Thursday, May 06, 2010

[Hickory Dickory Dock]

I had a mouse in my house yesterday, and I'm embarrassed to confess that I did all the girly, mouse-phobic things I used to make fun of others for doing.

More details to follow soon (as in, after the class I need to be preparing for right now).

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

[The Twenty-Sixth Year]

Normally, I write this post on April 14, but as I think we're all aware of by now, it's not exactly been a normal year.  Besides, there's a certain parallel present this year that I think has made it more difficult to let myself think about this topic more than necessary.

Because this year, I turned 26.  Don't get the significance?  Well, let me put it this way: 17 years ago, on Wednesday, April 14, 1993 (even the days of the week are the same), my mom passed away at the age of 26.  Yeah, that'll do it.

In all my years of birthday festivities, this was the one I did not celebrate.

The crazy thing is that this year, though the most dreaded of all, has been probably my most successful year to date:

I got a job.  Career-related job.
I bought a home.
I graduated with my master's degree.

And I still have five months left in the year.

All the same, it's been hard to think about her this year, knowing that once I complete the ninth month of this birth year, I will have already lived a longer life than my mom did.  For me, that's a bit traumatizing.  On top of all this, I've gotten to see people from our past that I've not seen in years--some even since she was alive.  They knew her when she was a young teen.  They watched her succumb to paralysis.  

They can remember her better than I can.

That's the part that hurts the most--the fact that I can't remember much anymore.

Do I have a point beyond this?  No, not today.  I just wanted to clarify that, yes, it still sucks, perhaps this year more so than many others.

Monday, May 03, 2010

[Snapping Point, or, The Joys of Teaching]

Well, I finally reached breaking point with my 8:00 a.m. class this morning and sent out the following bright and cheery letter this morning:

It is 8:03 a.m. Monday morning of the last week of the semester before finals, and so far, four people have shown up out of 18. This has been a terrible pattern lately. I realize this is a little bit after the fact, but you should not be missing class. Oversleeping, outside of the rare one or two occurrences, is not an excuse--set your alarm across the room or set two alarms. There are practical ways to ensure that you get up on time. In a real world job scenario, if you did not make it to work, you would be let go without much ceremony. Again, serious illness is a valid excuse, as is a close death in the family, but otherwise you should be here if you want to pass the class, especially now. Workshop days, though they lack the lecture element, are important--you get out of them what you put into them.

Guys, I hate to be the mean teacher who lectures her class on courtesy, but when 4-7 students are the average for three weeks straight, when there are 18 students enrolled in the class, we have a problem.

I expect to see any of you that want to take the remainder of the semester seriously on Wednesday morning, Friday morning, and the morning of the final exam. Otherwise, do not be surprised when you get your grades and find that you're going to have to retake 101.

Again, guys, I don't say these things to be mean or harsh; however, they need to be said and to be taken seriously.