Thursday, December 29, 2011

Ibid ibid

Have I mentioned that I hate Chicago Style? I mean, lately?

I did some article fixing this morning ---- only an hour and a half before I got too tired, but better than nothing --- and now I am going back through and fixing more footnotes. Of course I have no books with me, which makes the process even more frustrating. Ibid, ibid, ibid --- is it capitalized or not? italicized or not? and do I care about this at all?

In honor of stupid citation tricks, here's an ugly toad I found on the internet. Ibid, ibid, ibid.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

End of the year Posts roundup

Hello! It is December! 2011 is almost over! And nobody is posting blog updates to distract me while I am angsting about angsty things, so I have been amusing myself by reading my own archives!

(You think that's dull, go ahead out in the living room where you can watch Very Loud TV commercials being flipped through just fast enough for you to not follow anything. If you go out there, though, my dad is going to tell you to take out the garbage.)

Anyway, in case you missed what I have been up to at my postdoc, here are the highlights: I taught the same freakin' classes and was totally overwhelmed by grading in spring, I decided to write a new article not from the dissertation at all, I taught a summer class (on line and from my parents' home in California) came back and did a lot of hiking because we had a dry fall, taught the same freakin' classes and was even more overwhelmed by grading (though Fruit Studies went very well and students told me they liked me), and we finished up the semester with a death in the department which made everybody depressed and upset and I ended up taking a fifth (!!!!!!!) class as an overload because I am stupid and nice and ohmygod you should have seen the end of this semester's grading. To say nothing of the fact that a family member thought the gradebook was part of the prof's financial papers (???) and took them home to the parental household and we thought there was no record anymore of all the tests and papers the students had done. Luckily, it all worked out in the end. Whew!

All of this means that this was not my most prolific or interesting year of blog posts. Sorry. I went through them to find what funny stuff I had put up and was a bit disappointed in myself:

My Crazy Film Reviews:

Baby Doll
The Unknown


D-90X Dissertating Challenge
Prose Polisher ad

In happier news, I wrote an article this year! I am quite proud of myself, considering the amount of teaching I had to deal with. I named my article Floyd, if you remember. Now, he's not really ready to fly yet --- though really, if you're flying, does it matter if you're missing a leg? --- but I reread the article today and it is looking pretty good! And approaching finished! I promise to be done with it soon!!! I will push him off a cliff to see him fly if it kills me!

Baby Pics of Floyd, the article:

A New Idea
Growing Up Into a Big, Bouncing Draft
Floyd and the Boneless Chicken Problem
Discovering the Perils of Interdisciplinary Research
Floyd Can Fly But Not Steer
I Contemplate Epigraphs for Floyd
Someone Else Already Wrote Floyd! (Luckily, I finally read the article and discovered it was on Froyd, not Floyd. Whew!)
I Join Another Damned Notorious Writing Group

As you can see, Floyd consumed the bulk of my non-complaining, non-procrastinatory blogging. Sure, it would look less impressive if I stacked up all the lookit-the-pretty! windowshopping posts I did and compared them to Floyd Work, but I'm not gonna do that, hah. You can go look back through my archives on your own.

Contemplating Pedagogy posts:
I want a framework for longer comp essays
I approve of the book Writing Analytically
I find a brainstorming exercise (from WA)

At some point soon I will amuse myself by making various lists and perhaps some new year's resolutions, but for now, all I can deal with is grooming up Floyd and obsessively refreshing the wiki.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Ahhhh. I am graded.

Or maybe that is grated. I certainly feel pretty grated right now, like my brain has been run through the cheese shredder.

Or maybe I am not graded, but degraded: I no longer have grades because I gave them to the students, and now I feel horrible about that. Nope; that doesn't work! I feel fiiiiine!

Of course, this all just means I have a new pile of things to tackle. Since coming home I have been dad-sitting (he's such an ornery cuss) and dad has been "putting me to work" which involves him insisting I am doing something wrong and he has to demonstrate how to do it correctly --- which is how I managed to make my brother come out early and hang the Christmas lights. I could not handle my dad insisting on climbing up the ladder to fix my efforts. Then dad made my brother unpack the artificial tree, so I got out and set up all the holiday decorations and prevented dad from getting down any heavy boxes, and then my sister came over and my brother put us both to work "fluffing" the tree as he put it together. And then we put the lights on the tree with much complaining and grumbling. My sister points out that this is our family tradition, which made me feel a little better. Good, I said, that means you can't put on the stupid Christmas carol music because that would drown out the sounds of our bitching and moaning family togetherness.

