Sunday, September 30, 2007

Bad Student

I've been a bad student this week. Remember my plan of doing school work on Thursday and Friday evenings and during the day over the weekend? Well, that didn't happen this week. I had a lighter than normal load of assigned readings, so instead of looking ahead to work that will be due soon, I did nothing at all until today.

I've been watching TV and vegging like I used to be able to do back in the good old days before I started this master's program. But this morning I got down to business and did everything that I can do. One of my readings is a pdf that we're supposed to access online, but it's not working (only showing two of the 15 or so pages). Another one the professor never sent the link for (I swear I heard him say twice that he'd email it to us).

So now bad student that I am, I think I'll take Mr. Dog for a walk.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Stuart Smalley Again

A while back BerryBird tagged me for the Stuart Smalley meme. It is like many of the other list memes going around except for one little twist: this list of ten things has to be ten things you like about yourself. This is quite a challenge, especially if you are feeling a little poopy. I have elected to do it in installments, since I haven't found much inspiration yet. So without further ado... I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people like me!

Ten Things I like About Myself, Installment 2:

3. That I like to walk. I'm so glad that I enjoy walking. I never have to waste time shopping for parking spaces. I watched out my office window the other day as one of my co-workers moved her car to be two spots closer to the door. That's not me. And I don't have to pay to join a gym; I can exercise anywhere, anytime.

4. My fondness for dogs. Dogs make me happy. I like to see them and have them around. I may not always want to hug and frolic with them, but that doesn't mean I don't like them. They are so charming and loyal. I think you can tell a lot about a person from how they treat their pets.

Stay tuned for another installment...

Is there anybody out there?

The Great Mofo Delurk 2007

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Thursday Morning Bullets

  • Mr. Dog finally had a normal bowel movement last night. Yay! I never thought I'd be so happy about poop.
  • Placement #2 went much better than #1. Not only were they expecting me, but they were very welcoming as well. I'm excited about the selection of classes I'll have the opportunity to observe.
  • Since I know you're all dying for an update on the construction project: Contractor has installed and painted all trim and hung the two new doors (closet and basement). He has closed in the backs of both sets of stairs and put in the new window (which actually locks- good for one's peace of mind). The shower walls are up and the vanity is in place. I think that about covers it.
  • This heat needs to Go. Away. It's impacting my much-needed sleep. Plus, it's almost October. Enough already.
  • I'm expecting to get sick at any moment. We've been warned that since our bodies are not used to the normal onslaught of germs in the school system that the new student teachers/observers often come down with something when they first start. Yippee.
  • My dinner last night consisted of four cookies and a small granola bar. That should help keep me healthy, right?
  • I think I'll go make some herbal tea.

Monday, September 24, 2007

First Day of School

Thanks for all your kind thoughts and well-wishes for my small dog. The situation has improved, but remains slightly uncertain. He is definitely feeling more like himself, and I feel certain he is on the mend. Substitute Vet said that it normally takes three to four days for the cells of the intestines to turn over, so the timeline fits that he would be feeling better if there had been some sort of "damage" done on Friday afternoon.

As I worried about him, I had to report to my first placement for classroom observation. It was chaotic to say the least. I won't go into details, but I will say that I was not all that impressed with how things were handled. I really hope Wednesday goes more smoothly at the other school.

In two of the three classrooms I was in today the clock was non-functioning, so the first thing I did after I got home tonight was to find my watch and race to the mall to have a new battery installed. Not knowing the current time is practically freak-out status for me. It's like when you're trying to get a tight shirt or sweater off and you get tangled up and can't get free and aahhhh... Or am I the only one that freaks out in that situation?

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Poop Status, etc.

Upon waking to find more poop in the crate this morning and a complete lack of improvement in condition of the poor doggy, I determined a trip to the emergency vet was in order. I consulted with the parental unit first and learned through them that our regular vet is out of town so waiting a day wouldn't have gotten me anywhere. Apparently they had also just paid a visit to the emergency vet on account of an injury to their dog's back (he seemed fine when I saw him yesterday, odd).

I was concerned about a potential blockage because Mr. Dog will eat anything small enough to fit in his mouth. He also appeared lethargic and "depressed" this morning (who wouldn't with all that pottying going on?). So off we went to wait and wait and wait.

