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20) do 20 minutes of free-writing every morning

93) read at least one news article, either in print or online, every day

88) read at least one article in a magazine every day

48) every night, choose 1 not-too-big non-writing task (errand, for-fun activity, etc.) that I must complete by the end of the next day and complete it

87) read at least one chapter of a book every day

86) sort through and save or recycle all old papers from the stuff I have in storage

44) start a private blog and post in it each day
Wow guys, I have just been crapping out on this whole Mission 101 thing lately. It's probably largely due to working so much all month (I've gotten a sub job every school day so far in September- yay!); full work days leave very little time to do much of anything else. During summer I had no income, but at least I had lots of time to do the stuff I wanted. ;) Can't have everything, though!

The funny thing is, sometimes I finish all my daily goals with a couple hours left of time, and I have no idea what to do with myself. It's that awkward moment where you think, "OK, I'm done with everything. Now I can do whatever I want...but what in the world do I actually want to do?!" Today I ended up watching Camp with my parents and then just goofing off on the internet for an hour or so. Good choices.

Oh BTW, I did want to announce something related to this journal. Starting October 1, I think I'm going to make this blog 100% private (meaning, viewable only to me). It's not because of anything negative or untoward that's happened; it's just that I kind of want to work through my life with a privacy filter rather than share a lot of the details with the world. It's an interesting time right now, simultaneously incredibly tough and really rewarding. My monthly roundup posts (if I ever get around to making one again, lol) will still be open to the public, so you'll get a sense there of what I've been up to. I might occasionally also rant about something (maybe politics, who knows) and make it public. But largely the journal will go private in 2 weeks. I know only about 5 people read this, but hopefully you guys will be content with the limited number of public posts. You can also follow me on twitter if you want to keep up with the minutiae of my life.

Anyway, on to today's work!

September 17, 2012Collapse )

Well, political ranting aside, I think I'm done for the night! I get to sleep in an extra 15 minutes or so tomorrow; I don't have to be at the school where I'll be working until 7:45. It'll be a busy day, but maybe if I'm lucky, I'll be able to keep all this up!
I've been missing for a couple of weeks. You might have noticed. The reason for this is that my computer crashed; it's old (a 7-year-old laptop- I don't think they're meant to live that long) and I'd been doing things to it that it probably couldn't handle, so on the 30th it just kind of refused to do anything ever. So the next week we took it in to the computer doctor, and he returned it to me last Friday running much faster than it has in months and with the touchpad working again to boot. So now I am reoriented in my routines and all is good.

I did hit a new Mission 101 record for most days successfully completed in a row- 27 days, I think, from a previous record of 25?- prior to that happening, and would have loved to keep up with it, but the disruption of my computer dying sort of derailed that. I was also just starting work again and getting busier because of that, and I had other worries too. Essentially I just gave up on everything for a week or so, and then pulled myself back up again and started up where I left off. And I think the break was kind of good- it meant all the stuff on the hitRECord homepage was new to me when I got back there, and I felt more motivated to do things like read (which always gets neglected when I'm working). If I can now master the art of balancing my daily to-do list with my work schedule (which, as a sub, is unpredictable and ever-changing), I'll do just fine.

There'll be a couple days this week where my daily non-writing goal will be to apply for other jobs. This isn't a poor reflection on subbing; in fact, quite the opposite has been true- the subbing jobs have been oddly fruitful the past two weeks. (Who would have expected that I would have worked 6 of the 9 days of school that there have been so far?) But since my first paycheck of the year will be so low because it will only include the 2 days in August I worked, money is getting even tighter than usual. I'm keeping a close eye on things and really endeavoring to keep this under control, but it's going to be a tense month financially. Since I'm moving out of my parents' house and in with a friend next month, I'm going to need something to supplement my current income anyway; there'll be the added expense of rent to contend with, plus I'll be responsible for my own groceries and other living expenses. I've got a couple jobs in mind, one of which I'm going to try and apply for tomorrow, and we'll see what comes of it. Otherwise the only solution is to continue taking every sub job that's offered to me and take it from there.

Anyway, progress. I want to be in bed in the next 15 minutes. Teaching a whole day of middle school social studies tomorrow!

September 9, 2012Collapse )

Bed time for me! See you tomorrow!
I booked my first job of the new school year today! Well, technically I had booked one (the Friday one) before this, but I'll be undertaking my first day of work tomorrow. Luckily it's going to be an easy entrance into the new year; the job is only 2.5 hours long. :) It's a special ed job at a middle school I've never been to, which seems to be the theme of this year so far (my Friday job is the same). I didn't take a lot of special ed jobs last year because I didn't feel qualified enough, but this year I'm basically taking whatever is offered to me, and these are the first two to come through. Wish me luck!

