Sunday 16 January 2022

Weeknote 2


The 20 minutes of marking a day is, I can tentatively boast, a success so far. It means I have ended the week having cleared a couple of big marking jobs and in the mood to keep going because there is light at the end of the tunnel. I ticked 6 marking jobs off my list this week: this took longer than 20 minutes a day, but the expectation to do some marking every day rather than just leave it until I could do a batch at a time meant I got through it quicker; so, for example, I did some every morning when I got to work and I marked a set of quizzes while my year 12s were doing a mini mock. Both of these things have been in my plans before but haven't necessarily happened. 

The only trouble with doing some first thing is that I inevitably have to stop and move on to something else, but then find a real reluctance to do more later in the day. I'm interested to see how this plays out; it would be nice (and not impossible, I think) to get to the point where there is not really much marking left and I can get through it all in 20 minutes a day. Sixth form assessments have put paid to that for now but the day may come. There is always hope.

Other than at school, I have also marked in Starbucks and the library this week. The library generally seems to be inhabited by one older gentleman (not necessarily the same one each time) at one of the computers. Yesterday's came to talk to me, which was nice but annoying as I had to stop my timer. I realise how grumpy that sounds but you'd expect to be able to work in a library without somebody coming to talk to you. 

Other than that, I have been reading a lot of exams for  the exam board - final meeting for the November series is tomorrow - and ignoring everything else. I found the book I wanted for the next writing project but haven't made much headway with it yet. 


I have stuck with 20 minutes a day but it has been a bit dismal, apart from Tuesday when I saw the PT and today when I went to the gym. On Thursday I went for a walk around the neighbourhood, a 1 mile route I mapped out back when I used to do running. It was late, after parents evening, and cold enough that I was sorry I hadn't taken a hat, but I noticed all kinds of interesting things, like the frost beginning to form. Yesterday I walked around Kingswood park but struggled to make it to 20 minutes. I did get to fuss some dogs though, so it wasn't a dead loss. And there was an interesting log to look at.

The other days have been Ringfit. I figured out how to access the yoga and jogging games without playing the game, so I have done a bit of that. One night this didn't happen until 10pm and then I had to do my reading afterwards, so my sleep has definitely suffered. It is difficult to gauge whether it is worth sticking to the 20 minutes a day at the expense of everything else. My weight has gone up this week so I am going to try to get more sleep next week, see if that helps. 

On the plus side, I asked the leisure centre about lost property when I went to the gym today and they had my swimsuit, so no need to buy a new one. Yey!


Work continues on Milou. I am 22 rows into the 32 row repeat cable now - this motif will repeat three times, I think, and then finish. I am loving it and can't wait for it to be finished. 

I've been continuing to read The Drowned City although considering giving up because it's going pretty slow and not holding my attention. Maybe it's just because I am too tired. 

We have also continued to play Super Mario on the Switch. It's almost completed, just two levels left, so we have also been playing the Luigi version because the levels we've got left on Mario are so flipping difficult that they make us grumpy at each other when we inevitably die over and over again. 

Entertained by:

A bit more ER on the TV, plus the first episode of Maid on Netflix which might be a bit depressing for me to watch a lot of. 

I've been listening to a podcast, The Coming Storm, which looks at role of the internet, specifically 4chan, and the conspiracy theories around the Clintons/rise of Trump. Laughed a lot at episode 4 today, where the denizens of 4chan excitedly crow that they have memed Trump into office, that supporting and promoting a candidate has led to him being elected. So cute, these folks finding out what democracy is for the first time. 

I've also been listening to an audiobook, 4000 Weeks by Oliver Burkeman. It's sort of like a productivity book but an honest one, that says it's not possible to fulfil all the expectations you have of yourself. Depressing and refreshing in roughly equal measure. It has made me reflect that the thing I like to do most in life is travel, so I am not sure why I then took an exam board job that severely limits the amount of summer holiday I can spend pursuing this interest. Answers on a postcard. 

Looking forward, I've been trying to plan for the ski holiday we're booked to take in February. I plucked up the nerve to ask Sib's ex-girlfriend if we could borrow her family's chalet; long-time readers might remember that it is in Switzerland, which is accepting visitors, whereas we're booked for France, which is not. Was not. Once I had asked, France opened up to visitors with a negative PCR. So, fingers crossed we can keep the same plan, but if not, a few days in Switzerland would also be nice. Lake Geneva. Chocolate. Cuckoo clocks. That kind of thing. 


We got a take-home meal from Jafra last night. We had a couple of their Palestinian street food meals in lockdown and I was sad to hear they had to launch a crowdfunder in December to keep themselves afloat, but happy to contribute and get another meal from them. It's all good but the labne with butter beans, butter and savoury granola is something I would eat as part of a final meal. 


Mostly just very tired. I haven't been sleeping enough and have been trying to squeeze more work into my days, something I have managed but at a cost. I'm a bit less fed up than last week but still not back to full bliss. The idea of a little homestead in West Wales sounds more appealing by the day. 

This next week is a 4-day week, though, thanks to the exam board meeting; and the new PGCE student is taking a lot of my lessons this week, so perhaps I can keep on catching up and find the energy to do a few other non-work things. I'm meant to be in Belfast next weekend, so a first test of my 20-minutes-a-day resolution is pending. 

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