Friday, June 30, 2006

aaaand they're off.....

We went to the track tonight to watch the horses run. Me and hubby, long-time friend and the girl who is stalking long-time... kind of interesting group ourselves. Hubby and I sitting close together, guessing about which horses to bet on. Long-time who actually knows a little about betting on horses trying to teach us and stalker-girl trying at every turn to get closer to long-time. It was a king of formal thrust and perry all night lon

Tonight was my first time ever at such a place. It wasn't what I expected --

I expected crowds of gamboling addicts chomping stogies and placing big bets with trampy women on their arms.... I expected crowds of people who new every little detail of the races and how to bet.... and lots of guys in green eyeshades counting the money.

What I saw was a lot more wholesome...
It was a beautiful night. We sat outside and watched the race, the people and the rituals surrounding the racehorses as the sun set over the valley.

As the announcer called the races, I saw girls in their early twenties wearing white shorts and flip-flops, feet up on the railing nursing the same beer all night and not betting while guys in their early twenties seemed to rotate around them.

The early races were watched by families with kids down by the track watching the horses run and running their own races between post times.

As the terrible band mangled bad 80s music between races I saw lots of couples -- the women in halter-tops, capri pants and low heels, the guys freshly shaved in jeans and white polo shirts.

As the night progressed, I saw older couples who would come for a race or two and then leave -- shouting "come on baby, run baby, run!" and when their horse didn't win, they'd say --'that's ok, we'll pick a winner next time'.

We won one of our many bets -- we bet 2.00 on a horse to show -- and he did... we won $4.20. Overall, it was a loss -- but, a fun way to spend the night.

Maybe next time we go hubby and I won't bet money ---

Today I....

-- had a discussion with one of my debaters fresh back from camp in California... he had a great time and said he learned a lot. I hope it will come out in rounds next year... and I did his food receipts for the trip. If you want to know how much it costs to feed a 20 year-old guy in CA for 10 days, I've got the info...

-- resisted sending Moonshadow to camp. Yea me.

-- booked Herbie's trip to camp in Wyoming for next month. He's probably the only one going, so he gets to fly out there -- much better than the 17+ hour trip we took a couple of years ago... with woodchuck and Hermionie in the backseat... (woodchuck wanted to date Hermionie, so we heard a lot of "Hermionie, you can lean on me if you want to sleep").

Tonight we are going to the horseraces with our buddy.... and perhaps the girl who hangs on him, but that he doesn't want to date... could be odd.

Since today didn't include any writing, tomorrow will have to be the day... that is ok -- I'm making progress...

Teaching tip

Go to, do a search on "Principles of Test Creation" and get the PDF handbook you'll find.

It is divided by kind of test question and has basic guidelines, practice questions to evaluate and a helpful answer key for each section.

Trust me -- if you've wondered if your exams really are fair, you can use this info to revise your tests. The author did an excellent seminar at the touchy feely conference this year.

You can thank me later -- and you will :).

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Writing -- good news

In an attempt to balance my bitching about Moon with some positive stuff...

I spent most of today working on the Metaphysics and Epistemology paper... I've made some progress. I have written down my intuitions and sketched out the possible tests I can use to tell the difference between two people speaking different dialects and two people speaking different languages. I even have a way to map the results for any given language onto a chart --- (which seems WAY too social-science-like for philosophy, but this is a phil language paper so they have a bit of psych and physics envy, so it should fly..).

I'd like to see some stuff about identity conditions and languages -- but most of it doesn't seem to fit what I'm doing. i'm waiting for the ILL stuff to come, but that is only one article -- so I'll have to do the "hmmm, this author says a litte about this that kind of applies, so I'll add a quick quote to plump up the bibliography and make it look like I've done the research I needed to do...". Much of this paper is actually me constructing arguments, which is pretty fun.... but it feels like cheating.

In the end I should have a theory that correctly sorts out the following:
1) two people speaking the same dialect (of a larger language).
2) two people speakng the same language, different dialects,
3) two people speaking different languages

and then I'll use American Sign Language as a hard test -- my intuitions tell me that ASL will be a distinct language from American English, not simply a dialect of it... although, it is close.

Another moonshadow missive

Got another message from Moon... this time I don't care about BNCC debate, I'm aparently a terrible person because I don't see how hard she tried and it is my fault that she didn't get to watch the Irish National team when they were on campus.

Of course, that isn't true.... I suspect she's either drunk or high and e-mailing me.

When I'm dealing with Moon I need to remember that she doesn't think like most other people. I'm not sure why that is, but I suspect a combination of drugs and the fact that she was raised by two artists who are not at all linear thinkers. That said, it seems bizarre to me that she doesn't understand that paying for someone to attend camp who decided not to compete last year isn't a good use of school money.

Alice suggested I go up to my happy place, which sounds great -- if only because I can't get e-mail up there and thus couldn't get her most recent missive.

I'm vowing now not to respond to her.... she has nothing new to say and anything I say to her only makes her worse. I may have to post my fantasy responses here... which is one purpose of a blog, no?

i just went to look again at my response. It is reasoned and I did not change my mind. In fact, I invited her to be on the team and be in the class next year.... that ought to really set her off.

I need to remember this is the girl who mortally offended both D1 and D2, and they can say some pretty out-there things....

Peaceful Place

After my rant about Moonshadow, I think I need a mental vacation...

Some people dream about the mountains, others about the ocean -- I've been to those places, but my favorite is in northern Minnesota...

In my mental vacation it is July.

July is hot in the Twin Cities but cool up north by the lake. I have with me a great book (not dissertation related) and a camp chair overlooking the lake. A few minutes ago I was wading up to my knees in the clear water. I saw the pebbles on the bottom of the lake and my toes looked just a little green.

On the other side of the lake someone is fishing in a canoe accompanied only by his golden lab. It is a weekday, so nobody else is around. As I sit there with my bare feet proped up to dry on an old stump, I wonder if it will get warm enough this afternoon for a swim. Although a swim would be nice, if we really want to get clean we'll go down the road to Mom's and use a real bathroom. In a few minutes I'm going to start thinking about lunch (BP & J or tuna salad is a hard choice), but for right now I can smell the pine trees, feel the breeze on my knees and watch the small ripples on the water.

To the ----(insert nasty word for a snotty little girl here)

it seems, even though I am not teaching this summer, I can have trouble students anyway.... aargh...

The basics:

Last year I took a group of four students to debate camp.... i.e. I drove them to Missouri and spent an entire week with them. This was an excellent investment of my time for D1, D2 and Rex -- (new readers -- those are my debater's nicknames) -- but my fourth debater -- Moonshadow -- didn't turn out to be such a hot investment.

Moonshadow didn't improve significantly at camp. She had a really good time, but she didn't become a better debater.

By the first tournament, Moonshadow wasn't ready -- so, when her partner ended up having to work I told her she wasn't going. She didn't sign-up for the next tournament, so she didn't go. The last two of the season she told me that she was going horsebackriding instead of going to one and that she would be visiting a friend for the other.

