Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Whole Lotta Nothin'

That's what my dad used to call it when we were playing poker for pennies and he had cards in his hand that didn't match or line up in any recognizable order.

That pretty much describes this post, too. I've been so swinging busy that I barely have time to eat and sleep. You know it's serious when even your blogging time suffers. It's like being in law school again, but without the massive reading assignments.

No, wait, I have those, too. So it's just like law school, except the grading system is more ambiguous.

I started my part-time writing coach gig for the local college's Master of Liberal Studies students again. Last year I was hired mid-semester and most of them had already figured out the techniques to use in their weekly papers, so I only worked with the handful of slower learners.

This year I started at the beginning of the semester and it's totally different. Not only am I working with the ones who are just not getting it and the ones who are well on their way to getting it, but I also have the high achievers who missed an A by one point and nevertheless want to exercise their do-over option and try to get the A. So I am S-W-A-M-P-E-D.

The papers are due Friday at midnight, so on Wednesdays (if I'm lucky) and Thursdays (if I'm not) my e-mail fills up with drafts to be reviewed.

It's been really fun seeing most of them get it, sooner or later. When the light bulb comes on, I feel like a genius teacher. And when I've spent 30 minutes talking with one of them about basic things like how a paragraph is supposed to have only one main idea, I feel like a dolt. My goal is to maximize those genius moments!

Meanwhile, I spent the weekend volunteering at the regional U.S. Pony Club Dressage Rally. Cute kids, adorable ponies and handsome horses everywhere! Tallying the scores was a bit of a challenge (I spent almost two whole days doing math!), but well worth it. And now I have done my bit for them and am off the hook for the rest of the year. I think.

My broken toe is healing but still painful enough that I can't wear closed-toed shoes.

Earlier this month, before everything exploded, I finished 4 books that I need to write blog reviews for. Looks like that's not going to happen in September.

I started the final book on the Colorful Reading Challenge, read one paragraph, and promptly fell asleep. It was so long ago I don't even remember what I read. So when I circle back to that, I'll have to read the paragraph over again. Here's hoping I can stay awake for the rest of the page.

I still have a few pictures from D.C. to bore you with.

Last night I managed to attend an alumni function at a local wine bar, where they have wine vending machines. Very cool. You put your card in the slot, select your beverage, hold up your glass under the spout, and it automatically dispenses an ounce of your choice.

Riesling is God's gift to very tired people who don't like wine.


  1. Heehee, love your Riesling quote.
    Busy is good. Sorry to hear about your toe.

  2. Wine in vending machines? Well, that's a swell idea.

    I once knew of a volunteer fire department that had a soda vending machine that actually spit out beer-but that's a story for another day.

  3. You broke your toe? How did I miss this?

    So sorry. I hate it when I am so totally swamped. Good luck with it all.

  4. When I taught college English and journalism, the incoming papers really swamped out my weeks. Many nights were spent sitting at a table reading, writing comments and grading.

    But even with that, you're having fun with your students. It is a good feeling seeing the light go on when they understand a concept they were light years away from at the beginning of the term.

    I need one of those wine dispensers for my house.



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