Tuesday, May 06, 2014

new striped socks

I finished the "Oenology"socks (That's the name the dyer gave to the colorway)

new striped socks

I used the Oak Ribbed Sock pattern from Vintage Socks. But I realized partway through the second sock that I had forgotten to follow the pattern of decreases as written in the pattern. So the gusset decreases aren't identical, but I guess it doesn't show.


I've managed Grading Zero by the end of the day so far. Today is one of my bigger exams. Yesterday was a Gen Ed class, and because our Gen Ed program worships at the altar of "equivalency among all sections," there is a common exam for all sections and it is machine graded.

Except. The guy who made up the new key for the new final wrote "FINAL EXAM KEY" in Sharpie on the "name" section of the Scan-tron sheet. And it bled through into the back. So the machine reader wouldn't read the back half of the key. It would stop, and beep at me.

It took me a few minutes to figure out the problem.

I wound up having to make up a new key. It's kind of a pain - I briefly considered hand-grading the exams (there were only 14) but then figured someone else later on in the week would just have to make up the new key, so.....


They've been saying on the local news that this has been the driest January to May period since 1936.

Since the Dust Bowl. That's scary.

I also remember people who were a generation or so older than my parents talking about how the summer of 1936 was incredibly hot - even in Illinois. (One woman said she and her family - she was a kid at the time - slept out in the cornfield, because it was marginally cooler than the house).

This does not bode well. Drought depresses me, the long string of rainless cloudless days, and also the worry about what will happen to my trees (my lawn, I've given up on). The constant unending days of heat. I know people in northern climes complained about this winter, but honestly, for me, the four to six months of summer is worse than any winter - in winter, you can bundle up and go outside for 20 minutes or so and come back in and make tea and feel grateful. In summer, here, I can never get my house quite as cool as I'd really like it to be, and while it is a relief to come back into the house after being out in the heat, it's not quite as GREAT a relief.

And they changed out the "air handler" on my campus building for one that is allegedly more energy efficient, but which does not "handle" the air well for a building of this size - during the cold winter we had MANY days when it was close to 55 in a couple of the classrooms, so I anticipate the A/C going down a couple times this summer. I don't know what I will do - I can tolerate cold a lot better than heat. I may just have to tell students "Read such and such pages in the chapter we're working on; I'll write and post a summary sheet you can use to test yourselves" and dismiss class.

I remember one of the early summers I was here I was leading a field trip out at our field site. Midway through, I realized I was really short of breath - far more than I should have been, given my age at the time and my fitness level and the fact that I had been walking slowly on level ground - and I was starting to get dizzy. Apparently my asthma was preventing me from getting enough oxygen or something. I ended the field trip a bit early. (I was okay to drive back to campus). But I don't want that to happen again.

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