The vet wasn't able to provide a diagnosis, but she didn't seem concerned about an obstruction. She prescribed an antibiotic and some bland canned food. So far I've seen no improvement. I suppose it's too soon to tell, but I'm afraid I may have wasted all that money for naught. Please cure the pup!

With all that excitement and stress I managed to write a fairly lousy paper that I submitted to the web-based-learning-tool late this afternoon. Then I promptly started reading the chapter on which I had to write another short paper. When I finished the first draft of that I decided I had earned a walk and set out in my neighborhood. I left Mr. Dog at home because of his delicate condition, and I felt practically naked without him.

I meant to come right home and crack open the next book, but somehow I ended up with a Woodchuck in my hand instead. It really hits the spot after the past few days.

Friday, September 21, 2007

From Bad to Worse

Remember the foul mood from early? I do, fondly even.

I'm past being in a bad mood. I'm beat. I'm done. Uncle! I give.

I knew there was a major problem the second I opened the door. A poop problem to be precise. Dog Number #1 had a blow-out in the kennel of catastrophic proportions. He is not a dog that has accidents. Ever. Under normal circumstances he'd have pee squirting out his ears before he'd mess in his kennel or the house. I can only presume that a) he's ill or b) he was that upset by having Contractor be in the house all day. Either way I'm not risking feeding him any dinner.

There was poop on the wall after all. That's right, the wall.

So dog outside, kennel outside, scrub floor and wall. Call FF to beg him to bring me some air freshener (not something I usually use). Bathe dog with hose and some of FF's shampoo. Halfway through bath realize I've probably just washed off all of the super expensive anti-flea meds. Curse. Hose off kennel. Water plants while dog shakes off some of his excess water. Bring dog and kennel inside because it's getting dark. Now house smells of wet dog instead of poop. Only marginally better.

Now it's 8pm and I've done no school work. I ate the same thing for dinner that I had for lunch. And the last thing I feel like doing is reading about educational methods and practices. Gag.

And to top it all off, Contractor informed me that the holes on the vanity I bought don't match the faucet I picked out, and that I'll have to return one of them. Can you guess how thrilled I was to hear that?

Since FF is no longer obligated to listen to me blow off steam and made a hasty get-away, you get to enjoy the tirade. Aren't you lucky!

Foul Mood

I am in a foul mood. Just thought you all would like to know.

  1. I hate H0me Dep0t. I will not be going back there. If that means having bare bulbs dangling from the ceiling because I refuse to return to pick out light fixtures, so be it. Isn't that what I'm paying Contractor all of this frickin' money for? So I don't have to frickin' load a solid surface vanity top into my car BY MYSELF. Thank you to the stranger in the parking lot who helped (as opposed to the store employees who did not).
  2. Now my back hurts from unloading the fool thing into my garage.
  3. I got no school work done last night on account of the baloney with H0me Dep0t.
  4. I was so angry and upset I couldn't fall asleep.
  5. I would like to say nasty things to Contractor right about now, but I don't see where that will help in the long run. Plus, he can't know that things he does on a daily basis are tantamount to hell for me. I suppose.
  6. I so don't want to be at work today.
  7. And I so don't want to do that stinkin' birthday party tomorrow.

I hope y'all are feeling more cheerful on this lovely Friday morning.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Bullets of Too Busy For Anthing Else

  • Before I knew I was starting my master's program this semester I agreed to lead a birthday party Saturday. Now I am kicking myself. The small fee I get paid is not worth the added stress and the loss four hours of prime studying time. I have two papers to do over the weekend. I wish there was some way I could get out of doing the party, but there isn't. At least the weather should be pleasant and warm.
  • My new girly doctor seems very nice. English is clearly not her first language, but she is much easier to understand than my last one. I think I talked to her more today than I ever did with my former girly doctor who I saw for years. Now I'm just hoping all goes well and I don't have to go back for 12 months. What a joy that would be. And a novelty.
  • This has been one of those weeks when being management ain't all that much fun. It's a lot like babysitting. How old are these people anyway?!
  • Contractor finally returned this morning after a nearly 3 week hiatus. He's more or less insisting that I go to H0me Dep0t tonight to pick out the vanity top for the new bathroom. I feel like telling him I'll get to it in a week or two.
  • FF had gotten me six tiny pumpkins to line my front steps with. This morning I discovered one had been all but devoured by the rat-bastard squirrels. Two more were no longer pristine. I brought the remaining three inside to protect them. Between neighborhood youth and evil rodents, how can I enjoy my festive pumpkins?
  • I still haven't watched the season premiere of Prison Break, which I love. All of the other shows start next week. Thank goodness I have a DVR. I don't know how I'll keep up with both my homework and my TV!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Fleas Be Gone!

