Three classes left, and then my semester is finished. I’ve enjoyed it – great students – challenging classes – an inherited course I’d never taught before. I’m glad I finally decided that I wanted to be a teacher when I grew up. However, there’s a glitch! In the past, when the semester ended, I turned in my grades and was finished until late in January when the spring semester began. The course that I was teaching did not include a final. Aha! Change is good for the soul! I think! This semester’s classes include a lot of end-of-the term research papers, observations logs, unit plans, and a take home final. Drat! Bad planning on my part. Everything due this week! Except for the fact that I really enjoy reading my students’ work, this is an impediment to my holiday preparations that are always postponed until the day classes end. Then I just immerse myself in decorating the house, baking cookies, wrapping present, NOT eating the cookies I’ve baked, writing out greeting cards, NOT eating the cookies I’ve baked…but this year’s a bit different. The thought of all those papers and projects coming in this week was overwhelming at first, but I think I’ve got myself organized. All will be accomplished – and I WILL NOT eat any of those cookies I’m going to bake. Yesterday I unpacked our ecclectic nativity scene. It fills the mantle. I think I’ll blog about that next Wednesday. That is my favorite Christmas decoration. (the baby Jesus doesn’t appear in the creche until Christmas morning when I take him our of his hiding place in the liquor cabinet!!!) More about THAT next week. Meanwhile – hope you’re feeling better, Jane. Ellen, Christina, Sheila – hugs, love, and all good things to you all – and, of course, that includes you, too, Jane. I’m just not getting too close for the hug until you’re well. Can’t afford to get sick until I’ve graded all those danged papers! Ciao!