Friday, May 04, 2018

Semester nearly done

I heard the last few student presentations today and graded them. (And I've been mostly happy with this group - they tend to be quite supportive of each other - they asked interesting questions of the presenters, and I overheard several people out in the hall telling people "Your project was interesting" or "You did a good job on your presentation" and yes that matters)

(I also got a nice note from the local contact at the US Army Corps of Engineers - they sent us information on an intern-to-fulltime position program, and several of us either told students or did recommendations for them, and they've hired on four of our students, with the idea that if they do well, the paid internship becomes a permanent fulltime job upon graduation. And they cc'd my chair, and I hope she forwards it to some of the upper Powers That Be - it's always good for them to know our students are going out and being successful. I commented on Twitter and maybe here that after seeing all of us who were nominated for awards - and two people won - out of my department, that we had to be one of the best departments on campus. Well, we are one of the larger ones (not THE largest, but one of the larger ones) but I also do think we're the best. Part of it is there's no stupid interpersonal drama: we mostly all have our own lanes to run in, we tend to be supportive of one another, there are no turf battles, there is no one who flat-out refuses to teach service or gen-ed courses - which can be more frustrating, because you get new students who don't know how to do college yet, and often you get lower evaluation scores because the classes are less-popular. Part of it is that we get some good students - and even if some of them are not academically the greatest ever, they're decent and honest people and they work hard, and frankly, in this world, I'd rather work with a group of good, kind, hardworking people than superstars who are jerks.)

I also sent word off to our two AAUW scholarship recipients and they both eagerly e-mailed me back saying they accepted the scholarship. (I was worried that either they'd found other sources and maxed out their financial aid, or, worse, had had to withdraw for a semester for lack of funds. We were delayed in the decision because the membership has to vote, and our last meeting was when I was in the throes of No Hot Water and that was soaking up all my attention).

So the semester ended on a pretty good note, which is nice. I just have finals left now.

I came home after entering the last few grades (a few labs I gave extensions on, and the presentation grades) and ate lunch and attacked the mountain of laundry (I had only done very minimal laundry - what I needed to get by - the past few weeks and I needed to get all the various dresses and skirts and especially cold-weather clothing washed and put away).

Piano is this evening - my teacher was running late last night and when she called me to ask if that was OK, I decided to ask if she could move the lesson so I could get to AAUW in good time. So that worked out fine. (And I'm more relaxed today, and will go and finish my practicing in a few minutes).

And I have clean sheets for my bed (I didn't get around to doing that last night - the blanket didn't get dry in time). And I think, seeing as it's a cooler afternoon and evening (cold front came through), I might indulge in a warm bath before bed.

Tomorrow is the board-leadership thing which will take more than half the day, but whatever. I can power through it. Sunday my plans after church are to either sew or maybe hand quilt - I have a couple of movies "ahead" to watch (I never did watch Lilo and Stitch again after buying it, and I broke down and bought the My Little Pony (G4, though maybe some day I buy the G1 one) movie. Yeah. I know. I don't do Netflix though and so I figure buying a dvd once or twice a month of things I will likely want to re-watch is fine. And we don't have a rental place any more - I don't know too many places that do.)

And then next week - Monday and Tuesday will be on-campus days (giving exams) and likely Thursday will be the "enter grades and clean the whole office" day - I have lots of papers I can box up for shredding and recycling and it will feel good to get rid of stuff.

Wednesday I have already earmarked for a trip to Whitesboro; am thinking of taking some time beforehand to pick out some fabric-packs from my stash for future quilts and pick out patterns and then buy any fill-ins (like sashing) that I will need at the quilt shop. And I've got my $20 "gift certificate" for the yarn shop, and a plan to grab lunch at Lovejoy's....Friday my plan is maybe to stay home and work on the quilt top (Saturday is graduation).

The following week....I don't know. Laura and I were going to do a meet up on the 18th but no plans are set for that yet, the rest of the week I might do cleaning/yardwork/projects and generally relaxing - and then the end of the month I go visit my parents again.

But yeah. That's the life of an academic - you go some weeks where you literally have no time off, and you work until you feel like you're going to drop, and you go on little sleep (and yes, it's NOT physical work, but that's almost worse - I think intellectually-taxing or emotionally-taxing (oh, all the people-herding that happens some times) is harder to recover from than something like a hard day of cutting brush. 

I still have plans to do some work this summer: start the litterbag project, and do some revamping on both Policy and Law (and I have to find some good write-ups of how the current administration has altered regulations or the like) and I want to do some revamping of ecology, and I also still want to play around and see if I can learn a little R or maybe a little Mathematica, and also re-read some of my stats stuff because I don't use it enough and I find I get rusty on some of the more advanced tests. (I plan on using Pomodoro again - it was a successful method LAST summer to keep me focused and also not working to the point where my comprehension tanks). And I do plan, especially if we get the one-time stipend, to arrange for a few repairs around the house that I've been putting off, and I really do need to get the piano tuner in....

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