Friday, October 31, 2014

FFOT: Fuck you, Blackboard. Fuck you, so hard.

I was grading last night, and suddenly...the gradebook quit working.  I tried four times to enter grades in one student's slot, and I got a "not found" error message.  And then got told to refresh.  And then was informed that there was a managed service interruption. 

What.  The. Actual.  FUCK. 

I am just about to the point of hunting down the admin who are NOT FUCKING DOING THEIR FUCKING JOB, and choking them unconscious.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Just finished one class

It took a lot longer than it should have, but I did it.  I got one class's papers graded.  I'd start the other class's papers, but I'd probably end up pitching the laptop, or screaming, or both.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

badly behaving imps...

No, he didn't hit anybody, today.  He's just been peeping on others in the restroom, and burping in others' faces.  Yes, he has had it explained to him that this behavior is not okay.  No, it hasn't sunk  in. 

I think somebody is going to be spending his evening in the kitchen, between the fridge and the end of the cabinets, facing the wall.  Silent, and bored.  No toys, no books. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Well, what do you know...

I recently found a recipe for powdered laundry detergent.  Thought I'd give it a try, so I got the materials, thinking that if it didn't work, I could sprinkle the borax in some of the places I'd seen bugs coming in.

It worked.  It worked better than the commercial liquid soap I'd been using for years.  Fairly inexpensive, to make, too.  About a third of the cost per load of the soap we'd been getting.  And it doesn't break me out like some soaps can do.

Laundry detergent*
1 bar Fels Naptha laundry soap, grated**
2 c washing soda
2 c borax

1. Grate the soap.  This step will take the longest if your food processor doesn't do it for you.  2. Mix soap, soda, and borax.  3. (optional, but advised)  Run the powder through a blender or food processor to turn it into powder fine enough to dissolve in cold water.

You'll need about 2 T of powder per soiled load of laundry.   Depending on how soiled, you may need a bit less, for less dirty, or a bit more for really nasty clothes.

One batch of homemade detergent will do about 40 loads.  But each box of washing soda and borax will make three or four (or more) batches. 

The interesting thing is that it works better to get whites really clean, when you do a warm cycle with nothing but, than the commercial detergent does.

*This link is to a kit on Amazon that is a bit more expensive, but will show you exactly what you're looking for.  You can probably find the same things at your local Walmart or grocery store for a lot less.

**Or you can substitute Ivory.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Back to normal...

Week before last, the kids had Thursday and Friday off of school for teacher development.  Last week, Friday was cancelled for parent/teacher conferences.  From here on out, all we've got is early outs for a few different things--no issues with no school conflicting with either Odysseus's schedule, or mine. gonna be nice.

The pixie had her P/T conference set up for this morning--the last slot for last Friday would have necessitated Odysseus's skipping class.  So, we scrambled around and got into the school by 7:30...for a conference scheduled for 7:50.  At least it was almost all positive, as opposed to the imp's conference.  The preschool teacher's main criticism is that the pixie whines a lot. 

At home, I give her two chances to use words, then send her to her room if she keeps whining.  Anybody else have any suggestions on how to break a nearly-four-year-old little girl from whining every time she's told that it's time to change up activities? 

As for the rest of my week, I've got workshop to supervise today--peer editing in small groups--and then papers to pick up on Wednesday.  I'll be introducing the research paper, their last paper for the semester, as of tomorrow.  And once I get papers graded and back to them (hopefully by Monday), I've got all of November to use my office hours to write. 

What I'm planning to do is write as much of Detritus as I can.  I've gone back and reread what I have, and I like it, needs redone.  I've been lazy, relying on first person for my characters.  I'm trying to break that habit. 

As for Odysseus's week...yeah, it's not starting out terribly good.  He's got tests in Intermediate Accounting III, and Tax Accounting this morning.  After that, he says it's smooth sailing for the rest of the week, which is a good thing, since that means he'll be able to deal with the kids while I grade papers Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  If it takes that long to grade.  That's going to be the real question, since while this paper is more audience-focused, my students this semester are also very good, and didn't seem to have as much trouble with the concept as past semesters' students have. 

So, yeah.  That's my upcoming week.  Pray for my sanity to remain as it is now, and for it to not fracture any further.