She took Spring Semester off.

Now -- Moonshadow wants me to send her to debate camp -- why should I do this?? It will be between $250 and $500 to send her. She wants to go so she can party. I'm not going to pay for it.

I told her this and she accused me of sexisim.... saying that I didn't send her to tournaments last year because it would have ment another hotel room -- (the rest of the team was male). This is simply false, because she'd have roomed with ME. Additionally, I kept a male/male team home because of a preparation/cost reason in the spring.... she's not being treated differently.... besides, she DECIDED on her own not to attend 3/4 of the fall tournaments and ALL of the spring ones.

This really pisses me off -- she's such a little twat (and I don't use that word lightly) -- I'm sure that if hubby and I weren't at camp she wouldn't go to any lectures at all. She's the last one I would pick to go (I'd pick the former drug addict before her, even though it is a drug rich enviornment at camp). It is very clear to me that she just wants to party and doesn't want to commit to the team.

Damm--- if she comes back one more time I'm going to have to tell the dean about her issues. I'm sure I'll be supported -- but I just don't want to think about it.

My dream reply...

Dear Moon,

I'm not sending you to camp because you are way too fried to remember it, and all you want to do is ho around and not become a better debater. If you were a ho and wanted to improve, I'd probably send you because I don't have anything against girls who like to party and have sex with debate boys -- it is the complete lack of interest in actually GETTING better that bothers me.

You don't even pretend to want to improve... which I find very insulting. Don't you understand that being a coach is more than being your travel agent and funding provider... I actually have a duty to the team to make sure that our resources are spent wisely. If I have to choose between buying a couple of team meals during the season or paying your camp tuition, frankly the food wins -- as it contributes to our competitive success in some way -- and I'm sure that you will not.

Should you choose to actually want to practice and compete, please register for part two of the course in the fall. When I see you actually ready for a competition you are entering -- I'll change my mind.

The sexist bitch who wants to keep you from having a good time..

ps... it really isn't all that expensive to go -- you could do it on your own if you actually wanted to invest in your own debate abilities.

Writing -- identity conditions for languages

So -- my Epistemology & Metaphysics paper is turning out to be about the identity conditions for a language....

Anybody have a suggestion about good lit on it? I have some stuff and what could be a really good article from the 70s coming in ILL.... this isn't exactly a hot topic -- but I think it is interesting enough to get me past my requirement :).

The question is kind of like this: When do differences in a natural language become evidence of a distinct language and not a dialect?

The intuitions go like this...

a) hubby and I speak the same language and the same dialect within the language --- we share vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar etc... (even the MN grammar of "I'm going to the store, do you want to come with " being correct and the vocabulary of using "pop" to designate carbonated beverages".)

b) We can easily communicate with English speaking Canadians, even though their dialect is different. They may pronounce things differently, use "eh" when we can't get the hang of when to say it etc... but, generally myself, hubby and the Canadian all speak the same language.

c) Hubby and I don't speak the same language as French Canadians (although, there is a great camping story from a few years ago in which hubby, via a red-neck from Manitoba, helped a French-only speaker get his camper out of a tight spot..) -- clearly, he needed an interpreter.

Each of these instances (A-C) are pretty clear -- A and B are instances of same language, C is an instance of a different language... but, what makes it different.... we need a hard case.

The hard case can be American Sign Language (ASL)-- I took an ASL class a few years ago, it was very difficult and very fascinating... I'll talk about it later...

so the intuition on ASL is a bit more complicated... the options are:

d 1) ASL is like braile, another way to communicate English. Instead of speaking, ASL users use their hands. Instead of hearing, ASL users use visual clues. In formal communication, the deaf community uses standard English. Their speech performance is more like a dialect than anything else.

d 2) ASL is a distinct language from English. It has a distinct set of terms and phrases, some of which are not translatable into English. It also uses grammar more closely associated with French than English. Finger-spelling is the only way in which it is signifcantly different than English, and that is a small part of ASL.

What I'm looking for (or, need to invent... hmmm) is a theory that will put A and B on one side, C on the other and make a decision about ASL.... my own intuition says that d 2 is correct, ASL is a separate language.

The thing is that it isn't enough to say that distinct vocabularies and/or different grammars are enough to make that distinction between languages because dialects differe in vocab and grammar and distinct languages can share big parts of vocabularies and by grammatically similar to one another. Further, within the same language two or more distinct grammars could be functioning...

The Political Philosopher in me likes the real answer I'm probably going to end up with -- namely that the differences are really cultural....

Thoughts?? It is going to be a looooong day....

Another late night movie

Who needs a Home Theater when, for $16.00 plus the #1 deal on popcorn and pop, we can have the movie theater to ourselves...

We went to see X-Men III last night. It was fun and spectacular in its own way. I had some periods of light dozing, but all in all, not bad.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Writing -- blogging for discipline...

Yesterday I spent most of the day in my office at school -- and, while that was a good place to chat with my pals, write a letter of recommendation for D1 (proud of him, full debate scholarship to a good school -- I rock!!-- and, well -- especially he rocks...), and submit a TFC expense report, I didn't get a whole lot done on my paper.

Today so far I've cleaned the kitchen -- which really needed it, it was gonna be a health issue sooner or later -- I've had breakfast and made coffee... but, no writing...

My goal today is to revise the introduction to the paper and work on correcting the problems brought up by the feedback from the M & E committee. This is hard for me because it is in my least favorite area of philosophy --- but, it is a promising paper that will fulfill that last hurdle before I'm officially ABD.

The weird thing is that I think that if I can get to BE ABD -- the D will be hard, but possible. I have a picture of about what the dissertation looks like- -- it is this other stuff that gets in my way.

Maybe this is the real impact of the rampant sexisim in my grad department. Finishing the Metaphysics requirement was the most difficult for me to do--- I tried with Metaphysics itself, got a B, I took Philosophy of Language and also got a B... finally
i got the grade in Philosophy of Language on the second try --

I also am kind of irritated because the paper I'm submitting was originally submitted for Philosophy of Language, the second try, and got a good grade and only minor comments/ criticism from the chair of this committee.

I seem to have a basic fear of rejection on this front -- because this is the area of philosophy I was most underprepared for as an undergrad -- and those interested in this area are the biggest hard-asses in philosophy-- which translates into a very non-female friendly style of teaching and writing... which is fine, but in some ways hard for me considering the other ways the department was sexist.

I've been beating around the bush on the grad department is sexist theme for a while... to conserve my time and your eyes, I'll give the bullet points on that one.

1) Old grad advisor more or less asking if it is ok with my husband if I go to grad school -- first meeting. Also in first meeting immediately suggesting I go for the MA not the PhD -- which put me in a subbordinate position from the start and put me immediately out of consideration for a lot of assistance etc. After the first meeting he NEVER answered any more advising questions from me... EVER, not in e-mail, handwritten notes, on the phone or in person. I did it ALL by the book the secretaries gave me. I

2) Old grad advisor NEVER telling me that I had a "residency requirement" for the PhD -- the requirement is that I take 3 classes per semester for three consecutive semesters. I was doing two per semester -- the last few semesters with a 5/5 adjunct teaching load. Thank goodness my wonderful supervisor worked that out. That wasn't in the book, but the other grad students knew because Old Grad Advisor told them.

