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Thursday is one day where I don't have to go in to work. Usually it means that I have a lot of grading to do at home but most Thursdays I just take a day off to decompress and grade on the weekends. I need to grade five papers at some point today but right now I'm just relaxing. I had a doctor's check-up appointment today and while I took a bus there, I walked home (It's about 30 minutes walk). That was very nice; I miss walking just because.

So I wanted to cover the TV shows of this Fall season. I am looking forward to January with "Downton Abbey" "Sherlock" "Teen Wolf" and "Community" but for now there are my shows this fall.

TV Shows Fall 2013 )

Monday, May 14, 2012

Monday, May 14th, 2012 11:00 pm
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For the first time in maybe half a year I actually watched Monday’s TV live. First “How I met Your Mother (HIMYM)” and then “House.”

I have been keeping up with “HIMYM” online but I was mostly bored with it and in the first half of this evening’s episode I switched to HBO and Harry Potter during the commercial and didn’t care to go back. The show seems to mostly stay in place and it is just not interesting anymore. I don’t think I’m coming back for it next season.

I need to catch up to about 4 episodes of ‘House’ and I don’t really care. I do like House and Wilson interaction in the latest storyline but that is about it – the rest, the patients just leave me indifferent. I will watch the finale, of course, and I will probably catch up to the episodes I missed by having them run in the background while I’m doing something else but I’m glad the show is ending. It used to be a must watch for me but I really stopped caring.

In fact, this TV season has the lowest number of shows that I follow or that I watch live. There are only three that I watch as they actually air and that I get excited about: Glee, Community and Grimm. I’m still surprised by how much I got into Glee this year after two years of indifference and occasional watching. Community is the funniest comedy around and Grimm is my favorite new show and I adore it to pieces and it just keeps getting better and better.

Modern Family and Grey’s Anatomy are shows I like that I usually watch online after they air. HIMYM is the show I do watch online but reluctantly. And House I kind of watch online now, but not really. I gave up on Bones in April when I realized that I just didn’t care anymore and I don’t miss it at all. But that’s it.

At least summer is coming up with the crack that is True Blood, SYTYCD and Burn Notice. I’m done with Leverage and I don’t even remember other shows. I haven’t even finished last four episodes of Dexter Season 6. (And I will watch Borgias all at once on Demand probably).
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Long day, as usual. I was going to grade in the evening, but after so much teaching and prepping to teach, and office hours, and reading some rough drafts and basically working from 7am to 6pm, I just have no energy. So I caught up to blogging instead and I’m going to read a little more.

I gave a lecture on Mughal Empire in my Global History class. The Department Chair emailed me last week asking if she could come observe me teach, which was not really a question. This is the first time I was observed teaching in years and years, and certainly the first time since I started teaching at Local College a year ago. I also knew very little about Mughal Empire until last week, when I started working on the lecture. But I think the lecture went very well. I did background for India, Babur and Akbar. There was Powerpoint, a video clip for students to watch and the discussion of two primary sources. So good variety. It is not like I was teaching differently or anything – I’m pretty set in my methods. And I don’t really get nervous teaching but I was a little more hyperaware because the Chair was sitting there. And this is my favorite class this semester, which I really did not expect.

So I did order that summer type white dress from that Chinese website. We’ll see what happens. I have no expectations whatsoever.

I didn’t want to watch “House” today. Too tired. So I didn’t. I’ll just catch up to it in a few weeks. I used to look forward to it so much but not lately. And there is only half a season left. I also don’t want to watch “HIMYM” anymore. I think “Glee”, “Grimm,” “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Modern Family” are the only full season shows I’m interested in anymore. The rest are seasonal.
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I basically worked non-stop from 7am to 4pm and then I took a small break and worked from 4:30 to 6:15. I commented on 30 rough drafts and taught two classes. Overall it was a very productive day. But very tiring, especially as I had to get up at 6am and I didn’t sleep well.

I was listening to my iPod on shuffle pretty much all day as I was commenting. It was actually helping me concentrate for those hours of grading. I don't think I ever listened to music for that long at one time but it did engage parts of my brain.

I did watch “Grey’s Anatomy” in the evening to unwind.

Throat started feeling scratchy in late afternoon – no! I really hope it would go away.
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Mama and I went to the cemetery in the morning since it was my Grandma Tanya’s birthday. I really haven’t gone outside much this week because it is pretty cold. Rest of the day uneventful

I did watch a good “Grey’s Anatomy” episode in the evening.

