Showing posts with label Class. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Class. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

the kids are alright



I know everyone is flagging from ennui and exhaustion. But my kids students are awesome despite it all. 

I'd re-shared the menstrual products drive my CASA director shared with me, and they decided to amplify it by putting it on the front page of the college newspaper. 

😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍

Friday, October 01, 2021

Parkinsonian expansion

I guess Parkinson and his insight about work expansion remains valid. 

But in a more neutral way, now that I'm on campus so much, a lot of work gets done at work instead of after dinner. Time feels a bit less scramble-y because home/work demarcations feel more natural. Plus I get to see and be around more people, which is me at my happiest.

I still do work things after dinner, on the weekend, in the middle of the night, etc., but it's freeing to know that I spent 8/10 hours working already, so if it doesn't get done, it ought to be perfectly acceptable.

Being at work lets me get at all the stuff that gets shoved aside--like the graduation gift I'd gotten for a colleague in financial services and was finally able to hand deliver yesterday (months late...).

Pic: I thought I was taking a picture of flying geese as I walked across campus... but look, guys: No geese! Lovely blue sky, anyway. 

Thursday, September 16, 2021

thinking of...

My teaching day started with standing in line at Groovy Donuts at 7 am and went well as days with donuts tend to. 

But after dinner I found out that DP, a student dear to me--someone I had known in class and on several committees as a joyful, thoughtful, and compassionate citizen--had been hurt badly. 

I am hopeful they and their family will heal, but the description on their GoFundMe site is truly horrific and I keep thinking about all the unnecessary pain and fear they've experienced. 

Flashes of their smile on the Zoom of this year's Kente stole ceremony and images of them waving to me as they stood in line for their diploma keep coming back--will keep coming back--to me. 💗

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

classroom




amidst the dusty chalk of discussion
our figures gesture like talk 
ache with attachment

there is teaching in the (back)ground
find it in the sprawling grassroots 
reaching up from dispute


Monday, August 30, 2021

check-in

I video chatted dad for his birthday last night (by myself, it was already morning in Bangalore) and this morning (with the rest of the fam). Video calls are better than audio-only calls, because it's easier for dad to understand what we're saying when there's visual context. I wish I could have been there. I miss my parents.

<<<Amma sent me this picture of a long ago beach day--I guess the beach has always been a happy place for me. When I showed this picture to At and Nu, they chortled at tiny me. One of them claimed: "It's like you took your face and put it on a child's body." I mean, I was a child once.

It's EM's birthday too (just goes to show how astrology doesn't work as she's nothing like my dad!) and BS's first day as a prof. so I took them cake to sweeten their special days.

The rest of the day has been little fires and email fire-fighting and finishing up final edits and diagnostics... classes start tomorrow! I'm my usual mixture of yikes+yippee.

Monday, August 02, 2021

bits of the day


Out early today to Alma for a seminar/workshop and it was so good to see and be with people--many of whom I haven't seen or been with for a while.  A few people were wearing masks indoors and although we're nearly 100% vaccinated as a college community, I wore mine too out of respect. 

Work, work, work, and then I headed home with JG on the phone to keep me company on the commute home. 

Low: Heart heavy with the looming eviction of millions of families in the middle of a pandemic.

High: Hearing The Foo Fighters' cover of The Beegees' "You Should be Dancing" live from Lollapalooza on the radio. Apparently it's something they've been doing for a while? Anyway, it was the bit of disco silliness that helped me get through the day.

Pic: An early bird posing for me with their accessory worm (yesterday at the Horticultural Gardens).

Thursday, July 01, 2021

Summer again

 

Finally, another summer day. I took advantage of our first no-rain day in over a week to putter around the garden and prep for a picnic with Nu and AC--a wonderful former student who babysat Nu years ago. I was so surprised to learn that AC is turning 30. They grow up so soon!

One of this year's WGS guest speakers (KH) mentioned how they were doing social work because as a WGS student they'd been inspired by AC's presentation as a guest speaker--I loved that so much and enjoyed passing it on to AC. 

This last year has been tough.

[Pic: Robin with cherries]

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

context




breath is a hymn 
accomplishing joy
surfacing tree brown
I come back to my body
through the sacred,
absurd landscape
of patience

[Pic: Scout and Huck hanging out with me in puppy pose.]

Friday, March 05, 2021

Very Sari

I wore a sari to work yesterday because I felt festive + I want to normalize saris and the difference they embody on my PWI campus. It was one of the intentions I had shared at the beginning of the term with my WGSS class, so when I showed up all floaty and colorful, they seemed quite happy and proud for me. 

I may have tied it too high ("where's the flood?"--the snarks at my high school might have asked), but for the most part, I was comfortable and didn't trip. The tripping thing has been one of my most frequent excuses, so I had to re-evaluate why I don't wear saris to work. 

