Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Write Stuff

I have just checked into a hotel near my house so that I can get some writing done for the dissertation. I have my books with me, and I intend to spread them out on th table (which I have moved so it's near th window). I have about 1/3 bottle of Chardonnay. I have cheese and crackers. I have a strawberry-rhubarb pie. The only thing I'm missing is something for making tea. I suppose the wine will have to get me through. Or maybe I can get some at the bar.

And upon check-in, I discovered that there is no wi-fi in my room. And no cell coverage, so I can't even use my i-Pad through 3G. The horror! In truth, we all know this is a good thing. No futzing around on the Internet for me.

At this moment, I'm in the lobby because I have to look up a few things before digging into the writing. Then, it's back to my room (which has a view of the water).

I'm both excited and freaked out by this uninterrupted work time stretched out in front of me like a . . .

(Choose your own ending for the simile. I can think of happy ones and scary ones.)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Novel Suggestions, Please

Next fall, I'll be teaching a developmental writing class for the first time in about 7-8 years. It's one step below transfer level, and we're supposed to encourage a lot of reading. Most instructors teach one or two novels, and I plan to do two. But I'm having a hard time deciding which novels to teach, and book orders were due Friday.

I want texts with good, clean prose that will also be high interest. I think I'm pretty well decided on doing Victor Martinez's "Parrot in the Oven." I'm considering "Half-Broke Horses" for the second novel, but I've also thought of doing "Water for Elephants." WFE would probably hold their interest, but I'm not convinced it's good enough or that it has enough heft to see us through.

I thought about doing Jekyll and Hyde or another fun classic, but I really think these students would rely too heavily on SparkNotes, which undermines the whole purpose of getting them to read a lot.

So, at this point, I'm taking suggestions.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Recovery Road

So after the Boy came down with strep throat last Saturday, the Girl cam down with a fever last Sunday. She was already on antibiotics for her case of strep, so I figured it was viral. At first I thought it might be the flu, mostly because of the power of the fever, which lasted through Friday and often got up to 104.5 and lingered around 103. But by Wednesday night, I figured out that it was probably tonsillitis (because of the fact that she was having difficulty breathing at night even though she didn't have nasal congestion). I need to call the doctor today to get results of the throat culture that she had on Thursday, but, at this point, it's mostly academic because she's better.

Thank goodness. Not only is it difficult to see one of my children feeling so sick, but it's hard to maintain other aspects of life during the illness. I'm still tired from spending the nights in her room, keeping a cool cloth on her head and repositioning her so she could breathe.

But now she's better, and I thnk we can back to our regularly scheduled program.

My fingers are crossed.