lunabee34: (Default)
1. Emma's baby fan musings crack me up. Yesterday, she told me she hates incest pairings (although she has to admit it makes a great deal of sense for SPN), and that while people should be able to write what they want, they should do it away from her. LOL I told her that's why God made the back button. She also told me she doesn't get why people ship pairings that don't have a lot of subtext or canonical support, especially the characters that don't interact in canon. She has gotten waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay into Undertale--as in Undertale is all she's been able to talk about for what seems like our entire lives at this point--and she cited some examples from that video game. I told her she'd have to just take my word for it that those stories can be a lot of fun.

She told me she's not really looking for fanfic right now because she'd probably have to wade through too many fics written by 11 year olds with horrible SPAG.

And then she closed by telling me that one time she accidentally found some drawings of skeleton porn where they had ectoplasm genitals which is the funniest thing ever.

2. Downton Abbey watch continues. spoilers )

3. Fiona's birthday is tomorrow. She'll be four!!!!!!!

4. I am exhausted in the last two weeks, like way more than usual. My energy levels have been good for awhile, and I'm wondering if my thyroid levels have dropped. I hesitate to move up my August 31 endocrinologist appointment; I've done so every year for the past three years when I've had worsening symptoms, and the tests have always come back with a "Nah, not sick enough for us to do anything" verdict. I'm on the verge of starting my period, so I'm wondering if that's a factor. If I don't start to feel better in the next week, I guess I will up the appointment. I just feel so beat, and working out is a chore. :( This is definitely not normal.

5. I am done teaching for the semester! Whoooo! Grades are turned in, and now all I have to do is relax and work on the novel.
lunabee34: (Default)
1. Gotham is such a fun show. I am enjoying the hell out of this season. SPOILERS )

2. So glad Lucifer is back! I love this show so hard. SPOILERS )

3. Into the Badlands is almost done for this season. I have to tell you how much I appreciate the color palette of this show. After years of SPN and Angel (the last season of which was so dark that I often couldn't make out what was happening on screen) and shows like Gotham which are shot in blue and slate grey and black, I love watching a show that is saturated with vibrant and rich color. Last night's episode in particular was really pretty. SPOILERS )

4. Downton Abbey watch continues after a bit of a hiatus for us all to travel and conduct concerts and etc. SPOILERS )

5. I got a bathing suit! It's a size 10! It's a little snug under the arms, but bathing suits always stretch out a little if you swim regularly, so I don't think that will last long. I will post a picture soon. :)

6. I am finally done with this semester. Yay! Now I can start getting my class ready for this summer. I'm also going to do the responsible thing and get my classes ready for fall now so that I have nothing to do in that week leading up to fall semester beginning again. *nods decisively*

I have big plans for a productive summer. I want to go to the gym every day, swim most days, and have dedicated time to read books for pleasure, work on my class, and write.

This past semester teaching the senior level class was so wonderful. I've been teaching freshman and sophomore classes for more than a decade now, and while I truly do enjoy teaching those classes, they aren't really challenging anymore. The senior class was challenging; it was overwhelming; I had to be constantly reading, and I was constantly learning new things, and I felt so vital and alive and fucking good at my job. I think finally getting back into reading for pleasure helped with this, too. I'm reading all these Byatt novels which are full of the joy of writing and scholarship and talking with people about ideas and the glory of learning things, and I have felt brimful of intellectual energy, and I don't want to lose this feeling. I want to keep the momentum up. My chair said that I will probably get another senior level class next spring, so I want to try my best to keep this feeling stoked in the interim.
lunabee34: (lorraine is a teacher by emella)
1. [personal profile] antares_dw made beautiful cover art for my J/D Ficathon story. You can see it HERE. *squee* Very few times have I been given art for a story, so this is extra special. :)

2. Josh has logged into both his online classes and reports that they don't look as scary as he thought they might. Yay! I think getting a couple weeks under his belt will help him become more confident.

3. How sad are you that [community profile] paperjournals is a defunct community? Not as sad as I am. This looks like it was a really cool comm in its heyday; lots of posts of beautiful journals, pages inside journals, journal projects. I have recently gotten super into looking for planners, notebooks, fountain pens, paper suitable for fountain pen use, etc., online and would love to play around in a comm devoted to that. Some of the people posting there were super creative. If anybody wants to talk paper goods, pens, pencils, art supplies, etc., I am happy to have that conversation (although I will politely not get it if you wax enthusiastic about the washi tape).

