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Archive for November, 2017

Waiting for December

November 29th, 2017 at 10:46 am

I've spent hours reading annotated bibliographies, so even eating lots of the omnipresent turkey seems like fun. We gobbled up turkey fried rice last night, and both DD and DH had turkey sandwiches in their lunches.

One of my students appears to be using voice-recognition software for his writing, and last night I read this sentence: "John is an expert in can e see all a G." At first I thought it was just a typo, but now I've sussed it out. But what a headache. They do not pay me enough.

I'm biding my time waiting for the workload to lighten. After this stack of bibliographies, it's just group projects. Two more weeks of classes: Serenity Now.

Not much in financial news--coffee spending and a can of crescent rolls for tonight's turkey pesto delight.

Another Turkey?

November 27th, 2017 at 08:16 pm

Our next-door neighbor came over this afternoon with a bird in the hand. She'd bought a frozen turkey breast and thawed it for Thanksgiving, but ended up going to her daughter's house to take care of her grandkids. And now she's headed out of town for a week, and didn't want to roast another turkey breast. Well, you can't really look a gift turkey in the mouth, can you? But this make seven turkeys/breasts I've roasted in the past three weeks--two for the congregate dining site, one for us, and three for our Thanksgiving with friends. I've made bone broth from all of them; indeed the freezer is fully stocked (get it?) with broth. And yet. So I roasted yet another bird this afternoon and besides the turkey sandwiches, it looks like turkey tikka, turkey fried rice, and a turkey pie is coming up soon. If you hear us gobbling.. . .


In minor other news, I had an emissions check on the car today, bought coffee cream and salad, and graded endless papers. More poultry adventures on the horizon. Three more weeks in the semester.

The Planetarium

November 26th, 2017 at 09:40 pm

We have a lovely planetarium at my university run by a fabulous astronomer. Ever since DD was about 8 or so, we make it a habit to go to their special shows a couple of times a year. Usually they're Friday and Saturday nights with special shows for things like meteor showers and the eclipse. Today they started a Sunday show and although their prices have risen from $2 to $5, it's a lovely way to spend some time. This one was on the Colors of the Cosmos. DD, her BF, and I loved it. They then talk through the stars in the current night sky, what to watch for, and take questions. I think I only retain about 15% of it, but I really enjoy it.

As we drove home, we passed a shopping center jammed with cars, and I couldn't help think I'd much rather look at stars than be in a crowded mall.

Chicago Laura, I hope your DD has visited it!

One More Day!

November 20th, 2017 at 03:40 pm

I am SO looking forward to Thanksgiving break. And I think my students are too; it's that time of the year when we're all weary and can use a break. To make the day better,I've just realized it's been a no-spend day! That hasn't happened in a while.

I spent the better part of the weekend catching up on paper grading, writing the final case of the semester, cooking, and cleaning out a few closets. Our church had a coat drive and I found two to donate, and three things to list on FB. Two of them sold--jeans and a Christmas sweater DD wore years ago. I'm adding $10 to my junk sales list We also enjoyed our third symphony performance. I'm really pleased with that birthday gift for my DH. We've enjoyed the evenings out.

Wishing you all as pleasant a day as I've had. Stuffed spaghetti squash for dinner too!

Hectic Days

November 15th, 2017 at 06:36 pm

Man, these days are long and full. After my classes, I worked with two struggling students, helped a colleague figure out a group project, met with more students, then went to the London orientation meeting. No, I'm not going to lead the program this year, but they've asked me to talk with the new students. And I got to see an old London buddy, so it was fun And then it was sad because I really want to go again right now. And classes are such a slog lately. I spent a chunk of time working with a student who has been kicked out of her house and has been sleeping in her car. She's from a very strict immigrant family, and I put her in contact with student services to try to find her some help. And there's another one in tears as her child's father keeps threatening her and she's had to file a restraining order. Man--sometimes I'm a part-time social worker. I can't wait for Thanksgiving break.

Trying to keep the lid on spending until we get ahead of the game a bit. Good news on my DH's bank transfer than his UK bank screwed up. They've apologized, refunded a bunch of fees, and credited us 150 GBP. But we're still making soup here.

Cold Night

November 10th, 2017 at 05:29 pm

I had a productive day, despite too many meetings, and other errands. And I made a delicious smoked sausage, cabbage, and other veggie dinner. Several loads of laundry done, a couple baskets pressed or fold and put away too. In some good financial news, I got a check for $100 from a book review I forgot I did.

Looking forward to getting more stuff done, some bills paid, and a great relaxing weekend.

Oh, My Aching Budget

November 9th, 2017 at 07:27 pm

We seem to stagger from budget drain to budget drain lately. Today DH walked out to the car to find a puddle of brake fluid beneath it. But the money will sort itself out, just more slowly than I wanted. We just need to keep other spending under control.

