The Fine Art of Loafing and Leaving Well Enough Alone

Today I was so lazy I actually offended myself. I did a little writing, a little reading and studied a little but mostly I did a lot of loafing. Occasionally I stared at the list of things I’d hoped to accomplish today and basically went “Isn’t it pretty to think so?” and went back to loafing.

This is partly because Friday was one of my more hectic days at work. It was a testament to what happens when you make the mistake of trying to change things that worked well in the past and have been running more-or-less smoothly. It was also a testament to the dread that the changes will fall apart and everyone, including you, will blame you.

Several years ago we (the foreign English teaching staff at the school) got tired of the available textbooks for our second year (11th grade) high school classes and instead decided to make our own materials. Our original plan was to collaborate on materials but the pressures of work (we are each in charge of the curriculum for a grade) kept the rest of us busy and the materials more or less became the vision of whichever teacher happened to be in charge of the grade at the time. This kept a supply of fresh material but also required that we either recycle past materials or go absolutely nuts and make something new.

This year, since I’m in charge and we have three new teachers, I decided to go absolutely nuts (shut up–you know who you are–shut up). I jettisoned an entire term’s worth of my old material and moved second term to first term. This doesn’t seem particularly crazy except we decided to have the students make a two minute commercial for a new invention as their final project. That itself would be fine except we also decided to film the commercials and show them in class on the last day.

This means we’ve basically been experimenting on our students. We’ve been like “Here, take this green pill and the little pink one. Now fly.” (Something like that.) Friday was, after a couple delays to give the students more writing time, the first day of filming. I spent the morning running around securing cameras,; realizing we had three cameras but only two tripods; scratching my head and going “what have I done?“; securing rooms and threatening my own students with failure if they didn’t hurry up; and memorize their scripts. It’s no exaggeration that I was more nervous than the students because if something went wrong, it would effect all four of us and not just me.

Luckily, in my class, I was able to film several commercials over the first two periods of class. Third period I had a break but was still on too much adrenaline to relax completely. Other teachers also managed to film some commercials and the results have been pretty good. By lunch time I was finally able to relax. Unfortunately, I haven’t actually stopped relaxing.

Of course, there’s a still a lot that can go wrong. I have to edit all those together and deliver the edited files to my colleagues. Oh, and I need to make a completely new curriculum for next term. I’ll get right on that, some day. But first I have to loaf.

3 thoughts on “The Fine Art of Loafing and Leaving Well Enough Alone

  1. Pingback: This Year the Stress is Not Mine | Mere Blather

  2. Pingback: Sitting Around Just In Case | Mere Blather

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *