Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The question of the day...

Am I brave enough to read all 125 pages of my dissertation?

It's printed -- sitting right over there -------------->

can you see it?

I've reached for it several times... but then found other things to do.

I suppose I'm blogging for courage.

ok... go!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Franklin Covey has fallen a long, long way

My on-line interaction with Franklin Covey started with a cool idea -- a new, customized planner for my birthday.

As you can see below -- (my original e-mail is at the bottom), the process was a pain in the behind. When they asked for feedback, I gave it to them. After a week, I got the following e-mail...

Note -- there was no offer of a gift card or any kind of incentive to try them again once they've got their act together. A complaint about service to our local pizza/pasta place got a response that included a $5 gift card. We'll go back to the pizza place -- I'm not likely to go back to Franklin Covey.

__________________________

their response... the mistakes and poor grammar are in the original.
Hello ITPF,

Thank you for contacting FranklinCovey Catalog Sales.

Regarding your request, We apologize for inconvenience cause to you.

We appreciate the opportunity to respond to your question. If you need any additional assistance, please feel free to respond to this email or log on to our website www.franklinplanner.com.

Thank you,
Jason.
FranklinCovey Support.
=======
my complaint...
Subject: comments on the custom planner

The planner itself is great and I will enjoy it this year. I doubt I'll order another one because enduring the process to get it probably wasn't worth the trouble.

Over the course of two days, the program lost my dates several times. I didn't put in as many dates as I'd like, simply because I didn't want the program to lose all the dates I already had in there. The program lost other changes several times.

I never had a response from the on-line chat function.

When I decided that I'd had enough, your website was so dysfunctional that I had to finally call to place my order. I'd been trying to complete my order for three days. The order was in my shopping cart, but the website would not let me proceed to input my credit card. While I was waiting, the binder I had in my cart sold out. I had a similar problem with an order for accessories, but I finally got lucky and your website let me pay for that.

When I went to check on my order, it didn't come up and there was no way to check the order until it had been shipped. I also didn't get an e-mail notice that it had been shipped.

This was supposed to be my birthday present to myself, but I'm not sure I'll do it again.

ME -- my address and complete contact information...

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Tonight -- old friends...

Both friends who are old (like me..) and friends from a long time ago....

We've all become reunited via Facebook. One is in town from Alaska, so we decided a girls dinner was in order.

We'll go back to the old neighborhood -- eat, talk, talk and talk...

Saturday, December 26, 2009

One person...

Recently one person in our apartment conplex has...

1) Has failed to move hir car to permit plowing.

2) Has a car alarm that goes off all the time.

3) Has a "service" dog -- which we can hear whining and barking -- especially in the office.

4) Is the most regular of the smokers outside our door.

This person was also my student -- for a while... grrr. Concerning the "service dog" designation, I know for a fact s/he didn't bring the dog to class, while s/he was a student. Also, the dog doesn't wear one of those vests... I really do wonder about the truth of the "service dog" designation. On the other hand, the dog does seem to be pretty well behaved and s/he seems to pick up the poo... so, what's the harm?

I'm just kind of amazed at the number of small irritations one person can produce -- especially considering the fact that the person doesn't live with me.

Today I also helped out another guy from our building -- it's really icy and we were instructed to move our cars. I saw him fall twice trying to cross the icy lot. I went over and insisted he get in the car so I could drive him the 100 or so yards to his car. Trying to get in the car, he fell several more times right in front of my car. I was stuck for a while because I didn't want to take the chance that I might run over him trying to get out and help him-- eventually he got up and into the car on his own...

Really, I'm pretty sure he was either drunk or on a bunch of pain pills. I'm not sure he was fit to drive -- but, he told me he was moving his car back into our lot... so, I suppose it's ok.

and -- it's snowing again... some more.

Christmas report -- and a kind of weird thought....

First of all -- MIL's black boyfriend decided, due to the snow, not to join us for Christmas Eve. I was disappointed -- as I'd have loved to see him and MIL together, almost as much as I'd like to have seen him interact with the patriarch. The patriarch was in fine form -- so I got to practice playing nice one more year...

Christmas day was filled with tradition as well -- Hubby and I hung out in our PJs, I cooked some food and we watched Christmas TV while hoping the Queen and the Minion don't destroy the tree.

Now -- for the weird thought....

Right now I can see a nice, snowy landscape. It's possible that -- by spring, when I look out to see the the swampy bits and abandoned golf course -- I might have defended my dissertation. This could be my last season with my dissertation... wow.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Imagine this completely hypothetical family situation...

Part of your family is quite politically conservative -- think, loves Michele Bachman, GW and the rest -- and thinks that Obama, while probably not a Muslim, isn't a good choice by the country.

You've been part of this family for quite a while and have well-worn groves in your tongue from family holiday dinners. The patriarch of that part of the family is quite accustomed to speaking his mind -- and assumes everyone agrees. You realized long ago that fighting with patriarch isn't worth the effort -- and your sweet spouse makes a game of predicting what patriarch will go on about this time.

New wrinkle -- Your wonderful MIL has met and is smitten with a black man. This black man has (according to MIL) a passion for Obama and is quite the liberal democrat.

Normally family dinners are pretty mello -- this year... maybe not...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Another nice thing about on-line stuff...

I can do a lot of the nitty-gritty class prep in advance.

I now have quizzes for my Ethics course complete.

I have discussion topics for the semester all set up.

I have the sign-up discussion process set up for end of semester presentations...

It's all part of that end of semester wind-down. Instead of feeling that little panic like, 'I feel like I'm missing something' -- I've been getting ready for next semester.

Monday, December 21, 2009

'tis the Winter Solstice...

around here the sun will rise at 7:45 and set at 4:30.

My impulse is to crawl in bed with a cat and a book -- but, I've got things to do.

Today will probably be dissertation in the morning, a bit of Christmas shopping in the afternoon and maybe some class prep tonight as Hubby studies for his last final.

They're predicting snow for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day -- YEA!!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas -- maybe??

Hubby and I got our Christmas present to one another a couple of days ago... Now our normal sofa is more like a long sofa -- but, when we move it all comes apart --who knows what the configuration will be in a few years :).

Of course, getting the monster sofa into our living room required us to get rid of other stuff -- so, we did. Well, we got rid of the storage things -- and got another bookcase.

This set off a flurry of other organizational projects, including sorting out photos and throwing out a lot of bad photos and duplicate photos of cats who are now dead-- all of them (the Queen and the Minion are the first fully digital camera generation of cats...).

Now -- Hubby just put up the Christmas tree and will hang some pictures on the wall above the mega-sofa. I'll decorate the tree with my stock of cat-proof (safe) decorations.

Tomorrow --- he'll study and I'll enter grades, do class prep for next year and maybe even write some dissertation... but, tonight it's stuff on Net Flicks and livingroom projects for us.

Friday, December 18, 2009

End of semester reflections -- in RBOC style...

  • The bullets -- because I'm bushed.
  • I'm loving doing on-line exams.... and I finally decided that the short answer essay format, combined with an objective section, is the best way to go -- for now.
  • Papers and short answer essays for all of my Ethics and Intro students, due during finals week was stupid.
  • The move to on-line stuff was easier than I thought -- the platform is pretty easy to use and the students already know how to use it -- or, they help one another.
  • I have revised my syllabus a bit -- to tighten up deadlines for exams and to account for student mailboxes being full.

Dear Students...

The Queen is reading your papers -- you're in trouble...


The Minion has found the place many of them probably should have landed. He's that kind of odd combination of sweet and evil -- depending on your view on animal rights.


Now you've done it, you said "utilitarianism is the greatest good for the greatest number of people.".... you shouldn't have done that to the Minion's mamma...


Ha ha -- Mom gave me an orange Starburst, and all you got was a D. Sux to be you...

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Philosophers can collaborate...

Background -- as a discipline, we've always had a seniority based system for choosing classes. I'm #2, so it's been to my advantage to keep it -- but, there is something problematic -- in that all four of us could be at BNCC for the next 20 years -- and thus, the #4 guy could get the schedule leftovers for 20 years... As it is, there isn't a significant gap between #1 and #4 -- maybe a total of 9 years... so, the #4 has grounds for complaint.

The standard alternative is to rotate who chooses first. This is problematic as the #1 and #2 folks do almost all of the administrivia -- and that isn't going to change, as the college won't adjust. So, then the #1 and #2 do extra work because they're senior. That kind of sucks. As a discipline, we aren't big enough to have our own chair (I'm the humanities department chair), with release time etc... so that alternative isn't good either.

We started discussing this last spring -- and agreed that the next schedule we'd try a collaborative way of making it work. We'd all come in with two first choices for classes. If there was a conflict, we'd resolve it by seniority -- which seemed to make sense and give a bit of help to #1 and #2. Then we took turns choosing classes in a rather random pattern. Mostly folks selected one or two classes at a time -- depending on how the sections worked together. We made some adjustments and cooperated to make it all work out -- and we each ended up with schedules we could live with. We also spent some effort to make sure that our adjuncts could have decent schedules.

This could have been ugly folks -- really ugly. I can say that I'm lucky and blessed to have colleagues who are genuinely interested in the welfare and happiness of the group.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

9 logic exams away from tragedy...

About 10:45

One of the best slackers in Ethics (of, 'can I miss another class to go hunting fame), e-mails in a panic.

The drop box is closed (it closed at 7:00 AM) -- says uber-slacker. Can I still turn in my paper?

Me -- feeling generous, 'sure, if you can get it to me in person by the time I start grading the stack of ethics papers'. That should be in a couple of hours -- as soon as I'm done with logic exams, I'm grading papers.

day goes on -- I finish grading exams and move to logic exams...

