Tuesday, April 30, 2013

up and down

I received a very nice email last week from a recent alum, thanking me for a class they took with me.  I've been asked many times by various students what they should get for the professors they appreciated, and I still tell them that a note like that is way better than any other gift.

I caught a cheater, cheating on the most trivial and ridiculous assignment I have ever seen cheated upon.  I almost wish there was an additional penalty for cheating on stupid things.  Plus now I have to deal with the process of holding them accountable. 

I had an almost two-week run of zero pain and zero back problems, and then I took a trip for a meeting that involved soft hotel beds and airplane seats, so now I'll be back to the chiro this week.  I never noticed before, but seriously, WHY do all hotels have beds that are so soft they offer zero support?  Is that really what people like?  I myself am a firm-or-tempurpedic type of girl, and that was true even before I got old and broken.

I have a big intro class, and I'm sensing hostility and frustration, as well as some boredom, from a senior or two who are only now getting around to taking the intro-level (which, kids, is bound to leave you a little frustrated and bored when you are a MAJOR).  Also, entitlement to good grades that have not been given.  Prediction: a hit to my teaching evaluations.  Which is lame, because I kinda want those to be good now that I'm heading into the final few terms before my tenure evaluation.

Que sera, I suppose.

Monday, April 22, 2013

a weekend

House partially cleaned, local research trip, graded, lunch with a friend, class field trip, grocery shopping, turned the compost, mowed the lawn, read for class, picked up visiting speaker at the airport, talked to my parents. 

Why is it over already!?

This week should be a little bit less insane: student projects are at their most awesome when I don't have to lecture.  But, lots of stuff to attend, and a conference next weekend.

Last week I gave a lecture in which the US was shown to be a bit behind the times in terms of its policies to a particular issue.  One student gave me beatnik applause every time I mentioned US rankings and responses as being below-par; I guess this student does not approve of the US on this particular issue?   A first for me, and less disruptive than you might imagine.

Friday, April 12, 2013


So..it's been forever since I've written anything here.  Primarily due to life's normal insane activity levels, but that's nothing new.

Winter, which seems to still be upon us, officially ended just after we broke down and bought ourselves a snow thrower, as predicted.  Which, as it turned out, we used several times into March, and which I have to say was one of the better things we have ever paid for.  It was Partner's decision, since he's the only one shoveling these days and it's his paycheck going toward anything superfluous, but I am a huge fan after using it once.  Much better than having a house full of invalids trying to clear a driveway without breaking ourselves again, and next winter we won't be spending that kind of money on anything, so I'm glad we own it now.

At this point I'm hoping that we won't have to use it again prior to at least November.

I remain a slave to weekly doctors' appointments, but slightly less frequently than before.  Still, I had hoped that I would be in a better place about now, because I really need to make a decision about how much time I'm going to spend in the field this summer.  I'm nervous that a long plane ride will by itself be a bad idea, and then, even if I manage to keep myself from doing any of the actual hard work while I'm there, I will have several weeks minimum without access to a reliable chiropractor.  That makes me worry, since my chiro is the only thing that seems to help while I'm trying to strengthen the appropriate muscle groups.

Partner is traveling for work, leaving me to eat dinner at 9 pm and completely disassociate myself from anything resembling a reasonable life schedule.  Apparently he is the only reason why I don't gorge myself on dairy and stay up all night.

On the work front, I did finally write the paper I didn't want to write, and I consider myself now free and clear of a crappy research situation, which is nice.  I have some local projects I need to work on, instead of just doing teaching stuff all the time, but that is the normal trap and I will probably just try to focus on research once classes are over.

Also, my ankle-twisting student from the winter turned out to be a broken ankle, not a twist, and I had a lot of guilt about that happening on one of my field trips.  I also didn't force them to go to the hospital, which I probably should have done, but I always feel bad about stuff that will cost them money.  I guess they are adults, right?  At least in the sense of making their own medical decisions.

So far nothing of the sort during the many field trips of this month.  Knock on wood.