Believe Snowy Trees

Shortly ...

My roommate is graciously allowing me to use her computer which she has spent the last month and a bit of change making internet capable in our slightly ghettoesque apartment. However, since her computer is a desktop in her room, I'm trying to use it only when she's gone from the house. Which means I've likely got fifteen minutes or less to blog before she returns.

I am on the mend. I'm back up to maybe 65%.

Went to a Saturday night service at CLC here in Zootown. Like Saturday nights much better than Sunday mornings. Not that Sunday mornings are bad. But the associate pastor whose style I find more to my liking preaches Saturday nights. The band is electric-guitar centric (although my super-cool friend Kelsey backs up said guitars with an excellent keyboard). And (super-yay) they turn the house lights off for worship.


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Classics 1

Bitter Night: Links

I've reviewed difrancis 's newest book Bitter Night both at Barnes and Noble and at Amazon. It will take some time before my reviews (under my reviewer-pen-name waxen wings) will show up in either place.

When I am no longer feeling fuzzy with sickly funk, I'll post something a little more detailed here. But basically, it was a fabulous read. I honestly had some reservations going in, and while I do have to make one or two concessions, they're extremely minor and you should stop reading my blog and run, not walk, RUN to your nearest bookstore and buy a copy. Buy three copies at least, because you'll want to read it again and you may have gripped your first copy so hard (because the action was so good)  that some of the pages will have come out in the first reading. The third copy you should give away for Christmas. Heck. You're going to need more than three.  But you'll have to try it for yourself to believe me about that.


Cruddery (or, Why Everyone Was Right When They Told Me I Needed More Sleep)

I had to give my dear friend, Drie, credit today for refraining from a well deserved 'I told you so' when I told her the sob-story of my crash-and-burn illness. She's told me almost every time we talked about all the insanity I was up to (and how little I was sleeping as a result) for well over a month now that I needed to stop and sleep more or my body was going to going to stop for me. (This is not to say that many other voices of reason [both inside and outside of my head] have not given me similarly pro-sleep advice; Drie's was simply the most spot-on with the consequences.)

After the second trip to my campus Health Center an after-hours nurse and her clever/efficient lab-assistant decided (as I'd insisted the day before) that I had strep throat. Of the more pernicious Type-A variety. By which point, after the on-call doctor okayed penicillin for the strep, the nurse also checked my ears (as had been done the night before) and was shocked that I hadn't complained of ear pain. I did not snap at her to say that I had complained of pain and pressure and popping in my ears not 20 minutes before. Since she was sending me home with antibiotics, there just didn't seem to be any point. Before I'd hit the 24 hour no-longer-contagious mark, I was also fairly sure there was a sinus infection to-boot. All of which is to say that I have been in bed for most of the last 48 hours.

The exception clause to the sleep-a-thon was a brief spurt of dish-washing/kitchen-cleaning involving bleach and boiling water. I really did not want to give the strep-crud to my self-employed, under-insured roommate. It seems now that by that point, however, it may already have been too late.

I think it's eventually going to wreck havoc in my trimester teaching schedule that I was not at school today, even in my classes which do not require a second language ability to teach. I got the feeling from what the other middle school teacher said to me when I briefed her on what I had planned to do in English and Logic today that she wasn't planning to push the kids half as hard as they needed pushing. Hence, I may have a mutiny on my hands Monday when I have to lay down some law. But I've got another 48 hours of sleeping to do in the meanwhile.
Felix Pacing

More of the blahs

Got my most recent paper back from Early American Literatures. Prof loved it. I have another one due this week. I have no idea what to write. I've picked a favorite pair of texts and cannot muster the brain power to say anything intelligent about them. Curses. Expecting the rough philosophy exam back this afternoon. Although I probably won't do anything so dumb as jump off a tall building, I may or may not find some melodramatic alternative.

I have funny teacher stories to tell, but owing to the same lack of brainpower that delays my paper, I also am not quite able to do any justice to storytelling. Hence, I shall save them for a day when I can string together actual thoughts rather than mere subject-verb combos.


Serous exhaustion. Was falling asleep in class. That's only happened to me once before.

Will try to say something of substance at some point. For now all I've got is that I'm still alive.

Slip of the Tongue

A Happy Phone Experience

Particularly since sonflower886 cannot stalk me on facebook any more access other social networking sites, I'm really trying to write here more often.

