Thursday, September 27, 2007

apple. fiona apple.

There's a restaurant just south of washington square park called senor swanky's. It bills itself as a 'mexican cafe and celebrity hangout.' Wonder if it's really a celebrity hangout. Looks fun anyway. I bet dinner there on a friday night would be cool.

I walked again today. Big to-do at washington square park. All closed off, lots of cops, tickets required. Wondered till I saw tickets with Barack Obama written on them. Funny, if I'd known, I might could have gone. Timing was great. But it's too early for presidential speeches for me. I saw the ED of a nonprofit who used to work for the fed gov under clinton. But he looked right at me and didn't recognize me.

Walked right by teddy roosevelt's childhood home and almost missed it. It's on 20th or 21st, I think it was, between broadway and park ave.

Noticed a restaurant on park ave called wolfgang's steakhouse. I'm assuming wolfgang as in puck, right? I didn't look at the menu in the window for prices.

Hadn't heard more than her name, that fiona apple. But when I saw the cd at the library, I added it to my list and burned it to my computer and then to my zen. I actually listened to it today for the first time. Extraordinary machine. So I pretty much grooved on fiona while I walked today. I may have to get another one of her.

Still hanging in there. The students are basically cool. Except for the one who left class five minutes in and then came back 20 minutes later with a starbucks cup. Bucks is two blocks from campus.

And the three or four in the intro class who insist on pulling out their cells not nearly as surreptitiously as they think they are to check voice and text messages.

And the ones today in the policy course who didn't have their due assignment completed (assignments I'll spend all day tomorrow grading). 'We were supposed to attach our papers to the news articles?' said one. 'I'm fairly certain that's what your syllabus says,' I responded. Another student stuck up for me: 'Yes, that's what it says.' They all know they'll lose points for that.

It wasn't even a difficult assignment. Find two news articles each week for four weeks that discuss social welfare policy. In one page, summarize the article in your own words and then share your own opinion. It's a precursor to the next assignment. That's why I was so shocked when one student told me she just 'couldn't find any articles about policy.' In four weeks of class, she couldn't find any articles in any newspapers about social welfare policy? Like say, social security, or health care, or no child left behind, or welfare? Nothing? Yeah right.

My standard response in classes now to most questions is 'what does it say on your syllabus?' How can students not read the fucking syllabus anyway?

But mostly, the students are pretty cool.

My office mate and I agreed today that teaching is physically challenging. Or physically draining, to be more precise. Not to mention mentally draining.

I'm still walking, trying to get some exercise. Three days last week, two so far this week. I'll walk again tomorrow. It's lost its appeal already. Mostly because I'm having some problems with my hips and knees, more so on my right than my left. My research says the pain could be bleeding in the joints -- courtesy of the lovely anticoagulants.

And my feet. Those cheap shoes that I use for walking aren't cutting it. I'm going to have to fork out some $$ for real walking shoes. I didn't want to wear serious athletic shoes with my work trousers cause it looks so goofy. But I'm in such pain the last half hour of the walk that I'm gritting my teeth and giving it everything I've got to walk normally and not to just limp slowly along.

I have to force myself to walk, cause I know I'll be in pain the rest of the evening. They still hurt now, this late. But I have to get some exercise. On the positive side, I'm down a few pounds over the last week and a half.

If you've emailed me in the last two weeks and I haven't responded, please know how sorry I am. I promise I will soon. This weekend.


Pooh said...

I love Fiona! I have Extraordinary Machine..but I think its just "ok". You should check out her debut album, Tidal. It's still her best album and it remains on my top 10 all-time best albums list. Lots of soulful blusey tunes that rock! You're welcome to borrow and burn my copy if you like.

I'm home today...on a Friday...cuz guess what?!?! I got fired last week!!! But I have lots of movie passes >:) so let me know if you haven't seen resident evil yet...

Anonymous said...

I actually like "When the pawn..." the best, but Tidal is really good.

Good for those, man, I have fucked up relationships moments.

It sounds like you're slowly getting into the swing of things, and I hope they can keep getting better.

Oh, and about cell phones? One of my friends had a prof who threatened the entire class by saying that cell phones were not allowed in class, AND, that they, as a class, had one free shot, and once the second phone rang, they all lost a letter grade (or failed, something). I doubt he would have actually gotten away with it, but she said that only one phone rang the entire semester. I know you probably can't do that, but maybe it's a good fantasy to make you feel better.


fellahere said...

Proper shoe comfort is the most important thing of all in any given day.

Don't know if you've gotten some Regina Spektor, her songs are brilliant and her website has a player for all of her songs [last time I checked].