Saturday, January 28, 2017

Whine, No Cheese--BYU Homework

I, having a sound mind, CHOSE to take on the challenge of getting my Literacy Endorsement (Reading Endorsement, whatever). And I truly have enjoyed it. I've learned so much! I KNEW it would take seven semesters and involve a lot of reading as well as the writing of papers (APA) and time. I am four semesters down, in the middle of the fifth, and have two more after that at which time I'll be "prepared" to face the PRAXIS, a big test I have to pass or guess what? I will not be endorsed!

The homework this week is a bit heavy. I shouldn't waste time writing about it and yes, I have started it, but just to know mentally the mountain I'll be climbing from now up to Tuesday night's class, I have to map out the route for myself.

And just for perspective, our homework for last Tuesday's class was this: Read chapters 3 and 7 and write a reflection paper. Not too bad, right? Just read 61 pages of literacy textbook and write a two page reflection. Check. Did it. With fidelity.

This class is every Tuesday night except...EXCEPT! Because of the way the calendar fell, we had to throw in one extra night and that was last Thursday the 26th. Except! Our professors (we have two this semester) decided to cancel the Thursday class and just assign the homework instead. Theoretically, we were to spend that block of class time doing the work at home. This is the work assigned for the 26th (which I have started, but have not yet completed):

Read the IRA position statement article (16 pages), read Chapter 2 (25 pages), read the Edwards article (28 pages), read the Linebarger article (27 pages), read a blogpost (length unknown, I haven't made it to that point yet), watch three short videos (not sure what short means, haven't watched them yet), and write a paper about it all. Hmm...that's only 96+ pages of reading! Way more than the week prior. And when I read, I don't just read. I'm borrowing one text, so I take notes on sticky notes and remove them at the end of the term and save them on regular paper in sheet protectors to review in preparation for the PRAXIS in January 2018. And the articles? I highlight them and sometimes write notes in the margins. I can't help it. If I'm going to do it, I'm going to do it right. I can't just skim and scan and hope for the best. How would I know which parts to skim? There's no better time than NOW to do this work. And when I write, I go over it all again and am earnest and thoughtful about my reflections. I don't really know how to be less thorough without worrying about missing something important.

And then of course, there's homework for this Tuesday's class. We have to read Chapter 4 (31 pages), Chapter 8 (33 pages), and Chapter 9 (36 pages) for a grand total of 100 pages. And then write another reflection.

So, to summarize, since we met last Tuesday evening, our professors have assigned us to accomplish prior to this Tuesday evening: Read 196 pages, read a blogpost, watch 3 videos, and write 2 papers.

And guess what? That's not all for 4 people in the cohort (fortunately, I'm not one of them). Four of our cohort mates have an ADDITIONAL assignment! They have to read ANOTHER article (each of the 4 have a different article) and then write ANOTHER paper about how that relates to the homework, and then LEAD A DISCUSSION for ten minutes at this week's class. I don't know who they are, but I feel sorry for those four who unwittingly signed up for those dates not knowing how much homework was coming down the pipeline.

Did I use my class time on Thursday evening to do the homework? No. After school (and bus duty), I took my car to get the safety and emissions testing so I can renew the license plates for another year. To my credit, I did get started on Chapter 2 in the waiting area and wrote notes on stickies. And then I, as a member of the stake council, went to meet with the 10th Ward at 6:45 p.m. to go on stake council/ward council visits to members' homes along with their ward Primary president. We had two appointments--one at 7 and one at 7:30. We listened a lot to the family of four at the first appointment. They are new in the area and all four (mom, dad, older sister, younger sister...and their cat named Sven) had a lot to say. At the second appointment we visited a single mom with three kids--fifth grader, third grader, and Kindergarten. We taught them a lesson about the Plan of Salvation and learned so much about their activities with sports and school and music. It was time well spent. My choice.

After those appointments we met back in the office of 10th Ward's bishop for some debriefing and I got home at 8:30 p.m. So tired.

This morning is Ward Temple Day. I have a family name ready to go. We're supposed to meet in the chapel by 7:45 or 8:00 a.m. for the 8:15 session. Not going to make it (unless something changes drastically in the next ten minutes). We are so tired. My husband went to the doctor this week and received medication for his illness. Our neighbor is getting baptized today and we've decided to go to that at noon. Their family has some challenges right now and we would really like to support them. So I've been doing homework since waking up at 5:15 (no alarm, that's just when I woke up) and this has been a rather long study break, but I just to had park it all here because sometimes it's like, "Which good things on my list of things to do should I just flat out ignore today?" I don't really like saying, "I'm going to ignore the temple today." But that's what I'm saying, isn't it?

I wondered if this reading endorsement could count toward a master's at BYU. When I asked an earlier professor he said, "No, BYU won't recognize these credits as graduate work." And then he laughed.

I have church tomorrow from 9-12. I am going home teaching with my husband at 1 p.m. because his companion has a brain tumor right now and is waiting for surgery. And then we have 10th Ward's Ward Conference from 3-6 p.m. I didn't correct the science tests yesterday and I forgot to bring them home. I don't know if I can even make it to school today. I just need to focus on homework and get to the baptism. I hope I'm choosing the right things. I love church so much! And I LOVE my job! And I still love this reading endorsement. I love my husband too, which is why I sat next to him on the couch for 90 minutes last night watching a DVD of his choice, while holding hands. I love it all. Like Shakira sings, "I Want To (Wanna?) Try Everything!"

They always talk about good, better, and best. Well, these credits are helping me to renew my teaching license in the next couple of months, so they are necessary. So is that best? Is that better than the temple? Sunday is busy. Monday is work and Family Home Evening. Tuesday is work and BYU class. Wednesday is work and Scouts. Thursday is work and stake Primary (ward conference home visits, Round Table, or presidency meeting). Friday and exhaustion/date night at home/whatever I can squeeze in, and yes, I did homework last night. And Saturday is...whatever seems most urgent.

Back to work!

1 comment:

  1. You are amazing! I think you made the best choices : ) Bless you for all you do!