Friday, July 21, 2006

onward and upward

Spent a few hours in the library today, and while I didn't get a lot done, I did make a respectable dent in the variables section. This is the section in which I operationalize the variables; state the variable level i.e. categorical/interval; identify the independent, dependent, modifying, and potential confounding variables; and describe the attributes of each variable.

I had thought it would be difficult, but it's going much more quickly than I'd thought. My toughest section will be my intended plan of data analysis. I have to describe how I'll change some of the variables, from interval to categorical, for example; exactly which analyses I'll be doing, and what I expect to find. I'm so not looking forward to that.

Although actually, the relevance to the field section will be the worst. How in the hell do I justify what I'm doing? In the back of my mind, I keep thinking 'I'm just doing it cause it seems doable.' How will what I'm doing affect the profession? It won't, really. I don't think it will have any impact at all on the world. So I have to really bullshit through that one.

mission accomplished

Made it to the library today, and the syllabus is updated for fall semester. Also, I finished checking the nonprofits online for the assignments, and they are updated as well with research/policy issues for the students to choose from. One of the sites was offline for some reason, so I'll check them on Sunday.

That's it, then. I'll get my syllabus to the right staff person so that copies will be ready the first day of class, and I'll dust off my lecture notes the week before classes begin. The benefit to teaching the same class each semester is, of course, that your prep work is so much more doable than with a brand new course. The bulk of the work in the course at this point is reading and commenting on the written assignments. No easy tests with scannable answer sheets for me -- it's all heavy writing in this course. And of course I'm one of those instructors who feels that I owe the student some feedback that will help them to grow as writers and individuals, so I do spend a good deal of time on their work.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

no more words

Rugrat and I are not speaking to each other. I'd like to say it's all her, but I lost control and called her a name, so it's both of us.

Monday night, I came home from work/gym about 7:30, and she wasn't home, but she had cleaned the living room before she left. I was pleased that she'd done it without me nagging, and called her to say so and to ask where she was.

'I'm just down the street at H***'s, mom.'

OK, fine, just down the street. So at a bit after midnight, I call her and tell her to come home, and she begs for more time, and says again she's just down the street as a way to get more time out of me (the closer to home she is, the better I feel).

I tell her only till 12:45. She grumps, but accepts. She's not home by 1, so I call again. I get the same 'I'm just down the street at H***'s' argument for staying out later, but I tell her in no uncertain terms that I want her home now as I want to go to bed and can't if she's out somewhere (not just because I worry, but the kid can't hang onto a door key to save her life and I have to leave the front door unlocked for her).

No show.

At 1:30 I call her again, really letting her have it, and demand she come home right now! Then she lets me have it -- I'm in T****, and my ride home isn't here yet. Now, T*** is about four villages away, up the river, and she can only get there by train, car, or bus. And she knows she's supposed to ask before she goes, and have back up transportation plans. And, she ignored two trains home during my calls to her while she waited for her 'ride.'

So, I lost it. She'd lied continuously all night about where she was, I was exhausted and couldn't go to sleep, and I let loose...called her a fucking little liar. Told her I was hanging up because I was so angry I didn't want to talk to her right then. And I hung up.

I dozed restlessly until I heard her come in. I think it was around 3 am.

In the morning, I left her a note: don't leave the house, and clean your room. When I got home, her bf was there, and she wasn't talking to me. We tried a couple of times, but we're both too angry. She, of course, is mad that I called her a name and is using that to abdicate any responsibility for the lies she told and how late she got home.

I had to leave her a note again this morning: clean her room and wash the dishes, and don't leave the house without calling me and asking first.

I really, really hate not speaking with the only other person living in my home.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


Damn damn damn!!! I just re-checked the enrollment for my course, and I'm not at 10 anymore. No, I'm at 28. I fucking hate those full classes! That means a whole shitload of work to do, and I get paid the same as an adjunct with only 5 students. I think there should be a per-student bonus for teaching a graduate level course with 30+ students (which is where it will be by September, that's for sure). I mean I'm a freakin' adjunct, not a full-time instructor with benefits. So many students is going to make my dissertation proposal work very challenging indeed.

On a more positive note, I'm teaching on a different campus this fall, and the two campuses are as different as night and day. I always had to beg for whatever I got, and pursue sources until I reached the right one to get what I needed. But I just got an email from the support staff person on the campus where I'll be teaching in the fall. She had a form for me to complete with my personal information, and told me they were planning an orientation for adjuncts. She also said to call her if I have any questions at all. Too cool!

I still need to update my syllabus. Guess that's the agenda for this Friday.

I need to call the bookstore about the textbooks first thing tomorrow. I ordered when I only had 10 students enrolled.

Monday, July 10, 2006

humbled beyond belief

Someone on the other site said something so incredibly wonderful about me that I am simply in shock. I don't think anyone has ever said anything quite so beautiful before. I think I'll just sit here and bask in the feeling for a bit. And bookmark it to go back and read it again whenever I'm feeling a bit down about myself. What an incredible guy!