Today's task (apart from all the grading) was a) humoring dad and b) not letting him get in the car. My aunt and uncle will be coming in for Christmas and my dad has remembered a certain item at a certain store in the middle of a nearby downtown place that my uncle loves. I don't want him to drive into all that craziness. Frankly, I don't want him to drive to his usual haunts around town, but really I don't want him dealing with crazy traffic and complex one-way streets. Dad keeps remembering that my uncle really loves going to that shop, so he wants to drive out there and get my uncle a gift. I got the idea that we call the shop and order a gift certificate and have it on hold, since my uncle always wants to go see the shop. That way my uncle can take a trip in and see all the geeky goodness and then pick out his own Christmas gift as well as buy himself whatever treats he already had in mind. (and my dad is not driving around crazy downtown.)

Every ten minutes or so, then, my dad would remember his Task, and either tell me to find the address of this place or announce that he was going to drive off and see where it was. And every ten minutes or so I would have to convince him that really he should call and ask for a gift certificate to be put on hold and just put it on his credit card and not drive there. Sheesh. He's not forgetful as in not understanding what's going on or where he is, he just has such a drive for getting stuff on to his to-do list and then off his to-do list that he is kinda insufferable. It's kinda fascinating, thinking about what the "go-go-go Type A business personality" mutates into with age; it's also really depressing, thinking about getting old.

Which brings me around to: my to do list! Tada! I need to make up for getting completely buried in grading --- I took an Incomplete in my Another Dammed Notorious Writing Group and need to finish my article over break. I sure hope I brought everything I need.

However! I still haven't gotten Christmas gifts, for the most part. And my sister in law had been saying she was going to take a day off work and take us all shopping in The City (not the one with the specialty shop) and I believe she has planned that day to be Monday. This makes checking in for the Winter Writing Workshop difficult. Hmm.

Anyway, a partial list:

- yoga! (I did some today! back to the habit! yay!)
- shopping in The City
- reread my article
- make to-do list for revising article
- buy and wrap all Christmas presents
- give myself a manicure/pedicure as I have gotten all dried out and disgusting what with winter and grading
- apply for some late job postings

other break to-dos include cleaning out my reading magazine/book pile, updating classes for spring,  hopefully some last-minute interview prep but more likely completely reimagining a future career trajectory, and probably being forced to make the Christmas cookies. And dadsitting. I'm sure there will be a lot of that.

Edited to add this from the Writing Group page: Ok, I plan to put 2 hours a day this week towards my article! Today I read and took notes on an article I might want to include, and I still have to reread my latest draft and make a full-on to do list. And I still have a bunch of other things that have been added to my list! Oy.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Inching through the grading

Ok, fine. I am making up for all the posts I didn't have time for in the past month or two, all this week. It's not really procrastination --- it's more that these papers are bad enough I need to have *something* different to do as a reward every few papers. Think small! Baby steps! Keep going!!! Argh!

I need to grade these 3 essays on topic 4
Then I need to grade 5 essays on topic 5
Then I need to go back through the whole pile and norm and assign grades.

Then I can move on to the pre-final stuff I accumulated for Fruit Studies, hooray!

And tomorrow I have two finals and Thursday two more, so there will be more grading. Oh joy.

Back in a few, I'm sure.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Ok, search committees, let's get this show on the road!

You have my phone #  and email address, and I'm all ready for some action. Go ahead and contact me! I see from the wiki that most places haven't scheduled their stuff yet. Well, I haven't packed my suitcase for winter break, either. But it's finals week and now is the time!






Right? Hello?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Awright, time to put on loud music and compile some grades

I had coffee, but coming back home always has the possibility of distracting me.

I got through my essays --- I'm missing several and lots of peer reviews from people who just didn't show up Fri, which is good except it makes grading their peer reviewers tougher --- and now I have to tally up all the homework and attendance and whatnot.

Sheesh. I'm "caught up" in terms of today's quota and yet still so far behind. Tomorrow I need to grade my entire Stripey class's pile of big essays (35 OMG!)  and administer a comp final. Then Tues I need to go through one of the two big assignments from Fruit Studies and administer another comp final. Then there's the added class too. Yeeek!

I guess all this work is distracting me from wiki-watching, but if any search committees want to interrupt me tomorrow and ask me to the MLA, I won't complain.

Also I've only barely started my Christmasgift shopping. Aiiiigh! What should I get my dad, people? He's old and doesn't want anything and isn't really doing hobbies any more. I need to brainstorm. Eh, I need to do a lotta things.

