Last year, though I distinctly remember smiling for my photo, I look like I am in the middle of a sneeze. I promise on my husband's life I don't know where the photos are, or I would absolutely share them (they were posted all over the school for teacher appreciation week last year; it was not the most effective way to make me feel appreciated). My face, bless its heart, has mastered the art of morphing itself into grossly unflattering shapes during times of stress (for me, the phrase, "times of stress" is synonymous with every time someone takes my picture). But, let me admit: I did a fist pump when I saw this year's photo. Sure, it's not going to win any awards, but hot damn-- I'm not squinting! My nose maintained its regular dimensions! Drool and red eye didn't make an appearance!
: The benefit of having ungodly amounts of essays to grade is that everything I had previously procrastinated miraculously got done in order to effectively procrastinate my grading. I'm hoping when we move, I'll procrastinate moving by grading these essays in record-breaking speed?
: On the day this particular stack of essays was due, my students filed in red-eyed and yawning. They collectively slumped into class, nodding at each other in a congratulatory fashion that suggested they had bonded through this writing trial (though surely they'd forego the bonding if it meant no papers).
As a reward, I let them have a one-minute freak out. They were to show my how they felt about their writing project via weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth (or whatever legal dramatic impulse they fancied). I started the timer. And I'll be damned if they didn't completely exceed my expectations. One student began smashing his book against his forehead, another mimed sprinting into the wall repeatedly, one blessed soul began making what can only be described as whale noises. It was a truly beautiful moment. And at the end of class they left thanking me for a fun experience [seriously? All I had to do last year was let them yell a little and they'd accept challenging writing projects?!]. Moral of the story: my students are the best and don't even try arguing with me.