Wednesday, May 31, 2006

I have (almost) officially put AY 2005-06 to bed. I don't want to wish my life away, but I am not sorry to see this year over. Work-wise, it was good - with a few notable exceptions, my classes were great for the most part, but otherwise, not so much. The loss of Rudy looms large...eight months ago last week. Anyway, today I submitted my faculty activity report; the deadline is tomorrow. I've never gotten a raise based on it, but I think reflecting is still worth the effort.

I wrote "almost" because I still have to email all students in my Spring classes with a breakdown of their grades. An all-time low record this semester, only three students emailed me to ask why they got the final grade they did - one B+, one A-, and one E (failing). The failing guy didn't ask why, he wanted a second chance (which is impossible after the fact). I was surprised by the small number of emails, because in all except one class, the grades were somewhat lower than in past semesters; I gave quite a few more C final grades than usual. I guess they knew what they deserved? In addition to those three, two students who had Incompletes in prior semesters emailed me. I wonder why they wait so long to do anything?

Very, very hot here...40 degrees to 85 degrees in just a couple of days. But now I should have time for yardwork, hooray.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

I submitted grades at 6:30 pm on Tuesday (the deadline was midnight). In all except one of the classes, the grades were significantly lower than in past semesters. I fully expected a ton of complaining emails as a result (the grades became available to students at noon yesterday), but only one student has contacted me so far. That has to be a record.

Yesterday was our anniversary, so we went to Lennox, MA. The weather was beautiful. On the way, we stopped at Prime Outlets in Lee, MA. Now, I hate shopping so this is really saying something - it was great! The deals are awesome, and the atomosphere is pleasant. Definitely worth the 40 mile trip from Castleton. We stayed at the Yankee Inn, in a room with a spa bathtub and fireplace (both were disappointing - the Duraflame log would hardly burn, and the jets in the tub were pathetic), but they also have an indoor pool and hottub, which nobody was using except us, and they were nice. We ate out (twice!), had to make a round trip back to Lee (because I left a bag from the Hanes store in J Crew), and then got up in the middle of the night and came home, so that the animals didn't have to be alone for too long. All in all, it was a really good time.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Still working away on evaluations (it always takes me longer than I predict) but something in the news has been bothering me. Why is it when a school budget fails - the administrators always blame apathy of the people who supported the budget - that they stayed home and that is why the budget failed. But when a budget passes, they don't say that people who didn't support the budget stayed home and that's why it passed. Now it is true that not enough people vote in school board and budget elections, but that is so, regardless of the outcome. It seems to me that when budgets fail, it is the district's administrators' and boards' fault, not the voters!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

John Gray hits the nail on the head about the goose situation in Scotia.

I am busy with end of semester evaluations. My deadline is May 23 (midnight) and it will take every minute until then to finish!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

My classes ended yesterday. For the day class, the students asked if we could go outside, and I said yes. It was a good class, and I thought they deserved to do what they wanted. The weather was beautiful. I have never held class outside before, and many students said they had never had a class outside, either. My classes often met outside when I was an undergraduate, but Oneonta was a more relaxed environment, and those were different times. I can't say I liked it as a student - it was distracting, my papers would flutter in the breeze, there was no way to write, and very often I wound up sitting in something and getting my pants dirty. But for the last class yesterday, it was OK.

I wrote to Assemblyman Tedisco (who isn't my representative, but it is in his district, and I know he likes animals since he sponsored the Buster Bill), PETA, and the mayor of Scotia about the planned killing of the Canada Geese in Collins Lake Park. I've heard from PETA, and they are aware of the situation. They said Goosepeace, a nonprofit group, offered to assist Scotia with non-lethal options, and they were rebuffed! I sure hope it can be stopped.

Friday, May 05, 2006

This is horrifying. I am so upset I don't know what to do. How can they consider the option of killing the Canada geese? So that they can go swimming this summer! If this happens, I wish tragedy on every person who uses that park, and every person involved in this atrocity. People are so mean to animals, it makes me sick.

Monday, May 01, 2006

We had a busy weekend, almost like being on vacation at home. Friends were visiting, so on Friday we had dinner at Lombardo's, our favorite Italian restaurant. Saturday, we had lunch on the patio at DeJohn's (the weather was gorgeous), and afterwards we checked out the Albany Aqua Ducks boat. It is a historic bus tour of downtown Albany, and then the vehicle drives down a ramp into the river! It was great! Definitely recommended. For dinner, we went to a venerable Albany landmark, Jack's, and then, because it was so crowded that a trip to the bathroom was difficult, we went to a nearby bar, Franklin Square, and stumbled across a 50th birthday party, complete with a musical show put on by drag queens. It was a riot! The guy who was celebrating his birthday even gave us some of his wonderful Vanilla Bean birthday cake. On Sunday, after our friends left, we went down to Hudson, where we had Chinese food at Spring Garden, and then saw United 93. That is a movie that is definitely worth going to see; it was very powerful.