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

Monday, October 18, 2021

well, well, well

 


Here we are at the backend of the term. 

The day started well enough--an early morning hike with L along the river and I felt well rested and well prepped for the new class starting tomorrow...

Then the campus alert system went off as there was a gunman close to campus and streams of police cars seemingly everywhere. Although quickly managed with no loss of life, the tumult of that kept reverberating right through every meeting afterward--even the 7 pm one.


Thursday, October 14, 2021

suburbia, hedonia

I did have periods of intense industry--checking midterm submissions, prepping and arranging next week's new course, letters of rec., emails, etc. Nevertheless, today felt like the midterm break I'd been looking forward to... It's the ninth day of Navaratri, so it's Ayudha Puja and traditionally a day of contemplation rather than action, anyway.

Long-anticipated trip to IKEA with Big A for some shelving in the basement. Everything gave me intense nostalgia for when the kids were younger and used those plastic dishes and had those stuffies and cuddled in those bed linens. Then we transported everything back and discussed immaterial stuff like how I have a summer and winter wardrobe but nothing that delineates spring or fall... while we took a decadently long soak together. 

Nu had D&D club so we got to pick them up late and then some more soft family time. Tons of to-dos and errands tomorrow.

And I've been trying to write a poem on Babur, but it just isn't coming together...

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 08, 2021

books, books, books

Sad because I finished Cloud Cuckoo Land (at 2 am last night) and I was disappointed about Anna's life post-Constantinople. Blamed it on men writing women, TBH. Clearly, my own Women's Writing class is having an effect on me. Ha.

Also: finally admitted to myself that I'm not going to be able to finish that online course in digital and data interpretation I signed up for... Not this semester, anyway. Just like in my undergraduate days, which is when I should have figured this out, I spend too much free time reading fiction and poetry, apparently.

The "sternly-worded" resolution--about the culling of books and carrels in the library--I was signatory to, passed with a resounding majority at the faculty meeting. Brief moment of vindication, but not sure if there will be any change to what feels like a predetermined outcome. 

Monday, October 04, 2021

I have no plans to move

for history when undressed
is plain macabre 

I can recite everything I find
and lose myself  

in my stammered translation 
maps lose detail

some time leads to nowhere
poems get shorter

----------------------------------------------------

The Fall 2021 Jaggery issue went live today--I'd forgotten the pull quotes and had to scramble to get them done; I finished sending out the last of the NWSA mentoring emails; handed off SAWNET moderation to the October moderator; completed part one of the women's house orientation; started planning the honor society induction; finalized grades on the first paper; committee meetings; committee meetings; committee meetings; started a sabbatical review for a non college colleague; started tenure observations for a college colleague; picked up my laptop post repair. Dinner was leftovers.

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. 

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

hold on

I have a ton of stuff beginning to pile up again. I got contracts done, but have final edits to make for the next issue of Jaggery; I got the sponsored panel done, but have mentor-mentee letters to send out for the ongoing NWSA; I got the updates done, but owe my CASA coordinator a log of my continuing education hours; and on and on. 

And this is not even at my day job where I have class prep due + I'm going to get a ton of papers submitted this weekend + I somehow seem to have agreed to give a campus wide introduction to embodied learning practices (not even my research specialty) + have to plan an orientation for the student house I advise + plan an induction for the honor society I co-advise + return to my long-term projects I haven't worked on in ages. 

And this doesn't even begin to start to describe all the work of family and home.

So I'm experiencing stress... and rightly so. 

And I got a submission declined rejected today too.

But Scout and Huck are always adorable.

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

a little me

I suppose it's my job to be touched everyday
by offers of trust--gaudy and gauche 
these insights dawning
inexorable as day

I know how it settles into the bulk of today
teaching me to become yet an-other 
grownup as I already am
inaccurate as yesterday

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


Sunday, September 12, 2021

blooper shot


I was going to post pictures of our party for JG's and MB's retirement, but I didn't ask everyone's permission. So instead, here's a screen grab of me gazing up adoringly at KB that I found hilarious. I've always said my decision to come here was in part because of KB--she wasn't on my search committee, but she had been tasked to have lunch with the candidate (me). I feel like I'm in an old timey teen movie when I'm with KB--like an extra in a John Hughes film on the verge of a manageable adventure. 

