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31 August 2010

My Prospectus

Since I can't seem to get it approved, I figured I'd Wordle it. Maybe looking at it differently will inspire me. Now that I see it like this, I really like my ideas. If only my committee felt the same...

(Click on the Wordle for a larger and clearer view.)

29 August 2010

Pics from the NCMA

I felt the itch to take pictures today, so B and I headed out to the North Carolina Museum of Art to check out the museum park. It was a beautiful day, and we got out there before it got too hot.  Which, in NC, is about 10am. 

The arches. I'm not big on modern art, but this was pretty cool. It made for good pictures. 
Lots of angles and dimensions.

I forget what this was called, but it was pretty cool.

Lots of bird houses around. They counted these as "art," but I find that questionable.
If you blow up this pic and look closely, you'll see a dragonfly in the air right in front of the house.

Lots of butterflies feeding. Not "art" per se but more beautiful that anything else there.

Hungry little guys.

An industrial smokestack and some pretty weed-like things. I like the juxtaposition.
The smokestack wasn't "art." It was just left over from another time.

I really liked these weeds. 

This was a cool art installation. It was basically a tattoo on the path. 
It fades as the weather wears it down. Pretty cool.

And spiderwebs aren't "art" in the traditional sense, but I find them more beautiful than a lot of "art" that I've seen.

I've been invaded!!!

My precious tomato plants that I have worked so hard to cultivate are under attack! Under attack by ugly, nasty, disgusting hornworms!! These nasty creatures can be as big as my pinky finger and they DEVOUR tomato plants -- leases, stems, fruit, and stalks. And they are U-G-L-Y.

My problem is that I am trying to be organic, and there is no easy way to kill them using organic methods. I could get some wasps that use hornworm bodies as breeding grounds, but that means my back porch area would be covered with wasps. I could pick them off by hand and drown them in soapy water, but the idea of touching a bug that looks like that REALLY creeps me out. (You've seen my praying mantis post, right? Well, you can add these nasty creatures to my phobia list.) I could buy ladybugs and release them (which would be awesome), but part of me questions the value in that. It is September, and I know that there isn't much life left in my plants. Fall is coming, and the tomato plants will be dying off soon. 

While I try to decide what to do, I have sprayed all the plants down with a Meyer's dishsoap and water
solution in an attempt to kill off the nasty creatures.  Ugh ...

28 August 2010

A long week with sun on the horizon

This week has been long.




I have never come home as tired as I did every night this week. And it just seemed to go on and on. And,of course, Meet the Teacher Night was thrown in there as well to add to the pressure and exhaustion. I looked forward to Friday night more than ever before. Despite being completely and totally exhausted, I couldn't quite wind down on Friday night. I finally got to bed around 10 and slept until 7:30 when my mom called (what is that about, Mom?!?!).

But it is finally Saturday, and I can relax a bit. Of course, I now have a sore throat and cough. Joy. There is some kind of illness floating around the 6th grade (rumor has it: mono), and I'm hoping that I haven't caught their germiness! I have vowed to nothing today. No school work, no working out, no nothing. Just relax and get my brain back together. Of course, I did a wee bit of work on my class calendar, but that's it.

I did get to book a flight to NOLA for October (excited!!!), and the Girls' Weekend is only 6 days away. I can't even describe how excited I am about that.

22 August 2010

Sunday Productivity

Today was a rather productive day. I slept in until 8:30, got up, ate breakfast, and headed over to run in place for an hour. Yep. I did another hour on the elliptical and burned off another 730 calories. Woo hoo for me!

After showering off all my gym funk, I headed out to run some errands. Returned DVDs, checkout and returned books at the local library, hit the grocery store, and got a pedi. And, oh let me tell you, it was an AMAZING pedi. He rubbed my feet and calves for 25 minutes!!! It was divine. And they had my favorite O.P.I. shade, so that just made everything better.

