Thursday, February 25, 2010

Reinvention - Partial Success

I have, in past posts, whined about my desire to teach again. In addition to the college where I ran my program, there is another program not too far away.

School XYZ contacted me a few weeks ago. Seems they lost an instructor, and they were in desperate need of someone to take the class.

Happy, happy, joy, joy!
But yet some trepidation as well.

They run their courses in 5 week modules. Basically, it condenses a semester's worth of work into 5 weeks. That's how they advertise that you'll have your degree in such a short time. For this, they charge a sickening amount of money. And the credits don't transfer to a regular college. I have a little bit of a problem with that.

Then, every time I talked to them, another layer of annoyance was added:
  • Oh, and by the way, you have to come in for an interview - even though you have the job.
  • Oh, and by the way, you have to come in again for an interview with the dean - even though you have the job.
  • Oh, and did I mention that you also have to do a teaching demo - even though you have the job?
  • Oh, and I forgot to tell you that even though you will be paid on a contract for the class, you still have to punch in & out. (Excuse me, I am not a Wal-Mart flunky. I have never heard of faculty having to punch a clock.)
  • The class is all done & the whole thing is on Power Point (a somewhat overrated mechanism of course delivery, in my opinion). I am NOT to deviate from the slides. I am NOT encouraged to bring in any of my own materials (I have taught this stuff before). On the bright side, all the tests & quizzes are already written too. That was always my least favorite part of teaching. Makes me think I could be replaced by a trained monkey.

So, yeah, while I am excited to get the chance to teach again, I am chafing at the constraints.

Friday, February 19, 2010

What More Could You Ask?

Friday night.

Creeping back to the Home to watch some Olympics on the giant TV . . .

with a good dinner . . .

and good company.

What more could you ask?
(Except if BS could have come too.)

Monday, February 15, 2010


We were blessed to have you with us for a long time.
You fought your battles with courage and good humor that inspired us all,
but it was time to go home.
Watch out for your family now, okay?

Somewhere a journey begins at the end of the worldly existence we know,
Somewhere a path stretches over the stars, and rivers of memories flow.
Somewhere a silence is heard far away, and the brightness of day fills the night,
Where the trials of life are resolved into peace when a soul finds its way to the Light.

Align Center

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

Just a brief follow-up to my last post:

Thursday, February 11, 2010

I Blame The Pope

Yes, I do. It's his fault.
More specifically, it's the fault of Pope Gelasius I.
He's the one that made Valentine's Day an official church holiday in 496 AD.

Some people have also blamed Geoffery Chaucer,
who wrote some romantic nonsense about it in 1382.

But wait, let's not stop there.
There's plenty of blame to go around.

The earliest surviving valentine was written in the fifteenth century by
Charles, Duke of Orleans.

Hamlet mentions it in 1600.

In 1797, a British publisher came out with a booklet containing sloppy sentimental verses
for gentlemen too unimaginative to think of their own.
Embellished valentines then flourished in the UK.
Sadly, the custom trickled across the pond, and in the mid 1800's,
they began being mass-produced here in the States.

That's Esther Howland's fault.
She was so besotted by one of the English ones she received
that she got her father's book & stationary store to start selling them.
It's so much her fault that the Greeting Card Association gives out an annual
"Esther Howland Award for a Greeting Card Visionary".
Makes me want to puke.

The rest is Hallmark history.

disclaimer: I found all this on Wiki, so it may all be hooey anyway.

Here's the thing.
Valentine's Day is clearly an excuse to make men feel unworthy
unless they ply their wives/girlfriends with cards, candy, chocolate,
jewels, and other manner of sentimental gifts.
Of course, the women reciprocate with sloppy sentimentality of their own.

It is not a holiday to exchange these things with parents, children,
brothers, sisters, dogs, cats, co-workers, or classmates.

If you don't have one of those sweethearts, Valentine's Day is endured, not celebrated.
It makes me want to curl my lip & growl like Clint Eastwood in "Gran Torino"
(one of the best movies ever made, by the way).

Having said that,
*sheepishly hangs head*
thank you Pop and Brother for the Valentines I got in the mail today.

Mom, I hope you believed me when I said I didn't want one,
'cause BS & I will be seeing you Sunday for lunch & a movie,
and I didn't get you one.
I didn't get BS one either.
Or Pop or Brother.

Of course, this is all blatant and unabashed sour grapes on my part.
I seem to recall writing something along these lines last year around this time too.
So . . .

Saturday, February 6, 2010

It Really Did Thaw, But Then . . . .

Has this been the best winter EVER, or what?!

My thanks to Rosie Hawthorne for that graphic!

I realize that I am spending an unnatural amount of time being consumed with snow.
You gotta understand something though.
For Southeastern Virginia, this is such a rarity that I am going to milk every minute I can.

that last picture is out of order - it's from last week - but I like the sequence

Sometimes a dusting can be the prettiest of all.

This time, the trees were sprayed in white. Pretty.

I especially like those occasions when I could advertise 'waterfront property'.

Uh oh. Would someone please tell them that February has only just started.

There is a trick to taking snow pictures at night.
Obviously, I don't think I have the hang of it yet.
But oooh look - cotton balls!

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Great Thaw

What if there had just been a big snowstorm?

And what if you were a happy little bush, minding your own business?

But what if part of your business just happened to be
right under the drip line on a roof with no gutters?

Then, what if all that snow started to melt, but the air was still cold?

This is what would happen.

And some of his brothers had the same problem, but on a smaller scale.

That's okay, all is well - this one never leaves his post.

And this one, just because I like it.