flitting again

Working on psychology paper today… or not, as you can no doubt tell.

Actually, I am making some progress on it…but I’m distracted.

There are so many things I HAVE to get done this weekend:

  • readings for classes (about 600 pages worth for five classes – yes, that is only one week’s worth)
  • papers/proposals – two for Textual Transmissions, one for fiction/nonfiction, one for Law & Moral Regulation in Neoliberal times (although two would be better)
  • package my camera for mailing back to Kodak for repair
  • get letter for Nor-Don finished, printed and ready for mailing to multiple recipients (that I still need to research/find)
  • finish SSHRC application (OGS is basically done – do need to print it and throw it in an envelope to drop into the Graduate Studies office though)
  • laundry and other assorted organizing and being ready to go back to school on Monday jobs… this week is likely to SUCK…can’t forget anything cuz I can’t come home on Thursday 😦 Got a field trip to a synagogue to look at a scroll. *sigh*  Field trip will be interesting …but I really hate being away from Ross for soooooooooooooooooooooooooo long 😦

And so many things I would rather be doing

  • going to Walmart to get Ross’ prescription filled and a new toaster, and me, my juice and a new puzzle that will fit on my puzzle table (I finished my hot air balloons – 2 pieces missing this time … they’re probably under the couch but too lazy to look; the only puzzle I have left is too big for the table so I need a new one)
  • working on Amanda’s story … it’s almost done and I want to finish it
  • finding something to submit to CBC Radio’s literary competition …damn … forgot about that… need to recheck date on that! Hope I haven’t missed it…. nope…November 1. Yay me… now to figure out what to enter and actually DO IT.
  • playing with my new Blackberry Curve and figuring out how to use the GPS and stuff… almost wishing I’d gone with the Palm Centrino though – I liked their datebook/organiser a lot better. The Blackberry one doesn’t seem to have a desktop match .. just uses Outlook or Lotus or whatever. hmmm… maybe I should go look for my Lotus disk…I liked it a lot better than Outlook…that could work… or maybe can find it online for download …
  • blogging and entrecarding… would be doing the entrecard thing for my two Today blogs but it doesn’t seem to be working very well today, and I’m getting frustrated…. it is taking WAY too long for the drop bit of the cards to load… don’t know if it’s just me or if it’s a problem at their end.
  • Gathering …well… had wanted to, anyway … got irked when the gremlins stole my article again …which is why I’m going on here rather than there, of course. *sigh*   Oh well! Gather really just is not the same any more anyway …. aside from some good friends/connections (and far less o’ those than I once thought I had, even), there really isn’t much point to going back there. Alexa seems to think so too … stats are continuing to fall …3 months change: reach -25%; traffic rank – 3076; page views -14% … even with the photo promo! You’d think they’d figure out that they screwed up and fix it, but doesn’t seem like they care. Seems like they’re determined to head the way of the now defunct Boomertowne …too bad; they had a good thing going.

Anyway… Gather depresses me. Time I was getting back to work, I think!

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Home Again, home again…

I am so happy to be home again…got TONS I am going to tackle this weekend … figure the only way I’m going to survive this semester is to get on top of the workload… just can’t afford to get behind. Not even a little bit.

So …I have a plan.

Psychology paper. NO more procrastinating. Get it DONE. Also book exam for reading week.

Arrange for transcripts to be sent to grad studies office (5 of them. Tomorrow)

Follow up re: scholarship reference letters. Also finish Plans of Study for both, even if they do are fiction for now.

Re: all classes – write one page draft proposal for all major papers/projects. Make appointments with profs to confirm direction. They all think I’m nuts worrying about it already …but the longer I have to mull, research and gel the easier they are to write when I get to them…

Have another look at Canadian Studies PhD website and figure out if that is really an option I want to explore – if so, email SOMEONE to make arrangments to talk to them about it. Explore other options (York U).

Do readings for next week’s classes. Take NOTES.

Finish one more chapter of test questions for pest control database.

