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.

First, we saw dozens of pages from Leonardo Di Vinci’s notebook. My girlfriend was particularly impressed with the sketches the old master drew in the margins. Just a couple of months ago, her book about teaching students to use drawings to help them understand their notes came out.

After a snack in the café, we looked at a large collection of M.C. Escher’s. These were slightly more interesting to the nine-year old. They made me nostalgic, because when I was in high school and college, I was fascinated with Escher’s play with perspective. His impossible building and images that morphed from two to three dimensions was fascinating. Getting to see some of the original pieces was a treat.

Once we got back home, the boy invited two of his friends over to watch Star Wars and eat pizza. Again, I was thrilled! If you remember back to the first post in this series, I was going on seven when I saw the original Star Wars on the big screen. When I learned that Disney was releasing a new episode, I wanted to share my geek-passion with my girlfriend and her son.

They were depressingly uninterested.

I got them to sit through A New Hope, but they didn’t join me for Empire Strikes Back, and I decided to delete the rest of the discs from my Netflix cue. After seeing The Force Awakens on the big screen, the boy and his friends were converts. Last night, we watched episode one, The Phantom Menace. Like a lot of Star Wars geeks, I struggle to love the prequels, but not the boys. They loved Darth Maul and the pod race.

Afterwards, they were swinging some of the dog’s toys around making lightsaber noises. I was in geek heaven.

Today is the last day of break. Like many of my students, I saved some work for the last minute. Over several days, I had intentions of writing the Gate’s scholarship recommendation for one of my students, I still haven’t checked that off of the to do list.

But I did get a lot accomplished:

  • Rough-cut draft of my film
  • Blogging about Winter Break
  • Editing rough draft of my students’ final papers
  • Reading/listening to three books (two for work and one for fun)
  • Visiting a historical site and reflecting on how to bring that experience into my classroom

Not bad for vacation! Reflecting back on my time, I spent about eight hours on the film and perhaps another eight on this blog series. Not all of my students requested editing on their drafts (its optional on this last paper) so that only took me about four hours. I’m not going to count the two history books and Colonial Williamsburg as work, since those are only tangentially related to work. They are also activities I do for fun. So, about twenty hours of work over the two-week break. Again, not bad for vacation!

How about you? How did you spend your Winter Break?

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