Tuesday, April 26, 2005

educator extraordinaire

I said to Jenny today, "I wish there was something I could change my major to." "For what purpose?" she asked. "For the purpose of not being an English education major."

But today ended up being one of those affirming yeah-I-really-can-be-a-teacher days. I had a meeting with Dr. Morgan, my professor for teaching writing and my advisor, and it went really well. Maybe he's easy to please, but he made it sound like I had some educational insight that my peers don't. He really seemed to like the ideas I have for my writing sequences, which surprised me because I threw them together in about fifteen minutes. Mind you, this is supposed to be forty-days worth of instruction planning.. His encouragement was much needed and very appreciated.

He also told me that getting a Spanish minor is pointless, that they probably wouldn't even put it on my diploma. Sheesh. He suggested that Get a double teaching certificate. English and Spanish. I don't know about any of that. Does anyone else hear the 4.5-year plan being sucked out the window and being replaced by the nice, round 5-year plan? I'm not so sure I do.

Oh, and he also said the might have left the stack our essays in Mexico. Interesting. It puts the lyric "I'm messed up in Mexico, living on refried dreams" in my head. That's right. The still-mulleted Tim McGraw, from his first album Not a Moment Too Soon. Somewhere, I have the tape.

Anyway, after I left Dr. Morgan's office, I went to the library to work my teaching demonstration for tonight. I'm not sure what got into me, but I cranked out two pages worth of notes and rationale. I was completely prepared and quite confident. It might not have gone as well as I wanted--I'm not sure, and I don't want to watch the video tape--but it went well enough for me. I used all of my 25 minutes. And I wasn't even nervous. Before or after, which says a lot for me. Anyway, the theme for my instructional unit is about memory and the profound effect is has on the self. Tonight was funy because the lesson was centered around "Cry in the Sun." Yay, BTE! One of the already-teachers in my group and I bonded over the band and "This Time of Year."

I have a question. What is it about guys doing their teaching demonstrations and saying German words with the appropriate accent that gets me every time? It's happened twice, and I looove it.

Well, I think I'm going to work on my unit plans. I need to get them knocked out because, sometime between now and next Friday, I have to write two research papers. I'm not looking forward to that. As the person who always says, "I like the English better than the education," I'm going to savor the few moments that the reverse is true.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

wake up dead

I guess it's allergies. Whatever it may be is killing me. I can't breathe. The doctor at health services said he couldn't "hear any asthma." What on earth? I'm hearing noises coming from respiratory system that, at first, I don't realize I'm making. "What's that exasperated rattly whir that sounds like my laptop when it's intending to explode? Oh, yes. That's me." Consciousness is a bit difficult to maintain since my nose is useless for breathing and my bronchial tubes are closed. There's no detour for air.

I did get prescriptions. A new inhaler so I don't have to suck on an expired one. And Singulair. I'm not sure if I can discern any improvement after taking those medications. I am, however, shaky, nervous, and discombobulated.

I also managed to sleep about nine or ten hours last night. I was so exhausted by 8:00 that I had to go to bed. That was kind of nice. But I wasn't so sure that I was going to be smart enough to sleep and breathe at the same time. Apparently, I did okay.

Hope you all are having good days.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

to do, to do

I registered for classes this morning. At 7:35. You know, that is a weird feeling. 'Cause you know the RacerTouch lines opened up for me at 5:00 am. I just happened to wake up with a start at that time this morning. I didn't realize I could've scheduled because I'd already planned on scheduling once I got to work. I might be wrong, but I think it's the first time I didn't call as soon as the lines opened. And I got right through. I didn't even hear the "Welcome to RacerTouch. Please hold for the next available line. --acerTouch. Please hold for the next available line. Welcome to RacerTouch please hold for the ne--" guy. But, oh, how his mantra will forever be emblazoned on my memory. Anyway, I'm moving on back to the fifteen hours next semester. It's history of the English language, world literature, teaching literation, intro to fiction, and Spanish 301.

It yet another no-class Thursday. We cancelled teaching writing so much that I don't have a clue what's going on in there. I do know that I have a unit plan and a portfolio due in there by the end of the semester. I also have a unit plan to do for teaching reading. And I have two research papers--one for women's lit and one for advanced comp. I also have a poster presentation in Spanish to be preparing for. I am tired of school.

Thirteen millions things to do, and I'm not sure which one to start with. I also have a philosophy post due tomorrow that I need to work on. And I need to fill out some crap for KIIS. (I thought I was through filling out stuff.) My study abroad orientation is at UK this weekend. I need some driving directions.

