Monday, December 18, 2006

i hate it when they do that!

I have one student in my class who turned in nothing all semester. The day the first paper was due, he came to me and said he didn't have it done. Some bullshit about thinking it was due the following week. OK, I said, get it to me asap, as you lose points for late papers.

I assumed he'd have it done by the next week, since that's the day he'd 'thought' it was due. But the next week, paper #2 was due, and he turned in neither. Three weeks before the semester was over, I emailed him to let him know that at the very latest, all work must be done and turned in by the last day, or he'd fail, as I didn't allow incompletes except under the most extenuating of circumstances.

No reply to my email. The second to last day of class, he meets me in the hall to acknowledge that he received my email and knows it's due and he'll get it in.

That day was his group's mock senate testimony. I didn't know how he could manage it, given he clearly hadn't done the work leading up to it. And I was right -- his performance was below standards.

Then this Saturday, the last day of classes (finals day, really, except that our final is the mock testimony, which takes two days to complete), one of his group members comes to me, very concerned. Seems this guy was supposed to present a good deal more than he had, the rest of the group had counted on him taking the lead in the presentation. The rest of the group were concerned about their grades, given his performance (they get individual and group grades).

I reassured her, and she left happy.

But the kicker is this: before class, he was waiting for me outside the building so that he could speak to me privately. He didn't have his work done, any of it. Work was too difficult, major problems, necessitated his undivided attention, his caseload is much higher than anyone else, yadda yadda yadda.

I was so fucking pissed it wasn't even funny. I hate it when they give me that bullshit, as though their life was somehow so much more important than the rest of the class, so they should be given special priviledges like more time.

But what really pisses me off the most is that I caved. I let him have the incomplete. I really hate being put on the spot like that.

He has to have all work to me by Jan. 1, and I swear I'm not waiting one minute past midnight that day. I will fail his sorry ass. And I've since looked at his record here, and he's done the incomplete thing with several profs already. And two of his incompletes became an 'f' and a 'c.' But the school's policy is, only one grade below a 'b' is allowed before the student is asked to leave the program. So I'm wondering why he is still here at all.

I swear though that I'm taking full points off for the late papers, and I told him I expect better than typical work from students who are given more time to complete their assignments. So if it ain't 'A' work, he's getting a 'C.' And I want to see the program graduate this student, cause I'll definitely lodge a complaint.

Friday, December 08, 2006

it's beginning to look a lot like christmas???

I don't know, but I have this built in principle that says I absolutely refuse to put up decorations or buy presents until after December 1.

Luckily, I have little family to shop for. And I've never been the type to exchange gifts with friends, as most of my friends tend to be as budget challenged as I am. And who needs that kind of pressure from friends, right?

So, I've ordered this portable dvd player for rugrat 1, or number one son, who is back in Washington State. I liked it because it sits upright more like a tv does:



And I ordered the mp3 player for rugrat 2, or number one daughter:



And I ordered this for the egg donor (aka "mother"). It's from National Geographic -- if you're ever looking for an interesting gift, look through their website. Yes, some items are muy cara, but some are very reasonable. These hand blown glass egyptian ornaments were only $32, but they are gorgeous:



And finally, on Sunday, rugrat 2 and I will go shopping -- but not for us. I've picked two names off of the giving tree at work, set up by campus ministry for area underpriviledged kids. One girl, age 8, and one boy, age 7. We'll be shopping for gifts for the kids.

The rugrats and I have been recipients of various giving programs such as this, especially in our early years when I had no money at all. So I try to give back in the same way, and I'm looking forward to shopping.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

poverty

I'ts not just for city dwellers anymore.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

mountains plus winter equals danger, in any language

Why, oh why, do people insist upon driving mountain roads in winter? Why is it so hard to figure out that if it's winter and you're in the mountains, you'd bloody well better stay on the main highways?

I realize I come from an area that taught me this early. I would never, for example, have made the drive from Spokane to Seattle on any road but the main interstate, and even then, I'd have provisions, blankets, and chains just in case. 'Cause even in Snoqualmie pass, on I-90, winter is a crap shoot.

