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After the Bell

Dave Orphal

January 3, 2016

12 Days of Winter Break: All the Guys

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Best laid plans of mice and men…

Well, this series was not as extensive as I had planned. Way back on day one, I thought I would write one post each day of break, sharing the work and non-work activities that happen when this teacher is on holiday.

It was hard to remember to get to writing on non-work days. Yesterday is a good example. The day was filled with fun and company. In the morning, my girlfriend, her son, and I set off for the North Carolina Museum of Art. They had two special exhibits we (at least we adults) wanted to see.

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Dave Orphal

January 1, 2016

12 Days of Winter Break: Maids and Ladies

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Traveling makes work nearly impossible. As you know, if you are reading this series, I was in Florida visiting family. On Wednesday, it was time to come home. At three in the morning, the alarm went off, and, about thirty minutes later, I was off, too.

Blogging about travel days is essentially a book review, and the ride home offered me time to listen to a great book.

Washington’s Spies:

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Dave Orphal

December 28, 2015

12 Days of Winter Break: Geese and Swans

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I was so busy these past two days, that I didn’t take time to write on this series, so this post will have to do double duty.

Christmas was fantastic, thank you for wondering. My girlfriend, her son, and I went to our church for evening service. Our pastor asked us to lead the lighting of the last Advent candle. I was so proud of my girlfriend’s boy. Even though he was nervous and didn’t want to read in front of everybody, he didn’t hesitate and read in a loud, clear voice. He nailed it.

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Dave Orphal

December 23, 2015

The 12 Days of Winter Break : Calling Birds

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Before the break, I spent time writing each of my kids a holiday card. For each of them, I wished them a wonderful break and good luck on their semester finals in January. These past days, I’ve been getting emails from some of them thanking me for the card. I suspect that most of them don’t get mail in their own name. This is one of the little things that make me happy.

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Dave Orphal

December 21, 2015

The 12 Days of Winter Break : Turtle Doves

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“Clack…Clack, Clack, Clack,” I heard as I  drifted back to consciousness. It was my girlfriend’s son, he was playing his video game, popping bubbles before they reached his castle, or something. Don’t ask. I don’t know. You have to be nine to understand.

“What time is it?” she asked the boy.

“Nine,” he replied.

Nine. Nine. This is a glorious sign of vacation. On a typical Sunday, I would be up at five or six in the morning, and reveling about sleeping in from my normal four-thirty. Even on vacations, I don’t normally sleep this late. It must have been the ghosts.

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Dave Orphal

December 19, 2015

The 12 Days of Winter Break: Partridge in a Pear Tree

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As winter break approached I saw all the usual teacher memes on social media. You might be familiar with them. There is the video of people dancing, “Teachers on the Friday be like…” There was also the ballet dance joyfully leaping into an elevator, “Teachers leaving school on the last day before winter break.” They’re funny, but I think sometimes they send the wrong message.

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Dave Orphal

December 7, 2015

What Rigor looks like to me, Part 1

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Over the past ten years, I’ve heard the word “Rigor” and the phrase, “We need to increase rigor” time and time again.

What does that mean?

For some of my colleagues, increasing rigor means more homework. For others, it means a faster pace to their lectures and more frequent quizzes and tests. For the School Board back in Oakland where I taught until last year, it meant increasing the high school graduation requirements to match the University of California’s minimum acceptance criteria.

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