Sunday, April 3, 2011

Fits and Starts, Bits and Bobs

- After a couple of weeks of cold, wet, cloudy, nasty weather, today has been lovely. Tomorrow is supposed to be very windy, so I need to go back outside and soak up the pleasantness before it gets dark.

- I am sick again! (rrr!) I was hoping that it was just a sore throat from a lot of yelling at recalcitrant students, but then the next day I woke up feeling horrible. And now the cold has moved from my throat (a minor blessing in itself) to my head (not so good) and I am taking cold headache stuff every few hours. I have had a couple bad, sleepless nights being uncomfortable. I hope I am on the mend soon. BTW, is anyone else confused by the sheer number of different Sudafed products they have? I have like six boxes, all for different symptoms. I swear I'm not making meth on the side. This weekend I was taking the cough Sudafed because I have a whole box of it and ran out of the sinus headache stuff. It's just annoying to go out and buy more when I have several boxes that are nowhere near empty. Hopefully there's not much difference besides the packaging. Stupid companies and their proliferation of specialties in order to increase consumption!

- Don't look now, but I am close to caught up on grading! Part of this is because of the large number of students who did not bring a draft to peer reviews last week. I caved and gave them the ability to send their drafts to me and their peer reviewers by email ASAP, and of course none of them have done this. Mmm-hm. That'll teach me to help them out. It will be interesting to see how this class ends up doing at the end of the year.

-However, I'm going to be under a steady barrage of assignments from here on out, culminating in being completely buried that last week and then finals. Meh. I'm going to have to really hold myself to the willpower, as grading every day as soon as I get assignments will be the only way to survive. Luckily I do have some videos to show between now and then.

- I still haven't gotten back to summer planning/future planning. I'd ponder that but I just don't feel up to thinking, today, honestly. Could be because I finally got out from under that one upsetting stack of grading.

- Nor have I gotten back to any of my research. What's strange is that I have been getting a lot of hits on that topic through my account. I should take that as a good sign and be inspired to return to my toils. Meh. I am only inspired to return to a nap and more cold medicine at the moment.

- I hear you all when you say to send back the dresses from my last post, but then I am back to where I started with no dresses or patterns in my wardrobe to show for it! Grumble grumble. I am still trying to branch out --- and I do like teaching in skirts/dresses for some reason. Possibly because pants often look very strange on my body type. Unless they're jeans, which often have a kind of corseting-in effect. But I don't teach in jeans if I have any authority issues, which I feel like I do here. That may be more the kinds of courses I teach than the students, but still. The search for dresses and patterns continues apace!

- Speaking of fashion, after spending a year or so being completely offended by the existence of those ugly "cage" shoes and the shoes that look like hooves with cutouts --- you may remember some of them from Project Runway this past season --- suddenly I am wanting a modified form of them. I blame the sneakiness of advertising, creeping into my head and controlling me. That's the topic of our latest comp essay, btw. I'm going to push this a bit in conferences, but "advertising can influence who we are and how we think about things" is hardly an arguable statement, correct? Except I have so many students who at the beginning of this unit, adamantly believed that they were completely and utterly unaffected by advertising in any form, so even a statement this basic they think is a novel argument.

It makes me think about how I teach about claims: I usually present the idea that what we all already know and agree on is not really an argument and does not need to be cited, but what do you do when your students literally do not know anything? A typical example I give is that "the Civil War happened" does not need citing, but "the Civil War was actually instigated by an invading force of aliens from Mars" would need a lot of argument and many many citations to back it up. What do you do when your students really are that fuzzy on basic concepts or events and this seems like an amazing new idea? (The war happening, I mean, not the aliens part. Clearly I expect you to be in grad school before you discover the importance of the alien-invasion effect on American history.)

- I feel like I should do something important, like clean out the last of the straggler late assignments or prep class or do more job apps, but instead I shall have a snack. Popcorn or chips and salsa?


Anonymous said...

Is it possible that you have not a cold but rather seasonal allergies? (Those can come with a sore throat via the post-nasal drip.) In other words, you may have better luck with something like claritin or zyrtech taken daily rather than treating the symptoms with something like sudafed.

That said, the best cold-type/allergy symptom-type versions of sudafed are the ones that you have to get from the pharmacist because they can be cooked into crystal meth. sudafedrin (sp) or something like that.

Fie upon this quiet life! said...

Chips and salsa. No contest.

I should be in grading jail right now, but I am reverting to my good ol' procrastinating self. Birthday weekend, you know. But I'm lazing myself into a major problem come Tuesday.

Get well soon. I use Claritin even when I've got a regular cold. It helps me more than anything else.

anthea said...

Yes, sound as if you've got allergies. Check out these dresses and the skirts by the company called Boden. I like them since they're classic so that you can use them for formal sitations but the fabric has funky designs and flowers AND there's a good sale section.