Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Ha ha. Why should now be any different? It isn't that I think the upset residents are wrong. The water has been very active and brown below the Reservoir since Irene. But it's more of an issue because it now is impacting those south of the dam? News flash: This has been going on for more than 100 years. Read this:

"In addition to this sense of distrust, many residents of Ashokan feel that the city has not outgrown its original assumption that rural areas exist for the sole purpose of servicing growing urban centers. This position was first made emphatically clear in 1905 by City Corporation Counsel Delaney, when he conducted the first hearings in Kingston, and little change in this point of view seems to have occurred since then" (Steuding, B., 1985, The Last of the Handmade Dams, p. 110).

So good luck on that apology.

On another subject, it is now a week into the new semester. Foundations classes are going well. So far, they seem to be full of bright lights! Overall, the sections are not huge (20-ish). Due to my computer crash, it turned out that I was not as available to issue permission numbers so the sections could go over the cut point, which meant when a few students dropped during final registration (as always happens, some students "course shop"), they were not replaced. That's OK - classes of twenty students will be a pleasure. Toleration is quite large at this point though (33).

I scored brand new classrooms in the lecture center area -- a big lecture center was chopped into three classrooms and outfitted with tables, computer chairs, and the latest technology. All three of my classes are held there. I feel very fortunate. Great for class community, presentations, group work and discussion!

Naturally, my first day on campus is a bit anxiety producing. It's just my temperament, but also, I see few people during breaks and in addition to owl mode, I develop a touch of agoraphobia. But, one day back cures it. It's always a trip to be swarmed in campus center, though - by students absorbed by smart phones. (That's trip almost literally, btw - I have to be careful or they will bump into me and make me fall, what with my leg brace and awkward gate.) To avoid the stairs to the lecture center level, I took the tunnel. When full of students it is almost worse than campus center, in terms of getting run over. When empty, it has a high creepiness factor -- maybe I have watched too much Criminal Minds! Anyway, I think I will walk outside and brave the stairs next time.

The other thing driving my worry yesterday was the animals -- the gate was up, so Sophie can't fall, but how would they fare without me for the long day? Would Sophie be OK? Would Sam mind not being able to go to the kitchen? Would TB/TC be able to get through the gate if he needed to? The answers turned out to be: Just fine, Yes, No and Yes, so there was no cause for concern. What a relief!

Eagerly awaiting my new machine.

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