4. Although we've already had two weeks of department meetings, committee meetings, and the mad rush to get syallabi and online components finalized, today was the first day back at school, and I am so glad for it. I've been ready to get back to a regular work week since June. I am one of those people who do not do terribly well with a lot of downtime. Lacking a regular schedule is not good for my mental health and allows me to indulge my worst habits. I am excited about the start of the semester, looking forward to my classes, and really optimistic about getting a lot of work done. In the past few years, I've been teaching two classes online and two in the classroom; this has allowed me to arrange my schedule where I only have to be on campus three days a week. While fun in many ways, this schedule is not conducive to me getting much beyond what I need to do for teaching accomplished. This semester, I'm on campus four days a week and think I will be much more productive for it. I've got a senior level class to prep for and some publications to get out there; it'll be time to apply for full professor before I know it.

5. A friend's post about her relationship with her parents has got me thinking about mine. I don't know if you guys remember my post from earlier in the summer where my dad yelled at me, but he and mom really hurt my feelings. After we left their house, I didn't speak to them for weeks, and pretty much the next time we talked was for them to tell me that dad was sick and getting tests to figure out what was wrong. So I feel this futile mixture of guilty for being angry at him and not speaking to him since he's sick and really angry because he never acknowledged hurting my feelings, will never acknowledge hurting my feelings or apologize for it, and will probably do the same thing again at which point I get to decide if the man potentially dying of cancer gets a get-out-of-jail-free card for being an ass or if I want to press the point of how treating your grown daughter like that is Not Acceptable. I also had a realization about that incident which made me even angrier about it; what set off the tirade was (no lie) that Josh and I did not agree with Mom and Dad that Mark Hamill looks deformed in the closing shot of TFA. That led to Dad hollering about how Josh had been so ugly to Mom all weekend and talking down to her (he had not), and I realized today that right before we watched the movie, Mom had been reading the paper and she started talking about that kid that was attacked by an alligator at Disney. I asked her politely a couple times to stop talking about it because I have serious issues with child death and I get caught in thought loops where I can't stop thinking about it. I had been having intrusive thoughts about this situation the whole car trip down after hearing NPR reporting and had trouble sleeping the night before because I couldn't stop thinking about it. She. Would. Not. Stop. Talking. About. It. Finally, Josh snapped at her and asked her to please stop talking about it in a Not Nice Tone of Voice. *shakes head* I can't imagine continuing to talk about something after my child told me it was harming her.

6. In other parental news, Josh's mom had a nice ER visit last week. She did not have a heart attack, but she had something called acute coronary syndrome which was not explained to her beyond, "You did not have a heart attack." She had a heart cath and had no blockages (which yay). They also did not set her up with a follow-up with a cardiologist. So she's getting that taken care of this week so she can figure out what happened to her and how to proceed from here.
lunabee34: (Default)
1. Every summer we get ants. It's hard to blame the little assholes when you have a heat index of 103. But this is the first time they've invaded the cabinet part of the kitchen, and it is fucking annoying, my friends, because who wants to spray poison in the cabinets that hold food? Not I. They do die beautifully in Clorox, though.

2. We're almost at the end of our Treme rewatch with friends who haven't seen it before. Damn, this show is good. I'm sorry to see it dwindling down. We've only got five episodes left.

3. We had active shooter training this week which scared the beejeesus out of me among other things. Ever since mass shooting became more popular, especially on college campuses, I have wondered how I would fare in such a situation, if I would have the courage to protect my students and acquit myself admirably or if my hind brain would emerge and I'd just think about myself. This training does not help me answer that question.

