At the risk of sounding trite and cliché, time sure flies. Two months ago, I posted with the fabulous announcement of the new puppy (of whom I already have thousands of stories). Then, before I could update, the end-of-semester madness kicked in. I had to come up with the rest of the comps questions, grade student portfolios and conference with the students, come up with a rough thesis, and take my comprehensive exams. Lots of news, no time to post it.
But I finished comps (I don't know if I passed yet--I won't find out for probably another week or two--eep!) on Saturday, so I'm not trying to read 27 non-fiction books and 30 composition theory articles. I'm still working hard on my thesis and taking a summer class, but it's a sight less stressful.
This spring, I put in about 30 job applications. So far, nothing. Unless something changes in the next two months, I'll be moving home for a year and substituting at Reeds Spring and surrounding schools. I'll be honest--I'm not entirely looking forward to that, but it will give me time to build up my résumé (try to submit some papers to conferences, for example... maybe try to get a couple things published) and give job applications a little more focus. Not all bad--but I'm not gonna lie. I just want to find a full-time teaching job and settle down somewhere. This whole transitional thing is not so hot.
Anyway, that's why I've got the no-make-up-wrinkled-clothes-messy-hair-bloodshot-eyes look going on lately. If anyone wants to submit me to What Not to Wear, I won't be insulted--I'll be grateful. Ha.
As far as my schedule lately, my church friends have undoubtedly noted my absence since April. It hasn't been completely intentional. During the semester, the only opportunities I had to go home were on the weekends, and since I've got a dog that apparently thinks I'm another puppy, I definitely need that time to try to convince the little brat that I'm the alpha person, not the puppy-playmate/chew-toy/tug-of-war-rope. That should be changing, though. I did end up going home again this weekend, but that was because I'd spent the whole week in Springfield (Sunday night to Saturday afternoon) prepping for my comps, and by the time I got out of comps (in addition to having been up for 26 hours at that point), I realized I needed puppy time very badly. So I went home.
But that's done.
Here's my schedule for those of you wanting to find me/hang out with me (please note that study-time can always be interrupted):
Sunday mornings: Return to Springfield, go to NuBrew
Sunday afternoons: Study time, thesis writing time, optional hang-out time
Monday during the day: See Sunday afternoons
Monday 6:00-9:00 p.m.: Modern International Poetry (English 680)
Tuesday: See Sunday afternoon
Wednesday during the day: See Sunday afternoon
Wednesday 6:00-9:00 p.m.: M.I.P. (English 680)
Wednesday after class to Sunday morning: back home with the pup (you're free to come visit, though!)
That's the plan, and assuming I passed comps, graduation is July 31 at 1:00. I hope to see you there.
Now then, back to pup-dates.
First off, this dog is nuts. Cute, funny, intelligents... and nuts. Then again, she's a lab-mix, so I think it comes with the territory. For one thing, she's in love with my hair. On our back porch, we have a foldable chaise lounger that, over time, has been surrendered to the dog. If I should lay down on it, if she isn't sound asleep, she can't resist. If she's in front of me, she'll freeze, lock eyes with me, then fly through the air and land on my torso (hind legs firmly planted on my ovaries), pin me down, and chew on my hair. If she's behind me, I get no warning. I just suddenly have a forty-pound dog sitting on my head, chewing on my hands and hair.
Unless she's in the mood to run nonstop, she cannot allow herself to fetch just one item. She has to challenge herself. If you throw a ball, for example, she charges after the ball, grabs it, looks around, and finds something else to pick up as well. Her life's goal is to pick up two tennis balls. She can already pick up her volleyball.
Sometimes, she sleeps with her eyes partly open. It's a little unnerving, actually.
Do you know those old Coppertone commercials with the puppy pulling the little girl's bathing suit bottoms down? Well, one evening, Sassy got "the rips"--the condition in which she gets so wound up she just has to run with all her might and nip at everything she passes. It's funny to watch, by the way--her butt tries to move faster than her front, so her hind feet are almost in front of her front feet. Anyway, as she passed me, I tried to move out of her way, but she leapt into the air and grabbed me by the seat of my leggings, her baby teeth hooking in to the fabric, and, well, I'm glad it was late twilight, because I was definitely left in my shirt and underwear for a brief moment before I could react. In my yard, mind you. When I got inside, I found that she'd ripped three large holes in those leggings. Nice.
She thinks she's a lap dog. If I'm on the ground and it's not 90 degrees, she'll go find a bone to chew on, bring it over, and curl up in/on my lap. If I'm in the chair, she tries to climb my legs.
As much as she picks on me (or maybe because of this), she really misses me when I'm gone. When I got home Saturday, as I was gathering my belongings out of my backseat, Dad let her off the porch. All of a sudden, I felt a forty-pound puppy literally hugging me around the waist, licking the back of my arm, tinkling on my leg (if she hasn't emptied her bladder, she's prone to excitement peeing). Yup... I think she was glad to see me.
She then promptly jumped in the backseat of the Jeep, despite the boxes in the way, and we couldn't get her out. She thought it was time to go for a ride. Dad finally had to go to the other side, corner her, and lift her out of the car. My theory here is that she's learned that nearly every trip in the car involves stopping somewhere and meeting someone new, which is her life's joy. In spite of her very assertive insistence in being included in car trips, she's actually a good little traveller... pretty quiet (as opposed to her normal state), willing to travel long distances. I'm predicting road trips down the line.
Finally, Saturday night, we went over to our friends Jack and Sue's farm, where they have a two full-grown dogs (one of which is okay with the pup (Ladd), the other who thinks pups are a unbearable nuisance (Bob)) and... a new puppy, Patty. Sassy and Patty are pals. Patty is the only pup I know that can outplay Sassy. That night, those two pups played for a solid two hours (I know, I watched them). At most, they stopped for five minutes (they both decided they needed to curl up next to me for a few minutes... or climb on me for a few minutes--at one point, Sassy hugged my neck from behind and started chewing on my hair and ears)... then it was back to play.
I think this video's a good note on which to end. Until next time!