I did some diss work today )which I say with no emotion or interest). I finished another copy of my prospectus (which will most likely be rejected AGAIN!) and realized that this process has given me an overwhelming fear of failure. I've never been fearless, but I have never been afraid to do something because of rejection or failure. Until now. As soon as I finished the new draft and was ready to send it in to my committee, I started feeling nauseous and nervous and wanted to cry. They have beaten me down so many times that I no longer have any confidence in myself (as far as my writing goes). I pushed through and submitted my work, but I fully expect to see a nice rejection email in the next few days. If it doesn't happen, I'll be shocked.

To be honest, I'm actually okay about not having an approved prospectus. It's the constant and repeated rejection that I'm not okay with. A prospectus in limbo means I don't have to actually write my dissertation. Because, as long as we're being honest, I have NO IDEA how to write a dissertation.

After my diss anxiety subsided, I started evaluating student papers and made it through a good deal. I'm enjoying the new system that we're using. It's making my job a lot easier.

Tomorrow is back to the grindstone ...

21 August 2010

Three Cheers for Productivity!

Despite being awoken at 2:30am with a dry-heaving dog, I still was able to sleep in today and wake up feeling refreshed and re-energized. I slept in until 8:30 (which, if you take into account the hour that I was up with the dog, that really means that I only slept until 7:30) and got up to begin my work for the day. I putzed around on the blog for a while adding tags and labels to a year's worth of posts. I didn't finish, but I made some good headway.

After that I went to the gym at the complex and ran in place on the elliptical for an hour! I burned around 706 calories! WooHooo!! I got back to my apartment and was STARVING. Ate half a personal seedless watermelon, showered, and began working on teaching stuff.

I got quite a bit accomplished today, and I'm satisfied with my work. I'm ready for Meet the Teacher Night on Thursday and for my teaching this week. Now I can head to mass and return to grade 63 student writing assignments.

Tomorrow will hopefully be some more sleeping in as well as another lengthy run on the elliptical. As far as work goes, tomorrow is Diss Day. No teaching work, only diss work. Too bad I don't enjoy it as much as my teaching work. :-/

A Losing Battle

Fish lost his battle. He died last night and then had a quick burial through the garbage disposal.

On the upside, that is one less thing I have to worry about/take care of now.

Sleepless in ... not Seattle

When I went to bed last night (read: 6 hours ago), I was super excited about sleeping in in the morning. Getting up early every day during the week wears me out, and I was looking very forward to catching some extra winks in the am. Unfortunately, The Beast had other plans.

At about 2:30, she decided to start dry-heaving. Didn't throw up. Just made me panic that she would all over the carpeting. (Sadly, this isn't a strange behavior for her, so I'm not worried.) So I took her outside and let her do her business before returning to bed. She took that as a signal that it was wakey time. Um ... no. It is not.

After forcing her back to bed, she is now sleeping soundly on the floor, and I have lost the ability to sleep. Joy.

So much for sleeping in...

20 August 2010

My first real weekend alone

It's my first real weekend without The Boy. Technically, last weekend was my first, but, since I spent it moping and pouting, I'm not counting it. :-) So here I stand on the cusp of my first weekend with no one to keep me company or just hang out with. I know that I have plenty of things to occupy me; the trick is doing those things.

First, I've got PLENTY of grading to do. Well, it's not really grading but assessing. The other Language Arts teacher and I are trying a new way of evaluating writing this year which involves written feedback but no numerical grades. I won't go into the details, but if you are interested you can read about it here. I'm actually looking forward to assessing their writing so I can get to know them as writers a bit better. Of course, I'm sure that gung-ho attitude will change about halfway through the assignments.

Second, I want to get all of my planning and prep done for next week. I don't want to have to do any school work in the evenings next week.Of course there is always something more I'll want to do, but I want to get the basics done.

Third, I want to get a couple of workouts in on Saturday and Sunday. And I want to be careful I what I eat and drink.

Fourth, I want to spend some serious time on my dissertation work. I've got 48 hours, so I should be able to get some quality time in.

The only obligation that I have this weekend is mass. I'll most likely go on Saturday evening (so I can sleep in Sunday morning!), and I may catch a movie either before or after. Or I may not. We'll see. Maybe having my weekends all to myself won't be so bad ...