That should be enough to keep me busy, I think…. oh yeah… and set up and learn to use my new Blackberry …assuming it is either here, or will get here tomorrow or Friday.

Another week

So …made it through another week of grad school + driving way too damn much.

Came home Wednesday night after class – mostly because it was Ross’ birthday…but also so that I could go see profs at LU … need reference letters re: the scholarships I’m applying for… so met with one, then went out for lunch with Jane; the other prof that writes my letters.

Still pretty much set on staying at the motel rather than renting a place, although I kinda have been exploring options – I really don’t want to spend money I don’t have to on a place that has all kinds of stOOpid rules. They all say no pets and no smoking – both of which are allowable at the motel – and they all cost too much by the time you start putting in a phone, Internet, etc. I had another response to my posting re: what I wanted – but this one is 45 minutes from Peterborough, way too expensive and the guy apparently can’t comprehend relatively simple English anyway… i.e. I’m not there over the weekend – back Monday … he wrote back that he could show it to me any time this weekend. Uh no … not driving 5+ hours yet again!

If I was spending more time there, perhaps I would be inclined…but I’m really not – and it seems that I will be there even less next semester. I will only need to be there on Tuesdays from 2 p.m. to Wednesday at 9 p.m. – and then that blasted Friday a.m. meeting, of course.

If I do teach at Georgian – hoping to have 2 sections on Monday and 1 on Tuesday a.m. … then if they REALLY want me to do 4 (as planned at this point), if they could stick the other in Friday afternoon. Or could do 2 on Thursdays, I suppose – although I’d rather not. Anyway, I would basically only need the motel Tuesday night, if the weather’s good enough to come home for Thursday and go back Friday a.m. Or Tuesday – Thursday if it’s not. Motel is $40/night … so it really is a lot cheaper than renting and furnishing a place. The only real problem with it is that Ross doesn’t like the beds there at all…. but if I’m only gone 1/2 days a week…we could keep going on as we are… It just doesn’t seem worth the money.

I have been industrious already today – got 2 things that have been hanging dealt with – my palm and my camera. I broke both in the same week … my bad! Actually, the camera was already messed up anyway … it just went from being messed up in a way I could deal with to kaput. Anyway … too expensive to send the Palm for (non-warranty) repairs… just not worth it…so we decided to see about upgrading my phone to either a Palm or a Blackberry.

Took me awhile to get to it, but this week I was SO stressed out about everything that I needed to keep track of … was motivation to get (re)organized. I know I can do a lot of it on the laptop – and I have been …but I really miss my PDA for quick notes and the calendar and todo lists…and my phone sucks bad. Anyway … called today and even though I haven’t had the phone long enough to be eligible for an equipment upgrade, they allowed me to do it… (no surprise there – locked in for another 3 years, now with a data plan as well) … so my red Blackberry Curve is on its way.

And I had been totally frustrated with the Kodak tech support people and the demand that I find the receipt to have my camera covered under its warranty … but today I did the online troubleshooter thingie and then called the number provided AFTER you do the paperwork and jump through their hoops and got a much more reasonable support person; they’re going to fix it under warranty without the receipt. Well, as long as they don’t decide that the problem is as a result of being dropped or something… which it wasn’t… so hopefully….

So …at least I have accomplished something! Now if I could just get my scholarship Plans of Study finished, my research update done, the paper written for Law & Moral Regs, another for my Public Texts course, and still the psychology paper (that’s a big 20 pages +), the seminar stuff that I need to prepare for Textual Transmissions, and about a million pages of reading… oh yeah, and listen to about an hour of audio recordings and muck about with my class groups some more and…and…. and…. is it any wonder I’m on overload?

Ross & I are going out shopping and for lunch… and then I shall come home and try to get back at it… if I can knock back some of the smaller stuff, perhaps it won’t all feel so damned overwhelming.

It is WAY too early in the semester for it to be so overwhelming… I haven’t even started on any of the major projects that are all going to be due by the end of the semester. ACK!

flitting home

Wednesdays are my longest days at school. I have a class from 9 – 11, another from 2-4, and then a lecture and 2 seminar groups to TA from 6 – 9.

