eilonwy2017: (EEEEE Raoul the Big Gay Supernatural Dra)
(for once)

They've been promising the English TAs a 2/1 teaching load for yeeeeeeears now (since before I got here.) AND AS OF NEXT YEAR, WE'LL GET IT!! Woohooo!! I'll teach two classes in the Fall and ONLY ONE in the Spring! Huzzah!!!

This calls for Raoul the Big Gay Supernatural Dragon, even thought his post has nothing to do with Supernatural! (Although I'm pretty flaily about Thursday's coming episode.)
eilonwy2017: (Stabbity)
and, in fact, miserable.

What I desperately need is three months (ie: 'til mid January) to do nothing but teach (and not that, if I could help it) and read for comps.

Current Stress:

221 LECTURE: Tomorrow I must lecture on A Midsummer Night's Dream. While on one hand, that's a piece of cake (better that than just about any other play, and I can talk about staging for half the class) it's still a lot of work to prep the lecture and the power point and to then be ready to stand in front of an entire lecture and my prof.

221 PYRAMUS & THISBE: I am currently leading about 15 undergraduates in a "production" of Pyramus and Thisbe. It goes up on Wednesday in class (a week from tomorrow), so on one hand it's short-term stress, on the other, though, it's additional time and effort.

PFF: This class has been fairly useless and it requires a great deal of effort-- not to mention twice monthly THREE HOUR seminars on Friday afternoons, plus other workshops and such. I am very close to withdrawing from it, but it may well be too late in the semester. (Just looked-- I have 'til Nov 8th to withdraw... I will make that decision very soon. I promised myself I'd stick out this year but... why? I shouldn't make this decision while I'm this upset, though.)

SLEEP APNEA: This one is a multi-part cause of stress. First, the apnea itself which causes me to be tired all the time. I know most people are sleepy in the mornings, for example, but I could barely keep my eyes open during the Blackfriars Conference, and these were all papers I was interested in. Imagine how you feel after catching perhaps only 2 hours of sleep-- that's how I feel every day.

Add to that the fact that the people who are processing my prescription (for the machine) are incredibly incompetent (I spoke with them today.)

And the fact that my insurance company has denied my claim.. I now get to spend $1000 for a machine which may or may not help me to actually feel better. Turns out I can spend $225 on a humidifier (gotta buy that regardless, evidently) and "only" $105/month in a rent-to-own scheme (which is how I'll go because I am not convinced that this is going to entirely work. Judging from the nightmares I had when I used the !#@$ machine in the sleep lab, I may not be able to keep the damn thing on when there's not a tech to come rushing in and admonish me.)

I will be emailing/calling the health insurance for a clarification of their denial, of course. My mom said it could just be something like messed up paperwork. I, however, am a cynic, and am fairly certain it's because my apnea is only "moderate" meaning I am unlikely to die in my sleep because of it. This would be more reassuring if it weren't for the fact that I'm likely to die while falling asleep in my car or something equally stoopid, and still caused by the sleep apnea. Even more likely is the fact that I am not exactly functioning very well, and so I honestly don't know that it's at all possible for me to continue this career. Melodramatic? Perhaps. But honestly true. I don't know that I'll be able to write the diss at this point (or pass the comps) let alone struggle for tenure! This is BULLSHIT. My body is defective and I can't afford to get help. And I can't say that anyone really understands, either, which is equally frustrating.

COMPS: Most people get 6months to a year to prep for comps. I get 3months, while I try to do everything mentioned above and below as well.

VACUUM: Is broken. Gots to fix.

CATS: Still a bit worried about Jackjack's spot (on his tummy) but it actually looks less bad than it did before (it hasn't shrunk, but less of it is scabby.) Callie's feline acne seems to be clearing up even though I can't get her to let me clean it with anything. (I did, however, take away the plastic bowls.) So that's good stuff. But then there are the ferals... There's a kitten I need to catch (and doing so, and taking care of him will probably run about $200 in vet bills-- shots, neutering/spaying, check-up, food, medicine) and at least 5 adults I should try to catch and get TNRed (Pigpen, as before, Tigger, the gray tabby who's friendly, a new Tuxie, and the new gray-ish cat with the white tip to his tail, and a couple of moo-cows I never caught.) I need to raise $300 before I can contemplate these endeavors, though. I considered another raffle (the last was very successful) but then remembered that those are, actually, technically, illegal.

GIRL-PLUMBING: Probably as a result of stress, I've been having some, relatively minor but very very very irritating, issues. I shan't say more here, 'cause I don't want to lose readers.

STUDENTS: The problem? I has them. No, most of them are great, but how can I focus on studying when I have teaching and vice versa? And some of my students are ... difficult. Apparently the 17% student saw the prof today and he cannot recall the name of the book we are currently reading. She directed him to talk to some other people here at the university, but he's evidently resisting the idea that he might have memory trouble. He is, however, the extreme version of many students here, frankly. (One student went to the prof to complain that she'd gotten a D on the exam. She said she'd googled all the answers and studied for 3 days, so how could she have done so poorly?!)

MONEY: I'm not, like, unable to pay my bills on a regular basis (thank goodness), with the exception of the unexpected things, like this sleep apnea equipment. But I need to get to the Globe this May, as part of my dissertation work, and I don't have $3500 to do it. (Plus food costs.) I have no ideas. I'm all out.

CONFERENCE: Honestly, I'm still frustrated by the conference even though it has now been over for several days. I spent a lot of money and a lot of time to attend and it was ... not great. Good parts? Absolutely. Awful parts? Yes. And the worst was my own "roundtable." I honestly think I'd have gotten more out of just flying out to VA and hanging with [livejournal.com profile] spade and peeps from C'ville.

Cut for Probable Insensitivity )

So now I'm going to do some German homework in an attempt to play catch up in that class (I'm behind by a week's worth of work AND I have to make up a quiz). Then hopefully I'll still have some time to work on the power point for tomorrow's lecture before German class. I don't think I'll go home right after class, though, 'cause I still have 101 stuff that needs doing and such. Sigh.