15 August 2010

Sunday's Productivity

First, I apologize for all the whining yesterday. It's out of my system (for now) and today has been much better.

Second, today has been a pretty great. I actually woke up before the alarm (which was set for 8:30 so I guess it isn't that great of a feat!) and got ready to go to mass. I attended the 10:30 and Father Dan delivered a wonderful homily. Today is the Feast of the Assumption and his homily focused on why this day was made holy. It was very inspiring and made me think about my own relationship with The Blessed Mother and how I should make her a greater part of my daily and spiritual life. I really enjoy Father Dan's homilies because he is so intelligent and well read. He really puts a lot of thought and consideration into his weekly homilies. And its always nice to leave church feeling inspired and rejuvenated.

After mass I headed home to tackle the house. It has been in need of a good scrubbing and a bit of reorganization. So that is what I did. I did all of the laundry, organized and straightened the office, cleaned all of the floors, took care of the patio and all of the plants, repotted the orchids into more stable containers, and hung a few pics on the wall. It only took about five hours! And now I'm relaxing ...

I've been rather productive today, and I'm proud of myself. I'm planning on getting up early tomorrow to do some cardio before school. I'm really going to try to get into a nice workout-work-dissertation routine. We'll see how that goes ... I'm going to take it one day at a time.

14 August 2010

I hate you, NOLA

The Boy left today. He's heading to NOLA for about a year. I miss him terribly already (he left 45 minutes ago). I didn't think I would cry, but I've cried both last night and this morning when he left. How lame. I'm just going to miss sharing so much of my life with him. We haven't spent more than about 10 days apart at a time in the past three years, and we talk every day. I'm sure we'll continue talk every day, but we won't see each other for a month or more at a time. Ugh. I'm independent and I do appreciate my own space, but I also love just being with him and spending time together. I guess this will just make the time that we do spend together all the more special. I just wish it wasn't so long between visits.

I have a feeling that this weekend is going to be very long and very lonely.

12 August 2010

"Hair" it is!

I went in for the big cut last night. It was a BIG cut and is rather short now. I pretty much love it. Emily is amazing and turned my long untamed tresses into something quite cute and manageable. The ponytail she cut off was massive, and I plan on weighing it this afternoon in one of the science classes. I'm pretty sure it is at least a full pound of hair!

Emily was so funny about the haircut. She was so concerned that I wasn't going to like it or that I was going to get emotional when she cut the bulk of the length. I laughed because I grew up getting my hair cut. Seriously. Between my mom and my sister and numerous other relatives working as barbers or stylists, getting my hair cut isn't that big of a deal. It'll always grow back! We had some good conversations while she cut away at my mane, and we both loved the final product. While the pictures of me aren't that flattering, they show the cut well. I think it makes me look a little more youthful (which I need in my newly entered old age!).

The absolute best part of the cut is that it requires very little styling. Some conditioning smoother, a bit of mousse, and a touch of gloss. Air dry and done. That's what I need. Easy but fun. 

04 August 2010

Belated birthday presents make me feel less yucky

I'm home sick from school today. All I am missing is endless meetings, but it still feels pretty lame to miss work after only two days of being there. At least I didn't need a sub or to create sub plans. I should be back in action tomorrow ... hopefully.

One thing that certainly made me forget about not feeling tip-top (at least for a while) was my belated birthday delivery. I had left my charm bracelet and new heirloom ring at the jeweler for some repairs, and The Boy had ordered me my birthday present while we were in NY. The package came via UPS today, and everything looked so beautiful!!

My pretty new old ring.

My beautiful new topaz birthday pendant.

I need a slightly longer chain, but isn't it pretty? David does such beautiful work!

I didn't include a pic of the charm bracelet, but it is growing! I now have 15 charms on it. It is good to have it back on my wrist. It's been in for repairs since before my birthday, and my wrist has felt rather naked. It's comforting to have it back.

Yeah for all of my pretty baubles! Now I just need some bangles. And perhaps some beads ... ;-)


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