After a quick one-day stopover in Chicago, we made our way to my oldest stompin’ grounds, Council Bluffs, IA. My Dad’s house is looking great, with the basement almost completely finished and lots of new landscaping. We got in yesterday and went directly to the pool, where Jack proceded to choke and gag and inevitably throw up. He came up from under the water, hacked a few times, and immediately I knew he would hurl (his gag reflex is monstrous). I told him, “Don’t puke in the pool,” which made my dad laugh (he thought I was kidding). So Jack took his gagging to the, um, SIDE of the pool, and ralphed there. How much fun.
After dinner, a game of kickball in the back yard; Brian took a trip to Target and spent a chunk of unbugeted vacation money.
Today, we’re off to the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha–the best zoo ever.
My run this morning took me past so many senior citizens (“mature adults”),–I’m really understanding what an aging community CB is becoming. There was a time in my life that I wanted to return to CB to raise my own family, but now with Brian’s clan firmly cemented to the east coast and the recent WV land purchase, I doubt I’ll ever make it back here except for the 4th and other visits.
The part I most hate about teaching is grading. Every semester, I vow to keep closer, more precise grades so that I can whip out an easy, unquestionable mathematic explanation for every grade. Last spring, I taught an online upper division course, for which I had one student who turned everything in late and neglected to show up for the synchronous discussions. This person got a C.
He railed back in a poorly written email memo, saying that *I* was ruining his gpa, etc etc. So I had to stay up last night and “break down” his grade, which I hate doing because it’s time consuming and makes me feel like I have to defend myself and my judgment. I resist doing it altogether, because in offering up the guts of my gradebook I feel somehow vulnerable. At any rate, it’s done. Whew. Now I hope he’ll quit bothering me about it, because you can’t argue with numbers (haha).
I realized that the last post is F*&!ed up. Not sure how it happened–it proves that I know less about this blogging thing than I’m letting on. I tried to link to another blogger, Michelle Palmer, but my coding somehow shut the whole post down and cut it short.
In a nutshell: Michelle Palmer has inspired me to embrace my status as an academic AND a mom, and I think Acade-Mom (Ack-uh-DE-mom) should be my blog’s name. Carpet in the Kitchen refers really to only one of my projects, and though my life IS like carpet in the kitchen (impractical, ill-thought-out, often a big pain in the ass), Acade-Mom really fits better.
I also decreed that I would stay with Typepad and pay the $$ instead of shifting over to MT at the Writing Program server. That way, I can feel free to say what I like, rather than feel afraid of surveillance.
I’ve been thinking lately about what I want to accomplish with my daily published (but read by no one, as yet) writing. I remember being in an advance poetry workshop as a senior undergrad, where the prof (a poet I admired as a poet and despised as a teacher) revealed the secret to making our writing work for both us as writers and for our audience: we needed a “bag.” Like, his bag was being a tall, sensual, African-American male up from the ‘hood. Other bags in that workshop were the misunderstood pot-smoking long-haired mellow dude, the angry-ish lesbian, the Sylvia Plaith-like translucent-skinned girl exploring sex and sexuality, etc. I felt like getting into a bag as a writer would limit me–but I was also afraid of the bags I had available to climb into: married, young mother, white, writing teacher?
Now, though, I’m reading over at Palmer’s, I realize that my bag can be academom. Ack-a-DE-mom. I have been ignoring this too long: that my life really revolves around various short people who I must love, feed, clothe, bathe, teach, play with/entertain, breastfeed, drive to dance, pick up from school, and generally live my life AROUND them. There is a pudgy 7-month old, naked as the day he was born, clinging to my knees as I type this. I cannot ignore this. Plus, this plays quite neatly into my arguments-in-process about method and scholarship never travelling too far from the interests/lives of the researcher. It might seem a facile, obvious argument, but I think it’s one we don’t give enough consideration to, especially when examining rhetorical products of such research.
The 7-month old tires of slobbering on my thigh–and so I cut this short. The other decision I’ve made is to stay on Typepad instead of moving the blog over to my school server. This way, I don’t have any responsibility to any larger institution (except 6A) concerning what I choose to post.
The name of this blog, that is. My in-laws, who have inadvertantly inspired my interests in home decorating and spending, visited this week. Before they arrived, each free waking moment I had was spent cleaning. While they were here, (nearly) every waking moment was spent shopping and eating with them. And since they’ve left, I’ve been working to re-align my normal non-spending, non-doughnut eating self with the principles that I hold dear–those principles which, when I’m with B’s family, cannot exist lest I offend their lifestyle with my own (as in, my “No, I am not eating a doughnut–they are fat, empty calories, cavity-breeding, and diabetes-inducing sugar overload” would imply that their choice to eat such nonsense was flawed).
At any rate, B was fairly certain that his parents would march us down to Home Depot for linoleum to replace the fabulously, ridiculously impractical carpet in the kitchen. Instead they deemed our lack of dishwasher to be the more heinous home problem we faced, and marched down to Sears to purchase one for us.
So for now, the carpet in the kitchen is saved. Although I did notice this morning, as I, barefoot, stepped close to the fridge, the sticky nasty spot where H spilled nearly a half gallon of apple cider. Euugh.
One of my most loathesome (to me, anyway) characteristics is my inability to persevere. And while there are many examples from my life that testify to the contrary (for instance: I have yet to quit school or my marriage–both are running up on 9 years now), it is the smaller, seemingly more difficult goals that I can never seem to stick with. Like keeping a journal for instance. Or running on a daily basis. I frequently take up both, and frequently find myself two weeks into such an endeavor having neglected said endeavor for, say, the whole second week.
I find it curious that my ability to stick with this blog (and this, the fourth-ish post in five-ish days is a record for me) has been the mere possibility of an audience, or more specifically, a responsibility to that imagined audience.
A similar phenom is happening with my running: my dearest neighbor Deb and I run together now, and the responsibility I feel to *her* gets me up in the morning. If I didn’t have her waiting, I wouldn’t go at all.
My life, summed up in one photo. Since the weather has been decent, I have been trying to catch up on laundry via line-drying, which I find to be fabulously relaxing. The problem, then, is bringing it in and having Hannah fold it (her one job). Often she simply lets it pile up around her.
Those of you who know me *well* know that I have trouble finding deodorant that works. Often, even, I go without deordorant altogether because what might smell good in the store (and yes, I stand in the store opening sticks and smelling them) usually stinks under my arms.
Today I found a !!NEW!! brand that I haven’t tried yet, so I smelled a few sticks, found a flavor that didn’t smell like baby powder, and brought it home. Jack found !!NEW!! Froot Loops that were 1/3 less sugar, so we decided to try them, too.
On our way out the door to pick up Hannah and take her to dance, I slathered some new deo on, and Jack grabbed the box of cereal to munch in the van. And I realized on the interstate that I couldn’t tell which I was sniffing: my armpits or the Froot Loops? I sniffed in the box (quickly, since I was driving), and I sniffed in my armpits…
They smelled the same!!
Best of all, my pits still smell like breakfast cereal, several hours later. I might be saved from my own rebellious biology after all.
Welcome to your blog, Madeline. You are quite excited and anxious all at once, though your anxiety is ridiculous since you have no audience to be embarrassed in front of. What does carpet in the kitchen mean? And where do you get off ending sentences with prepositions?