Tuesday, December 18, 2007

[WHOO-HOO-HOO-HOOOOOOOOOOO!]

I checked my grades this morning, and guess what.

I GOT A 4.0!!!!!!!!!!!  My first semester of graduate school, a.k.a. the semester from HELL, and I made straight A's for the first time since high school.

Oh, and I'm sitting in a hotel room in Tulsa, Oklahoma, waiting to board a plane tomorrow morning for Hawaii.  Yeah, that rocks.

I guess I get a little reprieve from the insanity also known as my normal life for awhile.  Yay!  My twitch in my nose is finally beginning to subside.

Friday, December 14, 2007

[Blue is Back]






The blue streak is back, boys and girls, and looking better than ever!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

[Narnia is Calling]

If you're viewing this entry from blogspot, click on the title to see the Prince Caspian trailer.

"Who Is This Lion?" (2004, with minor revisions)

Who is this Lion, this Aslan?
Who is this Emperor Over the Sea?
What is the Magic that beckons me out of my world
Into Narnia, Archenland, and infamous Calormen?
Satyrs, centaurs, unicorns, fauns, and dwarves,
Beasts that speak, mice that battle... and conquer
Sons of Adams, Daughters of Eve
The rightful rulers of Narnia
Moments into the pages I transform into
Tenderhearted Queen Lucy the Valiant
Changed and redeemed King Edmund the Just
High King Peter the Magnificent
Dubious Queen Susan the Gentle.
Yanked out of this dreary dimension,
Seated on the throne at Cair Paravel,
Sailing past the Lone Islands in the Eastern Sea
Traversing through the lilies--are they lilies indeed?
Drinking the life-giving waters of the Silver Sea.
As Susan and Lucy, I bury my tear-stained face
In Aslan's mane, drinking in His Lion strength.
I am a Lioness. I am ready.
Then, beyond the Last Battle, as the final star falls,
And the door closes forever on old Narnia,
With an icy blast that cuts straight to the bone,
I turn to eagerly drink it all in:
The Narnia with Narnia, all that is beloved.
My hair blows in the wind as I race on,
Faster than I ever believed I could run:
Further in, and higher up, and bowing before His throne.

Monday, December 10, 2007

[Free-Floating Anxiety Attacks at Midnight]

I definitely did not sleep well last night.  I think I had a free-floating anxiety attack; I'm not sure how fast my heartrate was, but I'm estimating it came in at around 120/minute... maybe more.  Oh, no doubt, the cold medicines contributed, but stress definitely had a hand in the tossing and turning.  Any sleep I did get was punctured with dreams that I'd forgotten to grade one student's papers or that I'd have nothing written for my term paper presentation tonight in Jane Austen class.  Fortunately, neither are true; I've graded every paper turned into me thus far (I've checked), and I have two pages written so far on my Jane Austen report.  I'll have an hour between my 110 final exam period and the Jane Austen class, so I should at least be able to come up with another page or two--enough to talk for 15 or 20 minutes.  I have until the end of the week to finish writing it, and now that I've made some headway (and broken through that bit of writers' block), I should have it finished by tomorrow night.  Thank You, Lord.

All, the same, I'm not feeling so hot right now.  I confess, I wasn't exactly brokenhearted to look outside at 7:30 and see that the parking lot looked icy; I had a valid excuse for emailing Dr. Cadle and staying in and sleeping for another two hours.  These two hours, unlike my night hours, were real sleep--but unfortunately, not enough.  I think I'm going to run over to the student union around 2:30 and grab an energy drink.  I'll be here (on campus) and active until around 10:00 tonight.  Wow, I'm dizzy.  Yup... PSU, here I come.  

Maybe I won't wait until 2:30... maybe I'll go now... maybe...

Sunday, December 09, 2007

[Final Exam Madness]

An always-relevant old poem of mine:

"The Set-up"
Why do I set myself up this way? 
I know it'll never get anywhere.
I know he'll never look at me
Through the eyes I gaze at him.
Yet here I go again, on the same
Old beaten, worn-out path of mine;
Accidentally-on-purpose trying to
Run into him, to sneak a taste of his smile--
Maybe even steal a friendly hug.
I fought hard not to do this again--I did!
"You fool!" I snarl to myself, nursing
The wounds of another disappointing near-miss.
I just keep repeating history, I know.
He'll meet the perfect girl--not me!
I'll spot the two, hands entwined...
She and he, happy.  Ignorant of the world around.
Me, left to dig my heart from the pit of my gut.
Yet here I am, building my hopes again.
Lord, why do I do this to myself?
Why can't that girl ever be me?
Lord, that time has come once again;
Please pick up Your broken-heart dustpan
Because You'll need it soon, I'm sure.
I've set myself up again, and there
Is just no turning back now.

I rediscovered some of my poetry a couple nights ago while I was cleaning out old papers that mean nothing.  I'll probably post a few here and there, when the mood strikes, always tweaking something between the reading and the writing.  I did just now... I think I changed about 15 or 20 words.  

