Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Lost and Found

For the last month, I haven't been able to find my check book. I've been thinking about trying to find it, but what with finishing out the semester, I haven't put any actual energy toward finding it. I mean, I rarely write checks, because I pay all my bills online.

Last night, I had a brainstorm and plunged my arm into the depths of my easy chair (note: Slogger has a matching one. We spend lots of time in our easy chairs, working on our laptops while watching NCIS, CSI, and other acronym-named TV shows).

Lo and behold. Plus some old, dirty popcorn.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

I graded ten unit plans today; I have ten more to grade tomorrow. Then four postbac papers, input the grades, and I'm done. Whee!

Of course, I have a massive, pounding headache now. Wine is helping.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

An Open Letter to My Blog

Dear Beloved Blog,

I apologize. I know I made a commitment to you years ago to regularly update you, and I haven't kept up my end of that commitment.

In my defense, this has been a rough semester for me, with my teaching taking up the bulk of my energy and time. Paradoxically, the same classes that have been taking up most of my energy have given me the least back in satisfaction. Now that finals week is over and I can feel my fingers and toes again, I'm back.

I have been thinking about you! Many times, I have had experiences and thought "wow, I should blog that." Here are a few tidbits.

* I attended a small conference at the beginning of December that I haven't been to in several years. It's one I went to almost every year when I was in graduate school, and many of my friends from graduate school still go there. It was great to see so many old friends, and my presentation was fairly well received. But. I had some conversations about tenure requirements at different schools, and I have a feeling that the standards at High Plains U are relatively low, compared to the places my colleagues are getting tenured at. For a few days, this bothered me. But now I don't really care. The reality is that I have tenure here. I'm not looking for tenure anywhere else. And now that I have tenure I have the luxury to imagine my next really solid and long-term research project, without freaking out and grabbing every opportunity that comes along in order to get the requisite number of pubs. That's right: I'm talking about quality now, over quantity.

* As I mentioned, finals week is finally over. I made it through the semester, by the skin of my teeth, without cursing at my students. This I count as a success. Of course, I'll be grading until I'm about 80. Or until next Thursday, when grades are due.

* Today Slogger and I drove up into the mountains to cut down a Christmas tree. That was fun, but since he's still recovering from his heart attack, and I'm dealing with persistent lung congestion, we're both kind of pooped.

* My brother and his wife, and the triplets, are coming to visit us the week after Christmas. Did I mention that we only have one bathroom? And that the triplets are all 5-year-old boys?

So, that's it for now. I'll try to do better in the future, and I sincerely apologize for the past.

Taking a deep breath,

Dr. Bad Ass

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Getting Older

Yesterday there was a good bit of snow -- on the roads, the car, the parking lot, etc. Since I decided not to buy a parking pass this year, I headed off to the bus parking lot, to take the bus to campus. (Can I just say how much I love that? LOVE IT!)

Anyhoo, the parking lot was beautiful, all sparkling with ice and snow. I was bundled up warmly in my red down coat, warm hat, gloves, and scarf. Cozy, with my cup of coffee and keys in my right hand, and my extremely heavy bag of books and ungraded (!) papers dangling from my left shoulders.

Can you see what's coming? A couple of steps across the glittering parking lot, and I was down on my hands and knees, coffee muddying the snow, book bag skidding across the ice, and wind knocked right out of my chest. Not to mention the shooting pain in my knees and wrists, which took the brunt of the fall. My ankle had turned and hey presto! down I went.

The worst part was that a young man was walking across the parking lot behind me TOTALLY saw me fall, and he just walked by like he saw nothing. Nothing. No "are you ok?" "Can I help you?" Nothing. It was like he was so embarassed for me that he wanted to ignore what just happened.

That makes me sad for him.

Needless to say I shuffled anywhere I went yesterday, and I did a lot of walking around campus. I felt like an 80-year-old woman staring at the ground and taking tiny steps. Thus the title of this entry.

So as yesterday wore on, my back got stiffer and stiffer, my knee got more and more sore. Slogger was great about it, forcing me to sit and lean against a hot water bottle, etc. Unfortunately, I leave tomorrow for a conference in Florida, and I'll be carrying bags and suitcases galore. Oh well.