It’s been awfully quiet around this site lately. In the real world, however, it’s been one thing after another. Of course, with the school year having begun, I’m back in the classroom. I’m still at Aristoi Classical Academy and still teaching 5th grade, but this year I’m concentrating on English grammar, reading comprehension, literature, and history. Nearly half my students are new to the school, and it’s almost always quite an adjustment for new students. Classical education is not what other public schools tend to do. Since it’s quite an adjustment for many of my students, it’s also been quite an adjustment for me. On top of the challenges that I must help my students face, we’ve also got a ton of new curriculum materials that I have to read and process. I’ve been teaching since 1996, and I don’t think I’ve ever been this busy as a teacher.
Speaking of school, my son Giant Boy has started high school. The local public school is not up to our standards. The private schools are too expensive (even with tuition assistance). Over the summer, while my wife Katrina and I pondered what to do, Katrina discovered that our parish runs a homeschooling program. Color me surprised. We checked it out, and it’s a great fit to what Giant Boy needs. One day a week, he attends school. The teachers who volunteer for the program include tenured professors, retired teachers, and grad students. One of those tenured professors taught a class on Virgil I took when I was in college. The teachers give the students agendas for a week’s worth of reading and work, and there is a high degree of rigor in what they’re expected to do. It’s not easy for any of us, especially since my wife and I only have homeschooling time in the evenings and on the weekends, but Giant Boy is doing well. Best of all, he’s getting to take some classes that really target his interests in history and theology.
Before Giant Boy started this program, I was working with him on biology, Oedipus Rex, and part of Will Eisner’s now-published course materials for graphic storytelling. We really need to get back to these classes. I’m shooting for starting these back up after New Year’s. Of course, that means more work for me. Busy, busy.
Also, I’m still running the “We’re Not in Arkansas Anymore!” campaign for my Man-Day group. We’ve not been meeting as regularly as normal, however. Seems like the busy-bug has bitten more than just me. I’m a session or two behind on updating the campaign log. That another item on my Get Done List.
To top everything off, I guess I need to explain the picture to the right. Last Sunday, 9 October, on the way home from Mass, I had a myocardial infarction. The scariest part of the entire ordeal was the needles. I’m absolutely terrified of needles. The chest pains? Unpleasant but bearable. The shortness of breath? Irritating, certainly, but not that bad. Having an IV put into my arm? That was enough to reduce me to frightened sobs. The oddest part of the experience was the fact that the cardiologists (and we have some of the best cardiologists in the world here in Houston) couldn’t find any cause for the heart attack. I have zero risk factors: no smoking, no drug abuse, no significant family history, no high blood pressure, no arterial blockages, no irregular heartbeat, et cetera. I guess I’m just lucky.
I’m out of the hospital now. I was back at work after missing only one day (since Columbus Day was a holiday to begin with). I’m on a daily regimen of some pretty standard meds, plus I get to carry nitroglycerin just in case the chest pains return (or I need to blow up something small).
In other words, to make a long story short, I’ve not gotten any Spes Magna writing done lately. With luck, and a little creative time management, that should change over the next few weeks. Dodeca-Weather is still at the top of my Get Done List. I’ve got four pages of notes from playtesters and proofreaders to consider before the final PDF gets released. I’d like to say it’s going to get done by the end of the month. Who knows? Maybe it will.