Sunday, June 12, 2011


My last blog was one year ago today. I take that as a hint to start up again. Today.

There ya go.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Pools and Pity Parties

So, our pool has looked like a swamp for 3 days. Finally, today, we "shocked" it enough to make it look like a cloudy aqua marine. Pools are a lot of work and a huge hassle.

We're working on putting in a new faucet in our bathroom, too. We finally got it out, but bought the wrong size hose to attach it to the water. Why don't they just tell you the size on the box and on the old hoses? What a hassle.

Grilled salmon and asparagus for dinner with rice and marinated tomatoes and cucumbers. The neighbor brought us some cookies, so dessert was provided. woot.

No work today on academic stuff except for reading the list serve about different types of comp rhet jobs, dissertation research, and time for research depending on the school and teaching requirements. I simplify, of course, but I'm not sure why this is a topic. It's like teachers complaining about pay. It's part of the system. And, of course, we should work to shift things, but complaining to the choir isn't going to help much. It's something that needs to be taken care of at the institution level and within the governing boards like NCTE and CCCC's. And, it's not going to happen any time soon with the economy the way it is. Additionally, the work we do in FYC is important and many of us were trained to teach it well and want to...why are we talking about it again? Don't take the job if you don't want to teach what they've hired you to teach. All the institutions are different...go somewhere else.

I just get SO tired of the same old conversation. Yes, 4/4 is a lot of grading and the pay is bad, so some say they have to teach 5/5 to survive. How about change the way you LIVE and REFUSE to teach more? It just sets precedent when you work extra classes for adjunct pay to make another buck. And, it's just as easy or hard to change the way you spend your money.

As far as research goes, make your choices about what you're going to do - for yourself. If you want to do classroom research, do it. If not, don't. Being happy with your choices is the most important part. And, composition classroom research is happening, it's out there. But, it has to be GOOD and add to the conversation to get published. And, alot of what I've heard about is interesting, but not publishable or really new...not with the abundance of research out there and the competition it's up against AND all the work that happened 20 years ago.

And there's plenty of phd programs out there in comp/rhet that emphasize pedagogy. BG's been doing it for years and the grads get jobs that most are really happy at - from CC's to Tier 1 schools - depending on their interests. Make good choices for yourself, I say, again.

so, please, stop the pity party. If you dig your hole, you gotta lie in it.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

We've inherited a cat

So, the across the street neighbor sold his house and he had an outside cat that couldn't go with him. Now, he's ours or we're his people.

Stuffy, or "mr. stufalufagus" to me, is a big long haired black cat who likes to be brushed on his own terms. I don't normally tolerate cats. They're spooky. But, this guy kills rodents, and I appreciate it.

So, we'll feed him and scratch him and make him feel welcome outside our home until he finds someone better.

We spent most of last night and today watching the TV series "Spartacus". It was pretty blood and gore, but it had a neat storyline, too. It seemed almost video-game-ish in some of the fight scenes, so it was cool that way, too.

And, I worked for about 2 hours on the mentoring article. It's clear to me that there's alot of correlation between comp pedagogy and the mentoring process, esp in collaboration and feminist theory. The hardest part for us, I think, will be the structure/form of the article. But, we'll work it out.

Still trying to read The Life of's a slow go.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

It's all about goats today

Last December, the spouse started his goat operation with 2 practice goats. Now we have 4 as 2 pygmys came to live with us on Sunday. Here are some pics of them.

They're stinky things, but they have distinct personalities along with some disgusting habits.

In the first picture is El Diablo aka El Cahone. He's a new pygmy buck. He thinks spitting on the females is sexy. Apparently, so do they. Gross.

The second pic is El Diablo, his girl Princess (pregnant), and that's Thelma, one of the original twins getting into their business. Goats like getting all up in each other's business. They are curious little things.

The goat on the ramp is Louise, Thelma's twin. It seems El Diablo wants to get within spitting distance. Sicko.

And, the last pic is the whole crew. They seem to be getting along fine and they all like it when the spouse trims a tree branch for them.

I'll post pics of the babies once their born.

btw, if you had told me I'd be blogging about goats 2 years ago, I would have scoffed at you. Now, here I am.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

To Press, finally

So, my first book chapter is finally available. We finished it LAST year @ this time sans edits. Either way, it's done and printed, and I received my copies of the book today. It's got a cool pic of John Wayne on the front. It's really cool to see my name in print, too.

I'm working on another chapter now - one about mentoring and the assessment of writing instruction. And, my part includes the notion that both roles, mentor and mentee, are about performance and trust...much like what Tompkins talks about in her 1990 article "Pedagogy of the Distressed." Right now, I'm working out some connections to comp theory, too. My co-author is connecting his section to Writing Center theory, so it should turn out to be a cool chapter if it shapes up as we anticipate.

