Category Archives: frustrations

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So I continue to contemplate moving over to blogger. And I’m contemplating having a blog that is not for academics although this blog hardly addresses issues of an academic nature. And maybe that’s the problem? I think too that I’ve been missing Maude a lot lately as well, that “Nola” seems like something that I’ve “accomplished,” since my goal was always to return home. I’m not exactly “home,” but I’m close enough. Maybe what I need is a blog that is personal, where I discuss the crap in my life and one where I work through the academic stuff. I have academic things planned. I have research goals. Maybe I just feel centered on that right now, like since I’m still in the early stages I don’t have much strife with these projects so I don’t have much to write about? Maybe I’m just not that into all the ins and outs of academia in the larger picture beyond what concerns me in my little corner and that I wish I were.

Maybe it’s just that time of the month. I usually feel like I’m having some kind of identity crisis about once a month I feel like.

Maybe it’s just still trying to feel like I’m back on track after spring break.

Actually, maybe I *am* having a crisis about my research. The ideas are there. I just don’t know where to start. How I’m going to reign this all in. And I need to get back to the theoretical part of it. And I need to really focus my MWF mornings on research. This means that I’ve got to do what I did in the beginning of February–when I want chocolate, I bake apples. I know sugar is sugar, but apples don’t keep me up at night.

I’m going to toodle around on blogger for a while. If I move or add anything, I’ll let you know.

HOpe you all are well!

 

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I’m up early this morning. I should have slept in. But I had trouble sleeping last night. I was totally wired after the Walking Dead season finale. Plus, the J made a zombie cheesecake (I’ll have to post pictures)–awesome, and of course, even though I’m trying to cut back on the dairy and gluten, I had to have some of that, but the sugar… oh boy.

But I decided to call the g’parents and not go to their place yesterday. I didn’t get the week’s worth of reading I had planned done, so I’ve got to readjust my schedule here. I’ll work through that in a minute. But I did get my bathroom thoroughly cleaned and the bedroom. Holy mess batman. I did about three loads of laundry. I vacuumed and steamed cleaned the floors in the bedroom and dusted the furniture. And I got ALL of the crap up off the floor. Even when the Red Rocket walked in the room last night he looked around with a “where did all the stuff that was by my bed go” expression. And I washed the dogs’ beds. Then I took a nap. Then I worked out for about 90 minutes. It was a hard workout, but it felt great. I so needed it. Then I made almost 2 dozen hamburgers for our Walking Dead party last night. My standard “Black and Blue” burger and what I now call “The Shane” (it’s stuffed with andouille–so it’s very meaty). We rewatched some episodes and I cried again over some deaths, and I’m totally pumped and stunned by the finale, and it’s going to be a long road to October now.

While I didn’t get as much done as I had hoped I would, I’m glad that I got my bathroom and the bedroom done. That was a huge task in and of itself. Now I have to keep plugging away at the laundry and work on the office space here. And at some point this week we’ve got to shave the dog. He’s a miserable boy right now with all that fur. But at least a lot of that fur is off the bed and off the floor in the bedroom.

So hmmmm, this morning. I either read some stuff for the rest of the week and do some prep or I get a jump start on some grading here, but I do have all of the freshman class period on Wednesday to sit and grade while they write. And I think I am taking this afternoon off from my workout. Thankfully we have a bunch of leftover hamburgers so dinner for tonight and tomorrow is set. All I have to make is a veg or two, so that will be easy. Or I can go back to bed and take a nap here before I have to get ready. Or sit and blog. Or do some research, which is what I should be doing on MWF mornings.

It’s hard to get back to that research mode after an entire quarter of not doing so. I think I need to try a mid-morning teaching schedule for the fall and see how that works see if that gives me time to not get up at the crack of dawn, time to get reading in and time to work out before class. I’ve been toying with this for  a bit here.

Well, anyway, I’m babbling now. I should go read. and make a to do list.

I should add too that one of my classes this quarter is a lot of fun so far. They’re really engaged, and even if they’re not keeping up with the reading, they’re engaged and paying attention during class discussion. Or they appear to be. It’s a good vibe. The freshman class is a bit more difficult. It’s a little like pulling teeth. They don’t want to talk, although a couple of them are really trying. It’s just a bit exhausting. And the TR lit class is o.k. The 8 am lit class is usually just o.k. It’s just such a long class.

