Thursday, September 30, 2010

Not that I don't love Sonnets from the Portuguese

But why do anthologies always include Elizabeth Barrett Browning's "How Do I Love Thee?" instead of "Runaway Slave at Pilgrim's Point" or "Cry of the Children"? I mean, really. The latter two are so powerful, and they are much more representative of her "aesthetic of the real."

Just sayin'.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

For Now

There are so many posts I've been crafting in my mind--about elementary school, college, Kindles, and beauty--but I just haven't had the chance.

But for now, I'll just tell you these things:

  • Yesterday I took the Pacific Surfliner train from Central California to Anaheim, and I loved it. Soooooo much better than driving.
  • Today, I attended the first day of my Student Learning Outcomes and Assessment Retreat. I learned a lot.
  • For dinner, I had a mediocre steak with some good Pinot Noir.
  • Late tonight, Hubby and the kids will arrive. In the morning, they will go to Disneyland while I continue with my workshop, and in the afternoon, they'll come back to the hotel to rest.
  • Tomorrow evening, we'll all go back to D-land together.

And, right now, I'm in my hotel room, alone, watching St. Elmo's Fire on cable, which, of course, is what I most wanted to tell you because I knew you'd appreciate that, perhaps, most of all.

Conferences rock.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Excuses and Caveats

All from today:

I left my Works Cited in my printer.
I have a Mac and I couldn't print on the school printers.
If I turn it in tomorrow, I only get 5% off, right?
I think my roommate deleted it.
Can I bring it to your office later today?
Do you have an extra rubric?
I need a stapler.
I e-mailed it to you.
Is this the correct format?*
Is it okay if there's blood on it?**

*It was not.
**I'm not kidding.

Monday, September 13, 2010

One More for the Losties

We finished Season Six. I'm mulling it over and will not spoil anything for those who haven't watch. Lots to think about . . .

Anyhoo, throughout the show, Desmond has pretty much been my man--my "constant" if you will. Sexy Scottish accent and a nice chest, Brutha.

But it's amazing what one dream will do. Last night, I dreamt about Sawyer. Yowza. I think I might be a convert.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

This One is for the Losties

Okay. So Hubs and I are about halfway through Season Six of Lost, which we're watching on Netflix. We are thrilled to be getting some answers. I think that maybe I actually know who is good and who is evil!


Last night, after watching an episode, I got in bed and opened my book. Well, actually, I turned on my Kindle, but still. So I turned on the Kindle, and the first words on the page were this:

"I'll take care of him, Jacob. You have my word on that."

What?! The island is infiltrating my book. Cool.

BTW, the book is called The Passage, and I'm thoroughly enjoying it. It's a giant novel by a guy, Justin Cronin, who (according to my friend who recommended the book) mostly wrote sleepy literary fiction in the past. But then he woke up one day and decided to write a vampire novel.

The book is kind of a cross between The Stand, The Road, and Dracula--all of which I think are great.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

FYI: That Only Works for Robert Plant

Dear guy I saw on campus this morning,

Based on your age, I can tell that you grew up in the 70s. But you need to know something: That look you're sporting? The one with jeans that have a short inseam that cuts to one side of your package so that said package becomes so prominently noticed on the other side of the seam? Yeah, that. Well, as far as I know, Robert Plant is the only guy who's really ever rocked that style in a way that wasn't alarming, silly, and/or desperate.

Get yourself some loose fitting jeans. Pronto.


Sunday, September 5, 2010

And Now For Something Completely Different

So I take it no one wanted to talk about methods and programs for note taking and documentation. Fair enough.

So, Bubbles died. Bubbles was the Boy's second betta fish. The first one lived for about two years. Bubbles only made it for a few months. We discovered him floating sideways a couple of nights ago, and the following exchange ensued:

Husband: So, what should we do with him?

Boy: Flush him down the toilet (said with stoic resignation).

Girl: (Immediately starts to cry). NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

Husband: But he's already dead. He won't feel anything.

Girl: (Crying harder). But that's such a dumb thing to do to his SPIRIT!



Me: Are you afraid his spirit will be stuck down in the sewer?

Girl: Yeeessssssssss.

Husband: I'm getting ready to take out the trash. Would you rather I just take him out with the trash?

Girl: Yeeessssssssss (Still crying, but trying to regain control).

Husband: Then his spirit will get to live at the dump that we went to that one day (said with comforting reassurance).

Girl: Okaaayyy (sniffle).

End scene.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Getting Organized, Getting Serious

Notorious PhD recently had a post about various note organizing programs, and her post reminded me that I need to think about this issue.

I'm starting to get into the thick of the dissertation, and I'm starting to reach critical mass with my sources. As such, I'll need to start re-organizing text as a I write (in huge ways), and I'll need to remember sources that I read two years ago. Already, I have embarrassed myself with some oversights--sources I didn't reference that I should have, sources I forgot about until after I submitted a piece of writing.

A while back, I downloaded a demo from Note Bene, but I was deterred not only by the price, but also by the learning curve involved. My thinking: "I've got to get busy on my real work! I don't have time to figure out how to work this friggity-frig program!"

I asked my PhD supervisor what she uses, but she doesn't use any special programs. She writes her books and articles the old-fashioned way--by shuffling through stacks of articles on her desk. But I do most of my work at home, and I have a smallish house that contains two children (and a husband who gets very tired of my book and paper stacks), and so I can't spread things out the way I did when I was a single gal in a master's program. So I might need to GET ORGANIZED.

I don't have a Mac; I have a PC. I've heard Zotero is good (and cheap or free, right?). And I've heard Nota Bene is good, but I found it a bit baffling when I messed with the sample for an hour or two.

So, dear readers, I'm soliciting your advice. What say you?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Maybe My Most Embarrassing Teaching Moment

Backstory: My children talk to me all day long. They just keep talking, all the time. So they're often talking to me when I'm focused on something else, so I find myself saying, "What, Sweetie?" a zillion times a day.

Story: So I was in class on Monday, passing back quizzes or distributing a handout, slightly preoccupied with my task, when off from my right side I hear someone say something or ask question, but I don't really process what was said. So, I say . . . (wait for it)

"What, Sweetie?"

Now, maybe this wouldn't be embarrassing or weird if I were about 65 and/or if my students were about seven, but since I'm 40 (ish), and since the student was a 20ish young man, I was mortified and felt as if I had just broken some kind of harrassment law.

He shrugged it off, rather unfazed, but I'm sure I turned a special shade of fuchsia. I apologized--over all of the giggling and guffawing--and explained my daily habit with the kids.

Amazingly, I was able to gather my wits and move on, with some degree of my dignity intact. But only barely, since I felt like everyone was looking at me, thinking I was some kind of frumpy Mrs. Robinson wannabe*.

*Well, at least that's what they would be thinking if they knew who Mrs. Robinson is.