3) Various comments in class and informally from current chair about women in philosophy etc... all ment to be in good fun, but very discouraging.

4) Every year several women were admitted to the program. At the end of the year most didn't return for the second year.

5) The whole time I was there (about 5 or 6 years) only ONE graduate level class was taught by a female. There were only two females on faculty -- one spent most of that time working in the dean's office and the other is on some kind of odd status -- and her office isn't even on the same floor as the rest of the department.

6) About four years ago (after I left) there was an opening and they offered it to a woman. She declined citing the atmosphere in the department (via the grapevine...). They have finally succeeded in hiring two women into tenure track jobs... and they seem to be actually teaching grad classes.

I'm just hoping that I can finish my dissertation before the people I know aren't sexist leave.... Supervisor is good, my Kant guy is good and the rock star also was good in those areas... sadly, rock star is gone and will have to be replaced -- but Supervisor is good at picking people and he has a couple of good ideas so I'll go with his suggestions.

Enough procrastination... I'm off to shower and then to spend most of the day writing.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Yep -- that's me....

You Have A Type A+ Personality

You're driven to succeed every single second of the day
And you don't let up on your goals, no matter how tired you are
You've already acheived a lot in your life... but it's not enough for you

Always on the go, you tend to get things done quickly and effectively
You have the personality to be a successful enterpreneur
Just remember to play a little too, even if play is the most difficult thing for you!

I guess I can stay...

You Passed the US Citizenship Test

Congratulations - you got 10 out of 10 correct!

I wonder how well those against the "illegals" would do on this?? My more radical side says everyone expressing an opinion has to pass the test first.

Domestic -- who needs a home theater??

Hubby and I discovered some joys of the academic calendar today...

Daytime shopping at IKEA and the Apple Store (lights for livingroom and bedroom at IKEA and a new keyboard for me at the Apple store)...

Also, 10:00 PM movies --- no kids and nobody else in the theater! We went to Prairie Home Companion, like two good Minnesota kids, and were able to talk like we were at home....

We're planning to do a few more of these before he goes to Nebraska in August.

oh yea, the movie was pretty good -- but they left out some good stuff from the real show and sang too much.

It is funny, in my family Garison Keilor isn't quite the Minnesota God he is elsewhere. He was a contemporary of my mom's first cousin in Anoka, MN and dated his first wife when she was an exchange student living with my Great Aunt Kay and Great Uncle Earl. Earl described him as "surly" and " sullen"... hmmm....

Saturday, June 24, 2006

TFC -- home, finally

It is good to be home, out of the altitude that makes it hard for me to sleep... home to the cats and my own internet connection... home to someplace where I don't have to give directions to the driver (my roomie drove, I read the map)...

after a 30 minute wait for somone to roll-out the friggin JET WAY at my home airport, I'm home...

Also -- got my seminar evaluations back -- and they were super-duper good... significantly better than I thought they would be -- so I'm pleased, and exhausted...

Today we played around a bit in the canyons east of Salt Lake City--- wonderful places, and convenient that we could do all that and still be on time to the airport..

I'm going to take tomorrow off and get back to the writing on Monday.

Friday, June 23, 2006

TFC -- wrap-up

Y'all are right - the "Fink" is "Dee" -- who gets invoked a lot around these parts....

Yesterday the 3 hour keynote was actually a goodtime... thought provoking and very interesting. What was kind of funny was that I sat in the back row so I could duck out and our college president sat down next to me... we ended up doing some small-group discussion and I was happy to hear he and I share some concerns and ideas about the future of BNCC -- we'll see what gets done... but, at least I know his intentions are good.

I presented today -- I held a seminar on using debate in the classroom... it was fun because I had the instructors do the debating like I would my own students -- and then we talked about it etc... I got a lot of good feedback and positive vibes after the session, so I think it went well. It was really fun to have them formulate arguments and responses etc...

I also saw a really good presentation on writing better exams. It was uber-useful and well-run. I think it was probably the best seminar I went to...

I skipped the last break-outs to have a nap... shame on me -- but, they weren't really all that interesting and I tell myself that I'd fall asleep on them and that would be rude....

Honestly, the best part about this is getting to talk to other teachers. Yesterday (I think...) one of them was telling me about how terrible her students were to her -- I felt really bad for her and we spent some time talking about how to get the upper-hand with the little brats she has to teach.

I also must have been in some kind of mood or aura or something--- I ended up arguing down two of the "I'm a bit older and bitchier than you" types I was in groups with... it was kind of fun and I took it as a challenge. It must be the type, because now both want to be pals...

I'm off to the closing remarks, then dinner with the group from BNCC...

I'm on the way home tomorrow and my $10.00 for 72 hours of internet expires tonight---so, unless I find some free internet in the Salt Lake Airport -- I'll be out of touch until Sunday...

Thursday, June 22, 2006

TFC conference... the buzz words

Stuent Centered
Meet them where they are
Learning Styles
Promotes learning
learning groups/communities/team based learning
Bloom's Taxonomy
Minute paper
feedback flags

FYI (not for your information...)

The list will grow tomorrow... I played some conference hookey today and took a nap -- I don't sleep well at altitude and I was falling asleep....Tomorrow is a 3 hour long keynote speaker -- I should have a good BINGO day...

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Conference -- travel day

I spent yesterday travelling to Utah for the touchy-feely conference (from now on TFC) -- for some reason I keep coming to TFC... although each year I think it will be my last.

It is in a beautiful place (Park City Utah) -- and we are in a very nice hotel... so all is good on that front.

I'm rooming with someone from my teaching circle, who is a lot of fun and as mom would say "a good traveler" -- which is momspeak for a whole list of qualities including: --doesn't get upset when things aren't perfect, -- doesn't get mad if we get lost, --- wants to stop and look at stuff, etc... It has been really fun to get to know her so far... and, we are in a two bedroom suite, so my insomnia and snoring doesn't bother her (I hope...).

Today at TFC I expect to hear the following phrases:
-- learning styles
-- personality style
-- "honor learners"
-- energize your classroom
-- teach using play
-- varieties of lectures are not the way to teach
-- inner self...

I really should make a catch-phrase bingo card and reward myself with something if I hear them....

I still have to make copies for my presentation on Friday. Maybe today during lunch ---

Monday, June 19, 2006

Memory --- Grandma's Marathon and the Summer Solstice

I've found that blogging and writing some fiction has really helped my philosophical writing.. so -- I'm going to do a new category of blog posts... memories of specific events...

The first one, because last weekend was Grandma's Marathon in Duluth -- is of the Summer Solstice party I missed four years ago...