I once drove from Westchester to Buffalo in the winter for a board meeting, and you can bet I stayed on main highways all the way, even if it did take longer. And I had blankets and food and extra warm clothes packed, just in case (but not chains this time, as I wasn't going into serious mountains).

If I were in a new area, I would definitely stick to major highways, especially in winter. And it doesn't take a genius to figure that out, just common sense. And yet, families like the Kim family, bless their little hearts, completely threw caution to the wind -- and apparently, against the advice of travel experts. ("Our visitor information specialist cautioned them against taking forest roads and to stay on the main highways this time of the year," he said. )

I don't care what any map says, side roads in unfamiliar mountains in the winter are a big fucking no-no. Respect nature, for gosh sakes. Respect what it's capable of. Where has common sense, critical thinking gone?

So ok, now everyone who's taken a wrong turn in the winter is going to rip my ear off figuratively, huh?

let's talk about shoes, baby -- let's talk about shoes

So, rugrat is on the cheerleading squad at school for the second season. Not a high profile team, as in this school, the dance team has the status. But still, it's something to do after school.

The cheerleading team picks sneakers to wear for games. The sneakers have to be all white, which I hear is pretty standard among cheer teams. But while they could just require all-white sneakers, any brand, these rich bitches girls go way fucking overboard.

Every season, the rich bitches girls choose an obscure, yet overpriced name brand sneaker that runs a minimum of $60 a pair. And, they're hard to find.

Now yes, I know I'm the shoe fetish lady, I love shoes. And I did recently spend $60 big ones on shoes. BUT. For that $60, rugrat got two pairs of sneakers and I got a pair of boots and a pair of shoes.

Me, spend $60+ on one pair of sneakers that will only last for one cheer season (cause they'll pick a new obscure, expensive sneaker next season, and we'll do this all again)? Not hardly.

Last year, we looked all over hell and back, and finally found a pair on sale for $40. I paid it, grudgingly.

This year, rugrat came out and told the rich bitches that the shoes were too pricy, and some parents couldn't afford them. The rich bitches girls argued that $60+ was cheap, and there was no way anyone couldn't afford them. That's cause the other rich bitches girls all have two-parent, two-income families, and $60 for one pair of sneakers probably isn't a lot to them. Even a few weeks before christmas.

So rugrat did her part, and looked online everywhere for a cheap pair, and found one for about $25, believe it or not. But then when I didn't get a confirmation that the shoes were being shipped, I called to confirm. Seems this was the kind of place with odd sizes, and often only one pair in a size. And somehow, they couldn't find the pair rugrat ordered on the shelves. They admitted it might have been employee pilfering, but what good does that do us?

So now, with $25 already spent and not being reimbursed quickly (online reimbursements always take time), we now had one weekend to find a pair before the first game.

We looked all over, and finally wound up at lady footlocker, where the shoe was $65. So rugrat says, why not check the main footlocker, cause she can wear a school boy's size 6.5/7, and often the boy's shoes are cheaper.

So we discover that, in fact, the boy's shoe is $50. But they only carried that particular shoe up to a size 6 (instead of the typical size 7), and the 6 is just a bit too tight. So we make a point of letting the sales clerk know-- very nicely, I might add -- that it really isn't nice of footlocker to stop at size 6, 'cause that forces us to buy the more expensive women's shoe. Said clerk let's me know that they are having a one day 'friends and family' discount promo of 30%, which could be applied to the women's shoe. Would I like that? Hell yes, I'd like that.

He sends another clerk to find the size we need, but doesn't tell her about the discount. We inform her. She gives the shoes to another employee, who rings up the purchase. Second clerk doesn't tell cashier about the discount, so we have to repeat ourselves again.

But, I got rugrat her shoes, for $47.25. Whew! Done...till next year anyway.

The shoe: New Balance style W574:

Blogger's being a bitch and won't let me upload a photo, so they are here (minus the pink ribbon).