Just now -- knock on the door -- Uber-slacker at the door with a paper.

Me, "you were 9 logic exams away from tragedy".

Yea -- maybe I should have let him fail -- but, he's heading there anyway, so I don't think he needs my help. The late penalty is 15%. I think that's enough.

I'm sensing something odd..

... about generation ME.

Somehow it's better to be killed than to be raped. As if living with the significant trauma of a rape is worse than not living at all. I don't get it.

A new twist -- speeding laws are unjustified because the people who speed should be permitted to take chances with their own lives.... but, cigarettes should be completely illegal for second-hand smoke reasons. Ummm... hun?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

On-line teaching -- 0-55 in two semesters...

I'll confess, I haven't always used our on-line course management software.

I had a bunch of excuses -- ranging from the program was unreliable to cancer... and, of all of them only the cancer one was any good.

Last summer I taught a hybrid course --- out of necessity. We had a schedule challenge and the way to resolve it was to do one hour per week on-line. That seemed to be manageable -- and if things went tragically wrong, I could manage it face to face with them.

That first class was very tolerant of my mistakes. When I'd screw something up in a quiz, they'd tell me... when something didn't happen as I told them it would, they'd send me an e-mail. I expressed gratitude at their willingness to be my 'experimental class' -- and they taught me a thing or two about how the system operates on their end.

This semester the classes are face to face, but all of the exams for Intro and Ethics are on-line. Logic had one week of on-line work -- but that was so that the students who were really behind could catch up.

Next semester I have a hybrid class -- because I want to reduce class size for some of the discussions -- so, I'll see all 50 ethics students on Monday, 25 of them on Wednesday and 25 on Friday. They'll do small-group (for us..) discussions on one topic and have another writing prompt in the discussion section of the course management software.

Writing the syllabus for this one was tricky -- oddly enough, the weeks when there is no class on Monday are ok -- because both halves of the class see me equal amounts of time. The tricky part was when there was no class on a Wednesday or Friday. I decided that the discussions that week would be 100% on-line... and there was often another activity, like watching a movie on their own etc. Not a perfect solution, but a fair one.

They're also doing presentations in that class -- and they're doing them to their discussion group, not to the whole group. I decided that was the way to go for practical reasons -- assuming a bit of attrition, we could do four groups of three in pecha kucha style every class meeting. Each presentation is 10 minutes long, with Q & A -- and the focus of the presentation would be a question I decided -- so there would be little overlap.

I've been thinking about teaching philosophy 100% on-line -- and I just don't think it's a discipline that works in an on-line environment -- at least not for students of our level, doing the kind of work we expect from them. One of our department's primary goals is to assign original source materials in philosophy -- that means that we can't assume they fully comprehend what they read. Over and over again I've had students tell me that class discussion, and my explanations of material are essential to their understanding of it.

Where the 100% on-line model breaks down is on my end -- I'm not sure I can fully and accurately communicate the meaning of the material on-line. What I say in the classroom depends heavily on what they don't understand. If I were the sort of professor who carefully writes out every lecture, then I could do that on-line without any trouble -- but, I'm not. Mostly I'll walk in having prepared a PowerPoint of about 8 slides -- and with a general idea of what I need to cover, but most of what I say in class comes from my knowledge of the topic and is extemporaneous... so writing it out doesn't work.

In many ways I think the hybrid class model is very good -- because it lets me see the students face to face, but also requires a larger degree of class participation in discussion assignments AND more writing than I otherwise have in a class of this size.

Monday, December 14, 2009

RYS prompted me to wonder....

On rejection letters...

Someone asks why committees don't send out rejection letters or e-mails...

I wonder why programs don't have some kind of process meeter on their websites.

When they acknowledge your application, they can include a URL -- then they can simply give an indication as to where they are in the process... It could start with something like "interviews scheduled", then "interviews concluded, committee making a decision", then "position filled". There are other kinds of updates -- but, these are the basics...

Once you know you haven't been contacted for interviews, you'd know you don't need to check again....

Wish Hubby luck --

-- although he really doesn't need it.

He's taking his first law school final today.

He's smart, he's ready and he responds well to high pressure situations --

but -- some good vibes from the universe couldn't hurt.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

It's getting brutal...

... in the e-mail.

They're taking the objective part of the ethics exam. It's really easy if you happened to come to class. Most of the questions are from the powerpoints and anybody with a semi-decent set of class notes should do well.

Of course, I'm getting "can I re-take this??" -- my response was pretty blunt -- "I suspect that you'd have done better if your class attendance was better"... and, in my head I'm saying 'good luck on the short essays'.

Due to the flu, I stopped doing withdraws for attendance. That doesn't mean that if they deserved an attendance failure, they won't earn a failure on the exam. Sometimes they just need to learn the hard way.

Comfort foods...

.. or, 'on being a good spouse to a law student'...

Hubby is heading into his first finals period in law school.

He's smart, he's been keeping up and he's been outlining like crazy.

My functions seem to be making sure he has something clean to wear and providing comfort food.

Today I'm making his favorite -- tuna/ pasta salad. It will be lunch next week ---

Next weekend I'll be making pumpkin bread for him and his study group... In between I'll be grading like crazy -- and, a week from Tuesday it will be all done for both of us.

There seems to be something else out there... hmm... oh yea, Christmas. I'll think about that after grading.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

How irritating...

... I had a dream that made me so mad I had to get out of bed.

The essence of the dream was that someone doing a BNCC project suggested that the poster giving information about a speaker series on cancer CAUSED someone to go out of remission, thus requiring more chemo.

I had a really good rant about cause and effect, cancer, chemo and the idiocy of blaming a physical disease on a poster.. Too bad I was the only one to witness it ;).

Friday, December 11, 2009

E-mail /voice mail fun...

Dear proffie...

1) Your directions didn't tell me exactly what to click -- since I don't really understand the arguments, I should be able to re-take the exam. Tell me what I missed in e-mail (while the exam is open) -- No, I can't come when you're available.

2) I've had a real family tragedy -- what do you suggest? Me -- incomplete, talk with me later -- go be with your family.

3) I have a horrific attendance record, but I've been in the hospital and am leaving a voice mail on Friday the last day of class. I'll be in class next week (it's finals week -- no regular classes) and want to make-up my work...call me back.

grrr.

Sometimes things work out...

A while back I realized that my discipline at BNCC wasn't getting recognition at some levels.. It's not that we were exactly disrespected, but rather that we were just unnoticed.

I decided to change that.

My plan started buy proposing additional sections for Spring - I didn't think we'd actually get them, but it would force 'folks' to look at our enrollment numbers earlier.

Well -- turns out that we got the sections. As a result-- a part-time person gets two new sections when he would have had none. The number "two" is important, as he gets on the pay scale with the second course. He's also eligible for health insurance.

So -- now we'll see what happens for fall :).

Bees and bonnets..

The Bee seems to consist of a request that faculty not exceed a particular limit of material stored on the common drive.

The proposed solution was to move older material to a CD/flash drive etc. The IT manager says in the message that we may discuss higher limits as is necessary.

The bonnet is currently being worn by our union.

Yes --our union. I'm not sure, but I highly doubt the contract specifies the right to unlimited digital storage -- but, somehow the bonnet wearer seems to think this is some kind of violation of our contractual rights OR our academic freedom.. or something.

True, I don't recall being told there was a limit -- but, they also aren't threatening to delete any files etc...

I should start keeping a log of these kinds of kerfluffles -- I suspect they arise at times in the semester when certain people have very little to do.

Yea -- I watch it... so, what of it?

"it" is the "Real Housewives of Orange County"...

For the record, I don't watch the Atlanta ones -- ever since the blonde one did that stupid "tardy for the party" song -- which is horrific, she can't sing and she also can't see that people are making it into a joke song..

But -- the OC wives really make me wonder...

  • One household -- had to move out of their RENTED house into a less expensive rented house due to the economy. I'm not sure what the husband does, but the wife doesn't seem to work. They bought their oldest daughter a BMW for her birthday, now the oldest daughter and the wife are getting plastic surgery... on the same day. The only person who seems to have a lick of sense is the 16 year-old -- who asks why they're spending all that money when they have to move to save money.

Ummm -- yea. The husband acknowledges that they probably shouldn't be spending the money... but, he "won't put a price on his wife's happiness". I'm sure they got a hefty discount from the plastic surgeon -- but, for goodness sakes, your family is on an economic downturn and you're getting your face lifted and nose done?

I'd love to sit these women down and tell them that the reason they aren't happy with themselves is that they mostly go to lunch and shop -- they aren't doing anything with their time, energy and talents. If you want to feel as if you have worth -- DO SOMETHING to generate worth. Of course, they wouldn't listen to me -- I'm an overweight Midwestern 41 year old woman -- who looks her age -- with one boob...
  • Two husbands refuse to "allow" their wives to travel without them. Both are husbands with smallish children -- both husbands have invited themselves on a 'girls' trip' to Florida.
One woman completely accepts her husband's control -- she says that's the way good marriages are and that God brought her to him. He doesn't mention God when he talks about her role in his life... I think he's more worried that he'll have to deal with his own spawn if she takes off for a day or two.

Another woman is getting kind of feisty about things... she's not exactly happy that her hubby is going on the trip. The real thing she's getting irritated about is the fact that she NEEDS to work to help support the family -- his tequila business is off and they need to put the house on the market -- but, he also expects her to be home with the kids. Umm--just how is that possible.