And then I get to get into my car and drive home!!!

Last week I didn’t – I stayed over at the motel.. mostly because I was just too tired out to even think about the drive. But this week, I’m feeling less exhausted on the whole and I want to go home and sleep in my own bed.

So I shall try to time my coffee so that I have enough alertness to make the drive without overdoing it so that I won’t be able to sleep by the time I get there. Always a bit of a trick …and I have often miscalculated… but that’s okay … as long as I get HOME, I’m happy …even if I get home wired and unable to sleep.

I have to come back Friday morning – so it’s almost not worth it… but only almost. Winter, I’m afraid, will tip the balance into ‘better stay put’ …but we’ll deal with that.

I looked at an apartment yesterday – am really ambivilant about it. I like the house, the price is reasonable, and I could bring the dog. BUT – it’s on 2 levels – and the stairs between are SO narrow and SO steep that they scare me. I’m a bit nervous on stairs anyway – after the car, they are the next worse place to fall-down-go-boom … and I am always conscious that my timing for that is not always the best. And Ross likes his beer on occasion – I can’t imagine anyone successfully navigating those stairs with any alcohol on board at all, really!

School is going okay – I think – I feel a bit frustrated by all the reading. I mean, I can read it all – and I do …but there is just so much of it to cram into my brain that I feel as though I’m retaining such a small percentage of it that there’s hardly any point. And of course, there’s the issue of 5+ hours of required reading for a 2 hour class – in which only very small bits get discussed due to the time constraints.

There was one article this week that I found really difficult. Tried to read it onscreen and it just wasn’t making any sense to me… so I printed it and went through it again – and again, line by line. I worked terribly hard at it – and then it wasn’t even talked about! If I hadn’t read it thoroughly, probably would have been the one they focussed on!

Oh well… hopefully I will get better at retention of this stuff…only one of my courses has an exam (and that’s oral ACK!!!) …. so presumably I’m not expected to be able to retain all of it..but it is rather frustrating.

Oops! Going to be late again if I don’t get moving. Last week it didn’t matter as the prof was late – but I’m unlikely to be that lucky again. Got to pack the car and check out before I go…and definitely leave time to stop for coffee. NOT at a McDonalds!

Not ~Quite~ getting it

So …I drove 2.5 hours this morning…didn’t stop along the way although I DO know better… so by the time I got to Peterborough, I was motivated (and then some) to stop at the first available restaurant where I could expect to find a washroom and a coffee refill.

McDonalds has coffee… and bathrooms … and just happens to be on the right side of the road … so I stopped there.

Won’t be doing that again! They obviously do not get the whole green thing! Lots of recycling bins and stuff….I am sure they are making an effort to appear to be doing the green thing. But!

I travel with a travel mug (or two) …. I do not see the point of using paper cups when a travel mug is so darned easy. So I ask the young man if he can fill a travel mug for me.

Sure, no problem. He charges me for a large; I pay.

And then he turns around and starts to pour coffee into a paper cup.

I commented that that rather defeated the purpose of a travel mug. He shrugged and said that he had to do it that way.

And then the manager came over and insisted that one cup was not sufficient!!! He made  him doublecup it for the long journey from the counter to – well – um – the counter. Even though the young man pointed out that he was pouring it into a travel mug. Even though I had already expressed my preference that they not waste paper.

Young man shrugs and does what he was told – pours the doublecupped coffee into my travel mug, and tosses the 2 cups into a garbage can. Garbage – not recycling.

Won’t be doing that again!

just flitting (way more than you ever wanted to know) – crossposted from Gather

I am in the middle of doing some homework… preparing notes for a seminar I am giving tomorrow….  and then moving onto doing some work on my psychology paper… but in between points, have been catching up some on Gather

Strikes me as funny that even though I am here much, much less these days, I miss it so little. Not that I don’t miss some of my Gather friends … but beyond that, it really doesn’t much bother me not to be posting here…. nor do most people notice/care whether I’m around or not.