UPDATE: I have compiled two of the classes, and I went and did all my bills instead of another class --- numbers, so it counts, right? I might go back and do the attendance for Stripey class, or I might go to bed early cause it's cold.

And in other news, I suddenly had the urge to check the Penn CFP list. Should I do a conference next year? I hadn't been planning on it. I did one last spring/summer and it cost me a lot of money I didn't have. If I didn't mess things up I might be able to get a little money from the dept. this year (forgot and missed the deadlines last year), but that still probably wouldn't cover much. Hmm.

I mean, I might be running around crazily accepting a job and moving and all that ... or I might be sitting around going WTH? What sort of career am I going to switch to now? while planning on moving back west to my parents' basement. In fact, I'll be moving *somewhere* either way, so maybe a conference just isn't a good idea. Hmm. Can't weigh the options too long, as deadlines for stuff are probably pretty soon. I hate this whole up-in-the-air job search bullshit. Meh.

I must need chocolate after all those depressing thoughts. Off to munch on things!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Grading Marathon

All the shit I have been putting off and picking away at bit by bit just got real, yo.

I got a good chunk of grading done this morning, got a haircut, and then had a long nap and bout of internet procrastination. Oops. But just now I have gotten another five essays done, but I want to do the last ten so that I finish off one comp section today and do the other one tomorrow. Their in-class finals are next week.


I also want to grade their peer reviews and finalize all their attendance/participation grades tonight too. A loooong haul. And this is only for two out of the *five* classes. I have plenty of backlog on the others. The good news is we finally found the gradebook for the deceased professor's classes, so I know what they did on their midterms and such.

Ok, I will grade and then procrastinate from grading by grading other things! Whoo-hoo. I will come back here for an update and possibly to watch silly cat videos as a break, so leave encouraging comments and interesting links.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Cute shoe pick me up

I am officially too exhausted to deal with reading drafts or prepping my classes tomorrow. It is what it is. I am not in any position to care. We are almost done, however, so it does not matter as long as I can make it through this last week or so.

Maybe I will be able to miraculously plow through everything early tomorrow morning. Of course, dealing with that this morning is why I am so tired I am taking a nap at 7 pm.

I have been fairly good at restricting my clothes/home purchases this semester in an effort to fix my finances (an effort rendered totally null and void by various car repair bills that have come up) but yesterday I finally caved because these shoes at modcloth were so cute:

Are they not tres adorable? I do not actually own t-straps, which is surprising given how much I like that retro look. I got some thick tights that I hope will go well and highlight the little cutouts.

And today I saw these, also at modcloth:

These are so cute!  I love the bright cheerful colors! (though it seems odd to be bringing them out in winter.) If I had not just bought shoes ---- and also I am unable to choose which color I like more ---- I would totally be getting them right now. Of course, since I love stripes, I actually can't see how they would go into my already stripe-filled wardrobe. Would I just pair them with clashing stripes? Hmm. Maybe I could buy one shoe from each pair and not bother figuring out how to work with the colors! Ok that is just my crazy talk coming out. Good night.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

It just gets worse

Now I just heard that my friend's cat has just died. That cat was no older than my cats, and wasn't sick at all or giving them any clues he was about to keel over in the middle of the night. *whimper.*

Ok, I know a cat is not to be compared with the sudden death of one of your colleagues, but it is just one more thing to add to a very depressing and overwhelmed semester already. And I won't even get into how exhausted I feel or how, even though I just had thanksgiving break, I feel completely unmotivated and unable to grade any of these huge piles ---- my friend here has been pretty close, and we have both been too busy to even meet up and drink and bitch about things. The last thing she mentioned to me was that she had been a bit too depressed to deal with people this semester,  and now she has lost her cat too. Sigh. I think the other postdocs got together on Friday and now I feel bad I did not wake up and go visit them --- but I got home from class, mapped til 9, then went back to bed at 11, and still couldn't get the energy to clean anything or get up or grade anything yesterday. Today I at least got some stuff done, but not without a lot of procrastination and just sitting there.

I also have to start christmas shopping soon. And think about what I am going to pack for break --- including thinking about MLA or not and packing for that but not knowing if I'm gonna go --- and thinking about spring class prep and about a million other things. And deal with my car which has been acting up. And write all my finals instead of procrastinating by updating the dates on some of the spring syllabuses. Sigh. There are still a bunch of late December job apps I printed out too. I remember missing a lot of the deadlines last fall by this time (roughly) last semester but so far this time I only missed one. That's something anyway.

I think I need to go reread Barthelme's "The School." It's about time for the new gerbil to walk into my life.