Posts Tagged ‘flitting’

Reading Week

Well, it’s reading week – and so far, that is about all I have accomplished – reading. I need to get WRITING!

I have a 20 page psychology paper due by the end of this month. Plus a musical and 3 more major papers all due by Dec. 6 which sounds like it is a very long way away but with the speed that this semester is flying by just isn’t enough time. If that was ALL we had to do that would be one thing – but every class requires weekly readings, presentations, shorter papers, etc, etc.

I am barely keeping up with that day to day stuff right now – if I don’t get a jump on all of it, there’s no way I’ll manage to get everything done by December 6 – at least not well enough to suit me!

So – the plan is to get the psych paper DONE and emailed to the prof so that I don’t have to think about it any more, and to get all of the reading and papers done for the next 2 weeks, and to do as much of the prep work as I can done re: the major papers and the musical (it is well underway, actually, although sans music).

Tomorrow I have to go to Peterborough for the last bit of our TA training – I wouldn’t bother but I need a few more hours to have enough time in to get the certificate for it. And will probably hit Oshawa and deal with kids’ computer issues, briefly. Really not liking my kids much right now; I am so tired of the hysterical phone calls and ongoing stress that they seem determined to cause me. They are both supposedly grown up – but sure can’t tell it by me right now.

I am hoping that they will soon both get jobs – which will reduce their stress AND MINE – and mean that they are both out working rather than at home together fighting. I can dream, can’t  I?

Also, Ross & I are likely going to go to Toronto to see the Art of the Book ’08 show at the Ontario Crafts Council Gallery. I can use that for one of the assignments I need to do for my Public Texts course – and it looks interesting, even though now that I’ve looked at all the thumbnails online, I hardly feel the need to actually GO to it. But it will be good for Ross & I to take some time to go DO something together. 

We did go out yesterday for a bit; to the courthouse in Orillia to ask to have his ticket reduced. That was so stupid! Not the trip to the courthouse – that was very worthwhile – but the ticket itself. In previous years, when the kids were up here more often, we bought their fishing licenses. This year, they were hardly here at all and we just never thought about it. So Thanksgiving Day, we had some time to kill and Ross offered to take the girls fishing out in the boat, just in front of the house. Never even crossed his – or my – mind that they didn’t have licenses this year.

Thanksgiving Day on Georgian Bay Chatting with the OPP

Thanksgiving Day on Georgian Bay Chatting with the OPP

Sure enough, they got caught. Didn’t even get a nibble before the OPP boat was making a beeline for them. Much lecturing and bull**** – and they gave Ross a ticket for having 3 lines in the water (i.e. his own and the 2 girls’). Cheaper than giving each of the kids one – but still …$180 ain’t cheap! The girls got an order to buy their licenses and fax them to the court office, which we did – but the cop also told Ross that once that was done, he could go into the courthouse and plead guilty with explanation and ask to have the fine reduced.

So we did – and the very nice Justice of the Peace accepted “stupidity” as a valid defense and wiped the fine out. So all we ended up paying was the $40 for the useless fishing licenses (they’re only good til the end of ’08). And for the gas and lunch, of course 🙂  But that wasn’t much, since both of us are sick and food doesn’t taste good anyway, so we just went to Harveys.

Well, time I was getting back to work on this essay, I suppose! Lots to say … just having trouble focussing enough to actually WRITE it!

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Getting organized

I am actually making progress!

Found a huge binder to use for my readings… so that when I photocopy or print stuff, I have a place to put it so that I will be able to find it again.

Of course, the damn thing is about full and there is still tons more to add to it… but if need be, will get another and split it into 2 … for now, it will do.

In addition to putting everything in alphabetical order, I am adding tabs to each document that give the author name and the date/course it’s for…

A lot of the stuff I need to photocopy is in folders in the grad office at school – I keep getting caught without the reading I need when I read it…so now, I figure I can spend an hour or two at the photocopier tomorrow…copy everything I haven’t yet done, label it and put it in the right section… and then each week it will simply be a matter of pulling out the readings for that week and putting those into the specific course binder.

Would rather spend a couple of hours getting it all sorted and having it all organized than continuing to be so stressed looking for things I KNOW I copied already but can’t *^%&%$& FIND! when I need them. At least that is the plan.

And at the end of it all I’ll have a resource that I can use again, right?

For the Law & Moral Regulation readings, I figure I will print out my notes and file them with the article… should make it easier to use them if I need them later.

Just got to stay on top of it all and it should work.

I hope!

Making Progress

Found my motel key… this is good. Really should put a clippy thing on my keychain so that I can just clip it on when I find it. Also managed to get my camera mailed off to be repaired this week. Also good.

Just finished one of the 2 papers I need to finish today; both due tomorrow. Spent WAY too long on the one for Law & Moral Regulation – it’s only 3 pages…  finding this weekly paper to be a HUGE pain in my arse…. I have become quite skilled at sitting down and writing a damn paper – sometimes all in one sitting even … but a key component of that is that I have to have think time before I get to that point.

With my bigger papers – that it does often look like I do in a day or two … there is a whole lot of prepatory work that happens … I decide on a topic… read a bunch of stuff related to my topic….do some mind mapping in Inspiration until I come up with a basic outline/thesis … then do nothing… for days…sometimes weeks. Nothing visible, that is… in the meantime the wheels in my brain are turning, and things eventually start to gel. And THEN I sit down and write the damned paper.

This weekly paper thing sucks! During the week I have way too much reading/writing/attending classes/teaching/driving/etc … to do to allow for much in the way of mulling and gelling… basically, I need to be able to sit down, read the 100 + pages of academic journal and write a cohesive 3 page paper. It is a lot harder than it sounds! And it just doesn’t fit with the way I work.