All right, I’m going to figure something out now.

Oh, p.s. I’ve tried commenting on lots of your blogs out there–I’m having trouble, still, with blogger letting me comment even logged into my wordpress account. So I’m not anti-social or wrapped up in myself (okay, I am but that has nothing to do with the issue here) that I can’t be bothered to comment. I keep trying. So I think I may have to sit and figure this out or switch to blogger or do something. Just wanted to let you all know.

Again, Hump Day, I wish you were Friday.

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So I’ve been trying a new schedule the last almost week. It has been amazing for my productivity. But it has sucked royally for my workout plans and has been amazing at sapping my energy.So it’s February 1, and I’m close to where I was on January 1, and that’s not where I want to be.

What has also happened with this schedule experiment is that I’ve been so exhausted that a) meltdowns are easier at night; b) I really just want a whole bunch of wine to unwind; c) I can’t muster the energy to cook, so unless I get a burst of energy or start cooking at 3:30, it doesn’t happen.

So I had been trying to go to bed a bit earlier, like 9-9:30 and get up at 5 am. At first it was awesome! I’d get in about an hour of work, which has been putting me a head of the game. But then here’s what happens. I work then non-stop (except for about 45 minutes to shower, eat, get to school) and then I just go blazing through until about 2 pm. Which means that by 2 I’ve had essentially an 8 hour work day. I come home, chug some water, say hi to the husband, and then I crash. Since I’ve had a little bit of grading to do, then maybe I might rest for an hour and then grade for another hour. By the time we watch Jeopardy (we’ve been watching Jeopardy together like a little old married couple), I can’t even stand. That’s on MWF. On TR, since they are short days, I either try to ride the wave of work when I get home, or I crash and nap. When I do that, that means that everything I should have done while I was napping doesn’t get done, like groceries or WF prep. By the time that’s done, I’m exhausted again.

Needless to say, where I had been working out in the afternoon, trying to get work done in the morning to make sure I had time in the afternoon seems to be counterproductive here.

What was I doing before that was working for my workouts? Going to bed between 9-10 and sleeping until 6. Lately it seems that even if I get 8 hours between 9-5am, I don’t feel as rested as the 10-6 am sleep cycle. While I used to be a total morning person and early bird, I found out two summers ago that 11-7 seemed to be my ideal–if I went to bed at 11, I could wake up at 7 am naturally, every morning without and alarm. It’s weird to me though that that’s now the case. I used to get up at 4:45 am no problem. Now, even after 8 hours of sleep I don’t feel rested.

So, we are going to go back to that plan. This means then that one of two things has to happen. I put in an extra hour of work at night after I get in from my workout and have the J cook on MW nights (we had started to do that before) and/or I put in some extra work on the weekend mornings to get caught up/get ahead. Because these few days that I’ve not been able to work out have just started this downward spiral again. It’s like 4 steps up, 3.5 steps down. Maybe I should give the WW just one more try? For a month? See if I can get past 140. Really try?  Get me to a semi-solid place before the start of the next quarter?

I woke up with a terrible stomach ache this morning (seriously? could I have managed to put more gluten and dairy in my system as I did last night I have no idea if that would have been possible, but this is what happens when there are meltdowns, which seem to be happening on Monday nights right now but this week it’s been a double shot), but I feel rested. I feel gross, but at least I’m not exhausted. A bit tired, but not like I had to drag myself out of bed. I even made it up before the alarm. And honestly, it would be nice to be finishing up the power point thing for the 12:30 class right about now, but what does it matter if it’s finished now or at 10:30, 2 hours before class? I guess it matters if it means I’m not zapped by 2:00. During my office hours today I have to finish the p.p. and read the short story that I’m teaching tomorrow, and if there’s time, I’ll start reading the one for Monday. Ideally, I’d like to spend Friday’s office hours just grading the lit classes’ papers so I can focus on the theory class’s stuff this weekend. For Friday’s class a student talked me into baking them cookies, which i’m not going to bake, but that the J is going to bake. But it works out well because we’re doing gender and queer theory right now, and we’re going to watch this on Friday (which I know is just such a clearly obvious movie for the chapter we’re doing, but for an introductory class, I don’t think that obvious is bad per se, and I think the movie makes important points about what girls and boys are supposed to be like in a funny and endearing way), so I think having the husband bake my class cookies is a nice way to break some gender rules. Plus, I think I’d like to propose an entire class on gender/queer theory. I think many of the students in this particular class would be interested in it. But that’s neither here nor there at the moment. I’m just glad to have a day off from the 8 am class on Friday. I can’t wait for it to be the end of the quarter. I’m not entirely jazzed about starting all over again in five weeks, but oh well.

