Day 3 of the Reading, and man was it a rough day! My day started at 4 AM – yes, you read that correctly – FOUR AM when I received not one, but TWO, count ’em, two text messages. They were sent from Arlington, VA, which is of course, two hours ahead, which means that had I been at home, I would have already been awake to receive the texts (which was about a traffic delay, by the way…see what happens when you sign up to get emergency messages from your county? You find out all kinds of interesting things at all kinds of interesting hours). As it was, I was rudely awakened by the first text, and then about 10 minutes later the second one came through. I had a very difficult time getting back to sleep. By the time I finally drifted off, my alarm went off (this time actually at 6, local time), and I felt that awful kind of drowsy that you feel when you’ve been woken from a deep sleep and not at the proper point of your sleep cycle. It was not a happy morning.
I actually did manage to get myself over to the convention center in time enough for a leisurely breakfast, despite the rude awakening. Had breakfast, and went to buy my coffee (remember, the coffee offered by the convention center is very weak and kind of yukky) only to find that my coffee shop that has been my lifeline the last two days was closed. CLOSED. On a Tuesday. I didn’t understand. I still don’t understand. It was just, well, awful. How was I expected to function on disrupted sleep and no coffee, I ask you? I made it to the break, barely, and chugged down some of the awful, weak coffee. Bleah. Just bleah.
It’s OK, though. I have a line on a Starbucks that’s about a block from the convention center, and I plan on going there first thing tomorrow morning. In fact, I may go there even before I grab breakfast, because this whole “no coffee” thing just is NOT working for me.
(Plus, it really wouldn’t be fair to the students either.)
As for the Reading itself, I think I’ve got the rubric under my belt, despite an overly sleepy and under caffeinated day. We’ll see what happens tomorrow, though. I tend to have these peaks and troughs with the rubric – sometimes I’ve got it, and other times it unravels and dissipates like so much smoke. (Yes, I did mix that metaphor. Get over it.) One of the things that’s pretty cool about this rubric is that we’re looking not just for the student to show mastery of the skill of thesis writing, or evidence, or comparison, but we’re also asking for some plain old good writing as well. The watch-phrase has been “Show, don’t tell.” Don’t tell us there’s a similarity…show it. Kind of cool, huh?
Day four tomorrow, and who knows what kind of writing it will bring? Hopefully I’ll see some really good ones! I had a few that were quite good this morning, and then a string of … well … yes. I’ll just leave that to lie there, shall I?