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

Friday, May 07, 2021

"even doves have pride"


First business appointment today was Zoom court, where JL's PPO (personal protection order) against their stalker ex was upheld and extended. Abusers are really their own worst enemies--the judge and I were both visibly deprecating of his disrespect and narcissism. 

Some committee work + paperwork + unfinished business... Then a lovely, supportive, mentoring all-women meeting. We're opening up the previously faculty-only group to admin; I want to get athletics, facilities/janitorial, and our catering staff involved too!

A kind shoutout from Mel at Stirrup Queens, a heads-up that an old poem had been published in The Scriblerus Spring Issue, and a Google scholar alert about an essay that was picked for an anthology and is now in print round off the writing updates for the week. 

Wednesday, May 05, 2021

"maybe I'm just too demanding"

Got grades done yesterday; long meetings today; all-day meetings with the Board of Trustees tomorrow; multiple meetings Friday. My annual faculty update is due next month. I'd better find a way to set boundaries and make summer writing work for me if I don't want a repeat of last year's lost summer.

Monday, May 03, 2021

promise


this is where i will love you
this is how you're spoken for
i will surround you with care
i will celebrate you with song

you will be stronger for my love
all i say to you will be only kind
you will know you are important 
find comfort when you "just can't"

we'll still need the earth for this body
as we fill the sky with soul and dreams
if they fall into a net, i'll make you a nest 
even should you falter, i'll believe in your best




Mostly a promise to anyone who needs it, even if it's mostly me. 

The nice things I've done for myself recently (pedestrian objects alert) is (a) get toothbrushes with tiny heads--perhaps they don't renovate my mouth, hasten world peace, etc., but they also don't constantly bump up against my gums and teeth; (b) get sporks--so easy to use esp. when multitasking and all the better for cleaning my plate/bowl.


Wednesday, April 21, 2021

"make me a channel"




Two colleague-friends on the third floor have birthdays this week, and what a perfect time (plus a privilege and a pleasure) to share the work of Sophfronia Scott (who'll soon be on our floor) with them.

Otherwise a busy, busy, busy day with meetings starting at 8 am and student grading, consultations, and some cheerleading/handholding throughout. 

Because I was personally in a funk (™my dad) last week, I forgot to say how proud I am of my students who did a wonderful job with the WGS symposium and then over-performed on Honors Day despite all the pandemic-inherent obstacles. Hearing their idealistic and confident descriptions of why their humanities research was important made me tear up more than once. And one of my sponsees took the humanities Kapp Prize.

AK wrote me: You know your students today were rock-stars right? Your light as a teacher has clearly lit them up as well. While that's clearly a kind overstatement, and I don't want to take away from my students' clear sense of agency and genius--it nevertheless made me feel like I was doing good in this world. Even if only as an intermediary.

Thursday, April 08, 2021

tiny hellos


These (rue anemones?) yesterday--unlooked for and delightful. I thought back to them all day.

A long day of teaching, lots of individual conferences checking in on student research projects, and very little time for admin stuff that needs doing. 

Tomorrow is another day. 

A quick visit to At to drop off groceries and measure his chest (for a birthday present). 

LOTS of hugs.

 Back home, Big A's poke for dinner, and a snuggly semi-sleepover with Nu, Scout, and Huck. 

(Meaning--I'm supposed to be watching Umbrella Academy with Nu, but I fall asleep ten minutes in. The show is good, it's just that I'm tired.)

Wednesday, April 07, 2021

tiny observation




somedays just can't contain
all the budding--
new/s shoots 

insane: email says everyone
is sick with the virus
/vaccination shots



[Pic: greening in Baker Woods]

Thursday, April 01, 2021

Bigotry Farm


I haven't been able to find the name of this farm on 127N, but I've been calling it "Bigotry Farm" in my head for ages.

Seeing those signs on my way to work gives me anxiety every time. Seeing the progression of misogyny from L to R sometimes gives me a chuckle--sometimes. The flashing sign with bonkers messages makes me sad/angry/sob.

People know what I mean when I mention this place, but I wasn't able to find a good shot of the signs, so I pulled over and took this one.

I could use this in a rhetoric class?

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Of pens and pizza and other not so little things

Barely the beginning of the week, and I'm already so exhausted... I think we're all way more burnt out than we realize.

Before I left for home, however--a personal visit, a handwritten note of congratulations, and a luxe pen from the college. Somehow they even managed to engrave my very long, doubly hyphenated name on it. 

Somedays, it's the not-so-little things and immense kindness that do me in. 

And then Big A's pizza for dinner. It's impossible to not feel so loved when I see one of the pies on the table is the goat cheese, spinach, and slices of hard-boiled egg one. Probably sounds awful to most people--I'm the only one who eats it, so it was made just for me.


Friday, March 26, 2021

In Prep

 


I love my huge blue-light glasses, I feel like I'm in disguise... well, not quite disguise... maybe it's more like a carnival mask that obscures me so I'm not displaying every emotion as obviously as an octopus.

SO MANY meetings. But I'm now DONE for the week. There'll be some grading and a student-housing fiasco to attend to over the weekend. But first, I'm going to read a Mary Stewart or Enid Blyton or something else soothing I've read a million times in every decade. 

And then, I'm going to fall asleep with Nu and Scout and Huck later. Friday 'sleepovers' with the kids have become a pandemic tradition.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Triptych


Three uplifting encounters with women artist-activists today:

A discussion with Lysne Beckwith Tait, the founder of Helping Women Period in my WGS classroom.

A hangout with April Sunami as her work was being installed in the Rotunda art gallery. [Her art on the left; will update with title when the installation is done.]