And of all people, the crazy lady just walked in.

Monday, April 11, 2005

fifteen minutes of fame in the refrigerated section

I'll have you know that I am officially cooler today than I was yesterday. That's what the Jones Soda Co. people said, anyway. Wanna know why? Because I am now famous. My riverfront chain photo has been chosen for a Cream Soda label. (It's the eighth from the top on the far right.) They sent me ten copies of the label, which is rather nice. I've been all over town looking for a bottle with my photo slapped on it. From what I could tell, the BP, the Citgo, the Pocket Shell, Movie World, nor Fast Track had it. But it's kinda hard to shuffle through roughly thirty glass bottles that are squeezed into sloped corrals without breaking the bottles, blocking the refrigerator for ten minutes, and letting all the cool air out before the cashier kicks you out of the store. But I tell you what. Why don't you keep an eye out for it, and if you find some, buy them out. I'll pay you back. They also sell Jones in the T-Room, by the way.

Despite the rain and despite the coming stress, it's been a rather okay day. Thank you, Jones Soda Co. Thank you, half.com seller from whom I bought Surprised by Joy. Thank you, KIIS people who finally put up my course syllabus for this summer. Thank you, Philosophy 201 for the 99 on the test.

stupid english

Oh. My. Gosh. I do not want to revise my BarbCobb paper. Just thinking about it makes me mad. It is a dang good paper with a dang good argument. Okay, so maybe it's not that good, but it sure doesn't deserve the hatin' BC gave it. This isn't just a revision she's wanting this time. The one time I think my argument is sound, she wants me to start all over again! The nerve...

So I got my bike today. I'm not so sure it's not a dude's. And who knew that riding a bike is only so much fun in the memories? Yeah, it kinda hurts. I'm gonna have to do some conditioning before I make my big campus debut. Till then, I'll just keep whirling around in the parking lot and chickening out when I get to the stop sign at Poplar.

I bought another pair of flip flops at WalMart. I'm coercing my White Stage ones into being comfortable. We're getting there. But I went ahead and got some Sand N Sun jobs to make do. They have red thongs. I wanted black. Oh, well. They didn't have them.

I'm really tired. It's midnight. I am so tempted to just not do the paper, and come into class saying I'll have it on Wednesday. But I don't need to do that. I have way too many other things to be worrying about. Putting this paper off will not help at all. What I'll probably do is a really crappy revision of what I've got. I'll not succumb to her torturous comments. And then she'll hand it back to me for another revision. Stupid English major.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

the geek

I've got it in my mind that I want a bike. So today I went yard-salin' and didn't find anything. There was a bike for sale outside of Fern Terrace, but I couldn't get in contact with the owner. I even went to the Curris Center to see if I could find any "Bicycle for Sale" flyers. I found none. But it turns out that, at home, we have several bikes stashed in a storage building. I made Mom go out there and see if any were in decent condition. There's one, supposedly. And in relay fashion, it might get to me sometime this weekend. We'll see about that.

I'm not so sure why I want a bicycle so much. I don't intend to ride in it view of anyone. I might ride it to work on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays because, at 7:30 in the morning, there'll be no one to see me. Plus, I would always be riding south from the near-quad region, which means I'd never be going through the high-traffic mall/bridge/dormcircle area during peak hours. That means going to class at Faculty on Mondays and Fridays at 9:30 wouldn't be so bad either... See, the way I look at it, it's either drive or walk. On TWTh, I can talk myself out of walking. Wouldn't a third choice be better? And it's much faster than both options.

I get geekier and geekier every day.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

this is what i want

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Yep. A Flickr Pro account. That's what I want. With 1 GB a month for bandwidth and unlimited storage and unlimited photosets. Ah... So why don't you go ahead and sent me some money via PayPal? My account is cassadiddy4@hotmail.com. It's $41.77, if you're feeling rich. Yeah, that'd great. ;-)

And while I'm at it, let me just plug Flickr real quick. It is the best for album-style photosharing. (I use Photobucket for things like my site header.) With a free account at Flickr, you get a nice 10 MB monthly bandwidth, three photosets, and a 100 photo circulating storage. Plus, they have a good communication system: comments, contacts, groups, favorites, and tags, which make looking up a photo of anything super-easy. A free account alone is a great photosource and even a way of meeting people. You never know when some creepy old men might stalk your photography. I know that's what I was looking for when I signed up.

