Thursday, December 30, 2010

Dear Daughter

Dear Girl,

I am still thinking of you as you were this morning--flipping through the Henry and the Clubhouse book that I bought. Now that I have read all of the Ramona books to you, I thought this might be a good next step, since Ramona is in the book.

As you looked at the book this morning, you were so earnest and focused, quietly flipping through the pages as I whirled through the house, tidying. Then, when I saw you lying on the couch, I thought you were just tired . . . until you came up to me, working so hard to hold back tears, and said, "I don't know if I want to read that book because in one part Ramona gets sad."

Watching you hold back your tears as you looked for the picture of sad Ramona to show me, I just marveled at how sweet and dear you are. And I've been thinking of that sweetness all day.

How am I ever going to leave you this Sunday and not see you for 13 days?

Now, I am the one holding back tears.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

E-mail to GEW from Student Who Takes the Cake (SWTTC)

I submit to you, dear blog peeps, Part III of the saga, not as comedy, but tragedy:

dear mrs. [GEW],

hello its me [SWTTC], i know we had some discussion about my research paper about how it couldn't pass because of plagerism, mrs.[GEW] i have never ever plagarised in my life, never in any paper i've ever done before, i know that i forgot to quote somethings and rewrite them a little, but these mistakes seemed to have cost me the points it was worth, if i may there anything we can work out? i don't know cause the class ended already but i really did not want to fail and have to retake that class again, if you can write me back i would greatly appreciate it, i would like to turn in a better copy corrected if its alright with you but like i said, i don't know because the semester ended

Monday, December 20, 2010

A Referral

Well. I have a lot to tell you, but I have to go mail Christmas presents and grade final exams, so I can't talk long. (Yes, I'm still grading exams and working on gifts.)

Hubby has been gone for the past nine days, playing in the Colorado snow with his buddies, while the kids and I stayed here, finishing school. We've had a great time, but it's been busy.

Since I don't have time to tell you about all the fun we had, I'm going to give you a link to a recent post by my friend, Courtney. She wrote a response to a recent assignment from her therapist that she ASK OUT A MAN. It's so funny and brilliant, and you will all love it. It's like a little gift for you. Go here!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Dear Student Who Take the Cake: Part II

Um, yes. Well. Remember this? Well, I see that you did actually submit a paper--which, frankly, surprises me--but, see, the problem is that it contains a lot of plagiarism (which, frankly, doesn't surprise me). You've done a lot of cutting and pasting from your sources without any quotation marks or anything, and that's plagiarism.

What's that? You don't understand? Well, you used other people's words as if they are your own, and that's not okay.

What's that? You didn't know it was wrong? Hmm. Well, you did miss a lot of classes, so I suppose you might have thought this is all okay. Still, either way, it shows you haven't achieved the outcomes for the course.

What's that? What are the outcomes for the course?

*GEW's head explodes*

end scene

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Conference Paper

So, I've been nervous about presenting my conference paper at the fancy English school because I worry that all the English scholars will think I'm an ignorant Yank.

But I finished a draft on Sunday and sent it off to my supervisor, and I felt pretty good about it.

She e-mailed me back today (she's so quick!), and she gave me two big thumbs up. (Well, that's my very American idiom, of course, for the fact that she thought it was very good, "indeed.") I am so pleased for the following reasons:

  • I don't have to stress about it for the next three weeks.
  • My own self-assessment of its quality was accurate.
  • It gives me confidence for the dissertation.
  • And since she's English and an expert in the subjejct and she doesn't think it's stupid, then I don't need to worry!
Merry Christmas to me!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Dear Student Who Takes the Cake

What's that? You're wondering if you can e-mail me a draft of your research paper on Saturday night to get my feedback before you turn it in on Monday?

Oh. Well. Remember how the first four pages were due earlier this week and I returned them, with feedback, to the class yesterday? And remember how the outline was due a week before that? And remember how I said I wouldn't take either of those late because I was going to have to turn them around really quickly? Yeah. Well, remember how you didn't turn in an outline or the first four pages? Yeah. See. I was having you submit those so you could get feedback in a timely manner and, I must admit, so I wouldn't be reading your essay on Sunday instead of putting up a Christmas tree with my family and when--let's be real here--it's too late for my feedback to make a frig of difference anyway.

What's that? You're still not sure what a thesis is? You've never really understood it? Hmmm. Let's go over it again, shall we? Not that it will make any difference, but, you know, it's what I do.

What's that? Should you include any other points in your paper that aren't currently listed in this handwritten outline that you just showed me (two weeks after a typed outline was due)? You mean points in addition to the ones I just spent at least ten minutes suggesting to you? Well, considering that people write books about these types of issues, yes, I'm sure there are probably more points that you could include, but I will not be listing them all for you.

Yes. Okay. You're welcome. Glad you could stop by. Oh, and by the way, you do realize that there is no mathematical way for you to pass this class, so this conversation was kind of worthless? Yes? You're aware of that? Okay. Just checking that we both live in the real world because, you know, sometimes it's hard to tell.