Background: My sister Pam died very suddenly of natural causes Thanksgiving weekend, 2001. She was a newlywed and 30 years old. She was also an occasional wiccan and loved a good party..... boy did she :) -- Pam's funeral was the first weekend of December. She had a lot of friends and at her funeral we decided that we needed to gather the following summer for a real party in her honor... Since she loved the Summer Solstice, we agreed that would be the weekend--- and since she loved Isabella, we decided to gather at Mom's for the weekend...

8:00-11:00, teach summer class at commuter-U

1:00 PM, (airport) My flight is supposed to leave at 1:30, I'd be in the Cities by 2:30... The plan was that I would fly from Omaha to the Twin Cites, be picked-up by Pam's husband Mark and we'd drive to Isabella --

4:00 --Of course Northwest Airlines had to mess it up... After an endless afternoon of delays and frustration on the ground in Omaha, Mark and I formulate a plan by which he'll go up without me and I'll go to his mom's house (near the airport in the Cities) and take his car up to Isabella. Of course, since his mom will also be in Isabella -- I'll have to get the spare keys from the back porch... So far, it sounds ok -- assuming I'm doing this in the daylight. Summer Solstice is the longest day and shortest night.. (up here the nights are really pretty short..), so I figure it is complicated, but possible..

8:00 PM That is before I figure out the only way to get to the Twin Cities from Omaha is via Detroit -- so, I get on a flight to Detroit thinking there is a flight back to the Cities soon after we land -- and, once again I was wrong... Along the way I'm calling hubby and mom -- in Isabella the party has started -- but I figure I'll get to the rest of the weekend and it will be worth the trouble....

1:00 AM I land in the Twin Cities, grab a cab and give him the iffy directions to Mark's mom's house. I've only been there once, for Pam and Mark's wedding -- so I'm not even sure I'm in the right place until I see Mark's car in the driveway...

1;30 AM It has started to rain. I try to call Mark on his cell and get his voice mail. I can't find the keys and I'm stuck in the suburbs in the dark... in the rain... with the car keys visible on the kitchen counter... and my cell battery is going dead -- Finally, after 30 rings, someone picks up the phone at Mom's and I'm able to get precise directions about how to find the key to the backdoor.... and I'm in... and exhausted.... my day started with me teaching my summer class..... it seemed like several days before, but it was just that morning.

At this point I have a 4ish hour drive ahead of me, and I'm beat. I call Mom to let her know I'd be up in the morning and she tells me that Grandma's Marathon is happening. During Grandma's marathon the usual 15 minute trip thru Dultuh takes several hours -- they close down the streets, have an elaborate detour and things get really messed up....

Bottom line is that I have to get to Duluth before they start stuff -- and those damm marathon runners get up EARLY --

I do some quick math and realize it is 2 hours to Duluth, less if I drive fast, so I've got no more than 3 hours to nap --

4AM Saturday morning I'm finding out that Mark's car goes fast --

5:45 I make it to the outskirts of Duluth, plenty of time....

or, not--- I get there as the first of the roadblocks are set-up... and I'm on a bizarre detour, in the mud, on dirt roads, listening to CDs that remind me of Pam, in her husband's car --- and the tears start to roll. Damm--- I miss her.... this is exactly the kind of trouble she'd get herself in.... and she's not even around to appreciate it. Fuck-- I miss her.

9:00 AM, I make it to Isabella -- in time for the first of the party animals to wake... the rest of the weekend is spent drinking and talking and having a generally good time... and the trip home was uneventful... except when Mark pulled his father's 'driver's ed instructor' questions out and figured I'd gone at least 80 MPH on the way up...

June in BN state -- lush

Today has been a pretty lazy day. I put the finishing touches on the Ethics paper and mailed it off... 35 pages, including the bibliography... and it is only a start... wow. It is the longest single paper I've written so far and it feels great to get it out of the house.

I'm starting to like the ritual of snail-mailing the paper to my supervisor. It forces me to let go of it once and for all, knowing I can't go back and write a "delete that last e-mail attachment, here is the REAL one".

I also kind of like the slice of life I see at the post office -- little old ladies buying two-cent stamps to use up the old stamps they had at home, moms with kids mailing birthday presents to distant cousins, people mailing important stuff that has to get there ASAP, with a delivery receipt and a DNA test for the person getting it.

Driving home I realized how neat BN state is this time of the year:

The mommy Canadian Goose with her gosslings the size of average chickens.... mommy goose teaching them the ins and outs of living in a pond by a residential road...

Little old ladies out for a walk in their white sun hats with applique flowers and comfortable shoes.

Kids on their bikes heading over to the YMCA to swim and shout.

Teens out walking in the sultry evening air, looking for trouble... but, not really -- really they just need to get out of the house and away from their younger siblings and nagging parents.

Moms with kids in strollers out for a breath of fresh air walking down the sidewalks chatting about the kids and finding a new set of friends while the kids go to sleep.

Memories of being a kid in BN state -- the cool green of the lake, the evening "snipe hunts" and camping in the yard.

I think the best thing about BN state in June is the GREEN... The thick canopy of trees lining a regular neighborhood street. Everything is green -- not the deep green of the Pacific Northwest or the brownish green of the prairie states, no -- this is pure Kermit the Frog green.

By late July the heat of the month will leave some lawns sad and brown and by late August the fall colors will slowly creep into the trees -- but now, for a few wonderful days, before the official beginning of summer, BN state is close to paradise.

When we move away, and we will at some point move away -- June is the reason we'll come back to BN state. it may not be when we come back, but it will be why we come back.

Writing.... another one down

I'm currently printing the final draft of the second version of the Just War ethics paper... which, as it turns out, is assessed differently than the other area papers --- by 5 members of the department, not just the ethics committee...

i think it is good -- Supervisor will let me know if he thinks it is ok... I'll mail two copies, one for him to read and one for him to copy for the others if he thinks it is OK.

Today I also pack for my conference in Utah tomorrow ---- and maybe take the rest of the day off... hmmmmmmm

I'm reading 'Ha Ha" -- a really interesting book. The narrator can't speak or write due to a brain injury and he suddenly has to care for a 9 year-old boy, the son of a friend... without being able to speak or write.... What is interesting is that he has full comprehension, but can't communicate.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

No redneck for me...

I'm a bit surprised it came out at 10%, must have been the quesiton about the burping contest --- that goes under "debate coach"...

You Are 10% Redneck

I'll slap you so hard, your clothes will be outta style.
You ain't no redneck - you're all Yankee!

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Oh yea, it's Father's Day...

The quick history-- Dad died of a heart attack the spring I was 13 --
Mom and Dad were divorced and Mom was about to marry Step-dad when Dad died. He'd been "visiting" for several years.... but, since he worked in Chicago and we lived in Minneapolis -- it was a 'visit' atmosphere. At least mom was getting some (shit... I can't believe I wrote that!).

Step-Dad hasn't really been a father to me --- and I've been pretty stubourn about acknowledging Father's Day. You see, to get to BE a father, you have to actually act like one. Two sessions teaching me to drive is simply too little, too late.