A (beautifully!) student-moderated webinar with Alice Wong, who gave our Women's History Month keynote.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

We're on


We're on dueling sofas. I'm reading; Nu's doodling me. Clearly, I'm happy :).

It's a good evening at the end of a very busy day where both my computer camera and I stayed on all day.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

thorn/bud/rose

I drove myself into a bit of a panic today, thinking about how I've spent this whole pandemic year just not writing. Colleagues on social media have been productive and publishing all through, but not me. 

There's one article (book chapter) in the pipeline, but I've already claimed it on my C.V. and it went on my tenure portfolio too. I guess sabbatical (next winter) will be the do-or-die period to work on monograph ideas at least.

Looking around for some good news, I remembered that last week, I had been invited to serve on the planning committee of this year's NWSA virtual conference. The NWSA. Ok, a bit better now.

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Mid-March Madness


One of those days where things seem wonderful one moment: electric class discussions; a chance encounter with a colleague where you both come up with so many new ideas; a guest lecture that is both enlightening and offers students self-care; a lovely thank-you note... And then in the next moment things are so awful and shaky that you can be driving up 127N, see the usual signs on Bigotry Farm, and instead of making you chuckle ruefully, it makes you start crying; or you're discussing Junot Diaz and choke up from thinking about all the 'allies' who are also oppressors.

I know the pandemic still has us in thrall, but having to deal with all the things that were right and wrong in the world on top of it seems a bit much.

Had to block off a two-hour slot tomorrow to draft a statement about the Atlanta shootings with the usual crew since no one else here has said or done anything... thus far.

Sunday, March 14, 2021

DST Sunday


Time feels so strange anyway right now, that an hour's early start... on a Sunday... should make no difference, but even in the pandemic, DST still makes things disruptive. 

Being told why DST happens had some odd drama to it as a new immigrant: the implicit trust that this new world ritual had some higher-order rationale that I would eventually appreciate, but in the meantime--here's this "Fall back-Spring forward" mnemonic to keep track. Remembering Chelli's friend MH waiting up precisely for 2 am to turn the clocks still makes me smile, and we just talked about MH this weekend, and they're still best friends. 

But what a lovely sun-kissed weekend, nevertheless. No coats, so much outside play, the melt revealing the abrupt way things had suddenly ended with the one big snow. Family sushi, Puppy playdates (BS and JL), a sleepover with Nu, a movie via Zoom with EM (Bombay Rose, HIGHLY recommended!), a marathon phone call home, and now a ton of work waiting for me. (I feel 100% recovered from the second shot, BTW.)

Thursday, March 11, 2021

I'm Coming Up


Woke up not at 100%, but knowing I just couldn't take any more time off. My email box was terrifying, and it took hours and hours to take care of things that had piled up in 48 hours away and get back to a zero inbox. Did I use my "BinBox"liberally? You bet I did.

Getting things done helped me keep my energy levels up and I'm glad I work with caring/forgiving colleagues. Tons of advising, opining, advocating, celebrating, and mediating on the student front. 

An invitation-only workshop that was postponed last July has been rescheduled for this July, and despite being vaccinated, I just didn't feel ready to commit. My response surprised me, because I thought I'd be excited about travel... I'm a mystery to myself.

Oh. And I made sure to enjoy the surprise hyacinths popping up all over the house from the bulbs I pressed into assorted planters at the beginning of winter. 

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 24, 2021

Thaw


I looked up from my desk to this glorious sunlit sky in my sliver of office window. Being here physically was relief and sustenance after the torture of trying to make things go right with Nu yesterday.

Reading students encountering Laura Mulvey, Hanif Kureishi, and Shauna Singh Baldwin, introducing a new class to invitational rhetoric, referencing an old student's lesson plan involving the 'Red Rover' game... everything felt like a fresh spring--at least in my soul.

By the time I got home to little Nu, the 'sad' part persisted, but the 'mad' part had melted away.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Weekend Magic

Three long, snowy hikes (with LB and BS), one long-ish run (5 mi), two short yoga sessions. I can't remember when I've had a weekend so full of physical activity before. Two raucous and movie-heavy sleepovers with Nu and Scout and Huck; sadly, not much contact with At--I mean, a picture of a nice omelette he made himself on family chat--but he seems to be mostly ok.

Finished Oona Out of Order--which was meh at best, and frequently irritating--but I grew to care about the characters after all although I didn't care for their idea of gentrification as a beneficial development. Started Marlon James' A Brief History of Seven Killings. Again. I couldn't get into it when it first came out and I remember being roundly castigated for it by world lit friends. I've been humming and channeling a lot of Bob Marley (because I MISS my mom so much) recently, so I'm giving Seven Killings another go. It's intense. 

Also intense, Judas and the Black Messiah, which I watched with Big A. Fred Hampton--especially how much he did at so young an age and how much he could have gone on to do had he not been assassinated has been a trigger for me--but the film was oddly heartening. Especially as Akua Njeri and Fred Hampton Jr. seem to have been such a central part of the film's making.

I disengaged from most work all weekend. And something that helped was that I didn't get a single work email! Is this everyone deciding to institute strong boundaries since we work from home so much these days? On Friday, which was a "Reading Day," I sent out an inquiry on behalf of an advisee and my senior colleague reminded me to "take the day off." Knowing everyone is doing it, and that it would be rude and interruptive not to, makes it so much easier for me. I still have some grading to catch up on, but hope to get it done by Tuesday when I will have to face people in real time again. That's not magical thinking, although I did wish on the beautiful and magical wishing tree BS gave me this weekend.