Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Earning a 5

Just got back from another Tuesday Night APUSH (aka Advanced Placement United States History) review session at the local coffee shop. It's hard to get moving to go to these, since it means I have to leave Bug and Matt. But once I'm there, it's actually kinda fun. Working with kids who really care and WANT to do well is nice, you know?

The thing is, they are all flipping out on me right now. Either that, or completely shutting down. It's interesting how they deal with stress. Total. Opposite. Extremes. The national test is next Friday, so now my job literally becomes Zen Master who Knows Many Facts and DBQ Strategies But Says Them In a Calming and Non-Threatening Manner. Ommmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

It's also time to start practicing what I preach. I was just telling them tonight how if they've done everything they are supposed to so all along, they will be fine. But, it's also normal to feel like you could have done more. The key is to recognize that at this stage in the game, what's done is done. If you know you slacked off on a few units, you have to accept that and move on. Cramming and staying up all night these next 10 days will not do anything but make you tired, cranky, and hate everything and everyone. Either you did it, or you didn't. And you'll know on Friday which category you fall in, although you probably know right now.

This morning I ran 7.5 miles in 1:05. It was a MUCH better run that Sunday. I warmed up easy, and then did two 15-minute pushes. I was supposed to do these 5-10 seconds below race pace. I was freaked about that, and kind of thought about it all night. Then in the morning, I rolled begrudgingly out of bed, and I did the first push at 7:53 and the second around 7:40. It was hard, but doable.

These guys are laying all on the line next Friday. They are worried, they are frustrated, they wonder why they did this to themselves. They don't feel ready but if they really think about it, they know they are. It's an $86 gamble: will they score high enough to get the college credit? Or will they simply have to accept that this time wasn't the time?

Eerily similar, no?

(Except my race fee was a bit less than $86.)

I don't know if I have any business laying it all on the line for what (for me) is such an aggressive goal. But whatever. I'm going to do it, and I'll find out when I get to the finish. I could have done more, for sure. But I'm going to have to just trust that I've got it in me somehow...that I've done the reading and know the facts and somehow, just somehow... I'll get this five.


Chloe said...

Great post!! We all go through that - specially at the last moment. "Did I do enought?"...and the race is the next day :) Ha!

Carolina John said...

you have to lay it all out there every race. doing anything less than your best (preparation, fueling, or race day performance) is just unacceptable. it's what makes us triathletes. Focus, determination, and patience. hang in there, and remind your students of that.

R. Jeffrey Davis said...

I've been helping my son studying this week for his AP tests (including history) next week. Good job on all your hard work with your students.

Rachel said...

Sounds like a great run. It's never enough, is it?

Steve Stenzel said...

OK, I'm done.


OK, I'm REALLY done now...