Step-dad knew how to act like one, I saw him do it... Every Father's Day he'd make sure he was wherever his first kids were --- when they'd have birthdays he'd go there, but he'd usually miss ours. I'm pretty sure he didn't go to my high school graduation and he only made my college graduation because Mom insisted, and they could work it into a trip to see his parents. Frankly, I'm not all that sure either step-sister has graduated from high school, and I know damm well neither of them have a BA or MA, say nothing of beiing (nearly... God willing) ABD---

One step-sister is 5 years older, and whenever she'd call to borrow money, he'd jump, even if it ment that we'd be bringing lunches to school and couldn't really afford the field trip etc... She'd get the money she wanted -- he had to pay for his guilt at leaving their mother somehow. He still pays for their gas when she goes up to visit ---- she's in her 40s.... with two kids, a husband, a mortage and a boat -- and he's giving her gas money. Some things never change. The other step-sister is about 30, no education and working someplace... I don't know what she's got planned for her life, she's an odd one -- but at least she's self-sufficient.

If you asked him wheret I teach or how my dissertation was coming along, he'd be stumped. He might be able to come up with "philosophy" and "debate" -- but any details would be beyond him.

My sister Pam, more or less, accepted him as a fatherish figure and started to give him Father's Day cards before she died. She was 3 years younger than me and she told me once that it was probably easier to accept him because she was younger when Dad died.

At the bar after Pam's funeral step-dad was very rude to my mother -- I told him not to be such a rude prick and that he ought to be a bit more kind to the woman he says he loves on the day she buried her younger daughter. At least, he ought to not yell at her in front of the family for failing to get him the proper drink. At that point, I realized that he could never be my Dad -- and I was ok with that. At 33 I'd stopped looking for another Dad.. 20 years after my own dad died.

Maybe it is passive-agressive and mean of me to be this way, but the asshole has two daughters already -- he'll get enough crap from them in the mail for Father's day, he doesn't need anything from me.

To be kind of mercinary about it, when his dad dies, he'll gain a bunch of money (step-grandpa is good at making money, step-dad is not...) -- what he doesn't blow or need to pay off his credit cards, he's made clear will go to the step-sisters when he dies (he smokes a lot... honestly, it won't be long). They can be daughters to him -- I'm out of that picture.

Of course, with my luck my biggest fear will come true and Mom will die before Step-dad -- and I'll be obligated to her to take care of him... and I'll do it because the step-sisters are self-centered and frankly a bit dim-witted.... But, the whole time I'll be doing it for mom and not for him.

Anyway, if you have a good Father (bio or step)-- appreciate him for me. Give him an extra hug on Father's Day and tell him that you are a lucky person to be born his child. If you ARE a father, have a good day and keep being a good Father.... your kids will appreciate you sooner or later, just hang in there.

another accurate quiz...

Can you tell the dissertation kitty and I are home in the AC watching "Sex and the City" while hubby watches soccer at 'friend with the big TV's house'...

You Should Spend Your Summer at the Beach

You're a free spirit who is always thinking of new ways to have fun.
And you don't just love summer... you live for it.
So, you really should blow off your responsibilities and head to the beach!

They nailed this one...

My favorite version of "I feel Special" --- read "Undercover Economist" to get the reference.....

Caramel Frappuccino

Creative and expressive, you tend to match your Frappuccino flavor to your mood. And a flavored syrup is always a must!

Friday, June 16, 2006

Writing -- hubby humor...

PG ('Patty's Google" -- formerly known as hubby was fixing one of our IKEA lamps just now..

We started to discuss our bedside lamps, which, as PG says "fail the funciton of lamps, to give light"..

Of course, I got excited -- lamps, in my mind = IKEA.

PG got a bit irritated at the prospect of a trip to IKEA. Unlike myself, who could live happily at IKEA, PG has a problem with the place... as he said, "the problem with IKEA is the same one I have with guided tours, it is full of old people slowly following the arrows around the store"..

He's kind of right -- a crowded IKEA has to see everything and the store is organized along a set route--- unless you are brave enough to take the shortcuts and miss something -- you have to see everything in the store before you can get what you want..this drives a free spirit and comando-shopper like PG bonkers.

hmmm... although, if my memory is correct, the lighting part of the store is downstairs --- not up in the showroom... maybe I can get PG to go with me afterall, we'll see ---

Back to work -- I'm up to pg 15 of 33... YEA!!

Writing -- it's all about the rewards, baby...

I've been pretty productive today.... domestically at least --
-- loaded the dishwasher
-- went to the grocery store
-- resolved self-imposed bank snafu (money that was supposed to be stashed in savings got put toward the car payment instead... oops... should be reversed in the next couple of business days... ).

-- wrote e-mail to supervisor asking some general questions about the dissertation process
-- finished reading and critiquing the draft of the Ethics area paper.

Now: blogging is the last step in work avoidance.. that, and a treat --

today's treat: root beer float -- ummmmm... big and frosty with the yummy foam and icecream infused with rootbeer,,, waiting for me here in the DC.... hubby is eating lunch aross the table and the dissertation cat is in his place....

no excuses, I've got to get back to work --

Another shocking quiz--- not...

You are a Brainy Girl!

Whether you're an official student or a casual learner, you enjoy hitting the books.
You know a little bit about everything, and you're always dying to know more.
For a guy to win your heart, he's got to share some of your intellectual interests.
A awesome book collection of his own doesn't hurt either!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Playing Hookey

Today I just couldn't do another academic thing....

Yesterday I spent in the office getting my materials ready for the conference next week. I'm all set -- I just have to get copies made when I get to Utah next week.

I'm using the excuse that I'm letting my ethics area paper sit one more day before I go at the heavy editing..... but, really I'm just in need of a day off.... so, hubby and I decided to go to a movie this afternoon..

We saw "Over the Hedge" -- really fun movie with a soundtrack by Ben Folds (who I know thanks to D2!!).

We decided in the first couple of scenes that our debater we call "The Russian" was the model for the squirrel, Hammie. Imagine that much energy --- in a tallish, thin Russian 18-year-old and you have one of my novice debaters from last year.

I think I'm going to spend the rest of the day reading a good book --- I'm not sure if it will be Sara Vowell's "Assination Vacation" or one of the other books I got at Borders this week as a treat for doing such good work....Vowell is really funny, but it is kind of a weird book and not exactly what I'm in the mood for now.

Tomorrow, back to work ---

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Updated w/photos...Travel... another year spent out of town...

I like to do this once in a while -- to keep track of the places I've been and the places I'm going. Much of this is debate travel.

The Oregon Coast in March, between national championships -- next year we'll be in Wyoming and Colorado...

Colorado (duh..." those aren't any of our mountains")

Wet debater feet in California in January. It is fun to introduce people to the Pacific.... even if it is cold.

and the Kearney Arch, the only place in Nebraska Clinton visited -- folks, there is much more to the state than THIS!!

