On Saturday, I had to run to the grocery store to pick up a few things that we needed. On my way to the store, I came up behind a man riding a bicycle. He had a chicken-wire crate strapped to the handle bars. He had a ROOSTER IN THE CRATE. I'm not sure if he was just taking his rooster out for a nice Saturday bike ride or what. This particular part of the state is fairly well known for their cock fighting, so maybe this was his prize-fighting rooster. Who knows. All I know is that any doubts that I may have had about our lake place being smack in the middle of redneck country are gone. LOL
John and I had a very productive weekend. I got rough drafts graded--more about them later--and we got almost ALL of the yard cleaned up. The only area left is around the boat house. We worked yesterday from can to can't (pronounced "cain't" when you've worked as hard as we did.)
While I was gone to the store (and wondering why the man was taking his rooster on a bike ride) John got started on the front yard. We hadn't done any major yard cleaning since right after we bought the lot, so all of the leaves from this past fall were still on the ground. There were also plenty of small limbs from all of the storms we've had, too. I felt bad for John because he was working his butt off while I sat on the porch grading. Believe me...I would have much rather been doing the yard work. :)
After I finished grading, I did help out some, but by that time, John was just about ready to call it a day. We had gotten up early Saturday and did a little fishing. We caught six nice-sized bream that we WERE going to have for dinner. John cleaned them, but after working all day, neither of us felt like cooking, so we went to The Angler. The fish was good, but I know that bream that was straight out of the lake would've been better. We did a little more fishing yesterday, but the only ones biting were too small to keep.
After breakfast, we decided to tackle the rest of the yard. I really think that if I'd been able to help out Saturday, we could have finished everything, but we didn't. The area around the boat house will probably take one more day of hard work. It's pretty deep in leaves and there are quite a few sticks and limbs that will need to be burned. A lot of this is from the tree that fell last summer.
We'll be going up to Hartselle Friday to stay with Billie this weekend. Hopefully we can convince her to go out there with us again. Danny, Linda, Amy, Will, and Maggie came out yesterday and tried to get her to come with them, but she wouldn't. I told her the last time she went with us that I wanted her to help me plant some flowers, so maybe I can use that to get her to go.
Speaking of flowers...last year we planted a dozen elephant ear bulbs. Two of the bulbs were kind of mushy, but we planted them anyway just in case. Those two didn't come up, but the other ten did. All ten of them having sprouted this year! A couple of the sprouts already have leaf furls on them. I am SO excited! It really doesn't take a whole lot to excite me. I try to find joys in the little things. :)
Now about the rough drafts. Oh. My. Goodness. Some of them truly were ROUGH! AlI graded as far as the text was concerned was the introductory and concluding paragraphs. I don't even want to try to imagine how bad the rest of the papers are based on the introductions and conclusions I feel a huge headache beginning to form already. The students in first block did a pretty good job. The biggest issue that I saw was that the introductions needed to be more attention grabbing, but second block...BIG SIGH.
Almost all of the rough drafts from second block began with "In my paper, I am going to write about..." or "I have always wanted to know why...." The conclusions weren't much better, either. "I hope you enjoyed reading about..." or "I never knew that..." and my personal favorite, "If you have any questions about..." I keep reminding myself that most of the students in that class won't be going to college. They will graduate on May 22, get a good job, and be productive members of society. And there is nothing wrong with that. Not everyone is college material. But I still get discouraged. I'm just glad that I don't have to spend an entire weekend having to grade. As long as I have them done in time to get grades in before graduation, I'll be good.
Fourth block is testing now. This will probably be their last big test for the term. From the looks of it, some of them apparently didn't study, but that isn't uncommon for a Monday test. The sad thing is that I decided to let them have an open-book test, and many of them are sitting there staring at the pages, clueless. Ahhh...spring fever and that "I don't care" attitude.
Have a GREAT day!