Showing posts with label Teaching. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Teaching. Show all posts

Thursday, September 29, 2022

hard first step

Titled "Out of Reach," this installation really spoke to me. 

It's part of this year's campus-centric Art Prize and the student creators indicate that it's a representation of accessibility issues in our world. 

How many things are impossible because that first step is so insurmountable...

And then looks like procrastination, intractability, or delinquency...

It's a good reminder that I am an elder in this world and can reach out when people don't show up. (Just in case it's because they can't show up.)

Also it seemed so faraway when we postponed the visit in August, but now SD is here! SD is here! SD is here!

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

diminishing

Every morning as I wake
swimming with dreams
wrestling with the dark

our world is ready to stack
before me, crisp towers
of lists and leftovers 

from the night behind me
and so I enter the strange 
thing that is the day 

like an all-you-can-eat buffet 
the return of my appetite 
some bright miracle




Pic: MSU's spirit rock in honor of the Iranian women's protests. The highschoolers walking out over Virginia governor Youngkin's anti-trans policies, a lunch-time walk-and-talk with AK, my capstone students brilliantly knitting news with readings... I am grateful for decency and beauty showing up in this world.

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Quiet

Scout and Huck are worried for me... because I play this harp so badly. 🤣😂 They would prefer me to be quiet.

It was otherwise a quiet and fulfilling Sunday: UU meditation, a hang with JL at the Lebanese coffee shop, a chat with my sis and mom, a WhatsApp celebration with the cousins, weekend chores, a soak, groceries, dinner with all four kids, teaching prep, Navaratri invitations and menu-planning, a heart-warming chat with At while I dropped him back at his place, more teaching prep, and so to bed.
 

Thursday, September 22, 2022

drop

The temperature dropped suddenly (and punctually for the autumn equinox) today. So here's me in blankets and puppies, by the heater in the study, trying to get teaching prep for tomorrow done before I get to PICK BIG A UP FROM THE TRAIN STATION!!

I don't know if it's silly to pine for one's partner at this stage in my life, but it also feels basic--you know? One should get to end every day with the person you picked for life.

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

*three thoughts *on the third day *of the work week

*Lots going on in the world outside and students were on fire today, discussing--the Hijab protests in Iran, the Venezuelans trafficked to Martha's Vineyard, the floods in Pakistan and Puerto Rico... 

*I felt buoyed today by an internet friend becoming a more IRL friend, work friends finding non work ways to connect, and my sister's glee that her birthday is "just four months away."

*When I need to laugh, I come back to this picture of "Kangaroo Huck" with her feet rudely positioned on Scout's butt, her "dress" askew, looking at me for pets. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

look up

I had to run an errand on the far side of town and found myself getting dejected by it as I always do... the houses seem to be falling down a bit more than normal, the cars seem rustier and noisier...

And I say this as someone who lives in a house whose roof has leaked for at least three years and has not been fixed although roof-work started [... and stopped] at the beginning of summer and as someone who drove a car with a busted-up headlight for nearly six months this year after my 'deer incident' as there were no replacement parts available.

But I know it's not really the same thing. My dejection is because how that is yet another nudge about how we live in a world of inequity, recognizing how huge this is, and coming to terms that it's not something I can ever begin to fix by myself. 

And then on my way home I came to this crossroads (It reads: ML King Jr. Blvd and Malcolm X St). That made me smile so big because sometimes I talk myself through social situations by asking myself if I want to do it "like Martin or like Malcolm?"

Dr. King's uncle was a local Lansing pastor and Minister Malcolm, of course, grew up in Lansing. A gray-ish day and an unexceptional photograph, but a good reminder of a moment that lifted me up.

Friday, September 16, 2022

five Friday yays

Got a shoutout from the wonderful Melissa at Stirrup Queens... that always makes my week!

Finished up work for the week--even got in a couple of things ahead of deadline (to make up for the things past due). 

Nu and I got home around the same time. We're watching Riverdale together per Nu's request. It's so over the top, we keep laughing--so I guess that's the good part. 

A quick dinner prep and then off to the train station. Nu DJ-ed through the train delay and then finally we got Big A home. We'll have him for about 36 hours.

Pic: Big A and Huck who are bestest pals reunited. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

exhale

The moon was still up in the sky when Scout, Huck, and I took Nu to the school bus before I went to work and back in the sky when I got home. Three classes, three meetings, and all of them very necessary. It helped that Big A helped in the morning before he left to take the ferry back to WI and At came over in the afternoon to hang out with Nu (and took Nu to some labor meetings 💗) while I was at work. 

