Do I know how long it's been since I posted??? Yeah, I do! A friend from WV (hey Randy! hey Alice!) emailed that he and his wife have been watching here for some sort of update... It is great to know that folks still think about me from time to time! But, life has been too crazy to get here very much. It will be 3 months since I posted on May 21st! SO, I guess it is time?? LOL
I'm still teaching high school social studies. As you may recall, I got handed a class of Advanced Placement (AP) world history students this year--literally the week before school started. This meant that I got NO time to prepare for teaching this college level class and I had to start doing it without even the time to read and get a chapter or two ahead of the kids. It is a challenging course to teach under any circumstances. THESE circumstances made it more so. I have spent every week from August 16th till last week running just a few days ahead of the kids. There is so much to read and learn as you go through the course for the first time. And, there are no answers to anything to help you be sure you've come to the "right" conclusion yourself! I've found many valuable resources as the year has gone past. The largest of those has been a group of other AP world history teachers who offer support and resources via an online listserv. I can't tell you how much of my sanity those folks have saved this year! And, it will continue as I've been informed that I'll have 2 classes of AP world history next school year. I've got 51 students registered now, so that will be classes of 20 to 30 students each. That is a WHOLE lot of essays to score each week!
In addition to learning how to teach the course, the course itself is a race from the first day of school to the world history AP exam in May. You have only so many weeks to get them through 10,000 years of history and then review it all in the short time between finishing the covering of the material and the exam date. We had 2 weeks left for review. We'd originally planned about 3 1/2, so we lost over a week due to various things.
All in all, I think the year has gone well. My evaluation by my principal was awesome and I am looking forward to doing it all again next year. The good part, though, is that I will be attending a College Board sponsored AP world history workshop for a week this summer. The workshop is conducted by one of the well-known names in the AP world history game--Bill Strickland. He's been a wonderful fount of resources this year and I look forward to this face to face chance to learn more. Even better, the workshop is 2 hours from home in the lovely St. Petersburg, FL area and the funds were available to cover a hotel room, so it is like a mini-vacation with the workshop!
BTW, we won't find out how the kids did on their exam till July some time...UGH!
The AP world history that I taught was in addition to various other social studies classes--American history, regular world history, and American government. I also taught a whole trimester of reading back at the beginning of the year. Next year is supposed to be (fingers crossed) the two sections of AP world history and 2 sections of regular world history, which will run sort of parallel to the AP world history if I work it right... Plans are underway!
Life... Well, it has been crazy as I said! I'll celebrate 5 years since surgery on August 29th and I must report that my weight is up as a result of not taking enough time to take care of me... I did have my annual labs done in April and those were good. My iron is holding in the low range, not slipping lower. I'm sitting uncomfortably in the 240s these days. That is a gain of about 35 to 40 pounds over the past 2 years. I maintained between 205 and 210 for a very long time--like a year and a half. Then, the pounds started slowly creeping on about the time I started teaching full-time. I know that part of the problem is that I am not eating protein snacks like I did when I was home all the time. And, I can't blame anyone but myself. I haven't taken time to exercise. I haven't addressed the food choices and schedule. I do an okay job when I am at home, but the carbs have sure creeped back into my diet. And days when I forget to bring lunch to school means eating the school lunches. I swear those kids probably have feathers sprouting in their armpits from all the chicken they eat, but it is always breaded... Ugh! And, the school lunches are always carb-laden... One that they do regularly is terryaki chicken (which isn't too bad), but they serve it over white rice with a roll on the side and it is accompanied by either broccoli OR black beans AND a syruppy fruit cup. I hate paying $4 for some chicken and some broccoli or beans! I can tell them to keep the rice and the roll, but if I am hungry, I don't always do it. If the roll is whole wheat, I choose that. Otherwise, I eat some rice...
Good choices? No, not so much! I still keep sliced cheddar cheese in my mini-fridge. I still keep pepperoni slices in there, but it isn't the turkey pepperoni because it isn't available in a store brand here like it was in WV where we had the Kroger brand... I still keep my iced tea unsweetened and add Splenda. I don't drink ANY water...just the tea and I know that this can be a factor for weight loss/maintenance. I've gotten back to keeping protein bars in my desk again--just the Atkins Advantage chocolate peanut butter ones, but they're affordable and better than some out there. If I get hungry mid-morning OR if I fail to get breakfast before school, I can grab one of those towards the end of my second class and get me through to lunch.
What can I do about this weight gain? What do I plan to do? Well, school gets out on June 9th and teachers' last day of work is June 10th. Then, I have 10 weeks to figure it out!
Step 1--cut the carbs! I'm working on it, but every time I have a really good day, I cave in at night to the salty cravings...
Step 2--get back to exercising. Hubby's been home lately and I've got him talked into getting back to walking in the evenings... He was up to almost 2 miles per day at the time he was 3 months postop from his quadruple bypass. Then, once he was back to work full-time, he all but stopped walking any further than from the tractor-trailer into the truck stop and back again... He feels like crap and he's gained the 30 pounds that he lost right back again. SO, he's getting on the bandwagon with me when he's home. I got a new bike back before Christmas and haven't put 15 miles on it I bet... That is going to change! Between walking in the evenings and some afternoon bike rides, I hope to see that scale start to dive again.
Step 3--Planning a protein snack regimen for next school year...and finding some stuff I like to keep it going. I also need to get back to eating more salads... I like salads. I missed them SO much during that first 6 months postop! I'm going to get those back into my diet again and keep them there.
Step 4--More of the same! Getting the stuff back in place is one thing--keeping it there is another. I know that I learned all this stuff during my weight loss. I kept the weight off for a long time by just staying on track. I wasn't dieting. I wasn't going out of my way to not eat anything, but I was EXERCISING and I was getting the protein in...everyday, no matter what... Before my surgery, I was clueless how to lose the weight and keep it off. I can't say that anymore. I know what I have to do. I know how to do it. I CAN DO IT! I will do it...