When I do pop in to read, it doesn’t take very much time at all either… what’s happened to all the content? Nothing against anyone still posting on Gather… but it sure doesn’t take long for me to whip through new posts and decide that my time would be better spent dropping Entrecards to promote my blogs instead. At least at Today.com they actually value my work enough to pay me for it even if I am – gasp – Canadian! There are an awful lot of interesting blogs out there, also … it’s pretty easy to find things I want to read and comment on as I do my card-dropping.

Oh well… if nothing else, I’m thinking that I might well be able to use the ICING of Gather as the subject of one of my papers for one of my courses …. it might be an interesting study in the topic of public texts. Will have to think on that some more.

Anyway… for those who are interested (but not quite interested enough to visit any of my blogs)…school is going great so far; it’s a lot of reading/writing/talking – but it is challenging and fun and I am up for the challenges – at least so far.

I DO miss Ross (and Scrooge) bunches when I’m in Peterborough … Ross is still working quite a bit even though it is supposed to be winding down now. I really only have to be away Monday to Wednesday – but because of a Friday a.m. meeting, I either have to stay over 2 more days ($80 in motel cost) or make the commute a second time ($40 in gas plus 5 – 6 hours of aggravation). So far I’m doing the latter – but once the snow flies, will likely opt for staying there (and pouting).  Am working on sorting out a way to be able to listen to some of my required readings while I drive – that would make the time not feel so wasted.

Being a TA is going to be great, I think – I really love that it is small groups and only for an hour a week – long enough to have really good discussions about the literature we’re covering, but not SO long that I have to work to provide tons of content to keep them going.

I’m really excited about most of my courses…

fiction/nonfiction isn’t AS good as I was hoping for – but it’s early days yet. Only had one class so far; I’m very interested in the topic – in fact, explored it some already while writing my Margaret Laurence paper – but didn’t get good vibes from first class – hopefully that will change.

The one I was least enthusiastic about taking is Textual Transmissions, and it is shaping up to be truly interesting and exciting! The prof for that one says we all know how to research and write papers already, or we wouldn’t be this far in our academic careers – so the course is less about writing papers and more about participation. And for the one big written assignment we have a choice – could do a research paper – or, I can write a screenplay for a musical horror (Sweeney Todd, Cabaret, 3 Penny Opera, Rocky Horror Picture Show – that type of thing). Is that not COOL? I have never tried writing a play or a screenplay …but I am excited about it. And because Ross has a background in theatre, as well as a true interest in movies and all that crap I don’t really care about, he is enthusiastic about it as well… it is something we can work on together (with prof’s full knowledge, of course; already covered – and he’s invited him to come to class as well, which is cool).  The goal is to take an urban myth/legend – like Sweeney Todd is based on – and turn it into a campy horror …I think I – we – can do that ….thinking to go with an urban  legend of the sort one finds on Snopes – organ stealing, most likely… i.e. tourists waking up sans kidneys. It’s going to be fun.

My third elective is Law and Moral Regulation in NeoLiberal Times and that one is offered through the Canadian Studies program rather than the English M.A. program. It is a LOT of work – tons of reading each week, write a paper about the readings every week, plus a major paper, and an oral exam at the end! Oy vey!!!!   But it is very interesting stuff and so far, anyway, is providing me with a whole lot of theory and language that speaks to issues I care deeply about. I don’t know that I can explain it well enough … but it takes things that I feel about how society treats people and gives me the academic framework to actually understand and explain those feelings.

Then I have my 2 required courses. The main one in Public Texts is a tad intimidating at the moment – I don’t have a clue where to start re: the assignments or major paper we are to do – but I keep telling myself that I’m in it to learn – it is not expected that we come knowing all this stuff already, right? I’m hoping that it will become less intimidating at some point and I will feel ready to tackle some of the assignments… there are a lot of possible activities – we only need to do two of them (although in true keener fashion, I’m thinking to at least try most/all of them – then hand in the 2 I am most happy with). Can’t hurt, right?