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I’ve been beating myself up a lot lately. I think I’m just suffering from a mild to moderate case of depression here. And a lack of commitment to things that I need to be doing not to be depressed.

Like my work. Which is how I know I might be depressed because I love my job here. I do not feel beat down by this job. I actually have time to theoretically stress free work on my own research and stuff, but I haven’t done any of that.

Perhaps it’s because even though it feels like spring today, it’s still technically “winter,” and we’ve had enough gray and rainy days to affect my mood? I’m not actually behind on my work yet, but after today, if I don’t get the grading done, then I probably will be. And I have students coming in tomorrow and for the rest of the week to talk about their revisions in the other class, so I’ve got to get the one class done so they can as well and just be done with it.

And honestly, I think if I do get that monkey off my back then I will feel a ton better than how I am feeling now because it is a burden at this point to have it lingering. And since I’ve been here, it’s been rare for me to have papers for more than a week. Even when all the classes come in at once. Fortunately I spent yesterday and Saturday morning reading for tomorrow’s and Wednesday’s lit classes (it was a chunk of work to read) that I at least don’t have that hanging over me. I still have a bit I need to do tomorrow for the theory class, but at least I have tomorrow to do it.

Look, I know it sounds overly dramatic, but life just seems insurmountable right now. Maybe I’m just still catching up on all that sleep I didn’t get last week. And my head’s a little stopped up. I think I just need another week where I can not think of school or anything school related, sleep, and be. Plus, I’ve still got that abstract hanging over my head that really needed to be done yesterday, too. I’m giving myself until Wednesday to pull my shit together for that one. Grading must be done first.

The other thing driving me nuts is my whole weight loss plan/issue thing. Yeah, I know I tore myself a new one before my bday about actually paying attention to the numbers, but it’s so counterproductive and frustrating for me! If I’m sitting around stressing about it, the scale is not going to move. My body just refuses to let the stress go because it’s all about the numbers. At some point I’ve got to pay attention to it, and at some point the scale has got to move downward, but the counterproductive part is the obsessive focus on the numbers. It’s getting out of control. I eat pretty clean about 80% of the time. And maybe that 20% really is the problem. But it is up from about 40-50% of the time. We did eat out more this week than normal because I hadn’t gone to the grocery and I just didn’t feel good. And the J did cook for me, too.  And I know that this is tied into my depressive bout right now, and it is related to not working out last week as much because that’s what makes me feel better, and I know this knot in my back won’t go away until I relax and get back to some kind of sensible balance or control, and I’m focusing all my energy on the scale. That is wrong. I’ve got to hide the scale. Seriously. I think I’ll go through my closet today and find what fits well enough to wear to work and put that at the front and plan my wardrobe out like I plan the nightly meals so that way I don’t have to go through the “what fits today” dance and can maybe wear something other than jeans to work?

The point is, I’ve got to reframe this. I know I do my best when I look at weight as secondary. And this may mean that we run the half marathon instead of the full marathon if I can’t put in the training for the full and not get injured. I don’t know. Maybe Health, Fitness, Stress Relief need to be my mantra.

Perhaps I just don’t respect the process. Perhaps I’m just a whiner.

This turned out to be a lot whinier than I thought. So right now, I’m going to try to knock out some response papers for one of the lit classes. I think that will make me feel better.

ETA: Now I know why I’ve been avoiding these papers. Of the ten I’ve graded thus far, 4 are Fs and 2 are Ds. Which is actually not too surprising as only about 5 people participate in class discussion, there have been lots of absences, and it’s not clear that any of them are really keeping up with the reading at all.

ETA: The grading for the lit classes is done! Yay! I’m going to finish some laundry, work out, run, write their midterm for the end of the week so that’s done, and then I will have some wine and a very nice, well deserved dinner. Seriously. I knew my mood would change once I had this off my back. And I know I’ll feel even better after yoga and a run. Not bad for four hours worth of work. I feel so much better.

