Thursday, March 30, 2006

Domestic -- TIVO

So.... the point of TIVO is that the tape is never full, at the end or whatever --- right?

When I set TIVO, it is supposed to record the show... even if I don't have the exact right time...

All this is well and good -- IFFFFFF hubby hasn't filled the TIVO with a season of "Battlestar Gallactica"...

yep, I'm annoyed... I got home and found no West Wing on my TIVO.

Maybe the solution is to get a DVR cable box and use it for myself.... he can fill up his own TIVO with "Mad Money" and "Battlestar"---

Teaching -- back in the office

I finally got back to my office after nearly two weeks away.

My office has nice, pretty new furniture. It has a lava lamp, some other mood lighting and a comfortable chair. I have plenty of philosophy books and a plant. I also have huge windows that look into the back of the CC (well, it was supposed to be the front, but the architects were dumb)... out the back of my CC I see a nice nature scene, up close the pin oak is the place where the smokers congregate. Most of last summer a couple took an afternoon break for some snuggling in the grass.

I missed my office on our debate tour. I also missed my faculty friends. It was very nice to see them today, and tomorrow I'm planning to go in to do some grading and general organizing suff -- and I look forward to seeing them.

Of course, I also have 2 Intro to Philosophy exams to grade (short answer and essay..), 1 logic exam to grade (truth tables, ish..) and a set of argument analysis projects to grade. On top of this, the Irish Times National Debate Champs will arrive here for their visit on Sunday. We have a debate event on Monday afternoon and evening. They leave on Tuesday morning and I have to spend Tuesday afternoon reviewing job applications.

yea -- I have plenty to do in my little office... but, it is good to be home.

Personal -- poor cats

A while back (were I good with tags, I'd give one... maybe a summer project learning how to do that...) I wrote about an acquantance who was planning to move and put down their old cats because they can't live in their new place...

After several comments on her blog asking her not to do it, she said they'd try to find someplace (yea... right.).

Well, a recent check of her blog said that her mom had them put down -- the claim was the pound wouldn't take them because they are too old to be adopted out. She lives in a pretty major metro area, I'm surprised there wasn't a no-kill shelter to take them... hell, Duluth has one (mom got dog #1 there).

I'm sad -- I can't see how living in a nicer condo can be worth killing two healthy cats. She claims that it is actually more kind to put them down than to have them potentially separated and in cages. I disagree-- death or separation... hmmm.....

As someone who lives with three cats (one illegal according to the lease) -- I know that it is a bit harder to find someplace to rent that accepts cats. I also know that two cats is pretty much the standard number allowed, and that if you actually WANT to find someplace that will accept your cats, it can be done. I've rejected very "sweet" places in Denver, Omaha and St. Paul that wouldn't let me have the old cat who is on me as I write. Sure, it took a bit more effort on my part -- I may have even had to change spring break plans, drive across town or commute extra time -- but I worked it out on a limited budget, at least twice while both doing graduate work in philosophy and teaching.

Sometimes people suck...

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Personal -- Missing Pam in Denver

On the way home from Portland yesterday I had a sudden bout of missing Pam... Almost five years ago -- it will be five years Memorial Day weekend -- was the last time I saw my little sister. She died in November of 2001 -- she lived in Minneapolis when she died, I lived in Omaha.

The Friday of Memorial Day weekend 2001 Pam was going out to Seattle to see her friend. Pam was flying on my step-dad's family passes on United. She got on the flight from Minneapolis to Denver with plans to connect to Seattle, but all of the Seattle flights were full. Jason and I were sitting at home that late afternoon when the phone rang... it was Pam -- who said, "what are you doing this weekend" -- when I replied that we were going to just be hanging out -- she asked if I'd pick her up at the airport... there was a flight leaving for Omaha and she'd be there in a little over an hour. I told her to come outside, we'd be there --- things like that were typical of her -- impulsive, fun and always warm-spirited.

When she got there, she explained that she was walking down the hallway in the airport when she saw a sign that said "Omaha" and knew she should come see me. We had a really fun time doing pretty much nothing. We did go to the Farmer's Market, where we bought Mark a ceramic green pepper (he hates them) and she bought me a small pewter cat on a silk cord... she hung it in my car that day and I moved it to my new car a couple of years ago. When I get a tatoo (when a team of mine wins a tournament...) I'll get that tatooed over my heart.

Pam snored terribly -- and it was worse when her allergies were bad -- like, always... I'll never forget my poly-dactyl cat peeking under the guest room door and sniffing along the wall of the guest room trying to figure out what was making that racket. It was really funny -- and when we told her what he'd been up to she thought it was hillarious.

In retrospect, it seems like fate that she came out to see me... kind of like she knew it would be the last time we'd have to spend together --- like she wanted to give me one last fun weekend to remember.

She died too young, of bi-lateral pulminary embalist the Friday after Thanksgiving 2001. I miss her deeply and often.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Debate -- the results of the big nationals

I've been a bit busy with nationals... here are the results for my little team :).

One elimination round appearance, dropped right away on a 2-1, a really good novice speaker award and a really good (but not the top) community college tournament sweepstakes award. I also got to judge the final round.. and wasn't one of the 2 on the bottom of the 2-9 decision. We were also in the top 10 for season sweepstakes, but they only give trophies for the top 5.

Overall, not a bad year for us. I have one person (swear jar) coming back next year. He seems to be pretty energized by all of this. He's also uber-dependable and will make a really good team leader next year. He's sure he wants to go to debate camp to do policy this summer..... but I kind of think he's saying that to bug me.

I'm especially sad that D2 more than likely won't be debating next year. He's really worked hard and developed a lot -- to the point where he's beating D1 on speaker points.

Overall, this has been a good year. I'm very pleased with our progress -- I wish that the team had put more time and effort into preparation for these tournaments and into their homework... but, that is something I could say every year. It is a significant improvement from last year -- and for that I am more than proud.

Now... if only we can pull off this Irish debate -- Herbie hasn't responded about the posters for it... and the press-release woman at BNCC doesn't seem to think it is a good idea, so hasn't put one out yet either...

aarghhhhhhhhhh -- well, if she doesn't, big guy and his boss will be pretty irritated with her. I hold the event and supply the debaters, all she has to do is to let people know it is coming.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Debate --- why no JC college nat's

When I first started coaching at BNCC, I was regularly asked why we didn't go to the CC national tournament.... I was told "it is fun" blah, blah, blah...

The general idea behind that tournament is that the two-year schools in debate have a unique set of challenges... mostly because we almost never have debaters in their third or fourth years. We also have multiple partner changes and other things that our debaters need to be doing like working to pay the rent etc... These things make it difficult to compete with teams from four-year schools who have fewer distractions and more time to develop debaters. The result is CC nationals (it has a greek honorary name I'll call PPP).

The problem is that PPP is also, structurally, unlike most national tournaments. There isn't one winner, instead you take home either a bronze, silver or gold medal... and while that sounds all cool and Olympics-like, it isn't, as there may be up to 20 teams who get "gold"... all you have to do is to win two elimination rounds.

Debate-wise, we'd "pone" them -- easy.... at least this year. One problem is that we don't play in their circuit on a regular basis -- so we don't know their judges etc. We don't know the regular arguments they run, we don't know the norms and the kids don't have ANY friends from two year schools...

A bigger problem is that it does kind of put us into, what someone else has called "the Special Olympics of Debate". Now.. I'm not sure I'd go as far as to say that.... but I can see where the impression comes from. The basic message is that "you kids are at a CC, you can't compete with the BIG KIDS, here -- have your own "special" tournament"... no-- that is BULL.

Because we are in Debate Sibera our only local competition is ALL four-year schools. We debate them on a regular basis, we learn from them and often we teach them a thing or two. That is the way it should be. Our program goal is to get students debate scholarships. If they are debating other four-year schools all the time, they'll learn how to do it while they are with us and then some other school will invest scholarship money in them to get them to come debate there. Our poor/challenged/etc... students will have the chance to earn a scholarship that could change their lives.

Besides, we should go to nationals with the group we've been seeing all year-- yea -- we can hang, we are tough (and, hubby and I are kick-ass coaches...).

Debate -- nationals update -- day 1

Both teams are 3-2, there are 3 more prelim rounds tomorrow -- of which they must win two to avoid being eliminated.

