Saturday, December 3, 2011

Time comes creeping up...

Lots of things are creeping up. First of all is my daughter's first birthday on Sunday. We're going to Odysseus's parents' today to celebrate it (and to pick up the imp who spent last night to go to the Christmas parade with them this morning). The pixie is about half dressed--a long sleeved onesie and a pair of tights that we'll put a little jumper dress over (I'll post pictures later--she's too cute in this outfit)--wandering around babbling and playing with her baby dolls and the stuffed animals that she and the imp share ownership of. She's walking well enough now that she doesn't crawl anymore, unless there's something she wants under a piece of furniture.

She had her birthday party with my family last weekend, will be getting made much over today by Grandma and Grandpa, and will be getting presents from us tomorrow. I don't really see the point in hosting a huge party for little ones that aren't even in school yet--strikes me as just another one of those "keeping up with (or outdoing) the Jones" things that I have no interest in. Yes, my friends are fond of her, but I think a party that the kids would enjoy would bore the spit out of anyone who isn't a parent. And since both of mine are under five, a party they'd enjoy would bore the spit out of our friends' kids.

The next thing creeping up is the end of the semester. Last day of classes is next Friday. The next week is finals week, but I don't give final exams. I plan to get all of my grading done, grades figured, and get them posted before the middle of finals week so that my Christmas Break can start early.

I've got about three weeks of backlogged blog grading* to do, but I'm done grading first drafts of last papers. I'll be grading revisions as they come in next week.

It's funny, but as much as I love my job, I always look forward to when semesters are over--moreso now that I teach online and don't ever really make the close connections with my students. Don't get me wrong: I love being home with the kids, and I love not having to put up with my colleagues' opinions that just because they have a doctorate in American Literature (women's writing only, and only pre-Revolutionary War--and yes, I do have a colleague with that narrow a specialization), they're an expert in modern politics, economics, and foreign policy. But I do miss my classroom, and I miss interacting with my students face-to-face.

After next Friday, I'll have about five or six weeks off. I really need the break, too.

Another thing creeping up is Christmas. Frankly, I dread this the worst. I haven't got shopping done, can't get some of it done until closer to the date (my family is terrible about hoarding clutter, so I'm giving them fruit baskets that I assemble for them), and don't have any idea what to get everyone else.

Most of all, I'm dreading going to my family's for Christmas dinner--I have three aunts, none of which have kids, and two of whom cannot simply enjoy a peaceful family get together without bickering and quarreling about stupid little stuff. And if I get upset with them about anything, they don't keep it between us, they take it out on my mother (a woman who doesn't have a spine to speak of).

I am, however, looking forward to the kids' reactions on Christmas morning. The imp's and pixie's reactions to decorated and lighted Christmas trees at the grandparents' homes (or at Wal-Mart, or Sam's Club) is cute enough, but I think they're both old enough this year to really enjoy the unwrapping of presents.

*For those who've just started reading my blog, one of my semester-long projects that I've had my students doing since I started teaching online has been that my students have to create and keep up a blog. My Comp I students have to summarize and respond to news stories, and my Comp II students have to write persuasive pieces with three supporting links. Both classes have to read and respond to two classmates' posts per week, as well. It's improved writing fluency and made them more self-conscious about grammar/editing errors than they are for the papers that they turn in to me.


  1. Good for you...I bet you have a field day with my sorry assed writing skills...

  2. Your writing is actually quite good, Stephen. Some of my students don't seem to have the concept of complete sentences.

  3. Curious.....with many folks having cell phones, do they ever use texting words in their writing?

    A onesie? I had to run a google search to find out what it was--I know now!

    Happy BD to the young lady!

  4. OCM, one of my main pet peeves is people using text spelling in their papers. The worst one was a paper that was littered with LOL, IMHO, and other phrase abbreviations--and used African American Vernacular (Ebonics) grammar and structure on top of that. The paper was nearly unintelligible.

    Needless to say, that student failed that paper. They first accused me of racism, then dropped my class when I didn't back down.

    I'll pass your birthday wishes on to the pixie. She was born at 4:30 p.m. exactly a year ago today.