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... 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.


... 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...


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


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.


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.


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.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Sara's memorial services

Both were good and respectful --

I spoke at the Legion, and I felt as if I had Sara sitting on my shoulder telling me what to say -- it was good, folks laughed when they should have --- and nodded in recognition in the right places.

Now I'm tired -- tonight, a simple dinner and hanging out with Hubby...

On a happier note...

I met our middle school debate team yesterday.

They are a goofy bunch of 6th -8th graders -- some of whom did debate last year, and others who are new..

I thought they were cute... we'll see if they make me nuts.

I find it really funny that D1 is coaching a college team and I'm coaching middle schoolers...

Speaking at a memorial service...

Today I'll be speaking at Sara's memorial service.

It's not going to be easy -- but, I realized that when I volunteered.

I volunteered because so many wonderful people did so for Pam's service.

After Sara gave so many speeches for me -- both in debate and in class -- it's the least I could do.. of course, she won't be able to give me a critique... and I know she'd love to do so!!