No school today. The ice came yesterday. It came hard, and got harder over night. It’s kind of weird to listen to thunder, see lightning and be pelted by sleet. Tree limbs are cracking like gunshots all over the neighborhood before crashing to the ground. We’re lucky here. We still have power, meaning the ice accumulation and the falling tree limbs have not yet taken down the electrical lines. Or the cable TV. God help me if we lose Disney Channel or The Cartoon Network. However, it’s raining right now. I suspect it’s only a matter of time before the power is lost. The maple tree in our front yard, which isn’t good for much in the first place, is losing a lot of limbs. They’re so heavy with ice that they hit the ground and just crumple up, the broken base pointing at the overcast sky.
I’ve been grading essays. It’s to the point I feel like I failed. Oh, I didn’t fail the lazy kids who used SparkNotes to write their essays because they A) Didn’t read Frankenstein, or B) Couldn’t even be bothered to pay attention to the audio. No, I seem to have failed the good students who didn’t grasp that a literary analysis essay is NOT a simple book review. We covered the form, but not in depth. Damn those end-of-instruction tests for screwing up my schedule! Sadly, only about one-fourth of my 40 English III students turned in their essays, so I’m sure I’ll have a bunch more incorrect essays to go over once we get back into the classroom. We only have whatever we can salvage from this week — minus snow days and time lost to finishing the EOIs — and next week, which will be mostly taken up with district benchmark testing. It’s not like I can give them much more time to get the essay fixed. The final draft is due Dec. 17, which gives me five days to read and grade them before the semester ends.
There went another tree limb. Sounded like a big one, but a few houses away.
I’m about halfway through reading/marking up Inheritance. I almost turned it over to my critique partners before reading it. I’m glad I didn’t. There were a lot of typos and mistakes in it. I plan to have this one edited and add another 1,000 words to Little Graveyard on the Prairie before the year is over. Then I need to cut the old and write a new ending for The Prometheus Syndrome for a publisher that expressed some interest. In other news, I heard from the artist who wanted to do a comic based on some of my stories. He’s done the storyboards for “Summer Offspring.” I’ve also been asked to write a story for a video game project. The video game sounds like a fun deal.
The lights are flickering. Alex’s girlfriend is on the phone; she doesn’t have power at her house.