Monday, April 22, 2013

News and Updates

1. I seem to have acquired a Spring Crud of some kind, one that started in my head and is moving inexorably down into my chest.  I seem to get these things a lot.  If there is a betting pool for my funeral, my money is on something respiratory.  Nothing that serious on the horizon just yet, mind you – right now it’s mostly just making me miserable and unable to focus at a time when I need to be a) grading madly and b) sleeping now and again.  Ah well.  Someday.

2. I actually got into a civil conversation on the internet with a complete stranger about gun control.  Wow.

3. We have solved the “yowling cat at 5am” problem thanks to a marvelous product called a “Thundershirt,” which sounds like a euphemism for something but is actually just a Velcro-laden wrap designed to swaddle your animal and make them feel less nervous.  Despite my initial skepticism, it works like a charm.  It does give Midgie something of a “three pounds of sausage in a two-pound casing” look, but keeps her quiet and we don’t have to shut her into the basement anymore.  That seems a fair trade.

4. I’m happy they caught the bombers up in Boston.  I don’t want to know their names or anything about them or what twisted self-pitying logic they employed to justify their actions.  There is no cause that could justify those actions.  I want the survivor and any accomplices to have a fair trial and then – if found guilty – I want them buried so deep in the mists of history and the bowels of the penal system that their names will be forgotten even by their own parents.  I want them to live a long, long time knowing that they have been forgotten, abandoned, and left behind by humanity.  And I want nobody to notice when they die.

5.  For “bombers up in Boston” in the previous paragraph you may feel free to substitute the perpetrators of any of the many and varied slaughters of the innocent these days.  There are so many to choose from.

6. It snowed here most of Friday.  On April 19.  That’s just wrong.

7. My trash can ended up in the neighbor’s driveway this weekend.  These are the neighbors who managed to alienate everyone in a three-house radius within a month of their moving in, so I’m not really interested in talking to them to get it back.  For one thing, it’s cracked and has a hole in the bottom.  For another, they’re already using it as one of their own.  For another, I still have one more.  And further, since Our Little Town issued us brand new city-supplied trash cans that will be the only receptacles allowed as of next week, I figure getting rid of that broken down trash can is now my neighbor’s problem, not mine.  Enjoy it while you can, neighbors.

8.  Already, I am not sure how we are going to accomplish everything that is on our plate for this summer.

9. I generally use the previous exam as a template when I make up the next exam for my classes.  This keeps the formatting consistent.  Unfortunately, it also means that unless I check carefully, the exam essay question will be prefaced with the instructions for the previous exam’s question.  So there might, for example, be students trying to connect the Age of the Enlightenment with the Crisis of the 14th Century, which you can do but probably not within the confines of a one-page timed essay.  But I can’t penalize them for following instructions.  Looks like I need to make up a new rubric for those students.


Megan said...

A civil conversation on the Internet? This could be the start of something big.

John the Scientist said...

1. Are you shure the Thundershirt doesn't have a little electric shocker hidden in there somewhere? :D

2. Your little town must be getting one of the sutomatic arm garbage trucks. My son thought that was the neatest thing since unsliced bread (he hates Wonder Bread and loves stinky tofu, what can you do?), and three years ater he sti watches the pickup whenever he is home. Just make sure everything is in bags, because loose stuff floats out in that not-quite-vertical dump they do, and picking up the trash after the trash has been picked up is no fun.

Nathan said...

This doesn't ACTUALLY have anything to do with garbage cans absconded by neighbors, but it's close enough to resurrect it.

In case you never saw it. :)

David said...

Megan - I know! I felt as if I were violating some kind of rule.

John - yes, we're getting that automatic system. We've got two shiny new plastic bins now, one for trash and one for recycling, each one big enough to house a family of four (not including their trash and recycling, which is somewhat ironic in my eyes). Thanks for the tip, though - I imagine there will be something of a learning curve.

Nathan - I love that post. Also, I'm not sure if my neighbors absconded with my can so much as ended up with it - it was very windy and the can rolled about quite a bit. I meant to get it earlier, and then it blew away again. I've ended up with all sorts of strange things in my driveway, though honestly I've usually put them back on the curb for the actual owners rather than adopted them as my own. It's interesting living in town sometimes.