Sunday, October 26, 2014


I am a Christian.  I have never kept that a secret.  Every so often, I feel like writing about my beliefs and observations as a Christian.  Today is one of those times.  I don't particularly care if someone disagrees with me--that's their right as someone who has free will and a brain.  I don't particularly care if someone gets offended.  That, too, is their right.  Just as it is my right to disregard any butt-hurt offended snits thrown by anyone who chooses to.

There is not a single person, living or dead (other than the obvious) that deserves, outright, to get into heaven through their own efforts.  Not one. 

Should God judge us all as we deserve, every last human being would go to hell when they died. 

And we would, but for one thing: grace.  The gift that Christ died to give us.

What is grace?  To put it simply, grace is forgiveness.  We sin, we feel remorse, we are forgiven.  We repent, and we start fresh to try again. 

We are not meant to dwell on our sinful nature, but to try to overcome it.  Dwelling on it and wallowing in guilt, believing that we are the scum of the earth is the sin that ultimately damned Faust in the play: if he couldn't use his deal with the devil to become the greatest, then he would, even given the chance to repent and go to heaven, be the most damned.  He, in his pride, wallowed in his guilt, in his sins. 

That feeling of overwhelming guilt prevents us from moving forward, from starting fresh.  That feeling of overwhelming guilt that we are sinners leads directly into despair, into feeling helpless against our lower natures.  Leads us directly into no longer trying to be better, to try harder to conquer that lower nature.  Leads us into spiritual sloth.

Christ's admonition to those he healed was "Go, and sin no more."  However, I think the translation may have missed nuance.  I think what he means for us to do is to never stop trying to conquer the impulse to sin, to do what we are not supposed to do, or to not do those things we know we must. 

The difference is grace: the forgiveness that permits us to get up and try again to be the people that God wants us to be.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Random ramblings

So, we got through the imp's parent teacher conference.  He's behind.  We knew that.  We also know that he's going to need a lot of work to catch up.

What we didn't know is that he stares off into space and daydreams until his teacher calls him back to earth.  This is not...unsurprising, really--both of us did that.  But it is going to need some work to teach him when it's appropriate and when it isn't.

She also complimented us on his manners, and on his empathy (which I'm thanking God he somehow learned), and on his remaining quiet and non-disruptive, even if he's not paying attention like he should.  And on his math skills.

So, yeah--lots of work, lots of negatives (which we already knew), and lots of positives. 

And yesterday afternoon, while the kids were napping, his grandparents called and asked for an overnight visit.  Odysseus will be picking him up from the halfway point tomorrow.

I had a college friend visit this afternoon.  That was incredibly pleasant, and the pixie just completely adored her.  The cats seemed...not enthusiastic, but not opposed.  They liked her, just not as much as they like TCA. 

Then again, they think TCA belongs to them.  Cats.  What are you going to do?

I'll be supervising a workshop day as of Monday.  Which means that Wednesday evening, I'll be organizing to grade papers, again.  It's the fourth paper in 11 weeks, so...yeah.  

Putting a pause on the writing, as much as I can, for the moment--besides picking up papers to grade, I'm reading the third draft of a friend's excellent work.  I'm hoping to be able to get word back before I pick papers up, but I never know when the muse is going to blind side me--like it did last Sunday in the car, on the way to the next large town over.

Friday, October 24, 2014

FFOT: The "Affordable" Care Act

I got a mailing from our health insurance provider last week.  It was with great trepidation that I opened it, since we have a catastrophe plan, one that if it weren't "grandfathered in" (until the PTB decide otherwise), because I've heard of some insurance companies cancelling those plans and either leaving customers hanging or moving them automatically into plans that comply, whether or not the individual can afford it.

All it was was a notification that I have benefits that cover reconstruction surgery should I ever have a mastectomy. 

But the "Affordable" Care Act, and all those involved in both writing it, and raping the country with it can fuck the fucking fuck off.  Each of those involved in raping the country with the ACA can sodomize themselves with a printed copy of it, each page folded until it's all corners, and inserted individually. 

Thursday, October 23, 2014


I really am.  I've been stupid exhausted, today, and I don't know why.  It took around 40 ounces of coffee to kick-start my brain, today, and my body never bothered to follow.

No, really--I've been ambushed by writing ideas.  I started writing a story that I only kinda-sorta know where it's going on Sunday; I typed up and revised another one that I'd written out in my little journal book on...Monday, I think it was, and started thinking about revising another story yesterday.  I got started with that today, and the revised part (from first to third person, with more details added) is almost as long as the entire former finished draft. 

