Thursday, May 01, 2008

Ups and a Down... all in a day....

First, because I'm a whiner at heart --- the down is an e-mail exchange with someone I've known for a while. This person is being inconsistent in their application of standards. I know they're being inconsistent, but they won't admit it. They won't admit they were wrong when they went one way -- or that they are wrong now when they are going the other way. Even worse, they are somehow trying to flip this to be that they aren't going two different ways in the two instances.

folks, this isn't something that is subjective -- or otherwise open to interpretation. This is a yes/no question -- and I'm pretty sure it is the Baby Boomer in this person that won't admit wrongness -- either now or then.

Now -- bullets of up
  • Hubby is almost home -- lots of chores in Red State, some misc. stuff and a drive -- either tomorrow or Saturday he'll be here. Tripple YEA!
  • We are getting back pay -- I thought we were getting a lump sum instead of back pay -- but, rather we are getting back pay (our raise as of July 07). This is really super-duper news.
  • I have some really cool colleagues -- wonderful people who make my daily work much better. Dog Dad, Wise Woman and someone who will need a synonym... but who will know who she is.... (maybe International Womyn?) and Asian Woman. Each of them was just exactly who I needed to chat with today --- after the downer stuff this morning.
  • Dog Dad and I had a nice chat about teaching logic -- and a bit about the downer stuff. I trust him to tell me the truth about things like the downer stuff.
  • Wise Woman is such an overall fair and kind person, she really ought to be cloned so all of you can work with her too. I appreciate her perspectives on things and I know that even when we disagree (we don't this time, but we have in the past) we can talk about it and remain friends.
  • International Womyn is someone I've known in a couple of contexts for a while... and now we are starting a whole new cooperative venture together --We had a great meeting today to discuss and plan our teaching adventure, and I love the way she thinks. I know I'm going to learn a lot from her, and I hope I can provide something of equal value for her in the future. Plus -- the course itself is going to rock!
  • Asian Woman is someone who works really, really, really hard --- and her students love her, as they should. I like her because she's ambitious, organized and humble -- a really nice combination. She's really good at taking and adapting input. We had a talk today about a big project she's just finished -- and I was really impressed at her leadership skills and her ability to think critically about something she's just put a lot of work into.
  • I also have some fun, funny and wonderful tutors ---both of whom were willing to dive into logic tutoring and really dig in to help students who often haven't bothered to help themselves. My students and I are VERY lucky to have them--- I wish they'd just stay and tutor for me forever.... alas, they have lives.... dang it.
  • As for my students -- I do have my share of dumb-asses, but many of them are clever, nice and funny. They work hard and take their classes seriously. I admire their abilities to balance work, school and home ---- or I admire their ability to dig in at the last minute to catch up and learn what they should have learned a long time ago....
  • One of my students is from Liberia -- and his project is building a school at home. He came to me to discuss filing the school with books and computers. I'm really not the person to talk to, but he comes back to hash out ideas.... somehow he has the idea that I can be a huge help to him -- so he comes back to let me know how he's progressing. Dang it, I know he's going to make it happen -- I can see the drive and determination in his eyes -- I also saw him give a presentation on a hard topic (FGM) and do it with a frank style that is hard to follow...
  • Another girl decided last week to put her mind to learning logic -- and, with lots of tutor help, is actually doing it. She put herself in this position -- (and so far won't admit it) -- but, if she pulls it off, I admire her.
  • Then there are the ones I'll call the 'kindred spirits' -- a single expecting mom, a 38-year old lesbian, a mother of 11, a dreamer boy in search of good conversation and the brother of another student. Each of them has made this semester good and fun in their own ways -- by seeing that I'm both their teacher and a real person. These are folks I'd have over for a beer or something.... and all of them are going elsewhere next semester..... and I'm going to miss them.
  • I also have four spheres of internet pals.... all of whom I do really love.
  • To the blogs I read and occasionally comment on -- and who read and comment here --- thanks for giving me the sense of community I've been missing. Y'all are like a wonderful small town or decent sized college full of warm, thoughtful and spunky people.... and I'm glad you are willing to put yourself out there for the rest of us....
  • To 'the girls' -- y'all know who you are. Y'all are a really special network and fill a niche I didn't realize was empty.
  • And then there is the debate nationals board -- every year we hold a series of on-line discussions to explore options for the next championship tournament. This time we've added a couple of great people to the board -- and I can easily say that the whole of you are among my favorite people ftf or on-line. I'm quite pleased to do another year with you. I love that we can disagree, debate and be adults about our disagreements. It is no secret that I think this is a rare quality among the members of the debate community --- so I really do feel blessed to have y'all in my virtual life.
  • And last, but not at all least, is my dissertation supervisor. I put him in the virtual category because we mostly communicate via e-mail. I've been really hot and cold about working on the dissertation for many years now, and all along he's been noting but civil and supportive. In many ways, I'm like a needy on-line student who ignores the class for weeks or months at a time, and then comes back to say 'I'm ready to work now -- pay attention to me', and he's been honest and kind to me every time I've returned. When he has bad news, he's kind in delivering it and when he senses I need some encouragement, he gives just enough to make it better. Best of all, he gives my work thorough and solid criticism and does so in a timely manner. I hope that in turn I'm sufficiently respectful, hard-working and thankful of his time --- but I suspect that isn't always the case. For all of you grad students, he's another one that ought to be cloned so all of you can work with him.
Now, it's time for a root beer float and bed....

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