Oct. 17th, 2009 01:53 pm
eilonwy2017: (Sam is Not Amused)
Grumph grumph grumph. I am a gretsy Eilonwy.

Mostly I have a baseline spazzed-out stressed-out crazy mood 'cause of how much I need to accomplish before Tuesday morning.

A sampling:

Chore Stuff:
Clean (and my house isn't just dirty, it's also MESSY); prepare cat stuff (they're being babysat by Flurije), laundry (so I don't have to travel naked); pack (see previous); shop (for some cold weather conference style clothes); run errands for things like cat litter/cat food

Teaching Stuff:
Prepare 3 lesson plans for 101, 1 lesson plan for 221 (even though I don't know what's being taught on Monday/Wednesday), grade 21 papers (101); prepare the lecture and powerpoint for a 221 lecture for as soon as I get back, prepare an assignment for 221; read book 8 of Morte d'Arthur; cast Pyramus & Thisbe (for 221); prepare Pyramus & Thisbe script

Conference Stuff:
Respond to the criticism of my paper (it's a roundtable); read and criticize other people's papers

Academic Stuff:
Research/find/pepare my reading list and portfolio to turn in on Monday; attend a production meeting for The Second Shepherd's Play which I will be either-- get this-- directing or playing the lead female role in. HA! I did say I wanted more theatre in my life.

You know. All by Sunday night.

ANYWAY, I actually started this post to complain about the BuddyTV contest I entered. If you followed the link I posted on Thursday, you'll have noticed that there are 4 showdowns with 40 entries in each. But rather than choosing your favorites of the 40, or ranking them, you're faced with two images you get to choose between, out of a possible 780 (for each showdown) pairings. I suppose you're expected to go through all 780 of them.

This would be fair, I guess, if it moved entries up or down bracket style, based on which one beats which one. BUT NO! As far as I can tell, entries are being ranked based on a flat number of votes (clicks) they receive.

And that would still be fair, I think, if every person voting went through all 780 matches. But they take a long time to load and even if they didn't, 780 is a lot and I have a life (see above; no matter how incredibly RIDICULOUS my life may be, it's a life) so I, for example, don't have time to click through 780 pairings. And I really really really doubt that anyone else does, too.

Maybe it is still fair because all the pairings that come up are random, so any time someone starts (but doesn't finish, I'm betting) going through the pairings, they're getting a random pairing and therefore randomly have the choice to give one of two entries his/her vote. But it doesn't seem quite fair.

My point in all this is not sour grapes. I don't, at this point, know how my entries are doing (although I'll admit that last time I looked, they were not doing well.) My point is that I kind of wish I hadn't entered/put effort into it because I don't feel like the results will be fair. (If I felt they were fair and I was still losing, that'd be a different story. Still incredibly disappointing, but ok.)

ANYWAY. I am going to get dressed now (I overslept.) And do some of the above stuff, followed by some more of the above stuff, and then with some more of the above stuff on top.

(On the bright side, last night I did manage to finish my German homework, and the majority of a piece of crappy stupid busy work work for PFF. Chugging along, I guess, chugging along.)

Wish me luck.


Oct. 16th, 2009 12:51 am
eilonwy2017: (Work)
I have actual thoughts on tonight's episode, mostly on Sam and Dean's interactions with the MotW, but they must needs wait. For it is late. And I am tired.

And also, all of my brain power is on the horror that is the list of things I must accomplish in the next three days. I honestly don't know how I'm going to do it. It will be a feat of unimaginable...ness. It's not that any one thing on the list is particularly hard, it's that a lot of them are time consuming and there is so much on the list. It's stuff that would normally need to be done, plus stuff that needs to be done for the sake of travel (I leave for the conference on Tuesday), plus stuff to cover for the fact that I'll be gone for a week, plus stuff that's due right after I get back. Holy carp.

Bedtime now. Gonna try to get up early to get some work and/or reading and/or grading done before I teach tomorrow.

(Doesn't help that I'm being observed in 101 tomorrow. Fuck.)

(Followed by 221, where I get to tell students how much they've fucked up the most recent quiz. And then a break wherein I must read book 5 of the Faerie Queene. Followed by 2 hours chatting about the FQ, to get home around 6, exhausted, but needing to get still more work done.)

I pout.
eilonwy2017: (Stabbity)
My parents and I chatted tonight, and I felt so boring 'cause I had nothing to say; I haven't done anything lately.

Which is, at least in part, why I haven't been updating here in LJ-land. I've been reading, though.

Been grading. Am actually caught up on that, but I get final drafts for 101 on Wednesday. :P Fortuately, only 21, and they don't take too long to grade.

PFF is proving a total waste of my time, and I'm thiiiiiis close to dropping it. Especially since there's a big assignment due at the end of the month-- when everything else is due in my life, too.

I'm very much looking forward to (and afraid of) the Blackfriars Conference at the end of the month. I have a lot to do for that, though.

German's going okay.

FINALLY heard from the supply company regarding my supposed CPAP machine. Unfortunately, my insurance refuses to cover it. AS I told my mom tonight, I hate the idea of needing to use one, but to have to pay for it, too? That's just horrifying. I'll hear more tomorrow about how much it's going to cost, and what happens if, after a month of use it doesn't work, and why the insurance isn't covering it. I am NOT happy about any of this. VERY CRANKY EILONWY.

Am, obviously, therefore, still exhausted all the time.

It's been nice o get in touch with old friends on Facebook, a few people from high school. But ... they all have babies. So do my previous friends from MBC/ASC. Babies everywhere. And here I am, growing old and alone (and, as I told [livejournal.com profile] flurije on Sunday during a grading session, when I die, I will be found alone and half eaten by cats-- not wild Alsatians like Bridget Jones, but still.)

Arts & Crafts:
No real progress on ami!Jo. I've been knitting a cat for [livejournal.com profile] pyrite. I'm almost out of yarn for it, though, and don't have the supplies (yet) to spin more, so I'll go back to the amis then. Was getting frustrated with this cat (I'm knitting, so I'm using a pattern, one by Alan Dart) but had a sudden understanding breakthrough a few minutes ago. A good feeling, that.