We are also beating our (secret) rivals by at least 1 win -- and we are ahead of the other in-state programs by a few.

It was a good day--- capped off by a speed eat at a closing Chinese buffet restaurant.

D1 isn't going to die of ebola.

Rex and Swear-Jar won on a "consult elephants" counterplan... where they wanted to actually ASK the elephants if they wanted to be released from zoos...

It is nice to have Swear Jar back, we missed him a lot -- he has a way of saying sutff that should be horribly offensive, but isn't -- really -- because we know he doesn't mean it, even if he is a Republican :).

All is good in the land of BNCC -- and I only miss my bed and my cats a little... (lot, but sure...).

time for bed ---

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Personal -- kicking hubby's ass

I rarely post about really personal stuff anymore... but this was just too funny not to share..

Last night hubby and I (back in a king sized bed YEA!!!!) were snuggling and laughing, like usual, He said something that made me want to kick him (in play, only). We were spooned with me in front. Somehow I managed to kick him in the butt with my heel. He was surprised, saying "tell me how you are kicking my ass" -- which I found very funny.

Good way to start NPjkldaDA.

Debate -- wish us luck!

Today is the start of the BIG national debate tournament... NPjfdkaDA.

Hubby and I figured out that we are in the running for the two-year school sweepstakes award, our self-imposed rivals (I doubt they think we are rivals) have four teams here -- we have two -- so our two have to beat their four in numbers of wins. We have a total of 16 rounds to do it in (8 per team..), but if our teams perform at their peak -- it is possible. We have an astonishingly good shot at #2, which was really my goal for the year. This is always hard to predict, as most of the two year schools are way outside of our normal circuit (i.e. my team ALWAYS competes against students from four-year schools).

Wish us luck -- we are the little team that kicks ass...

Friday, March 24, 2006

Teaching -- last minute Nelly

At my CC the chairs are kind of like administrivia assistants to the deans. Their only real task is to organize stuff and transmit information. Our current chair has a bad habit of doing it poorly as often as she has done it well.

A case in point...

A while back, while at a debate tournament, I get a flurry of e-mails about appointments with the architects for our building. They are planning a remodel and need our input. We are instructed to make appointments to see them, by department, ASAP. We are not told why or how to prepare for this meeting. When we get there, they ask us some basic shit like "where is your office" and "where do you teach" and 'can you get from your office to your classroom" and "how many students do you have in your classes". ALL of this info is on BNCC's website -- ALL of it. They didn't need us for that -- I did get to suggest a debate squad room, but that is the sum total of the new information they got from my department. We spent 20 minutes as a group -- when it is nearly impossible to schedule us at the same time -- and that time was wasted.

Come to find out, department chair had the info on the meetings.. nature, purpose etc -- and neglected to share.

Now today, I get the following e-mail...
"Don't forget to turn in your Spring 2007 schedule by today".. HUH?????????????

I've been out of town for less than a week. I've been planning this trip for a couple of months. It is not news to her, my senior person in the discipline nor my dean --- SO -- why did none of them mention the schedule discussions that would go on while I was gone? My guess is that chair had her head up her ass again.

This is a huge concern to me, simply because I need a particular schedule to travel with debate. I have to be able to be off campus from Thursday afternoon until late Monday afternoon. Thus, I can teach in about 5 total time slots -- M/W 2:00-3:15 & 4:00-5:15 and T/Th starting at 7:45, 9:30 and 11:00. Debate is M/W nights. If this gets out of whack, then Spring 2007 debate travel requires me to cancel classes -- which is an unpopular option all around.

Dammmm this woman really irks me. I don't often say a colleague isn't bright, but she isn't -- at all. She's a leftover from the tech school faculty and has been around forever. She's a nice woman, but dumber than a box of rocks.

I'm sure the wonder dean will take care of me, but it is stupid that I have to resort to that option because they can't figure stuff like this out.

Debate --quote book continued

"not a baby..."

"are you on the phone?"

"we're wait'n on the Dan, we're wait'n on the Dan, hi ho the dairy-o we're wait'n on the Dan"... (sung to the Farmer in the Dell).

I'm sure there will be more -- once our swear jar come to life catches up with us... I'll revise later.

Debate -- the second-to-last so-so Days Inn of the year

We are done at the beach house and are moved to Corvallis for the last national championship. It was hard to leave the great place we found -- but it was time to go.

One more major tournament, and then one easier national tournament to go this year and we'll be done until next year. I think I'm ready --I keep having daydreams about going places with hubby and not counting heads when we stop to pee.

A kind of strange thing happened via the internets today... big guy found the threaded discussion area where we discuss debate stuff... Bene - Nets... or, something like that :). It wasn't hard to figure out who hubby and I were there, and I'm DAMM GLAD I haven't done any complaining about my administration there-- only nice stuff... because there is only nice stuff to say about them in real life. Sure, I complained about the business office trolls once or twice ('cuz they deserved it..) but I also gave those complaints to administration so it isn't much of a secret or anything.

I shouldn't be surprised that he found it, it isn't hard -- I do find it a bit odd that he actually took the time to look at it during the conference he's attending away from home (or, maybe he hasn't left yet??) . I had sent him an e-mail using the acronyms for our nationals, perhaps he googled them -- I think the discussion board comes up with a google. I know it is linked a bazillion ways, so it makes sense -- it is just kind of odd because I've never had anybody in my administration care enough to find it pretty much on their own.

He also told me that he couldn't make it back for the "big on-campus debate about a controversial topic that I can't identify further because it will really blow my cover" deal week after next, but that the president of the school rearranged his itenerary to be there. wow. no pressure or anything, what with my tenure track proposal due less than two weeks after the event... yikes.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Sometimes people are just wrong...

I can't say a whole lot about this... but I do have a general observation ---

Sometimes people think they are being "funny" and helpful, but they are really showing that they are immature, self-rightous jerks.. Along the way they are showing themselves as rude and pretty much taking advantage of those who are trying to help them. I'd say this is a factor of age, but really it is about maturity -- young doesn't seem to factor into it.

People like this make me realize that those who don't help others and just look out for themselves may have a point. Going out of your way to help people only opens you up to being kicked in the face and disrespected. What good is that? Maybe I'll take a cue from a colleague and only come in to do my job and that which helps me.

On the other hand, there are people that make it worthwhile ---

Monday, March 20, 2006

Debate -- relaxation

We are at a great beach house for four days... relaxation and some work... in wonderful surroundings.

It is big enough for us to have our own spaces and very nicely decorated with wood floors, a gourmet kitchen, fireplace and wireless internet. I was afraid it would be a lot less nice than the internet photos -- and, if I were a tech savy blogger, I'd post you a link.

Debate -- sexism and MPJ

For those of you who don't know me and don't know about the debate world, I'll give some background.

1) Most debaters in college are male as are most judges. This is true in both Parliamentary debate and in policy debate. The reasons for this I think are very complicated, at least in the debate world I know -- parli. The fact of the matter is that female college students have more demands and expectations placed on them. They tend to get fewer debate scholarships in policy debate and in parli debate we have fewer scholarships to give... so they have to divide their time to a much greater extent than many male debaters. The result is that there are generally more men winning tournaments than women.

2) Our style of Parliamentary debate is significantly younger than policy debate. This year will be the 13th or 14th ever national tournament for what I usually cal NPJFKDLADA nationals (to keep the blogger-google searches from finding me) -- it is a large open national tournament. This year was the 6th ever NPKQRS tournament -- It has been the case that there have been a higher percentage of competitive females in parli debate.

3) Some people object to NPKQRS because we use a system of judge selection called Mutual Preference Judging. In this sytem teams rank judges on a 3, 5 or 9 point scale, indicating which judges they most or least prefer to have judge their round. When a judge is selected for a round, the judge should have an equal preference level for both sides. So, if you pretty much hate your judge, then you can be sure the other side does too -- so at least it is fair.

4) Those who object to the use of MPJ object because of studies in the policy community that say it is biased against women. They say that the system allows teams to avoid being judged by women and that women generally rank significantly lower than men in the preferencing system. There are probably a bunch of complicated reasons for this, including the fact that there are many fewer women on the policy circuit, and the use of MPJ in regular season tournaments means that they start off as an un-known judge and then tend to judge fewer rounds because nobody knows they should prefer them.

