It was good to be back with the students today. I ignored the administrative silliness and just concentrated on the kids. My new mantra this semester will be asking myself, "what's best for my students at this time?"
For example, today what was best for my students was to not go to a department meeting that was slated for 30 minutes, but that I heard lasted (not surprisingly as it always does) 1 hour. It was also a meeting that sounded not purposeful. It was also a meeting scheduled after we'd proposedly spent 3 hours in a math meeting the day before during our "work day". Anyway. Today it was best for my kids (and my sanity) to skip the meeting during my one planning period and to concentrate on thinking through the best way to teach the next 2 lessons of this day.
One funny thing happened in class. I was going over calculus problems with my kids, and I was modeling the stream-of-thought way I work through the problem and how I ask myself questions about what is needed or what is to be done at each step.
I said to my students, "you could do this. Just pretend you have a little Ms. Cookie on your shoulders asking you these questions while you're working through a problem." And I put my thumb and forefinger together to mimic a small me and put my fingers near my shoulder. Then out of the corner of my eye I see one funny kid swat his shoulder to get rid of the nuisance.