But, alas. I'm beginning to out-grow my 100 photo limit, and I'd really like to add some more photosets since I'm becoming a bit obsessive about taking certain types of photographs. I'm also trying to scheme up a way to hoard insane amount of photos online while I'm abroad. I'm thinking this might be the way to go--once I figure out a safe way to charge my camera battery in Europe...

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

raindrops on the windshield

It's one gloomy looking day out there. People walking outside the library are popping open umbrellas all over the place. It's a good thing I went back and got mine after I'd already locked the door. I'd hate to walk from Faculty Hall to my car in the rain. ;-)

You know, it's pretty difficult waking up at 6:20ish in the morning when it's still dark outside. We've been running on a 6:33ish sunrise. How am I supposed to get up before dawn? That's going a little too far, Waterfield. Don't you think? And today was extra hard because the sun still has not really out at 8:30. Plus, the relationship between me and my new alarm clock is not the best. Okay, so maybe I could turn the other one (the one with the snooze button I broke) off in my sleep, but this new one (a travel alarm I bought to take to Spain and replace the crippled one) I can sleep through. Like, I hear it, but I don't care. That's one unobtrusive little booger.

I love C. S. Lewis. I miss C. S. Lewis. That's why I'm sitting here wishlisting one CSL book after another instead of reading for philosophy.

I'm also yawning.

Oh, and there was lighting.

I forsee a nap this afternoon.

Monday, April 04, 2005

bigger than this

I would just like to note that it is about 7:30 and it is still daylight. Bless you, Daylight Savings.

I almost didn't go to bible study tonight because Mom came by for a little bit, but she needed to leave at 5:00, so I went on. I hadn't read the chapter, but I'm getting ready to. Turns out, I missed the best chapter in the book. We sat outside beneath some flowering tree this afternoon. That was nice. And so was the discussion. And I wrote down a few quotes from Jeff that I thought were great / profound / funny.

"Sincerity has nothing to do with truth or reality."

"God, you sure as hell better be bigger than this."

"I smoke. You drink caffeine. He eats fat. We're all pretty jacked up."

[Talking about John 13:34-5 in which Jesus tells his disciples that people will know them because they love one another. In an analogy about a blind date wearing a purple flower so the person will recognize him in a crowd.] "You can hold up a big sign with her name on it, but she won't know because that's not what she's looking for. You discussed a purple flower on your lapel, and without it, you can be all shaven and hot, but she won't see you. You can try other things, but without the purple flower, they won't freaking know!"

[While discussing three step evangelism training.] "How about two steps? Yeah, I took one away. Make friends and be yourself. If your friends are Christians, it's discipleship. If they're not, it's evangelism."

"If there's any training we need, that's it. Love those around you, and the circle grows."

"Salvation is letting someone love you like no human has ever loved you before. It's scary. We ask, 'You're really going to love me even if I screw up?' and they say 'Yes.' 'You're sure you're going to carry the weight of me and all this crap?' 'Yes.' Letting someone love you like that is scary. But that's salvation. It's letting go."

[During a discussion on drinking, Adam and Jeff had this exchange about the miracle of turning water to wine.] "Jesus brought the liquor to the party." "I wonder how many people got trashed after that wedding." "Yeah, and afterwards, Jesus was like, 'That's the last time I'm doing that miracle...'"

[In response to the question "What would things look like if we lived a life of love?"] "Hope would look as good as it really is."

So um, I'm pretty sure I aced my philosophy test this morning. Oh, and I got my BarbCobb paper back. It was a good paper, and she tore it up. I still haven't calmed down enough to read the comments. Women's lit was good. And in Spanish, Dawn and I decided to do our poster presentation on El Salvador. Interesting.

Going to read now.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

caution with the wind

in my ears
artist: century century
album: mad in my mind
song: sorry i miscalculated

Today, I became several things I never thought I would be.

First off, I truly felt like an adult. Albeit, I'm wearing my hair in Minnie Mouse-esque buns. But at Victoria's party, she pointed to me and told one of her friends, "Hey, that's my aunt." I don't know that I can explain how old those words made me feel as they rang in my ears.

I believe I became a feminist today. Please refer to earlier post.

To the shame of many, I became a liker of a Dishwashers song. I believe it's called "Heartbreak." It's very unlike any other song I've heard from that band. And I have to say, this my, like, eighth Dishwashers show, counting the ones I didn't actually stay for their set for. Four, counting the ones I did. Not really grooving (Dianna!) with them usually, but that song, I like. I'm sorry.