All that as background to explain the following set of observations about the tournament I helped start and currently help organize, manage and administer...

1) I'm a founding member of NPKQRS, and of our 5 person board, 3 of us are women.
2) Last year our top speaker was a black woman. This year two of the three people in a virtual tie for top speaker were women.
3) Of our 6 national championship teams 4 have had at least one woman and one was a female/female team. In other words, what is the norm even in NPjljkldasDA debate (male/male championship teams) is not the norm for us. We've only had two male/male championship teams -- and both of those teams have had an openly gay debater.
4) Our most highly prefered judge this year was a woman (openly bi.. in fact :) ) and 4 of the top 10 highly prefered judges were also women. That in a judge pool that is only about 20% women.

It seems to me that our new organization is not only inclusive, but supportive of women and homosexuals. It seems that this new organization I helped to found and proudly keep working for free to support is doing something exraordinary within debate, it is actually increasing the accessibility of debate to women.

I'm having a hard time seeing actual gender discrimination arguments as a basis for objecting to NPKQRS -- It seems to me that the NPJKLalkDA organization really likes having the men in charge -- as that is who IS in charge there now.. It is pretty easy for them to cry sexism as a reason to reject NPKQRS --- especially when they ignore the facts about the tournament.

I really do think that debate organizations, instead of changing the problems of society tend to mirror and exacerbate them. Policy debate was started in an age of undeniable sexism, and even the splinter groups have been around long enough to carry that as a cultural byproduct. I catch a whif of this when we go east to do parli -- as most of the coaches there are very new to parli and have a strong policy background -- and they look at me like I'm not as qualified as my husband to judge debates.

I think that NPjkdalDA debate maintains a lot of the sexism present at it's founding, in that the same people and kinds of people tend to be in charge -- either formally or informally. Many of these people were in the policy community prior to being in parli and carry remanents of the problems seen there.

The other complaint against NPKQRS is that it is not democratic. Well, I don't see NPjkdlaDA solving for any of the sexist or racial or gender preference disparities via democracy. They've elected exactly ONE female president and have never had a minority or openly gay person on their board. We've only been doing this for 6 years and we are 60% female -- we'll see what happens with the rest of the discriminated against groups later :).

So -- rather than just blog against sexism, it seems that in the last 7 years I've been working against sexism in the debate community -- and it feels damm good!

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Debate -- KQRS nationals day 2 part 2

My geeky friend from LA has had a great impact on the tab room here at KDQB nationals. He's moderated my friend from WW and has pushed our schedule to places my WW friend would not... like, delaying dinner until there will have been three rounds between lunch and dinner.

My fav team is out, but there are three midwest teams still in -- two coached my my girlfriend from MO -- and one coached by a good friend, whom I used to judge... another is a sentimental favorite -- and there are two I'd rather didn't win at all... mostly because I think they are way overrated... but, I'm sure they are good if they got this far.

We've picked up an hour in the schedule, so we should be done by midnight... aargh.

What kind of pisses me off about this schedule is that it does bias the team in their home time zone... when you don't have to give your last speech of the tournament at 2 AM your time...

Debate -- NPQRS nationals, day 2

D1/D2 ended up with four ballots -- they needed 3 more to make elimination rounds... oh well.

Things are going well -- my pal from LA kind of wants to hurt my pal from WW.... hubby seems pretty happy and I'm tired already... and it isn't even noon yet.

We broke just enough teams to force an extra elim round tonight. I'm really glad we drove over here, as walking home at 1:00AM after the last round and all is cleaned up would suck. We have a big van (like a normal debate team) so we'll probably have a bunch of passengers.

So far we've had no controversy -- but that is still to come, once the tournament gets smaller, the stakes get higher and the pairing/judge situaiton gets more tricky. Until then, peace---

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Debate Upate -- KQRS nat's

So... D1/D2 are now 2-8. They had what they said was a good 5th round, but lost both ballots on kind of a concession??

I'm not sure what they are doing this round -- suffice it to say that they plan to have some fun and do some good debate, and have some fun.

Tomorrow, they'll watch some good debate and help friends prep etc... and Monday we'll go to the ocean.

Dissertatin -- summer plans

Spring 06 plans...
April --As dog dad says, why not turn in your area papers to see what they say about them? They worst they can do is to say no, and you are functionally there anyway. So--- I'll give myself a few days to get caught up and then give the papers one more proof and send them to grad school. They are supposed to give good critiques of the papers -- and that will give me ideas as to paths to revisoins.

Also -- e-mail current authority to ask for a copy of his work in my area. He told me in February he could send it in April... yea!

Summer 06 plans...
May -- a couple of days of R & R --- then three hours of writing per day to:
Work on revisions from comments on Spring 06....
Develop status quo chapter on justice after war...(i.e. lit review..).

June --
Conference at the end of June, so I'll have to work on my seminar and exercises -- 1 week, plus 4 days for conference
Work on objections to status quo and solutions chapter.

July --
Short vacation -- probably camping or NYC for a long weekend...
Get ready for Fall 06
Devise plan for next chapter, look at project to see what is missing...

August --
Debate camp (probably... we'll see for sure).
Short break before school starts again....

Wow, when put into this format, there isn't a whole lot of time. I'll see what I can get done.

Debate -- seniors and others moving on

Coaching at a CC is bittersweet -- on one hand, you get to coach students who are smart and motivated by both personal experiences with injustice AND competitive drive. They don't expect you to do all of their work for them and they generally appreciate what you do. They aren't used to having people do things for them, nor are they used to winning just because they show up. They also are facing bigger challenges and time limitations than most debaters, so debate time is their recreation not something they do as a matter of course.

On the other hand, they go away. I can honestly say that I'm really going to miss D1/D2 and Rex when they move on. They are nice and good to one another -- when they aren't trying to break D2 :). They try hard and have great attitudes. They are fun to travel with and aren't quick to complain about anything. I'd love to see all three of them continue debating, although I'm pretty certain only D1 will do so.

Also, we don't really have seniors -- since our students move on, we don't have the closure that comes from having a debater for four years and who is finishing their debate career.

Debate -- so far, so-so....

Tournament wise --- we started KQRS nationals with locked doors and a building manager who didn't expect to see us until 9:00 --- sounds like another host issue... of which we've had a few.

Rex is exraordinarliy helpful. I'm happy he's her.

We got the third round off 15 minutes EARLY -- which makes me happy.

All the judges showed up, we didn't have a printer SNAFU and they are mostly picking up their ballots. YEA. Tomorrow will likely be another story, but the hotel is close and we can go bang on their doors if necessary.

I just did a quick count -- and of the judges I know --(i.e. almost all of them) at most there are 8 or 9 that have been doing this as long or longer than I... and of that number 3 are in doubt--- damm... maybe it is time for me to stop doing debate. I hate to leave my girlfriend from MO and my pal from CO in the pool by themselves, but this isn't my field.

Competition wise...

D1/D2 took a hard loss the first round. They thought they were winning, and they lost 2-0. Last round it got messy and they split 1-1. This round they could and should win--- we'll see. We are on the good side of the resolution for us and the judge panel...

Community wise --- It is nice to see a long-time pal (since he was competing..) here. He's the one I would love to have take over for me at BNCC. I'm sure we'll be able to pay him more than he'll get at his next gig -- and he'd be the guy in charge. Together with the other debate coach already on the faculty, they wouldn't DARE kill the team.... we'd take the place down in support of my pal.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Debate -- so far so good

We've made it to Eugene and we have a bag full of books from Powell's to boot.....

For those of you who don't know, Powell's is an amazing bookstore in Portland, OR. It is someplace that you could wander in for years and not get bored or sad -- If Powell's was next door to IKEA, I'd never have to go anyplace.

D1/D2/Rex are having a ruckus nextdoor... I'm not sure why, but they should be napping. I remember being their age and not needing more than a cat nap every 24 hours.

I hope they'll be ok for competition tomorrow. They are probably getting psyched in their own way for KDWB nationals -- and I shouldn't worry about them.

Oregon is really pretty. We saw newly shorn sheep and dafodils growing wild in the ditch. Also, plenty of pretty mountain/hill-like features. I'm looking forward to the Oregon coast this week.

Teaching -- faculty dorks...

My teaching circle is 7/8ths wonderful and one dork who is in his own little world.