I finished grading papers tonight (or this morning?)!  I barely made it through the last three, and yet here I am, wide awake.  I guess reaching that point wound me up.  I still have to check over the final exams on Monday and Wednesday, and I'll have a few scraggler papers, but by all comparisons, I'm finished grading.  Now, once I finish my term paper for Jane Austen and my term paper and test for Shakespeare, I'll be completely finished with this semester.  Hallelujah!  Oh, I'll miss my first two classes dearly, but oy.  I need a break like a fish needs the water.  

I mean, look!  It's after 3:30 in the morning, and my sleep rhythm is so screwed up I can't sleep!  I wasn't planning to go to church tomorrow though, thankfully, because of the weather.  I just don't want to get out in that crap--I'm still not quite accustomed enough to city driving to want to compile that with icy roads.  Blech.  

In honor of winter weather and impending winter break, here are a couple of haikus:

Home with family
Sleep each day till afternoon
God bless Christmas break

Cold December morn
My dog runs to lick my face
Tongue froze to my cheek

Before Christmas break
Panic echoes through the halls
Finals break our minds

Ahh... some things never change.  And to think, this time last year, I was convinced I was about to embark on my last ever round of finals.  Oh, how we eat our words!

Hmm... one more poem to end the night... Oh!  Here's one, in honor of my spastic emotions:

"Whirlwind"

Shrieking and dancing with glee
Sobbing, heart-wrenched with sorrow
Heart soaring on hopeful winds
Chest pounding with bitter tears
Numb, paralyzed, too exhausted to feel a thing
Waken, start the whirlwind all over again

...and to all a good night.  Oh, by the way, I looked out my window... I'm not the only one around here still awake at this hour.  I'm surrounded by freaks! :)

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

[Hallelujah!]

I've finished all the assignments for two of my classes, and I think I may have done well!  I can't believe it, but as stressed and exhaused as I've been all semester, there is something of a chance (small as it may be) that I may end the semester with a 3.75 or even a 4.0!  Wouldn't it be wild if I graduated from grad school with a 4.0?  I doubt it will happen, but who knows?  The only reason I even consider it a possibility is that I got an A on my last Shakespeare assignment, and that's one of my two hardest classes.  

Anyway, this doesn't mean I'm anywhere near finished.  I still have 2 major term papers to write (and I mean every freakin' word), a comprehensive Shakespeare final, and 110 papers left to grade.  I really do enjoy reading and grading the memoir papers, but the position papers can drag a bit, and I'm still trudging through that pile.  It's not my students' fault--the majority of them worked very hard and it shows.  I'm just tired, and I get a little weary of seeing some of the same mistakes in every paper.  It wouldn't even be so bad if I didn't have to give comments, but trying to word the helpful criticism so it doesn't sound too harsh and discouraging can be difficult.  None of the papers are bad, and I don't want them to think their papers are.  At the same time, it can look a little contradictory if I say "good work" and only give them a C.  I have to give my reasons without sounding like a meanie.  

Geez, how can I already be hungry?  Crazy body.  You know, I think tomorrow might be a good day for some Chinese food.

Ooh, and I have my schedule all set up for next semester, classes I'm taking, teaching, my office hours, and all.  I hope this shows up alright:

 

 

 

Sunday

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

9:00

 

English 603: Practicum

 

 

 

 

 

9:30

Church at NuBrew Church and Coffeehouse

English 500: Nonfiction Writing

 

English 500: Nonfiction Writing

 

 

10:00

 

 

 

 

10:30

 

 

 

 

11:00

 

 

 

 

 

 

11:30

 

 

 

 

 

 

12:00

 

 

Office Hours

 

Office Hours

 

 

12:30

 

 

 

 

 

1:00

 

English 110: Writing I

English 110: Writing I

English 110: Writing I

 

1:30

 

 

2:00

 

 

English 110:

Writing I

 

English 110:

Writing I

 

 

2:30

 

 

 

 

 

3:00

 

 

 

 

 

3:30

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4:00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4:30

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5:00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5:30

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6:00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6:30

 

English 600: Research

 

 

 

 

 

7:00

 

 

 

 

 

 

7:30

 

 

 

 

 

 

8:00

 

 

 

 

 

 

8:30

 

 

 

 

 

 

9:00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anyway, if you're looking for me at all this spring, you'll know where I am.  Looks like my Mondays are going to be almost as dreadful as this semester.  Still, I get a longer afternoon, so naps are an even greater possibility.  I may survive.  

I am looking forward to sitting under a palm tree for three weeks with a ball of yarn, two knitting needles, and a small pile of books.  Oh, sure, I could stake out and search for cute guys, but frankly, that could end up being even more stressful than this semester has been.  I think I'd be safer keeping an eye out for the fellas that live around here... and certainly not until I get back and rested.  ;)

I hate to say it, but I may need a stronger prescription on my glasses again this year.  I'm not sure... maybe it's just glare on my lenses.  Either way, my eyes are crying out for rest.  I guess that's my cue. 

Good night, all!  I hope my next post is a little more coherent. :)