Other Indian aunties are wearing saris to everything from construction jobs to yoga to designing spacecraft. Why don't I?  I really do think it's because all the ones I have are gifts and meant for festivities and too shiny or drippy with zari/fake pearls/pompoms/gems/stonework. I need a sari wardrobe for work--but I feel weird buying stuff for myself so soon after a day when I got so many presents.

This one, BTW, is a 'house sari' discard from one of my mom's visits. In fact, it was from her first visit when At was a newborn, so it's nearly 22 years old. Very nearly vintage. Wild. 



Thursday, March 04, 2021

Happy Birthday to me!

My birthday usually falls right in the middle of Spring Break... Except we started a week later this year, so for the first time I was teaching on my birthday. I got all excited about this and stocked up on birthday treats like I was in elementary school. And my students, for whom the treats were meant, were so sweet and wrote happy birthday notes on notebook paper and asked if they could sing for me. 

I love my students. 

I was supposed to go home after that last class, but I was hoping to get a birthday hug from At before I left for home. I sent two texts--including one that read fairly desperately: "Birthday hug: yea or nay"--because it's At and he's completely capable of forgetting my birthday in his gentle, absent-minded way. He texted back that he was very busy, couldn't meet, but would explain later. I was pretty crushed, and remember thinking he could have at least said "Happy Birthday" before he brushed me off. 

Yes, he's in that picture--he'd driven home to have birthday dinner with us. 

I'd asked to be surprised for dinner and it seems like Nu, At, and Big A had each picked three things I like to eat so there was an incongruous all-you-can-eat buffet situation with sushi and green curry and poke* and pao* and a glorious olive oil cake* with raspberries, lemon zest, and pistachios (the last asterisked three by Big A and his kid helpers). AK and KB had dropped by at work, LB and EM dropped by at home, so I have more presents than I deserve.  More books to read, notebooks to write in, so much chocolate, and so many bath bombs.

At had parked at the end of the cul-de-sac because his presence-present was a surprise, so I got in a magic walk by starlight when I walked him to his car. And then some magic--albeit smelly--cuddles with Scout, Huck, Nu, and Big A to end the day.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

"Bloom! Bloom! Bloom where you're planted"

Meetings started at 8 am and ended after 7:30 pm today. Such a FULL non-teaching day with everything from curriculum planning and faculty training, to new protocols for CASA from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).  

Lots of support from Nu and Big A who told me they were proud of me. That was unexpected and felt SO NICE! Also, when I was being hugged by those two, I was surprised anew by how much taller than me Nu is now--their face is still such a Baby Nu face!

We liked the vegan dinner I made today (a nicely-sauced stir-fry of Impossible meat and rice noodles topped with mint, julienned peppers, and shredded cucumber) a new-ish, Vietnamese-ish palate with our usual ingredients. We watched a bit more of Korra, (which is sad, neoliberal apologia compared to ATLA) and will probably finish the series this weekend. What's next for us? Perhaps Schitt's Creek, which we've tried twice but can't seem to get beyond episode 4 or 5. A colleague-friend said maybe we should just start from season two, and perhaps that's just what we'll do.

I don't remember going outside today; it's still freezing with snow up to my knees. I did spend some time in the tea garden where we have everything from floppy paperwhites and ratty poinsettias from Christmas to the cyclamen showing up to say, Spring, suckas. The cyclamen gave me such a pang of nostalgic yearning for Greece where it would grow even in the rockiest niches. And apropos of that tiny synaptic nudge, that super-insistent song the sisters taught us in school, "Bloom! Bloom! Bloom where you're planted" started playing in my head. I think I'm trying.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Peak Peek

I think we're at the peak of color this week. Added bonus was a blue sky, no grey midwestern 'dome' today!

Paths are crisp and crunchy; we're still inundated with tasks and deadlines; everyone seems to be holding their breath for next week.

Had a lovely chat with At, where he updated me on some health stuff and impressed me with the proactive and grownup way he had advocated for himself. 

Later in the day, another chat with At, this time a boisterous facetime with the younger sibs. And then a lot of heavy discussion with Nu over dinner prep and dinner being a sounding board as they excitedly invented their character for the D&D party BS is starting Saturday. (Bless BS!!) It's the most animated Nu has been in a while, and reading the D&D manual introduced them to a lot of words they didn't seem to know (diminutive, arcane...).

I planned to class prep alongside Big A as he watched some cycling videos after dinner (these are just as impossible for me to understand as the unboxing craze all the kids were about a few years ago!) but I set aside my laptop for 'just a few minutes' and fell asleep on top of him and had to start all over again.