It does, however, bring up an interesting point. Georgia was poised to adopt a campus carry law, and our Republican governor inexplicably and blessedly vetoed the bill. I am against people being able to carry guns on college campuses for a variety of reasons, but the instructor of our training brought up another. This police officer was almost certainly local which means almost certainly Republican, conservative, Evangelical Christian. But he also has been extensively trained in active shooter scenarios, beginning in the immediate aftermath of Virginia Tech by the FBI responding team. And he stood up before us and said this: "I had nightmares the entire time until Governor Deal vetoed Campus Carry. I saw myself entering a building with an active shooter and facing numerous students, staff, and faculty who are also armed. Not only would I not be able to tell who the bad guy is, I'd have to stop every single person with a gun and cuff them, allowing the active shooter to potentially kill more people and preventing people from getting medical attention because medical personnel can't come in until we clear the building."
lunabee34: (help by jjjean65)
I am finally getting to teach a senior level course in the spring! Whooooo! Of course, this comes with its own special set of anxieties. It isn't a Victorian class (my specialty) but Literature by Women which is a survey course that starts in medieval times and ends in the twentieth century; this means that I need to do a lot of research and preparation ahead of time. Also, I have been pretty much exclusively teaching freshman and sophomore courses for the past fifteen years. I got to teach one junior seminar as a grad student, and I had a junior level course added to my regular teaching roster at my current institution a couple years ago, but the junior level course I currently teach is Professional Writing and does not demand the kind of rigor that a literature course demands. I'm feeling a little out of my element and want to get started designing and preparing for this course waaaaay ahead of time.

The professor who taught this course in the past has shared her materials and syllabus with me. As a result, I've ordered a desk copy of the Norton Anthology of Literature by Women, but I was wondering if any of you had other suggestions.

If you've taught or taken a course like this, what textbook would you suggest? Even if you've done neither, any suggestions about particular texts I ought to include?

Any suggestions period about any aspect of teaching such a course would be welcome. I have a pretty clear idea of how I am going to structure the course thematically and what assignments the course will entail, but I welcome any discussion and suggestion for both.
Tags:
lunabee34: (got: sansa by bluelantern)
1. Thanks for your well wishes, everyone. The procedure went fine, even if I still feel like I'm recovering from strep throat. LOL In a completely shocking turn of events, the doc saw no sign of celiac during the visual examination of my stomach; he's sending the biopsies off for further examination, but usually celiac damage is visible to the eye. So, I might not have celiac after all.

2. I am living in Bizarro State. After Governor Deal vetoed Georgia's version of the Religious Liberties Bill, we were all certain that he would sign the Campus Carry Bill into law. This would have been the most permissive campus carry law in the country. Somewhere between 6-8 other states have campus carry laws in place but they are very restrictive (you can't have them in the dorms or professor's offices or at sporting events or in daycares and a handful of other places). The Georgia law would have allowed concealed weapons on every part of all the USG campuses except dorms (which we all know is bullshit; on a residential campus, the students would have to bring the guns into the dorm; if they left them in their cars, cars would be broken into every five minutes and guns stolen). The only ray of light was that you have to be 21 to carry a concealed weapon, meaning that the majority of our students would not have been old enough to obtain a permit. Well, lo and behold, Governor Deal vetoed this bill, too, and wrote a lengthy and wonderful explanation of his decision that includes quotations from the Founding Fathers about why guns don't belong at schools. I am delightedly shocked. Naturally, as soon as he vetoed the bill, someone introduced another bill to permit tasers to be carried on campus. *headdesk*

3. I am really enjoying Gotham this season. SPOILERS )

4. Wow am I bored with Castle. I think I'll actually truly watch next week's episode with my whole attention rather than reading fanfic and occasionally glancing up as I've been doing this semester since it will be Beckett's last, but on the whole, I am not interested in this show anymore.

5. SPOILERS FOR GAME OF THRONES )

6. SPOILERS FOR PENNY DREADFUL )
lunabee34: (avengers: cpn america by youcallitwinter)
1. All grades have been turned in, and my duties for this semester conclude! Yay! I was more magnanimous than I usually am, too. I don't know if I should feel good or bad about that. LOL

2. My endoscopy is tomorrow morning, and I am getting really nervous. I know intellectually that it is a very minor procedure that will be fine, but anesthesia really wigs me out as does the thought of something going down my throat. I am so glad the girls don't have to have this done; I would be a basket case worrying about them.

3. We've been watching The Man in the High Castle, which I've enjoyed so far, except that in the second episode we get SPOILERS )

4. I am taking Emma out of school on Thursday to see Civil War. I am sitting on my hands not to click on any of your reviews. I can't wait!

