Monday, June 23, 2008


Hooray! All hail the great Zunguzungu, who has sent the balmy breezes of coolness to this humble cog's abode. That is, it cooled off yesterday and the temp actually went down a bit in my house, and today was beautiful --- a nice warm summery day in the 80s, which meant it was warm in my apartment, but not the unbearable horrible heat that it had been.

However. My class is meeting in a warm, west-window-facing room in late afternoon. Sigh. The last time I taught this same class it was a late afternoon class and I had the hardest time keeping the students awake --- and they got pretty resentful when I got aggressive about it and really kept harping on it. So, if anyone has suggestions for how to prevent students from sleeping during "slump time" or breaking up the stupor, I'm all ears. I guess lots of group work and making them move around between groups? Hmm.

What else do I have to report? Well, I set a bunch of personal deadlines/guidelines for finishing various aspects of the chapter, and, of course, am in the process of falling behind! Part of that I ascribe to the unscheduled heat wave, which really fucked with my ability to sleep, and thus
with my ability to think, but still. I've gotta get on this.

I can see that I'm going to have to be very on top of things, as while I have time in my schedule to write on the diss first thing every morning, I don't want to. I mean, I never want to; it's a fight every day to make myself buckle down. But what with teaching my own class I am tempted into doing errands or prep work all day instead, and since class meets every day it is so easy to push back a personal deadline, but I really can't afford to right now. Also, I ran into more grad students today than I do in a usual school month. (I would have said "the last month" but all those grad parties I went to belie this.) I love these people and they are all great, but some of them have Procrastinatory Habits. I must watch out that I don't get sucked into chatting and helping them avoid their dissertations. This may involve various hiding tactics; I don't know yet.

I also need to work on doing "dissertation work" that is not really dissertation work ---- fiddling with finding random articles that exist but nobody else cites and avoid finishing off this chapter with the eternal search for all the articles that exist in the universe on this topic, or reading stuff after I've figured out it is not useful for me, or even reading Random But Interesting criticism, which is the bane of my existence.

Anyway, I need to do acres of laundry. (stupid heat wave and sweating and whatnot.) How are you?


Dr. Brainiac said...

Two words: water gun.

Unknown said...

If only there was a water gun that did laundry; then we would know for certain that God loved us and wanted us to be happy.

As for the cooling breeze, no problem. Let me know if you want me to change the weather again.

Sisyphus said...

I want a water gun that does dishes.

And thanks, but no! The weather is just perfect right now, thanks.

Although if you have smiting abilities, like say with lightning bolts, I have a list.

Not to be presumptuous, or anything.

Matt said...

I had a prof switch languages half way through a class. That'll catch anyone whose attention has started to slip. Unfortunately, the ones who are already gone won't even flinch when you do it.

Unknown said...

RE: smiting, let me pass along this wonderful story from focus on the family, whose mailing list I cannot seem to get removed from:

Yubis was filled with grief and didn't know where to turn. Just last year, Yubis' husband--a pastor--was brutally murdered as a martyr in Colombia for his faith and teachings of Jesus Christ. As a result, their two-year-old daughter was despondent--and she stopped speaking. She would only draw pictures with each one just saying one word ... "Daddy."

With the help of The Voice of the Martyrs, Yubis was able to receive practical assistance along with counseling for her daughter. Taking it a step further, she is now enrolled in Bible school. In a recent interview she told us: "I wanted vengeance on those who killed my husband--I know who they are. But God has shown me that the best vengeance would be for me to tell them about Jesus. So that is what I plan to do."

Now that's smiting!