Travel so far this year...
January: California, Missouri, Nebraska
February: Indianna
March: Oregon
April: -- home, the whole month... wow
May: Nebraska, Colorado, South Dakota

travel to come this year...
June: Utah
July:... who knows... maybe Canada??? I think "Up North" counts.
August: Nebraska, Iowa
September: Nebraska and maybe Missouri
October: Nebraska, Missouri, maybe Colorado
November: Nebraska, Wisconsin
December: Nebraska...

can you tell hubby will be in Nebraska next year? Also -- there is good debate in Nebraska...

Writing -- progress

So -- the Ethics area paper is over 10,000 words--- and will probably top 11,000 by the time I'm done. It is currently 33 pages, and mostly good if I do say so myself. I'd love to be able to give parts of this to my students as an assignment about just war theory... we'll see in the fall if I'm really that brave.

As it is, it is a completed project --- now it needs to rest for a day and then I can do the first full revision.

I spent the crucial end of paper writing time at the coffee shop and later at a local college library (not mine... too many people to talk to... bad, bad, bad -- and, about 15 minutes further down the road from this one anyway...) I haven't worked there before, but I really liked it. The chairs were comfortable, it wasn't too hot and it was nice and quiet.

After I finished I went to Border's looking for "Fat girls and lawnchairs" -- I had to order that, but I got some other books as a treat for myself.

Hubby is also making good progress on his dissertation... he's got the framework figured out and had a brainstorm that would allow him to be done much sooner than he originally thought -- now he just has to convince his supervisor (who isn't as nice as mine... but is just as smart...).

Tomorrow I'm going to school to do the handouts for the conference next week. It will be nice to work on something that is very short-term and feels more like teaching.

Thursday and Friday will be writing days-- probably finishing the ethics paper. Saturday is niece's high school graduation party... Sunday I'll write some more so I can get the thing mailed on Monday. I leave for Utah on Tuesday--- and by then I'll be ready for some reflection... of course, I'll have to take the metaphysics/epistemology paper with me... aargh... but, I don't have much of a choice.


I jus booked a trip to a
  • really neat place

  • Naniboujou -- way up in northern MN -- 3 nights in a pretty cool lodge.... by then we'll need a break and it will be HOT here, but, by Lake Superior it is always cool.

    Hubby and I will pack the car full of books and head up when everyone else who works "normal" jobs is slaving away wishing they could be up north...

    Writing -- humor

    Me: honey, when did we invade Iraq?
    Hubby: March 2003
    Me: Thanks
    Hubby: you know, if you have little factoids you want to check, you can always google them.
    Me: but, honey ... I don't know how to tell you this, you are my google
    Hubby: I want a shirt that says that...

    now, as I write he's googling custom t-shirts....

    ahhh... the joys of summer writing in the DC (we share it...)

    Monday, June 12, 2006

    TV shows need more crossovers...

    I'm watching Law and Order -- the original, probably a newish season.

    It is about flu vaccines gone wrong...

    What this program needs is Charlie Epps from Numb3rs -- to do mathematical stuff about the spread of the problem.

    It also needs Dr. House to go nuts over whether or not they got the flu....


    i need to get out.

    Writing -- more progress

    Today I:
    1) Mailed a final version of my history area paper.... yea --- now, I just hope it is good enough and that the cuts I made didn't cut what they really liked... waiting is SOOOOO hard.

    2) Went shopping for t-shirts.... and spent a bundle as my favorite store was having a sale... but, it is ALL t-shirts -- mostly nice ones I can wear to the conference next week and to teach in those nasty hot days of mid-August...

    3) Went to the grocery store -- dinner tomorrow is going to be yummy mushroom and widrice soup and grilled cheese sandwiches on good bread...

    4) Revised a lot on my ethics area paper -- which will also be part of the dissertation, so it feels like I'm getting double done..

    Tonight we are going to friend's house to watch a World Cup game on TIVO -- we are bringing Pappa Murphy's and he's supplying the big screen TV... sounds like a good way to relax after a productive day.

    Tomorrow I think I'll have a coffee shop day.... so Wednesday I can review the paper one more time and send it.

    I also need to come up with a topic to do my "teach using debate" thing next week -- any suggestions?? The problem is that I need something with plausible arguments on both sides --i.e. arguments that will be plausible for a bunch of pretty liberal teachers.... in Utah.... I prefer current issues challenges -- and am leaning toward euthanasia, as the arguments are pretty intuitive and I'm pretty sure I can come up with the research for it fairly easily...

    Sunday, June 11, 2006

    Meme fever... 5 things

    I usually don't do Memes --- but it is hard to resist this one..

    5 Things in my...
    1. watermellon
    2. sprouts
    3. milk
    4. 1/2 a tomato
    5. pop (Mountain Dew, Rootbeer and Diet Pepsi)

    Closet -- the hall closet, because the bedroom is all clothes...
    1. camping equipment
    2. skates
    3. cleaning supplies
    4. winter coats
    5. maps of canada

    Car -- the Jeep is much more interesting than my Toyota
    1. Curling broom and "slide" (the thing for their shoe that lets them slide on the ice
    2. Mary Cheny's book on CD
    3. Oregon State Sweatshirt
    4. snowbrush
    5. maps of Colorado and Wisconsin

    1. just war theory
    2. just war theory
    3."what am I going to present in a couple of weeks??" -- I need a good issue to debate...
    4. Who is going to debate camp this year?
    5. having a washer & dryer in my apartment... don' t have it and won't get one soon...

    Updats and crap that is in my head..

    -- My boy cat with the extra toes is really getting to be a clingy cat. I'm not sure why, but even before there was a nip patch in the dissertation chamber, he wanted to be in here with me all the time. As I write he is sleeping under the table, but if I get up to go someplace, he'll go with me... my cat shadow or something... I don't suppose the catnip lotion I've been using has anything to do with it???

    -- Got a bluetooth mouse as a toy to go with my Powerbook.... YEA -- of course, we had to go to the Apple Store to get it. While we were there we saw the newest generations of laptops and decided we liked ours much better.... especially since they don't make a 12 inch model anymore..... the smallest is a 13 incher.... glad we got ours when we did!

    --- have been making progress on the area paper front. I'm planning to finish the draft of the ethics one today so I can review it tomorrow and hopefully send it soon. I'll send the Ancient one on Monday, after having reviewed it today. I'm going to do the 'work in the coffee shop' thing today to make sure I get it all done. After I've got both in the mail, hubby and I will treat ourselves and go to see a movie... yipee.... probably "Over the Hedge"

    --- a philosophical question I am actually going to pose when I send in my ethics paper... at what point does a revised paper become a new paper. I'm revising the ethics area paper so that it will be nearly unrecognizable (except for the same overall subject) as the paper I turned in for a grade. So, at what point is it a new paper and not a version of the old one?

    --- hubby won $60.00 at poker last night -- YEA.

