OKay--I was going to write about the slough of despond, but I decided that the Chicken Ranch Slough sounded more interesting than me whining on and on and on about my Goddess-benighted sophomores and the fact that I hate them and they hate me.
Unfortunately, the only funny thing about the Chicken Ranch Slough is the name.
Honestly--I took a look at my grades--I've finally gotten some entered. We do one assignment for homework--everything else is done in class. Number of passing grades out of thirty-four, anybody? Anybody? Guesses?
No shit. No shinola. Three kids in thirty four can get their asshats off their heads and listen enough to do what I'm asking--and we go through it in class, people. If they even gave a tenth of a gnat's testicle, they could pass. And then my Seniors walk in and they're sure they've got the answers and the old, fat, and idealistic do not, and I just want to rant at them-- in my 5th period class I've got 5 kids in special ed, one parapalegic who's probably suffering from depression, foster kids who are at what the district acknowledges to be the world's shittiest placement, kids who've seen their relatives gunned down in drive-bys, and no fewer than four kids on parole. Do those five jokers in my 6th period think I give a rat's adenoid about their little Advanced Placement 'arrogance disability' that prevents them from shutting the fuck up?
*whew* Forgive me--I let loose some foul language there, but I felt my facial muscles permanently freezing into the 'I must kill some dumb mother*&^%' mode, and sort of had to cut loose or blow a blood vessel. What can I say? The f-bomb is cathartic, ain't it?
Anyway, let's see, progress, progress...
Yes. I will finish one of two final edits on BOUND tonight, (God bless Mate, who managed to salvage the manuscript from my ez-baked hard drive) and, yes, I'll submit it by the end of the week. I'm to the point where I want someone else to do the final "in format" edit, but since I don't know anyone with that sort of time, I'm probably going to be stressing hard in about five weeks, and not from Christmas. I'm so excited about this one coming out that I can almost cry. I'm also terrified. I do that. Forgive me.
Also--almost done with (count 'em) the sixth hat and sockies... I'm wishing for some extra time I could pull out of my bum like the world's most unfortunate rabbit, because I want to make some for STARFISH, bless her, she finally got THE CALL and will adopting the world's most beloved little boy over the holidays, but she's got a full, extended, lovely family who will all share in the good news, so I may just sit back and watch her post a thousand pictures of joy. Other things on my "Wish I could make" list, in no particular order:
* Hats for as many of my students who ask--I make them in fair isle patterns and blow their little minds. When they ask why I do that, go above and beyond what they had imagined, I tell them, "Excellence is not a gift. It's only achieved by going above and beyond what is imagined. If you care about something the way I care about my craft, you should strive for excellence."
* A blanket for my TA--this is sort of a tradition I don't want to abandon. (Crocheted on whoopty-twelve hooks w/2 strands of bulky yarn).
* The sweater I've planned for the cave troll FOREVER that I actually have the yarn for.
* The 1/2 finished pair of socks for my aunt.
* The dress I started for ARwyn in the summer
* The sweater pending the fantastical modification that I started for Arwyn in the summer.
* A blanket for my poor little foster kid in 5th period who needs a reason to believe.
* A pair of socks for my son's size 14 (!!!!!!) feet.
* Those ruffled fingerless mitts from Not Just Socks for our babysitter, Caitlyn.
* A striped hat for the cave troll.
But I'm not going to work on any of these things any time soon, because after the hats and sockies (which at least I enjoy) I have to work on a Glitterspun ponchawl on size whoopty-12 needles for the woman who, when I thought my hard drive had cooked all my files INCLUDING the 722 page corrected manuscript to BOUND and the published manuscripts of the other two books that I'm trying to solicit to agents (not to mention several mgs of short stories and essays that are irrecoverable), sat on my couch and said "Well, at least you have them in hard copy...you can always retype them, it's no big dea...."
I leaned my head against my refrigerator and watched the black spots in front of my eyes, thinking, "Chicken Ranch Slough, Chicken Ranch Slough, Chicken Ranch Slough". Yup. Only the name is funny.