Category Archives: goals

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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.

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I’m having a bit of a rebellious morning.

I have time; I could start looking at the first set of lit analyses. Here’s the problem with the rebellion–I should be prepping for the brief thing that I need to do in a colleague friend’s class today. However, I left my book on campus. I could have started reading for next week’s classes, but I left my books on campus. Since I’ve been reading on Saturday mornings and getting my prep work done, I’ve been leaving my books in my office so I don’t have to schlep them back and forth. This has been a great idea all week except this morning. So I guess I read some poems while C-F’s stus are watching the video I’m showing for the first 43 minutes of class.

Here’s the other problem. I got up early to work out because i thought we might have plans this afternoon, but I don’t think we do, so I’m up but postponing the work out because I don’t want to, and I’m tired because I took yesterday off and we ate poorly because I was exhausted from it only being a week of classes and I’ve already taken up freshman drafts, and I’m trying to set a good place for the class, and their final drafts are due next Friday and I did NOT want to get up early to grade this morning so I worked furiously yesterday to finish commenting on the drafts after I had only picked them up on Wednesday. It’s the first draft of the first essay which is the most exhausting because they need help. That was a horrific sentence. I took a nap and felt like I had run six miles after I woke up. So I put on my pj.s and commented on drafts. Because we ate like crap last night (which we try to limit to once a week although last week and spring break were anomalies in that new pattern), I slept for shit. Well, not really. The sleep was fairly restful; it just wasn’t very long.

So honestly, I’m just being kind of whiny. That’s what happens when I don’t get the endorphin rush of my workouts. I guess it’s better than meds which I am off again, I just realized that. I had started taking them again over Christmas because I was stressed and not handling our financial situation well which was really making a mess of things. LIke it had gotten to the point that if I didn’t take the meds, I’d have a panic attack about my ability to cope with the day. And then in February I started doing this,(a very scaled down version and on top of the other things I was doing already) and I just unconsciously stopped taking them. Like it really wasn’t a conscious decision at all. So much so that I didn’t even realize that I hadn’t taken them in six weeks until just this very moment.

I have a long two days ahead of me. After class this afternoon I have my workout. Then while dinner cooks, I need to deflate the air mattress in the guest room and clear a space so that I can finish going through my clothes tonight and tomorrow. I need to clear the pile of clothes out of the bedroom and put them in the laundry room so that they can be washed — they just haven’t made it from the laundry pile to the laundry. Argh. And I need to put away the clean laundry. Tomorrow I’ve not only got to read for next week’s stuff but I’ve got to get a week ahead because next Saturday I have to proctor some sort of exam for some high school students. I don’t know. So that Saturday morning will be gone. Work out. Then finish the cleaning. Tomorrow will be a spring cleaning day that will start tonight. I’ve got so much stuff I need to get rid of. I think a trip to Goodwill tomorrow afternoon is in order, too. And this has to be done by tomorrow because Sunday we’ll be at the g’parents’ and then it’s the season finale of The Walking Dead for which there is a party. It’s going to be intense. And I have to make some foods for it. Whew. I’m tired just thinking about it. But it’s cool. It’ll get done and I’ll sleep very well because of it.

 

Happy Friday all!

Progess Report Part II–Health/Fitness

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Let’s just say that I’m feeling good. I’m feeling healthy. I’m feeling strong. I have energy.

The diet still needs improvement, but it’s better than it was in January, which was better than it was in December, so there’s forward progress.

This week traveling and being in Home City will be a challenge although it shouldn’t be. The only problem will be the J’s family wanting to eat out and cook for us, and these are not people who are concerned with healthy eating, so I have to watch it and not get sucked into glutton fests. However, I have done well in social situations thus far, so I guess rather than look at it as a challenge, I really should shift my mindset and just look at it as just another week. Plus, I’m bringing my workout equipment with me (yay for driving), so yeah, I shouldn’t look at this week as being any different than any other week.

Peace out! Have a great Monday and great week y’all!