5. I've been re-reading a lot of Steve/Tony MCU fics that I had previously recced (once I emerged from the Darcy Lewis rabbit-hole I spent the past month happily traversing). One big series I really enjoyed on the first read does not hold up for me although Devildoll's Semaphore is as delightful now as it was on the first read (I do so love me a well-executed OC, especially when that OC is an octogenarian who can drink Thor under the table.). It's always so interesting to me to go back and read fic that I enjoyed in the early days of a fandom, say the first sixth months to a year, and see if it still holds up for me and why.
lunabee34: (spn: bella by delta mai)
1. Every time I'm watching Food Network, and a soul food place is featured, my immediate thought is: no way in hell I'm paying good money for shit I can make at home. LOL The exception is well done fried foods because frying food is hard (especially chicken OMG; so sad the handful of times I tried to fry chicken; so sad indeed that we had to go spend too much money on sushi instead), and Lorraine does not fry foods. I'm sure many of you feel the same way about other foods that you're adept at cooking. Tell me about the food you'd never pay for at a restaurant.

2. Bela Talbot is awesome. Awesome, awesome, awesome. We just watched "Bad Day at Black Rock," and laughed our asses off. Her story arc is so satisfying to me (if perhaps for the wrong reasons); I always wonder if they meant to end her character that way or if the writer's strike was a factor. I've only seen BBaBR once, and so when Bela says, "We're all going to hell. Might as well enjoy the ride," my heart stuck in my throat. If only Dean and Sam knew why she'd made the deal, they'd be her biggest champion. The Winchesters do not truck with child abuse, and they would be super sympathetic to a desperate child making a desperate decision. That she dies without them knowing the truth kills me in the most delicious way. This hadn't occurred to me when I first watched, but Bela probably started sourcing and fencing magical items as a way to try to protect herself or figure a way out of the deal.

3. I'm asking my comp students to actually familiarize themselves with the platforms of the Republican and Democratic parties for their final argumentative essay this semester. I just finished writing the assignment. This is going to be interesting for certain values of interesting. LOL In related news, Emma's teachers keep endorsing various Republican candidates during class; one of them is very sad that Ben Carson did so poorly at the caucus.
lunabee34: (end of the world by crystalchain)
So, Fi is working on pneumonia again. She's been completely fine, coughed a little last night, and woke up today desperately ill. I am starting to become a bit concerned about the amount of radiation she's been exposed to via X-RAY at this point. You know something is wrong with the picture when your two and half year old just hops up on the X-RAY table and carefully lays her hands at her side while the tech centers the plates. *sigh*

And guess what today is? If you said the beginning of finals week, you win the grand prize!

I was supposed to have like five office hours of writing conferences today, and I feel so shitty, like I let my students down. :( Granted, I told them to email me with questions, and they have, and I have answered them, but I really feel bad about not being able to be there. I may not even be able to proctor the final exam for that class because Josh has a doctor's appt that he cannot put off (he's been in excruciating pain all weekend), and I really wanted to say goodbye to that class. They're good kiddos. It makes me weirdly sad. :( Also, I lost a whole day of grading (which is the most selfish of my reactions to this situation, but, hey, this is me).

So, you know, feel free to rec me some fic in which I may drown my sorrows until the next breathing treatment. Whatever you've most recently read that is awesome (bonus points for Hobbit or LotR, MCU featuring Darcy, and HP of all ilk).
Tags:
lunabee34: (danger zombies by theidolhands)
NCIS, spoilers for the new episodes of both flavors )

Brief note on Fear the Walking Dead: I love Kim Dickens. I think she is a fabulous actor; I love her in Deadwood and Treme; she's got the chops. But I hate the way they've got her portraying Madison. Her stoic personality is not working for me; it reads more flat than anything else.

Brief note on pedagogy: My friend told me that her son's graduate professor last spring would reveal Game of Thrones spoilers if his students slacked off or did poorly on assignments. That cracks me up.
lunabee34: (shit could be worse by unsospiro)
That's been my week.

Fiona is sick; she's been sick all week. I took her to the doctor today, and her white blood cell count was through the roof but no flu. Her fever was 103.4 and three hours later, it was 104.5. We had started to get frantic because it's been hours and many alternating doses of acetaminophen and ibuprofen and a cool bath, and her fever was not coming down. I just checked her again, it's finally down again, but I know that's the extra dose of ibuprofen our pediatrician told us to give her and not that her fever is truly gone. This is about to kill me, y'all. I am so worried about her; I know she is probably going to be just fine, but it stresses me the fuck out because she's so tiny.