Keep in mind that I'm able to read a calendar, thus -- when I scheduled my teaching circle meetings I purposly avoided having a meeting on Friday 3-17 (today). I knew for sure that by 3:00 I'd either be in Oregon or on the way here --

I get an email from faculty dork asking about the circle meeting today... and acting like it was RE-SCHEULED... NO... dork child, you can't re-scheule something that was never scheduled in the first damm place.

I'm pretty irritated with this guy, as he refueses to follow directions and claims that it is because he is so busy. Perhaps it is because he isn't able to intellectually handle the basic schedule I've been on for several years.. i.e. being overcommitted --

Sadly, I have to make nice and not tell him he's a big pain in my ass, although I'd like to. He's actually working on the same f-ing goals he had in the very first circle I was ever in almost three years ago. If I were still working on the same relatively simple thing three years later I'd either kill myself or give up. I suppose there is something to be said for being persistant...

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Debate -- my bags are packed, I'm ready to go..

So far so good... D1 is here for the night, big sacrifice since today is his 21st birthday... and he'd rather make sure he gets on the 6:30 AM flight than to get drunk... not a bad choice.

We are all packed... between gear and clothes for 11 days, hubby and I filled both big suitcases. I'm a bit worried about how all of this is going to fit in the minivan we have rented... but, that is a geometry problem for tomorrow, and frankly not really my problem --- that is one advantage to traveling with all boys.

Rex will be over when he's packed and ready to go -- D2 will meet us at the airport at 4:45 AM (I trust his mom to get him there...) and McWiggins/Swear Jar (new name, as he said "I'm like the swear jar come to life").

I think I have all the details finished at school that I can do... now I can only hope that it all doesn't fall apart without me...

I think this will be the longest period I've been out of the building since I started teaching there... even over break and summer I end up in the building in some way... it will be almost 2 weeks that the place will have to survive without me.

When we get back, we'll have a debate on a controversial issue on campus. This has the full support of the big guy and his boss -- who seem to be pretty excited about the concept. Not a bad thing to have happen two weeks before my tenure package is due -- huh? Just wait until I actually HAVE tenure...

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Teaching -- snow

Snow is forcast for Thrusday morning... I have a summary due and a bunch of lecture to do, as well as exam review for my Intro class... and then I'll be gone for three class meetings, one of which includes the exam.

Out of 40 students, how many will come in for that uber-important class??

The thing is, if they don't come in they won't be able to answer at least two questions on the exam -- they are short-answer and the material is only in the lecture/PowerPoint as they don't have access to a readable version of the Critique of Pure Reason-- 'cuz there ISN'T one (at least that I've seen).

hmmmm, more suspense for us here at BNCC...

Teaching -- student shenanegans


The week before break I have a paper due. I get two versions from a student... one on-time and one two days late. Neither of them are complete, as she ends the paper mid-sentence. I don't grade them, but I also put them in the wrong pile--

When her class gets them back, she doesn't get her's. She freaks out and tells me she'll print another one. Later she sends an e-mail teling me it is in my mailbox (it isn't.. hmmm) and here is the attachment as well.

I find the two other versions after an e-mail exchange. I tell her she needs to tell me which one to grade. I have not had a response as of yet. I know she didn't turn it in with the class because I wrote "on-time" on it, when I wouldn't have if it were with the others -- but it must have been very close or I'd have taken a penalty off...

What I won't do is to grade the most recent version like it was on-time. Revisions are late papers-- the revision has to be worth the late penalty. I get the feeling she's done this before.. I think what she did was to turn in the paper as she had it at the time it was due. Later, when I ask her for the rest of it -- as it ends mid-sentence -- she'll give me the revised version which is complete. It looks like a sneaky way to get an extension to me --- and I won't fall for it.

She also turned in a summary paper early -- I think she said she thought that was what was due -- but that she'd go print the other paper "right away" -- i.e give it a few more minutes of work, then print and turn in.

If I didn't have this long debate trip coming up, I'd take the time to compare her e-mailed version with the other two to see if she's trying to make improvements she think I won't see.

Maybe I'm biased against pretty, thin young girls -- but I get the feeling that she thinks that just because I'm a plus-sized person I'm not all that bright. It isn't anything definite, just the way she looks at me and the way she strolls into class late... it makes me read disrespect from her, which pisses me off. I should stop, as her issues more than likely have nothing to do with me.

Teaching/ Debate -- between now and then

It is Wednesday morning, Friday morning at 6:30 AM our butts need to be on a flight to Portland. We'll be gone for 11 days -- and as such, there are a few things I need to get done before we go...

in no real order
home / non school stuff...
Go to cleaners w/ 2 pairs of pants
return movie (Walk the Line, a cousin was an assistant casting person.. or something)
Clean-up a little here, as we'll have guests tomorrow night

School stuff..
teach, debate practice
discuss demo debate with debaters -- do we want to do the controversial subject for which BNCC has been in some news lately... big guy tells me he's getting hate mail for his position supporting free speech in this area and kind of thinks there may be protesters and we'd look like dolts in the demo debate.
Finish first reading of applications
Grade Intro summaries so they'll be ready when I come back (tomorrow)
Do logic practice quiz and post on door.
Check-in with exam giver friends to make sure they got the exams and have no questions...
Make sure postings on door have all the current projects for students
make pile to take with me when I leave tomorrow night
meeting with Teaching Circle member???
Gather cases for NPJKDLADA (can be organized later)
??? do entry for last national tournament in April ??? check with registrar about that form!

It looks like a lot to do -- but the grading is short and the application book I have to read today isn't huge... that being said, I should still get myself out of here pretty early, as there is a lot of stuff on that list for today.

Debte -- what to pack

I've never been on an 11 day debate trip -- one that encompases two national championships, one of which I help run... So, I definitely need a list... and a sherpa to carry my shit.... the sherpa won't materialize -- but the list I can do myself if blind cat ever shuts the heck up...

Clothes: personal stuff... 2 jeans, 2 pants, 3 sweaters 4 shirts, pjs, shorts, swimsuit, RAIN GEAR, Notre Dame sweatshirt
Gear from home: camera, laptop, cell phone charger, camera battery charger, thingy to transfer photos to laptop, ipod, charger and car transmitter
Gear from school to run tournament: plate holders (for trophies), stuff on school list
Gear from school to coach tournament: timers, clipboard, good pens, umbrella
Work stuff: logic book, grading left to do, files for tenure portfolio, my own reading for my dissertation---
Shear entertainment: only ONE book (we will have to go to Powell's), DVDs
Information: KQRS folder, NPJKADLDA folder

Of that stuff, the following needs to go in my carry-on bag: computer, camera, ipod, Information, book for fun, misc ID and stuff to fly...

Make sure hubby brings:
KQRS pens (they are actually HERE, in time, WOW--- we may get the hang of this yet..
Camera and tripod.

Hubby and I may pack our clothes and regular debate stuff in one suitcase and use the other for miscelaneous shit that won't fit in our carryon bags and/or we don't want to drag ourselves all the way to Portland.

Postitive thought for the trip...
Today is Wednesday, 48 hours from now we will ALL (D1/D2/Rex, hubby and me) be waiting to board our 6:30 AM flight to Portland. It will be on time and we will get there no hassles. We will have a comfortable flight and a fun time in Portland before we go to Eugene. The rental car will be there, and all of our luggage will arrive with us. We will go to someplace in Portland to buy an inexpensive printer, which we will use during the tournaments and then bring / send home to use on the road in future years.

If this happens, I'll be a happy girl -- and a much less stressed one at that.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Teaching -- reading apps

I started reading applications today. It is kind of sad, as there are so many people who went to the trouble to apply only to get a rejection letter.

A couple of our long-term adjuncts didn't apply. It is hard to blame them, it has to be hard to have been passed over several times. One of them is teaching a full load already and three of us have been hired in front of her.

It also makes me a bit leary of ever going back on the job market. I love BNCC -- and I have great administration all the way up --- so I'm not too worried about having to look again -- but if hubby gets hired by his undergrad school in a couple of years, I'm not willing to stay here an be away from him. That means that I'll go on the local job market there, which sucks ass.

Who knows -- maybe hubby will get a job right here in BN city and all will be well, and I'll get to stay in my office with a view of the smoking section forever and ever...

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Teaching -- mommy, don't make me go...