Took pictures this afternoon out in one of my apartment complex's courtyards. I haven't put them on the laptop yet, or fiddled with them, but hopefully I'll have one or two that I can use for the BuddyTV contest. I think I'll also have gotten one or two I can use for postcards to Vancouver since I haven't sent any in a loooong time.

I started planning a meta on time and clocks (or clocks and time?) on the show. I'm halfway through a LONG meta on magic use (positive and negative) on the show, too. One of these days I'll even finish them and post them.

Hm. That's about it. :)


Oct. 8th, 2009 05:56 pm
eilonwy2017: (Airquotes: Reid)
As it is just about 9pm on the East Coast, the potential for spoileriness of SPN just got exponentially higher, so I am signing offline 'til I get back from Flurije's house and having watched SPN.

But I wanted to add the best (worst?) title I've ever come across in student papers (in my admittedly short teaching career).

Alliance of Alien's

Yes. It's about Beowulf (at least I assume.) No, I don't think there are any actual aliens in the paper (more's the pity.) If it does turn out to have aything interesting in it, I'll be sure to report back.


Oct. 8th, 2009 05:45 pm
eilonwy2017: (Grading Jail)
So I'm still grading these ENG221* papers. The assignment was to compare and/or contrast one aspect of Beowulf to one aspect of either "The Dream of the Rood" or "The Wanderer."

A lot of students have chosen to write about heroism, or glory, or something similar which gives an opinion on Beowulf as a character. They seem to fall ardently into one of two camps. They either think Beowulf is the greatest hero who ever heroically performed heroic deeds, or they think he's a jackass braggart.

And you know, fair enough, I suppose.

Also, the professor requires that students print out and sign and hand in a composition checklist with every paper. This includes such things as the proper use of its/it's, then/than and correctly spelling characters' names. So why is it that so many students are still getting these things wrong? (And losing 5% of their grade for each kind of offense.) Geez. Fewer than if it weren't required, though, I will admit that.

Some lines for your amusement:

"Scattered profusely throughout Beowulf and dropped like a random sac [sic] of fruit in the final part of "The Wanderer," Christianity sticks out like a sore thumb."
sack of fruit? Really?

"But unlike Beowulf, the rood was forcefully converted into a religious entity, and became one with Christ during the crucifixion, instead of dying a pagan without achieving any of its life goals."
Um. It was a tree. What life goals did it have, precisely? To become a plank in a mead hall? To sail the seas as part of a boat?

Oooh, I learned a new word. See if you can spot it:
"The Rood tells the dreamer his recollection of the crucification and how it affected him."
Huh. Weirdly, Semagic doesn't think it's wrong... So I went to the big guns, and OED agrees with me on the non-existence of the word "crucification."

Title of a student paper: Beowulf's Jeweled Rood.
Is it just me or does that sound vaguely dirty??

Another title: Death as the Main Cause
...of? coffin sales? funerals?

Current paper (the one with the above title) is only 2.5 pages long (supposed to be 3 full) and that's with TRIPLE spacing. Geez. I'm not going to notice? REALLY?!

"The end all, be all, common event that will never fail is death so of course death is written into both Beowulf and "The Dream of the Rood."
Well, of course. So let's write it into everything else, too! MUST HAVE DEATH IN EVERY WORK OF LITERATURE. Wheeee!

Also, who the hell is teaching high school students that they should be ending their paragraphs with what is, essentially, an entirely new thought that actually is the opening to the next paragraph? I see it all the time and it drives me freakin' nuts. It's like, Yes, I see the transition you're making, but you're DOING IT WRONG. Don't end a paragraph on character with a sentence on theme just because your next paragraph is on them. JUST START THE NEXT PARAGRAPH WITH IT. Geez.

(Also, dear high school teachers? Stop convincing kids that "theme" is the End-All, Be-All of literary analysis. 'Cause it so isn't. And I so remember being taught that by Mrs. Glassman, terrifying woman that she was.)

I still have 14 to go (oh gods) but I think I'll post this now... you might get more later. Whee. Brain will be friiiiied.

*Clearer this time? :) I "only" have 36 (total) papers to grade, not 221. Thank god.
eilonwy2017: (Crazy: CM Diana Reid)
I cleaned my bathroom at midnight last night. Why? I'm not sure. Yes, it needed to be done. But it didn't need to be done right that moment. But once in a blue moon I get a strange impulse and I follow it through. (I'm reminded of the time that I woke up at 3 in the morning and decided that the cat litter had to be changed right then which necessitated going out to the convenience store and buying litter.) If this sort of thing happened more often I'd be worried, but it's a once-in-six months sort of thing, and never anything particularly weird, just weirdly timed. But hey, clean bathroom.

Now if only I could get the impulse today to clean my kitchen and put away laundry. (I hate putting away laundry.)

Not much to report about my life just now. Had the all-day Writing Programs meeting on Wednesday, which is actually a misnomer as I was able to leave around noon. I picked up the books I need for my German class (fortunately only 2, but they only had new copies, so it did cost me $65.) I had lunch with [livejournal.com profile] flurije, too, which was nice.

Thursday I already wrote about, with its expensive car repair (not unanticipated, but still), and the bus ride that wasn't so bad. Lunch with Heather was nice, as was the ice cream afterwards.

Yesterday I met up with Skilliam and [livejournal.com profile] wild_donkey_man, to meet with the professor with whom we are teaching Intro to Brit Lit, over at her house. She fed us muffins and tea (mmm, muffins and tea) and the meeting went fine and actually got me a little ways towards excited to teach the course again. (This will be the 5th semester in a row I've taught it and the second time with this prof. The first time had not gone particularly well-- not because of her but because of me and because of that particular group of students. I have a better handle this time 'round, I feel, on how to approach the course.) The prof is going to teach the class which I will be missing for the Blackfriars Conference

Speaking of missing classes for the conference... we were told in the WP meeting on Wednesday that we must ask permission to miss classes. Seriously, we now need to go to the head of Writing Programs (and really, oughtn't she have more to do than deal with requests like this? She does, after all, have 10,000 students going through 101 and 102 alone, and 199 instructors to deal with) and ask to be permitted. The head of Writing Programs, who has just started, doesn't know me, doesn't know anything about me, my teaching, my research, or the BF conference, but I have to ask permission. Now, there was never any real question about getting permission, mind you. There haven't been any complaints about my teaching, or about my missing classes. I had planned around my absences with Blackboard Assignments and such. But still, the need to ask permission grates. Worse, when I emailed, she said she "recommended I be permitted" but sent my email along to another WP director type person (who also doesn't know who I am). (She also said yes and good luck at the conference. But this is not my point!)