Scrooge Rant that may Poof.

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Here’s a disclaimer. I think I’m about to sound like a real Scrooge, and I don’t mean to harsh anyone’s cheer, but I’ve got a lot on my mind that putting into a diary just ain’t helping me get my shit in the right frame of mind. And I know I’ve been whiny lately here, too. And I think one of my new year’s resolutions, which I may just revamp in the spirit of New Year’s (what was I thinking doing all of that six weeks ago??) is to work on the positivity here.

And this post may go poof, too, because I fear I really do sound classist. But it’s really more about how judgmental the following people are toward those who do not make the same decisions they did.

There’s a lot of stuff sticking under my craw right now. And this has nothing to do with anyone with whom I’m FB friends who actually read this blog. Mostly it’s to do with my sister in law, my brother, and my cousin and a friend of mine from Home City. And I’m afraid that this is going to make me sound classless, classist, and frankly like a big fat bitch, but here it goes because the judgmentalness of these people bother me and it breaks my heart when there are actually REAL families in need. And I have NOTHING against living off Hamburger Helper (though I think one can make a better meal, on average, for roughly the same price) and I have NOTHING against buying clothes at a thrift store. The J has incredible luck at thrift stores. Me, not so much. This is not my point.

Look, I think there’s a HUGE difference between being “poor” and being just “broke.” I think one can be less than affluent, in the lower middle class, but still not “poor.” And this is what pisses me off because there are legitimately poor people out there, all year long, not just during the holidays, who have few resources to even get themselves out of their situations. And I think the most tragic of this group are the working poor because I think ironically, if they’re working, they have less support because they’re making money and beyond the scope of a lot of help.

To my Sister In Law, my Brother, and my PITA Drama Queen Diva Cousin: You are NOT poor if you own your own home, keep up with the mortgage and own at least one car. In the case of my SIL and bro–you own two cars and you have a scooter that someone left to you. And your parents buy most of your kids’ shit. You may only make $50K combined a year, but you are not freaking poor. You just don’t have a lot of disposable income. There’s a big difference. But we all know that you have a ton in savings for yourself because you insist that you are “poor” and make your parents take care of your kids. That’s not poor–that’s just selfish, imho. And your Christmas gift expectations are ridiculous. You expect us to spend hundreds of dollars on you and your children and you dole out “family” gifts that are $5 gift cards to starbucks. And we’re cheap if we do the same–the “oh, that’s it? Um, thanks?” comment is not cool.

To my cousin: You own a freaking house with a goddamn pool! And a Ford Expedition! And you drive that Expedition around a majorly congested Texas city. You are not fucking poor. You just seem to have made some poor choices, but if you are not having trouble making your mortgage payment, feeding your kids or gassing your car (indeed if your only complaint is that you can’t get two cars and you want another car because it’s more convenient to your lifestyle), then you’re not poor. You’re not poor because you choose to feed your kids Hamburger Helper (which she claimed she feeds them that because she can’t afford to buy filet mignon for dinner, a ridiculous comparison because really, who the fuck buys filet mignon for a regular weekly meal for their kids??). Actually, you could save money by NOT buying Hamburger Helper and other boxed processed foods that are bad for you anyway.

And to my dear friend–please don’t complain on FB about how you have no money to buy your kids the latest things so their friends will think they are cool and then turn around and drop over $300 on a brand new iPhone (so you can be cool) when there’s nothing wrong with the phone you have just because you can have an upgrade. And then refer to your giant Christmas tree as a “Charlie Brown tree.” No. You are not poor. You make poor decisions.

