Thursday, November 11, 2010


My therapists have never liked it when I used the word "manic" to describe my better moods. I don't mean it in the clinical way they understand it, though; I suppose a better term for what I experience is "project-manic." It's a state where, for a week to a couple of months, I am intensely focused on getting things done in a particular aspect of my life--maybe it's a creative project, maybe it's work stuff, and too infrequently it's cleaning and organizing the house.

This time my project-manic phase is centered around work. After years of not submitting an article to a peer-reviewed journal (see: full-time staff job, adjuncting, and motherhood), I've submitted two in the past month, both distillations of stuff from my dissertation. So I'm feeling pretty good about that. And I have most of the material I need, I think, for the next article, but it's probably going to take me a couple of months to write it. Still, submitting three articles in a year is pretty damn miraculous for me. Fingers crossed that they meet with sufficient acceptance.

My application was also just was accepted to participate in a program about teaching and learning with mobile devices. I proposed a project for my applied history grad course next semester, and I'm excited to see how that works out.

In other news:
  • Lucas is learning to spell. He's been writing and typing his classmates' names, and every day he comes home able to spell more of them from memory. He's also been drawing a ton of fun stuff. Here's one Fang and I have dubbed "Fat Elvis":
  • Jake the puppy (9 months old) now weighs at least 100 pounds. Here's a photo of him from about a month ago (photo by Lucas!), as well as a picture that puts his paws in scale--I have pretty big hands for a woman.

  • I'm glad I bought that extra ice scraper last week.
  • Good god even small oak trees have a lot of leaves, as do whatever kind of trees those two in the front yard are.
  • Living indoors too much, and wearing scarves when I'm outside, turns my skin back into a teenager's--and not in a good way. As I've pointed out before, developing wrinkles and battling acne simultaneously is not fucking fair.
  • Lucas is going through a pink stage. He frequently comments on what a pretty color it is, and he's declared he doesn't want to wear his black knit cap with the silver Spider-Man logo on it because he wants to get a multicolored hat that is mostly pink. On the one hand, I'm glad he hasn't yet been swayed by some of the most basic gender norming processes, but I also worry what the other kids will say to him if he wears a hot pink hat to preschool. (I have memories of one particular day in my own kindergarten experience when a boy and I wore the same style of red shorts with white stripes down the side, and I was told repeatedly by the boys that I was wearing "boy shorts." Such comments were really tough for 5-year-old me to handle, and Lucas is that age now.)
  • I'm helping Fang reestablish his freelancing practice, which means much projectizing at home (after Lucas falls asleep) on top of my work-work. With the pay cut I took to come here, I should probably pick up some freelancing or consulting work, too.
  • I changed my NaNoWriMo project to writing a couple ebooks for Fang and the biz; the cheesy Jefferson time-travel project will have the wait until at least the summer.
  • It appears most of my lower-division students can't write a research question to save their lives, even after much coaching about what makes a good question. My faves are all along the lines of "Did the Civil War have a good or bad effect on the United States?" and "How did the California gold rush change life in the entire U.S. from then until today?" Needless to say, tomorrow's class will include more coaching so that I don't have to read 50 really really really really REALLY lousy papers.


Jeff Mather said...

Have I ever told you how much I love reading these "random bullets" posts? Or that Lucas' drawings make me smile? Well, now you know.

Now... if only you weren't such a slacker all those other times when you aren't "manic." (j/k)

Lisa_V said...

Hot pink is a skater color and dubbed cool by junior high boys, don't know about the little guys. Last year, Lin's class had class shirts, they could choose from several colors, all the girls chose sky blue and the boys hot pink.

Breena said...

Since I moved to Crunchy Town I have developed a bad case of rosacea. It really sucks. Now I feel the need to wear makeup all the time to try to cover up the redness and little zits. Treatments given by the dermatologist don't seem to help. So annoying. So I sympathize with you skin issues.

I love Lucas' drawings. Did you see that blog post from a mom whose little boy wanted to be Daphne from Scoobydoo for Halloween?

Breena Ronan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Breena Ronan said...

I'm tagging you for a meme. Seven Random Things

JoVE said...

Catching up on blog reading but wanted to come and cheer for all the journal articles. 3 in a year is pretty darned good for anybody and certainly to be cheered when you are adapting to a new position.

Also, on the research questions, one difference I noted when teaching in the UK is that students are rarely (if ever) asked to write their own questions. I think in lower division courses, there may be value in setting essay questions. By the time they get to upper division they might have a better sense of what a good question is that could form a basis for coaching and teaching around creating their own. Just a thought.