Upon talking with Heather on Thursday, she said that when she'd asked the TA Mentors about this new policy of asking permission/letting people know when we won't be in the classroom, that it includes things like Library Days, or Conferences which take place in our offices instead of in our classrooms. REALLY?! Bloody hell. Since that tidbit o' information did not come to me from an official channel, I am disregarding it until further notice.

So. Ho hum. Classes start Monday. I have nothing particularly exciting planned for my final weekend of freedom, especially as [livejournal.com profile] flurije and A. have gone up to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. They invited me along, and I was sorely tempted, but there are all these little things I need to accomplish. Plus, I sort of need an at-home weekend before jumping into classes. Going on a trip right before the semester starts would jangle my nerves greatly. (And my nerves don't really need further jangling!)

There will, most likely, be more spinning accomplished this weekend. (I've made a major dent, however, in my fiber stash. This is Not Good.) I've been watching Due South, which I had never seen before. In some ways it feels very dated. In others, it's quite good. I said before that I quite like Paul Gross, which is what inspired me to bump the series up in my Netflix queue (it's also something that always seemed like a show I'd like). I really like the dog in the show (Diefenbaker) but he also makes me a bit sad because he reminds me of my Yanaba (a husky mix) who passed away a little over a year ago now. I still miss her a lot. I've only watched 3 episodes so far, and the pacing seems off, but perhaps that's a 1994 thing held up to 2009 sensibilities. (Seriously, some of the chase scenes seem to go on forever.) I'm enjoying it, though, as background while I'm spinning. The other discs I have from Netflix at the moment are Regency House Party, which I saw when it aired on PBS, but want to see again. (That's the kind of reality show I can get behind). And also Upstairs Downstairs, which I've never seen, but think will prove a nice counterpart to Regency House Party. They're all disc ones because I wasn't sure if I'd like Due South or Upstairs, Downstairs.

I'm also rereading as much Terry Pratchett as I can in the next two weeks in preparation for the North American Discworld Convention. It's the sort of thing I wouldn't have made an effort to attend were it not happening here in Tempe. I used to be obsessive about Discworld, but my interest fell off in recent years. By the same token, the convention should be a lot of fun.

Right. Time to put that laundry away. :(
eilonwy2017: (Yarn!Chester Callie)
First off, ultra mega super happy birthday to [livejournal.com profile] oddharmonic. Congratulations on making it 'round the sun again, especially through what seems to have been a rather intense year for you. I hope the coming one is a million and five times better, and full of happiness and love and health.

I woke up late today. I remember being in that pleasant waking/dreaming state and thinking that I'd get up just as soon as that alarm went off. Eventually I checked for said alarm and realized that I must have turned them off (I set 3 on regular days, 4 on important ones) as it was now 1pm. GRRRR. (These are the reasons I'm eagerly awaiting a phone call from the doctor from the sleep lab next week.)

I've done *some* work on my syallbus but it's not done yet. Sigh.

Got involved in a meta discussion on whether or not Dean Winchester is a feminist. The trouble with the question is not the obvious (that is, based on the character of Dean) but rather on the definition of feminist, which is always the trouble with a discussion of feminism.

I've also been spinning some bamboo/merino, which has been lovely.

And I've photographed 6 skeins of yarn in preparation for listing them on Etsy (one each day this week, basically.) I'll probably mention it here (and definitely on Twitter) when each is listed. I've started writing the listings for them, too.

As you can see (from the location box) I'm not at [livejournal.com profile] flurije's house watching Supernatural. She has to write a syllabus, too, so we mutually decided to postpone the marathon 'til tomorrow.

Speaking of Supernatural, I've just ordered another 5 postcards (one mailed each day this week) for the Vancouver offices... I should probably stop, since they cost $1.40 each, and I'm not exactly flush. But... it's fun. And I heard through the grape-vine from two people who know people in said offices that these cards were well received. (I mailed 4 actual yarn!chesters a few weeks ago, but haven't heard anything about them.) If anyone *else* out there is interested in receiving a Yarn!chester postcard, that could be arranged. :D

In Plain Sight is on at 10, so that makes me happy. I shall likely continue spinning. I'm having some mental blocks about ami!Mary.

I'm sleepy. Bedtime will, I think, be relatively soon after 11, although I might work on my syllabus a bit more first. (They're due, as far as I know, at 5pm.)
eilonwy2017: (Jack sleeps)
(Okay, so it's 1am, which is technically Monday morning, but not my point. This is for people who read LJ before I get up, 'cause so many of my readers are East Coast (or earlier!))

While the 19th Chapter of the Bone Key review is already posted (and the 20th and final chapter will be posted tomorrow-- I've finished the book and will review/recap in the afternoon to post on time Tuesday) there will not be a Yarn!Chester Scene Challenge posted today. Those will resume on Wednesday, barring further unforeseen circumstances.

Speaking of Yarn!Chesters, ami!Sam 2.1 is giving me a difficult time. He is the reason there is no scene today. Bad ami!Sam, no cookie. Between his shirt and his hair, I'm an unhappy crocheter.

I owe a great many people LJ comment responses. My apologies.

My summer class ends this week (hallelujah) which means I'll be grading (boooo).

My sleep study is on Thursday. I think I'll get my blood test on Friday. My weekend is currently free.

Later this week I have grandiose plans of knitting a sun hat and crocheting ami!Mary.

Jackjack seems to be doing better-- he has started eating dry food. This is not something I necessarily encourage (given his lack of teefs) but is a great sign.