  • Then there's the housewife who really isn't a housewife at all -- she's blonde and hot.. she was dating a rich older guy who had cancer -- and died this year. Now she's dating the boyfriend of a housewife from the first season. He's a housewife -ho... and she really needs to watch the first season to see what happened...
Oddly enough, this one I kind of like. She was a good support person for her (now dead) rich boyfriend. She didn't seem to get much from the will -- I suspect it went to his kids who are 18 and 21 or so... as it probably should have been... Now she's dating this other dude, which may be a bad idea -- but, she seems to be less obsessed with shopping and working out etc.

Overall -- I'm not sure why I watch this show. I suppose it's because their lives are so different than my own. I also suppose it's because they feed many of the California fantasies... I'm not sure I share them, but I do find the essence of the fantasy itself fascinating.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Fewer, but better....

The semester began with 240 students. I expect to give passing grades to about 190... That's a bit lower than I expected. (FYI -- I have a tutor, but no TA -- all the course work etc.. was done by me... and, I'm department chair.. hmmm....).

I wonder about the differences -- I suspect part of it is that I've started to use on-line exams. When students have chaotic lives, but mange to come to class -- taking the exam outside of class seems to become a problem. This can't be all of it -- because the course with more exams has a higher retention/pass rate.

I suspect the economy has something to do with it as well -- as a college, we're stuffed to the gills... we had more than 95% of ALL POSSIBLE seats full at the beginning of the school year. I suspect some of the students who started the class registered because they didn't have any other options that fit their schedule -- and then they figured out that philosophy is hard.... or they got a job...

I suspect the ethics class has a higher attrition rate because I had a big paper due in the middle of the class. It has three developmental assignments and the requirement that they read and digest arguments we haven't covered. It also requires a fair amount of basic research -- and citations (which were a problem... sigh).

I also think that the large classes (all but logic are 50), combined with the fact that they turn in a lot of work on-line, means that I don't know many of their names. I take attendance by passing around a sign-in sheet. I know some names, but for most I'll just recognize their faces... and, if the instructor doesn't know your name, it's easy to drift away.

I think it will be interesting to compare these completion rates with next semester -- next semester I'll have 3 sections of logic. The classes are smaller and I tend to see individual work more often -- plus hand stuff back in class. I get to know their names... My ethics class has a different schedule -- and is partially on-line, so I'll see the whole class on Monday, then half on Wednesday and half on Friday. I think seeing them in a smaller group will help.

On a good note -- I've had some really good students this semester. Overall, the class discussions have been better than in prior semesters and the students who complete the class seem to be doing better work.

I'm also not all that sure that a lower completion rate is such a bad thing. The fact of the matter is that our class sizes in those courses are unacceptable. If the college really wants to a) prepare students for four-year colleges, b) have students complete courses and c) teach students writing across the curriculum-- having sections of 50 is counter to all of those goals. Lower numbers of C/B/A students might prompt action where my own 7 years of complaints have gone unnoticed.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Ready set... upload?

Four of my five final exams are on-line. This is a change from last spring... and it's kind of weird.

I'm used to writing, printing and distributing exams -- now the work is already done -- I'm used to having piles of exams hanging out in my office this time of year... now, they're all virtual.

I'm also used to getting papers on paper (and I will in the future -- I don't like the drop box...) -- so, I'm used to having piles of grading sitting around this time of year.

Overall, yea I know it's good for the environment -- and it's great that I don't have to deal with any weather related excuses -- but, it's kind of like when a holiday tradition changes -- it may be better, but it's the change that's weird.

about that snow...

... and the end of the semester.

It seems to be snowmageddon out there. It's also the last day of class for two sections.

I'm super-duper happy that my classes are using the on-line course management software.

I'm also happy that my classes don't meet until this afternoon -- and that I just had an exam review session planned for them today.

I suspect about four student will show up.. and they'll be the ones who don't need to be there.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

41... really?

I'm 41 -- yikes.

Last year this time I was pretty darned tired from chemo.

I was bald -- and I spent most of my birthday driving back from Red State.

Today -- I have a pretty decent sized pile of grading to do. Hubby is here (no Red State!!) and I have a full head of hair.

it will be a better birthday...

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Inside and outside, academia and breast cancer..

I just finished kind of silly little novel that really irritated me... I finished it only because I wanted one of the central characters to stop being a dumb-ass...

The main character has breast cancer and she's an English prof at a local university. The author seems to get neither of the basic bits about this character's background right.

First, on the breast cancer: The character has an irrational reaction to even the suggestion of a mastectomy. She says all kinds of stupid stuff about losing her breast, being left scarred. The concept of radiation and chemo after the mastectomy is so impossible to this stupid twit that she'd rather die -- leaving her husband, 3 kids and 4 grandchildren than endure the horrors of chemo.

Of course -- given the last 18 months, I find this a bit implausible. She claims to love her husband, her children and grandchildren -- but -- not enough to have a pretty decent chance at spending another 30 or so years with them? She also claims to be a feminist, a scholar and a hippie -- yet, she's so wrapped up in her current body image she'd rather let her body be eaten from the inside out by cancer than to have a mastectomy with reconstruction (or, without). She claims not to care much about her appearance (even going so far as to wash out the 'up do' paid for by her daughter for a big party), yet -- the concept of losing her hair temporarily is beyond her. I spent about 8 years working in the hair INDUSTRY, and I would have done chemo then...

On the academic stuff... The author is pretty ignorant about the basic job categories in academia -- as well as the fact that it's pretty unusual for someone to go from TA to professor at the same place. The author seems to teach lit (not comp), but is not tenured, nor is she an adjunct or on any kind of limited-term contract. A young department chair is trying to force her to quit with the threat of a schedule full of comp classes -- but the main character doesn't have tenure -- she even complains about a pattern of tenuring less-qualified men (which is probably the only accurate detail), but the main character says she isn't tenured. Plus, as a non-tenured person she has a lovely office, small classes and does no research -- and, she's active in faculty union protests.

Ummm--- most of you know the basics wrong with this little scenario. Really -- by the end of this I was kind of hoping the stupid twit would just get fired by the chair. The chair claims budget crunch and is trying to get the twit to retire -- and the twit is making sure the retirement package includes continuing her health insurance. Y'all know in the 'real' world, the stupid twit would be out on her ear without anything.

Most of the other characters were shallow -- although, the descriptions of the northern Michigan scenery were pretty good. I wish the author would stick to things she knows -- or, at least to things I don't know. I'm glad it's a library book, so I didn't actually pay for it.

An odd day...

There's a post at the end of my spot in the garage. I've been afraid of hitting it for two years... until today, when I actually hit it. To be more precise, the mirror on the driver's side door hit it. I now have one of those 'ghetto' corollas -- with a mirror hanging off. I doubt replacing it is going to be too bad, as all that broke are the plastic bits.

I'm supposed to be working on revising the selective conscientious objection chapter -- but the ideas are still brewing in my head, so I need some time to think about it...

Today's lunch cooking will be Pioneer Woman Cooks' beef stew with mushrooms... Don't you wish you could steal our lunches this week??

I think we'll have clam chowder (ala Costco) and gourmet grilled cheese for dinner (good bread, yummy cheese + bleu cheese... grilled using olive oil on the pan, not butter...).

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Back to Florida...

So --it's cold and snowy... and SuperMom's birthday is in early January... and she's going to be in Florida with Grandma and Auntie S -- a visit sounds like a grand idea, no?

At the worst -- I'll be at the point in my dissertation when I'll be finding typos and other nits to pick. I might as well take the thing to Florida, no? I'm hoping to have had a nit-picking session before I go, so I can just give it one more good, solid read while sitting in the January sun.

I should be all ready to start the new school year before I go -- copies made and everything. I may need to do the course management software work while I'm there, but they have internet too -- being close to campus doesn't matter. I suspect both Mom and Auntie S's wireless works outdoors...

Grandma will turn 93 the day after Christmas. I'm looking forward to seeing her. She can tell me about how her father helped start the Junior College in her hometown -- and about how they had really good teachers because of the crappy economy... and then about going to Iowa to finish school and meeting my grandfather. Every time she tells the story, she adds a few details, so it should be fun.

Now -- all I need to do is finish off the semester, a dissertation, pack, get a pedicure, and "do" the holidays. No sweat...

Friday, December 04, 2009

Dissertation progress...

Chapter 3 is revised -- yes, editing remains, but for now I have two chapters left...

and, in so many ways I have Hubby to thank. Just as I was realizing that I might actually defend next semester, one of my songs dedicated to Hubby came up on my dissertation play list.. Because he loves me...

Of course, because I'm pretty perverse... this came up next... "Life's Gonna Suck"


But -- because Hubby's having a rough day -- I thought I'd include a special message to him...

If you can't handle schmaltzy commentary on the lyrics... stop reading :).


"Because You Loved Me"

For all those times you stood by me
You always stood by me -- I've been blessed to have you on my side for 20 years...

For all the truth that you made me see
like, that I'm actually smart enough to write a dissertation...


For all the joy you brought to my life
we laugh every day -- even chemo days, cancer days, icky days... every day.When we're old, they'll think we're senile -- but, we'll just be speaking our own language of jokes, jabs and unique-to-us weirdness... after 70ish years of marriage, I can't imagine anything else.

For all the wrong that you made right
I couldn't ask for a better advocate -- you'll make one hell of a lawyer...

For every dream you made come true
I couldn't begin to list them...

For all the love I found in you
I'll be forever thankful baby
absolute truth -- no doubt -- even if you make me crazy or cranky, this is still true.

