Sunday, November 30, 2008

Wicks-Giving 2008

This weekend in GP was inspired by the fiasco known to me as Wicks-Giving. This is an assembly of roughly 25 Wicks folk in a feeding frenzy.
I got very little academic work done this weekend, but we're on our way back up to Corvallis soon and school work shall resume then.

Friday, November 28, 2008

The Long Weekend

Put together a small collection of poems for a friend's birthday, and thought about how much I miss writing...which made me think, damn I miss painting and photographing too... lame

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Yep This Says It ALL: Happy Tagcloud Thursday

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

GP Once Again

We traversed down to GP again. The roads were foggy in the mountain tops, but otherwise fine.

I've graded most of my student's papers and I admit I've been pretty strict, but I feel as though I coached my heart out and if they failed to follow my lead it's their problem. Next term is business writing, so a whole new adventure. 

I gave my presentation on Salsa music today in Spanish, and took every opportunity to highlight the connections between Africa and Salsa.  I even included clips of Celia Cruz performing in Zaire and images of Santeria and Yemaya. It was nerve-wracking, but fun.

So much more to do...

Monday, November 24, 2008

Short Week

I am so thankful that this week is going to be short. I just got a stack of student papers and I have so much of my own work to do. Meh. This is getting a bit intense. I am anxious for the term to end so I can stop all of this and focus, or try to focus on my thesis.... panic, just a little touch of panic.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

After the IL Summit

As the readers likely know, Friday was the Information Literacy Summit. I was rather nervous about presenting there but over all it went well. It was interesting to listen in on the conversations about who is responsible for teaching IL in the classrooms. Many people seem to be fine with the job being seated in composition classrooms while others seem to take it as a slight. I think that overall there is a sense that Information Literacy is everyone's business. There are different levels of specificity in IL just like in everything else and those levels can't all be covered in one or two comp. classes. 

I really enjoyed teaching Information Literacy in a more detailed way. If ever I was given the opportunity to co-teach an info lit class I would jump at the chance. Before going to OSU I had seriously considered an MLIS degree. I loved working in libraries and the idea of being a University Librarian is still very appealing, but I love teaching in the classroom so perhaps the Ph.D. seems the most obvious choice.

Who knows...all I know is that I need to focus on the immediate future and this imminent Cather paper... meh

Friday, November 21, 2008

Summit Dealy-O

Sitting at the IL Summit, feeling much less distressed than I did yesterday.... haven't spoken yet, but still. The PPT is done and that's all I need to prompt myself to speak.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Three-way Dance

In Betj's class today I noticed that I see in two of Cather's novels (Death Comes for the Arch-Bishop and The Professor's House) an argument for an intermediary space between to "poles". In both of these books this intermediate space seems somehow related to gardens or orchards. I have not worked out all of my thoughts about this, but I do know that I totally adore both of these works of fiction and it will be a pleasure to write about them, I only wish I had more time.

In other news nothing has happened with the thesis....stasis.... I can only hope that my ecocritical work with other texts and in other contexts will prove fruitful when the time comes to crank out chapters.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Back to the Grind

Back in Corvallis, and back to school. I am very ready for this term to end despite the fact that I haven't completed my seminar papers yet.

Much work to be done!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Road Call '08 (back tracking)

We had lost some film a while back and recently recovered it. What great fun to develop these shots taken during out March 2007 trip from MA to Oregon.

1. Wall Drug Jack-a-lope
2. SD rest area
3. Portland OR's world famous Voodoo Donuts

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Road

We drove down to Grants Pass last night after Spanish class. It got dark early, but we got to see a stupendous sunset on the western side of the highway,and some remarkable fog between the mountains on the eastern side. I realized that my limit for living without massive travel has been reached. I've not been on a long distance adventure since March 2007... apparently just shy of two years is my limit. I see a pattern.

I came home from extended roadtripping in late 1999

January 2001 I went to California for a few weeks (via bus)

January 2003 I went to Nebraska (plane)

April 2003 went from NE to IL for a few weeks (train)

May 2003 went from NE to MA for a few weeks (bus)

October 2003 Nebraska to MA (train)

March 2006 (phew it was a long wait) I went to Oregon for a few weeks (via plane)

May 2006 went to Oregon for a month (plane/bus adventure)

August 2006 went to Oregon for a few weeks (bus)

Sept 2006 drove from Oregon to Mass

March 2007 drove from Mass to Oregon.... waiting....waiting...