I am now going to bed. G'night.
eilonwy2017: (Sam: Not working for the Mandroid!)
Well, it's 10minutes from afternoon, but that's out here in Arizona-land (which currently still matches West Coast Land) so it's afternoon for the rest of the country already, and even later than that for my handful of UK readers (::waves at British readers::). I don't think I have any Australian readers, but if I do, I'll be honest and admit I haven't the foggiest idea what time it is down there, or whether it's tomorrow or yesterday for you.

So, first-- "my guests" in LJ? Anyone else think it's really friggin' creepy? For the record, I have it turned off. You may come and go from my journal anonymously. (Which also means, I think, that I remain anonymous if I'm reading other people's LJs. So if you *don't* see my name, it's not 'cause I'm not there, mwhahahaha. Or, y'know, something.) Internet stalking is easy enough-- why would you want to leave a more obvious trail about what you've been reading in Livejournal? And why do you care who's been reading your LJ? Besides which, if you have a creepy stalker person, s/he could just sign out of LJ and still reading your (public) entries. I dunno. The whole thing just seems weird.

Next up, fandom stuff. I haven't decided yet if the Yarn!Chester Scene Challenges will restart tomorrow. I actually have one left (a video!) from the original set that I could post, and one or two ideas that I could take today yet to cover the next few days. ami!Dean 2.1 is finished (other than his amulet, which takes roughly 5 minutes, 4 of which is hunting down the right sized needle for threading the bead which then gets smashed with a hammer, which is still conveniently on the counter from where I used it to make ami!Dean 2.0). ami!Sam 2.1 is not quite finished. I had some major issues with his overshirt, which are now on the way to being solved but required making a new set of arms. There's the possibility of finishing him tonight yet but even if I do, I don't know that I'll have time to take pictures (or the inspiration to.) I rather suspect that the Yarn!Chester Scene Challenge will restart on Wednesday, although I hate that it means I'll be missing a self-imposed deadline. (Yes, yes, most of me realizes that no one cares, but part of me hopes that people were going to stop by my LJ looking for the scene challenges because I'd said they'd start tomorrow.)

And speaking of self-imposed fandom deadlines that I did not meet-- you may (or may not) have noticed that there were no reviews of Bone Key yesterday (or, for that matter, today.) That was... unintentional and regrettable. There are two chapters left, but I have not yet read, recapped or reviewed them. Chapter 19 will, however, be up tomorrow, and the final chapter (20) will be up on Tuesday, with my overall thoughts on the book posted either Tuesday or Wednesday. There are roughly 3 of you reading my recaps, so I suppose it's not like I'm disappointing hordes of followers, but I hate to disappoint anyone. :) I had every intention of posting yesterday but I overslept. A lot. Like, alarm set for 10:30, got up at 4. yeah...

In other news, I've been watching Reaper season two while working on the Yarn!Chesters. It's... not as good as season 1. And the whole "Sock lusts after his stepsister" plotline was really problematic (in many of the same ways that Dean favors Busty Asian Beauties is problematic, actually, only, y'know, worse.) From the point of view of the article that H. and I are writing, it's not as interesting as season one because so much of the plot hinges on (SPOILER FOR END OF SEASON 1--) Sam being (maybe) the son of the devil rather than having had his soul sold by his (human) father. His attempts to get out of working for the devil are therefore muddled. But it's still quite useful since this season there are gray-area souls that he doesn't want to send to Hell, and therefore attempts to renege on the deal, which is again useful for the paper. (END SPOILERS). Which reminds me that I really need to type up my notes on both Reaper and The Monkees episode "The Devil and Peter Tork." I also need to do more research into the mythology of playing games/challenging the devil and death because I think modern Western culture is now equating the two, which was not the case in medieval/renaissance England.

Drat, I have misplaced my notes on the Monkees episode. Grumph.

Only things I must do today:
1. Plan for tomorrow's class (revision day)-- make worksheets
2. Visit Fritz and Malcolm-- Skilliam's cats. Skilliam and I don't get along all that well any more (well, he acts no different than ever, I guess) ever since my last birthday when he pretty much said flat out that he doesn't all that much care for me. But we still have to work together and he never seemed to have realize what he'd said (even though it had the effect of my no longer visiting him in is office, etc.) Regardless, I still like his cats, especially Malcolm who was one of my fosters. Skilliam is out of town this weekend with his girlfriend/fiance/wife (to get married.) I was over at his house on Friday to see said house (as he'd recently moved) and Malcolm was terrified of me, choosing to hide under the stove the entire time I was there. I plan on spending a good chunk of time hanging out and reading so that Malcolm will (hopefully) investigate me and make friends. (This was the kitten who would sleep under the covers with me, his head on my pillow, while he sucked on my fingers.)

Oh! Most random thing ever-- I had to perform surgery on my dress. See, I have this sea-foam colored sundress (purchased inexpensively on sale at the Gap a few months ago). I wore it to the zoo a couple of weeks ago. During this, I noticed a dark spot on the bodice and figured I'd gotten a stain on it. This annoyed me, but what can you do? As I said then, one really ought not stand below a giraffe who's eating. So I tried to get the stain out when I washed it, but alas, it was still there when I took it out of the washer.

But this is when I realized it was not, in fact, a stain. It was something dark colored in between the two layers of fabric which make up the bodice. I knew this because it would *move* when you pulled the two layers apart. Weeeird. So yesterday, because I want to wear the dress, I made a small hole in the inside layer of fabric, used a tweezers to remove the object and then sewed the hole back up. Micro-surgery! (It turned out to be several inches of rolled up dark colored thread. All is fixed and I am wearing my dress today.

Hey, the subject line says Random.

I'm off to write up my thoughts on Reaper for the article.

I hope your Sundays are fabulous!
eilonwy2017: (Bad Idea)
Woot. I am, I think, up to date on comments I needed and wanted to post or reply to. Hurrah!

