Monday, November 28, 2005

I love weather... when I'm home

Home this morning, and I'm supposed to be working on my dissertation. I'll get there ---

It just feels so cozy in the Dissertation Chamber today... rain on the window, soft glow from the IKEA lamp on the table and my sweet cat winding his way around.

I think the DC needs a fluffy rug uder the table for my feet.... next time we are at IKEA, I'll get a new one for the ottoman and put the old one on the floor in here...

I'd love it if it would stop before I have to go to work... but, at least we have a garage --

Limbo weeks and presentations -- YEA!

The weeks between Thanksgiving and FINALS seem to be a couple of weeks of break/no break... it is kind of a strange limbo, between the work of the semester and finals week.

I'm pretty happy with myself this week and next, as I took a risk and scheduled class presentations during these weeks. For the next couple of weeks, I'll be watching them talk about ethical issues. I like the topics and I like the fact that they are doing the work just when the class is getting tired of me.... they get to hear from others AND have the experience of teaching others.

My hope is that they will be more aware of what it takes to teach, the importance of doing the reading and the work it takes to get a lecture ready. At a minimum, I'll have fewer terrible end of semester papers to read etc..

Next time I'm going to give it more structure -- in that I'll set things up so that the groups work better, I'll have all the readings due the same day. I'll also have them write exam questions and turn in an outline the class period before the first presentations.... I suppose I'll allow revisions to both -- I'll have to -- but, that will force them to be more organized.

I'll also give them the structure to make their groups work better. I'll have them agree to 2-3 mandatory meetings, during class time - (so, no excuses) -- and allow them to have a default way to eliminate members who aren't going to meetings or doing their part.

I'm also planning to have some way that the points could vary among group members, by allowing them to allocate percentages of the non-group points according to group responsibility.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Thanksgiving and Grandma Glad's china

We had Sandi and Suz over for Thanksgiving (Jason's mom and her friend from Chicago who comes down for holidays when the Howards are up north..).

Due to the fact that we actually have our dining room table back, we used it and used Grandma Glad's china. It is nice, old and doesn't exactly hold sentimental value for me -- except that it is a family thing. I don't recall ever eating off of them at family things, probably because Grandma Glad was too old to be hosting them by the time I remember her... but, it is nice to have something like that from my family.

Mom also said she'd give me her part of the set, along with the silver that goes with it all. She also said she'd ask Mark for Pam's part of the set. Kind of sad, but he doesn't have any sentimental attachment to it...

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Enterprise Sucks

The cars are fine -- corporate managment seems ok, the people in the Bloomington office suck.

After being pretty much called a Bitch by Matt the Asshat, they over-charged us for one of our rentals.

They charged us for an extra day AND charged us for a bunch of insurance we didn't want. I looked at the contract, and I initialed where I always do.... declining insurance. I'm sure they did it out of spite, and probably to make sure I didn't come back to rent vans from them -- because, as Matt said "I can rent that van for $150.00 / day" -- yea, you figured that out when you over-charged me for the previous week.

Matt -- you earned the name "Asshat" -- because, instead of a head -- your hat sits on an ASS.

Thankfully, Kelly in the corporate office took care of it for us. I wasn't going to pay them --

Friday, November 18, 2005

15 years

Tomorrow, Jason and I will be married for 15 years.

Wow... he really is an amazing person. So passionate about so many things. Brilliant and compassionate --

When we got married I couldn't even imagine 15 years down the road. Now I'm sure the next 30 years will go by in a flash... and we'll be telling debaters that we have grandchildren their age-- and that they should respect their elders :).

I think after 15 years we have some things figured out --

We are going to the Grand Hotel tomorrow to spend the night. It is the nicest hotel in Minneapolis... so it should be wonderful.

Next year I really want to go to the North Shore... and maybe I'll take a personal day or two to make it a longer trip.

Debate update -- now and spring 06

Am working on the spring schedule... looks like we'll be in Cali for New Years (barely, arrive at 10:45 PM) with D1/D2. Tickets were expensive and they are the only competitive team. Most of Janurary - mid-March will be spent other places... I'm glad we have some time off before then --

The dumb-ass administrator who was giving D1a hard time was put in his place by D1 --at the meeting he slammed down a sample card and dumb-ass had to admit that he wasn't printing his own books on their lousy laser printer. D1 got exactly what he wanted, dumb-administrator tells me that they are working on getting us a printer for the road... YEA!

I'm kind of frustrated wth Rex, as he doesn't seem to get any better. Are we not communicating with him what he needs to do, or isn't he internalizing it? He seems to want to do it, but I'm kind of unsure at this point.

Moonshadow decided to go to New York instead of to the Marquette tournament (which was canceled anyway... boo). Tells me where her priorities are. She's acutally improving her debating, it would be nice if she'd actually travel.

Debater X is back and forth, as are WK and JC. Herbie seems to be getting in gear, but right now he and Rex are pretty well-matched partners... which is ok. Herbie is a really bright kid, and will be a fun debater once he gets the hang of it.


