Monday, January 26, 2004

Well, this is going to be a very busy semester, but I think it will be less hectic once the details are ironed out. On the first day of classes, the online registration system crashed -- meaning not only could students not register, there were no class rosters either. That might not have been so bad if my classes had space available -- but as far as I know they are all closed and there were about a dozen desperate students at each, asking to get in. Now, since I have taken on a lot this semester, I really cannot go any bigger than they are already, there just is no time -- and I don't care for huge classes anyway, but I don't like turning students away either. However, without access to the system, there was no easy way to tell who is in the class, who has dropped, who hasn't shown up, whether the room is big enough or needs to be changed. So that was a nightmare!

On a very good note, all the students who I supervise are top notch, very impressive, and that takes a huge burden from me.

On another subject, some time ago we got a DVD player - we both like technology but in the entertainment arena it usually takes us a while to jump on the bandwagon. Bob finally hooked it up several weeks ago (this involved completely reworking the entertainment center, it was quite a job and a tangle of wires). Then we joined netflix, which is a wonderful service! No more video stores, and more important, no more late fees. So far, we have rented Chicago, Gangs of New York, Terminator 3, A Mighty Wind, Bend it Like Beckham, Real Women Have Curves, and Living Outloud. Turns out we had already seen Living Outloud, and just didn't remember - which says it all. It was OK, but not all that memorable. All the movies we chose so far were enjoyable, but my very favorites were Bend it Like Beckham and Chicago, with A Mighty Wind and Real Women Have Curves running a close second.

Friday, January 16, 2004

A few days ago I wondered why I wasn't having an anxiety attack over all the undone work. This hasn't been much of a "break" and still it seemed like it wasn't enough time to prepare. However, as the weekend approaches, I am beginning to think I will be ready for the semester when it starts on Wednesday. It will be a combination of winging it and having it together, but I'll manage.

We have been in the deep freeze. With diligence - fawcets dripping, supplemental heaters going, closet doors open - we have managed to preserve the pipes! It is supposed to be a little better this weekend, which means we may actually get to spend at least some of it in Samsonville.

Monday, January 12, 2004

After spending the day on campus, Bob and I stopped at Stewart's - our much-appreciated local convenience store - on Main Street in Castleton. There were cops everywhere, an ambulance, and several television trucks. It turns out that a man was hit and killed by a train. He was the same age as Bob. Such tragedies happen every year or so, as Amtrak runs next to the Hudson River, only yards from buildings on Main Street, and when it goes through Castleton, it is at speeds of about 100 miles per hour, and more.

I am a big supporter of train travel, and so I rarely criticise the trains that whip through the village, but while following the story, I have learned that of the communities near the Hudson between Albany and New York City, Castleton is the closest to the tracks. In Westchester County, the train slows to 60 mph when it cruises through Croton.

PS Today is my mother's birthday; happy birthday Ma!

Monday, January 05, 2004

Happy New Year! Hard to believe that number, '04. I remember looking ahead to Y2K, and it didn't seem possible that the 19s would be over and 20s would be here. Mimmie was born 100 years ago this year, at the beginning of the 20th century. I had planned -- hoped -- to get some work done on that book, during this intercession. But I have so many things pending, and it really isn't easy, getting back into routine. I have a long list of things to do, and I think I should start with reorganizing my office.

We did First Night in Albany for New Year's. I think it was the fifth time we did it? Last time was '99 turning to '00, and it wasn't that great, compared to the other times we participated. Everyone was in such a panic about the change in the year, and what it would do to the infrastructure. But this year it was good, with warmer weather than any other year when we did it, I think. We managed four events, in addition to dinner out: the Van Trapp great-grandchildren singing at the Palace theatre, the Adirondack Baroque concert at St. Mary's, an improv act, Mission Improvable, at Capital Rep, and a dance troupe, Bamboche Lakay, back at the Palace.

Today is Bob's 44th birthday. He says he wants to have it changed, to not be so close to Christmas and New Year's.