And I’m not saying I’m any better. But here’s the thing–don’t fucking judge me because those aren’t MY decisions. Sure, I’ve made a lot of poor decisions in my life. I have destroyed my credit and we’ve done some stupid shit in the last few months and our savings have dramatically dwindled and I won’t get a paycheck between June and September and the J is still unemployed and we’re struggling, but it would be an insult to poor people if I referred to myself as poor. We’re just broke and borderline stupid. And we’ve done some stupid shit. But the fact that we own two cars, one new, dear cousin, doesn’t make us “rich” or better than you–it means we have two sensible sized vehicles, appropriate to our needs and to where we live. And I have every fucking right to be excited about that car without you passing judgement and the “oh it must be nice…” comment. It’s not like I bought a fucking Audi for crying out loud, and if I did? Bite me.  And you know what, I don’t actually care that all your kids’ clothes come from thrift stores or are hand me downs. And neither does any body else. Besides you home school your kids, so what other kids are going to make fun of them? (which is one of her complaints). But don’t judge me because that’s not where I shop. And my SIL and Bro are the same way. I hate the “oh, must be nice…” comments. This really is the thing that gets to me. Their self-righteousness. And I think it’s insulting to people who actually are in need–to those who can’t even get a clunker, who don’t own their homes and can barely pay rent, who need government assistance to feed their kids (I can’t imagine how demoralizing that must feel–not that it’s a bad thing AT ALL), what it must be like to not even be able to provide the basics, to be without insurance. It’s not a “hard candy Christmas” if it’s that you’re only spending $1000 rather than $3000. And then complain about how everyone else’s Christmas will be better and “oh, it must be nice…”

And it’s my fault that it’s letting me ruin my Christmas spirit. And I’m sorry for spreading the negativity, but why does it have to be about stuff?? It should be a time of cheer and niceness and being with family and friends, and loving your life even if it’s not what you want it to be and hope. And that doesn’t even have to be religious either. Even spending Christmas alone doesn’t have to be depressing either.  I’ve done it many times, so I’m not just talking out of my ass here.

I don’t care if you complain that you can’t do what you want, buy what you want, lament not being able to do more for your kids or yourself or whatever. That’s fine. I wish I could have picked out something extravagant for Christmas for the J to get me. I wish he could get me the Xbox Connect so I can play that Black Eyed Peas dance game. I so wish we could get a t.v. for the bedroom and another for the guest room with a Blu-Ray player so I can turn that room into a workout room. Sure, it’s not fair that the J doesn’t have a job and maybe if he did, I could get all of this stuff. I wish I could go get my hair done for Christmas. And I really want a giant fucking gift card to Banana Republic and Williams Sonoma and Origins so I can go shopping. I so wish all of these things were possible. I wish I could get the J something really cool and expensive. I wish I could buy bookshelves. I wish I wouldn’t have had to use my bday money for groceries. And if you end up with an Xbox Connect and the Black Eyed Peas game, I will be jealous and will come over and play, but I would never throw the “it must be nice comment” at you. And if I do, please respond with “you know what, it sure fucking is! Fuck off!” Because all of those things would be really nice. But it’s stuff. It’s cliche’, but I’d rather that the J is here with me than in Afghanistan than have an Xbox. Seriously. And I don’t even have any presents under the tree (the J sent them to Home City accidentally because he didn’t switch the billing address), but that doesn’t ruin Christmas. I just don’t get the who Christmas is an excuse to get a bunch of crap you don’t need. (My sister is bordering on this, too. Nobody gives a fuck that you can’t spend a stupid amount of money on gifts. Seriously–well, except my bro and SIL.)

So do I sound like a total bitch? I will post some Christmas cheer here soon.

Sigh.

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Argh. I just really really want to sit around and whine today! I am, if wonders will never cease, caught up on my grading. I take up a stack of fresh essays tomorrow morning and then a set of revisions tomorrow night. Man how I LOVE electronic submissions!! I get through the grading so much quicker because I can type faster than I write, and it doesn’t hurt my hands–they don’t get all cramped up, and I’m not as grumpy because it doesn’t take as long. Plus, it keeps me from marking every.single.thing. It forces me to focus on the larger issue, the content, the argument (and obviously if there are multiple and glaring grammar issues, but if there are, then we address them as a class this time around). It’s been good for me. I think it makes my comments better and more focused, which in turn helps them. And if I want to go somewhere and grade, all I have to do is lug (hardly lug) my little macbook air instead of a stack of papers. And they are stored on the site, so if there are any grade contests, then it’s easy to pull up the essay and my feedback. I love it! It makes me so efficient!! I’ve got to try to utilize my office hours well today so that I can get some reading for next week done so that I can spend the weekend working on that small article due in three weeks. I’m going to grade as much as I can during my office hours tomorrow morning and during their class time (It’s an “independent work” day since they have much due in the next 1.5 weeks–there are a few who will use the the time wisely, so for those who are thankful for it, it’s not a wasted non-class).