I need an adventure. Or a life which pays me to have wild adventures....hmmm

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Another Classic Translation of My Spanish Work & More

The Slow Travellers

I am a traveller. In my life it was many leases. One of my favorite adventures I happen in September 2006. The first day of year 2006 meets my wife to me Bird. In that one time it lived in Oregon and I lived in Massachusetts. This situation this good by anybody, then in September we did not decide move from house to Massachusetts. September 25, 2006, went to Massachusetts with Bird in the truck of her. The hard trip eleven days. We were very slowly because our U-Haul weight but by the truck. In Wyoming, next the Rockies we considered we left our possessions. After mountains it was easier to lead. We liked Wyoming in spite of all problems. In Wyoming to the area of listed rest many squirrel played with us. We gave to eat to. We gave nuts, peanuts, and granola. We pass of mountains and prairie. We sleep in the truck and one night in hotel. One night we slept in the truck and I begin rain. We were a little wet. We wish to travel per months, but our horse I travel to Massachusetts in another truck, therefore we traveled by only eleven days. Perhaps in the future our hope it would realise.

Good stuff.

Even better is to take this translation, translate it into French and then back into English....

The slow travellers 

I am a traveller. In my life c' was much of beams. One of my preferred adventures I occur in September 2006. The first day of l' year 2006 meets my wife with me BIRD. In this time he lived in Oregon and j' lived in Massachusetts. This situation this good by whoever, then in us September n' did not decide mudar house in Massachusetts. On September 25, 2006, went to Massachusetts with the BIRD in the truck of it. The hard voyage eleven days. We were very slowly because our U-Transport the weight but in the truck. In Wyoming, after the Rock ones that we were considered our possessions left. After qu' it was easier to carry out mountains it. We liked Wyoming despite everything the problems. In Wyoming with the sector of the much enumerated rest accumulate played with us. We gave to eat with. We gave nuezes, groundnuts, and the granola. We pass from the mountains and the meadow. We sleep in the truck and a night in l' hotel. One night we slept in the truck and I begin the rain. We were little the wet ones. We wish to travel per month but our horse which I travel to Massachusetts in another truck, therefore we travelled by only the d' days; ounces. Perhaps with l' future our hope qu' it would realize.

Decided that INaDWriMo 2008 sounded like a challenge... I pledged to write 18000...we'll see. Right now it's looking sad. Do blogs count? Ha!

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
500 / 18,000

Primal Scream

The past few days I have felt like I am just squeaking by. It's conference week so almost every minute of my day has been tightly packed with scheduled events. On top of this the term is winding down so there are many projects with fast approaching due dates.

I managed to get all of my reading done on Death Comes for the Arch-Bishop, which is great, because I actually enjoy this novel, (which means I got to do something I enjoy for a little bit) and I always feel miserable when I fail to complete the reading for Betj's class.  I also tapped into the Cather Studies website and found a bunch of info for my upcoming seminar paper. 

I have a presentation of sorts at the upcoming Information Literacy Summit which I haven't worked on much and will likely spend my weekend trying to tackle. There's also a draft due on Tuesday for my final paper in SJ's class, but I feel pretty much prepared for this.

It's nice out today, lightly overcast, warmish...

Fifteen conferences, two large assignments, and several chapters to go until the week-end


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

In Light of This

Some of my conferences are frankly depressing. I know that I've done my best as far as instructing these students but many of them are quite transparently trying to pull the wool over my eyes. Many have submitted frankly useless drafts which seem to have been put together in one night. There are few if any quotes, no citation and little organization. It is overwhelming because I am not sure what more I could do.

In light of this let's forget about 121 for a moment....

Here's a little floundering bit of semi-recent poetry

Yaquina Head

Sooth on sooth the sea
tosses and wears away the meanings

in an arching skyward cauldron
combusting ginkgo

A delta leaf vein tremulous
stilled in Holocene weed fields

Rosebay pointing up and up
spike on spike between clusters

Salal all finger-linked haunched
and sea air rounded in great hills

Sunday, November 9, 2008

O Tomorrow...

Tomorrow I have a test in Espanol, and my conferences start for paper two. It is rough. I don't really understand my Spanish that well with regards to verb conjugation, and I don't know why, but my students seem awfully confused lately, as though midterms sucked out their brains. My plan is to have them read their essays out loud to me while I take notes or ask questions about what I hear. We'll see how it goes.