I brought back some Angel Tears and Devil Tears from Pizza 1 One for the kids. A long time ago, L asked what they were and I described them; she then summarized that it sounded like they had taken the one healthy thing about pizza (the tomato sauce) and left all the other stuff. She's right. These "tears" always get a rockstar welcome from the kids though--yesterday was no exception.

There was a comment on yesterday's post, which was very true in that there were only two people in my photo. I struggle with this a lot. When we moved to this house we were eight human and non human persons and three generations--my parents, Big A and me, and the two human and two canine kids. It does feel kind of empty with just Nu, part-time Big A, and me as the humans living in this house now. I'm trying to come to terms and make peace and all that jazz because I know that this is the way of things. But it's not easy. And I haven't been successful. (Nicole--I must really put Philpott's Bomb Shelter on my list RIGHT NOW.)

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

inhale

Checked and cleared off my calendar early today and then I was able to hike with Big A, give Scout and Huck a groom, and make s'mores with Baby A. 

A midweek respite seemed necessary today. Especially since I'll be on campus from 8 am to 8 pm tomorrow (and that's not counting the commute).

It's like the deep breath before a deep dive...

Pic: Pre-s'mores. The bad haircuts I gave the puppies are sadly obvious. (The vet no longer offers grooming, and I didn't want to take them to some chain place because there are so many horrible stories.)

Monday, September 12, 2022

coming in

my eyes are insistent
yearn to find amends
rivers wake unaware
these roads catch fire

for ever there is light 

I unfasten the heavy
I catch myself happy
a song between sighs
what is day, if not this



Pic: Sunrise over the Maple River. I get to work so early these days!

Saturday, September 03, 2022

repair and respair

Orientation today at MacCurdy. Yes, it's a Saturday, but when you have the kind of wonderfully idealistic, engaged activists MacCurdy attracts, it doesn't seem like work at all. 

We covered a lot: residence rules, a calendar of events for the upcoming year, possible collaborations with other groups, and participatory protocols. I'm super excited. And as always, some of the questions they came up with made me think hard and rethink entrenched beliefs. I suspect that in a way, they do keep me young. 

Sadly, some of the Planned Parenthood and Black Lives Matter posters they'd had in the windows were vandalized over the summer (Pic). They plan to repair them with gold paint kintsugi style. ♥️ I took a walk during break and came back wondering if we could offer restorative justice options for the offenders.


Wednesday, August 31, 2022

I got the cider and then I cried

I started the day with a good cry because my bestie KB left today. She's going to MN to be closer to her parents, and this will be good for her professionally, and it all makes sense, and we even have plans for November... but... it still hurts.

I grabbed some doughnuts and cider for her road trip up north a couple of hours before I was due to teach, and we chatted and cried and commiserated about all the stuff happening to us/around us. And then we were laughing again until she said something about being "long gone" in response to something and I started weeping again.

I won't post our tear-stained 'ussie', but I want to remember happier times and our long walks on the bike path.

Pic: KB's tweet which was followed by some sappy E.T. references from both of us.

Monday, August 29, 2022

#1


It was raining when Nu and I left home this morning. 

And it rained most of my way to work (free car wash!).

By the time I got to campus: blue skies. 

May this be an omen of the term to come.

Sunday, August 28, 2022

Six on a Sunday

*     Pic: Just a silly picture Nu and I took the other day. We like squirrels. And we like how this one seems to have claimed a local church. 

*     Speaking of church--UU was one of our first stops  today. Nu is helping in the little kids' room instead of doing R.E. with his own set and liking it. Also, the MI Lieutenant Governor was at the service and everyone waved to him. Singing has been back for a while, and I'm loving it.

*     Between meeting CF (massage) and BES (dinner prep) and EM (birthday celebration) in person this weekend and  marathon text threads and FaceTimes with the cousins, fam, and friends--It was a rather intense social weekend.

*     On the other hand, I did a TON of work today with new students. It's a Sunday, but then it's the start of the semester and they're new and seemed a bit lost, so... 

*     All the syllabuses and diagnostics for tomorrow are uploaded on Canvas. So there's nothing left to do but get some sleep, hope the documents stay stable, and look forward to tomorrow with that classic first-day-combination of jittery excitement and flustery edginess. 

*     Bye-bye sabbatical!

Friday, August 26, 2022

que sera, sera

I didn't realize how much the Chipotle union election was weighing on me until I woke up this morning with the worry lifted off me. I'm so happy... and relieved it went well. I don't know how I would have begun to console At and all those other young people, if things hadn't gone right. 

