Friday, May 09, 2008

Brain Dead

Ok, people: enough! My brain is fried and, like you, I'm looking to summer. It's been a great year, but this semester has left me feeling like a baby seal in the clutches of a polar bear. I'm just glad to get out alive. (Oh, wait, I better not count those chickens [or baby seals] until they hatch [or escape from the jaws of the polar bear]. After all, there are still two days of school and some exams.)

But I'm thinking about summer. I've earned it too. I've taught overloads and I've been on more committees than you can shake a laser pointer at.

Without further ado, and in the fashion of the Pillow Book, here are some things I'm happy about:

  • Giving money to Obama--more than I can afford, actually. I'll be Obama blogging more as the year goes on. Go Obama.
  • Using Google reader. My daily news is much more closely linked to my brain now. How did it take me so long to get those RSS feeds coming in (and going out!). Rss is awesome. It provides for my glutonous cravings for news from France, Asia, and Africa; it brings Open Left and Firedoglake to my screen; it is seemless and fast; it is me; I am it.
  • The Language Lab Photo Contest. We will have student art in the lab. So easy--why has no one ever done this before? (I'll put up a link to our web exhibit when I get the chance.)
  • Working hard. I've worked hard.
  • Moodle. I'll admit that I did not get to explore moodle as much as I wanted (because I was so busy), but, still, I've gained some insights into how to enhance some of my teaching.
  • Not using moodle. That's right. There's a time and a place.
  • Calling senators and congresfolk to lobby against torture and telecom immunity.
  • Having the restraint not to buy a new computer.
  • Walking to school.
  • Inventing the word "disappointless."
  • Going mostly vegan. (Ate meat last night. Emphasis on "mostly.")
  • Neutering some stray cats.
  • Several charitable donations.
  • I really enjoyed my teaching this year even though I am worn out.

Things I am disappointed about:
  • Not having the strength or insight to deal with personalities when the time was right.
  • Working hard to no apparent end, as in "That was disappointless."
  • Not talking to friends enough.
  • Being holed up working all the time.
  • Occasional endless pontificating in class.
  • Being such a slow grader.
  • Not writing enough. I have to carve out time more time for this activity.
  • Not always setting an example of excellence for students.
  • Not proofreading my blogging.
  • Ever thinking that Hillary would end the primaries gracefully.
  • Not getting enough exercise.
  • The state of my office.
I'm sure there are more things I'm disappointed about, they are just not coming to my mind right now. Let's just call that a healthy attitude of denial.

L'été arrive enfin. I've got something like 3 conferences this summer, so that will keep me more than occupied. I will be writing (see list above). We've also got some good old-fashioned manual labor projects that should keep me busy too, and I need some of that to keep me sane and balanced... Expect to see lots of pictures from Morocco...