So the article. I have the book almost finished. Yay. Instead of working out in the mornings, since that’s not been going so well the last couple of weeks, I’ve been reading. And that has been going well. So I will continue to do that until the end of the quarter. Except today. I slept in a little bit and I’m moving slow. The J went back to Home City to work for a few days and for drill. I miss the dude terribly. But it’s good. Four days of work and a drill weekend gets us 2 car payments, so that’s great. And at least he has a safe new car to drive up there, with apparently really great gas mileage–this model gets 35 on the hwy; our previous one got 28, and the banana mobile gets between 23-26 on the hwy, so score! I miss my sentra which got nearly 40 on the hwy, but shit, 35 is nothing to sneeze at. That means we should be able to get to our Thanksgiving thing easily on a little more than 1/2 a tank of gas which will be a super cheap trip then!

Anyway, the article thing. Reading in the morning. Positive. Have been able to knock out a lot of stuff most mornings this week before classes. I like it. I haven’t actually shifted the workouts to the afternoons though (except yesterday), which is bad because, hello marathon training! But this is always the case right? It’s crunch time and things get thrown out of balance for a variety of reasons. And I need to learn balance and consistency.

Next quarter will be easier, I hope, because a) we get breaks, and b) I’ll have one new prep instead of two. And I guess the other class will be like a half prep because I need to change some of the stuff from this semester, but not a whole lot I don’t think.

But anyway, focus, the article. I’m back to feeling like I can get this done, especially since the J is gone for a few days, possibly a week. We’ll see if I still feel so positive after diving into the theory. Plus it will depend on how much I really get done this weekend. I don’t believe I have any social engagements. I do need to spend a couple of hours cleaning; however, the focus for tomorrow and Saturday will be the article. And then part of Sunday.

And then I will run. I will run in the afternoons.

And I rejoined WW, because this shit is getting out of control and I have no discipline and rather than losing weight this quarter, I’ve managed to gain like another five pounds. Even with the working out, which is inconsistent at best, and the lack of consistency is probably the problem. So yeah. It’s been a rocky week though for the WW and I’ve not done that well, but I’m trying to get back into the swing of things, so we’ll see.

And I should go get ready.

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I’ve got to learn pacing. I think I do need to, from now on, stick to some kind of grading rule, especially during the week, and if I pick up drafts on a Friday. I got squat done yesterday (including no workouts) because I was exhausted from a little over four hours of grading on top of almost four hours of teaching. That was a long ass day yesterday. And for the next month, I’ve got to get better about that.

It’s not like they were drafts I had been sitting on either. These were drafts that I took up Monday morning. Yes, monday morning. And I finished them and their revision from last week yesterday afternoon after one moderately successful class and one not so successful class. (Guess who’s getting a quiz on Thursday?!) But yesterday when I got home, I just crashed. Seriously. We opened a bottle of wine, make some burgers, ate a large amount of chips and salsa and had lots of kit kat minis for desert, and watched Futurama and The X Files for about five hours. No kidding. I can’t afford to just zone out like this from exhaustion one day a week and not get anything on that article done! Now I’m starting to panic about it. So why am I blogging and not reading? Because this is my “waking up” time before I workout.

I will say that *not* grading as soon as I got up yesterday did indeed help me be able to knock out all of the papers during the day yesterday, but it wiped me out. So I’ve got 70 (roughly) lit analyses coming in on Thursday. I’ll start on them during my office hours after class, teach, and then use the last office hour to prep for Friday’s class. Then during my office hour on Friday, I’ll grade what I can. I’m going to limit the grading to 1 hour on Saturday and 1 hour on Sunday and 1 hour on Monday, and then use Tuesday’s office hours to finish them up if needed. I know I have students who are going to want to see me all week, so I’ve got to figure out how to negotiate that, too. Crap. Oh well. The point is, I’ve got to come up with a reasonable plan here so that I can get my stuff done without wearing myself out.

And I don’t want to be worn out because I’ve got to be able to work out.

And that I think was yesterday’s big mistake–not working out in the morning. I know better. Especially on the long days, so I’ve got to figure something out then. I’ve got to make myself work out on TR mornings because yesterday was sluggish as a result. So I’ve got to figure that out.

Well, it’s time for me to start getting my $hit together for the morning. Have a productive day everyone!