Anyway the party went great! I got all the things done thanks to Nu who was an amazing sous chef and decorator and Big A who DJ-ed and moved furniture and took photos and At who helped with the fancy candle and got singed but still went on to do bug control.  

JG and MB loved everything and I'm so glad I got to do this for them. And thanks to them, I kind of feel ready to have more intimate gatherings again. 

I hope.

Friday, September 10, 2021

the walking cure


(for K.B.)
We haven't seen each other in weeks
we're to go on a walk
I expected a ladylike turn on campus
but here you are 
in sneakers, leading an active puppy 
so we end up 
wending our way to Luce Road where
we remember

how our current high schoolers were tiny
preschoolers
whose peanut allergies then seemed 
to riddle absence--
are now surviving, becoming new people
with "hot dates"
imagining themselves un-endangered 
have new names 

in today's succulence, there is rain
but also umbrellas
there are mosquito bites that bead 
my arms like biceps 
words hang between us like roots
seeking new growth
you guide each signal that tumbles out 
kindly, grace-fully

we're filling out equations of sympathy 
on each side  
even in all that happens to interrupt us
because somehow
it seems, you believe in my goodness
as I trust in yours--
oh, how are we such miracles, friend--
finding us in this world


Pic: KB, W, and bike-path friends in Alma.

Wednesday, September 08, 2021

surprises


On an early morning walk with L, we found these lotuses blooming out of the sludge and rain water. No one seemed to have refilled the lotus pond at the horticultural gardens, but here they were anyway.

At the end of the day, I found myself in the unprecedented and awkward position of having been suggested/nominated for three different service positions.

Friday, September 03, 2021

You know what...



I think I've taken on too much this year. At the end of this first week back, I'm deeply depleted and exhausted.


Pic: Late evening walk with Big A. The river was peaceful and lovely, but when one walks with Big A and his Apple watch, there's no tarrying.

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

birthdays and first days


It's my grandmother's birthday today, so this picture of her just before she got married at 16 has been doing the rounds on cousins' chat. As has something I wrote long ago.

First day of classes today... I panicked hard yesterday, despite having taught in person all of last year. But the usual combination of over prepping and the endorphin-adrenalin rush of being in front of a class kicked in and all was well. Finished up work with a small reception at the president's house for being on a search committee that met all summer long.

When I got home, Big A was napping ahead of a work-night, At was off canvassing, Nu was in the basement knuckle-deep in a paint project for a class. So I grabbed my Culver's dinner from L's fundraiser for Peacequest, queued up some Felicity on ye olde laptop, and ate with Scout and Huck for company. 

A bit of an anticlimactic end to the day, TBH. 


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.

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

snapshot


Nu didn't want their picture this year, so instead here's a snapshot of a busy day via a few minutes of family chat. 

At took his puppy sibs for shots and a groom, gave them their meds, cleaned Huckie's ears, picked up his human sibling from school, and as it turns out--was the one who reheated the pasta (I'd made at midnight) for our dinner today.

We joke about his post-college life at home being his adulthood "residency," but I can't imagine how we'd have pulled today off without him. 

Nu had a busy day and spent much of the evening finishing up school tasks and rewriting their notes--I love how hard they are trying to start off right this year.  

My day was packed, but I had a whole hour for lunch despite every morning meeting running overtime. I debated taking a power nap, or a walk, or doing some yoga on my Mirror app, or seeing if friends on campus wanted to meet... but I ended up doing email and doomscrolling. I'll do better tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

taking off




We're not even to classes yet (next week!) and already things seem really intense. Meetings all day, student emergencies, a million emails, seeing lots of people I like a lot... I packed a lot into today.

Also Nu's first day of high school. We did a terrific job of getting there nice and early, but I forgot to take a pic. Tomorrow's the first *full* day of school, so we've decided that we can fix our mistake then. 

Everything should come with a safety/retake feature.

Pic from last week: Fam ascending into the Carnegie Art Museum in Pitt.

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

contrapuntal




I enjoyed this reminder about rest today.

Then I got a slew of reports, reimbursement forms, RSVPs, surveys, student advising and scheduling, etc. turned in, so I can take some guilt-free time off this weekend.

That's the plan, anyway.

Fall Term (and a mini-vacation) approach.