    -- I rented seaons 4 & 5 of Sex and the City -- and realized that I'm now OLDER than most of the characters --- aargh... when I started watching the show they were older than me... how did THAT happen?? They were always much different than me as well (and have tons more money...) but I liked them being older, not younger (except for Sam -- we don't know how old she is.). Also, took another "who are you on SATC quiz and came up Charlotte -- again... yikes -- except hubby isn't Tre at all... in any way.... (wink wink, nudge, nudge -- if you know what I mean)....

    Saturday, June 10, 2006

    Which Sex and the City Character Are You?

    Congratulations! You are Charlotte.
    Take this quiz!

    Quizilla |

    | Make A Quiz | More Quizzes | Grab Code

    Hubby's city...

    You Belong in Amsterdam

    A little old fashioned, a little modern - you're the best of both worlds. And so is Amsterdam.
    Whether you want to be a squatter graffiti artist or a great novelist, Amsterdam has all that you want in Europe (in one small city).

    Hubby's reaction: "so I could be stoned out all the time... shoot me, f-ing shoot me"

    hmmm --- don't think there is a trip to Amsterdam in our near future, huh??
    You Belong in Paris

    You enjoy all that life has to offer, and you can appreciate the fine tastes and sites of Paris.
    You're the perfect person to wander the streets of Paris aimlessly, enjoying architecture and a crepe.

    Hubby, upon telling him my result: "that's it, I'm leaving you"
    Me: "no you're not"
    Hubby: "yea, you're right -- read me the questions I have to keep working on this..."

    stay tuned for hubby's city...

    Thursday, June 08, 2006

    Kids, Kids, Kids....

    This is a post intended as a vent that will keep me from writing it elsewhere...

    I'm not sure when it started, but it seems to me that current students (and, especially debaters) think they know everything...

    I'm not sure why they think that.

    In the specific case I'm thinking about, hubby is in another battle with a debater/student from another school. This kid has the balls to tell hubby that hubby, "doesn't understand the insurgency" -- well, hubby's specialty is civil military relations within political science -- and, unless this kid just got back from Iraq on some super-secret undercover mission, I kind of think hubby has a handle on the nature of the insurgency. Of course D/S thinks hubby doesn't understand when hubby simply disagrees -- and, you'd think that a debater could tell the difference... but some debaters have some suceess (and, I think this kid's partner had a LOT to do with his success.. IMHO..).

    Overall, I'm seeing a trend in students that shows them to be much more arrogant and much quicker to ignore the ideas of those who actually are experts in their fields. Maybe it is because they've been raised by boomer parents to believe their poo doesn't stink --

    I know it isn't all college-aged people who are like this -- and perhaps it is the nature of debaters to be more like this.. but, DAMMMMM.

    Wednesday, June 07, 2006

    Writing -- my dissertation supervisor

    So, I have this really odd relationship with my dissertation supervisor.

    When I went to grad school there was nobody who really ended up as my mentor. I took several classes from the BIG GUY in the field, but -- since everyone loved him they all wanted him to be the chair of their committee--- and he was uber busy... and now isn't there at all.. hmmmm......

    When I set-up my committee I knew I'd be moving to BNstate. I needed someone who was good in e-mail... hard to tell when you talk to them or take a class from them if this is the case -- I was lucky enough to TA for my supervisor for a mini-semester ethics course a few years earlier (3 week course... aargh, my first TA experience, my first grading -- wow.. it was intense!) and I'd done well with it. He was good about answering e-mails then, and when I took a couple of classes with Supervisor he was prompt about answering my e-mailed questions then as well.

    I also knew that Supervisor was smart, not too intense and was very easy to get along with -- all things that I needed.. and, of all the people in my department, he was closest to my topic, although he says he isn't well-read on it. When I contacted him, he responded promptly to my e-mail and we were off..

    Now, 4 years later, he's still hanging in there with me -- he knows I teach way too much and when I contact him he doesn't make me feel gulity for the long period of time I've spent not doing my own work. This summer he's also been excellent and very encouraging of me --- even noticing my progress... which is nice. He also, very subtly gives me good advise on the other stuff I need to do to finish -- which is what I see a good supervisor doing...

    He might say that I was a good grad-member of the department in that I'm not much trouble, have tenure and got another member of my cohort a job as well at BN... well, I didn't get him the job, I told him about it and used my persuasive skills to persuade the committee to interview him -- and now he earned the job himself and will start the tenure-track in the fall :).

    The strange part is that I'm not sure we could have a "normal" meeting to discuss my work -- I went down there in November to see THE guy in my field speak at my grad school and we didn't meet -- 'cuz I didn't know what we'd talk about... I hope he doesn't feel slighted or put-off by this -- (maybe those of you who supervise dissertations can give insight...) but, I didn't want to waste his time when I had nothing new to say... Perhaps when I have drafts etc.. to submit we'll do the discussion face to face -- especially since Hubby will be teaching less than an hour from grad school... the meetings will be more convenient for both of us.

    Anyway, I was just looking back at our most recent chain of e-mails and realized that this guy is really good... and I got uber-lucky when I picked him.

    Tuesday, June 06, 2006

    Personal -- romantic -- 16 years ago

    I'll never forget June 6, 1990 --- my first full day in Denver. I got up early, unloaded my Escort and took it to get all the bugs in Nebraska washed from her poor little face....

    The day before I got in my 1984 Ford Escort and drove from my childhood home outside of Minneapolis (Orono, to be exact...) and drove all the way to Denver. On the way out of town, I stopped to get a box from the woman who would eventually become my mother in law -- she told me not to pick-up any hitchhikers and I was off.

    I was leaving my friends, family, job, school and everything to move to Denver to live with hubby. I knew the road went both ways -- but I was still scared. I started to think about all that I was leaving and cried all the way to Omaha, NE (6 hours... of crying and driving a stick-shift Escort... not bad, eh??)

    At Omaha I realized that there was a reason I was doing this and that it would be stupid to cry all the way across Nebraksa... I'd looked at the maps, it is one big f-ing state. Little did I know that Omaha would end up being the hub of my life in many ways... I was just interested in it for a caffiene break, although I did notice that Wednesdays were "gizzard day" at the KFC, and I was happy it was Monday.

    After a long drive across Nebraska.. with only the company of a small boom box (no radio in my car... )-- and in a car with no cruise control and one in which I had to turn off the A/C to get to highway speed... I reached Denver.

    Hubby (well, boyfriend at the time, later to be hubby...) had given me a key. He had to work until midnight. It was about 10:30 and I was wired on McDonald's ice tea when I let myself into his apartment. My white cat looked up from her nap with a kind of welcoming look -- and the big black and white cat hissed at me, barring his teeth. Welcome to Denver....

    I collapsed into bed and soon enough hubby came home.

    A while later I found a job cleaning houses and then (when the paycheck was about to bounce) a job at a skanky McDonalds. I ended up working for a chain of hair salons that has long since sold to Regis corp.... I answered the phone. The same week we got news that we'd be moving to Omaha because the Air Force transfered hubby (who, was my hubby by that time...) I was also promoted at the salon chain...