FF's father has an indoor-outdoor cat that apparently brings fleas in and passes them to Little White Dog. Then FF brings Little White Dog over to my house while he's at work and now the fleas can get to my dog and the two cats. Ugh.

So last night we had an all-out assault, even though there's been no evidence of the nastiness on the animals that reside with me. Let's not take chances though. So all furry beasts had liquid meds applied to their neck-backs. The disconcerting part is that my vet only dispenses the kind for dogs that is fatal to cats. My poor pup is stuck spending 24 hours locked up because the cats will destroy any room if the door closes. He doesn't mind because he's getting extra treats, but I feel bad.

Of course, I would feel worse if he got fleas.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Of things to come...

  • I ran the solar yesterday to take the edge off the chill in the house.
  • I could see my breath this morning when I took the dog out.
  • I had to wear a fleece to work.
  • I had to turn the heat on in the car for my drive in this morning.
  • And soup sounds delightful again.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Splat!

After reading yet another article and writing a short "reaction" paper about it, I decided I'd better get out of the house for a while this afternoon.

Old Phish Friend, who I haven't seen since we had dinner at the end of April, was playing in a paintball tournament at Polluted Lake Park. His team had played and won two games yesterday and their final game of the season was today. I was curious, knowing nothing about how this semi-professional sport was played. And besides, if it was a bust, I could always go for a walk and head home.

I got there several minutes before the game started and sidled up to the field. I couldn't tell which team was our Hometown team, let alone which of the masked individuals was OPF. I finally asked a nice looking older couple if they knew the players (their rooting and cheering had lead me to believe they were one of our player's parents). They told me how to identify OPF by the color of his mask and that they'd let me know when he came on the field. After the first half they brought me down to the other end of the field since the teams switch sides. I'd have been completely lost without their guidance.

It was unexpectedly fun. The points were short, the action was exciting. The only disappointment was that OPF played less than half of the points. I hadn't expected that the team would be so big. Nor had I expected to see women playing too, but there was at least one on the Hometown team.

Unfortunately our Hometown team lost. When it was over, I went for a walk along the lake and enjoyed seeing all the dogs taking their owners for walks.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Remember the Carrot!

I was just about to take a break from my assigned readings and go for a short walk when the rain started again. I could go out in it, but it's in the 50s and I'm not anxious for the chill. My goal of two walks per week has fallen by the wayside with all that I have to do for classes.

I've gotten through two articles and one chapter so far. I would feel better about it if I felt I was learning something. If I'm not careful I can find myself reading whole pages without ever really seeing a single word. And even if I do pay attention to what I'm reading, when I read too much it all just blurs together and loses its potency.

In case any of you are thinking taking classes would be fun, let me set you straight. It's not. It's hard work. It's frustrating to have no free time. If I'm awake I'm working, in class, doing classwork, or feeling guilty about not doing classwork. There's no more relaxing in front of Law & Order.

There is an ultimate goal though. Carrot, guide me!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Mowing vs. Reading

Since I already chose to mow the lawn instead of do my reading after work tonight, I might as well compound the problem with a little blogging. At least my lawn looks better now. I can't even remember when I mowed last. It's been so horrendously dry that the grass hasn't grown at all.

Not mowing has been kind of nice actually. My head is now echoing from the noise and my nose is entirely snuffed up. Joy. But lest you think I am complaining, let me be clear. I would rather mow twice a week than have to shovel snow. Ever.

The panic over my assigned readings is starting to mount though. If possible, I think I have more than last week. I have this idea that I can do all of my school work Thursday and Friday evenings and during the day on Saturday and Sunday. That way I wouldn't have to crack the books on the nights I have class (Monday through Wednesday). If I don't get my act together, that will end up being some sort of pipe dream.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Office Goodies

I love it when people bring in goodies to share with the office. I was particularly enamoured with today's yummy dessert, and it sounds very simple.

Take two of the tubes of refrigerated sugar cookie dough and spread them out on a cookie sheet in a bar-like fashion. Cook for 10-11 minutes. Let cool. Spread with store-bought buttercream frosting and dot with fresh blueberries and raspberries.