I'm not sure how sorry I am to relate this to you. I became a smoker tonight. I don't know if I became a one-time smoker or a social smoker, but I prom promised I wouldn't become a chain smoker. These are the words I never thought I'd write. But there they are.

You know, I looked at myself in the mirror, and I didn't look any different. Yeah, I looked pretty gross, but I didn't wash my hair today. But I guess I've changed. I'm not so sure that the old saying "you can't knock it unless you've tried it" gives me license to take up any old habit, but let's be honest. What I did tonight is not so very different from what I've done for the last twenty-one years. Cigarette smoke has been in my lungs all my life. But putting the cigarette to my lips with my own hand doesn't make me any more or less of a person.

That's what I have to tell myself.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

listening to the daylight

My feet are shod with tacky flipflops. You know the kind. Cheap with strips of brightly colored fabric tied to the thongs. They are the craft/party favor from Victoria's afternoon birthday party. I helped the 8 to 10-year-old girls make theirs, and I came home tonight and made my own. They're not my style, but hey. They fit better than five-dollar ones I bought at WalMart the other day.

The other day I orded two books off of Half. I love buying books. It's my most valuable addiction. Possibly the most expensive, too. I don't care. I ordered the C. S. Lewis novel I've been wanting for months, but it's used price has been a little too high for my tastes. I finally broke down and bought Till We Have Faces for five dollars. The seller mailed it yesterday. I can't wait. I also ordered Robert Cormier's 8 Plus 1, a collection of short fiction. I'm planning on basing my teaching reading unit plan on memory, and Dr. Higginson suggested a story from this book to use during my demonstration. Any excuse to buy a book is a good one.

I know where my fear of relationships comes from. I fear conflict. I fear the moment when raised-voices and hateful looks are the norm between two people, two "close" people. To avoid this moment, I shut off any communication of feelings, any vulnerability. I've wondered what the difference is between the relationship in which you love someone and the relationship in which you tell someone you love that person. And what I see that the point at which you freely yell at someone is the same point when the I love yous come, and by that time, do you really mean it? This might not be a general rule; I don't know. But it's what I'm seeing, and it's what makes me tremble in the core. If that's intimacy, I'm not sure I want it.

I'm about to go women's lit on somebody. I don't know what it is, but I suspect it's my three-days-a-week exposure to unabashed feminism. I can so clearly see the blatant oppression of my sisters. That's right: my sisters. I look on as I see men openly degrade women. And we, by doing nothing, are degrading ourselves. I mean, how am I supposed to feel when I watch a man look a woman in the face and sincerely say, "You just wasted my whole day,"--while, of course, he has the power of his day, not she--and she goes on as if not a word was said? Like it's what she deserved. I didn't know what to do, so I just let the tears well up in my eyes. Not for me, really. For her. For us.

I am so unsure of what to do with this rage I feel. Burn a bra? For a picket line? I have no idea. But I think, because I need a cup of coffee, I'm going to pack up my Norton Anthology of Literature by Women and go to Starbucks. And I'll keep my journal in tow. Here is a wellspring of emotion that needs some catharsis.

Friday, April 01, 2005

you can count on this

Today is April 1. That means another notch in the archive belt.

I swear I'm going to stop doing things to my apartment. At least things that cost money 'cause I still have to clean my bedroom and stuff. But I did buy new curtains last night. I also tried to hang my curtain rod using the stone-age hand tool known has the screwdriver. You know, no power tools around here. I believe the use of elbow grease might decrease one's life span. I about lost myself during the endeavor. But everything is stable, awaiting the arrival of the power tool to finish up the job.

That's coming from Randy. They're bringing Victoria over this evening so she can spend the night. It'll be our own little personal celebration of her reaching the first age of double digits. 10. It suddenly seems like a big number when it's the age of my niece.

Oh, I'd just like to make note of my recent insanity. It's official. I've been wound up tighter'en a fiddle the past week or so. I've been jabbering like a mankey (what's up, old school?), and I've been completely absent minded. The past two times I've been to WalMart--that's within the last seventy-two hours, mind you--I've gotten awesome parking spots. You know the ones right after the handicap spots? Yeah, that's where the Buick's ended up. The two times, I parked at opposite entrances. And both times, I exited through the wrong door. When I parked at the grocery side, I came out the, um, non-grocery side. And vice versa. Now, isn't that just the biggest waste of a good parking spot you've ever heard of? I imagine it's close to it.

Alright, think I'm going to turn the ceiling fans off--it's getting chilly--and start working on the bedroom. You know, decorating and even cleaning can become an addiction.