Anyway … done for another week… and the other one that I need to do today is relatively small … it too is only 3 pages or so …but it’s just a write up of last week’s class … a lot easier than trying to do anything cohesive with 100+ pages of text by multiple authors. Will get that done and then, I think, I shall have to go in search of food.

It is pouring rain…this is good … the noisy whiny obnoxious football players have taken shelter somewhere and shut the hell up for the moment.

This is the first week that I have had to deal with noisy, whiny, obnoxious people at the motel where I stay. Can’t say I appreciate their presence much.

I wouldn’t mind the football and the silliness – but there is one guy among them that seems to think that whining – very loudly – like an exagerated Steve Erkhart or something – is funny. “I don’t wanna!!!”  Etc. etc. It is not funny. It is obnoxious. His friends should have made that clear to him long before now.

Well damn…. just flipped through my clipboard looking for my notes re: the class I have to write up…guess what I can’t find! Bluddy hell! Oh well… maybe when I get off my arse to go look for them I will get lucky and also find the missing reading that I need for this afternoon’s class. I KNOW I photocopied it! It has to be somewhere.

Motel man (owner) needs to go make his phone calls somewhere else. He is standing directly outside my door. WHY is he standing directly outside MY door!? He has an office! 

Finally. He’s gone… found notes for paper (but not reading for class…will have to go in early to read that)… can get ‘er done and go get food. I am hungry… do have a carton of soup I could heat up, but the only mug/cup i have with me is a stainless steel travel mug. Don’t think that is meant to go in the microwave. Poor planning!

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!

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.

Changes are coming to Gather

…. and the remainder of the title of that particular article is  – Changes You Asked For

Wanna bet?

I’m pretty sure that I was pretty clear about the Changes I Asked For – and these ain’t them. From the article I linked there:

Keep your Twister game – and/or your Beachball – for new and not yet signed in members. But could we please, please, please, have a real home page back? Pretty please?

And how about on your Explore pages – Posts, Photos & Videos – just add a By My Connections option…. we’ve got Most Viewed, Most Discussed, Highest Rated & Recent – would it kill you to add For Me in there? We know you have the technology.

Come on – what would it hurt? Why are you so intent on forcing us to either go through the feed – which many of us DETEST and which DOES NOT WORK properly – or wade through every post by everybody whether we’re connected to them or not?

Connections are the most important thing on Gather – why, why, why have you decided to undermine the single most important thing that makes Gather special? It makes no sense! Seriously. Come on … please? With sprinkles and a cherry on top?

Not one of these things appears to be in the supposed fix.  

I was invited, and accepted the invitation to attend the Preview tomorrow afternoon – but I have already emailed my ~regrets~ …. I can already tell by the screenshots that Pam posted that they are not going to fix the things that drive me nuts about Gather since Hawthorne.

If I want to be frustrated, I can talk to my kids or my husband. If I want to be fed garbage, I can go to McDonalds. If I want to be ignored, I can go to Wal-Mart.  And if I want to be read, I can write here, or on Today.com, or on countless other sites.

The only possible reason to EVER show up at Gather any more is to stay in touch with collaboration central members & maybe a (very) few others.

I understand that some people don’t/won’t care enough to bother to visit me elsewhere or to keep in touch by email …  I’ll survive. Might be sad… but it won’t kill me.

How many blogs do you need?

That was the question my darling daughter asked me a little while ago when I suggested that she might like to bookmark my newest blog, flittingOnFiction, which I created on Today.com just today.

I told her that I thought that I was done now 🙂 At least for the time being.

Used to be that Gather was enough for me… but then they ICED it…and that seriously irks me.

So this one became my go on about whatever is going on in my life spot … I’m still at Gather… but I no longer feel inclined to be ONLY on Gather… that doesn’t work for me any more. Even if they were to fix everything they’ve broken, the many great people they’ve chased away are unlikely to return. Gather makes me sad.

I’ve tried Helium –  not terribly impressed with them… as Stephanie has discovered, once you post something there they OWN it… no process to EVER remove it again… that doesn’t work for me at all… and I detest their rating system, also ….absolutely detest it. They provide you with the articles they want you to read – in pairs. About topics they choose. ‘Fraid I don’t have the attention span to be reading stuff not of my choosing. Unless it’s on the test – then I will read it… but just because …. ? Uh… no. That is SO not happening. Some of the articles I’ve posted over there seem to be moving up quite nicely ….and I’ve earned a whole .09 cents… but I think that’s enough of that little experiment.

So … this one for general flitting…and ranting….and flittingOnFiction for my academic research ~stuff~ … my intention with that one is to focus on issues relating to the topics I’m researching & working on re: my graduate studies….and I’m hoping the fact that they pay for daily posts over there will help me to make the effort to come up with something to post every day. Can’t hurt, right?

Friday flitting

Our front yard - soon to have a tin boat out at the dock again!

Our front yard - soon to have a tin boat out at the dock again!

Oh, I am just loving Diane, Ross’ ex-wife, right now.

She called a little while ago – with a “problem”. Someone has offered her a free 12′ aluminium boat and she needs a place to keep it.

We had  one – but ended up giving it to one of Ross’ sisters & her hubby. They say we can go down and use it whenever… but we never have – and I wouldn’t ever be likely to, either. But I have SO missed it.

Diane’s having it brought here tomorrow …. and we can use it any time we want …I told her that we’d supply an electric motor for it … that way we can take the babies out … don’t have to worry about managing them and having to row at the same time.

It’s going to be a great weekend!

Which reminds me … we have a gift certificate re: going to a play and I was going to see if there are still seats available for this weekend… need to find that and call them.

Suddenly I feel far more motivated to get my stuff done …. got to get things done so I can go fishing!!!

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