You're the one who held me up
Never let me fall
You're the one who saw me through through it all
Cancer, chemo, the death of my sister and my friend Sara... BA, MA, ABD, soon to be Ph.D... and so much more. You were there.

You were my strength when I was weak
You were my voice when I couldn't speak
You were my eyes when I couldn't see
I know that it's simply luck that I have you with me -- I can't have done anything good enough to deserve you. I am so lucky to have you on my side -- now and forever.

You saw the best there was in me
I know I'd never have accomplished what I have without you.

Lifted me up when I couldn't reach
You gave me faith 'coz you believed
Your unwavering faith in me seems to be endless... and for that I love you.

I'm everything I am
Because you loved me
You were the one who felt the lump -- without that, I may have waited years... and may not be here. As it is, I know I wouldn't be teaching philosophy and finishing a dissertation without your love and support.

You gave me wings and made me fly
You touched my hand I could touch the sky
You make me think about things in a new way -- see the world with a new perspective. Everything is possible -- for someone who is often skeptical, you are really a dreamer and I love you for that.

I lost my faith, you gave it back to me
You said no star was out of reach
You stood by me and I stood tall
I had your love I had it all
When I was bald, tired and had only one boob -- you saw me, not cancer. You encouraged me to think beyond cancer, chemo and the clinic. You encouraged me to work on my dissertation -- not to let the worst summer ever get in my way.

I'm grateful for each day you gave me
Maybe I don't know that much
But I know this much is true
I was blessed because I was loved by you
Blessed isn't strong enough -- but it's the best I can do. Your love has been a pure gift -- one I don't deserve, but am grateful for every day...

You were always there for me
The tender wind that carried me
Carried, cajoled and pushed when I needed it. You know just how to do it -- I'm not sure how, but you do.

A light in the dark shining your love into my life
even when I'm pretty un-lovable, you've been there.

You've been my inspiration
Through the lies you were the truth
Even if the Jedi Mind Trick doesn't work on me :).

My world is a better place because of you
and I have a hard time imagining my world without you. We've grown up together, we're an amazing team and everything I do to support you in law school could never come close to repaying what you've given me.

Remember -- we're a good team -- law school is just another challenge we'll tackle together.
I love you!!

Middle School Debate..

Really -- it was a lot of fun to judge. The Urban Debate League has a middle school program. Hubby and I (mostly hubby) have been helping to coach in it this year.

The kids kind of knew what they were debating about. The details escaped them, and I really think they'd be better off with a different model of debate -- but, the point is to introduce them to the process.

Most of them spoke well, some were excellent -- a few mumbled and one tried to talk fast without much success.

What's really cool about this program is that a good, private college has started a really good UDL debate scholarship... to qualify you must do four years of UDL -- and middle school counts.

Now -- if they'd only learn that the time to bring up the impact of nuclear war isn't in their rebuttal, things would be good. Also -- discussing their opponents dropped arguments would be a bonus..

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Random musings....

What should I bring to the department pot luck? We're kind of short on outlets and I'm not organized enough to bring it in hot.. so, cold things are better.

Am I wrong for cutting out a research paper next semester and putting in a presentation instead? The class is ethics and it's 50 students... plus, they're doing a lot of writing in other formats.

Am I being vindictive (just a little and not in a good way) when most of my short answer essay questions are about movies or TV show episodes we watched in class -- considering the fact that attendance was low on those days??

Is it unrealistic to assign classes next semester to watch Gran Torino and Million Dollar Baby on their own?

Am I going to be able to tell the difference between the middle school UDL debate I'm judging this afternoon and the college debate I'm used to?? Noticing the size/age of the competitors doesn't count...

How in the heck am I going to replace my current Logic tutor?? -- she'll leave sooner or later, but she's so darned good. I asked her to think about being a tutor a couple of years ago because she was helping students in class anyway-- thank goodness she said yes!! Next semester we'll manage 120 logic students together... and I'm going to need her.

Is it weird that I resist Christmas preparations before my birthday?

Is it weird that I'm looking forward to working on my dissertation tomorrow?

3 sets of old friends...

Facebook is a funny thing...

A while back I got connected with some of my dearest friends from my high school/ early college days--- J, J,& P.... we hung out together, were naughty together and surely they fall into the category of 'framily'-- (friends who are more like family). I hadn't seen these women for a long time -- and we're seeing one another regularly... mostly because one of the J's is an instigator :). We weren't really friends FROM high school, as one of the J's and P went to a neighboring school... and the other J was the Red Head's little sister -- but we were close like you can only be at that time in your life. The really amazing thing is that it's like the 15-20 year gap just didn't happen -- Maybe by the time you're 40ish, the gap goes away?? Maybe they're my lifelong pals and it took me a while to get back in the groove.

Just after Christmas I'm planning to have dinner with some friends from high school -- these are girls I went to school with -- the ones I'd chat in the hall with, sit with at lunch or in class and generally giggle with about little things. We definitely weren't 'framily' then-- and I doubt we will be now. I'm looking forward to seeing them, our conversation over dinner will be fun because we all have the same background -- but, I don't anticipate hanging with them on a regular basis.

Last night I saw the brother of a really old friend make a comment on facebook. I sent the 'Hey, I'm ____, are you _____'s brother?' Message -- and he was!! He hasn't changed much -- and she's living in South Dakota -- apparently with a couple of kids. We were neighbors as kids -- she's the first person I ever skinny-dipped with -- and we did all the same kinds of things that neighbor kids did in an age when kids weren't tied to a video screen or doing activities every free moment. Especially in the summer, she was my companion -- and we had a good childhood swimming, playing and generally being kids. I'm sure I haven't seen her since I was about 12 or 13 -- we drifted apart, then her family moved...

All of those connections were due to Facebook -- It's pretty amazing.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

'that time of the semester'...

Oddly enough, I'm ready for finals week.

I have all my final exams either being copied or posted to the course management system.

I'm very close to being caught up on the grading.

My administrivia is trivial.

I'm working on the syllabi for next semester. The nice thing is that my logic classes all meet T/Th, during the day -- so I can write the same syllabus for all three sections. That just leaves me the one ethics section. My goal is to have them done by finals week -- so all I have to do is send them to be copied and I'll be ready to go by spring.

Spring 2010 will be the first semester at BNCC I won't be teaching AT ALL in the evening. For a while there my philosophy courses were in the day and my debate stuff was at night. Some semesters I was on campus 3-4 nights per week -- 2 for debate -- Over the last four semesters (including summer) I've taught a total of 6 classes that started at 6:00.... none of those were debate coaching.

Also-- my actual prep next semester will be minimal. Logic is now a no-prep class for me -- just the grading -- and in Ethics we're covering the same topics as this semester, so it's all done... YEA!!! I can even go in and copy my old course into the new shell -- so all the powerpoints and other stuff will be there for me.

I suppose it's a good thing that next semester will be relatively no-fuss -- as I hope to defend my dissertation next semester... so, I'll be busy :).

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

small YEA for the day...

I just found out that I'll have my tutor next semester.

I love her dearly and she knows what to do -- I don't have to break her in or anything!!

This is really good news as I have three sections of logic next semester -- I'll need her help with 120 logic students.

Now -- on to the first of two optional days -- we'll see who shows up!

e-mail 'reply all' fight...

So, it seems that there's an e-mail brawl going on in my class-- and I wasn't cc'd.

I had to write a message that says, in essence, everyone back to your own corner of the classroom....

I won't see them in person until tomorrow -- and I only found out because my other section was on the cc list - but I was not.

Any tips on what to say in person?

Monday, November 30, 2009

Student foul...

Stu:"Hey, you were going to send me your feedback on that paper".
Me: "I thought I sent it, I'll do it tomorrow"

later..
e-mail system: "Stu's a dumb-ass and hir mailbox is full"

Me: Now I remember, it bounced before... hmmm.

Tis' the season for student fouls... what are yours?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

A blog to watch

This blog could be really funny, inspiring and worth putting in your reader for a while... at least to see if she keeps it up.

She's an old friend I've recently rediscovered. She has a special needs child, a very bright daughter and a husband who does crazy stuff -- and she's more than willing to share her stories with the world.

When (not IF) she becomes as big as Dooce or Pioneer Woman, you'll be able to say you saw her back when... of course, I'll be able to say I was her first comment AND that I tried to teach her to swim when she was about 7. BTW, I'm not saying she learned to swim from me-- instead of actually swimming, she put her hands on the bottom of the lake and pretended...

Saturday, November 28, 2009

So -- what do I do while Hubby studies??

Today the answer should be -- dissertation and some class prep stuff.

The answer is -- lunch with old pals and then a movie or two...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Intersting exchange...

Student e-mail: Prof, I messed up and missed the exam. Now I'm in deep trouble with my grade and I'm going to get kicked out of Hogwarts or something..
Me: Come talk with me..

today
Student: I'm here to talk about my grade.
Me: (not looking at Student's grades) what's the trouble.
Student: I missed your very reasonable on-line exam window, now I'm gonna get a D.
Me: How can I resolve this while being fair to the people who missed the exam for other reasons.
Student: but, I had computer trouble.
Me: We discussed that in class.
Student: But, I'm afraid of failing -- I'm gonna be really close.
Me: How can I help you and still be fair? I'm in a pickle here and I don't know how to resolve it.
Student: Thinking, thinking, thinking -- I don't know...
Me: Why don't you work really hard, write a brilliant paper and see how it comes out? You've been to class regularly, so you have that to your advantage. You're getting extra-credit points.
Student: do you think that will work?
Me: When I assign grades I look at things like attendance and a student's improvement over the semester. If you write a brilliant paper, it will be difficult for me to give you a D.
Student: Ok -- thanks.