I ran into my adviser and one of my professors in the coffee shop this morning. On one hand it was great to see them, but on the other it was very stressful to think about how much work I've NOT done this summer. But I briefly mentioned the "seeing many doctors" thing, and trying to get healthy, of which my adviser approved (she saw me in a bad spot this Spring.) The three of us talked classes and travel and theatre. Unfortunately, this meant I didn' t have the time I usually take in the mornings to prep (again) for class.

But class worked out, too. I had already planned on letting them go early (to, hopefully, draft papers.) The problem with a composition class, in my opinion, is that *so* much of the important work of composition is, well, composing, which is to say, just sitting down and bloody well writing something. And while that can happen in the classroom, some students (like myself) aren't very good at it doing it in the classroom. (Although one of my students pointed out that he likes writing in the classroom because if he goes back to his dorm he'll just play with his XBox. I said that I understood, and that finding a space to work is very important. I, for example, work in coffee shops.)

I like my students, generally. There are 16 of them total. Two of them are very, very quiet, and rather poor writers, and so I'm having no luck reaching them. I'm trying, though. One of them is a football player with a major in business and he writes amazingly. Fuck, what a waste. I mean, not that he's a football player, but that he'll be a business major. He has a talent with words that should be nurtured. (He also wrote a free write on My Bloody Valentine and his second paper is going to be on Friday the Thirteenth, which amuses me for reasons I cannot explain to him.)

About 2/3rds of my class are athletes, mostly football and basketball. This has actually been really good for me because in a school like ASU, sports are really important. But... I know nothing about them and have no interest. AND many of the student athletes I've had in my classes before didn't do the work and had a hyooge sense of entitlement, which these students don't have. I don't know if this latter is because they're brand new (this is the first class for most of them) or if because I just have a better batch of students or what.

I handed back their graded first papers today. It'll be interesting to see how the dynamic in the classroom shifts now. (It *always* shifts after the first major grade.)

After class I ran into my professor again, which was good because I had scheduled a meeting with her for Tuesday (to talk about student evals for the class I TAed for her) which it turned out I couldn't make (and emotionally is better to have later in the week when there's the chance of having gotten some of my own work done, too.)

I came home, ate lunch, played a spot of Puzzle Pirates. Then I crashed, as I so often do after teaching. I've had a lovely nap and have now caught up on LJ, as I said above. Whee.

I know it's a Friday evening and very few people are online, but I have a Life By Committee question for you all...

Tomorrow is Winter in July at the Phoenix Zoo (where I am a member, but have not gone since becoming one-- oops.) It sounds like much fun (see info here.) It would, however, require getting up very early. Tomorrow I also *must* visit A.'s cats (this is a sizeable time commitment as it takes 40 minutes to get there, 40minutes to get back, and I should, y'know, spend some time with them.) AND, in the evening I have agreed to hang out with H. and D. and see their new house and have dinner out with them. That wouldn't happen 'til about 7:30 (they like to eat late). Given that I will NEED a nap in there somewhere, knowing my body's current style of (not)working, should I really try to do all of that??

Aminals. in Snow. Only chance to see 'til next Winter in July, next year.

Other information: I would be going alone to the zoo because I don't know anyone who's interested.

Also, I should clean my house and do laundry and unpack from the trip. And I cannot do any of those things on Sunday since that is when I *must* comment on student drafts (as I'll only be *getting* the student drafts at 5 tomorrow via email.)

Of course, I should be reading Coriolanus (for Tuesday) and working on my dissertation materials. (Oh the guilt.)

eilonwy2017: (Got Nothin' Quote)
I teach until 1pm, so why am I just getting home at 9? Geez.

Actually, there's quite a rational reason. After class (which I think went fairly well), I went to A's house to check on her kitties (as she is in Jamaica.) I took a nap on her couch (mmm, nap) then ate lunch and graded 2/3rds of my class's papers. Then I drove to [livejournal.com profile] flurije's house, to check on her cat (she's still in TN) and grade the rest of the papers. In between I stopped at Jamba Juice for a yummy blackberry smoothie. Mmmm. Then on the way home I stopped at the post office to ship off yarn (both commercial and handspun, wheee.)

Now it is 9pm. I am making iced tea, and I plan to work on some art yarn I started spinning last night (is very much not my usual style!!) and then early to bed.

Early to bed tomorrow night, too, I hope, because I have a slim hope of getting up reeeeeally early and going to Winter at the Zoo. They're going to make it snow and give frozen treats to the animals! Hee! But it's only from 7am 'til noon, so, y'know, heh. Wish me luck.
eilonwy2017: (Default)
Speak to me, Oh LJ-Genie!

My goals for the second unit of composition 1 (English 101) are:
-continue improving students' analytical skills
-get students to formulate an argument, specifically a compare/contrast one which goes beyond, "These two are different..."
-think about audience-- both the audience for the paper being written, and the audience for everyday visuals
-begin using research to support claims within a paper

They are, of course, having difficulties with those goals, especially the first two.

The assignment is to take two visuals (anything they want-- thus far I've suggested book covers, publicity photographs, advertisements, magazine covers, website frontpages, etc.) They must make an argument about these two visuals, based on evidence provided by the visuals. Most of the time the argument is likely to be a change-over-time kind of thing. This is where the Miss America 1921 vs. 2009 came in. I also showed them an ancient greek piece of pottery with Olympic runners on it, vs. a photograph of a woman Olympic runner in 2004; a picture of The Partridge Family vs. a picture of the Osbournes; etc. Other kinds of arguments are about projected audience-- the various covers of Harry Potter books, for example, with the Brits producing one for adults, one for kids. Another pair I showed was the Vietnam Veterans Memorial vs. the Tribute in Light, to discuss how the two memorials work to achieve different effects. I also showed them the CW website and the CBS website to talk about audience.

SO! my questions for you--

1. I would like to start tomorrow with a freewrite in which I show students an unusual image, something with an intended audience, and have them just write about it. Do you have a suggestion for a strange image?

2. I would like to show students various movie posters in order to talk about audience, and change over time, etc. Any suggestions for particularly good ones? Also, any suggestions for movies which were remade or rereleased so that we can look at something with ostensibly the same roots but geared towards different markets? Ohhh, foreign posters would be great, too.