I have not been able to go to the gym because you can't really exercise when you have to hold a tiny, listless baby in your arms ALL THE TIME. I couldn't even go to the bathroom for large swathes of the afternoon because she just cried and cried if I put her down. You know you're a mommy when you've mastered pooping with a sobbing baby in your lap. :( So now I feel doubly anxious and upset because exercise really relieves my stress (and irrationally like all my exercise gains are going to disappear with a few days of inactivity). Ditto on the housework that's piled up during this time.

It's also been stressful having to cancel class and losing all the time I'd normally be working during office hours. This last third of the semester is always crunch time anyway, and it's so easy to get behind.

I am tired of this week. I feel deeply sorry for myself. Also we have no more popcorn and that feels like a tragedy. Distract me, please!
lunabee34: (cthuhlu santa by angstpuppy)
1. I received cards from [livejournal.com profile] talitha78, [personal profile] devon (+ bat stickers, yay!), [livejournal.com profile] kaleecat, [personal profile] zulu (and [personal profile] bell and the blob!), [personal profile] lyr, and [livejournal.com profile] crazydiamondsue (and Caza and Jonah!). Thanks, y'all.

2. For Yuletide, I wrote Happily Ever After, a Shaun/Georgia post-canon fic for Mira Grant's Newsflesh series. Once again, I was gifted with the most amazing prompt and the option to choose between fandoms to write for. I had a lot of fun writing this story, and I hope my recipient had half as much fun reading it. :)

3. I feel like the overall quality in the archive is super high this Yuletide. I have liked almost everything I've clicked on this year. Only several hundred more fics to go in 46 fandoms. (One of these days, I must abandon my scraps of paper approach to Yuletide and just bookmark them to read on AO3 like any sensible person *cough* Executrix *cough*).

4. We had a hella good Christmas haul this year. Our big item was a stand mixer. Whoooo! Emma got several DS9 action figures which has put her over the moon. :) Fiona has a baby doll. A baby doll WITH A PACY JUST LIKE HER PACY OMG IT IS A REVELATION!

5. I just finished writing my online class for the spring. Lord, that's a lot of work on the front end. It's not dissimilar to writing a textbook.

6. So, the ovarian failure test came back negative. Doesn't mean I'm not perimenopausal; just means that because I'm on birth control we don't know what the results mean. In more definitive diagnosis news, apparently I have Hashimoto's Disease, an autoimmune disorder that affects the thyroid. We're still in the observing stage, so nothing to do for it now, but TAKE THAT, BODY! I KNEW SOMETHING WAS WRONG. HA! Urine test is still pending because I didn't have time to sit around here all day and refrigerate each pee before we left for the holidays.

7. In sad news, one of my students was murdered this past spring by another student, and the newspaper just printed an article about the circumstances of his murder, and it was really fucked up and horrible (as you might imagine) and now I feel disturbed and sad. :(
lunabee34: (sga: kavanaugh by prone_tastic)
1. I am already being inundated with a constant stream of emails from students about their grades. "I expected to get a B," "I have to pass this class, or I will get kicked out of school," "I did so much better on the last essay; why am I still failing." Well, when you get a zero on an essay, there's pretty much no coming back from that. Or when you start out writing barely passing essays but progress to B-level writing by the end of the semester, that's a huge feat you should be proud of, but the first essays you wrote still count; that's why you have a C. I don't know why because this kind of whining from students is par for the course, but it's irritating me much more than usual this time around.

2. I went to the endocrinologist Monday. Best doctor's appointment ever. This might be the only time the actual doctor has spent like thirty minutes talking to me, taking my history, examining me. I am really impressed with this practice. The doc is pretty sure my symptoms are part of perimenopause. So, she is testing me for ovarian failure with a very sensitive test with the warning that even if I am perimenopausal, the test may still read negative because I am on birth control. She ruled out any thyroid issues at this point with the caveat that I will need to be vigilant in having that periodically tested because of my mom's history. She said there are a handful of weird and rare endocrine issues that could be responsible for my symptoms, so I have to do a 24 hour urine collection which is about as fun as it sounds. All the pee, all the day long! LOL And there's a whole list of things you can't consume during the 24 hour period like caffeine, alcohol, citrus. I will starve and dehydrate! LOL Anyway, I hope that one of these tests tells me something.
lunabee34: (lorraine is a teacher by emella)
I want to make a post about last week's Gotham but I may as well wait until tonight's episode is over. LOL

