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Saturday, September 30, 2006

Another long, long day...

It has been another long, long day and, alas, I still have so much to do... At least, I did accomplish a number of things.

I guess the highlight of the day was my meeting with online students. This semester, I decided to invite students from my three online courses to the informal get-together so they would meet each other and discuss problems/offer suggestions before midterm. Overall, the meeting was a success -- we enjoyed hot chocolate and cookies (well, they enjoyed -- I stayed away from any tempting "goodies") and discussed possible improvements to all three courses; also, some students had individual questions and we were able to resolve some issues. And I connected more faces and names! :)

Then I came home and decided that my car definitely needed to be washed -- all those bugs, yuck... Well, those nasty things would not come off! So I sprayed on some "bug-off" solution. Oops, huge mistake! Now I had bugs AND white yucky stuff. I think I was able to get the stuff off w/out damaging paint; I sure hope so. I was furious but also felt stupid for not testing on a small section first.

Didn't have time for a pity-party, though -- too much to do. Grading, posting discussions for my own courses, writing a paper, looking for relevant articles, etc. Now one more thing to accomplish -- have to read through a pile of articles and make notes so I can write tomorrow; planned to write today but too tired now for composing anything coherent.

Tomorrow, I have to do the following:
  • Write two papers (one is critical because another person has to proofread it before the deadline and I really should have written it tonight)
  • Finish homework for my stats course
  • Finish discussion postings for two classes
  • Read some articles as well as book chapters for the next week
  • Do laundry
  • Take care of my poor neglected kitties -- refill litter, water, and food; maybe even play with them for a few minutes?
  • Would be nice to get some sleep -- the goal is to get things done before midnight tomorrow, so no sleeping in tomorrow morning.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Oh, kids, please be careful...

Technology is great when common sense is used...

Looking for fun? Ha-ha...

Received an email from one of our new faculty members: "What is there to do for fun in this remote village?" Alas, nothing... Want to have some fun, drive like an hour to the nearest city which is not exactly a "cultural center" but does offer a reasonable variety of fun things to do.

And another question: "I do not mean to be personal or nosy but just wondering as to how do you manage to be a full time student and a full time employee at CC at the same time?" Honestly, don't know. Motivation? See above. :)

Oh, just wishful thinking...

After surviving several very hectic weeks and working late last night (ah, midterm is almost upon us so midterm grades are due today), I woke up at 7:30 a.m., feeling surprisingly refreshed. And I don't have to be anywhere until noon... Wow, feels so good! It would have been great to have this luxury every day...

So I made a latte and decided to gather some articles for a lit review. Oh, it's so nice to move at a normal pace, instead of my usual rush-rush-rush...

Anyway, let me switch to a different topic... I attended a meeting yesterday afternoon, 4:30 to 5:30, with two guys from another department. And that meeting really irritated me -- please note that I am a very patient person. Our agenda was almost two pages long and contained stuff like (1) Welcome -- Chair, (2) Overview of Past Deliberations, etc. And we proceeded to have a ten-minute welcome, word-by-word reading of past deliberations, etc. It might have been fine for a new committee but we met a gazillion times last year and already knew exactly what had to be done. Come on, it's Thursday afternoon and everybody is tired; let's just make necessary changes and leave. I had enough when the new chair suggested we rewrite everything we already had. Are you kidding??? That's where my aggressive side kicked in, fueled by physical and emotional exhaustion, and I firmly "put my foot down." And it worked -- we wrapped up our "deliberations" in 15 minutes and the chair even looked pleased, apparently convinced it was his idea; oh, I don't care -- just want to go home. Come on, people, pompous phrases are totally unnecessary -- just state the important stuff and go do something else. I guess I won -- this time! :)

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Early Christmas present!!!

Our Tech Support coordinator just stopped by to inform me that they will install my new computer system next week -- laptop, monitor, docking station, etc. Way cool! I didn't even know they were going to upgrade my current work laptop!

And here I am, working on a Ph.D. and dreaming of another job. Aaaaah, Community College is a great place to work but (1) pay is rather low and (2) I can't see myself spending the rest of my life in Small Town. I will definitely miss the generosity and support of my dept chair; she rocks!

Aaaaaaaaaah, saved by the local florist...

Believe it or not (I certainly don't) but I forgot today is my mother's birthday and had to make quick phone arrangements to get some flowers delivered! Done! Whew, that was close...

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Hectic but OK day...

  • Surprisingly, woke up early, feeling refreshed -- went to bed late and totally exhausted.
  • Somehow wasted time getting ready and then had to rush out the door.
  • Taught 8:00 a.m. class. Fun stuff today -- simple interest, looking for car loans, comparing cars, etc. Students seemed to enjoy activities and I didn't see any glazed expressions, so that's good news.
  • Drove to the University City and, guess what, found a prime parking spot! Way cool!
  • Taught a class -- another success story! Students were actively engaged and seemed to be really enjoying the projects we completed today.
  • Found a quiet spot and worked on my stats homework. This course is driving me nuts! I read the book and go over the notes; sections make sense but I can't seem to "get" the whole picture. It's just soooooo meaningless! Remember "But it doesn't mean anything!" complaint from The Sound of Music? That's how I feel!
  • Went to see my stats instructor and was glad to hear that I did get several problems right. Well, hard work pays off but it's so frustrating and takes soooooo much time.
  • Drove home with a top down -- nice and cool (but not cold).
  • Made a tuna stir fry for dinner -- yum!
  • Now will try to work for a few hours -- until I fall asleep, I guess...
  • Have a great Thursday, everybody! :)

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Taking a well-deserved break...