The other course is divided between the research project component in which we discuss our research projects and get/give feedback re: our proposals. We met for the first time last week – I think it is going to be both very helpful, and also very interesting. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that my first draft re: my research plan was well received – or that we spent more time in a bar (where the prof paid for our drinks, even) than in the classroom.  The colloquium component of the course hasn’t met yet, but my understanding is that mostly, it involves guest speakers coming in to speak to us about various aspects of public texts and publishing. No idea if we have to write papers or whatever for it …but wouldn’t surprise me any 🙂

Anyway …Ross’ daughter just called and invited us down to their new place for dinner… so I’d best get my rear in gear and get my seminar notes for tomorrow finished. Sure wish my camera wasn’t broked! Might have to dig out my old one so that I can take pictures of the babies. Kodak customer support sucks, I am finding. Should have researched that before I bought yet another Kodak, I guess… both the camera’s I bought for the kids are Kodaks…and so are both of mine… would have been good to know before we had paid for so many. Of course it would be the most expensive of the 4 that is buggered 😦    I’ve broken my Palm LifeDrive too …. the first week of school was VERY expensive! No idea how/where to get that fixed… guess I should find out.

Flitting

I really should NOT have had a nap earlier today… now it’s past bedtime and I’m still up… finished first draft of paper for my class in Law & Moral Regulation in NeoLiberal Times though. Have to write a three page paper re: the assigned readings each week. Ideally I will get a week ahead of that one, but until I get my psychology paper done, that isn’t likely to happen.

SO much reading and writing to keep on top of this semester – next semester won’t be as heavy though, thank goodness. IF I can work my schedule out with GC, I should be able to manage teaching there on top of my course work. I think. Hope.

We’ll see.

Might run myself into the ground before then, trying to manage 3 courses on top of everything else! Wouldn’t be so bad but I lose a lot of time driving… this week was 2 trips to Peterborough and back … might just stay over next week, although of course, that costs extra for the motel too.

Other than school, and an evening at Rama – we went to a concert (Bachman and Cummings) – but didn’t hit the slots or anything at all – not much new and exciting this week. It’s basically all just school, homework, and more school.

Ross is still working, although it was supposed to be winding down by now… sounds like he will continue to work a day or two /week through most of the winter too … will see what happens with that.

Kids are both okay, although not yet employed… that makes me very sad 😦

Scrooge is not thrilled with life these days – he has become increasingly neurotic and hates, HATES, HATES!!! to be left alone at home at all. Every time I walk near the door he gets there first…. if I’m going, he thinks he should go too. Even when I stay home, any time Ross leaves, he whines at length. Poor puppy! I feel bad…but he’s got to stay home alone sometimes!

I should go to bed.

Or read some more of Eminent Victorians. I’m into the last section of it, thank God! Got to do a seminar on it on Monday morning…really need to wade through it. Done my research, got lots of notes and ideas (which I will pull together into some semblance of organization tomorrow) …but wading through the book… yuck! I did like the section on Florence Nightingale…but the other three just suck. Who the hell cares about those people? Not I! I really, really don’t.

Have to do two seminars in this class… seems rather overkill to me…. my second won’t be until November though. Still, less work than the 3 page paper every week for Law & Moral Regs… speaking of overkill!

So Tired…

made it through first week of classes… got STACKS of articles to read and things to do … I SO need to get that psych paper out of the way.

Draft this weekend, then will let it sit and give it another edit next week… that’s the plan anyway.

Been really frustrated by lousy internet  … lousy internet EVERYWHERE, really … the motel system is pretty lame… supposedly that will be fixed tomorrow.

The wireless at the campus I’m at for most o f my classes also messed up …sometimes works ok in the caf there… but only sometimes…and nothing at all in offices/classroom … that irks me.

Especially irked cuz the computers in the grad office don’t allow us to log on … apparently someone needs to do something to make that happen and it hasn’t happened yet.

Fun. SO much that needs downloading to read…  and can’t download squat most of the time… oh, and no printer cable, either…so that was another annoyance.