GraphJam gets it right about BNCC

Time spent at community college

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A new view...

If I weren't completely lazy about these kinds of things -- I'd have photos.

Suffice it to say Hubby rearranged the office. Now instead of facing the window, it's on my left -- and his right. Instead of sitting side by side, we face one another... I think I got the good end of the deal, as I now look out over the edge of an abandoned golf course -- while Hubby looks at the deck and the satellite dish.

Yea -- this was a good idea -- and, it was free!

Dissertation update...

I think I've got a good handle on chapter 3 -- at least, on the ideas and structure it needs.... now, all I need to do is actually make the changes and then make sure it is coherent.

After that, chapters 4 and 5 -- then a general nit-picking of the whole thing and I can send it to Red State...

Oddly enough, in the next few weeks I have very little grading to do. I'll need to write exams, but the next bunch of grading comes in finals week -- which starts December 14. I wonder if I can get the dissertation into shape before then?? I think a reasonable goal is to have the substantial changes by finals week -- then, I can let it sit while I do grading and final grades -- then get into the nit-picking part immediately after Christmas. A week of working on the details should be sufficient -- which would have me sending it to Red State by early January.

Friday, November 20, 2009

It's nice to be working at home...

... and, I missed all the excitement...

"About 11 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 20, there was an electrical fire on the West Campus of BNCC in a small second-floor maintenance room near the theatre. The fire was contained in that area and resulted in a power outage. One minor injury was reported. People were evacuated from the building and classes were cancelled for the remainder of the day. The West Campus remains closed at this time, pending the repair to the electrical system. Faculty, staff and students will be allowed to enter the building at the main commons entrance to retrieve personal belongings until 4:30 p.m."

This is just upstairs from my office --and just down the hall from both classrooms I use.


I'm going to start taking my house and car keys to class -- just in case.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Bad news for Alaska...

From a student essay..

"In Alaska infantacide is good, in America it is bad"...

-- or, maybe that's good, Alaska really doesn't need us.

ps...

Secret Message to SuperMom -- you have a son-in-law :).... and I'm a lucky girl!

19 years...

...Hubby has been MY hubby!

I'm lucky to be married to the best man ever -- and my best friend in the whole world.

We've come a long way --- and nobody could have predicted the twists and turns of our lives -- as lived together.

I'm so lucky to wake up with Hubby every day -- to share the ups and downs and to live every day laughing at the things only we find funny...

I worry that by the time we've been married 70 years or so, we'll have so many inside jokes and other stuff that the folks at the home will think we're senile :).

I love you -- and I'm sure the next 19 years will be as fun as the last 19!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Breast Cancer and the problem with statistics/ utilitarianism...

As you might imagine, I've been doing a bit of reading about the breast cancer study...

I've come to see part of what troubles me about this. They didn't do any NEW investigations, rather they compiled existing data and made the declaration that it's better to start mammograms at 50 and not to bother with self-exams.

For now, I'm going to ignore the possible implications concerning insurance / government paid health care.

One way to look at this is as a problem of interpretation of statistics. What they saw was an increase in the number of biopsies but not a corresponding decrease in the number of deaths from cancer. There IS a decrease, but it doesn't match the increase in the number of biopsies. They also saw an increase in the number (perhaps the percentage) of false-positive mammograms and they saw research concluding that some cancers come and go naturally without becoming invasive/deadly. They concluded that the risk of a false positive/ unnecessary treatment didn't outweigh the decrease in deaths.

They couched this in statistics -- but, the value judgment underlying this farce is a bad interpretation of utilitarianism.

Background - Utilitarianism -- which (gasp) wikipedia has kind of wrong -- is the idea that the morally good thing is the thing which tends to produce an increase in happiness, while the morally wrong thing tends to produce a decrease in happiness.

Wikipeida is wrong -- or, probably more like confused -- when they define utilitarianism as "the greatest good for the greatest number of people." And -- that's what this study does as well. The correct formulation is 'the greatest overall good, all persons considered'.

The problem with the study is that it tries to compare the relatively small harms from false positive mammograms(thus unnecessary biopsies) and unnecessary treatments --which happen for a relatively large number of women -- to the HUGE pain of a smaller number of deaths from breast cancer, which otherwise would have been avoided with necessary treatment.

The study wrongly concludes that the concerns of the larger number outweigh the deaths of the smaller number.

I think they are flat out wrong. In order for this to come out right, in terms of utilitarianism, the number of false positive mamograms/ unnecessary treatment would have to be staggering -- as, the pain of actually dying of any kind of cancer -- breast cancer is no exception -- is huge for the patient... and their families.

In essence, what they're saying is that it's better to avoid the stress of having to do more tests and possibly a mastectomy/chemo/radiation, than it is to avoid the deaths from cancer that would come from screening women 40-50. As someone who has done mastectomy/chemo, I call BS. I think I can speak on behalf of my chemo buddies when I say that we'd rather have had all of our treatment be unnecessary than to have just one more person not figure out they have cancer until it metastasizes.

Even a good formulation of utilitarianism can reach this conclusion --perhaps that's why I'm not a utilitarian.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Breast Cancer and Feminist Epistemology...

I have to wonder if this study would have been different if science included more women..

A couple of years ago I wrote a paper about feminist epistemology. The central concern of some feminists involved in epistemology is that the questions and interpretation of data is skewed by the perspectives of the scientists themselves. Their claim is based on the idea that all persons bring their own unique perspectives to scientific inquiry, and the fact that science is homogoneous skews both the questions asked and the way the data is interpreted.

The study concludes, based on statistical analysis, that women shouldn't get mamograms until they are 50 -- and that breast self-exam isn't particularly useful. The harm seems to be an increase in worry due to the need to do further tests and perhaps needless treatement for cancers that otherwise might have gone away on their own.

Really, folks, I'll be 41 next month. Without hubby feeling the lump and without my physicians taking it seriously (even though I was only 39), I seriously doubt that I'd have made 50. I would have gone along like nothing was wrong - until my cancer spread -- maybe to my bones, lungs or brain. It would take me a while longer to figure out that something was seriously wrong -- and by that time it might have easily been too late. Instead of chemo, we'd be talking about hospice.

To say that I'm outraged is to undersell this... if this becomes commonly accepted "fact", people exactly like me won't get the life-saving reaction I got. In 5-10 years, the 30ish women now won't even know about a lump until it's too late.

The idea that somehow the risk of needless treatment / stress is worse than even ONE death from breast cancer is really stupid. I simply can't accept that kind of reasoning and it makes me mad. Folks who haven't had a family history of breast cancer will now delay treatment and skip self exams. If even one of these women dies as a result, it's too much.

Trust me -- many things are worse than losing a breast and having to do chemo. No, I'd rather not have had to do them -- but, even the small risk that I might DIE was enough to make being bald with one boob be pretty attractive.

Instead of being concerned about false-positives and an increase in biopsies, why not work to increase the technology involved in mamograms so that they are more effective on "lumpy" or otherwise dense breasts? Make the tests more accurate, improve biopsy techniques and decrease the wait time on results -- presto -- less stress/worry.

I hate how statistics get used thses days -- relying on statistics lead people in the financial sector to ignore their common sense and thus to the crappy economy. Now statistics are being used to declare breast cancer not a concern until age 50.

Too many details... too little...

time -- at least, too little time to aggressively play Facebook Farmville AND read blogs AND get stuff done. I think today is a "no internet at work day"...

--- It's also 'that time of the semester' -- that time where finals week is in sight, but I'm not ready. Heck, I'm not completely caught up from midterms and I have new stuff to grade...

-- and I have a few meetings in the next week... not that they're terrible, but they do interrupt.

Motivation -- Really, I don't want to do this stuff. I know I should, and I should have a deep and burning concern for my students, but I don't. Sometimes I just wish they'd go away.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The weekend...

... was busy, but good.

Friday --
  • I had an oncologist check-up -- things seem to be fine. Assuming the blood tests come back good (I don't even know what they're testing for..), this will be my 1 year "clean" mark!!
  • Hubby participated in BNCC's pecha Kucha...I helped organize it -- and he was good.
Saturday --
  • Hubby got a new toy -- mostly because it will end up costing us very little when he gets the paperwork done..
  • Hubby's study group had a dinner with all the study group folks and their spouses. After the third restaurant (group of 11 -- no reservations = too long for us to wait at Bucca and Houlihan's...) we finally got to sit down and chat. Next time we'll think ahead and get reservations -- duh.
Sunday --
  • Hubby played poker with the law school folks. I went to get waxed.
  • I made mac and cheese for lunches -- with ham and bleu cheese... yummm!
No, I didn't get any work done -- yes, I have a lot of work to do -- do I really care, kind of -- but only kind of... hmmm.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A while back...

... I got a new office chair.

It sucked -- and got worse. The Minion has clawed it up, it's ugly and not comfortable --

Today I got tired of it -- and went to IKEA.. and got this chair.

The bonus is that it matches the couch - and, if I decide it sucks we can put it out there and I'll get another traditional office chair. Hubby gets another assembly credit. If he ever comes to his senses and gets rid of me (not that I'm worried about that) , I'm going to include a lifetime furniture assembly rider in the divorce paperwork... I'm sure the killer divorce lawyer I'll hire can get that done :).

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Dissertation progress..

Chapter 3 is under control -- I have two sections to re-organize, but we're out of toner... and to do it I'll need to print. So --I'll finish chapter 3 over the weekend.