 

Progress Report–Part I–School Work

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Hi all!So I haven’t given a progress report in a couple of weeks.

I’ll start with the academic stuff first so you can skip the workout stuff if you want.

Done with the grading except finals, for which I have a plan for the grading which really involves grading all day. I have either written the world’s easiest final test (it’s not really an exam I guess because I gave the essay questions as a take home portion of the test which they seemed to think was a great idea for them. It was a great idea for me because I could ask the hard essay questions but having it due before the final exam meant I had more than one day to grade 70 essay exams). Or I have written the hardest. I can never tell. I guess we’ll find out. I think for those who paid attention and took notes it will be easy peasy. It took me five minutes to answer all 37 questions or whatever. So we’ll see.

But I got everything done! And basically on the schedule I was shooting for. I promised that everything turned in early for the lit classes would be finished by the time they got to class on Thursday or Friday. So when the take home finals came in, in each of the classes I had about 1/3 of them done before the days they were due. Because I also took up their final lit analyses at the same time (I have some serious soul searching to do for how I’m going to do the schedule next quarter). So on Wednesday, I had probably graded about 20 exams and responses. On both Thursday and Friday, I had graded approximately 40 PER DAY! But they were done! And the grades for those two classes are actually not only calculated but plugged into a spreadsheet so all I have to do is figure out the final’s percentage, plug it in, and the math is done!

The theory class–it took me all weekend to get the 20 research essays done. I only had the strength to get through 14 of them on Saturday. They were a bit frustrating. Only one person failed the research essay because zi decided that a 4.5 page paper was an acceptable submission for an 8 page essay. Some stopped at 6. Some who are clearly engaged in the theory–I know from their other work–turned in stuff that you would expect from hardline lit classes. And some just still don’t know how to engage in the theory. I feel like in some ways I failed a few of them, and I was really low about it yesterday. But then I considered how the ones who did poorly were the ones I never saw with a book (they took notes, but whatever), the ones who never spoke in class, and that while I do need to rethink how I do the class (not too much though), I think in 99% of the cases here, it was the student who failed hirself rather than a total failure on my part. Those who were engaged, were engaged. Those who struggled through, struggled through. For the most part, I’m proud of them. For the most part, they’re a wicked smart group of kids. But Dr. Crazy is right (I’m too lazy to link to the post I’m sure most of you are already familiar with), English majors and good students will turn in crap if you let them. And a couple tried to turn in crap. And the one student who knew zi was going to struggle with the paper, I have the utmost respect for hir because zi was the ONLY one to come talk to me about it. And zi just about knocked it out of the park. At the beginning of the quarter I had doubts about zi’s ability to hang with the class and about hir ability to be successful in the major. But zi brought up failing work to knocking the paper out the park with a B+. I’m extremely proud of zi!

And today I pick up their take home finals. But those grades are all calculated as well. I just have to plug the final exam in when it’s done.

So today, I begin grading the take home finals during my office hours and do what I can to get as many of those done and grades calculated and then continue to grade while the lit stus are taking their final exam. Then it’s home to work out and grade the exams tonight, finish calculating the grades and submit the two classes’ grades tonight.

Oh, and then I have to pack.–That’s been the real push to get all of this done. A) I didn’t want to happen what happened over Thanksgiving–get sick from hours of marathon final grading and get a neck and back strain from hours and hours of marathon grading; and B) I have to travel Tuesday, and I want to do the least amount of work possible in Home City re: grading. It will already be a break that’s not a break, so if I can 75% of the work done before I leave, then well, that’s what I need to do. And unfortunately, as soon as I get in Tuesday night, I will have to grade before I can go to bed so I can find somewhere to submit grades on-line in Home City. I don’t think we have internet at the house anymore unless the roommate got his own internet.

