Monday, October 29, 2007

Brrrrring back summer

It is very cold.

Today, there was frost on the windshield of my car, and in the yard.

Why is my car parked outside when I have a two car garage? Because the garage door is on the fritz and has not been fixed yet.

And there is half a tree laying in our front yard. Lightning struck it and half is still standing.

The English department is still running the air conditioning. My office is an ice-cube.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Have you ever...

Have you ever had a small office, I'm talking 8'x8'?

Have you ever had that small 8x8 office crammed full with a computer, desk, three chairs, a bookshelf, a trash can and a recycling bin?

Have you ever found that you can't even open the door if the chairs are not pushed under the desk?

Have you ever had to sit within twelve inches of someone when they come to visit you in said office?

Have you ever had someone come to visit just to say they have a severe case of scabies and will not be in class because it is highly contagious?

Have you ever freaked out and googled everything there is to know about scabies and how they are passed from one person to the next because your office is so small and you were practically breathing in your visitor's exhales?

Have you ever wanted to yell at that visitor for not just sending an email?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Slam Bam thank you ma'am.

While reading Karen's blog about Slam Poetry, I was reminded of my first encounter with Slam Poetry.

As an undergraduate I found out about a "Poetry Slam" that was being held at a local bar. I had never heard of a slam before and the flier that I read said "Come read your poetry for a chance to win $$$" It was immediately settled. I had never read my work to anyone other than my classmates in workshop courses, so I couldn't wait to hit the stage and shmooze with other writers who loved poetry as much as I did. I was perfectly content with the idea of meeting other young poets in such a laid back atmosphere. I couldn't wait to discuss the new Molly Bendall book that I had just read with another woman poet.

I put on my prettiest dress, wore heels, curled my hair, printed a copy of the poem that I wanted to read and hit the door. As soon as I walked in, I knew something was wrong. I knew it was in a bar, but I expected the crowd to be much different. No one was in a dress. No one was in yellow, or pink, or purple, or blue. I saw a couple guys in white t-shirts and everyone else was in black. My baby blue dress started to feel like a flashlight in the dark room. Everyone watched as I put my two dollars in the donation jar and walked into the other room.

I still convinced myself that things would start to change as time passed. After the first girl screamed at the top of her lungs and the second girl hopped from one end of the stage to the other, neither with paper in their hands, I contemplated leaving. But I couldn't. I stuck around. The next person, a young boy, took the stage (with no paper) and almost rapped a poem that lasted twenty minutes. I thought for sure he was making it up on the spot - but I heard a girl behind me whisper "I've heard him do this one before, it never gets old. He'll win for sure." Person after person performed... person after person received 8s, 9s and 10s from the judges.

And then it was my turn... I timidly walked up the stairs and stood at the microphone. I unfolded my paper and tried with all my might to read my short poem about water with as much emotion as possible. No one clapped. No one screamed. No one cheered or chanted. The judges raised their 5s and 4s and I quietly walked down the stairs.

And, although I was embarrassed for not doing my research about "Slams." I was happy to have read my work. And, I was happy to learn about this "other world" of poetry.

Needless to say, I didn't win. And whisper girl was right, the twenty minute poem guy walked out with 54 dollars or something like that.

I haven't been to a slam since, but I would like to go again sometime, but only as a spectator.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


I feel that old urge to write. In the past week I've written five new poems. This is fantastic, because prior to that, I haven't really written much this year.


So, I've felt the urge to run lately. I ran a couple weeks ago, farther than I've ever run before. However, I paid for it the rest of that week. And now, when I am ready to get back in the saddle and run some more, I have pains in my chest. I am slightly afraid to work out now because I don't know what is causing the pain.


Speaking of pain - my sister, who works for a fast food restaurant, was cleaning the restrooms last night and hurt herself. I guess the floor was slippery and she went to change the men's trash-can and while she was reaching for it, she fell and slammed her jaw into the sink. She is going to have X-Rays at the dentist today.

Friday, October 12, 2007

In Rainbows

Radiohead has a new CD out. What's awesome about it is this: You can either buy the cd ... or ... you can download the CD. They charge you whatever you want to pay. $1, $10, $6,000.

So. If you like Radiohead, go buy the record.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


I feel like I can't settle down. I believe that being adjunct is terribly unhealthy. I never feel permanent anymore. Everything is constantly changing - I teach at a community college in Ohio, I teach at a state University in West Virginia, I teach Comp I, Comp II, then Developmental Writing, then online, then in the classroom --- I'm all over the place. I can only hope that this "all-overness" is going to help me earn a full-time position somewhere soon.


I believe that applying for said full-time positions is also unhealthy.

The process itself is very frustrating - and the part that I hate the most: References! It's not that I'm anti-social, because I'm not. I just hate asking people to be a reference for me. I feel like it is putting them in an awkward situation. It isn't so bad when it comes to Comp position applications - I have several people that I can run to for Comp references.

Creative Writing references are the worst. I don't know if I should use the same references - because they can't really say much about my poetry or my ability to teach it. They can only really comment on my rhetoric and composition abilities. I have poet friends - but they haven't seen me teach. And most of them, I haven't met in person, so I don't feel that it would be beneficial to ask them. And, I certainly don't think it's ethical to use my husband, who is a teacher and writer, who has seen my writing and my teaching. I wish I could... but...


I just want to eat. A lot.

Friday, October 05, 2007

An actual interaction I just had with a student:

Male Student: *knocks at door and comes in* Hey.

Me: Hey. (Long Pause) Can I help you with something?

Student: Uh. Yeah. Could you look over my paper and tell me if it's right.

Me: You know that the rough draft for this paper was due two weeks ago and I've already commented and passed them back to everyone, right?

Student: Yeah. Could you look it over?

Me: You know that according to my policy, you can't receive credit for late work, right?

Student: Yeah. Could you look it over?

Me: Here, let me take a quick look. (I looked it over, told him what elements were off and then expected our "conference" to be over)

Student: (Standing now, in the doorway) Hey.

Me: Yeah?

Student: How many absences do I have? Please say three and not four. I don't want penalized for the fourth absence.

Me: Let me check. Well, my gradebook says you have three, but I haven't put Mondays attendence in yet. Were you here on Monday?

Student: Yeah, of course.

Me: Let me check the attendance sheet that I passed out just to be sure.

Student: Oh. Maybe I wasn't here.

Me: Nope, I don't have you down. That means you have four absences. You understand the attendance policy, right?

Student: Yes. Can I make up days? Can we meet or something so I can get credit for attendance?

Me: (Dumbfounded...) Um. No. I'm sorry, you cannot meet with me on a separate day to receive an attendance credit.

Student: I don't have the heart to ask you this other question.

Me: What?

Student: I don't think I'm going to be in class today. Can I complete the assignment at home.

Me: (Extremely dumbfounded...) No. I'm sorry. You realize that class starts in only 20 minutes. Why don't you come and complete the assignment?

Student: My ex-girlfriend has a tumor in her face.

Me: I'm sorry to hear that.

Student: So, I shouldn't miss today?

Me: That's up to you, but you will then have five absences which means your letter grade will drop twice at the end of the semester. And, you will miss the twenty point activity that we are doing in class.

Student: Bye.


*sigh* This is my life.


In other news, I thought you might like this:

Monday, October 01, 2007

This September

I avoided the bees and their thin, plasticky wings.

I avoided grading, until the last minutes.

I avoided writing something fantastic.

I avoided ms. revision and its thin, plasticky prison.

I avoided MS. deadlines.

I will not avoid October's.


Today, October 2nd is our four month anniversary. We have still not received our DVDs.

I guess the videographer is avoiding me.