Chapter 3 doesn't suck... YEA.

Chapter 4 revisions may be impacted by the Ft. Hood shooting -- the chapter is on selective conscientious objection (SCO). I wonder if Hasan would have left the military, if given a chance -- his only viable claim is that our current wars are against his principles... but, not that ALL wars are against his principles. The military recognizes conscientious objection claims, but not SCO --

Really, it's very sad to have that kind of example -- but, it kind of shows me I'm right...

and --- Happy Veteran's Day.

A short rant...

.. on the "right" to have an opinion.

Ummm.. yea, you can say whatever the heck you want.

You can say whatever you want -- but, if people disagree with you, they can say whatever they want too... that's the way this works. Sometimes what they'll say is stuff you don't want to hear -- just as what you've just said is something THEY didn't want to hear. The tricky thing about freedoms is that if you have one, so do the people who think you are wrong.

Understand this -- the First Amendment protects your LEGAL right to say whatever dumb-ass thing that comes into your mind. It does NOT mean that other people won't think you're a dumb-ass. It does not mean that someone has to hire you in spite of the stupid stuff you said. It does not mean that we have to sit back and let you say stupid stuff. It certainly doesn't mean that others must provide a forum for your dumb-ass stuff.

On the other hand -- forget what I just said -- keep talking and saying dumb-ass stuff, so we'll know what's in that pretty little blond head of yours... that way we can make our own decisions.

Students, rocks and hard places...

.. and, why we need national healthcare...

I met with X yesterday--

X was doing well in class, but dropped off the face of the earth for about a month. S/he's missed an exam and some reading quizzes -- hir average is 33%...

I advised X to withdraw from the class.

X told me that hir absence was due to mental health issues. If s/he withdraws from class, s/he isn't a full-time student and then would lose access to hir health insurance -- which s//he needs to get hir medication.

I told X that I treat mental illnesses in the same way as I treat physical illnesses, transportation problems, work conflicts or childcare issues. All of these things are barriers of varying heights --and sometimes students' lives just don't go along with class. Sometimes students get serious illnesses during classes - that's a fact of life and, unless I have some documentation saying X was unable to complete coursework during that time -- I can't make an exception for her and not for the person who had transportation or childcare issues.

X has decided to keep going and take the F if necessary, in order to keep hir health insurance.

So, in order to keep her mental health, she needs to sacrifice her GPA.

So -- a condition that can, reasonably keep someone out of class also requires them to be IN class in order to get the treatment necessary.

This is almost as bad as the binds some patients get into -- their illness makes getting to work hard, but if they lose their jobs, they lose their health insurance.

Since insurance is like a bizarre club --when, if you have a pre-existing condition -- you can only change insurance if you currently HAVE it, we put some people in impossible situations.

Really -- this student shouldn't have to be in this hard place.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tough love --

I think the fact that I wasn't quite done with their papers was a good thing..

I had time to talk with both Ethics classes about what was coming -- before anybody saw their grade.

A few students even mentioned the helpful handout in the writing center -- and others said they'd used the link to a good college website on citation. The message to the others was pretty clear, 'we figured out how to do this and you can too'.

They'll have just under a month to do the revision. I made it clear that the revision was to be for citations only.

I also told them that this was the standard in academic writing and that they'd better learn it now than in a class where the prof calls it plagiarism and gives them an F... or when someone doesn't permit a revision -- like I was considering. I told them I thought it would be unethical of me to just pass their papers along -- and that I didn't like the idea of dealing with their papers again... but, I thought it was the right thing to do.

We'll see how they respond -- I got the 'stink eye' from a few -- and called one student on it... in kind of a joking manner, but she got the point and shaped up...

I'm sure that I'm going to adopt this policy from now on. I'm also going to round up an electronic copy of the writing center handout to include in every course -- and simply return any paper that doesn't meet basic academic standards.

Monday, November 09, 2009

umm... yea...

"The teenagers are headless of any dangers of sexually transmitted diseases and a teen pregnancy is a desired thing."...

...perhaps the "headlessness" has something to do with the pregnancy?

Sunday, November 08, 2009

I have a confession...

... I love cheesy disaster movies.

Next Saturday, there's a marathon.

I'll be ... ummm... busy then, yea -- busy.

Help from my English peeps -- please!!

I need to know -- am I out of touch?

I assigned a paper in which my students are supposed to research an ethical issue.

I told them to use some form of in-text citations, but I didn't care if it was footnotes or parenthetical references.

Countless papers have come in with some version of a works cited page, but NO in-text citations. Sometimes they'll say "Smith says...." -- but, nowhere do they tell me exactly WHERE in the book Smith says it, or sometimes which Smith article it is. Other times they'll write the citation directly into the text -- which kind of works -- but makes it really icky to read.

Did I miss a shift to this kind of minimal citation?

Do they learn this in comp 1 -- or high school?

or -- are they just f-ing lazy?

Saturday, November 07, 2009

by contrast...

One of my older students came to me on Wednesday --- asking if missing Monday to hunt would be ok...

His concern was that they hunt really far up north -- and getting back for class at 4:00 would mean they'd have to leave very early Monday morning.

I told him that he hadn't missed any classes and that, as long as he got notes from someone, he's well within the syllabus guidelines on absences.

Chances are that the older student will make it to class -- and the bozo won't.... hmmm.

Friday, November 06, 2009

no more port...

So, for the first time since July 08 I don't have a port.

No hard little triangle of plastic between my collar bone and my right breast.

No more trying to get it to work at the chemo clinic -- I can go right into the lab to get my blood drawn.

YEA!!!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

We may have to move...

... when I tell a student she's not likely to pass my class.

Folks, she lives in my building -- at our END of our rather small building.

She lives just below us and to the right. IF she were one floor up, she'd be our nextdoor neighbor.

She also doesn't come to class or do her work.

We're going to talk on Tuesday --

grrr

and, she's the one with the obnoxious mini-van -- the one with the malfunctioning car alarm.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

In the blahs...

... not too deeply, but it seems like I have a lot to do and I don't want to do it.

I'd rather read, nap and ponder rearranging the furniture.

Instead I need to prep classes, write quizzes and grade the papers that have been in for over a week.

Also, my BNCC office AND my house are generally a mess.... not quite to science experiment, and the Minion doesn't mind, but it's messy enough to bug me.

I need some motivation.

I also need a pedicure.

Maybe if I get it all done by Sunday I'll get myself a pedicure at the cheap place...

The Minion can read

The Minion could have a lifetime's worth of toys in one bag of Starbursts --he plays with them, he fetches them etc...

We have a bowl of leftover Halloween candy on the counter.

The Minion was looking into it this morning.

There was a small package of Starburst in there -- among the Snickers etc... there was only one.

He picked it out -- and tried to open it.

Folks, this wasn't a normal Starburst, it was a two-starburst package designed for Halloween.

He can read.

I'm scared.

YEA!!! --

I'm having my port removed on Friday.

Yes -- it's another surgery, but a very minor one.

I've had it for 16 months... but, I'm not going to miss the little hard, plastic thing under the skin just below my collar bone.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

hmmm... faculty edition...

Funny how things work...

  • The Squeeky Wheel faculty situation continues a bit -- but, I found out something interesting just now... part of the issue seems to be that one member of the discipline doesn't know how to use the copy machine. This person has been here at least three years -- but, come to think of it, I haven't seen hir at the copy machine...

So, I taught hir to make copies today. Maybe that will make things easier...
  • Another person outside my department is cranks... for good reasons, but those things aren't my fault. I'm not sure how cranks is going to get this resolved -- but, I suspect that complaining about it to me isn't going to do any good. I suppose what kind of irritates me is that this problem is something I predicted three years ago -- but, was told that wasn't a problem. Well -- welcome to the problem.

I also got a flyer from Biology Products... Inside the flyer I can order "preserved cats" -- they range in price from $20.50 to $45.00 each... They have a photo of a sad preserved kitty ... and a not that "we also stock skinned cats; see our catalog or our website for pricing"

-- ummm, no.... although, I could take the flyer home and hang it at 'cat level' as a warning... Do you think the Queen and the Minion would shape up?

BNstate "Holidays"

BN state has the regular holidays -- plus two.

The June holiday isn't much of a problem for me -- summer classes don't meet on Friday -- so the FISHING opener isn't much of a problem... Students can get to the woods, get properly drunk, (hopefully) not fall out of their boats on Saturday and make it back to class on Monday in decent shape. Fishing season lasts all summer -- so they have plenty of time to go to the lake, drown some worms and drink.

The November holiday is much more problematic -- you see, DEER season is about 10 days long -- and some folks think they should be able to stalk Bambi, drink /pee in the woods and try not to shoot one another for the full 10 days... no matter that it means they'll miss a full week of classes, plus travel time.

So, yesterday I had a short exchange with Stu.
Stu has already missed 5 classes...5 of our 75 minute classes, which means he's missed 2.5 weeks of class. Last week Stu asked me about maximum absences -- and, I think he's asked me before... so, this has been brewing for a while.

Yesterday Stu asked again when I'd start dropping students. I told him (again) that due to the H1N1 stuff I was being more lenient with absences, so if he wasn't feeling well he should not come to class.

Stu told me he was going hunting over the weekend and that he may not make it to class on Monday. It doesn't help that we have Wednesday off next week for Veteran's day -- so, Stu can get a whole week of shooting/drinking/peeing in the woods by missing one class. I really wouldn't mind, but Stu hasn't managed his absences well so far...

My only response to Stu was to give him one of those 'over the glasses' you've got to be **itting me looks.