In Home City this week I need to do some tinkering with the lit syllabus–I have things I need to change. And I need to do the 101 syllabus. I think most of the stuff from the fall will stay, but there needs to be some adjustments. And I have to write an article over break, too, because I actually have to read and do research for the conference paper at the end of May for which I have nothing done. It’s fine because it’s stuff that will work toward a larger project, but it’s not something I can do everything for in just the four days between the end of the quarter and the conference. I want to enjoy the conference city this time unlike two years ago when I was holed up writing for three days. Ick. But that means that the article that’s ready to be written needs to be written and sent off by the time the quarter starts. And I have a summer teaching app to work on.

At least it will feel like a vacation because I will get to get my hair done. I’ll get to buy new shirts and some new lipstick. I’m going to get a mani/pedi for the first time in like 10 months. And we’re going to eat at our favorite restaurant. So maybe I’ll feel like I’ve gotten some rest since I won’t be in town?

Have a great week all! The blogging will be light as I have a bunch to do, or a bunch I want to do, and the internet situation will be questionable.

Progress Report

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I promised a progress report/update today on last week’s schedule. Some interesting findings.

Even though I didn’t follow my calendar, putting it all on a calendar totally helped.

Work/School

First of all, spending all of last Saturday reading everything for the week for the lit class was a really smart freaking move. Sure, it took up a bunch of time and I was annoyed while doing it because who the hell wants to spend a Saturday and Sunday morning working; however, stress level this week? Low–that was the one thing I didn’t have to worry about. I got a decent amount of the theory class reading on Sunday, but only through Monday’s and part of Wednesday’s stuff, so I had to play catch up a little bit with that. Most of my time was spent catching up on grading (I still have some stuff straggling though), which I got done mostly during my office hours, but that for the most part is caught up and done until the deluge of papers start coming in for the next two weeks with final papers, take home exams, revisions, etc. And I don’t want to have that stuff hanging around me at home.

I think what I will do when the take home tests come in is get up and grade for an hour on Tuesday morning before class. During my office hour I meet with students. And I think I may spend an hour on Monday night looking at them as well. And then perhaps I spend Wednesday’s office hours prepping the last things for Friday’s theory class.

All things research oriented will be abandoned until spring quarter.

At some point this week, I need to start working on the some tweaks to the syllabus so that I’m not doing that last minute during the little breaks I have. Also I have to finish a powerpoint for Monday’s lit class that I’ll probably finish up during Monday’s office hours.

Exercise

I did not once work out in the mornings as planned, nor did I even make an effort to. Rather I used the mornings to work for maybe a half an hour (which doesn’t wear me out by the time I teach, unlike working for 1.5 hours in the morning), or I blogged or wrote in my journal. I think the fact that I had the lit stuff prepped and ready to go for the week made the mornings significantly less stressful. I think the reason why I’m having a hard time motivating myself for the morning work out is that I can’t do the entire workout before school. I’d have to do part of it before class and then save the running for later. And I find that annoying. For that reason, I may have to just stop teaching the 8 am classes. Because I’d like to get do the workouts early if I have a choice. And even though I’m a morning person, I have to admit, I’m starting to find the early morning classes exhausting in ways that I never found them so. Maybe it’s because I’m getting older? But the students who take the early classes here don’t take them because they are eager and like early classes and can be awake for them. They take them because it’s all that’s left. And that’s exhausting.

But seriously, the workouts take about 1.5-2 hours. Unless I get up at 4 am, it won’t happen. And I don’t like to run by myself in the dark.

I digress…

As Friday is my rest day, I have also designated Friday evening as the night when I can eat what I want and drink, and while I will log my food for the beginning of the day, I will not worry myself about the extra calories on Friday night (I’m not doing WW–I canceled my thing and I’m not paying out the ass to restart it, but I’m using what I used before the wedding that helped me lose weight, and I am happy with it). I didn’t go crazy last night though. I still cooked, but I just had like half a bottle of wine and some chocolate chips. Anyway.

I had a good  week of diet improvement–I had 2 very light beers and a cookie at the Superbowl party– and absolutely no chocolate or desserts of any kind (baked fruit or otherwise) or alcohol during the week, except last night, which for me is a HUGE deal. But that’s only one week.

