Thursday, March 30, 2006

I found out a couple of days ago that a favorite teacher of mine died last month. After hearing about it, I searched the web and found her obituary, but it is archived and I had to pay $1.25 to view it, so I can't link to it. I did find this tribute to her, though. I believe "pig" should be "pug;" one of the other things that the Google search turned up was a post she wrote on a dicussion board in 2003 about her dog.

Every semester, in my foundations class, I have the students discuss or write about the concept of mentors and role models, whether they have had one in school or college, and whether we should expect teachers to take on this responsibility, or if that is unfair. A lot of students remember some wonderful teacher and share a story about the impact that teacher had on them. Not as common, there are others who can't remember any teacher having such a significant role. But even the students who remember a great teacher will sometimes wonder about the large number of teachers they have encountered, and the fact that only a handful have been memorable in this way.

I wouldn't say this favorite teacher of mine was a role model, or even a mentor exactly. But I do remember that she was nice to everyone - including, and especially, the troubled students. She was a high school English teacher, and in my case, she really encouraged me to write. She always assigned a journal as an assignment in class; that has proved to be a valuable lifelong habit for me, and I require the students in my foundations class to keep one, too. Maybe I wouldn't be keeping this online journal if it wasn't for her. She wrote "keep writing!" in my high school yearbook. When I told her that I was going to go to Oneonta to college, she shared that Oneonta was her alma mater. She even wrote to me a few times when I was a freshman. Although I hadn't kept in touch with her in years, I think the world will be a little less bright with her gone.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

I caught another student plagiarizing yesterday. He handed in an essay that another student wrote for class in Spring 2005. He added three sentences. I had changed the questions, so the essay no longer was appropriate for the assignment. Did he think I wouldn't notice? Really, it is insulting. I have already sent everything to Judicial Affairs. Buh-bye.

Sam was nearby as I was working on the essay nightmare (and hardly making any progress, as I spent so much time on this one case). I said to him, "this is only one reason why dogs are better than people." Sam wouldn't cheat if he was a person.

Which reminds me, today is the sixth month anniversary of Rudy's death. Still think of you every day, my sweetie.

Friday, March 24, 2006

This opinion piece, from yesterday's TU, captures the mood nicely, and is a good read.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

I might be getting another story published!! It is looking good. The story is "Christmas Paper." Keep your fingers crossed.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Well, they didn't win...but they certainly played a great game. Also notable, I watched televised sports...a first!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Now, sports of any kind are VERY low on my list of priorities. Forget that - low on my list of interests, no way could sports be a priority! Actually - revise again, sports doesn't even make my list of interests. (For the curious, check out this post to see the roots of my anti-athletics disorder.) But the university's basketball team has won the America East Conference championship, and for the first time is headed to the NCCA tournament. They will be playing #1 UConn in Philadelphia tomorrow. How many times has a #16 beat a #1? Zero. (Before you are too impressed, I had to look up most of that information before I typed; although everyone, everywhere is chattering, and I have been listening to radio and TV and reading the paper, it was not retained, and so it was not off the top of my head.) Anyway, to say this is a big deal around here would be a major understatement. The campus is buzzing. But more than that - and this is truly incredible, because as a "State school" in the northeast, we don't exactly feel the love from our community - the entire region is excited. The idea of an upset victory really captures the imagination. It would be nice if people got this worked up about academics, but oh well! A couple of the players have been in my classes in the past, or are in one of them now. Better to not comment specifically, or even generally, on their performance, OK? Except for one young man, who was in my summer class last year. He's a great student, a really nice kid, he made a lasting good impression on me, and he deserves to win! So, just for him, I have generated some interest in this one game. Go Great Danes!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

I haven't been posting here very much lately. If this was a paper journal, this is probably one of those points where I would abandon it for a while. I checked my referrer logs - and the #1 search terms for landing here are bungalow houses or craftsman houses. That is usually the case. But the #2? Rodents! Pretty funny.

We had a little snow this morning, which is only notable because we have had so little snow this winter. I was thinking as I looked into the yard that we didn't have a lot of snow this winter because Wuj wasn't here to roll in it. Sniff.

Monday, March 06, 2006

We saw Roseanne Cash at the The Egg on Friday. She is a real class act! The opening band was the Greencards. They were great, too.

Blogger seems to be acting up?

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Back in December, this appeared in the Ms. Mentor section of The Chronicle (sorry, it requires a subscription). Basically, one faculty member wrote in for advice about something petty; the instructor who preceded him or her (can't remember) in the classroom never erased the chalkboard, in spite of being left a note on the board asking that he do so, having the annoyance mentioned by a mutual colleague, and being emailed about it. Now, I was surprised by the letter, because I have no clue who uses the classrooms before me (I guess Ms. Mentor's correspondent must teach at a very small place), and even if I did, I would never write notes or emails or gossip about the subject. But since then I have been thinking about it, and wondering if there is an unspoken etiquette about chalkboard erasing. I notice that most of the time, the chalkboards in the rooms I use are not erased - they are full of scribbles. This is even true in the smart room. I always erase whatever is there when I enter - and also never fail to erase anything I write on the board before I leave. It just seems the appropriate thing to do, yet others do not extend the same courtesy.