I'm soooo not ready to teach and stuff tomorrow --

I have four teaching days between now and KQRS nationals --and I don't feel like doing them, at all.

I have an uber-large number of meetings and applications to read this week, plus two intense coaching sessions -- our last before nationals.

My mom is visiting, it is too bad I can't get a note from her so I don't have to go to school tomorrow...

it sucks to be an adult.

Personal -- Pam's hubby

Four and a half years ago my little sister died suddenly. She left behind a sweet and wonderful husband. He's worked hard to re-build his life, but hasn't (to my knowledge) found another woman.

Since well before they were married, Pam's hubby worked for a company doing technical work. They promoted him several times, gave him training and generally pumped him up. This company had hired several of his friends etc... and put him into a job that sounds pretty difficult (teaching computer support techs over video..).

This week they fired him. I don't know why, but I do feel for him.

Pam's hubby hasn't had formal education, outside of the certifications he completed with his company -- but, no BS or anything. I'm sure he'll get another job (he has an interview tomorrow), but it sucks that he doesn't have Pam to help him out...

Blog against sexism --- late, so what?

It seems that Wednesday this week was blog against sexism day... and I missed it. Maybe that is because I'm 37 and don't seem to think about sexism much in my current work -- or, because it was Spring Break this week and being so serious didn't seem to be in the cards..

Of course I think sexism is wrong. Just like racism and classism -- duh.

Perhaps my family has created a different set of expectations for me so that when I bump up against sexism I either ignore it or work around it. I occasionally see sexist attitudes from the old guys at BNCC, but since I know that I'm actually smarter and younger than they are -- I usually ignore them and get my way.

In my family the women have pretty much been the center of power and culture for a while. The family does what the women want done, we set the agenda and decide when to have reunions etc -- the men more or less go along for the ride. My great grandmother was a farm girl and farm wife. She had 2 girls and three boys, one of whom was my grandfather. She taught them the value of education -- and my grandfather met my grandmother in college. She was a couple of years ahead of him and he decided that he had to have a college education to keep up with her. My mother is their eldest daughter. She was divorced when I was about 10 -- and taught me and my sister that you don't die from being tired, and that education will help you in the long run. I ended up being someone who ignores sexist BS - I feel pretty lucky to be in my generation in this family. We aren't radical feminists -- although my grandmother's sister was a big ERA supporter -- but we do think that women can do whatever men can do.. yea us!

The first time I saw regular and systematic sexism was in my grad department --Generally, very few grad students and NO grad profs who were women... or, to be more precise, there was one woman on the grad faculty during my time but she was working mostly in adminitration and only taught one course the whole time I was doing coursework. On the undergrad faculty there was only one female lecturer, and her office wasn't even on the same floor as my department. I hear they have hired some female faculty members recently -- so perhaps the old gaurd has relented...

in terms of grad school I probably should have had a clue when the grad advisor asked if my husband was OK with my taking grad classes and pretty much implied that I should be worried about being both a wife and a grad student. That sexist ass didn't even tell me that i should be taking some semesters of 9 credits to avoid an issue later on with my "in residence" status. Thank goodness I ended up with a better advisor than him who helped me get that one straightened out --

When I am done with my dissertation and am Dr. Phil Factory, I know one thing I won't do is to send bright women to my grad department...

Saturday, March 11, 2006

What a weekend should be...

I'm done with grading jail -- after the Russian wrote a 20 page paper for an 8 page assignment... it is fun to have debaters in my class. The paper actually is pretty good, excellent for an undergraduate class.

I'm watching Seinfeld Season 6 on DVD, I just had chips and salsa for lunch and I have a new book... and mom is on the way down for the weekend.

The place is pretty clean and the laundry down to a small mountain...

This time next week we'll be in the middle day 1 of NPKQRST naitonals in Oregon and this time two weeks from now we'll be in day 1 of NPKQRSDA naitonals. wow -- the year has gone very quickly.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Teaching -- Spring Break report

No drinking and debauching for me -- but, it was a good break afterall.

So that I don't later think I completely wasted my break, here is the list of activities..

1. Ran a successful tournament -- in that everyone got their debating done and nobody died..
2. Got caught up on sleep (very important with nationals on the way..)
3. Cleaned my office -- which was terrible after hosting the tournament.
4. Did the quivalent of four expense reports -- two of which were early, thus placating the accounting trolls upstairs.
5. Graded and recorded all but 12 papers for Intro to Phil.
6. Wrote exams for Intro and Logic for the first week we will be gone to nationals.
7. Got a bunch of laundry done, as well as some housecleaning and cooking.
8. Finished watching Seinfeld season 5.
9. Bought new red birkenstocks, plus some personal stuff the debater boys don't want the details about...
10. Read most of a book by Jodi Piccoult ( "Picture Perfect").
11. Had a good meeting with the wonder-dean about my tenure portfolio... turns out I don't need to freak as much as I thought.
12. Some fun with hubby --- 'nuff said :).
13. Whatever Mom and I end up doing this weekend.... should be fun.

Domestic -- cat update

We have three cats -- one more than our leas allows, but they are a happy little community and I'd never consider getting rid of one because their very living became inconvenient. They do fave their own quirks anc challenges...

Mrs. Old kitty has a hard time getting enough sleep or affection. The affection bit is because she's naughty and likes to pee in our bedroom, so she's now banned from there. She used to sleep about 96 hours a day on our bed. Now she sleeps on what has become her chair in the living room. We change the cover when company comes, just before -- as she's a high vollume shedder and frequent puker. She is at least 17 years old, small and white. This puts her out of regular affection range for us, but she does come to get a snuggle once in a while -- I think she probably prefers it that way.

The sleep bit is is simply because she's really old -- my hubby and I have developed a new test to see if you think your cat is old -- if you regularly ask your spouse if you've seen the cat breathe lately, or touch her to see if she's still alive -- you have an old cat.

Mr. Blind kitty is blind because of cataracts -- he gets around fine -- is REALLY good at finding the food dish etc.. but, he's blind. He is also really anxious for a cat, he's always been that way and now if he gets turned around in the apartment he shows how good he is at working his vocal cords. The racket is amazing. To reduce his stress, he likes to eat paper. D1 and the gang were over on Monday night for dinner and ballot reading. D1 left some flows of debates from our tournament on the floor -- Mr. Blind kitty has been munching on them -- I had to stop Mr. Blind kitty, or things get ugly later for him.....

Mr. Multi-toes is as normal as a cat with 6 extra toes can be -- he's about 11 and is fully functional. Sometimes he and Mr. Blind get into a tussle, but it is more of a formality to let Mr. Blind kitty re-live the old days when he was master of the house... Also, Mr. Multi-toes loves to play with his water dish, and since we've recently moved it to the kitchen we notice it now.

Generally, I'd NEVER consider living someplace where we couldn't have at least two cats -- and in the last few apartments we've had, we've had an illegal cat because there are very few places we could have three legally. That is why I find the blogging friend who would let her mom put them down sooooo sad and wrong

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Personal -- no wonder i'm the queen of the geeks

You scored as Geek/Nerd. Haha! ok. go computer geeks!





Emo Kid
















What Highschool Clique Do You Belong To?
created with

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Teaching -- Project Runway & grading jail

So -- Chloe won. I've really liked watching her develop on the show. She comes from a Southeast Asian family -- either Hmong or Vienamese.

It is cool because she looks so much like my students at BNCC. Right now they are a little scared, kind of shy and often smart and talented. Maybe later they'll be at the top of their profession later on.

Today I spent most of the day in grading jail. I got all but 12 of my Intro to Philosophy papers graded today. I also have all of that stuff recorded and ready to return AND I have my exams written and copied for when we are at NPKQRST naitonals.

Tomorrow -- morning in bed, afternoon doing laundry and finishing up grading so I can be out of grading jail.

Teaching -- today

Today is my day in grading jail. I have about 50 Intro to Phil papers on some aspect of the arguments on the existence of God. I hope they aren't all awful.

I'm going to my office for grading jail--- just after I send NPJLKMODA their checks for our entry fee.

In my office I can't get wireless, and since I vowed not to blog from work -- EVER -- I should be ok there, away from distractions. I'll stop and get some good food on the way and be there when the NPKQRS/NPKJLMORASDKL teams get there at 5:00 for a practice round.