August 29Collapse )
Wow, given that I get up at 5:00 a.m. on weekdays right now to wait for jobs, I really should not be going to bed at 1 a.m. 4 hours of sleep isn't enough to go on, and if I do end up working tomorrow, it's going to be an uphill battle if I'm that tired. And yet, I got distracted significantly enough today that I just now finished the last couple things I was supposed to do. I guess you take the hand you deal yourself.

I did not have any jobs today, so I stayed in again and got stuff done (albeit sporadically, as I just mentioned). Tomorrow if I don't work, I'll probably go out to the bank or the library or something, just to get out of the house. I don't think more than a couple days cooped up inside is particularly healthy.

Today's progress:

August 28Collapse )

Au revoir!

8/27/12: New school year!

Blessings abound, clearly- I did not get called in to work on the first day of school! I'm really excited about the new year started, and eager to go back (and I know I'll work at least one day this week, because I've already booked a job for Friday), but being a sub on the first day of school would have sucked. So luckily, I didn't get any calls. I don't have anything scheduled for tomorrow work-wise either, as of right now; it's possible the Friday job may be the only one I get this week, since it's so early in the year. Ah well, at least my first paycheck will have one day's worth of work on it. :P

Even though I knew I probably wouldn't get called in, I still woke up at 5:00 in the morning so that I would have my writing and getting-ready-for-work stuff done before the sub line would have normally started calling (around 6). When 7:30 rolled around and nothing had come through, I hot-footed it back to bed. I've been really tired all day as a result of crash-landing into the new school year on 3 hours of sleep. But tonight I will get to bed by midnight (or before), so progress is being made!

I started working on lesson plans today, too. Yes, I know I'm a sub and subs don't provide their own lesson plans, but my goal is to write a lesson for each day of this school year as though I were a full-time teacher. The lessons don't all have to be targeted for the same grade level or anything, but there has to be one for each day (and if I start a text, I have to finish the plans for it each day, as though it were a unit). Then when I do have another full-time job, I'll have this crazy cache of lesson outlines to choose from! So today I reworked my first and second days of school plans, combining them to fit the 90-minute periods of the school system where I sub instead of the 45-minute classes in the other school systems where I've worked. (I can just separate them back into 45-minute blocks again if I get hired somewhere that does that.) I know tomorrow's plan will start out with a BCR exercise, but I'm not sure else I want to plan for. My first hypothetical "unit" will be the poetry unit I pioneered with my classes when student teaching, but I don't want to start that one until Friday, so that leaves me 3 days of random planning to do. Ah well, I'll decide tomorrow.

Some stuff I did on August 27 instead of workingCollapse )

It's only 11:30, so I'll probably watch a youtube video or something, and then go to bed. I want to get a bit more sleep tonight than last night! :)
Why that particular title for this post, you ask? Take a look at the time stamp. It's 1:15 in the morning. Tomorrow is the first day of the new school year, which I'm super psyched about, except that it means I have to start getting up at about 5 in the morning to get ready and wait for sub calls to come in. I'm really hoping to not have to work tomorrow, because it kind of sucks to be a sub on the first day of school (you're not the teacher, so kids are confused, and you don't know any of the procedural stuff that you're supposed to impart to students on the first day). But if I do work, it's true that I will be miserable- because I'll be functioning on about 3.5 hours of sleep. And it'll be my fault for dragging my feet and staying up so late.

But hey, I made progress on my goals, so it evens out in the end. And I already have a job booked for Friday, so at least there's that!

Stop me if I get too wordy on any of these progress descriptions; I don't have time for that tonightCollapse )

Happy start of the 2012-13 school year! I'm excited to make this an awesome year. Who knows what's around the corner for me? :)

8/25/12: Most productive "off day" ever

Until about 11:30 today, I was really characterizing myself as having an "off day" as far as my daily goals were going. It was a serious uphill battle to focus on my usual stuff and get things started. But it was interesting too, because this time, it wasn't the typical mindless distractions (youtube, tumblr, etc.) that were pulling me off course. Instead, I was thinking about how work starts again next week, and how even though I'm not a full-time teacher this year and don't have to plan lessons, I'm going to start doing lesson planning on Monday anyway. I was so psyched to work on that, and was getting so many ideas, that I couldn't concentrate on my actual tasks for the morning. On the one hand, that's awesome; on the other, I knew it could really derail me progress-wise, since I was leaving at 2:15 to spend the rest of the weekend with my sister. Luckily I managed to pull myself back together and things got done. I've officially been 100% on my daily goals for 3 weeks in a row now! \o/

August 25Collapse )

Tomorrow is church (my sister is helping with the worship service), then brunch with my sister, her boyfriend, and a family friend, and then I go back home. And then Monday I start work! (Well, hopefully I won't have a sub job on Monday because it's the first day of school, but next week the potential for jobs to pop up should start.) It's gonna be an exciting time!

