Monday, April 30, 2007

New Post

Paper done. Semester over. Praise to any higher power who would like praise.

Now on to the continuing fun of home renovation. The appraiser will be coming in June to decide how much our house is worth. Right now, with everything else I have been doing, I would guess $.32. Seriously. (Because, oh, by the way, the bottom fell out of the real estate market here). Our best hope is that our lot is worth almost as much as we paid for the house.

We have to finish painting the kitchen. We have to clean the kitchen. And the dining room. And the bedrooms. And paint everything. We have a mixture of nasty 1970's fake wood paneling and high gloss white paint everywhere I have not already painted. So that has to be done. And we have to gut the bathroom and replace everything in there.

Now all I have to do is grade all the revisions that I let students do because I am a gigantic, all-day sucker.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007


I am feeling very marginalized today. I am in a PhD program in Virginia, while I am located here in Arkansas. The classes are amazing. I feel like I learn so much. But there are problems. The worst one is trying to participate in class. I am a small square projected on a wall, along with four other squares on the wall. I feel like Max Headroom.

See, all of the PhD students are not Hollywood Squares. Some of us are privileged to sit in the classroom, where we they can talk to our classmates.

And tonight my professor felt the need to tell us to make friends with our classmates. I would really like lessons on how to do that. Really, I would. I guess I could email, out of the blue, someone in the class and say, "Hey, I know you only know me as a face on the wall, but I was wondering if you could help me with my homework?" How lame is that? It is not even as though there is a message board (outside of Blackboard) to "talk." I guess we could get Second Life accounts and have study sessions (which is not actually the worst idea I have heard today. Tells you what kind of day I've had).

He compared what we were doing to being a commuting student. Well, newsflash, I *was* a commuting student for most of my college career (getting married obscenely young does that to a person). Yet, I made friends. Maybe *friends* is the wrong word, but at least phone numbers of people who were working on the same kinds of assignments. And, amazingly, even only seeing people online, I am in contact with a couple of my classmates. But, even though these classmates are smart, wonderful people, we are all in the same boat. We are living at a distance, unable to attend office hours. None of us were MA students there, so we don't know how people grade.

I am so frustrated. I don't know when I've been this frustrated (Wait! Yes I do. At the trucking company. Right before I started figuring out a way not to be there any more). Quitting this program, though, is not really an option, unless I have a deep, abiding desire to teach high school. Which. I. Don't.

Then on top of all this is the matter of course offerings. But I really think that I am too tired to talk about that right now.