Would have gone home after last class tonight but soooooooooooooo flipping tired, it wouldn’t have been safe to drive… will go in the morning… then Ross & I are goingto see Randy Bachman @ Casino Rama tomorrow night (his early birthday present) …. 

Afterwards, we’ll come back here so that I don’t have to get up so darn early to make it to my TA meeting Friday morning…

TA thing went ok, today, I think… only 4 showed up for second session though …. should have been 8 according to my list…  don’t know what was up with that.

Anyway … think it’s past my bedtime….soooooooooooooooo tired…. got a chill but I think tis the exhaustion rather than really being cold.

I SO should have done that psych paper while I had time! Kicking myself now!

End of Training

K…. first week is over… I must be all ready and good to go now, right? 

I wish. I do believe that there are a few gaps in my knowledge yet.

Silly little things, mostly – we have not been told our office info or phone numbers yet… and even once I have that, would be kind of nice to have some sort of basic orientation to the phone system. Phone systems are not among my favourite things.

If I should happen to be ill or snowed in on a teaching day – who do I call? Beats me! Not that I plan to miss any teaching days …but sh*t happens, y’know. Would be nice to have a clue.

Other than those sorts of neurotic things to worry about though, the first week of school/TA Training went reasonably well.

Got my classes sorted out – mostly.

Just heard from the prof of the one non-English department course I’m taking… I had been concerned that I had not heard anything re: booklists/summer reading, etc….apparently none required, so that’s good. I also tracked down the room number for that one… took a few more emails than I would have liked, but oh well…

The normal thing to do – since we only need 4 half semester courses over the 8 months, is to take 2 classes each semester.

Me, I have never been normal 🙂

I want to teach in Barrie next semester – so needing to keep some time blocks clear. By front loading and doing 3 this semester, I was able to clear both Mondays and Thursdays. Also have Friday clear except for a 1 hour TA meeting every morning. THAT is a royal pain in my arse…  5 extra hours of driving a week – or 2 extra nights staying over – for that one hour meeting – just doesn’t seem reasonable.

Will try to smile and be a big girl about it for this semester… but SO not happy about it. Hopefully they will turn out to be more useful than they seem to be so far (based, admittedly, on first impressions only).

I really do hate to have my time wasted though. A LOT.

Classes start next week…so not TOO much in the way of homework this weekend… just a 20 page paper for psychology that I still haven’t got done… a couple of statements of intent for scholarship applications (very important; those scholarships are worth a LOT of $$)…  and had a syllabus to do – that I finished already.

Minor details.

ACK!

My horoscope is lying to me today!

It says:

Although today may be a day of rest and relaxation, you can still gain respect in the eyes of your friends and family. You seem to be able to do the right thing, thereby elevating your status in your community. You are happy to enjoy the company of others, but you have serious goals on your mind and should pay attention to any interactions that could move you closer to your destination.

Rest and relaxation HA!!!!   I wish.

Am being frustrated by one thing after another today… I guess that’s why it included the key word MAY.

Been trying to update my Palm Lifedrive as I figure since I have it, t’would be a good thing to use to at least try to start off with some semblance of organization.

Downloaded software from the Palm site for my new laptop – but realized that the software from there was incomplete – only gives me the Desktop application – NOT the LifeDrive Manager app.

Without that, can’t move files back and forth – so can’t use Word/Excel files… well, I could.. but if I can’t sync them between the computer and the LifeDrive, what good are they?

So – spent way too long looking for that software to download – preferable to looking for the installation disk that is around here ‘somewhere’.

No luck … eventually gave up in frustration and went hunting for the disk – found everything else that came with the Palm in an organized stack all in one file folder in my desk – including a number of disks, even – but not the main one. Of course not.

Went through stacks and stacks of disks on spindles – eventually did find the original disk.

Should be smooth sailing, now, right?

Yeah.. .right.

Tried to install it. 4x now.

Errors, errors and more errors.

We are NOT amused!

School starts tomorrow.

Will need to get photo taken for my new Trent student card – sure hope not right away …got a huge ugly cold sore … stress, perhaps?

Who me? Stressed? Nah… never happen!

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