If I can keep my ass in gear and focused today I can start actual break tomorrow... Friday is lunch with the Red Head, and then a mom (either mine or hubby's) will be around for the weekend -- that should actually be fun (no sarcasm -- love them both..).

Next week is crazyness -- lots of meetings AND reading applications for the job search..

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


Overheard at expensive grocery store yesterday---

"Mommy, what is that?"
"That is a pineapple".
"Where do they grow?"
"On palm trees."

Wow -- sure, we are northern, but mom must have been to school... at least she didn't say they grew on pine trees.

In case you are wondering, pineapples don't grow on trees at all. They grow in fields, many on the Dole plantation in Oauhu --The Dole plantation was between my grandparent's house and the airport -- until they moved to Arkansas. boo.

Even as tired as I was yesterday (tournament hangover is a bitch), I still felt smart. Every time I passed her in the store I wanted to stop her and correct her.

Personal -- I'm just sick...

I read a friend's blog. She mentions that her mom is selling her house and moving into a condo that doesn't allow cats. She has two cats. Mom decided that it would be better to put down two healthy cats rather than try to find them homes together or separate. My friend is an adult and sounds like she'll be on vacation when the cats are killed.

So--- let me get this logic... the CATS will be happier DEAD than liviing with others, and possibly separate. Yea.. this is for the good of the cats. right. This is all about mom's convenience-- killing them is easier.

My friend seems to be ok with this, or -- so her blog post indicates. She may be more upset than she writes, but I'm not so sure about that.

Frankly, not being upset about this and not even seeming to THINK about either finding another place to live, other than a "pretty" condo -- or, not even seeming to consider taking them to a shelter makes me ill. I can't really consider someone who would do such a thing so easily a friend.

The post indicates that the cats have been with them since birth -- they have f-ing responsibilities to them. I'm not all that convinced that animals have rights, but if you take responsibility for an animal, you should fulfil that or at least take the time and effort to find someone else to take care of them for you.

If this is really her position, that it isn't a problem and that she doesn't seem to think she has a duty to the cats to at least give them a sliver of hope at the shelter... then she can't be my friend.

Enough of this --- my polydactl cat needs some loving...

Personal -- I'm just sick... UPDATED!!

I read a friend's blog. She mentions that her mom is selling her house and moving into a condo that doesn't allow cats. She has two cats. Mom decided that it would be better to put down two healthy cats rather than try to find them homes together or separate. My friend is an adult and sounds like she'll be on vacation when the cats are killed.

So--- let me get this logic... the CATS will be happier DEAD than liviing with others, and possibly separate. Yea.. this is for the good of the cats. right. This is all about mom's convenience-- killing them is easier.

My friend seems to be ok with this, or -- so her blog post indicates. She may be more upset than she writes, but I'm not so sure about that.

Frankly, not being upset about this and not even seeming to THINK about either finding another place to live, other than a "pretty" condo -- or, not even seeming to consider taking them to a shelter makes me ill. I can't really consider someone who would do such a thing so easily a friend.

The post indicates that the cats have been with them since birth -- they have f-ing responsibilities to them. I'm not all that convinced that animals have rights, but if you take responsibility for an animal, you should fulfil that or at least take the time and effort to find someone else to take care of them for you.

If this is really her position, that it isn't a problem and that she doesn't seem to think she has a duty to the cats to at least give them a sliver of hope at the shelter... then she can't be my friend.

Enough of this --- my polydactl cat needs some loving...

Update -- friend's blog says that perhaps her aunt will ake them -- I hope it is true and not just something said to save face...

Teaching -- good meeting and good day..

I feel really organized lately -- now, if only I could finish the stuff I need to before NPapfeai nationals.

I had a meeting with the wonder-dean today about my portfolio. She's a really neat person and was very helpful about what she thinks she wants from me to get our version of tenure.

I have a great outline, now I need to give examples of the innovations I've done, collect newspaper articles about my team and generally organize the past three years into something coherehnt.... all by April 15.

I'm also onto another level of committee work with big guy -- not exactly sure why, probably because he thinks I get stuff done. I'm not so sure that is a correct impression, but if he's up on me for something other than debate then that is good.

Finally, we have a time frame for reading applications and interviews -- and it will work with my debate travel schedule. I was worried, as the 11 days I'm gone are pretty much prime time vitae reading times.

Now, if the debater boys will do their work I can get that organized...

Tonight and tomorrow -- GRADING JAIL -- really... I want it done by Thursday. I have other stuff to do and can't get behind.. really -- and I NEED a break. The good thing about grading jail is that the food is good... I'm baking a chocolate cake and will have some X (localish) brand coffee ice cream with it.. yummmmmmmm

Monday, March 06, 2006

Domestic --for the record...

I make really good chili... D1/D2/Rex and McWhiggins are coming over for dinner tonight... we'll read ballots and watch the only debate movie ever... "Listen to Me".

I love Prilosec (it lets me EAT chili)

It is nice to have the house mostly clean at the beginning of break.

Naps rock..

My office at BNCC is CLEAN --

Technically, I spent all day in my pjs (I have pj pants that look a lot like actual pants).

I have good snacks for grading jail tomorrow.

I don't feel like I'm going to fall asleep if I sit still (like yesterday, whle JUDGING -- it is bad if the judge snores.. I didn't, quite...

yea, life is good

Sunday, March 05, 2006

In-round blow by blow

This is the second round I've judged this tournament -- I was busy running stuff. This round is a semi-final

NPQRS-LD --- wow

Plan = DC statehood – all the regular stuff…

Opp’s arguments are when it gets good…

The DA = “what do we do with all the 50 star flags”? ---ummm – so, I am supposed to vote on the disposal problem and against giving millions the right to vote to determine their own fate…. Hmmm

The other argument from the opp = “they can vote in neighboring states”.. huh? The poor people of DC (and, DC is very poor) – should MOVE so they can VOTE… no, it gets better.. the bozo uses the argument that they go to school in BN state and can still vote in home state.. h mmmmmmmm ---- that is because you are in SCHOOL in BN state.


I want to go home and put my head under the covers… really!

Debate -- tournament results

Well -- the tournament weekend is over... now, I'll do some weaning off of debate and work my way into an actual break period...

The team did very well this weekend --

NPQRST results... Rex / McWiggins were 4-2, made it to elims and dropped... I wish we had more time with these two, I think they would be pretty successful. Their record as a pair is great and if this tournament counted for KQRS points, it would likely put them in the top 100 in the country. D1/D2 did a bit better, loosing in semi-finals to the current state champs. With a more nationals-like panel they probably would have won.

NFLAQRD-LD results.. we did two of these tournaments... D1 lost twice in finals -- to different members of a friend school from the south.

Made-up but still pretty interesting NPQRST-LD event... McWiggins lost to D2 in semi-finals and D2 won finals. This is actually our first tournament win this year -- and actually Century's first ever tournament win period. Problem is that it is a kind of made-up event... but, it is a legit event anyway. I like that D2 won it -- and I would have been happy with McWiggins doing so as well. It is good for D2 to see he can debate and win without D1.... sure, D1 is good --maybe even great -- but a great team needs two debaters working together, and if D2 is just a puppet for D1, they won't do nearly as well.

We have next weekend off, the following weekend is NPQRS --- and our long trip to Oregon begins.

Debate -- tournament hosting

Been REALLY busy hosting a tournament here at BNCC...

It has been fun, stressful and exhausting - but, good too.

We had schools come from across the midwest/Southish area to debate in three different formats.. The result is the following schedule for me...

10:30 -- get to school after doing a bunch of prep -- do more -- 2:00 everyone comes to register, 2:30 -- 7:00 debate rounds.
7:00 AM BE AT SCHOOL (aargh...) leave at 9:50 PM... debate all day, long day...
7:15 AM, BE AT SCHOOL -- double aargh -- leave ???? don't know -- hopefully by 7 PM

tomorrow -- sleep, clean, laundry dinner for the debaters for nationals...

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Teaching --- Grading Jail

I swear, I'll put myself in grading jail on Monday and Tuesday until I get them done. If I have to lock myself in my office with PowerBars and a water bottle (double use...yea! -- or, really, yuck) and not come out until I have my Intro to Philosophy papers done.