Instead, I will share my thoughts about last night's Walking Dead. SPOILERS )

And to close us out, I had the most disconcerting discussion with my students recently about digital culture. I'm doing a unit about various social media (and the internet in general) in comp, and this is the first time I've taught the unit. I expected that most of them are using way more social media (and social media that I've never heard of) which is true. I also expected them to be using social media in a different way than I do which is also true. What floored me, though, is that the class as a whole essentially told me that when they post on social media (no matter the platform), they are not attempting to start a conversation. They don't want substantive replies or comments or anything beyond a kudos. One girl said, "I'm just talking to myself really and trying to make it interesting enough that people want to listen, but I don't really want to start discussion." The word narcissism was thrown about (not by me either!) with no sense of irony or judgment. Multiple students said their only goal in using social media is to get "internet famous"--to be entertaining enough that a lot of people "like" or reblog their posts. I mean, I didn't think they'd all tell me they're organizing grassroots political campaigns or starting their own businesses, but I didn't expect them all to so happily opine about how shallow they are. I realize this is a small sample size and not indicative of any larger trend, but I didn't quite know how to respond. Sheesh.
lunabee34: (yuletide: yuletide is love by liviapenn)
*waves*

I know I've been pretty radio silent, but it's been really busy around here. Midterms were this week, so I had lots of grading to do. I've also been taking on more responsibilities at work that are taking up a lot more of my time.

Fiona got sick this week with a mystery virus; she is definitely better, but we've been giving her steroids to knock out the horrific cough she had and they are messing up her little mind. I feel so bad for her because there's no way to explain that the medicine is just screwing with her and it'll be over soon.

Ems had her last race today for cross country. She did great. She's shaved three minutes off her two mile time since July.

Fiona is saying everything and understanding waaaay more than she is able to communicate back. Emma loves getting her to say eyebrow.

Josh will be going to see Mastodon in Atlanta with friends in a few weeks, so he's super stoked about that.

Ems and I are almost finished with Furuba, so I'm looking forward to making a post about the series when we finish. Lots of perfume reviews I need to type up. Looking forward to signing up for Yuletide.

What's up with y'all?
lunabee34: (perfume: art deco bottle by sallymn)
Before I tell you about a perfume I've smelled recently, I'm going to rant at you for a minute about K-12 language arts instruction in the U.S.

to read makes our speaking English good )

To cleanse our palates, I will now share with you what I think of Robert Piquet Bandit. Fragrantica says, Bandit is a classic "chypre" with dark animal notes and aggressive leather accord. It also lists smoke, white flowers, and vetiver as notes. I have written in my notebook that an unidentified website (probably the Robert Piquet site, which is down right now so I can't check) elaborates on the floral notes, listing neroli, orange, ylang ylang, jasmine, and tuberose.

I think aggressive is a very good word for this perfume. It's too much for me. It smells exactly like cigarette smoke and strong leather. It's green; I get the vetiver with a kind of mentholated zing behind it. I also detect a hint of gasoline (why do so many things smell like gasoline to me? *wails* Like, really and truly, just like gasoline), and the flowers are so faint, they're barely detectable to me.

I'm glad I smelled this, but it's not for me. :)

Trades and Freebies )
lunabee34: (new girl:  jess says mkay by gloss)
I am done with teaching and grading and being miserable! LOL I was teaching two second session classes this semester to accommodate Feefers, and these classes compress 16 weeks of learning into 8. I have to give the same volume of assignments and reading and all that jazz as I would in a regular semester, just in far less time. One of the classes was online, and the other face-to-face class met daily Monday through Thursday. I was also teaching two full session online classes. For the online class, the big assignments were all due at the end of the class as in 24 hours before grades were due. Naturally, our online teaching platform broke the weekend before, and left everyone in a tizzy (most especially me!). I did not have to give any incompletes, but it was touch and go there for awhile. I did, however, make myself so anxious grading and worrying about everything, that I was sick to my stomach all Monday night. :(

But I have written on my Yuletide story all day, and I am almost finished with it! I love Yuletide. I always end up with the best prompts and have the most fun writing. I should finish tonight or tomorrow.