P.S. My lj icon for today (at least when I posted this entry; if you're reading it more than 2 weeks after the posting date, the icon will have reverted to whatever my current default is) is of London- a bunch of birds over one of the walkways by the Thames. Ever since I went to the U.K. for the second time over a year ago, I've been missing it in a vague way. But for some reason, looking at this lj icon made me suddenly and profoundly miss London. I think every month I need to put a little money- even just $10 if I can spare it- into my savings account (which currently has $20 or so left in it) to one day, hopefully, allow me to go back there. Of course, that all depends on finances and how much I have left after bills; I'm not exaggerating when I say I'm going to be living paycheck to paycheck for probably the rest of this year. (I'm that financially unstable, yes- but despite the hardship, starting from nothing is kind of what I want, so I'm welcoming this rock bottom as best I can and seeing it as a jumping-off point.) Anyway, the point of this whole footnote is that I love and miss London a lot, and I want to return there one day. Maybe return there permanently, especially if the turmoil in this country keeps up. Who knows?
Quote from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet in the title today! This evening I went to Olney Theatre Center to see the National Players' production of that play. (Usually this group performs their yearly Shakespeare show on the outdoor stage at Olney, but it sustained damage from a recent storm, so we were inside this time.) It was a good show, although I referred to it as the "techno-minimalist" version because of the grunge-style costumes and bare white-panel set dotted with flashing lights. I'm not sure how I felt about the stylistic element of it in that way, although all the components came together when combined with the actors' performances. A good show, all in all- and free to boot! It made me want to see more theater, especially of the exceptional quality that Olney always provides- but sadly, such quality theater is rarely free. :(

Today was my last day of guaranteed freedom before school starts again! As of now, I don't have any jobs lined up for Monday, but that's OK by me because I wouldn't really like to work as a sub on the first day of school. It seems kind of awkward to come in on Day 1 and say, "Welcome to the new school year. I'm not your teacher." Starting Tuesday, though, I'm going to be on the lookout for jobs. Put me to work, public schools!

Anyway, it's super late. Here's a rundown of my progress so I can get to bed.

Do you realize I've been consistently getting everything done for 20 days now? That's nearly a record for me.Collapse )

8/23/12: Restructuring

I think I need to adjust the order in which I typically do things every day. Yes, I usually do my daily goals in an order, which has been refined through much guesswork. The most important part of the routine is actually what I choose to do last; if the rest of it takes a lot of time to do, or if there are a lot of other commitments/distractions in a day, leaving the wrong thing for last can derail me completely. Here's the order I've been doing things in (for the most part; of course this varies depending on individual goals/conditions) since the beginning of this month:

- 20 minutes of free writing every morning right after I get up. Obviously.
- Read a news article and a magazine article right after breakfast, because I always have a cup of tea that I take up to my room when I'm done eating, and both of these goals can be done while drinking tea.
- The big daily non-writing goal comes next, because it's meant to be the one thing I get done that day even if nothing else gets done. Normally this can either be done while still drinking tea, or I'll be done with the tea by that point and able to move on.
- Reading a chapter in a book usually gets started either right before or right after lunch, which is good because in books with long chapters like the one I'm reading now, it can take ages to finish even one chapter. This is the goal I should NEVER leave as the last one in the day, because if it takes too long I'll just give up.
- HitRECord stuff comes after the book. Daily writing goal comes last. (Well, technically these blog posts come at the very end of the day, but the daily writing goal is the last thing I have to do until bedtime rolls around.)

I think I'm going to switch the daily writing goal so that I do it immediately after the daily non-writing goal, because I'm noticing that when I leave it until last, I have a tendency to BS my way through it. If it's getting late I'll rush, or not pay very close attention, or fudge the parameters of the goal. It's not fair to my writing and creative stuff, which I should be working much harder on. So I'm going to give it a place of much greater priority in my day by placing it around the just-after-lunchtime slot. HitRECord time is a good last goal to have in the day, because I can't rush through it- it has to be half an hour every day, no matter what. Maybe that will be good for structuring purposes.

I also think I need to choose a project and work on it for more than one day in a row. Mostly with writing/creative goals, I've been getting up every morning and thinking, "What am I most inspired to work on/do I want to work on most today?" This usually means that I'm doing a new thing every couple of days, which is great except that it makes it difficult to finish anything. So I need to start a project and take it to a logical stopping point before I switch. The one I'm working on now should only take 3 or 4 days to finish (it's curating an album for HitRECord), so it's a good time to test-run this adjustment.

Anyway, enough of the boring logistical details. On to the fun stuff. :)

August 23Collapse )

Off to sleep! I almost made it by midnight tonight too. Maybe tomorrow, if I manage to get everything done before the play I'm seeing in the evening!