Friday, August 31, 2007

[Guilty Grades and Golden Air]

The first journal entry for my two GTA classes was due today, and I found myself conflicted.  It appears I have guilt issues--I feel guilty for marking down assignments that are turned in late, even when I know perfectly well that I made the due date as clear as I possibly could each day in class this week, by email, and in the syllabus!  Oh, no worries, those of you suspecting that I'm a wuss after all.  I'm doing what I said I would do.  But gosh darn it, I just want all my students to do well in my class!  Does that make me a hopeless pie-in-the-sky idealist?  Perhaps.  

I'm not, however, naive.  I can, when necessary, face and accept reality, and I have.  Every student in my class will NOT get an A.  The choice and responsibility is up to them.  

All the same, it is rather depressing.  

Oh-my-gosh!  Have you felt the weather outside tonight?!  It's sheer heaven!  The lower sixties!  Windows open!  My dog feels great, and so do I!  It's on nights like this one that I once again have faith that my beloved autumn is just around the bend.  For once, I'm at home and I don't have a splitting migraine *knock on wood*!  

Well, I can't think of anything else to say--or perhaps I'm merely unwilling to sacrifice this opportunity to simply sit back and breathe this majestic pre-fall air.   

Thursday, August 30, 2007

[Autumn Dreams and Aging Days]

My apartment is not junked up today.  I cleaned like a madwoman last night.  Tomorrow night's plans include scrubbing the place down (particularly the bathtub).  It's true, kids, I get lazy for a while when I get overwhelmed, but when I get the urge to clean, I clean.  

Yes, I'm well aware of my insanity.

Did you know that I turn 24 in just a month and a half... two-dozen years old?  I find that so hard to believe, for many reasons.  One, that will mean that I will be nearly at the halfway point of my twenties, and to beat a dead horse, single for every hour of that time.  Seriously, that doesn't bother me like it used to.  I'm alright with singleness--well, today anyway.  I honestly don't have the time or energy to date anyway.  I'm either in school (both teaching and learning) or doing something for school every waking hour, except on Sunday, when I go to church.  That whole relationship thing can certainly wait--besides, who would I date?  I barely know anyone around here yet, and I wouldn't dare date someone I don't already know a bit about.  

Oh, yeah... I was talking about my age--not dating.  Hello, digression.  

Anyway, the other reason is that I can't figure out for the life of me when that transition period happened--when I stopped being shocked to find my friends married and/or having kids.  We're actually at that age where it's to be expected.  What the heck?  How did that much time whiz by without my knowing it?!  You see, this is why I never wanted to grow up quickly like everyone else.  I really did see that things were changing too quickly for my mind to grasp.

[insert transition from age to decor] I went to Pier1 after church on Sunday to see if I could find any good deals on which to spend my Uncle Scott's graduation gift card he gave me nine-freakin'-months ago (and of which I had only used up fifteen bucks), and I suddenly found myself in autumn heaven.  Pumpkin spice candles!  Visions of crimson, goldenrod, and orange!  Acorns and leaves, berries and gourds!  I caved and spent 30 bucks (30 bucks to go!) on a decorative candle (which could serve as a centerpiece), autumn glass beads, and a ceramic pumpkin filled with a pumpkin-spice candle.  Naturally, I went to Walmart yesterday and snatched an autumn wreath and a mulled cider candle to complete the ensemble.  I sit in my living room now, look around, and just smile.  I heart fall.  Now 'tis time for the temp to drop.  No more 90-degree temps!  Let us now protest!  

It's not like I go out of my way to go to pool anyway.  I'm not fond of sunburns, and really, I've not felt too comfortable in a swimsuit this year--I feel rather plump.  

Oh, and heat triggers my migraines, and Lord knows what an ordeal those are for me in the best of conditions!  

Well, I've once again managed to stay up an hour later than originally intended.  I better try to shut my brain off and go to bed.  Oy.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

[Life in the Grad Lane]

I've been singing that song ever since Kelsie saved my sanity. Beautiful.

Yesterday wiped me out so badly that I actually slept until my alarm went off this morning--at ten a.m. And I still didn't want to get up.

My plans for the rest of the day: go to WalMart. That one is a major must. I'm running out of food. Secondly, finally put away all my clean laundry. I've been back since Saturday night, and my bag is still staring at me from the middle of the living room floor. Thirdly, clean house! I haven't had much time on my hands lately, and it's really starting to look like it. Hey, what am I saying? Starting?! I can only see the floor in sections. Next, I've got two more papers to read over and give commentary. Finally, I want to find out whose day it is on TCM. I've been trying to remember which day is scheduled to be devoted to Buster Keaton.