Some tangential stuff has been so sweet... from colleagues messaging to say they heard At on NPR; his old YDSA colleagues chuffed with success; my family, friends, and students trying to connect this to me, etc.

So a day of relief. But my body has been tense and tired for a long time. Last week, I'd booked a massage for myself for today. I remember booking it and wondering what state of mind I'd be in when I got to go in: Would I be happy? Would I be crushed? And here's what I said to myself: Whatever will be, will be; I'll need this either way.

My kids' teachers would often make them write letters to their future selves--this massage felt like a present from my past self. 

Pic: The offering I took to the temple the day before the election.

P.S. It seems I jumped the gun on International Dogs' Day--it was today not the day before yesterday.

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

dogged

I heard today is "National Dog's Day." Happy Scout and Huckie Day! 

I'm not sure if these guys know they're dogs, and I'm guilty of treating them like eternal toddlers, but I'm always happy to celebrate everything. (I used to get At and Nu those "Every Day is a Holiday" calendars for a few years, and there were some pretty wacky celebrations for a while.)

Big A sent me a heads up this morning that there's a mysterious illness that has killed dozens of dogs in Michigan. Turns out it's a parvovirus. Usually my babies are fairly isolated from other doggies, but I'm taking them to the veterinarian tomorrow for their shots, and that's making me anxious. 

(I'm also anxious about attending opening convocation tomorrow, meeting my new first-year advisees, and making it back in time to take S and H to their doc on time.)

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Day #1 Notes

Nu woke up early and was ready for school in plenty of time. But still too nervy to take a formal "first day of school" pic, so this is what I got as he headed for the school bus. (Pic okayed by Nu.) I guess we're out of practice; Nu napped for hours after getting back from a 4-hour school half-day.

It was a busy work day for me made passable by good work friends and their side chats, emails, calls, and also genius gifs and memes they made themselves. 

At the end of the day, it was nice to hang out out with Big A (even if only on Portal) and he was happy to find and open up his Boss Day present (which I'd hidden in a cabinet while we were in MKE). Scout and Huck predictably got excited for treats when they heard Nu and me sing the "Boss Day Song" (which is just the regular "Happy Birthday" repurposed). I think they're beginning to recognize Big A's voice on the Portal and think Dada "lives in a box now." Or at least that's the understanding we've assigned to them.

And finally, I have a new CASA case with four children--it sounds daunting and difficult to take on at this moment... but I keep thinking how much more difficult for the kids themselves... And so I will.

Monday, August 22, 2022

just another manic Monday

This picture was shared on the college's social media, so I suppose it's ok to share. I was going to joke about looking for me on the far left in this picture... but I can actually espy myself (it helps that I'm so brown and am wearing a mask).  

No one at work said a thing about my facial piercings, which I took as a sign that people either didn't notice it or were too freaked out by it. I miss besties KB, JG, CF being at work because they would totally have blurted out questions... and it would be fun coming from them.

Long day: lots of new info and expectations for the upcoming year + some initial prep for a travel course over boxed lunches with CC.

Then I took care of my babies. Nu wanted to spend a couple of hours at the mall with a friend (I counted mall-walking as exercise today); drove to At's Chipotle to morale boost the unionizing crew with some old-fashioned conversation (all the "Union Strong!" orders I'd been placing via the app for $1.67 chips kept showing up with my name on it--unsure of that's a glitch or corporate interference); and now I'm curled up with Scout and Huck. Scout just did his happy sigh, so all is right with the world in this moment.

Sunday, August 21, 2022

up! ahead!

We're back!

And that was both the last trip and the last weekend of the summer before school starts.

Fall Conference starts tomorrow, Nu goes back to school on Tuesday, my opening convocation and At's NLRB election are both on Thursday... It's quite a week, so I went ahead and booked myself a massage on Friday.

Then I can spend the weekend getting prepped/psyched for the start of term.

Pic: Nu and Big A at the Milwaukee Museum of Art.

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Okay, this is new...

RH, an old student I've kept in touch with via FB, sent this screenshot for reference and wrote to say he's been contracted to write for a game called Wildsea and that he based an NPC (non playing character) on me. 

To say I'm grateful to be remembered is an understatement. 🥰 And then I was very moved that my character is a teacher/mentor. 😭

It was only when I attached the screenshot here and looked at the name again that I realized that the character Dorma Laspra's name is a composite made of the beginning syllables of each of my two first and two last names. 

🥰 😭 🥰 😭 🥰 😭 🥰 😭

I'm kinda crying now, in case you couldn't tell. 

all set to start

 Navaratri celebrations tonight! "Take homes" (snack boxes and gift bags) and our miniature magic forest "Golu" are read...