I've finished another revised draft of Fire and Forge, and have set it aside to be better able to read through for mistakes and typos in another week or so. 

And, added to the shorts, I've got another novel building.  I think this one is going to be a lot less episodic than the Modern Gods series, more a true novel like the Legends series...and I'm going to probably go through to rewrite from first to third person with that one, too.  I'm hoping to get the bulk of that one done in November, between getting paper four graded for my classes, and picking up paper five--their last paper--to grade. 

But yeah--the fiction writing bug has bitten me kind of hard, lately.  And, right now, I have a short story collection started that has three stories in it, and is currently around16,000 words (around 34 pgs in MS word, 12 pt font, single spaced).  I've got at least another 2000, once I finish revising the story I'm currently revising, and at least one more story (the one I started on Sunday) that may end up less short story, more novella.  If things keep going at this rate, I'll have something else to go up for sale, sometime this summer.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


The imp's kindergarten teacher cornered us this morning, and told us we were going to need two appointment slots for his parent/teacher conference.

Now, I'm not just worried, I'm stressed.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Lazy Tuna* Noodle Casserole

I came up with this recipe a few years back.  My other half doesn't like tuna, so I substitute either canned chicken or canned roast beef (leftover roast also works well).

1 box macaroni & cheese
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can meat (tuna, chicken, roast beef), drained
1/4 c milk (if you have it--water works, if not)

1.  Cook macaroni according to box instructions, and drain.  2. Ignore the directions for the cheese sauce--dump in the cheese powder, the can of soup, and the milk, and mix together.  3. Add can of tuna, chicken, or beef. 

If you want, you can add frozen peas to this, or canned corn, or whatever vegetable you think will taste good. 

It's a great wintertime dish: hot, filling, and satisfying. 

Sunday, October 19, 2014


I am a terrible housekeeper.  The house is cluttered, with mess strewn everywhere.  I can't seem to get on top of the mess with fifteen minutes, thirty minutes, or all day every day of trying. 

I am terrible at staying organized on what needs to be done when to get things done in a timely manner.  I can't seem to remember appointments unless they're written down in three different places, and there are at least two alarms to set to make sure we get the kids to school on time.  And to remind us to go get them. 

I can say that I have never forgotten one of my children in the car.  I can say that I have never forgotten to feed them. 

But that's really all I can say.

And I look around my house, and my cluttered schedule, and I wonder what the hell I was thinking, bringing two children into the world to care for, when I can barely take care of myself., we took them to a nearby large town, where there's a place where someone's model train hobby got way out of hand: two engines pulling open cars with bench seats just wide enough for an adult and a child around two miles of 24" tracks decorated for Halloween.  We weren't sure we'd be able to take them this year--the weather was a little iffy, but today dawned bright and beautiful, if chilly.  And so, we got up, made the decision, threw the kids into clothes and shoes, and hustled them off to take a 20 minute trip around that two mile loop of tracks. 

I look around, sometimes, and wonder what the hell I was thinking, thinking I could take care of two tiny, near-helpless people.  And then, on days like today, just for a little while, I stop beating myself up, and just enjoy the wonder, excitement, and joy in their eyes.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Random ramblings

So, the imp tells me that he has trouble with the "spelling" tests they're doing: the teacher says a blend, and they're supposed to write down the letters that make the sounds.  I guess that that's one of the things we need to practice. 

Fair enough.  We can do that.  But I think he needs to do more practice with the individual sounds, first.  I'll work with him on that, then move on into the blends. 

But that's keeping him at an F in the reading/language arts stuff. 

On the other hand, he's sitting at 100% on his math.  And is ahead of the rest of his class.  He's adding.  They're doing that in games only, not in graded work. 

The pixie, as a preschooler, isn't graded yet, to my knowledge, on anything other than behavior...and I haven't heard any complaints from her teacher about that. 

So.  Their teachers had a couple of in-service days, last week.  Odysseus and I were off on Monday and Tuesday, and the kids were off on Thursday and Friday.  I was able to care for them on Thursday, but Friday?  I had teaching and tutoring to do, and had no way to deal with them.  So, Thursday afternoon, Odysseus took them to the halfway point to meet his parents, and then we had a bit of a date night.  Friday, after classes for us were done, we went to visit his parents and pick them up. 

The cats expressed their distress at having been left alone all day yesterday, last night.  They were incredibly clingy and annoying.  Usually, they stare at us in disapproval from a distance. 