In the joys of Sunday, my garden is doing well. We ate fresh strawberries this morning, and there are beans ripening. One sunflower has blossomed and many more are on their way. The peas have blossoms also. Oak leaves are crowding the lettuces, and it is a daily battle fending them off. Soon I'll be planting chard and kale. The herbs look great and the pansies too, some gladiolus soon to bloom. Sweet Oregon!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

One Down

Today I went to PDX and took the English Literature Subject GRE. I was much dismayed to see that almost all of the questions were British Lit pre-1800... egh. This of course is a section of lit that I know almost nothing about. I answered what I could and left some blank since blank spaces don't really count against you. It was three hours of testing that I would have been happier without, and 150 bucks I would rather have spent on --well on just about anything-- but sadly the Subject GRE is needed by most of the schools I'm looking at.

I registered for the test before I decided not to apply immediately for the Ph.D. Since then, I've decided to put off applying to Ph.D. programs in hopes that the bridge position might be available and attainable. If that falls through I figure there's plenty of other things I could do for a year while I'm waiting to see who wants me as a Ph.D. candidate.

In other news I need to get cracking on my thesis... egh. I bought some Eco and more Wharton at Powells today, but really I need to stop reading, and start writing.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Argh and Other Groans Of the Overwhelmed

I am feeling pretty overwhelmed these days. Meh.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Equality is Equality

It's pretty depressing to think about how many African-Americans voted to preserve or create inequality.

For me Judy Weider says it all.

I think the simple fact is that struggles for equality have been linked in American History and if we as a people really want equality we will need to find our way together.

In the meantime I'll be enhancing my political activity now that my faith in the process has been somewhat restored. 

Free at Last

It’s the answer that led those who have been told for so long by so many to be cynical, and fearful, and doubtful of what we can achieve to put their hands on the arc of history and bend it once more toward the hope of a better day.

It’s been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this day, in this election, at this defining moment, change has come to America. - Obama

But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land!- MLK

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Eyes on the Prize!

I am so excited about the election. Having had Bush in office for the past eight years I've felt pretty down about America and our politics. Now for the first time since the great robbery of 2000 I'm excited about the election and hopeful about the future. Naive? Perhaps, but I am still feeling good.

Looking at the images of black voters and young voters taking to the polls I am filled with pride. Could it be that the American ideal of equality is coming an inch closer to fruition?

Beware of all the lies and hype... whatever your opinion vote.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

It's Not About Grades: ILP

I've noticed over the past few days that the ILP grades for my class seem a bit lower than usual. There could be a number of reasons for this. Primarily I am thinking it is a result of these two: 

The ILP itself changed. Different questions, and it seems slightly different point values since last year.

Being taught in class gave students a sense of over-confidence with regard to the timeline. Several of the lower grades in my class are due to a failure to complete all of the assignments.

Either way, grades aren't everything. I tend to stress this fact to my students, and I feel that in this instance it is an appropriate sentiment. This term my students seem to be much more engaged with their topics, they are curious, they want to know. It doesn't feel like I am dragging them along from one assignment to the next. This is great. 

It's Electric!

So recent research into our energy use has yielded fantastic results. As most readers know, we are serious about reducing our energy use. We moved to a small place, we replaced all of our bulbs with CFLs and we have been minimizing electricity use in every way practical.

The other day we went to Energy Star to test our usage. Our total source energy consumption is 51,111 KBTUs which is well below that of 99% of US homes. That is still a lot of energy, we cook and heat with electric. We watch TV in the evenings and use our computers quite a bit, but still we're doing pretty well.  

CFL's and unplugging everything when not in use are probably the main reasons for our reduction.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Studs and Yahoooooo?

RIP Studs- "With optimism, you look upon the sunny side of things. People say, 'Studs, you're an optimist.' I never said I was an optimist. I have hope because what's the alternative to hope? Despair? If you have despair, you might as well put your head in the oven.

I'm thinking it might be fun to make a yahoo account for my mother so that we could occasionally have a game of scrabble or cards (prehaps even pappy since he might be bored these days). Not that either of us are particularly into games, but it would be something fun to do, and chatting over an online game of scrabble can be fun...though I am deadly awesome at said game....

Anyone want to play? 

Annie? I think this might work with dial up too.