Really, it doesn't matter if Stu shows up -- he's AIC (absent in class) anyway and not so likely to pass the class.

Monday, November 02, 2009

YEA!! The boys in Purple won...

The whole Farve thing is pretty funny...

Packer fans are pissed, and now pouty -- in a way they weren't when he was with New York.

The thing is, the Packers essentially fired him. They held his contract, said they wouldn't play him but wouldn't let him go to play for someone else.

Now they're calling HIM the traitor -- and they're mad that he's across the border.

and -- with the Vikings, he's kicking butt... kind of like when the person you broke up with shows up at a party with someone much smarter, successful and more attractive than you.

take that Packer's Fans... now, go lay down by your dish and eat that cheese...

Sunday, November 01, 2009

What's cooking -- today?

First of all, a disclaimer... I want the Pioneer Woman to move in next door, I really don't want to move where she is, but I'd love to be her buddy... If you don't read her on a regular basis, you should. She's also an amazing cook -- and she's really good at photographing food, so check out her "Pioneer Woman Cooks" section!

Today, we have a few things on the ITPF menu..

Buttered Rosemary Rolls... they are so easy, they may be today or they may be later in the week when we need something yummy. I suspect that this will be a staple for a long time to come...

For lunch this week-- I'm making a version of her simple sesame noodles.. I'm going to add some chicken breasts and some leftover veggies to it -- we'll either warm it up to eat it or eat it cold like a cold salad... either way, I'm sure it will be good. This should be all I need to make for the week, as we have plenty of stuff to add into the lunch bag, including a Costco sized bag of halloween treats -- which we bought for our TWO trick-or-treaters...

For the BIG GAME -- (i.e. the Purple guys in Green Bay...) or -- for lunch, or whatever today we'll have take out from Big Bowl -- because they have yummy food AND sell their amazing dipping sauces by the bottle... Once I have the bottles, all I need is a vehicle for them, which will be fried won ton skins...

Friday, October 30, 2009

I grew up in a bad neighborhood...

When I was a kid, we lived in the western 'burbs.

Generally, the 'burbs weren't all that exciting -- but, in my immediate neighborhood we had the following:
  • A dude who did high-level insurance fraud. He was also the son in law of a well-known politician. I think he did jail time.
  • Another dud did some kind of investment fraud concerning coins.... and went to jail.
  • A corporate raider-type who probably should have gone to jail... or, if he hadn't turned to running professional bass fishing tournaments, might have ended up in big time trouble.
  • Someone whose adopted persona was "The Godfather"... and someone else I actually suspected of being a mafioso type.
And -- now this one... Just out of curiosity, I checked the listing -- it's in my old school district.

For the record -- our house would have probably fit in his indoor pool/basketball court... and it wasn't nearly as nice as his servant's quarters... but, my parents didn't have to cheat and steal from many others to get it... hmmmm.... and they bought it 40+ years ago, before things got all swanky out there.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Squeaky faculty wheels...

... somehow become my problem.

The thing is, I'm refusing to cooperate.

Prof X is a friend of mine. I like her a lot, but she's kind of scattered. She's also on the far side of campus from the rest of her department. This means that sometimes there are gaps in communication.

Those gaps aren't my problem. The problem is with her colleagues -- when a rotating schedule gets held up on someone's desk, X gets the short end of the stick.

X has complained to others about this -- and they're looking to me to solve the problem.

The thing is, X gets the same e-mails about schedules as all the other faculty members. I've told X that when she gets one of those e-mails, if she'd like me to make a copy of what I gave to the other person, she's going to need to ask for it. The other thing she can do is actually contact the other members of her department to see where it is. Her discipline is the same size as philosophy -- but, somehow we manage...

The thing is -- I have almost a classroom full of faculty members -- if I start giving special accommodations to one faculty member, then I'll end up having to do it for the others... and that isn't going to happen.

It's a proud day in BN state..

First the guy drunk driving in his motorized lazy-boy..

Then the pilots missing the airport.

Really, we need winter to come SOON -- so the wackos will stay inside.

About that...

... cup of fancy coffee I wanted (umm-- needed) to motivate on-line grading before class -- denied by a long line of students who would rather be late to their 9:30 class than go without their coffee.. grrr.

... schedule -- most of the disciplines have their stuff in and comprehensible, one has until noon today. If they could make up their minds -- I'd be done with that... grrr.

... internet at home -- I'm meeting the Qwest guy this afternoon. When I left home the internet was working. The problem is that it seems to go out overnight / when it's below freezing. This problem needs to be fixed ASAFP -- because BNCC is about to be below freezing for the next 5 months.

... dissertation -- if the internet isn't working at home this afternoon, I'll do dissertation work.

...If the internet is working, I'll do on-line grading, as long as the cats don't distract me.

... national Cat day. It's today -- appreciate the cats in your life... or, you'll be on their 'naughty' list and you'll get stuff that's worse than lumps of coal in your laundry.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Sometimes Stu makes me wonder..

You know "Stu" -- we all do... s/he is the student we love to complain about.

This particular Stu is in ethics -- and so darned sure s/he is RIGHT.

In particular, s/he is RIGHT about all things political, and the RIGHT answer is the politically conservative position.

This time Stu is SURE that Rawls would completely reject single-payer heathcare.... ummm... Rawls was pretty much a socialist, so -- while Rawls may have been WRONG (per Stu) to argue for single-payer, Stu is just stupid enough not to see that Rawls would have advocated it.

grrr.... plus, I'm pretty sure Stu thinks I'm the worst combination of stupid and immoral, mostly because I'm a feminist and assigned ONE feminist ethics reading.

Really, Stu can't finish this class soon enough.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Another weird dream...

This time a blogger friend joined my crazy family... at a crazy (even for us) family reunion.

The odd parts were that her daughters turned into boys -- and she gave birth AT the family reunion... plus, it took me days to actually meet her.

Welcome to the family --

Sunday, October 25, 2009

A dream -- too much...

.. of a combination of cooking, watching those cooking shows and general school work.

The setting of the dream was culinary school. For some reason I didn't realize that they called my name to come pick up the ingredients for an assignment. When others went to work , I asked an an irritating French cooking instructor for my stuff. She called me stupid for not coming forward and gave me whatever was leftover (some potatoes, yams, sweet potatoes and a misc. bag of meat chunks). I also didn't know the parameters of the assignment.

I woke up feeling like many of my students do from time to time. I wasn't sure what I was supposed to do or what the rules were for doing so. Of course, I give them a class schedule and syllabus -- but, the French cooking instructor in my dream thought she gave clear instructions...

Law school update...

So far Hubby seems to be doing very well with law school.

He's working his backside off. He gets the impression that his answers are good in class -- and his first big writing assignment is coming along pretty well.

I met a member of his study group and her husband last weekend -- they seem to be pretty fun. She and I have a similar attitude toward the world -- so, poor Hubby can't get away from us...

Weekend update and luch forcast for the week...

Dissertation -- all the comments are in the file and the basic revisions to chapter one are done.

I also made chili on Friday -- the leftovers are now the back-up lunches in the freezer.

Today I made pumpkin loaf and wild rice soup. Both of which are yummy. The soup will be lunch for the next few days -- with salad on Thursday and Friday.

The pumpkin bread should be our treats for a while, as it is better after freezing.

I also got a couple of naps in -- yesterday a very sweet and snuggly Minion even kept me company...

All in all, a productive weekend.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

If they weren't sleeping...

...as they say they weren't, and they weren't fighting...

What else could they have been doing?

Personally, I think they were shagging... but, that's just me.

Dissertation update...

Yesterday our internet was out nearly all day -- thus, I got some work done. I really do wish I had the self-discipline to simply not use the internet (yea, I know there are lock out programs etc.. but, I lack the discipline to install them... it's that bad).

The good news is that the revisions necessary are not onerous. I also agree with Dr. Advisor's comments --

I also made chili -- what we don't eat today I'll freeze.

Friday, October 23, 2009

It was a long week...

.. for both Hubby and I.

My evidence?? Our 'conversation' last night...

It seems that when I poke Hubby with my finger, he says naughty things in an "Elmo" voice.

This makes me laugh -- a lot.

Clearly, we both need some rest.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

For the record... exam version...

  • E-mailing classmates for help won't get you good exam answers -- just ask X.
  • Googling a term won't get you a good answer for the term -- that's why I specified that your answer should relate to the course material. You'd be better off with the "1" (out of 5) for "I don't know", as opposed to the 0 those answers get.
  • Doing ALL the reading assigned in class is a good idea -- especially if we talk about it.
  • If your prof writes a paper and assigns it to you, it isn't optional and it could be on the exam.
  • Having some clue as to what the term means will probably get you a pretty decent grade. Doing anything above the basic definition will get you even more... even if it's all in your own words... really, that's the point, dumb-*ss.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A student on Descartes...

"He had a lot to do when he did this so he made a journal of all the things he did, which I think included taking drugs and playing with wax, in order to find out what we can or do really know."

It made me laugh -- I'm not sure that was the intention... otherwise, it's part of a decent answer.

Ummm...

... apparently I left myself logged in -- I didn't know the Queen could type. Odd...

I'm figuring out that there are always students who will miss the deadline buss.

My first round of on-line exams -- I realized that I had too small a window for them to take the exam -- since they didn't actually get class time off to take it. I extended the deadlines to include most of the weekend after the original deadline, and I still got "I thought it closed _______".

