Tuesday after class during my office hours I got a start in on grading the student outlines. I did three before leaving for the afternoon. I had intended to grade more when I got home that afternoon, but I didn’t. I ran errands, cooked dinner, etc. Unfortunately, that meant that I had to grade all of the remaining outlines on Wednesday. This can be a very daunting task!
It takes me about 30 minutes per outline and I had a total of 17 to grade, 14 minus the 3 I did during my office hours. One thing that my students can attest to is that I write a lot on their papers! First, I understand that grading is subjective– especially with the types of things that I am grading. What a student selects as their attention grabber may bomb on me, but it could totally work on the students in the class—their audience. I try to use my knowledge of what works and what doesn’t, along with the information in the textbook, to guide them into selecting the best choice.
But, I am often faced with the dilemma of having to decide how many points to take off. For instance, an attention-grabber is worth 2 points. But, if they have one that isn’t necessarily the best choice, do I take off points? And if so, how many? Generally, what I would do is take off 1 point and then be sure to give a lengthy explanation and some recommendations for how to improve.
The second difficulty is being able to give them recommendations for how to improve something without stifling their creativity. The last thing that I want them to do is to just change things to what I recommended to get an A, rather than really taking the time to investigate what they think is best for their speech–topic, audience, occasion.
Lastly, I have to force myself to go back through their outlines and make sure that I write positive comments. Because I have a tendency to point out lots of things that could be “tweaked, strengthened, improved, more creative,” etc. it is sometimes discouraging to students. So, once I am done grading, I go back and make sure that I have pointed out the things that they did well and give encouraging comments like, “Yep!, Nailed it, Good Job, Great, Oooohhh–love this, catchy, very creative, nicely done, awesome,” etc. This tip was given to me by my department chair during my first semester. This way, if a student is upset about their grade, I am able to remind them of the things that they did well by pointing out the positive comments that I made. At the end of the grading sheet, I usually write a paragraph summarizing the reasons why they received the grade they did. In this summary, I make sure that I lead with something positive. Then, I re-iterate the items that they most need to focus on for the revision and their speech, and lastly I try to end with another positive. Even if it is simply, “Good Luck,” “I know you can do it,” or “I look forward to hearing your speech.”
It took me a very long time to grade their outlines. I tried to break it up into doing 3 or 4 at a time, about an hours worth of work, and then switching gears to something else like Facebook or Pinterest. At one point, I had the last 4 to go and I opted to clean the bathroom vanity, unpack my suitcase (finally), put all the dirty laundry in the hamper, hang up some of my dress clothes, and print off some papers for my taxes before finishing them! Once I was done grading their outlines, I still had to spend another hour or so prepping for Thursday’s lecture. When my BF came home from work I was just finishing up and I was kind of grumpy.
It didn’t help that when we went to the gym all of the cardio equipment was taken and I was forced to abandon my plan of doing my C25K workout and instead did some minor weight lifting and then minimal cardio when a stationary bike finally opened up. I am so close to finishing the C25K program–expect a full disclosure on my New Year’s Resolutions early next week. I can’t wait to share my progress with all of you. I am keeping my finger’s crossed that I make my goal(s).
Thursday was a strange day because after I was done with class/office hours I didn’t have anything pressing or urgent that I had to do. Coming off of preparing for a trip, going on vacation, and getting back in the swing of things at work/school, it was a very strange feeling. I indulged in my free time by taking a short nap and then, to assuage my guilt, I went to the gym. I had the entire area to myself so I could get in my run. Too bad it didn’t go as planned. I was trying to do too much–I want to increase my 5k speed, so I started off by attempting to do intervals of 6.4mph and 5.5mph for 3 minutes and then 2 minutes. But, I was only able to do that for 2 rotations before I wore myself out and ended up walking most of the time. Instead of running 2.75 miles at a 5.7 pace, I went 1.75 miles at an average pace of 5.0. Not exactly what I was intending to do. Instead of counting it as my run, I just scrapped it and chalked it up to experience.
It was cold yesterday, which is what everyone seems to be complaining about. It’s supposed to be Spring but here in northeastern Ohio we had a high of 28 degree’s, but the “feels like” temperature was somewhere around 15! Earlier in the week I had selected an outfit that I had wanted to wear, but after looking at the weather I had to beef it up if I was going to wear it.
Khaki blazer: Wal-Mart. Gold hoop earrings: Target. Green and Blue polka dot dress: Old Navy. Tan belt: (thrifted.) Bangle: Versona. Gold Watch: Target. Cream knee socks: Dots. Brown boots: Old Navy.
I started with this simple silky 3/4 sleeved dress. Underneath of it, I layered a tank top and thick nude opaque tights. Then, I belted it to give it some waist definition and topped it with my khaki blazer to play up the neutral/cream tones. I thought about wearing an open front cream cardigan, but opted not to because the length of the cardigan made the dress seem much too short in comparison. Next, I added cream knee socks to really play up the cream accents and then my brown boots for warmth. Lastly, I accessorized with gold tone jewelry and a bangle that had colors of blue, green, and gold.
For being such a simple dress with only three colors: kelly green, navy, and cream I have made it feel/look different and appropriate for different occasions. I have worn this dress to teach and I have worn it on a date.
I had it in my mind that I had worn it with boots before and on our trip to Washington D.C., but it turns out that I was mistaken. So, what I thought was actually duplicating a styling turned out to be a first! I guess it just feels like I always wear this dress?!
What do you think? How would you style this dress? I can’t wait until the weather warms up and I can wear it without something over it, hose or bare legs, and nude pumps!