Tuesday, January 22, 2008

into the breach

It turns out that the fort had some structural irregularities. By the time Peach went down for her nap today, the short wall had leaned over so far that it was beyond repair, while the longer wall was also listing dangerously in the middle. I cannibalized the short wall to buttress the longer wall:

and then built a square tower where the short wall used to be.

At that point, Link was forced to concede (when pressed) that I am the coolest Mom on the block. I plan to treasure the memory of that statement when he is a surly teenager who is embarrassed to be seen in public with me.

Monday, January 21, 2008

snow day

It snowed today. On any other Monday, I would have sighed deeply and gone out to shovel the drive. Or not. Today, however, was a holiday, and I had nothing on my schedule. So I did what I suppose any right-thinking person would do on such an occasion: I built a fort in my driveway.

I wanted to make it bigger, but I got tired. Maybe tomorrow I'll put some crenels on it or something.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

new semester, new job, new baby ... some embarrassment

I had signed up to teach Composition again this semester, but was allowed to bail out after I got a job as a TA. I'm working with a professor I like, and she's offered to let me teach as much as I want (in addition to the grading for which I'm getting paid). The class is a survey of early British literature, up to 1800, and I'm really looking forward to it. Rhetoric is not and never will be either my specialty or my favorite thing, whereas I really dig Early Brit. Yay!

In other news, we have a new baby. His eyes are the same color as Link's (bright blue). He is very sweet and loves to cuddle, but like most babies he doesn't really understand that night-time is for sleeping. Last night I awoke at 2:43 a.m. to find him doing the Charleston on my spine.

Here he is sleeping:

And here he is not sleeping:

We're thinking of calling him Skippyjon. Really.

So, the embarrassment: I had a meeting with Blackwood today. It was one of those "New semester, haven't talked in a while, let's see where we are and where we're going" meetings, so the reason for my embarrassment is obvious: I'm not where I should be. I really had planned to work on my thesis last semester, but ... OK, maybe "planned" is too strong. I had intended to work on my thesis last semester. And then, just like Blackwood said would happen, I let teaching get in the way. My extremely plausible excuse is that I was used to teaching on a M-W-F 50-minute class schedule, and then last semester I had to adjust everything to a T-Th 75-minute class schedule. I think what really happened is that I intended to work on my thesis, but I didn't plan sufficiently for it to happen.

Anyway, I sat down in Blackwood's office, and after a few pleasantries, he said, "So where are we?" And I had to tell him that I still hadn't even decided which novels I was going to use.

I knew exactly what he was thinking. It's the same thing I always think when a student brings me a one-page draft for what is supposed to be an eight-page term paper. At that point, I know the student is probably not going to do very well on the paper, because she's way behind schedule, and her "finished" draft is probably going to be more like a first draft that I haven't had a chance to comment on. When that happens, I inevitably think, "Recriminations are useless; let me do what I can for this poor creature - which is not much." Yeah, it's embarrassing to be on the other end of that.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008


Warning: this will make no sense unless you're familiar with lolcats.