3. Can you think of any other activities I can have the students do in order to help prepare them for this paper? Any ideas and help would be appreciated!!

4. I might like to show them several commercials, too, to get them thinking about audience. Any YouTube suggestions?
eilonwy2017: (Sam grins)
After so many weird and somewhat-negative days (I'm looking at you, Last Thursday, with your Neurologist Appointment, Bad Student Evals, and Vet Appointment. Oh yes. You.) today was a Really Good Day in many ways.

First, class was fine. There was a bit of a downside when I just could not get my students to understand that standards of beauty change, that Miss America 2009 would have lost the Miss America 1921 pageant. (They were going on about inner beauty when they saw the 1921 photos and couldn't grasp the idea that that woman was the winner not because of inner beauty (which she may have had, I dunno) but because she embodied the ideals of the time. It didn't help that seeing 2009 in a bikini seemed to render many of the guys in the class incapable of coherent speech. I hadn't thought about that as a side effect because frankly *I* don't think Miss 2009 is all that attractive. I think she's kind of scary looking and very fake looking. She, too, may have inner beauty (I do not know) but I personally don't find her outer beauty appealing. I digress.

But in general, class went fine. Also, people responded to both today's Yarn!Chester post and Bone Key chapter recap/review, which always makes me happy. Hurrah!

Oh, and before class I made my daily stop at the coffee shop. I wasn't too sure about the flavor of iced tea they were offering, so I asked for a sample. I expected a sip, y'know? But they kindly gave me a whole cup (and thankfully it was good, so I bought a full sized glass.) The owner called me one of his favorite customers. We chatted about the weather (it's really friggin' hot just now here in AZ) and he good-naturedly called me one of those girls because I carry a parasol. (I burn really easily and I have a longish walk from car to office...) They were very nice.

Then later I had a lovely nap, shared partly with my Jackjack, once he stopped walking on my head. I was dozing off when I heard a knock on my door. It was the UPS guy with a (mostly-surprise) present from [livejournal.com profile] nyankoframe!! Dooood. I don't know what I did to deserve random pressies, but I certainly appreciate them. I now have several books I wanted (from my Wish List, you see.) ::happy dance::!! Thank you [livejournal.com profile] nyankoframe!!! My giftie includes John Winchester's Journal (which is one of those *perfect* gifts because I really wanted it but couldn't see buying it for myself), The Devil in the White City, which fits squarely into my historical niche of turn of the 19th century, and The Happy Soul Industry, which just looks fab. I can't remember where I heard about this one (perhaps the webcomic I read about Libraries, which often has book-related advertisements up top.) ::happy dance:: !!

THEN out of the blue I got an Etsy Convo asking me if a skein of yarn which had been listed in my shop (but currently wasn't, as I hadn't bothered to renew both skeins) was available. I said yes, and would gladly renew it and sell it to this Etsian. Not only did she want the matching skeins, but two more skeins besides!! ::happy dance::!!! I looooove when people like my yarn, of course. And this was my biggest sale EVER on Etsy. (In fact, there's only one little lonely skein of yarn left on my Etsy page. Oh noes! Quick, someone buy it! Heh.)

I have written another chapter's review of Bone Key and am likely to do another yet tonight (I like having a buffer of chapters. Plus, I've only been posting one a day, but since every-other-chapter is an Original Character chapter, and therefore less interesting to the readers of my reviews, I'd like to post two chapters a day.)

I have to do a significant amount of work for tomorrow's class (about which I'll post separately, actually, because I'm going to solicit ideas), but I think I'm also going to spin. For the first time in months. I've been wanting to anyway, but kept putting it off because I felt like I should finish This or That first. And because the last spinning project I was working on was leaving me uninspired. But.

Hm. Well, even now I feel like I should work on ami!Bobby rather than spinning. But I will work on one or the other. While watching the first disc of Slings and Arrows, which I have never seen. Or continuing on with season 4 of Supernatural. We shall see... One or the other. :) I shall also wind up the sold yarn. And take pictures of the yarn which will be raffled (raffled? auctioned? I don't recall) for [livejournal.com profile] shadesong's Blogathon. WHeeee.

A good day.

Now I'm going to put on a bra ('cause this dress demands it for decency's sake) and go get my mail. I should eat dinner, too. When I get back I'll do that and write about/work on tomorrow's class activities. No puzzling tonight, I think (A. is packing and leaving for Jamaica tomorrow (!!) and I haven't heard anything from [livejournal.com profile] flurije) so it's just me and my crafts. Happy sigh.


Jul. 6th, 2009 08:44 am
eilonwy2017: (We're So Screwed - SPN)
I canceled my doctor's appointment this morning. On one level this was bad because I need to talk to billing, and I need to see the doctor. Also, said doctor is leaving town shortly. On the other hand, I'm friggin' exhausted and I need to be teaching in a few hours and I feel under-prepared. So.

I didn't sleep well-- kept waking up worried that I'd overslept (which was a real possibility had things gone the other way.)

I don't want to teach today (and I have 5 weeks of this, whee!) What I want is to sleep some more. Then work on some of the ideas I've had over the past two weeks of travel (ideas which involve, independent of each other, mostly, yarn, sculpey, postcards, meta, pins and more.) Instead, I really need to get ready and leave and find breakfast (there's no food here) and feel more prepared for teaching. On the way home I need to stop for food for me and the cats. This afternoon I need to call campus health to reschedule (if possible), and prepare for tomorrow's (and the rest of the week's) classes. (The syllabus is written, don't get me wrong. I just need to ... I dunno... work out details, I guess.) Also, I should continue to work on figuring out why my apartment smells less than good. (The large bag of garbage that A. left under the kitchen table might be part of it, and I have already moved the offending article to the outside, where it will shortly be tossed into a dumpster before I head to campus.)

Also this week, I really need to find an appropriate air-travel sized carrier for kitten!Dean. Whee.

Hopefully this evening will see the first of the Yarn!Chester travel photos up and about. Um, so to speak. Not, like, meandering around, just posted online. :) [Oh! And finally ordering a battery for my computer now that I've gotten some of my scholarship funds! And probably playing Puzzle Pirates with [livejournal.com profile] flurije and A.]