It's so nice outside today -- sunny but reasonably cool. I have sooooooo much to do but doing it outside really helps. I can enjoy the blue sky with light puffy clouds, a delicate spider web gently swaying in the wind, a warm sun, people walking down my street and cars zipping through faster than they really should... while wearing down my keyboard keys and creating new neuron connections (or destroying them?) in my brain. OK, blog break is over -- back to work, refreshed by your wonderful posts! :)

Question for y'all...

Why do people come up with ideas and then expect someone else to make them a reality??? Our new staff member decided we need a monthly newsletter and promptly asked the dept chair to appoint a committee. Excuse me, if you have time, why don't you create a newsletter? Of course, as luck goes, I ended up being on that committee and now have one more thing on my ever-expanding plate.

Did it ever happen to you? What did you do? I have to admit meak acceptance since I really had no choice. :(

Thursday, September 14, 2006

You know you are living in 2006 when...

1. You accidentally enter your PIN on the microwave.
2. You haven't played solitaire with real cards in years.
3. You have a list of 15 phone numbers to reach your family of three.
4. You e-mail the person who works at the desk next to you.
5. Your reason for not staying in touch with friends and family is that they don't have e-mail addresses.
6. You pull up in your own driveway and use your cell phone to see if anyone is home to help you carry in the groceries.
7. Every commercial on television has a web site at the bottom of the screen.
8. Leaving the house without your cell phone, which you didn't even have the first 20 or 30 years of your life, is now a cause for panic and you turn around to go and get it.
10. You get up in the morning and go online [and read favorite blogs] before getting your coffee.
11. You start tilting your head sideways to smile. : )
12. You're reading this and nodding and laughing.
13. Even worse, you know exactly to whom you are going to forward this message.
14. You are too busy to notice there was no #9 on this list.
15. You actually scrolled back up to check that there wasn't a #9 on this list.
AND NOW U R LAUGHING at yourself.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Confession Time

I just ate a chocolate eclair for dinner; only one, mind you; but it was good, very good! Oh, yeah -- it went straight to my hips. But do I care? No, not this week! Should I care? Yes, but, like Scarlett, I will think about it tomorrow.

It has been a hard week so far -- tons of work, a good portion of it boring and totally useless; only a few hours of sleep; and, of course, another dating fiasco. I showed the profile to one of my friends and received a confirmation that my reaction was, indeed, valid; I was not just being rude or too proud or whatever.

I will hit the road tomorrow afternoon and won't get back until the following Sunday, so more work and less sleep ahead.

Break is over -- back to work...

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Is it really funny or I just need a laugh?

I am cracking up anyway! And I may take an advantage of this free service offered by our hotel:

Free of charge are:
- the first check-up and the first aid;
- determination of correct feeding according to the methods of the American nature path Dr D’Adamo;
- choose of diet for the restaurant ******.

Where I am going may be disclosed later -- have to discuss it with my companions and make sure they want me to blog about it here! ;)

Update: I am going to Russia -- haven't been back for 14 years so I don't really know what to expect now, as US citizen and really more American than Russian.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Too tired to think...

Ah, it's after 11:00 p.m. once again -- and my stack of "stuff to do" did not visibly diminish. Monster #1 is done, done, done -- and sent away forever. Monster #2 is 50% done -- have an outline, need to write tomorrow.

Well, better catch some dreams -- didn't get much sleep last night, taught an 8:00 a.m. class, and have another 8:00 a.m. tomorrow. Yawning....

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Just putting out fires...

Oh, sooooooooo much to do... And two absolutely meaningless and stupid projects are driving me nuts! The kind that inspire a sigh of disgust, know what I mean? Not difficult but taking a long time because you just can't make yourself create trash? And I can't concentrate on other things (well, a mountain of stuff) until I push these two out of my printer and mind.

The weather is not helping -- it's gray and gloomy, raining from time to time... A great weather for spending a day curled up in a favorite chair with a good book. Alas, can't afford doing that... On days like this, when I would rather do something fun and not worry about school stuff, I question my sanity about pursuing a Ph.D. However, I am quickly reminded of the reason when I think about spending the rest of my life in our Sleepy Town (um, officially City). No way! I can do it and get out!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

How to annoy (or please) your students...

  • Provide pages and pages of meaningless instructions, only to post more directions.
  • Make spelling errors in every other word.
  • Use "folks" in every sentence.
  • Come up with weird file names.
  • Post specific requirements for a project two days late.
  • Require a gazillion group projects while teaching the course online.

Yep, one of my current instructors. The other professor runs through PowerPoint presentations as if his/her life depends on it -- in a stats class, too. From time to time, there is a brief stop to just get out "Any questions?" and, before any questions are posed, full charge ahead.

My third instructor, though, is awesome. He/she provided a great course syllabus, posts instructions on time, and answers questions/posts comments on a regular basis. All assignments are relevant and interesting.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


Bought a printer cartridge several weeks ago and received this message today. Please tell me how they have determined I need (1) bathroom tissue, (2) post-it notes, and (3) file folders.

Sorry, it's NOT what I had in mind. :)

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Last night... :(

I can't believe it's already our last night here... It was so much fun and I don't want to come back -- especially when I think about all that work waiting for me.

We are cruising along Florida coast now and should arrive in Jacksonville around 5:00 a.m., so should be home tomorrow night. I took lots of pictures and also tried to write short entries all along; just didn't have time to post them yet.

PG and Musey -- I have parrots and a goat for you, girls! :)

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