Have you ever shared an office the size of a classroom with 32 other people? I am again reminded of why I live alone. Don't mistake me--no one's annoying me or hogging desk space. I just feel like I'm putting make-up on while onstage in front of an audience. It just feels so open.


I swear, I'm about to lose my mind. I've been wrestling and grappling for two days trying to remember a song we sang in CCF. The thing is, I can't remember more than two words in a row, yet I've got the melody ringing in my mind. I know I love this song, and I know it's a hymn. Part of the song, I'm fairly certain, is some variation of, "shall sweeter, purer be" or "shall richer, sweeter be" or something to that effect. I've done lyric searches until I've started to pull my hair out, and I haven't found it yet. If I were to see the freakin' lyrics, I would know them.

Maybe Kelsie could help me... I know she and Katie led worship with this song more than once.

To be continued with the lyrics someday... I hope.

EDIT: Kelsie is awesome. "O Love That Will Not Let Me Go," with the chorus, "You're all I want, all I need, everything, Lord, everything."

O Love that will not let me go
I rest my weary soul in thee
I give thee back the life I owe
That in thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be

You're all I want
All I need
Everything, Lord everything (2x)

O Light that followest all my way
I yield my flickering torch to thee
My heart restores its borrowed ray
That in thine sunshine's blaze its day
May brighter, fairer be

You're all I want
All I need
Everything, Lord everything (2x)

O Joy that seeks me through my pain
I cannot close my heart to thee
I trace the rainbow thru the rain
And feel the promise is not in vain,
Morn shall tearless be

You're all I want
All I need
Everything, Lord everything (2x)

O Cross that liftest up my head
I dare not ask to fly from thee
I lay in dust life's glory dead
Where from the ground there blossoms red;
Life shall endless be

By the way, to hear the melody as I know it (sans chorus):

Check it out. I love it.

Monday, August 27, 2007


That wicked little insomnia bug bit me again last night--it kept me up until 2 a.m., and that only gave four hours of sleep! Needless to say, I took at nap at home during my lunch period (don't worry... I did eat--just very quickly).

While I sat up trying to wind my mind back down to sleep level, I got the urge to peruse through my old blogs, including the ones on this site and my two old xanga sites (nikicox and godsjewel_tsu).

Friends, I fear that I've gotten mellow in recent months. Just a year and a half ago, I felt goofy and random enough to make such posts as:

Breaking news:Purple elephants ate my hairy pink socks, while the purple cats nested in his long, luxurious locks of seaweed.

I like sneeze. Handkerchief you.

Granted, such statements may frighten some of my acquaintances just a tad... but they're me. I'm not normal. I'm ok with that. Lately, however, my posts have been a bit... dull.
Niki is contemplating re-embracing her hare-brained side, at the risk of alienating her readers--all two of them.
I miss the influence of my Truman friends. I never felt too embarrassed to post nonsense or simply rant my feelings.
I'm coming back. Really, I am. Somehow or another, I'll be me again. Promise.

Friday, August 24, 2007

[The College Life]

This morning around 2 a.m., a half-hysterical woman was screaming obscenities and telling her boyfriend or date that she "aint going up to his place tonight, not after all his f*** s***!" I stumbled over to my door to double check if I had locked it good and tight.

During my first Freshman writing class this afternoon, a clap of thunder shook the building, and within seconds, the building across the quad squinted back at me through a thick, wet blur. What a day in which to drive home!

Speaking of teaching, my kids all have their first rough draft due today. I've read about half of them, and I'm pretty excited to see their final products. So much variety!

Well, the period is almost over, and my kids are checking out their peers' edits, so I better stop typing and give out the assignment.

Monday, August 20, 2007

[Back in Action]

Classes are back in session, and I'm back in them. It's gonna be a crazy semester! Not only am I taking 4 graduate classes (I'm dropping one--originally I had five), I'm teaching two freshman writing courses. Mondays are insane: I'm on campus, with meal-break exceptions, from 9 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Needless to say, Niki is one tiiiired little girl. I'm feeling pretty optimistic about the teaching aspect of life; I only wonder if I've got the time or motivation I need to do well in the grad classes. Now, I'm sure I'll be fine--I usually am. Blame it on sleepiness. A bath and bed are in the immediate future... just as soon as I down this glass of green tea.

Oh, and if you're wondering when I'll have time to... whatever, here's my fall schedule.









English 603









English 620

English 620


Office Hours

Office Hours



GA: Eng 110

Office Hours

GA: Eng 110

GA: Eng 110



GA: Eng 110

GA: Eng 110

GA: Eng 110






Bible Study



English 648: Jane Austen

English 513: Shakespeare