Hooked on a Feeling

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I love beginnings. First day of the new year, first day of school, first month in a new apartment. There's this sense of possibility, this sense that now you can finally do all those things you meant to do. You can change the things you meant to change, get going in a different direction. I have a really bad habit of getting...lazy toward the end of something. If I'll be moving in a month or two, I have no motivation to organize my apartment. If the semester is about to end, I have no motivation to rearrange my classroom or find more interesting lessons. I know it's a terrible way to feel, but alas, I'm stuck in the brain I'm in.

It's nearly the end of my first week back to work, and I've already gotten more work done that in the entire couple weeks I spent deskwarming. The best thing so far, and certainly the most useful in the long term, was a massive overhaul of my lesson plans. I had them kind of...vaguely organized, by grade level or type of class, but the whole thing had become not unlike that one drawer in your kitchen where you just dump all the stuff that has nowhere else to go. It was shameful.

This isn't even my final form.


So folders. Wow. Much organize.

The only issue is that I'm not entirely used to the new system yet so I lose things from time to time, but in a week or two I'm sure I'll have worked out the kinks. I also actually put all the stuff I do into my Google calendar so maybe I can become less of a disorganized asshole but we'll see. Don't expect much.

The other big change I'm working on is actually exercising. Trying to get more healthy is something I work on from time to time, but before I came to Korea, I'd let things get quite out of hand, and my general dumpiness an unhealthiness was really bringing me down. When I first got here, the novelty of everything really jumpstarted my ability to make the changes I'd wanted to make. However, one thing led to another, and I got...comfortable. A dangerous feeling.

Anyways, I figured I could use the momentum of the new semester give my butt the kick it needed to get up and moving. I bought food that is healthy and easy to cook. I looked at that Google calendar I'd made and worked out the times when I knew I'd be able to exercise. I'm about to join a gym.

One problem I always face when I make changes like this is the feeling that I need to make a HUGE change or change a lot of things RIGHT THIS SECOND, and then when I'm not able to do it perfectly, I get discouraged and give up. I think it's related to being a perfectionist, or maybe because a lot of things were easy for me when I was younger, so I just avoided anything difficult...

The other big project I'm still working on is organizing all the notes I've taken on my classes. Every class I make a brief note about how it went, and students who were particularly good, what worked in the lesson and what didn't, that kind of thing. However, it's such a snarled mess that it's not actually very useful. My plan is to devote a notebook to these notes that I can update every week, with each class on it's own page. That way I'll be able to see how the class changes from week to week, see if there's a trend, that sort of thing. I'm not sure it'll be useful, but once I make it I'll do a full report.

Do you prefer beginnings or endings? How do you stay organized?



Teacher Pretty
Middle school ESL teacher, lover of pink, eater of kimchi, addicted to Etude House, expert procrastinator, meeter of 2-dimensionial popstars: Ana. That's me.

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