Tuesday, February 15, 2022

New Tack

     Yesterday was a pretty bad day. Vacation is next week and I think a lot of the students feel I should give them the week off from work... before vacation. I do not assign piles of work. I want to make sure there is plenty of time for everyone, no matter how quickly or slowly they work, to do a good job. But many of them are just not bothering. They are so distracted by their phones. If I turn my back for a second, the phones are out. It is incredibly frustrating. I made a deal with them all, when I took over the classes, that when they were working independently, they could listen to music. They had to have only one air pod or earbud in, and it could not be loud enough that we could hear it. More than fair, since the school rule is NO cell phones (like that happens...). But now too many of them are taking advantage. They have the phones out all the time. They thing putting them down on the desk (usually face up) is what I mean when I say put them away. They say that they are listening... as they are staring at their phones, but then they immediately ask what we are doing, what this or that is (that I just taught them, and repeated 4 times). We have talks about respect at least once a week (one class it is at least once a day). And I am tired. I am tired of fighting against the phones. I am losing that battle. They are not paying attention. Their attention is at the very least divided. Then they say the work is too hard. A week into beating a subject to death they ask me if I taught them this stuff. Well I tried to, clearly that didn't work. I heard that Chicopee schools just passed a new policy that no cell phones are allowed in the high school. The kids have to lock them in something at the beginning of the day. I wonder what it would be like to have no cell phones in the classroom. In the past two years the kids have forgotten how to be in a classroom, forgotten how to learn, spent too much time on their phones, have been using their phones to cheat (and not doing it well) and I am tired of it. They won't listen because they figure that we will help them (we will, but they get upset when we don't just give them the answers) and they think they can just look it up online and copy down whatever the first thing is they see, even if they have no clue what it means. I'm very tired. 
     Anyway, I came home from school and was just so down I couldn't even function. So I took a nap. It did not really ease my tiredness at all. Then I got up to play with the new tack that Joan Yount made for me. 
     When I got Astrid, I realized quickly that she was going to need a bridle made specifically to fit her. I have pony bridles, but they were not quite the right size. I am really bad at skiving leather lace, so I ordered a bridle from Joan (who is really excellent at skiving leather lace!) and she did a fantastic job!
    Astrid now has her very own bridle, which should look perfect with either of my pony saddles that I have. I like that she has a bridle that fits now. I think I also needed to make her a western one... but maybe I had one that fit already. I don't remember. 
     Another thing I ordered from Joan was a western side saddle. Because I don't have one. And now I do, so that is one hole in my collection filled. 
       Western side saddles are very strange things. But they are interesting, and definitely a new challenge. 
     I played around with this doll for a while, trying to get her to sit properly. I snapped her leg off at one point, stuck it back on, moved her some more. Checked from the side, checked from the back. I had no idea if it was right or not. So I sent photos to Fabian, who said I did a great job. I think I will still give her bendy legs, this process was a huge pain! And I will make her clothes too of course. 
      So I got a couple of new pieces of tack in and I am still not excited for showing. I don't know if I have just totally lost interest or if I just need a break from things. I am definitely down this week, vacation can't come soon enough, and I am really struggling. I had a couple of really excellent days, but those seem to be few and fleeting. I hope I can snap out of this soon. 


Adah R. (Spotted Dreams Studio) said...

I feel very bad for you. I hope you are able to find something that lifts your spirits. There are a few free shows on OMHPS, maybe you could try doing one of those to get you back into the groove. Whatever you do I hope it works for you.

Mini Hoofbeats Studio said...

I remember when I was taking a college class and the teacher had to pass around a basket to collect everyone's phones (who had theirs out and not put away on mute like mine) for the very same problem you are having. It's like they think the teacher can't see you, when they can see all just from body language and words spoken. In addition to the phone issue, the "typing your notes on a laptop" is just as bad. From the front, their expressions betray all secrecy; and from behind, as a student, the teacher is no longer the focal point - but all the silly pictures or games people are playing on their computers instead of typing their notes! Yeah, super annoying and disrespectful to not just the teacher, but also the other classmates around them. :(

On a more exciting point, I have been fascinated with Western Side Saddles, too! They're so out of the ordinary (which is SO me!) I really want to make one, but I think I should make a regular saddle before I attempt anything complex(?) as that.

Gretchen H said...

I remember parents who said their kids needed to have cell phones so they could text them during the day.🙄 There isn't much you can do if the school allows it. I made them take their phones out and put them face down where I could see them. I know a teacher that made the kids put their phones in a shoe bag with numbered pockets during class, but that wasn't allowed in our school. One girl begged me to look at her phone because there "was something going on". I told her she was a high school kid... wasn't there ALWAYS something going on?