I'm looking forward to next fall. I won't be teaching Intro, I'll have two logic sections, debate and ethics to teach. If things go my way I'll be able to facilitate a teaching circle next semester too -- and I'll give up my regular ethics section and keep the honors section. I could realistically have a Maximum of 96 philosophy students -- down from my first semester when I actually started the semester with 250. I may even learn their names.

Debate -- and pairs skating...

So -- I'm watching the final show of "Skating with Celebrites" -- yea, I know.. a guilty pleasure.. when it strikes me that the kind of debate we do at BNCC and pairs skating is very similar, or at least the characteristics of good teams are very similar.

In order to be successful, partners should have similar work habits and levels of dedication.
Good partnerships trust one another's instincts.
Great partnerships provide space for their partners to be themselves when they compete.
Exceptional partners feel comfortable taking risks together.
Fantastic partners not only look like they are having fun while they are competing, they actually ARE having fun.
Above all, they enjoy one another and challenge one another -- pushing themselves to be better than they would be otherwise.

Personal -- an old friend

I'm quite excited about the fact that we have Spring Break next week and as such, I'll have a chance to have lunch with my best-girlfriend from HS, Red Head. Red Head has been my pal since 5th grade music. We did some kind of performance together, it sucked, and we became buddies. It is the kind of friendship formed between two smart, nerdy, non-rich girls in a sea of perfect, non-nerdy rich kids.

The only thing I miss about high school is getting to see her every day. We also worked together during high school and afterwards when I was in my first undergrad school, here in BN state. She's smart, funny and has a strong sense of right and wrong -- sometimes she isn't right about that (her views on homosexuality make Santorum look liberal) but, she's generally in tune with what is good and right.

I think it is funny that I've known Red Head longer than ANY of my debaters have been alive. She knew me when I was a geek with bad hair (not so sure THAT has changed) and I knew her when she had terrible teeth she couldn't get fixed due to her parent's modest income and 7 kids... she got braces as an adult.

Red Head and I have gone very different direction. She didn't go to college --- she has that natural managerial and leadership ability that they can't teach in MBA classes. She married later than I, but has a child with him. She's never lived more than 20 miles from where she grew up.... while I have 2.5 degrees, no kids and have lived many places away from BN state.

Even after being apart for 12 years, she was the first person I called when Pam died. When I was in another state, she called me when her youngest sister Emily died. She understood what it felt like to loose a little sister -- and as I became aware of how much that can and does hurt, she was the one I wanted to talk to. I remember the pain in her voice, and when my voice sounded like that - she was the only one I wanted to hear it.

She's the person I'd take shopping for an important dress (like philosophers need them.. but still, I can dream) and she's the only person in the state I can go apartment shopping with -- I can't even do that with Hubby, who tells me to "pick out the one I want, just make sure it doesn't have bugs and has high-speed internet access". As I sit here in the living room, I think about when we came to look at this place -- she and I planned out where stuff could go -- answered the internet and bug questions and I decided to rent it.

Next week won't be dramatic or overly-happy, it will just be a couple of good friends having lunch and chatting about life. I'm looking forward to it.

Debate -- hosting a tourny

So -- this weekend about 16 teams will come to play in our playpen. It should be fun to have them... their coaches are good pals and the students aren't demanding or mean. Also, having a pretty small group makes things easier... 9 rooms for parli, 5 for LD -- not bad and can be done pretty much on one floor of BNCC.

We seem to have just enough judges and the tournament will pretty much break even, which is all we can ask -- as it allows our students to compete for free.

Snooty in-state school is bringing a bunch of teams and no judges. It will cost them more to pay fees at our tournament than I paid for our house in Oregon between KQRS and NPQRDA.

Three programs that said they'd come aren't -- one's coach has a family issue, two others just flat out lied to me about going... they have the money to go elsewhere this weekend... One didn't owe us much -- but the other made several loud committments to sending teams up, as we took the long-ass drive from BN state to their craptastic city TWICE (once in the winter). They talked big about supporting their firends -- yada, yada, yada -- but, in the end -- no show. nice. I guess that makes our travel decisions easier this fall -- and keeps me from having 5 weekends in a row... not bad.

On the other hand, a program run by a new friend just got our support for their tournament next year. Hell, I'd advocate we hire at least one of their coaches to a faculty position in a couple of years... if we could convince him to move to BN state.

There are others who are currently in power in the area --- and who benefit from lots of regional support -- I suppose if we get the same budget allocation next year that we got this year, we might find someplace else to be their weekend also... that would be sad, but we can only go to theirs so often without reciprocation.

aaahh debate politics...

Teaching -- advise to cheaters

If you are going to cheat from someone in logic, make sure that someone knows how to do the problems. I can't tell if you cheat on a quiz when your answers are RIGHT, but wrong answers are distinctive... and when you sit right next to one another, (girls, you know who you are...) AND have the same wrong answer, it doesn't take a master logician to figure out that conclusion.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

About me -- maybe??

Advanced Global Personality Test Results
Extraversion |||||||||||||||| 70%
Stability |||||||||||||| 56%
Orderliness |||||||||||||| 56%
Accommodation |||||||||||||||| 63%
Interdependence |||||||||||| 43%
Intellectual |||||||||||||||||| 76%
Mystical |||| 16%
Artistic |||||| 23%
Religious |||||| 30%
Hedonism || 10%
Materialism |||||||||||||| 56%
Narcissism |||||||||||||| 56%
Adventurousness |||||||||| 36%
Work ethic |||||||||||||||| 70%
Self absorbed |||||||||| 36%
Conflict seeking |||||||||||| 50%
Need to dominate |||||||||||| 50%
Romantic |||||||||||||||| 70%
Avoidant || 10%
Anti-authority |||||||||||||||| 70%
Wealth |||||| 23%
Dependency |||||||||| 36%
Change averse |||||||||| 36%
Cautiousness |||||||||||||||| 70%
Individuality |||||||||| 36%
Sexuality |||||||||||||||||| 76%
Peter pan complex |||||||||| 36%
Physical security |||||||||||||||||||| 83%
Physical Fitness || 10%
Histrionic |||||| 23%
Paranoia |||||||||| 36%
Vanity |||| 16%
Hypersensitivity |||||||||||| 43%
Female cliche |||||| 30%
Take Free Advanced Global Personality Test
personality tests by

The "real" me... maybe

Advanced Global Personality Test Results
Extraversion |||||||||||||||| 70%
Stability |||||||||||||| 56%
Orderliness |||||||||||||| 56%
Accommodation |||||||||||||||| 63%
Interdependence |||||||||||| 43%
Intellectual |||||||||||||||||| 76%
Mystical |||| 16%
Artistic |||||| 23%
Religious |||||| 30%
Hedonism || 10%
Materialism |||||||||||||| 56%
Narcissism |||||||||||||| 56%
Adventurousness |||||||||| 36%
Work ethic |||||||||||||||| 70%
Self absorbed |||||||||| 36%
Conflict seeking |||||||||||| 50%
Need to dominate |||||||||||| 50%
Romantic |||||||||||||||| 70%
Avoidant || 10%
Anti-authority |||||||||||||||| 70%
Wealth |||||| 23%
Dependency |||||||||| 36%
Change averse |||||||||| 36%
Cautiousness |||||||||||||||| 70%
Individuality |||||||||| 36%
Sexuality |||||||||||||||||| 76%
Peter pan complex |||||||||| 36%
Physical security |||||||||||||||||||| 83%
Physical Fitness || 10%
Histrionic |||||| 23%
Paranoia |||||||||| 36%
Vanity |||| 16%
Hypersensitivity |||||||||||| 43%
Female cliche |||||| 30%
Take Free Advanced Global Personality Test
personality tests by

Debate --- Safe or Sorry on travel plans

BN state is served by a monopolistic airline. That airline gives us lots of lovely direct flights to places we like to debate. Those flights are a bit more expensive than other options, but they go at nice times and it doesn't take long to get from BN state to other places -- and direct travel is also nice..

Monopoly Airlines is threatening to go on strike... 93% of the pilots on that airline have threatened to strike. This airline is currently being struck by the mechanics, but they have been replaced.

Last week I booked all the tickets for our travel to Oregon -- on another airline. We have exactly 0 tickets on them in the next month...

If they strike, I look brilliant --- and getting on a flight at 6:30 AM is a great option if you don't have any others... If they don't, then we are all getting up in the middle of the night for no reason...

BUT... the fact of the matter is also that if I had waitied to buy the tickets, the prices would have spiked with the news and we might not have been able to get on anyway...