In other news, we made a new goat shed are still at work scrubbing and filtering the pool today.

I was thinking about all the books I've read since school let out. It's alot. 2 James Patterson, PUSH, Martinez's Monster, Koontz's Relentless, Kaplan's A Job to Kill for, Kandel's Christietown, Harbert's Captivity, Harris's new Sookie book, Dead in the Family, and Stein's The Art of Racing in the Rain. Right now, I'm working on The Life of Pi.

PUSH was as disturbing as its movie Precious. Patterson books seem all the same to me, but they always are a fun, easy read. The new Sookie Stackhouse book was a disappointment, but I feel like it's one of those in-between books to set you up for the next in the series. I AM looking forward to the next season of True Blood to come out on Netflix, though. Art of Racing was cool for me because the narrator is a dog. And, I read it right around the anniversary of Norman's death, so it was nice...and a cool idea - thanks to BG alum and Mama Laura in Ohio for telling me about it. I hope I meet Norman again someday. Captivity was a true story about one of the spouse's cousin's. She was held captive by the Chinese in the late 60's and early 70's. Bad writing, but interesting to know more about his family. The rest are unmentionable, not bad, not good, just mindless reading. It's good for the soul.

Otherwise, I'd be watching 16 and Pregnant all day.

This is true. I watched 6 episodes in a marathon of Billy the Exterminator last week.

Monday, June 07, 2010

End of May

Take THAT, May. I owned you.

I hate May. School ends and things tend to die on me in May. So, I'm a little wary of May. But May, 2010 made the score 1 and 2. And, I'll take that.

So, graduation happened, Mother's Day, anniversary of my brother's death day and Norman's death day, and the anniversary of my knee surgery. I survived. I need a t-shirt.

I battled a cold for 2 weeks, but I made it to Computers and Writing 2010 @ Purdue. It rocked, like always. I love being around excited, smart people. I made some new friends and I saw a TON of BG folk, so my heart and brain were nicely filled.

RSA 2010 in Minnesota was next. Fewer BG folk, but a nice, quiet time. I like that I presented 2 different papers at the conferences and that both were pedagogical in nature since my latest pubs have been philosophy based and really get away from the composition classroom.

So, I'm academically stimulated. It's nice. And, the pool's almost I'll be able to enjoy the sweltering heat.

Meanwhile, Heba and I finished up the first major draft of our Whedon/Neitzsche paper and though we know we'll have to cut about 1k words and clean up the documentation from MLA to Chicago Style and footnotes, we're as good as done. I focused on Firefly and Serenity and he did Buffy. As a result, I'm watching Dollhouse now, Season 1, on direct Netflix. I like it, but I liked Echo better as Faith. Speaking of Whedon, if you haven't seen Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog, you're late for a very important date.

I'm wondering, after some talk with folks, James!, at the CW conference, if I need to start focusing on narrowing my research agenda. And, if I do, WHAT do I choose? The nice thing about BG's PhD program is that it's a great generalist program. Lots of Rhetoric, Pedagogy, etc. So, it makes it tough to decide what I want to be a specialist in. Do I have to choose to be a real part of the academy? If so, shouldn't I do that, like NOW? I'm in year 3 of a tenure track position. Should I stake my claim?

but I LIKE being a jack of all trades.

And, remember May, I kicked your butt. See ya in 11 months.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Final Review

Well, the monograph is in its final review. All edits have been approved, I sent in a photo for the cover...looks like it'll be out in April, same month as the Western article in the UPKY edited collection and the same month that the Whedon/Neitzsche draft is due.

Just turned in another proposal about mentoring and assessing the teaching of writing. So, that's 2 proposals out for review. And, just sent out a co-authored article for review and a co-authored chapter for edits. busy.

For the first time, I assigned a PechaKucha 20/20 presentation over a Comp Theorist in my Comp Theory/Practice class. Thursday was the first group, and it went REALLY well. The students seemed to embrace the whole concept even though it wasn't easy, so thanks to Dr. Schirmer via Flint, Michigan for the idea. Instead of dreading presentations, I'm looking forward to the next group. Hopefully all my smart students will finally have the confidence they should have. They even handled the QA nicely. I need to teach the students how to ask questions, though. I'm not as good at that as I should be.

In other news, I got student evals back from the Fall and did fine. I actually think some of my majors are WAY too nice, but it boosted my spirits this afternoon after waking up grum. py. And, to top off my week, I'm working on a sophomore retention plan from the perspective of an advising committee.

the weekend awaits as the 50 Comp 2 papers do...and so I'm going to go read a bad vampire slayer novel. at least we have power. last week/end we went 4 days without.