My students tore through the concepts I'd had to introduce them to much quicker than I'd expected.   Most of my classes in the past have tried over-complicating things that are simple because they assume it can't possibly be that simple.  These classes...haven't done that. 

Because of that, I spent four hours revising Fire and Forge. I'm working on writing an addition to one of the chapters--Spitfire--to expand some of one of the couples' stories.  I should be finished with it sometime within the next week.

I've had a couple of short stories that don't quite fit anywhere pop to mind.  I've gotten them written, and gotten one written out long hand (and still needs typed).  I'm considering putting them out as another collection.  So far, with three stories, I've got about 15,000 words (and one of those will probably be rewritten from first to third person, and expanded).  It won't be put out until I've hit around 80-120,000 words, but I keep coming up with these shorts demanding written, and don't know what else to do with them, since they're too long to post on the other blog.

Friday, October 17, 2014

FFOT: This week.

This week can fuck off so hard.  Monday, the alarm didn't go off.  No, Odysseus and I didn't have class, but the kids still had school...and they were being good, and didn't wake us up until ten 'til eight.  They're late if they arrive after 8:05, and we managed to somehow get them there by ten after.  That can fuck off. 

Second, I got sick that night with a mild gastric virus that made me run a fever, and feel like I'd eaten glass...and caused bloating and pain from that...Monday night.  I'm only just now getting over it. 

Third, my CD player in the bedroom quit working. 

And last, but not least, I think I'm coming down with a cold. 

I am so ready for this week to be over...

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

New recipe

I hate pinto beans.  Always have.  Always will...when fixed as bean soup.  They're a handy filler when used as refried beans and added to ground beef in tacos. 

But they're freakin' cheap.  I can get a ten pound bag of 'em from Sam's Club for just over $6.  Lots cheaper than buying cans of beans.

And...I found a way to make them that I like, just on their own. 

HH's Modified Refried Beans

1 lb (2 c) dry beans
1 onion
5 cloves garlic
1 t salt
2 T bacon grease OR 4 slices bacon OR 1/2 c bacon ends
3 T chipotle chilis in adobo sauce, pureed
shredded cheddar (optional)
sour cream (optional)

Soak the beans overnight; dump into crockpot with minced or crushed garlic (I use a garlic press) and chopped onion (bacon if you want to cook it with the bacon); cook all day.  When beans are done, drain and mash with bacon grease, salt, and pureed chipotle peppers. 

If you want to add to taco meat, about a quarter of what you just made will do--freeze the rest.  If you want bean dip, add the cheese and sour cream to taste, and eat warm. This is also excellent smeared onto a tortilla with salsa and extra cheese and eaten like pizza.

I ate until I nearly popped, last night.  And didn't get hungry before bed, either. 

I thought I hated  beans.  Turned out I just hate beans without flavor--which is the way I grew up being forced to eat them. 

I fed three adults (two grown men and me) for under four dollars last night, and had more leftovers than what we ate.  This is an excellent thing, especially in today's economy.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Huh. Good to know.

It is possible to get the kids dressed and fed, get lunch packed for the imp, and get them to school in just about twenty minutes.  If we had awakened five minutes earlier, they wouldn't have even been late.

What a day for a) the alarm to not work, and b) for the kids to be very good and very quiet so they didn't wake us up. 

Thank God it's Fall Break--we didn't have to scramble to get ourselves ready and back to campus in time for Odysseus's first class at nine.

And adrenalin works better than coffee to get me functional.  But it wears off a lot faster.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

random ramblings

The imp has grades up in the school website.  His math score is perfect.  His reading...needs work.  A lot of work.  A lot of flash card work for sounds and sight words. 

So.  Working with that.  Working with Spanish--which, if I know what he's working on, I can help teach.

Speaking of Spanish, the pixie was coloring yesterday, held up a red crayon and said "Red is rojo."  And then continued coloring, oblivious to the stunned silence.  

I haven't managed to get any grading, or much beyond simply loading and running the dishwasher, done today.  I've been floating in fog.  And it hasn't helped that it bloody hurts to type--had a finger-stick blood test today. 

And I'm too out of it to think of what else I meant to tell y'all, so I'm just going to have to sign off. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014


I cannot believe that there is such a seminar as one encouraging spam emailing!  But yup--our university just had one!

Forgive me...

