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

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.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

So Bae

I'd taken the BART in to the city when I arrived, but I was running a bit late and took a taxi back to the airport. I'm so glad I did! I got to see the sunrise over the bay, have a great conversation with my Eritrean cabbie, and got an upgrade at the gate from a kind, young woman who called me "milady." OK.
Late yesterday I was elected caucus chair for the year, and I'm not sure if that deserves congratulations or commiserations yet. Not bad for a day which started with me and my roomie EH poring over the weather app and trying to figure out what the wavy gray lines were. (Fog, duh.)

Friday, November 15, 2019

Panels, panels everywhere


For someone who was was dismayed about three nights away and was ready to leave the day they arrived, I ended up having a pretty good conference. I went to every panel I could and learned so much. Special love to MG's activism panel and the Kashmir Studies Collective.

Thursday, November 07, 2019

TBTN


I'm a proud mama/advisor 😍 
  • End the silence, stop the violence! 
  • My dress does not mean yes! 
  • Feminists unite, reclaim the night! 
  • However we dress, wherever we go, yes means yes and no means no! 
  • We have the right, to not be scared at night! 
  • Say it once, say it again, no excuses for violent men! 
#MacCurdy #Alma

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

Say "subaltern"


Of course, I overdid things... and of course, I cooked until I ran out time... of course we'll be eating leftovers for days... but of course these are the greatest students.

I still want to try the pumpkin halva I made up in my head for the G/F kid and the two vegetarians.








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Tuesday, November 05, 2019

Way

The doc's office left a message on my cell and I called them back between classes.

They have to continue to keep an eye on things.

I'll count that as not bad news.








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Thursday, October 31, 2019

Intergenerational witchery

Nu is wicked in L's wig, my dress, their own hat and cloak. All witches need a coven.

My own coven supported me through the day surgery today--the kindness of everyone from students to colleagues to friends carried me through. The texts timed just as I entered the hospital, EM's refusal to let me cancel, and the offers to drive me home were all I needed for now.

And I actually drove myself home before the lidocaine wore off.








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Thursday, October 03, 2019

Brighter

It's been a super rainy week... so last week's picture of my ecocriticism students in the sunshine, ID-ing trees blindfolded is a needed reminder of brighter, happier, more productive times.











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Monday, September 30, 2019

Accidental Portrait



And apparently, I spend my life being terrified.

Perhaps I had just spent time reading the news?


#MSU







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