So -- maybe better safe than sorry we didn't leave at a better time.

Teaching - another e-mail

As I was writing the previous post, another goodie came in..

In essence it said: I need to turn something in to you ASAP, but I wasn't paying attention when you told us what it was. Please respond ASAP.

I Read that as:
I didn't think you were serious when you assigned those summaries. I also didn't think you were serious when you said in class what the assignments were or that there is a hard deadline of TODAY to get them in. I figured out that you were serious when you gave the grade update in class last time, but I didn't bother to read the blackboard in the classroom and write down the article that needs to be summarized. I also didn't do the reading before class, so now I'm figuring out that I have to do this or risk getting a grade that will keep me out of the Law Enforcement program, the school I want to drink at next year, or at a minimum out of trouble with mom and dad so I can keep drinking with my high school friends.

Please respond immediately or risk my whine about how you weren't available to answer my questions and I'll complain to the dean.

Teaching -- student e-mails..

This morning I got an e-mail that came down to...

"Dear Philosophy Facotry Worker"
I need help in logic. I know I couldn't make it to class yesterday and I have a class before ours, but isn't there a time you could help me? We have a quiz tomorrow and I don't understand.

This reads to me like:
"Dear over-worked prof"
I couldn't be bothered to come to class yesterday, or to do the homework before last night so I didn't know I don't understand it. Could you please go out of your way and come in uber-early to help me because I couldn't be bothered to help myself. Additionally, I don't have time to talk to you right before class, because I have another class - and I couldn't have talked to you yesterday after class because I'm "too busy"-- so, get your ass out of bed extra early tomorrow and come in to explain to me what you taught the whole class yesterday. And, I know that professors don't have anything to do with their lives other than wait for a student to come ask for extra help, so I know you'll be available to give me 5 minutes of brilliance before my 9:30 class that will explain the whole subject.

An irresponsible student

So... my response?
"Dear Irresponsible" (not exactly.. but I do wish I could..)
In essence... If you could decode it you'd read... I'm not coming in for you, nor am I going out of my way for you. Additionally, I can't even pack all the meetings I have into my usual schedule and tomorrow there is one in my office hours... so, here is my phone number. Call me before you come over to see if I'm in my office today in the early afternoon or before my 6:00 class.

My dream response...

Dear Dumb-Ass
Come to class and you'll understand the material. Also, had you come to class you'd have a grade report in your hands that tells you exactly how you aren't performing in this course. Maybe that would have inspired you to ask for help in a timely manner. As it is, I don't think I'll go out of my way to help you... should you wander by my office I'll resist the urge to shoot you with the water gun I have for students just like you.. I also won't trip you or send the dogs out to harass you. If you ask me very nicely about the homework and it seems like you actually DID the homework, I might even answer... but only if I feel like it. Sometimes I'm not in the mood to do logic, -- you know what that feels like -- don't you?

You should realize that the philosophy factory pays me for 20 contact hours, which is what I provide. I also do ALL of my homework and come to class EVERY day -- even when I don't feel like it. I even grade your pathetic quizzes on weekends when I should be relaxing and watching Seinfeld DVDs. When I am in class, I teach stuff you need to know to get out of the math equivalent for transfer. Should you choose not to come to class, I'm under no obligation to repeat class lecture in my office, no matter how sad or stupid you are. There are tutors in the tutoring center and other people in the class you should be going to to get this information. I know you are busy.. so am I. I have the committments equal to two full-time jobs, as I calculated that the number of hours I spend traveling with the debate team is just about 30 contact hours... I do this on top of my regular committments, and in fact I'm working on hosting a tournament this weekend at BNCC... SO -- if you want to know what I do all the time, I work -- if you worked this hard you'd either be rich or smart. Clearly, you are neither because you are pretty much failing an easy logic class at a CC. Get your act together.

The fact of the matter is that college goes like this, I know stuff the society has determined is necessary for you to be called "educated". I've worked hard to learn that stuff and it is my responsibility to make you work hard to do so as well, as that is the ONLY way it happens. BN state pays me a pretty decent salary to teach this stuff to you. I work hard to do so, putting in way more than my basic hours to insure that your education is as painless and efficient as possible. In return, I expect you to show up and try to larn it. I can't do anything to help you if you don't do these simple things.

your irritated prof, who is glad today is a "turn in papers and leave" day in her class...

Crafts -- I don't get it

While I love to watch people be creative on TV, I don't exactly understand their impulse to do things like make decrative bugs out of colored lightbulbs. Sure, the thing is kind of cute, but after all of your work you have a knick-knack that sits there in your house...

I suppose the crafty-impulse is a creative outlet and is more the territory of people who are more visually motivated than I...

Teaching -- the beginning...

For some reason I've been thinking about the first class I ever taught -- and my first class meeting for that class.

I finished my MA in the end of 1999 and was working on the classes I needed to be ABD when, in June 2000 I was "laid off" from my non-academic job. They wanted to move my job to Marinette, WI -- and it wasn' worth my going there to do THAT...

As part of my job search, I put out feelers to my undergraduate college (we were still in town because hubby was in the military...). The chair of the department came back saying that he had one section of Ethics for me, and I was welcome to it. He also needed to know what my books would be ASAP, as the bookstore had wanted the book order 2 months ago..

All of a sudden, I'm a teacher -- yikes! Sure, I'd thought about it, as I'd gone to a job fair for teachers at the local CC -- and was encouraged to apply for the full-time job there (for which I was a finalist... in retrospect, wow). A couple of days later the snobby private school AND the CC had a section each for me to teach.

The sad part about this was the pathetic salary I'd accumulate from teaching three courses at three different schools, but the cool part was that I'd actually be doing a job that required my MA --- instead of jobs for which my MA was a reason NOT to interview me. Hubby was still in the military then, so we could afford a bit of a pay cut. That summer I also took a job as a customer service person at a credit union -- which was a nice job, but one I quit by December...

Anyway, all the schools pretty much said, "tell me what your books are" and "if you want, you can come in and look at previous syllabi we may or may not have on file" as the ONLY guidance about what should have been in the course. In other words, the message was clear, 'you are on your own honey, good luck -- don't bother us Mrs. Adjunct'. Since I'm probably more headstrong than blessed with common sense, I went for it.

My first day was at undergraduate school... I thought I had it nailed. I knew where the building was (lots of undergrad classes there in my time...) I had the parking situation scoped out and I had been in the week before to make copies of the syllabus. I dressed up (when I still did that... yikes), grabbed my stuff and left an hour early for campus.

Sadly, it started to rain. In undergraduate city, rain has the same effect as snow -- people can't seem to drive in it. The traffic was horrible, and even worse around undergraduate school. By the time I hit the campus I had less than 10 minutes before class.

Then, the parking card I'd bought the week before didn't work. Now I'm in a panic... at the garage, but no way to leave my car. I quickly calculate that I'm better off parking in the handicap spot than MISSING my first class, so I park illegally, grab my bag and run into the building and up the stairs.

I run -- straight into a construction zone. I can get to a group of classrooms, but my room number isn't among them. Panic -- complete and total panic --. I run downstairs to find the department office and the secretary who has a very cool head... sure she can help me. It is now 10 minutes PAST the time class is supposed to start... double-eek.

Cool secretary tells me the secret -- go DOWN the hall on the second floor, then up the stairs. I'll find my classroom on that end of the building and avoid the construction zone in the middle.... after a quick 'thank you' I'm off and running again..

I walk into my classroom to find them ALL sitting there waiting for me. In the end, they were my favorite class -- I loved them, took care of them and they did well. I think they felt sorry for me the first day and instead of deciding I was a hopeless idiot, they decided that I was a person who makes mistakes and has bad days just like they did--- and they treated me with respect and concern.

In retrospect, that class at undergraduate college could have shown many other classes how to treat a teacher.. of course, I liked the students there the best of ALL schools I've taught at... so I guess it is no surprise that my favorite class ever was there as well.

Over then next couple of weeks I started the other places as well having learned my lesson -- and developed a habit I've kept up to now.. namely, being on campus and out of the car at least 30 minutes before class time.
This is better than I DID in 8th grade math... Mr. I-have-two-suits-Ross -- eek.

You Passed 8th Grade Math

Congratulations, you got 9/10 correct!