Monday, June 27, 2011

That Old Thing?

A few weeks ago we went to the Lincoln Museum in Springfield, Illinois. We'd studied the Civil War and Lincoln this past year and it seemed like a perfect end of year field trip. We stayed two nights in downtown Springfield and loved it. We also did the Lincoln home, law office and the Illinois State Museum.

One of my favorite things on the trip, the thing I talk about most, was a coffee urn in the treasures section of the Lincoln Museum. The sign said that they had acquired it a few years ago and up until about 10 years ago, it was still being used by the owners to serve coffee. President and Mary Lincoln's coffee urn, still being used to serve coffee at family holiday parties and funerals nearly 150 years later! That's exactly what would happen in my family if we had an antique with a great historical connection.

"What, that old thing? We always use it. Just put the creamer and sugar bowl next to it. It'll be fine."

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The 7th Grade Plan

It is done. Most of it is ordered or here. It took several meetings of the curriculum committee and administrative approval, but the plan for 7th grade is complete!

Here it is (keep in mind that not all items listed in each subject will be done at the same time, many will be more like quarter subjects or one semester):

Key to Algebra
Key to Geometry

Story of Science (second half of book 2)
Botany Adventure

Language Arts:
Word Roots
Sequential Spelling (maybe, we might discontinue formal spelling because I'm just not positive it is helping enough to keep at it, we may just incorporate it into writing assignments in other subjects)
Editor in Chief
Punctuation Puzzlers Run-Ons
Punctuation Puzzlers Commas and More
Reading Detective
Jabberwocky Poetry Studies for Junior High
Shakespeare's Stories for Young Readers
Miscellaneous classics read aloud and independently

A History of US
A Pioneer Sampler

Logic/Critical Thinking:
Building Thinking Skills
Balance Benders
James Madison Critical Thinking Course

You Decide!
Various library books on Federal and State government

Open Swim

School day theater performances
Arts and crafts
Various art shows, music concerts, movies, etc.

I think that will keep us plenty busy. It is likely some subjects will flow into 8th grade, which is perfectly fine. Some may be dropped and others picked up. It is a more challenging curriculum than we've ever had, but it is time that we pick up a little bit. I'll have to come up with a schedule and have some curriculum committee meetings to see what Violet wants to do first, etc. We'll probably alternate some every few weeks just to mix things up.

So, with a plan like this, how do I call us unschoolers? Because Violet prefers using curriculum and has a very big say in what we use. I usually find samples and suggestions, but she gets the final decision on whether or not we try it.

Now the only question is, how do I wait until fall when we get to start all the fun!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Well, what do you know

You might remember about a year and a half ago, I was pursuing being promoted to manager at work. Here's where I wrote about it. Then a few months later I found out that they had too many expectations for managers that just don't mesh with a good family life. In my head at least, I withdrew my intentions of being promoted ever. And was pretty much told by them that I couldn't fulfill the duties as they expected them. I couldn't find a post about the rejection part, I might not have blogged about it. I was pretty disgruntled at the time.

And in the last few months I've been trying really hard to take a slacker approach to work. Get my job done, do it well, but not let it interfere with home life as much. (Yeah, I know that isn't really slacker, but it is as slacker as my type A personality will allow.) I've been slower to respond to e-mail, not letting myself be on call 24-7, speaking up when I am at my limits and asking for assistance.

Well, guess what phone call I got last night. My boss calling to tell me they've decided to promote me to manager. The job I didn't think I could ever get and didn't think I really wanted. At least not on their terms. It gets announced on June 30th and I think becomes effective July 1st.

I did tell her I hope I can meet their expectations. She assured me, I just have to keep doing what I've been doing. (I didn't ask if she meant the slacking off part or the part before that.) She said in the HR meeting the realized I've really been doing the work of a manager for a long time now and it is about time they give me the title and the authority. Well, duh, that's what I told them a year and a half ago.

I'm not sure what I think about this yet. If it is true that I've been doing the job for a while now and nothing will change except my title, then great. I'm happy about that. If however, what they told me before is true, then I'm not. One example they gave me of expectations for managers was that they could get a call at 6 am and be told someone was sick and they'd have to fill in at a client meeting or something else, that day, 2 hours away. Yeah, that isn't going to happen. I'd be happy to call the client and reschedule or help over the phone, but same day travel two hours on no notice doesn't work. We'll see.

Hopefully, if this doesn't work out they'll just demote me back to my current position. I'm going to be pretty pissed if I get fired because I couldn't handle I job I was promoted to that I no longer wanted.

I don't think this is the reaction you are supposed to have to a promotion.

Who knew, quit trying, do your mediocre instead of your best, slack off, quit caring and get rewarded. Now I know what I've been doing wrong this whole time.