Enjoy!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Taking Notes

What's up with people not taking notes?

When I was last a full-time student, lecture meant that it was time to scribble madly as you attempted to get everything important down on paper. Occasionally, a professor would put his or her lecture notes on reserve in the library. I don't think I ever had reason to access them.

These days, almost no one takes notes. At all. And why should they since the professors put all their PowerPoint presentations on web-based blackboards. Or then there's Dr. Drone, who actually hands out the printed versions of his PowerPoints before he even launches the lecture.

I feel like my time is being wasted. It makes me uneasy. I want to write down facts and figures. Plus, I feel like these people are a tad lazy. Write, damn you! Write madly! You'll need those notes. This is your one chance to get them down! Oh wait, never mind, that's just not true anymore...

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Feeling Overwhelmed

Classes have only just begun, and already the assignments are piling up.

One professor in particular behaves as though we are all taking his class and only his class. Four reading assignments and a short paper are due for his Wednesday class. And you'd think that if you are teaching how to be a good teacher that you would be a good teacher yourself. Not so! He drones on and on, with no apparent direction or point. So far, he hasn't exhibited a single thing I'd want to see myself doing in front of a classroom.

I am not a night person at all, so it's hard to get much reading done by the time I get home form work and take care of the animals and dinner. I'm lucky if I'm managing an hour before I start nodding off.

Work is picking up too, so I haven't even been taking anything that resembles a lunch break in which I might read.

And then there's the dying hot water heater and leaking dehumidifier, which are obviously contributing to my increased stress level.

So I can't promise regular posting, unless I am procrastinating (like now) or I suddenly learn better time management skills. Ha!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Held Hostage by Doctors

  1. I ordered contact lenses on-line the other day. Yesterday I received a phone call from the company that my eye doctor won't give permission for the entire order to be filled. He'll only release my prescription for six months, which means I lose all of the discounts and rebates. Now that I'm ticked off, I continued with the purchase of six months worth because that will give me enough time to find a new frickin' eye doctor.
  2. When I picked up my monthly packet of pills, I noticed the phrase "no refills" screaming at me from the label. I was last at the girly doctor on March 1st for a complete round of tests, as I'm sure I mentioned on this very blog. So I call the office and discover my doctor has put a hold on the prescription because she wants me in for a follow-up pap. Hello? Ever heard of a phone? Said doctor has also relocated to an office on the other side of town. Since that ain't going happen, I have an appointment with one of the other female doctors at my office. I just hope her English language skills are better than the now former doctor's.

The doctors of the world are on my shit list today.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

The early bird gets the worm.

Or, in this case, the textbook.

Don't you know when I dash into the bookstore on my way to class to pick up the book from which I have a reading due for tomorrow, they are sold out.

Helpful Clerk: "Uh, I guess there must be more people in the class than he expected."

Me: Some sort of sneer that doesn't cross the line into unfriendly.

HC: "I can order you a copy, but it might not get here until Friday. Is that OK?"

Me: "Well, that's better than no day." I like to revert to sarcasm occasionally. Now it was his turn to make suspicious facial expressions.

Fortunately there are advantages to being an older and more experienced grad student. When I got to tonight's class it was less than a minute before I had a virtual stranger lend me his copy. As an undergrad in a classroom of people I didn't know, I never would have been so daring.

And now I must go read my borrowed book.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Summer's End

Shortly I will be leaving to go to the Fair for the fourth time this year. Today is the last day of the twelve day run and also the unofficial last day of summer.

Having seen the seven day forecast, I know that the summer weather isn't quite gone yet. Low to mid-90s are expected by the end of the week, just in time for the kids to go back to school.

Working in academia, the fall semester has already began, so in some ways the summer has been over for a week already. The first week of classes is done, the syllabus are in hand, textbooks are purchased. Unless you are like me, and don't have a single textbook yet, and one of your professors was out of town at a conference so class has yet to commence.

I've always loved the excitement of back to school. The new clothes, the school supplies, seeing people you haven't seen in months. RussianViolets put it very eloquently, and so I won't try to put it in other words. I've missed the excitement since I graduated, but now there's a different kind of thrill knowing that I might have a classroom of my own in a couple years.

It's too soon to say. Maybe I'll hate teaching. Maybe I'll flunk out of grad school. But I sure as hell am going try to do as well as I can.