Lazy Teachers- an Open Letter 

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I received a feedback survey that asked about upcoming changes to our workload that might ‘require us to provide written feedback on exams and final performance tasks,’ in addition to the marks and rubrics we currently use. It was a yes or no question, but my real surprise was that they missed the point entirely. 
#10. If you were required to provide additional “descriptive feedback” as per the new HDSB administrative procedure, would you be able to finish marking your exams during the work day (i.e. school hours)? *

My honest answer (after I finished laughing): Question 10 asks if I would be able to complete the exam marking with the proposed changes ‘during the work day’. This question is ridiculous, as it suggests that this is currently possible. If I have 90 students, in 3 senior English classes, each having written for 1.5 to 2 hours in the exam, I am marking at school, during my lunch, during exam supervision, every night, on the weekend and right until the moment my marks and comments are due. I sleep 6 hours a night during exam time as it is. The sheer volume is impossible to complete, while providing a fair evaluation of a student’s work and enough feedback to recall each exam if they have individual questions, during the current exam turnaround – and I’m hard pressed to do so even working every waking moment from the time my exams finish to the deadline for my marks. Being required to write more feedback than I already do, which is my choice at this time, would be both unfair and impossible. Especially when we have one single PD day between this workload and brand new classes starting. This scenario also doesn’t take into account the fact that my reports SHOULD capture an up to date picture of each student’s achievement and thus, should not be pre-written. Also, it assumes that all course work has been submitted by students before classes end and exams begin (especially since no late marks can be applied to encourage students to meet original deadlines), and that the 90 performance tasks written in the final 2 weeks have not just contributed to the burnout we all feel at the end of the semester. Thank for your interest. 

Side note: exams are sometimes 12 foolscap pages long. hand written. by students in a rush and without editing. have you tried to read hundreds of pages of handwriting lately?

Take Over Tuesday

Love

Photo cred: @theangelalewis

It’s not new news to me that my wife is a force of nature; but it seems today that everyone else is getting wise to my long-known-n0n-secret. Today, She Does the City is featuring Allia on their Instagram, as she takes over their feed; today, her vlog and article – about coming out, living proud and being at peace with losing part of her past –  go live on Huffington Post Canada. I’m proud of her, understandably. And she is opening up today about her job, her family and what it’s like to live this life.

She Does The City

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If you know her even a fraction as much as I do, it’s impossible not to fall in love with her. Follow her at @buttonsmcleod on Instagram, or check out our baby-making journey right here in WordPress or see her video and article on Huff Post Coming Out As My Father Became A Priest


She’s a light in the dark: Instagram: She Does the City

A Day in the Life – In the snow, from Huffington Post Canada’s headquarters, to after work winding down… here is a peek into her fab life.


9AM: Hey People! I’m Allia McLeod; director, writer, and creative producer with 10 years of experience on my ticket. I’m currently working with Huffington Post Canada, producing their 2017 slate of web series and co-founder of a feminist, lifestyle and humour blog, launching this Summer. Today I’m taking over! Come along on this fantastic ride. Photo cred: @theangelalewis@buttonsmcleod #takeovertuesday


10AM: shedoesthecity At 36, I walked away from a secure, fabulous (as my wife likes to say) job, that wasn’t feeding my creative or activist soul and stepped into the freelance world. This new gig is both scary and exhilarating. Current motto: It’s never too late to do what makes you happy. – @buttonsmcleod#takeovertuesday

MIDDAY: 

3PM THE ARTICLE AND VLOG LAUNCH

4PM BACK TO WORK – on set.  

And by 7PM: WE ARE SO READY TO RECONNECT AND TALK ABOUT OUR DAY OF going to fight a parking ticket (a first for me), my foray into micro-blading, and Allia’s writing debut on HuffPost. Time to cuddle up after making dinner together. 

Alone, but not really

Open Letters

Sometimes I get to feeling sad – perseverating on the lack,

the absence of people who used to be so central to every moment and thought.

I will be in the middle of some mindless task, steering through the day, and I think about someone/the someones I no longer have in my life – maybe it’s a street sign with your name on it. A balcony where we looked out over the city. A miniature collie. A piece of braided grass that I find in a small container, tucked in a drawer. Or a conversation with myself that I keep pushing back into a corner.

inevitable as you get older

people fall by the wayside

sometimes by choice

often not

I start to feel bad for myself, a bit abandoned

I start to wonder what’s wrong with me

that people I feel so much for

don’t need me in their life

in some capacity. or other.

then… I’ll get a message from someone

full of eagerness and excitement

just to see me. Someone who is genuinely excited to hear my voice, to see each other face to face;

and I’m reminded that I’m lucky to have an abundance of people who feel this way.

You can’t keep everybody.

But it is hard to let go.

Especially when the letting go isn’t mutual.

But then, even though on a good (or bad) day I mostly believe that our technology

is killing our joy, our social capacity, our connection and empathy – or

as research suggests, and Ted Talks expostulate – we connect in order to feel, not because we do feel – that our desire for connection fuels our connectivity but breeds emptiness;

and I believe this

until, through that same conduit, someone reaches out and I do feel that touch.

Fan-tucking-tabulous. That’s how she feels about hanging out with me. And the sincerity of that expletive feels as real as seeing a face light up and the hug I know I’ll get when I see her.

Why do some people care. And some people not?

If you remember what real interactions feel like, maybe this internet-media-hyperspeed life isn’t so bad. Maybe you only notice this when you take a night off, to take stock, to start a week long vacation, by pulling every\thing off the hangers, to fold, re-fold, hang, smooth and air out all the tissue and fabric of the year. Of years. It still fits. So you keep it.

If not. Let go. My life and my body are done changing size. Aspiring to a shape I used to inhabit. I will never be 21 again. But I remember what it feels like. I remember it.

I think about the conversations I would have. As my hands move over the fabric and remember times that are captured in photographs, from back when we used real film and we borrowed a friend’s digital camera to take pictures one night. I don’t know her anymore. But I see her sometimes on Facebook.

Drifting in and out of each others’ news feed. I thought about you, until real life reminded me that a decade has gone by and the things I would have said might not make sense anymore.

But if you’re listening, and you miss me too, I’d still love not to be far away

from the people long gone, but still on the periphery of this web. You were important, and like so many of these ill-fitting things, that still hold tactile meaning, I don’t know where to store you.