And the work outs were good. While I’m sad that we’re not running the marathon, as my training for it was sub par anyway, but I’ve made some great adjustments this week that have left me feeling better than I have in years. Seriously. I’m talking like better than I’ve felt since my undergraduate days. I’ve cut back on the running mileage and added some weight intervals/power-explosive interval training and how I feel is just, well, wow. Like I have seriously felt like I could take on the world this week. And I’ve cut back on coffee, too, because I feel great when I wake up in the morning! We’ll see how my body feels after this week–if I still feel the same or better or worse. I’m starting to accept all of this as a continuous work in progress, and that helped keep me motivated this week.

I also didn’t see the work outs as a chore. Nor did I beat myself up about my food this week either. This little adjustment in the workouts and my whole attitude toward all of this has changed. This is what I needed.

The scale only moved 2/10 of a pound, which given how I’ve been working out, should be disappointing. BUT, this week (because I did my measurements last week), I’ve lost 3 inches total on my lower body! Holy smokes Batman! 1 in off the waist; 1.5 inches off the hips, and 1/4 inch off each thigh. And I even went down a notch on my belt! So while the scale didn’t hardly move, the tape did, and that feels really really good. I mean, seriously, that’s a ton to lose in one week’s time.

This Week

Today I’ve got to read, work out, and most importantly, clean this motherfucking house. It’s bad. So bad. And the J is going to Home City in a week to work with his unit, and my bro and sis in law are coming in, so I don’t want to get stuck doing all the stuff around here by myself. So a lot of stuff needs to be done today so that I can gradually chip away.

I will read the stuff for Monday’s class as soon as I’m done with this, and I think for this week, I’ll make another calendar, and report back next Saturday on how it’s going.

Have a great weekend everyone! I hope it’s productive and/or relaxing. Whatever you need ! And for those of you with snow, enjoy it. It’s cold here, but not a snowball’s chance in hell of our getting snow, so yay!

Oh I have lots in store for you, Sunday.

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I am happy to report that yesterday was a successful day! Seriously! And I felt so great because I often forget how good productivity feels compared to laziness. Now if I can only keep that mind when I have to grade this week.

I managed to get all the reading for the lit class done for the week, and prepped too for that matter. It helps that 2/3 of it was stuff that I’ve taught multiple times now, and one was a repeat. These are three texts that are definitely staying in the class.

I also worked out. And I’ve been logging my food. Right now, for me, this is a big deal. Reading. productivity, and working out. As I have two deadlines by the end of May now, next quarter then I’ll be able to add research into the mix as well. Thank god the superbowl is early this year. I can get to bed in a timely manner because I am not just going to make the effort to workout before class, but I will. I think it will be good for me. And then run in the afternoon.

It’s not a permanent schedule, but as I’ve apparently just decided to spend this quarter in schedule experimentation mode, we’re going to try this this week. I think this is a good week to do it because I’ve got lots of grading this week as well. We’ll see.

The goal for today is to try to get the theory class’s readings for the week done (the theory selections are mostly short). However, if I can at least get through tomorrow and Wednesday’s reading and prep for the material, I’ll consider that a success.

And then I work out.

And then I run.

And then I vacuum the floor.

And then it should be time for the superbowl party (not at my place thankfully!)

And the husband was on board with perhaps trying to go back to Home City to do some national guard work on the two upcoming breaks I have, which would be great if it works out because that will be a nice bit of $ to put into savings, and I can get my hairdresser there to fix me up (she’s cheaper than the cheaper person I go to here!). Plus, my eye doctor is there (okay, she’s at Lenscrafters, but I really really like her and they have all my info and stuff), and we both need to go to the eye doc. J especially. Fingers crossed for that and the job interviews the J’s had!

Oh, as a side note, I may be migrating back over to blogger. I’ve been having trouble in the last week commenting on people’s blogs with the wordpress acct. There are things about wordpress I’ve still not gotten used to. Maybe I need an identity change again. If I do move, I’d love for you guys to follow. I’ll keep you posted. 🙂