The thing is, it doesn't bother me. I'm sorry they missed the exam. I'm sorry they couldn't manage their lives better. I'm sorry they got a sniffle and couldn't concentrate. I'm sorry they had to go out of town and thus outside the range of the internet.... like, to the moon or something -- and I'm sorry they didn't think to take their exam before they went on our fall break -- etc... I'm sorry only because these are interesting students and I want them to do well.

I don't think I need to change -- and I've had no compelling reasons to permit a make-up. Meeting a deadline is a basic life skill, as is taking my advice when I say "check the deadline for yourself, it isn't important to me"....

I've also had a new twist...

Remember X -- the one who missed the exam and claimed computer problems? The one the dean backed me up on... etc..

It seems that X has a new twist -- WHILE X hand hir exam open, s/he randomly e-mailed people on the class e-mail list for help. A few people told me about it.

Dang -- I'd have never thought to e-mail someone to help me cheat. That stuff is now in writing.

I have no evidence that X got any help... but I haven't done all the grading either -- so, I'm going to look for evidence that X copied someone else's answer and nail hir -- and all future exams will have the lock-down features enabled.

Funny -- that X's computer/internet connection was so terrible that X couldn't do the last exam -- but, X can e-mail other students late in the evening (thus, X wasn't at school) AND complete this exam... hmmm.

For the Record... from the Queen ...

Dear Humans (yea, I know Dad reads too),

You will, under NO circumstances, dress me in a costume for Halloween. It is not dignified and I'll use all of my energy, for the rest of my 9 lives, getting revenge. Anticipate unfortunate peeing incidents, "accidents" concerning your computers, large orders of catnip from e-bay etc. I'll also put considerable thought into riling up the Minion. He's an irritation multiplier.

Think about that when you are in the "pet costume" isle at Target -- think about your future.

You also may not "go" as me for Halloween -- that's just weird.

On the other hand, you can do whatever you'd like to the Minion. He's naughty and deserves it...

I've found a good link for your convenience... I suspect the smallest of dog costumes will work for the Minion. He fetches starbursts -- he's a dog.

With a less than normal level of disdain,
The Queen

Monday, October 19, 2009

I'm the sub...

A colleague had surgery. I covered hir classes today, and I'll do so tomorrow also.

It was kind of weird -- the students were nice and they responded well. They seemed to know ethical theory better than my students -- but, it was kind of odd anyway.

This afternoon was much better, my students, my topic -- and they get my jokes.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Off for "fall" "break"...

Yes -- our break is scheduled in October -- which is nominally in the "fall" --but, it's snowing for the third time this month. I call that winter.

Yes -- it's a "break" -- but, I only get one class meeting off... because my work week is seriously front loaded -- 19 of 20 "contact" hours (15 teaching, 5 office hours) happen between Monday at 2:15 and Wednesday at 5:15... so, "break" means I get one course off...

But - it should be fun to go to Corn State with my girls... reports are that our condo is a tee-pee... I'm not sure how that works... and a voicemail message from the friend who went down last night pretty much said "bring a crock pot and baking pans.... hmmmm..."

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Minion...

.. puked on me - -and it was my fault.

I was moving him off of my desk (I do it many, many times in a morning).

I happened to grab him in a way that caused him to urp --- on me.

He's the first cat to actually puke on me... Being the first cat to do anything in this house is kind of an achievement.

I think I'll go to work now -- my colleagues don't puke on me.

Monday, October 12, 2009

snow snow snow snow...

outside.

I must really love Hubby -- I'm driving him to school today instead of staying in bed until the snow ends...

Of course, it's only October --

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Cooking update...

A BNstate full-service grocery store has a great cookbook, with a very good wild rice quiche recipe.

A blogger I've been reading recently has a great rice pudding recipe--

I also got yummy grownup fruit roll-ups at Costco!!

This week's lunches are going to be good.

Life after dissertation....

I'm in the delicious position of thinking about what I'll PD (post-dissertation).

For the first time since my early 20s (and then I always had the 'I have to get back in school' vibe) -- I'll be done with any kind of homework.

I'll also have a job and tenure -- such as it is -- at BNCC.

I suspect I'll do a bit of travel, maybe go to the nerd-camp hubby went to last summer.. and after that... hmmmm.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

YEA!!!

My meting with Dr. Advisor went well. He seemed to think it was almost decent -- which is about where I thought it was also.

He gave me good feedback and good directions to consider for revisions.

He also said that a spring defense was a reasonable goal -- wow!!

I haven't looked at his written comments quite yet -- and there is lots of work to be done, but I may not be adding another chapter -- unless a conference paper ends up to be a good candidate for a chapter -- we'll see about that one.

I also have a new haircolor, I had some yummy Indian food on Thursday night and a good long chat-fest with Bex. It's great to chat with someone who has known me so long -- I met her about 8 years ago as a debater -- and now she's doing grad work at Big Red U. To be accurate, Bex falls into that wonderful category of "framily" (friend merged with family).

On the way home, Corn State gave me a speeding ticket -- which Hubby and I have dodged for 3 years, so it was probably way overdue... but, the patrolman reduced it quite a bit... So, while I feel stupid for going too much over the limit, I'm not too mad about it either.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

I'm off...

.. to Red State. The main purpose is a meeting with Dr. Advisor about the dissertation draft.

The good: haircut, Indian food, seeing Bex
The bad: 14 hour round trip drive between Thursday noon and Saturday afternoon
The possibly ugly: facing the truth about my dissertation.

I know Dr. Advisor will be diplomatic. I know he'll read it carefully and give a complete critique.

I know I have a good idea -- I just want to be more done than he'll (rightly) say I am... Although, I also have a new idea for a 6th chapter up my sleeve, just in case.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Halloween costume query...

... is it somehow wrong or in bad taste to dress like a breast cancer patient for Halloween... if you've actually HAD breast cancer?

I'm thinking pj's, one boob, scarf hiding my hair, maybe even an IV bag full of tomato juice (what the worst chemo looks like)...

Hubby could be my doctor...

Ummm.... yea....

So, BNCC has a committee on climate change.

Huh?

I suppose I can see the gist behind increasing awareness of the problem, but we're a freaking suburban community college...

Everyone drives to campus, drives to work etc.. almost nothing is in walking distance.

We still print the course schedule -- although that is changing I suspect. The Red State school I left 7ish years ago discontinued the practice 8 years ago...

yea -- I guess I can see the point of raising awareness... and, I guess it's good that it distracts from breast cancer awareness month, so -- more power to them.

Jobs in philosophy

... are rare, it seems.

There is a rumor that the October Jobs for Philosophers will have 120 positions listed.

Average years were in the 300 jobs range...

...scary, and I'm darned glad to have my job. I'm loving BNCC more and more every day.

Moving on without me...

... and that's ok.

The committee quandry seems to be resolving itself.

X -- the chair -- is still doing impromptu meetings, and s/he seems to think that's sufficient. For example -- today -- Wednesday, s/he's scheduling a meeting for tomorrow.

I'm not available -- and I'm not willing to make myself available -- so, ok...

On the other hand, my new committee and I are getting along famously... and, we're actually doing something.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Mysterious illness

BNstate had a HUGE game last night... football...we're the purple ones... who WON!!

Funny, though, more than a few of my Ethics students at BNCC were too ill to watch the game last night. There were also several who had pressing commitments, mandatory training and family obligations.

Tonight there is another big game in my state -- I wonder how my Logic students will do... I hope they aren't sick.... oh, wait, the game is at 4:00ish... maybe they'll have car trouble and horrible traffic until about 7:00... hmmm.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

RBO the weekend...

Friday -- Sara's services were kind of hard, but good. It was good to do another cry at the church. It was very good to speak about Sara at her memorial service. The family drama continued -- but nobody ended up in jail (although rumor has it, it was close...).

Saturday -- was kind of a lazy day. Some cleaning, some grading and other stuff -- plenty of short naps and lounging on the couch.

Sunday -- more of the same -- except the crock pot was going all day, with a yummy North Carolina BBQ pulled pork as the end result. I'm becoming quite the fan of Prof Hacker -- I'm freezing the leftovers, along with Friday dinner leftovers -- so now we have at least 9 lunches in the freezer.

Hubby is making mushroom risoto right now for our lunches this week. It's uber-yummy... and smells amazing.

Next weekend I'll be in Red State for the first time since May. I'm meeting with Dr. Advisor, getting my hair done and catching up with a friend or two. It's going to be odd being there without the purpose of seeing Hubby... but I'll adjust.

The following weekend is our pathetic excuse for fall break - -and I'm going to Corn State with some girlfriends... yea, two weekends in a row going down there -- kind of weird that neither of them involves Hubby.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

If only I'd found this sooner....

A handset for my cell phone...

It's on the way to me ---

The one thing I don't like about talking on my cell is actually holding the little thing to my ear. It's ok for short conversations, but for a good long talk - not so comfortable.

So--- I thought, 'hey -- the internets has everything... right?' -- and, presto --

Hubby thinks I'm a bit of a freak, but it's turning my cell phone into a regular phone without the inconvenience of having to stay home.

Nesting...

Hubby noted that this will be his first October living in our place... which I find kind of cute :).

I seem to be doing lots of nesting behavior -- cooking, rearranging the kitchen and buying new pillows...

Well, to be honest, the cooking will be tomorrow, the rearranging will probably happen today -- but, the pillows are new.

I really like BNstate this time of year -- and, I'm going to get to see most of it, although I do have two trips planned on two consecutive weekends... only one is workish (a meeting with Dr. Advisor... he's always kind, but I need luck anyway :) ) -- and a girls weekend.

One way or the other, it's nice to have Hubby "home", even if he does spend a lot of time at school -- at least I get him in his 3 recreational hours per week.