Sunday, November 19, 2023

News and Updates

1. It’s high registration season down at Home Campus and I am swamped. Between 8am last Monday and 4:30pm this coming Tuesday I have a grand total of 3 half-hour slots open on my calendar, all of them because someone canceled. On the one hand this is a nice problem to have in an age where enrollments are shrinking. Student retention FTW! On the other hand, it does make for very long days, particularly when you remember that you left your lunch at home and have to make do with your Secret Cracker Stash.

2. Also in there are my classes, which are fun but time consuming. I did get to tell three of my favorite stories over the last week and a half, though, including the Tripwire lecture on the causes of World War I. One of my students came up before the class started and said he had a doctor appointment he needed to get to and would leave about 20 minutes early, which I said was fine – I try never to interfere with anyone who has managed to get a chance to actually use the American healthcare system. But when we got to that point he stayed put. I motioned to him after a few minutes and he motioned back that he’d rather hear the end of the story, and I am going to take that as a win.

3. There is also grading. There is always grading. Exams and discussion posts and essays, oh my.

4. I did take the afternoon off today and watch the Flyers game with Oliver, which was a lovely time, especially since it was a well-played game (as they usually are) and they actually won (which they usually don’t). According to the announcers it marks the first 5-game winning streak they’ve had since before the pandemic.

5. The fall crud that I have had for the last few weeks (non-covid, thanks) refuses to go away and this is Very Disappointing and not at all conducive to appointments, classes, or grading though it doesn’t seem to have any negative impact on watching hockey.

6. Kim and I are making our way through this year’s Great British Bake Off and so far it’s been going pretty well. They’ve backed off from the ridiculous nonsense that infected last year’s season – anybody who thinks that a recipe for s’mores should include the words “ganache” and “meringue” really needs to re-examine their life choices (you should be able to purchase everything you need for s’mores at a gas station for less than $10 and make one in less than four minutes) and as yet we have not seen the reappearance of “tackos,” for which we are all grateful. And the contestants are the usual assortment of decent people that you can’t really help cheering for. We’ve got our favorites, and many of them have made it this far but there are a few that I miss (where have you gone, Saku?). So we’ll see how it goes.

7. Saku had my favorite line of the season, though I don’t remember the exact wording of it. After a particularly unsuccessful day of baking they caught her for an interview and she said something along the lines of “Tomorrow there is hope. New day. New opportunities. Same old me, though.” I felt that.

8. I am exercising some of my privilege and refusing to engage with the wider world for the moment. I can do nothing about the performative cruelty and ignorance that seems to be ascendant these days except live my life as best I can, and it is far too dispiriting to deal with right now.

9. Every time I walk into my office here at home I am confronted with a years-long backlog of unfinished tasks, many of which I’d probably enjoy were I actually to have time to attend to them. Someday.

10. My car has been making an odd rhythmic noise that I was pretty sure had something to do with the tires. I took it over to the Tire Place that I always go to because they’re nice people there and they treat me well. The noise was quite loud on the way in. They squeezed me in on a busy Saturday morning, checked things out, and told me that they found nothing. They even let me go without charging me, which was very nice of them. But I haven’t heard the noise since?


Beatrice Desper said...

Now I know what FTW means! This will be great for my TEFL students. Not to mention me, that I don't look like a great-granny.

David said...

It's a great little acronym, really. :)