After my classes today, I picked up the penultimate CSA box. Lots of goodies in there that will keep us stocked up for a few more week. I'd also volunteered to roast, debone, and freeze turkeys for the shelter Thanksgiving meal so I have the turkey bones to make more stock. Back to the reliable budget staple: soup.

My office mate--and university BF--is struggling with her own budget woes. Her DH works under contract at the large insurance company where mine used to work before the big layoffs of a year ago. They just bought a house, spent a lot fixing it up, and today learned her DH has also been laid off. She's been applying for other jobs as we're all discouraged about salary issues, so as much as I'd hate to see her go, she could use a better-paying job.

More on the Bank Incident

November 5th, 2017 at 04:11 pm

I searched our local news this morning to see if I could find more out about the closure and police cars at my bank branch yesterday. Sure enough, it was an robbery that happened about 10 minutes before I got there. There was a chase, a crash, no one injured but suspects captured and cash recovered. We live in what must be the quietest suburb of our city, but seems like things happen everywhere these days.

I did a bit of shopping yesterday, renewed the Costco membership and bought lots of things to make our increasingly busy weeks simpler. It smells lovely in the house with the turkey breast roasting and potatoes simmering on the stove.

Bank Incident?

November 4th, 2017 at 11:38 am

Twice today I visited our local bank branch, first at 8 when the drive-ups were closed so I decided to come back later, then at noon when it was also closed: closed and surrounded by police cars with the branch full of police officers. I have no idea what was going on, but glad I wasn't there when whatever happened occurred.

It's that point in the semester when I'm buried in work, so household things are in super-simple mode. Lots of soup made and simple meals. I did start to defrost a turkey breast figuring there could me some more soup and sandwiches out of it this week.

I'm not the only busy one. DH has a presentation in his history class this week, and DD spends all her time building stage sets for the school production of 1984. Tonight I'm out with colleagues, DD is at a birthday party so DH will be home with his European History paper.

I've e-mailed my hellish student's advisor, re-posted, with warnings, my syllabus's notice on "discourteous behavior," and am arranging a meeting with her and her advisor. I refuse to spend the rest of the term thinking about her behavior. While I was at it, I e-mailed another advisor with concerns about his student's progress. He was shocked as she has reported her classes are going well, especially mine. I beg to differ; she is almost at the point of no return. My 100 students this term seem to have 100 issues rather than the usual 10 or so. Sigh.

Drips Only

November 2nd, 2017 at 03:20 pm

Even with an pretty darn frugal week, I'm a bit discouraged with the slow progress of my big goal. I got my last paycheck from my adjunct class yesterday, and I think most of it will have to go in the general fund, not into my big goal.

Maybe I can list a few things for sale this weekend to help make those tiny drips a bit bigger.

I had lunch today with a former London student. She's from our consortium school in Wyoming, and it was so fun to see her again. I last saw her in April 2015 in Russell Square. We have had many happy class sessions together. She's graduated and is considering our university for her Masters in Library Science.

Cool and cloudy here all day. Very November-y

I added $75 from Swagbucks and an additional $3.80 in interest to the big goal

Bothersome Student--Very Long Rant Caution

November 1st, 2017 at 10:34 am

As I start to write this, I can see my tag of "bothersome" doesn't even begin to describe the deep distaste I have for this student. And I feel bad talking about not liking students because I genuinely enjoy about 90 percent of them. But here goes.

On the first day of class this young woman announced she wasn't sure why she had to take my class since she already knew all the material. My class is a requirement for Business majors. Nothing I can do about it. Since then she has been rude to other students, arrives late, leaves early, has been cautioned about her phone use half a dozen times, is consistently rude to me both in person and via e-mail. For weeks I've been simmering with anger but have managed to keep it under control. My class has also turned against her. Her presentation partner dropped the class. She is smart enough. Her work is good, but her rudeness is so offensive that I'm continually having to swallow my anger. Since her presentation partner left, I struggled to find her another partner, and offered extra credit to students who volunteered. While she clearly prefers to work alone, she insisted I find her a partner since she felt I was unfairly penalizing her for her partner dropping. In fact, the part of the presentation she turned in was mediocre, and the opportunity to re-do was perhaps an unwarranted favor. Last night I offered her three options: Stand with the grade, re-do it herself, re-do it with a partner. After initially saying she wanted a partner, she said to her classmate's face--If I have to work with him, I'll do it myself. Now she e-mails me and demands extra credit for taking on the project herself. I refuse saying it was her option in the first place. She e-mails again saying she found my comments offensive. I have six lovely weeks of this creature in my class. I'm honestly not quite sure what to do. Thanks for listening. Send zen waves of patience my way.