Now for a belated meme answer:

[livejournal.com profile] lyrstzha wants to know what fandoms I wish more people would follow me into. I wish more of you were into New Girl, The Mindy Project and NCIS but I'm not really in the fandom for any of those shows. Hmmmmm...... more of you should definitely be writing The Hobbit/LoTR fanfic. *nods decisively*
lunabee34: (Ouida by ponders_life)
1. I am teaching Wuthering Heights this semester. I love teaching this novel. I've taught it more frequently than any other text in my career, and even though I've re-read it more often than probably any other novel, I always find something new every time. Man, I love my job! Josh has never read WH, so I have extracted a promise from him to read it so we can talk about it. I've been struck on this re-read by how modern the horror elements seem to me. Much of the violence and abuse and horror in the text is glossed over; the narrators don't call attention to it but rather treat it as a matter of course, as a background element. I'll just be reading along and all of sudden, I'll go, "Wait! He just tried to saw off a ghost kid's hand on a broken window!" or "He just shoved a knife blade. into. her. mouth. OMG." None of these moments are belabored but they slowly add up to create a feeling of terror. It feels analogous to creating a painting a layer at a time with one faint wash of color on top of another until the end product is quite vivid and striking. And what I mean by modern is that this novel seems to treat abuse and abusers much differently than most of the Victorian novels I've read. It is way more concerned with motive and psychology than a lot of books from the era, and it seems to have a much more current take on what constitutes abuse. I know that the frank violence of the novel was pretty shocking when it was published; it was the HBO of the mid-19th century! LOL Anyway, I love this book. That's pretty much the crux of it, I guess.

2. What are the cool things that you want for Christmas that I should also want for Christmas?

3. Did anybody watch NCIS? It seemed to start weird to me. Instead of the usual black and white opener, it started with Abby and McGee talking in the lab about colors. I know the station prob only clipped off like 30 seconds, but what happened in the beginning?
lunabee34: (lorraine is a teacher by emella)
This post brought to you by a feverless child. :)

I normally do not post about politics or current events because this is my happy place, and I know it's the happy place for many of you, but I want to weigh in on the Rand Paul plagiarism case. According to the New York Times, the Senator "said the lapses were the result of his newfound status as a freshman senator in high demand, and the overwhelming workload that has brought with it for him and his staff." Do you know what I hear when I read that sentence? "Dr. Lunabee, we had a game this weekend. Dr. Lunabee, I'm taking 17 hours this semester. Dr. Lunabee, I'm fighting with my boyfriend. Dr. Lunabee, I'm living a real life in the real world where thing are sometimes shitty and fast paced and even though the other students in the class who also have problems didn't resort to plagiarism, I did because my life is harder and specialer than everyone else's. Can I do this assignment over?"

The Senator also said the following: "'What we are going to do from here forward, if it will make people leave me the hell alone, is we’re going to do them like college papers,” he said. “We’re going to try to put out footnotes.”' And here's the crux of what's pissing me off, and another point of connection I'm sadly finding between Senator Paul and many of my students. What happens in a college English class is not merely about those sixteen weeks of school in that one class. The point of a college English class is to teach students the reading and writing skills they will need FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES IN MULTIPLE SETTINGS. We teach students to cite their work because they need to do so in HIST 1012 and in their biology dissertations and in the reports they write for their jobs and in the romance novels they e-publish. For the Senator to dismiss those basic literacy skills taught in ENGL 1101 as irrelevant or somehow beneath him boggles my mind.

I believe this way of thinking is one of the biggest problems we face in higher education. So many times, our students are unable to understand the relevance of the material they're being taught or to make connections between what they're learning in one class and what they're learning in another unless it's explicitly articulated for them. And even then sometimes they remain skeptical. I think we do our students a disservice when we treat the subjects we teach as disparate and unrelated and when we do not consistently and constantly connect their learning in all classes to career goals. For that reason, I strongly support interdisciplinary approaches to teaching as well as the implementation of courses (like a freshman seminar, etc.) that focus on the meta-cognitive aspects of learning: What's my motivation for being in college? What are my strengths and weaknesses as a student? How can I best use the resources offered by my institution? How can I connect what I'm learning now to my future employment? What's the best way to deal with the obstacles life presents to earning my education?

Quotations taken from this newspaper article

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