1. I have to completely prepare for Wednesday because Jay Inslee, Governor of Washington, is coming to visit my school, and specifically, my class. I say this not to brag because he isn't coming to see me but rather the Freshman Academy which I happen to teach. But bottom line is that he is coming to the school for one hour and 45 minutes of that hour will be spent with me. Oh yeah... my principal will be there too. The district superintendent as well. Probably the local newspaper and a news station. Luckily I team teach that class and my partner is awesome and we'll kick butt.
2. Monday is the first day of spring sports at my school and I'm coaching JV softball. I already miss my daughter.
3. Next week I am using my prep period to substitute for a teacher whose mother passed away. She teaches the same AP class as I do so I can use some of my lessons I've used with my classes but it's still something I have to prep.
4. Speaking of AP, I am trying to organize some donations for my students to take the AP test. It's expensive and I've enlisted 800 of my friends on Facebook to help. So far the response has been tremendous and beyond anything I could have ever expected. People are amazingly generous but I catch myself checking my Facebook page on my phone every 15 minutes to see who has pledged to donate.
5. My Freshman Academy is taking a field trip to a rock climbing gym in a few weeks but I have to get the bus situation and permission slips done this coming week.
In NO WAY am I complaining about any of this. It's just that it's all happening at once and it's wearing out my brain. Today I had a plumber scheduled to come fix my sink at 3:00 and I remembered that fact at 4:15 while I was eating a burger and fries with a co-worker after school. Oops. Four of the five of the aforementioned things are wonderful (#3 is awful for the teacher and her family) so I don't want to sound whiny. It's just that I feel like I have a large and full plate right now. But it's a damn good plate!
The Old Cicada by Can Xue
This is a fascinating story I found on the Words Without Borders website and it is translated from the original Chinese. It tells of an old cicada who lives in a tree and sings lead vocals for all of the other cicadas. It feels like a folktale but more beautiful and slightly creepy and magical. It's an interesting combination to be sure.
Story: 9 of 10
It's always hard to evaluate a translation but this seems to be very well-written. The author weaves a very pretty story bout this old cicada who had lived underground for eight years, much longer than any other cicada. The cicada has curiosity about lots of things like the boy who tries to kill him with a slingshot and the spider who keeps eating other less-experienced cicadas.
Teachability: 10 of 10
There is a whole lot to work with here. There is symbolism galore and the entire story almost veers into allegory. I'd use this with older readers and especially in a unit on world literature.
SIDENOTE: The website where I got this is absolutely a great resource for educators. Please check it out.