Thursday, December 14, 2017

exams are given

* I gave my last (of four) exams this morning. Am trying to grade it now. I do not recommend teaching four different classes with one being a new prep.

* I have a dental check up this afternoon. I am alternately trying to distract myself so I won't think about it, and telling myself it will be all over by 2 pm and I can go home and relax (in my clean house). I don't expect anything is wrong but I still don't like these - the noise of the various instruments, the smell of the opertory, having people's hands stuck in my mouth, essentially giving up my personal autonomy and personal space for a while.

I'm also telling myself if I do need further work done, it surely won't be an EMERGENCY (I have no tooth pain) and I can put it off until after I come back. (And anyway, at this point: it would have to be a pretty darn big emergency for them to fit me in Friday or Monday morning. I leave Monday afternoon....)

*annnnnd the first e-mail from a student in my intro class. Give me strength. (I just posted the grades and this is someone who surely did not earn what they were hoping for).

They wanted me to re-open the homework JUST FOR THEM. I was CRYSTAL clear about the due dates on these. CRYSTAL. I am not going back now and re-calculating a grade because someone couldn't be arsed to do the work when they were supposed to (Sorry, harsh word there, but).

I get so tired of being asked for infinite slack, but I know that if I didn't get to something in good time because of a good reason, everyone would be furious with me. I am tired of the double standards, where I am expected to magically get everything done super fast but then let someone else put stuff off forever.

Just sent a "sorry, no" e-mail to them. I WARNED THEM. I TOLD THEM.

Argh. "Ask Culture."

(I'm not being unreasonable by saying no. I'm not being unreasonable by saying no....

that's actually a big issue with being a Guess Culture person confronted with Ask Culture: you second guess yourself and say "Wait, if they're asking, they expect a yes, right? SO if I say "no" there's some reason I'm being unfair or unreasonable" when in reality it's just someone who expects something they don't really deserve.... but I still feel uncomfortable about it)

* Not everything you learn in a class necessarily has to do with the subject of that class. Respecting deadlines is one of those things.

We had a former admin who told us we needed to teach them "soft skills" (her particular hobby horse being, "They don't know how to shake hands properly" and I was like "you seriously don't want us to shake hands with all our students during the height of cold and flu season just to show them how to do it?") but I would argue that respecting your co-workers/bosses/stakeholders/etc. by not letting deadlines fly by and then ask them for extensions after the fact is a similarly important skill.

* I really want to get myself some kind of a tangible treat after the dental check-up (as a "fluster") but there is NOTHING good to be had locally so I don't know. (I have to come in tomorrow here to post final grades and do a little clean-up, and Saturday is graduation, so....)

*Board meeting was last night. It was fairly short (which is good: not much business and no drama). The biggest question was figuring out the Christmas bonuses for the various employees and they always make a big deal about sending them out in the hall so they don't hear and all that stuff. And tease them gently when they come back.

The other piece of business: the campus Wesley Center has undergone some big changes (Yes, Wesley is Methodists but on a small campus all the mainliners work through them). One big issue being we lost contact with them, then our board member moved away....and so we needed a new board member.

And I realized: shoot, I'm probably the logical person to do this, seeing as I am on campus and know campus culture. So I volunteered. Hopefully the meetings will not be at a bad time for me but if they are I guess I just hand it off to someone else. I do think we need a presence with the Wesley Center, especially given our college-student ministry....So we'll see.

At least this will probably buy me my way out of some other volunteer task that I'd less like to do.

* I'm still having weird, borderline-unpleasant dreams. Last night it was another "I can't make Christmas right" type of dream: I was at home, my parents were there, my brother and sister in law and niece were there. Two big problems:

1. Someone had got/made a huge cake for my niece, and my mom, deciding to be pro-actively helpful (normally she is not pushy like this, not in real life), cut part of the cake and froze it so it wouldn't spoil. And that made my niece extremely angry and she was throwing an enormous tantrum about her cake being "damaged" was just loud and unpleasant and it was one of those "person was trying to be helpful but other person doesn't understand" things.

2. The tree we was a live tree, and yet, it behaved strangely. It went all floppy, like some kind of an herbaceous plant that hasn't been watered in forever and is all wilted. I walked into the room and the tree was all flopped over onto the floor and I was like "this will never do, how will we put the ornaments on it?" and I was trying to fix it and make it work and I couldn't and it was so frustrating.

I suspect that my mom falling last year - and me having to do nearly all the Christmas prep, such as we had, as a result - affected me more deeply than I thought. I mean, symbolically: the realization that my parents are older now and can't do all of the things they once did, and I kind of have to take over, and I'm honestly not ready for that.

Though ironically, I think I'd find having Christmas alone in my house easier: I'd spend a few days of break deep cleaning the places I didn't clean, and I'd probably go to Whitesboro and a few other semi-local areas with interesting shopping for a couple days of break, and Christmas itself I'd just sit at home and knit and watch Christmas tv and figure out some kind of little thing to fix for dinner....but at my parents', I almost feel like the childhood Christmases need to be reconstituted in some form, and they can't be (you can't go home again) and maybe that's what's frustrating me about it....

She did mention when we talked last night that she'd bought a tree (and managed to wrestle it out of the car and into a bucket in the garage, so her back must be better than it was last year) and she was also pushing to finish the cards before I got there so she would have more free hopefully there's some stuff we can do together.

I do want to bake some cookies and maybe even make candy. (I want to try doing marshmallows this year, after us having said "let's do that" the past three years or so and then not getting to it). And I kind of want to try making the little British-style mince pies, or maybe mince-pie cookies.

But yeah. A little Christmas melancholy has attacked me this week, after my feeling happier about stuff last weekend....I think it doesn't help that I remember my childhood (at least, the part of it at home with my  parents, and things like Christmas) happily, and also that the further you get from it, the more you remember the good stuff and forget the bad stuff, but....especially at Christmas I wish I could go back and be a kid again, believe in a literal Santa, be excited over getting toys, bake roll out cookies and not worry about the kitchen mess....

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