I had a delightful moment on the phone (to call it a conversation would be a stretch I think) with a student's parent today. The student has been out sick a lot this trimester (according to the student herself, she's only been in class 9 days this month). I decided that since the student got it together today (the first day I've seen her in weeks and weeks not hauling around her own box of tissues and bottle of hand sanitizer) to ask me for make-up work, I would call her home when I belatedly realized the student probably missed the several prior announcements about a test on Friday. The pleasant interactions with the parent were especially welcome because I'd had to send home rather grim progress report grades: the unfortunate result of being gone and sick is that you don't turn stuff in, and in the classes I teach, that's quite a downer on ye olde grades. I half-way expected to have the student's parent feel miffed. Whether the parent actually felt miffed I will, of course, never know. But the fact that I presumed a mild chewing-out and got a perfectly amiable voice which willingly volunteered information was just plain nice.

I got my Women in Antiquity mid-term exam back with flying colors. Given my experience with this professor, my knowledge going into the class, and above average test-taking skills, I expected to do well. I was not disappointed. OTOH, I'm fairly sure that the philosophy exam on Plato's Republic and Symposium yesterday did not go so well. I felt reasonably confident about the last one and scored 85% (which with the curve was an A-). This one had three out of ten answers which were really only sketchy. So, I'm now praying, uncharitably, that the rest of my classmates also had a bad time of it so that the curve will save my philosophically challenged, shadow-loving, tri-part soul.

And now for more homework and possibly some grading and definitely NOT missing my 8am Early American Literatures* tomorrow due to lack of sleep. No, I didn't just finish a  monstrous Mountain Dew** Code Red at ten o'clock at night. What are you talking about?


* literature 
c.1375, from L. lit(t)eratura "learning, writing, grammar," originally "writing formed with letters," from lit(t)era "letter." Originally "book learning" (it replaced O.E. boccræft), the meaning "literary production or work" is first attested 1779 in Johnson's "Lives of the English Poets" (he didn't include this definition in his dictionary, however); that of "body of writings from a period or people" is first recorded 1812.

**mountain dew in all four dictionaries accessed through dictionary-dot-com is listed as a term for moonshine. That, seriously, is not what I did not just finish drinking.


Calvin Reality

Marriage and New Release (or whatever that's called in books)

AOL's 'news' today had an interesting blurb of an article about The Key to a Happy Marriage. I'm mostly interested in the first two paragraphs, which claim (based on highly scientific opinion polls) that a marriage is more likely to stay together if the wife is A) Younger and B) better educated than the husband. The same, the author says, is not true in reverse. Since the plan at the moment is still for me to go to graduate school, I'm kind of digging the better educated part. But this just doesn't feel as if it stands to reason. Are dumb women more likely to ... what? Throw temper-tantrums and walk out? Marry abusive men? Are older women more likely to have affairs? It just feels odd.  Anybody else have thoughts on the matter?

In other news, difrancis's newest book, Bitter Night, comes out today.

Run to your nearest bookstore! (I'll be doing a midnight run between bible study and preparing for classes tomorrow after taking my philosophy midterm and finishing this stupid commentary on Ovid's Ars Amatoria.)

Slip of the Tongue

Books, books, and more books

My whole life is behind. In case you were unaware.

First, I have finished and need desperately to review Eyes Like Stars bylisamantchev ; it was simply brilliant; more to come. Second, I'm half way through  jimhines newest book, The Mermaid's Madness; thus far, it is excellent; more when it is finished. Third, and due to nepotism, most important, difrancis's newest book Bitter Night comes out tomorrow! WHOOHOO!!

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On a random book note, upon visiting a professors office the other day, I believe I may have viewed the largest book bound in a single volume in the northern United States. I have to go back and take measurements, but I would say that the spine of the complete Concordance of Ovid is at least 18" from cover to cover. And half again as big from top to bottom and side to side. The thing is pushing cubic.

My study session for philosophy starts in T-4 minutes. And I have to make photo copies from a reserve book before I go.

Believe Snowy Trees


I unintentionally (we'll find out if it turns out to be accidentally) told my middle school students I keep a blog. I'm fairly aware that what I write on LJ is open to the world to read. But I mostly have a specific audience in mind. I'm not sure whether it should bother me that my middle school students may start reading this stuff. Of course, the likelihood that they'll really care enough to track this down is slim, I suppose ... but you never know.

Midterms have never been such a drag before. In this my last year of undergraduate work, I find myself in a fairly tightly knit group of friends within the upperclassmen of my department. On the whole, this is awesome: I can make jokes about Greek, Latin, and obscure classical deities, and my lunch comrades get them. We also get to study together a lot because many of us are all taking the same classes. The drag is the sliver of truth to Aesop's homily: familiarity breeds contempt. When everyone knows each other, and feels comfortable with each other, no one seems to have any problem with biting one another's heads off on account of being tired, stressed, or sick (the blackdeathcrud is circulating and cycling in my corner of the world). Hence, I will be more glad this semester than any before when midterm exams are wrapped up. I really want the grump out of my life. A.S.A.P.