Monday, November 22, 2010

A Mind-Reader?

On Friday afternoon, it was cold, dark, and rainy. We were just hanging out in the living room, waiting until it was time to go pick up the Boy from a playdate, waiting until the Girl's best friend arrived for a sleepover.

I left the room to do something--maybe go to the bathroom, maybe get some socks--I don't remember what. While I was putzing around, I thought how great it would be if we had a fireplace.

I went back into the livingroom, and then there was this:

Me: You know what would be so great right now?
Girl (without skipping a beat and without a question mark): A fireplace.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Conversation with A Student

This is from last week, after 14 or so weeks of talking about argument and writing:

Student: I just don't really know how to do this.
Me: Okay. What's the problem?
Student: Well, no one's really showed me how to write and argument.
Me: (Thinking about how he could feel this way after 14 weeks of class).
Student: I mean, I get the arguing part, but not the writing part.
Me: Okay. Well, why don't you come by my office, and we'll walk through it. I'll show you.
Student: I'm just really busy, so I don't have time.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Who Says You Can't Buy Love?

I overheard this conversation the other day. I was in my room grading, and my window was open so I could hear my kids playing in the front yard (hubby was out there, too):

Boy: Will you come keep me company while I go to the bathroom?
Girl: No.
Boy: Please?
Girl: I don't want to.
Boy: I've give you two dollars.
Girl: Okay!
Boy: You are the best sister. Of all the sisters, you are the best.
Girl: You are the best brother. I love you.
Boy: I love you, too.

And off they went to the bathroom.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Back in the Saddle*

So this morning, while the kiddie-poos are kayaking with hubby and some other friends, I am at Starbucks working on my conference paper that I will present at a national conference in January at fancy pants UK university.

The good news is that I don't have to write the paper from scratch. Essentially, I'm cobbling together pieces of two different chapter drafts from the dissertation. The bad news is that each of those chapter drafts are over 20 pages, and I have to figure out how to say in nine pages that I previously said in 40. I'm finding this to be very challenging.

But the best news is that, just now, while I was revising, cobbling, and writing, I put a couple of sentences together and thought to myself, "Yes, that's it! Well said, GEW. Concise and to the point." And I got a little rush, and then I thought to myself, "That rush? That is why you're doing this crazy PhD thing."

Yes, I'm missing the kayaking adventure with the family. But I will join them later today for gathering with cousins, visiting in-laws, and (I hope) one of my brother-in-law's famous mojitos. These are the days I like best--some brain time and some family time. What a perfect balance. Clearly, it's the day job that mucks things up.**

*This metaphor is particularly apt since a few minutes ago, here at Starbucks, two people showed up on horseback. I love my town.

**I should probably mention that I do have one of the best day jobs there is. It's just that I like my own brain time and my family better.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Little Bit Freaked

I'm feeling a bit freaked out about the dissertation. The other morning, in the shower, I had a thought that went like this:

"Why are you doing a PhD? You're never going to be able to finish, and it takes so much time. This was all a bad idea, and now you've got an unpleasant road ahead, and you might not make it, and you'll let down everyone who has supported you in this process."

I've never felt this way about it before, and it scared me a little bit.

I think it's just that work is so busy, and I don't get to see the kids enough, and there is no sabbatical in the near future to make time for the work.

I'm just not sure how I'm going to get it done.