Monday, February 01, 2010

Out of the loop

I feel so out of the loop, like I've been gone for weeks. I have been lurking around in the background, visiting all of you, but rarely leaving comments (as they require both thought and time to compose - two things of which I've had little lately). The past few days went by in a blur of activity, but now I have some time (at least an evening) to breathe, relax and create.

As you know, I was hired to mark provincial diploma exams - grade 12 social studies essays. There were 22,000 students in the province who wrote the exam and each student wrote two essays, so we had 44,000 essays to mark. Each essay had to be marked by two people (a third if there were discrepancies in the marks). That's a minimum of 88,000 reads by approximately 180 markers over 5 days. Yeah, that's lots of marking.

I am exhausted. Brain dead. Well, at least I was last night, but I'm okay now. I'm so ready to get back to sewing and making ATCs and maybe some knitting. Anything that doesn't relate to economics, the Patriot Act, democracy and dictatorship, or civil and political rights. Anything.

On my way to work this morning, I heard an old '80s song on the radio and I remembered how much fun it was as a teenager to walk down the halls at school belting out favourite songs with my friends. Our teachers must have thought we were nuts... or maybe they also remembered what it was like to be young.

This made me think about the things that remind me how great it is to be alive... so I started a list, first in my head and now I'm sharing it with you.

Things that make me glad to be alive:
  1. Hearing my daughter giggling with a friend downstairs. It's nice to hear her having fun.
  2. My nephew coming to visit for the weekend. Even though I didn't get to spend a lot of time with him, it was the BEST birthday present!
  3. Coming home from work early and putting on my pajamas right away.
  4. Knowing Spring is right around the corner (okay, I'm pushing it, but I'm optimistic).
  5. Seeing "Happy Birthday! 29 Forever" on my birthday cake (hehe - how well my family knows me).
  6. Visiting blogs and knowing that everything is business as usual with all of you.
  7. Being the guest of honour at my birthday party and playing the social butterfly.
  8. That tired but good feeling after working out at the gym.
  9. Learning a new choreography at dance class and believing that I will be ready to perform it in March.
  10. Having a husband who understands my wanderlust even if he doesn't share it.
  11. Great conversations with new friends over a pile of essays (I met some really wonderful teachers from other parts of the province while marking).
  12. Coffee already brewed for me by 6:30 am (courtesy of Marie-Claude, my new coffeemaker, which was a Christmas present from Mr. P. I didn't know I needed it until I had it.)
  13. Clean sheets on the bed.
  14. Finishing a quilting or sewing project.
  15. Warm dogs on my lap.
  16. A well-written book.
  17. Parcels in the mail, especially from my mother who sends me the neatest presents - vintage necklaces and brooches, paintings and photographs, fabric...
  18. My little ATC swap group.
  19. Coming home at the end of the day to my 100-year old house.
  20. And, of course, singing along loudly to a song when I know all the words (or most of them and can make up the rest).
What's on your list?

I'm trying to access photos from the big shindig Saturday night. It was such a good time! The OnlyChild took a few pictures, not many, but convincing her to upload them to my computer (when she has a friend visiting) is not an easy task. I want to show you my party dress ☺ I hope she will recognize the urgency in this task and get to it right away!

Ciao for now...


Dogwood said...

I love you list. Wow, the marking sounds so exhausting but rewarding...PARIS.

Things that make me glad to be alive: chatting on the phone with my daughter, emailing with my son and daughter-in-law, facebooking with my grandkids, time with My Guy, able to get out and hike/walk, a good book, an afternoon of crafting, doing my charity volunteering, girl friends, a cozy bed. Nightie-night.

Erin Wallace said...

Wow - 2400 exams! What an AMAZING number! You can pat yourself on the back for your contribution to that cause!

I love your list. I think I'll do something like that for tomorrow, as I am in a bit of a funk, and link back to you.

Pat said...

One of the things that makes me glad is knowing you had a wonderful weekend and are back amongst us now. (If you'd not posted today, I'd have been a bit worried about you!) Tell Only Child we NEED the photos!!! :)

Tonya's Sewing Room said...

I like knowing people read my blog and "really" like what I do. I've always been very insecure and I think I'm finally growing out of that. It's still nice to know people like you and what you do. Make sense?

Kaye said...

Love your list, but I need some time to make mine. First and foremost is thanking the good Lord for all he has given to me and for my health. Yes I have my aches and pains, and problems walking but I am alive and still have all my marbles. 2. 51 years with my dh and best friend, my 5 children, their spouses and my 10 grandkids. I am grateful for my 3 sisters, we have always been each others friends and shoulders to lean on. I have been blessed with great friends, been able to learn to quilt in my late 60's and have all you bloggers to help and inspire me. I do tend to get windy LOL

Pokey said...

Remembering what we have to be thankful for can many times make a tough situation not look so bad. I'm glad you're list is so long!
-report cards are done, copied, and sent out
-love working with kids
-love my loving family
-enjoyed my quilt class tonight
-sunny days
-home now!
Happy days to you, Rachel!

goldenbird said...

Your list is so inspiring. Can't wait to see pics of the party and your dress. Some of the things that make me glad to be alive are my cats, family, home, friends, knitting, blogging, books, and the outdoors. And my nice warm bed.

Barb said...

That marking sounds like a pain saking task....good your eyes and take a will need your trip to Paris before too long or a trip to the funny farm!!

tango's trash & treasures said...

Great list!!
Glad you back & your party was a sucess!!

PunkiePie said...

I'm exhausted just thinking of all the marking you've been doing. Love the list.

julia said...

I loved reading your list!! So many of my things that make me happy are the same as yours!!

Dawn Gahan said...

Your list made me feel happy . . . and I think we'd be tried and true friends if you lived 'round the corner.

'80's rule,