I wish I was back in VA with [livejournal.com profile] spade and [livejournal.com profile] 1flying_wonder. Or at home in PA with my parents (but with less running around necessary.) Oh well. It appears I must settle for in AZ, teaching 101, and figuring out what the bloody hell I need to do with my reading list so that I can get to, y'know, reading, and preparing for my comps.


Jul. 5th, 2009 11:42 pm
eilonwy2017: (Tired Dean)
Home. Got home about an hour ago. Heather and Dan picked me up and there was no trouble getting luggage and stuff.

Foster-Kitten!Dean is thrilled to see me. Jackjack wants love. Callie won't come near me until I've had a shower. Widget is... under the bed being Widget. Dean is driving me nuts.

My apartment smells yucky, but I don't know why. (I can't trace the source because I don't smell the yuckiness after a minute inside, but it struck me upon getting here.)

I'm sleeeeepy, but know that I won't be able to sleep very well tonight. I have to be up too early, and I have to teach tomorrow. :(

The flights were more turbulent than I'd like, but overall fine. The only downside is that I was in the last seat, last row for the longer flight, so couldn't recline. Couldn't really sleep, so I finished reading Preston and Child's Riptide (verdict: somewhat disappointing due to under-developed characters, a "romance" that came out of nowhere, and an answer to the mystery which I had figured out long before the main character did.) Upon failing to nap, I made notes for a SPN meta, and drafted the first quarter of it. (These are not thing which normally require drafting, nor writing by hand, but my laptop still hasn't got a new battery. Notes, in this case, it did require because it involves a lot of episodes.) I started reading Coal (a book I bought at the canal boat ride/technology exhibit), then slept for the last hour or so. I was startled into wakefulness at Phoenix.

I ought to have gone straight to bed, of course, but instead I waded through 600+ entries on my Google reading list. (I did not read them all-- many blogs got a "mark all as read" click.) My syllabus is printed out, along with my roster (18 students?! In summer?! WTF? And also, fuuuuck. That's going ot make weekends rough, reading all those first drafts. Maybe some will drop. As long as I have 9 and therefore get paid fully.) Now, a shower, and choosing clothes for tomorrow. Tomorrow, doctor way the fuck too early (WHAT WAS I THINKING?) and finding some food, then getting my mind in the game for, y'know, teaching. Then, teaching from 11:20-1, although tomorrow's class is unlikely to run that long. (I figure it'll be going over the syllabus, in detail because it's that kind of class, and Introductions of Students and self, and blah blah blah, now go home and read this article and this chapter and write something, and I'll see you tomorrow.) After teaching, I suspect there will be lunch and/or falling over.

Oh crap... there's no canned cat food here it looks like... Well, given how much the cats got over the weekend (my fault-- I didn't leave notes, and they got overfed) that's probably okay, but it'll confuse the hell out of the kitties in the morning.

Right. Bed. Now. (Ish.)
eilonwy2017: (Death on a Horse)
i has none.

Dear Self,

If you wish to accomplish the very short list of things you need to do today, you really ought to, y'know, do it.

To do: finish grading 221 exams.

That's it. Then, dinner and crocheting (not at the same time, if you do not wish for soggy yarn) while rewatching 4.21 and 4.22. (At the very least you should be able to finish ami!Bobby's !#@$!@#$ hat, which you have been working on, tearing out, restarting, etc. since Tuesday.)

Tomorrow: revise 101 syllabus for Summer Session 2. (Due Monday.)

Also, this weekend, Self, you really need to update Project-Cat, too.

So, Self, stop reading comments, stop looking at patterns, stop reading TWoP, stop clicking "Refresh" on your Friends List, and go finish those exams. ::firm nod to self::

eilonwy2017: (Default)
(Well, *a* moment of truth. There are lots.)

I'm going to go take a shower (and good grief, is it time. My hair needs as washing like you wouldn't believe.) They said wait 24 hours after they painted the bathtub, and it has been 28. Time to go get clean.

On the downside, Jackjack jumped into said tub yesterday afternoon, about an hour after the work people left. He left little grey footprints (well, pretty big footprints, given the size of my cat), and I didn't want to touch the chemicals on the bathtub, so I just got him out and closed the door to keep him out of it again. But now we'll see if those footprints are permanent...

(A little part of me kind of hopes they are. Does this make me a bad person?)

I woke up very late today (1pm instead of 10am... uh, oops?) I then spent all afternoon crocheting (other than time online and time winding handspun, and a bit of time finishing a cat toy which was knitted.) So the evening will, alas, be spent doing some necessary work. Post-shower, I must:
-grade the last of the 321 presentation papers (this includes, alas, emailing those students who I allowed to email me papers)
-post all 221 and 321 grades (minus, of course, the not-yet-complete 221 grades) on Blackboard
-package up the 3 items that I need to get into the mail tomorrow (which is to say, put into the mail via the automated post machine, since I'm aware that the post doesn't go on a Sunday.)

Then, and only then, may I return to ami!Bobby.

Eventually, and I'm talking weeks, maybe months down the line, I will need beta crocheters for the Yarn!Chesters patterns. Any volunteers? (I'll ask again closer to the real time so that you'll know if you'll have time to do them, of course, but if I have enough interest her in LJ-land, then I shan't need to seek out betas in real life or via Ravelry or something, you see.)

Now, I'm going to go enjoy the hell out of my shower, if you'll excuse me please. :)

(Hey! Check out the mood-- 'dirty' twice in one day, and using both meanings of the word! ('Cause, y'know, this time I'm about to shower, so literally dirty... yeah.))

1. Apparently, yes, the cat prints are permanent. Snerk.

2. THOSE BASTARDS PUT THE SHOWER DOOR ON WRONG. Which meant that upon trying to close it, the door nearly fell on me. Then while trying to *fix* it, the ENTIRE THING FROM DOORS TO BRACE nearly fell on me. "Top Notch" repair? No, not so much. ARG.

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