Monday, January 26, 2015

8.26 Support - Sunday Afternoon Project

Bestest Friend and I are in the middle of a blog project. Each day of the month we will  post a picture on a pre-determined theme and write a little something about it. The theme for the twenty-sixth day of each month is "Support."
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It's rare that I have a chunk of four or five hours without much I absolutely have to do. I mean, there's stuff I COULD be doing, including working, reading, exercising, or playing fetch with my cat, but it's rare that I'm home alone without a pressing deadline (like that oh my god exciting lesson on the constitutional powers of the presidency that I really need to write before tomorrow morning) for hours.  But yesterday I had that time.  From mid-afternoon through bedtime, I was kickin' it with Steven Harvey and my Singer.
The result is an absolutely unnecessary CD holder.  I have no need for this object, but I was able to practice some techniques and I correctly sewed in the elastic, so my "one new skill per project" goal was met.
 
And when Dr. BB came home, he had nothing but positive things to say about how nice it looked. Even if he was lying (some of the stitches aren't quite straight!), it felt good to have my work valued.

And if you want a hand-made orange CD holder that holds twelve CDs and can conveniently attach to your car's sun visor, please let me know. (I have short legs - really short legs and so when there are things hanging from our visor, they hit me in the head.  I'm jealous of people who can store things on their visor.) I can drop it in the mail tomorrow!
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To see what Bestest Friend wrote about the theme of the day, check out her blog, Too Legit to Quit.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

8.25 Courage - Hard Choices

Bestest Friend and I are in the middle of a blog project. Each day of the month we will post a picture on a pre-determined theme and write a little something about it. The theme for the twenty-fifth day of each month is "Courage."
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Her chronic health conditions led to a years-long wait for a kidney transplant; her body rejected the transplanted kidneys and she was placed on the transplant list yet again. The day she got out of the hospital, she went to her daughter's band concert.  By the end of the day, she was in agonizing pain, but no one was the wiser.  She's still waiting.

She got remarried less than six months after her husband died.  She just didn't want to be alone. She and her new husband moved to Florida, she missed her friends and family and the chance to visit her first husband's grave. When she moved back home, her new husband stayed behind in Florida.  She told me that they're still married, still see each other a handful of times every year, but that this works for them.  She holds her head up high, living her life in complete disregard of the judgmental gossip of her neighbors.

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 To see what Bestest Friend wrote about the theme of the day, check out her blog, Too Legit to Quit.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

8.24 Pain - Not an Emergency

Bestest Friend and I are in the middle of a blog project. Each day of the month we will post a picture on a pre-determined theme and write a little something about it. The theme for the twenty-fourth day of each month is "Pain."
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For years I never entered a hospital.  Outside of one time visit to the dying mother of a high school friend's hospital room while I was in college, I don't think I went to a hospital from 1994 until 2002. 

And so for those of you for whom the hospital is a just in case kind of place, I get it. But for me, it's the kind of place where the lady at the information desk just looks at me and points, the folks in the lab start to leave snarky comments about you in your medical file (hey, those are online now, WE CAN SEE THEM), and a Saturday night doesn't go by without swinging by to pick something up.
I spent two hours this afternoon in a fruitless search for a birthday gift for my sister. I must give her a gift, I know this. But I worked really hard on thoughtful gifts for her for Christmas and received nary a thank you in reply. I find myself tempted to just put a card in the mail, fuck the gift, but I also know that my own sense of guilt and her not so subtle hints about familial loyalty will make me feel worse than if I just purchased something random without much thought.  Here's a garlic press, person who doesn't cook!  Here are some tennis balls, person who has not voluntarily exercised in decades! Here's a vase, person whose home is filled with cats who think it is their duty to knock everything off horizontal surfaces!  No, I want to be thoughtful. But I'm all thunk out.
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To see what Bestest Friend wrote about the theme of the day, check out her blog, Too Legit to Quit.

Friday, January 23, 2015

8.23 Writing - The Other Writing War

Bestest Friend and I are in the middle of a blog project. Each day of the month we will post a picture on a pre-determined theme and write a little something about it. The theme for the twenty-third day of each month is "Writing."
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I don't use red. A grad school professor I had once remarked that he only used green to grade because he'd gotten a course evaluation from a student that said the red all over her papers actually dissuaded her from actually looking at the comments the professor had written, so he switched colors. When I got my first paper back from him and two entire pages of my writing had been crossed out (in green, natch), I thought that maybe it wasn't so much the color of the pen that was intimidating.  So, I take a lesson from that great man and I don't use red.
Sometimes I even use pencil.  Because then the students can erase it all if they want. They can write their own grades, their own comments, and their own word choice corrections. They can ignore everything I write because, honestly, what I write doesn't matter.  Only one-quarter of them read it and a smaller fraction than that actually internalize what I write and make a change.

