lot of fun! I’ve had a chance in between this week’s testing classes to plan most of the art show projects for everybody. The art show is in May, but I have to get started in November or I won’t finish in time. I’m excited about these projects and can’t wait to share them, along with the details of how to make them. Guess “Mama, Can I Lick the Spoon?” will have to have a “Mrs. Pate, Can I Paint the Room?” section!
Have a great weekend!