    As they'd say on Seinfeld... yadda yadda yadda... school, jobs degress, a couple of new cats.... tenure etc... and here I am, blogging about the past 16 years on my flower-filled deck while hubby "naps" in the bedroom. He's still my sweetie and I really can't imagine not being married to him. He's sometimes accidentally abrasive to others, but always sweet to me. He's encouraged me to pursue my degrees -- i sometimes wonder if he wants my PhD for me more than I do.

    Every day he proves my "dumb" boyfriend wrong-- the one who tried to tell me that hubby wouldn't support my going to school... haa -- Dumb Boyfriend drives the "senior mobility" vans in this city, I kind of want to stop them until I find him and say ... "DB, you are just wrong -- I'm ABD and sooner or later will be Dr..... and, he's still fun under the covers.. so there".

    Of course, while I was writing this, hubby tried to pull his favorite, "lock her out on the deck" move... did I mention he can be kind of a wanker sometimes... but, I love him.

    Monday, June 05, 2006

    Happy Closet...

    I just went in the bedroom to change into PJ Pants... (the snowglobe ones... my favorites!).

    I happened to glance into my closet to see all of my teaching clothes hanging out, resting for the summer.

    Yea -- it is all "dissertation costume" time for me this summer... even the conference I'm going to is pretty casual, YEA!

    FYI, Wise Woman told me I needed what she called a "dissertation costume", it seems her partner noticed a distinct pattern while Wise Woman was writing her dissertation.

    Also, I just found out what a "henge" is -- as in Stone Henge -- or (more famously... or, at least closer) "car hange" -- The term refers to a technical term archaeologists use for places like Stone Henge.... yea, that's informative... but, at least it doesn't mean anything else.

    Writing -- making progress

    Yesterday I planned to start on the revisions I need to do on one of my area papers. Of course, I couldn't find the file with the articles etc.. I needed -- and, it being Sunday I couldn't get into my office at BNCC... they refuse to give us keys -- even those of us who are full-time etc...

    Today, I went to BNCC -- saw Wise Woman and gave her the jackalope bank we got her in Wall, SD... I also had (free) lunch with Dog Dad at a student function and then took my files to a coffee shop to do a revision... and, I got it DONE.

    When I got home and checked e-mail I got a set of suggestions for revision on another area paper... when the original with the numbers on it comes in the mail, I can get that one done as well... it will take me a bit longer than today's revisions, but I'm sure I can get it done soon.

    Tomorrow I'll proofread the first paper and send it out --

    Soon (this week, perhaps...) I'll look at my "advancement to candidacy" paper and probably send it out as well.

    I could, by the end of the month, have all this done and be officially ABD... wow.

    I'm happy about the progress -- I'm kicking my self because I could have done this last summer, but I was afraid of having a paper "fail" -- Dog Dad told me what they do when it doesn't pass -- and, not passing didn't kill me :).

    I forgot how much I love "living in my head" -- it was a good day... I'm tired in the good way and ready for some trash TV.... maybe we'll get lucky and there will be a thunderstrm in my neighborhood...

    Saturday, June 03, 2006

    Writing -- being a good girl

    I'm being such a good girl today... I just have to congratulate myself...

    I started working at 8:30 (helped by a huge cup of coffee...) and have been putting books and articles into endnote all morning with the cats and NPR for company. This is my first blog break...

    I plan to finish soon, eat some lunch and take a couple of books onto the deck this afternoon for some reading time. I'm guessing it will be an article on asymetric warfare or the chapter by Orend on Walzer's jus post bellum...

    I've been firming up the dissertation thesis --- I'm pretty sure it is going to be a virtue ethics version of just war theory... updated for modern combat challenges and techniques and adding to it jus pre bellum and jus post bellum principles...

    and, I plan to have it done SOOON... well, not exactly...

    I have to keep reminding myself of what I found on PhD Me's site one Poetry Friday

    I wrote a dissertation -
    it wasn't very fun -
    but I wrote the pages anyway
    because I wanted to be done.

    At time, I knew my subject;
    at others, I did not.
    Sometimes I could not find the words;
    sometimes I found a lot

    Regardless of the process then,
    today -- I'm glad to say -
    I turned the dissertation in
    and graduate in May

    This is posted in my dissertation room (we call it the "dissertation chamber") which has our dining room table, the guest bed and a whole lot of bookshelves with all of our relevant books (two dissertations = TONS of books...).

    Thursday, June 01, 2006

    Random rant...To the snot-nosed kid...

    Dear little brat,

    I see that your private school education and a little bit of success has given you significant confidence to speak on all matter of things. Did part of that education include reading anything by Plato/Socrates -- you know, the bit where Socrates explains that those who talk about what they don't know are not wise, but are really fools...

    Yea, for the record --- you are a fool. Don't go talking-down those you don't know. It makes you look like an asshat when you are talking to people who actually know the person you are talking to... and badly want that person to do what you are more or less saying they aren't suited to do. It makes you look like a fool to them.

    And... for the record -- the person you are bad-mouthing hasn't just been sitting on their behind since they finished their first degree -- they've been working their tail off getting another degree. They are most of the way to a third degree, in your major. Have some respect. Until you go to graduate school and see how much harder it is than your sheltered little life, you have no idea how qualified the person is you are bad-mouthing. I don't see you going to this person's relatively prestigious program, what are you doing next year anyway... never mind, I really don't care except to feel sorry for you when you realize how not special you actually are and always have been.

    In fact, the school and department you are so concerned about "protecting" would be quite lucky to get the person you are denegrating. This person's capabilities are way beyond the over-priced high school you adore... the person you are so enthralled with selected the person you are bad-mouthing -- hmmm....

    In short, go lay down by your dish -- bitch.

    Domestic -- I need good summer food ideas...

    It is officially summer -- i don't buy that summer starts June 21 -- more like June 1...

    So--- I need some good summer food suggestions.

    Good summer foods require minimal cooking, as cooking heats up the house...

    They are fresh tasting and pretty quick to prepare --or, they can be made in big batches and kept in the fridge for a few days of munching..

    For example, I love veggie sandwiches... compile the following:
    your favorite nutty/grainy bread
    light cream cheese
    good tomato (not those ones with red skins and pink insides... )
    thin slices of cucumber...

    BLTs and tuna sandwiches are also good...

    Keep in mind that I don't have an actual grill... only a George Foreman machine...

    I suppose that is right....

    You Are Periwinkle

    You're very intuitive and sensitive. You often know other people better than they know themselves.
    You're also quite optimistic, and you think well of yourself and others. You know your dreams will come true.

    thanks Timna for the link (now, if only I'd figure out how to post links.. maybe next week....).

    I suppose this makes sense....

    American Cities That Best Fit You::
    60% Chicago
    60% New York City
    55% Philadelphia
    50% Atlanta
    50% Washington, DC

    I assume they don't have Minneapolis on the list...