A week... four years ago -- was the last week of your life.

Thank God you always lived as if it was the last week...

I could learn something, if I weren't so damm pissed off.

I hate that you died now -- why not some other time, like when you were 110, not 30.

Also, the timing in the year fucking sucked. A few days after my wedding anniversary, the day after Thanksgiving, a week before Shirly's birthday and two weeks before mine. I try not to let it cloud the season, but it is hard to be happy when the season itself reminds me you are gone.

Also -- if you talk to Mark, tell him I want your portion of Grandma Glad's china.


Sunday, November 06, 2005

No Words

There are no words for someone who has lost a sibling..

There are widows and widowers
There are orphans
no words for
"I had a sister, she died"

No words for,
"I had two daughters, one died"

maybe if there were words
it would be easier

but, I think not

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Jar Head

We went to see the movie "Jar Head" tonight. I know... big shock that Jason and I actually did something that normal couples do-- namely, a movie and dinner out on a weekend.

The movie itself was good -- pretty much the story of one enlisted Marine in Desert Shield/Desert Storm.

Since Jason was in the military at that time, and we got married during Desert Shield -- it was pretty interesting to see what it was like there.

I'll probably have more thoughts on it later --

Waltzer, part 2

Michael Waltzer, amazing...

On November 2, 2005 I was lucky enough to have had lunch with Waltzer.

For those of you who don't recognize the name, he is the formost living author concerned with the ethics of warfare. Everyone else must justify deviations from his theory.

He is a very kind and gentle man. Small, Jewish and brilliant -- someone who listens to what you have to say, considers it and he either agrees or respectfully disagrees -- and justifies his disagreements... I found it amazing to be telling him about my teaching, coaching and my experience with the military.

Amazing, he gave me excellent ideas about where to go with my dissertation, including suggestions as to what to add to just war theory... the ethics of pre-war actions (I think he developed this on the fly at lunch, but I'm not sure..) and the ethics of post-war actions. Both of which have some basic things in common -- namely they concern nearly traditional war-like actions taken for coercive reasons. Police-like actions and blockaids are the bookends of war, and especially with the way modern wars are fought, are most of the actual time and effort expended.

Yea, it was a good dissertation week. I can't wait to find the sources Waltzer suggested...

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Waltzer, part 1 & Omaha

Took a trip to Omaha --- got to stay with my good friend Peg... great therapy for the both of us... We spent the day bumming around and talking -- a lot like Pam and I used to. I've missed that. I'll have to visit again without hubby, so we can chat and keep caught up.

Peg is an amazing person -- she's got strong values and a vision for what life should be like and she goes after it. She's very loyal and very perceptive about people, although she sometimes can't help but get involved with some wierdos -- I know how she feels. She used to travel a lot for work, but now she's starting her own salon -- those of you in Omaha let me know if you need a great haircut!!!

The purpose of the trip was to see Michael Waltzer speak, which was very interesting -- although not much on Just War Theory tonight.

Tomorrow I get to meet with him nearly one-on-one, which is very cool. I can't wait and am nervous about it, I don't want to blow my chance to pick his brain about just war. I'm sure there will be more later.

I go home tomorrow --- Omaha is nice, but home is also nice. Another weekend off -- goodness knows what kind of trouble I'll get in... of course, there is a philosophy conference this weekend at the U. I really should go to parts of it, as it is free and in town... and good for me, as the focus is on Kant.

A week from tomorrow we go to Marquette -- will I get the tatoo???

Debate --Good day/Bad day/evil student complaint

I had three phases today

Phase 1:
So -- today I chat with my administrator... He is really cool, gets debate and decides to fund D1/D2 at NPTE and D1 and others at NFA... good start.

Phase 2 (e-mail recieved while at a rest-area in Iowa... aargh...)
I then find out that dork-boy CJ is forwarding his complaint to the cool administrator. He complained to my dean that I didn't teach the class... the dean was satisfied with my explaination that he refused to debate in said class... and got hostile when I told him that he'd have to actually debate in debate class... hmmm. I know this isn't going anyplace, and both dean and cool administrator thinks I'm good etc -- but it is still stupid shit I shouldn't have to deal with.

Phase 3 (via phone call from hubby)
THEN -- I find out that D1 (who, by the way WON a policy tournament this weekend.. his first tournament ever..) -- is being harassed by dumb-ass administrators about the amount of stuff he's printing. They don't come to me, they summon him to a meeting. Cripes.. I'm in Nebraska, get a panicked phone call from hubby abou this "emergency" -- and have to fire off some midnight e-mails -- one to dumb-ass administrator #1, with CC's to my cool administrator and my cool dean. Cool administrator replies almost instantly -- and tells me that if dumb-ass administrator gives me shit, I should send her to him.

I love cool administrator... almost as much as I loved the guy from Festival foods who delivered all the food for NPTE.

I should go to bed. Now.

didn't do it... but will soon...