...but I think my thyroid meds need to be adjusted.  Upwards.  A lot.  And I've got grading and housework to do, so blogging is taking a back seat for now, because something's gotta give with this total lack of energy and coherence that I'm dealing with.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014


I was reminded, this past weekend, of one of my great uncles, on my maternal grandmother's side.  He and his wife came to visit every summer during my childhood.  Every two years, they had a new car, and they had poodles.  Real ones that really are dogs in attitude, not the little football sized toys. 

My great uncle smoked a pipe.  My great aunt smoked cigarettes.  They were both in their nineties, the last time they visited, and still smoked like chimneys.  My great uncle had gone deaf, and my great aunt had gone blind (and couldn't light her own cigarettes--my sister or I did that for her, depending on who was closer at hand, since we both smoked, and none of us wanted to hear my great uncle griping about that nasty stuff).  Which leads to the funny memory that popped to mind. 

My great aunt was nagging about something, and my great uncle pointedly stared at her, reached up, and turned off his hearing aid.  Then he smirked around his pipe stem, and said, "I went deaf so I wouldn't have to listen to her nagging me anymore."

"Oh, yeah?  Well, I went blind so I wouldn't have to look at you!" she retorted.

Everybody just about died laughing. 

My great aunt passed away about seven years ago, and my great uncle passed about five years ago, a year after his youngest sister died from Alzheimer's. 

Out of all of my greats, I really miss them the most.  And the smell of a pipe will forever be associated with that great uncle, and poodles that I actually liked.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Damn Missouri weather.

We'd planned to take the imp to the zoo last weekend for his birthday; that fell through.  Saturday dawned bright and clear...and cold.  Frost on the ground until 8:00 cold.  And windy.  It didn't quite get into the sixties.  Yesterday was only a little better.

Today would have been perfect.  Unfortunately, the imp is in school today, and if we left right after we picked him up...we'd get there right as the zoo closed.

So, the zoo trip will have to be postponed indefinitely.  Thankfully, neither Odysseus nor I had mentioned it within the kids' hearing.

On this morning, six years ago, right about this time, I was standing in the NICU, petting my son's back.  He'd been born right around four hours earlier, and wouldn't come home when I did.  I was frightened, bitter, and very, very angry that things hadn't worked out normally.  He was born before the swallow reflex was developed, so he had a tube to feed him running through his nose and down his throat.  And he had an umbilical IV hooked up--I could only touch him, couldn't hold him.  He was so, so tiny: 18" long, and 3 pounds, 13 ounces.

But he was breathing on his own.  He was alert, strong, and curious about his surroundings.  He came into the world attempting to charm his nurses (and succeeding), and has stayed alert, strong, curious, and charming. 

I stood him up against the wall, last month, and marked his height: 47".  Last night, he found the scale and weighed himself--42 pounds.  And every ounce of that is solid muscle: no ribs to be seen, despite how skinny he is. 

He's grown so much, and is beginning to read. 

But it was only yesterday that I was standing next to his warming crib in the NICU, petting a tiny, tiny, tiny little back, and trying to keep him from kicking off the blood oxygen monitor wrapped around his foot.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

random ramblings

My time is no longer my own, and won't be until the kids are grown and gone.  It's twenty after seven, and I've been up for forty minutes, now.  I've been drinking my coffee, and am only just now awake and coherent enough to be able to form thoughts.  It may well not be a school morning, but that doesn't affect wake-up times. 

I know I forgot the FFOT yesterday--I'm researching for a giant one for next week on the idiots in charge. 

The imp missed having an all-green week, this week.  He says that he got orange yesterday because he didn't bring home the reading homework from the day before. 

I am not surprised--when he has homework, he has to do that before he's permitted to play.  And he's smart enough to figure that out.  He does not, however, have the cognitive tools yet to be able to guess what's going to happen when he does this.  Well, like always happens when children decide to try to be clever, he got caught.  And he wasn't permitted to watch TV last night.  And he was isolated for the evening until bedtime. 

He did, however, read his book before bed.  Last night's was the little step into reading book about Iron Man (he's read about Captain America, Spider Man, Thor, and Wolverine).  Out of the little six pack of books Odysseus got for him, he's only got The X-Men left (since we still have to find the Kindle and download The Avengers).  We're discussing what other books to order for him in the series.  I'm voting for The Guardians of the Galaxy, because the kids have a couple of things from that, and they love Groot and Rocket.