Tuesday, October 06, 2020

King, Chavez, Parks... and Penrose

When I heard Sir Roger Penrose won the Physics Nobel today, the first thing that came to mind was that At had had some playdates with RP's son Maxwell (named for the mathematician) back in Oxford. Was it 2001? 2002? We knew Penrose on the fringes of JSA's work with him so I googled "Penrose and JSA," and sure enough--tons of collabs. Gosh--that feels like such a lifetime ago.

Today, I received logo-ed masks from the KCP program (King-Chavez-Parks, baby!) and will wear them everywhere with pride.

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Pardons <> Gardens

The other day, L and I wandered into the Rose Garden and were delighted to see serendipitous blooms just everywhere. (It's the end of September!) And then we ripped off our masks and stuck our noses in to take in all the scents. Sometimes there, we're humming this silly oldie (and then it reminds me of Chennai and CR who taught me that song).  

But that day was not today. By 9:00 am I had already been in two meetings, and between regularly-scheduled meetings, a CASA-training webinar, student conferences, and  a faculty-wide caucus, the intensity continued until 5:00. Sometimes I had to use two monitors to juggle my overcommitments.

But the spoooooky syllabus (Culture and the Supernatural) for the second seven-week course set to start next week is all done!

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Today's (s)log

Yesterday's picture, and a tiny today update. 

Met all my classes; my students seem lovely! My international students patched in via video, and that went ok too. I am grieving the loss of classroom intimacy--video, masks, distancing, and having to sit in rows instead of a circle are all messy. But I get it--and I think we'll get through it. 

Got to meet At before afternoon classes to pass on some freezer staples, I and was chuffed to see he had two masks and long sleeves on. Yay! I walked him back to his house and got a "back hug" as he turned to get the stairs. Seeing At made me so happy.

My last class ended late and then I headed to a socially distant picnic at the president's house for our new MFA director. Both of them have worked really hard on the program even through the strangeness of the summer, and I was happy to celebrate with them. But the sun had set by the time I drove home--another reminder this summer is ending. Luckily, I had a long conversation with JG to keep me company in the car. 

Back home, I discovered that L had dropped off some of Nu's favorite brownies and a ton of snacks as a back-to-school treat for Nu (they start tomorrow). My Nu was already in bed, but I was told they lovvvvvvvved me when I snuck in for a goodnight kiss. And then Big A woke up, and we had a teensy dessert-date chit-chat (me with Nu's brownies, Big A with the leftovers of the Culver's from his and Nu's dinner) before he headed off to work. I'll be sleeping with Scout and Huck tonight.

Sunday, August 23, 2020

First Day

Yesterday's Hawk Island hike with SS was magical. I came away with book and movie recommendations and the idea that I'm not the one who gets to decide who reads my stuff. Of course, I tell students this all the time, but I need to hear it too, sometimes.

Today was my first day back in the classroom since March. Yes, it's Sunday, but that's when the first-years start this year. My first-day jitters were keener than usual, but once back in the classroom, things settled into the usual. 

I don't think I have everyone's names yet as I usually do. Masked, even people I already know are hard to recognize; memorizing the names of new students when half their faces are out of view is going to be quite a challenge. Bless everyone who smiles with their eyes and nods in class.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Back to School Party

At goes back to college on Friday and Nu starts school (online) on Monday, so it was time for my little monsters to have their annual back-to-school party. 

I made a playlist to share with them; they got some loot--a clean-start calendar, chakra stones to keep under their pillows, essential oils to boost immunity, lucky bamboo for the rest of 2020, water bottles for hydration (listed like that, I can see I skewed pandemic new-agey there!); and got pampered with facemasks and a mama pedicure while they watched a movie. 

All they had to do was pick out dinner and a movie. The dinner pick was easy-peasy (mint chicken), but picking out a movie took some time. They cycled through Ten Things I Hate About You and Clueless and Mean Girls and Napolean Dynamite and School of Rock

And then they began to improvise--Inglorious Basterds? I mean he taught Hitler A LESSON." Hahaha. I love my babies. They finally settled on Monsters University

Friday, May 22, 2020

I am Loved, I am Enough

 I just needed a reminder of love today. Last week, I didn't get a teaching award I was nominated for (it went to someone amazing, but I still feel sad.) and today in student evals in addition to the usual notes about grading and reading load, a student suggested that I had made them feel stupid and that I wasn't "fond" of them. The one thing I always want to do is create a safe space and teach with tenderness, so that comment cut me so bad.

On top of it all, my planner has consistently been showing me that while I have been doing alright taking care of the fam, myself, and home, I consistently have little to record in the professional section--I'm not writing, editing, publishing. I need to stop cycling through distracting myself through every media available to me.



Tuesday, November 19, 2019

A time to grow


Talked to L about the Eco-Melancholia in my environment-themed class and she reminded me: “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” 

 My class loves the idea! I'm finding a place on campus for us to do a poetry-reading + planting ceremony.