Cynicism: thy name is teacher.
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To see what Bestest Friend wrote about the theme of the day, check out her blog, Too Legit to Quit.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

8.22 Seven Deadly Sins - Wrath (Dishes)

Bestest Friend and I are embarking on a new blog project. Each day of the month we will post a picture on a pre-determined theme and write a little something about it. The theme for the twenty-second day of each month is "Seven Deadly Sins."
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This was our kitchen sink this morning.
No, seriously, let me show you what's going on here.
Seriously, folks. Do you think it's okay to just leave one fucking measuring cup in there?  One measuring cup that was used to measure out GRANOLA?  One measuring cup that would take approximately fifteen seconds to wash out and quickly rinse?  The answer is NO. It's NOT OKAY.  Every fucking morning this happens and every fucking morning my HACKLES ARE RISEN.

But then we come home and make dinner together and discuss Thomas Jefferson's Bible and the nature of Holmes and Watson's relationship. We sit on the couch together and watch videos of a cat playing with a dolphin, mock John Boehner's hair, and debrief about how exactly the first week of classes played out. I forget all about how absolutely maddening he is in the morning.

But I swear, by all that's good and right with the world, if he doesn't clean that fucking measuring cup tomorrow morning, I might break it over his head.  Mornings are not my best time, it seems.
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To see what Bestest Friend wrote about the theme of the day, check out her blog, Too Legit To Quit.    

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

8.21 Laughter - The Purple Room

Bestest Friend and I are in the middle of a blog project. Each day of the month we will post a picture on a pre-determined theme and write a little something about it. The theme for the twenty-first day of each month is "Laughter."
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I like to imagine that what happens inside The Purple Room is that people sit around listening to "Little Red Corvette," discussing the relative merits of the word tiara versus diadem, and repeatedly having The Great Debate, Version 2.0: Indigo - In or Out of the Rainbow?, but I guess I'll never really know what goes on in there.
My mother-in-law has names for the bedrooms in her house. "You'll be staying in the Yellow Room" she always tells us, as if we don't know by now that we get the Yellow Room because it's the only one without a closet large enough to fit a Pack and Play and if we are going to insist on not giving her any more grandbabies, then, by gum, you're going to get the Yellow Room with its squeaky bed and drafty window.

So I kind of want to start naming the rooms in our apartment. It's the Book Room (the office), the Couch Room (the living room), the Food Room (self-explanatory), but it seems as if the other person in my household refuses to give up the traditional names and absolutely, positively DOES NOT think it is funny at all to use formal sounding names, despite my peals of laughter when referring to the Food Room.
In the meantime, this fake plant in The Purple Room is as close to flowers as it's going to get around here until May.
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To see what Bestest Friend wrote about the theme of the day, check out her blog, Too Legit To Quit.  

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

8.20 Lessons - Procrastination Ends Here

Bestest Friend and I are in the middle of a blog project. Each day of the month we will post a picture on a pre-determined theme and write a little something about it. The theme for the twentieth day of each month is "Lessons."
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Last semester I took on a class about two weeks before the semester started. This was a class I had never taught before and wasn't particularly well versed in through my graduate work.  One of my co-workers swore she would do all the work of creating the course, from the syllabus through the final exam, and all I would need to do was basically stand in front of the room and give her PowerPoint presentations.

Well, she provided the outline of a syllabus and the occasional PowerPoint and I spent most of last semester in a state of panic about having to go teach that damn class.  I was writing assignments for material I hadn't taught yet, desperately tried to come up with essay questions that were appropriate for a disorganized mess of a topic, and was happily plagiarizing any and all lecture material my colleagues would send my way. It took me two weeks after the semester ended before I stopped waking up in the middle of the night freaking out about what in the hell I was going to teach on Wednesday.

This semester is going to be different.  I knew ahead of time what I was going to be teaching. I only have one new prep. I had my syllabi written and copied a week ahead of time. I have most of the assignments written already and an outline of major themes in all the courses.
But mostly I've learned that I'm not really a team player. I can't deal with the idea of collaborating on a class, especially if other people aren't as conscientious about due dates as I am.  Also, never trust a department chair who is making deals with you two weeks before the semester starts.  He or she will not be above straight out lying to you to do his or her bidding.
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To see what Bestest Friend wrote about the theme of the day, check out her blog, Too Legit to Quit.
 
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