The pixie has been greatly enjoying her preschool class.  She has made several friends (pretty much the whole class), and is just the happiest little pixie in the world.  She's currently wearing a pink with red lady-bug print flannel nightgown that her grandma made her.  It's huge on her--too big around--and comes down to mid calf, with about a three inch hem that can be let down as she grows taller. 

She loves books as much as her older brother does, for all that she's not doing more than just thoroughly learning the alphabet, right now.  I've found a boxed set of princess books, and a five-in-one Disney Fairies book. 

The cats are cuddling into as small of a space as twenty-one pounds of fur can fit into.  I think they're cold.

I re-arranged the due dates for my classes' next paper.  It's due Monday, so that we can enjoy playing with the imp this weekend.  Monday is his birthday.  We'd planned a zoo trip, but the weather has rather scotched those plans.  It's bloody cold, today, and will be windy.  The pixie and I are both prone to ear ache.  My students have asked me to thank the imp for their postponed due date, and to wish him a happy birthday.

Last, but not least, I'm polishing on a short story set in the Modern Gods world--"Bar Tabs"--which I'll be publishing as a $0.99 Kindle story, and popping up as free for a while every month or so.  It's an explanation of who's who in the various pantheons, as explained by the bartender and one of the other characters.  I had a lot of fun writing it, and it really is almost done.  I'll let y'all know when it's available.

In the meantime, you can order Lizzy's Tail for your younger kids and/or grandkids at any time.  And yes, young boys do enjoy it, according to a friend whose two year old son begs her to read it to him.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Stupid student tricks

I've seen several, this semester. 

I have a fairly strict attendance policy, one that's mandated by the university.  Not as strict as some others--I am human, after all--but if a student misses three weeks of a sixteen week class (nine class periods for MWF classes, and six for TTh), they fail.  No recourse.  Just out.  If they're lucky, it's before the drop date. 

I have one student who is butting up against that limit.  It's only halfway through week 7 of the semester.  He's not answering emails, and I've not seen him in about a week and a half.  And if he's not watching his email, he's not going to catch that I've asked him to drop before he fails. 

Thing is, financial aid treats drops and fails the exact same way: they're penalized.  However, a W on a transcript will not hurt the final GPA like a failed class will. 

I'm hoping that my class--a basic, core, everybody-has-to-take-it class that has nothing to do with his major--is the first time he's done this, but I'm not holding out a whole lot of hope. 

I also have a fairly strict policy about turning papers in on time.  Yeah, if someone asks for an extension, I'll grant it--this semester, I have had a girl lose her grandpa after a protracted illness that landed him in the ICU as he faded the first two weeks of semester; another who was fighting to avoid homelessness for herself and her two autistic children; a third who simply wasn't comprehending that writing a paper is as simple as following a formula until it suddenly clicked the day before due date; a young man whose wife was hospitalized and finally diagnosed, and who is still trying to find the right combo and dosage of meds to control a chronic condition. 

The extension has to be requested before the deadline.  It cannot be requested on or after a due date. 

I had three students not turn in papers, week before last.  I granted three extensions (and have gotten two of the three papers turned in--the other one was a longer extension).  One of those turned her paper in two days late with no explanation other than that she procrastinated. 

If it had been turned in on the day it was due--I accept them until midnight, when turned in electronically--the paper would have gotten a 95%.  As it was, it got a 0.  Her grade has plummeted to barely passing.  Just on not turning in one paper.  If she does it again...yeah, she's gonna have to drop.  Or take the F.

Deadlines are there for a reason, and there is no negotiating failing to meet one in my class.  I do not negotiate, do not make exceptions, because these kids have been failed by each and every teacher who has made exceptions...because they've trained the students to expect them.  And that's a failure, because there is not an employer on earth who will accept this kind of performance.  

Last semester, I had an excellent student.  She came to class every day, and spent the semester trying to bring a newly-emerged chronic health condition under control (after having spent the previous semester trying to get it diagnosed).  Toward the end of semester, she had issues with getting her last two papers turned in.  It took her A down to an F--or, at least, it would have, had I not granted her an incomplete.  She has another nine weeks to turn in those last two papers before her incomplete turns into an F automatically.  I've seen her a couple of times, and she's sworn she's going to bring me those papers...and I haven't seen them.  Or her.  Not for more than a month. 

She is also going to be reaping the consequences.  I have high hopes that that student, at least, will actually learn from her mistakes.