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

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).

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

unrelated

  • I haven't left the hotel in 48 hours.
  • I haven't had as many moments of panic as I typically have at home!!!
  • I have slept well--at least six hours every night!!!
  • Perhaps related, I've have had half a glass of wine with dinner/reception both nights.
  • (I should probably keep ^ in mind before I make plans to run away from family and home.)
  • And YAY, I get to go home tomorrow!!!!!!


Sunday, July 25, 2021

some more (travel)


Once more into the skies and on to D.C. where a long postponed conference-workshop awaits. 

Big A took me to the airport at 5 am, the plane took off at 6 am, and when I got to the hotel around 10 am-- they gave me a room right away.

Like me, it seemed everyone else too was grateful and eager for connection and collaboration after the pandemic hiatus, and people at our table lingered over half-full glasses of wine long after our formal welcome and orientation concluded. It turned out that one of the new people I met is an IRL friend of the fabulous Sarah from Harry Times. We were discussing academia and motherhood, and I had mentioned how seemingly effortlessly Sarah excels at parenting FIVE kids with an academic job and a spouse with a high-profile job--unsurprisingly perhaps, it appears there's only one of those 😀.

Speaking of kids--I haven't missed my kids since I kissed the human kids sleeping faces and the puppy kids furry faces at 4:30 am. 

[Pic: A nearly full moon at sunrise.]

Saturday, July 17, 2021

building


A normal kind of day--normal chores, normal outings.

Went to check on the Arboretum's yearly peacock display with L before the rest of the family woke up. I love the purple spikes they've added to the begonias this year. 

And yes, it's syllabus building time again.

Sunday, May 30, 2021

reentry

This green in the woods felt unreal as we stepped in... so bright and lovely, it almost felt... fake? 

My post-pandemic--or at least post-vaccination--reentry experience has felt similar. Each decision and action--though intentional and deliberated--feels fraught and uncanny. My calendar is slowly filling up with long-awaited events, but I consider and reconsider and second-guess everything for ages.  

But that's probably for the best. Today I (zoom) attended the feminist book club after a hiatus. I remembered that the last time I was here, I bolted because I had a mystery panic attack. 

As EM said earlier today, it's "weird to be around other people." Even for me--living with a lovely houseful and having taught in person all year long--agoraphobia seems to manifest every time I consider an event/interaction/outing. Yesterday I hiked with Big A and didn't wear a mask. I had been persuaded by pronouncements that outdoor transmission is highly unlikely (+ did not want to stand out like a freak). But it took some stern talking to myself. And even admitting I enjoyed being maskless outdoors feels odd somehow. But I did, so there. 

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

not/normal

 

It's close to 2 am, and I'll (have to) be up again at 6 to get Nu ready (chat, cuddle, breakfast) for (online) school. 

I know I fell asleep with the puppies (and Big A who was writing up charts) just after Nu said goodnight. And then I woke up not twenty minutes later, heart pounding and panicky--for no reason I can think of. This happens A LOT. At least when this happened during the teaching year, there were deadlines and notices and tasks and grading. Nothing now--I've been consciously trying to vacation. I can't do much about the pandemic. What's up, monkey brain?

Anyway, at least I got to finish Olive Again. I'm feeling the lines Olive typed up: "I do not have a clue who I have been. Truthfully, I do not understand a thing." The second half of the book made me yearn to talk to my MIL and some of the older friends from UU, whom I haven't seen in a while, right away.

[Pic: Under the fronds of a huge tree--a European Weeping Beech--on the riverwalk yesterday.]

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

perspective

I'm reeling today from finding out that someone I knew as a kind and overly chivalrous person is in prison for sex crimes. Multiple 16- and 17-year-olds had accused him and I absolutely believe them--I'm just shaken (and shaking my head) about how different (and misleading) my experience of this person was. 

He was famous/semi-famous, and I expect the case was media fodder in the UK for a while. I feel awful that I've sometimes used his early English music ensembles in classes... I will not do this again.

(Pic is of our only east-facing window; I wish we had more. The tradescantia and pothos cuttings I pinched off and stuck into candleholders have rooted and are taking off. Funny how that works.)

Monday, May 17, 2021

focus


Lots of stuff going on--including working in my office, office visits at various doctors etc., but a walk with JG and a porch hang with KB and... hours of jabber and banter are the points I want to remember from today. 

(Spot the bunny in the picture!) 

Friday, May 14, 2021

plot twist



The day started beautifully with a tour of the MSU Horticultural Gardens (whence these decadent peonies) with L. 

It got better when Nu got their first shot of the Pfizer vaccine at a drive-through clinic excellently organized by MI state and operated by some lovely people from the National Guard. 

It got even better when the U of M adolescent gender services clinic called to set up an appointment for us next Friday.

And then like an absolute champion, I got all the student letters of recommendation I was working on--off to students/universities/programs.

It was when I was sending out those letters that I realized I had somehow missed the faculty meeting that was noted in my calendar and my online scheduler.

Whoops. 

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 was visibly deprecating of his disrespect and narcissism (I was too). 

Some committee work + paperwork + unfinished business... Then a lovely, supportive, mentoring all-women meeting. We're opening up the previously faculty-only group to staff and 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. 

____________________________

Pic: Two weeks or so ago, our cherry blossoms at their peak.

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.