Christian/Syed storyline on “Eastenders” is killing me – they better get back together tomorrow. I keep telling myself it is just a soap but I really get invested in the characters.
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This Thursday at least I was able to take it a bit easy. I should be grading more, I know, but I really needed a little break. I did catch up on the reading for the law class and put a Byzantine reading handout together for the Global class.

But I also started Season 4 of “Battlestar Galactica” rewatch and watched “Grey’s Anatomy” and went for a walk for a change. So, overall, a good day. Back to work and grading and teaching tomorrow.
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Folder review day. I was grading until nine and still had some more left for later in the day. The Folder review is not really stressful, since I know what I’m doing and so does the folder reviewer. It is a chance to check if my grading is right for some borderline cases. I just try to get things done.

Instead of discussing the reading today I thought it would be more productive to work on thesis and connections in class. That also meant I could grade some more in class while they were working on my assignments.

I stopped grading at three after my office hours, where I actually had a student show up. My brain was too fried. So I went to the other campus to wait to go home and watched “Grey’s Anatomy” on Hulu and caught up on the Internet.

I love that it is October. I do love autumn and all the trees by the highway are turning this beautiful red color and there is green and yellow and red all mixing together.

Why is it so hard to change the Netflix plan to streaming only. Since they insisted that DVD separately is $8 a month, it is not really worth it. I know it is not; I don’t watch that many things and half I get for Papa anyway. And there is Redbox. But it is just hard. And I know I’m doing what the corporation wants me to do and stop getting DVDs. But I did press that button. I’m giving myself a month to see if I miss it.

Going to read my giant book now. Yay, reading.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Friday, May 13th, 2011 09:59 pm
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Since we had guests last night I did not have a chance to watch “Bones” which is probably a good thing since I would have been cross stitching. And this episode was actually really good, so I’m glad I watched it this morning.

Bones S6E22 )

“Brothers and Sisters” is officially cancelled. I was checking the news every day and even though it was expected I’m still sad about it. I know it is just the TV show but I loved the characters.

I finished my semester today. I graded all the final exams and calculated the grades. I have a few students who did not turn in their final papers and I gave plenty of chances so those are the only D and Fs. The rest did pretty well, a nice curve. I was done by 2pm and took the rest of the day off. Yay, it is summer.

I watched “Grey’s Anatomy” and one “Avatar: TLA” episode and then I went outside and actually did something active.

I was showing the Kid and her brother how to rollerblade. It felt nice to get on the roller blades again, it really feels like summer now. I spent an hour outside.

Our guests are staying until next Thursday, I think. It is weird to have to be social every evening.

Cross-stitching: all purple is done, that’s Big Bear’s bow and middle bear’s suit. It is coming along, two more weeks if I keep up this pace.
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Since today my students were doing Peer Review for Paper 4 and the writing program expects us to find time somewhere to comment on their draft 4, the class ended up an office hour, where as they read each other’s papers some students went over their draft with me. And in the second class, many stayed after class for my actual office hours. It was actually very productive and I felt effecting teaching.

The weather is simply horrible, all cold and rainy and depressing. I got a bit of grading done but not a lot since I was very lethargic.

“Grey’s Anatomy” musical episode wasn’t too bad. It was weird to realize that because of re-runs it is the first hour of TV I watched all week (other than in class yesterday). This year my tv schedule feels so off.
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Best line from one of my college papers I read today
“The Citadel has pros that make it look respected and it also has its cons that make it look like an asshole.”

Grading day again so I got up at 6am. 12 papers today but I got it all done. And today I got a fresh batch of papers so it never stops. I did write a new question based on articles by Leila Ahmed “On Becoming an Arab” and Gladwell’s “The Power of Context.” I’m asking them to consider “How does context influence identity?” And, of course, we spent a significant amount of time in class discussing what ‘context’ means (even if they just wrote a whole paper on Gladwell and ‘context’ is in his title. We also looked at the different types of context like environmental or political and what ‘identity’ means. I talked my question over with Emily, one of the other instructors. I do always like discussing my question with other instructors just to talk it out and make sure it would work. There is a lot to be said for collaboration.

Because Ahmed’s article assumes a general knowledge of history, geography and terminology which most students lack (and I’m always surprised at the lacunas in their history and geography knowledge) we went over some terms that popped in the essay. Like the difference between ‘Arab’ and ‘Muslim’ and where Arabian Peninsula and even Egypt were on the map. (I brought my Historical Atlas for them to look at because they needed to know where Ottoman Empire was and explain what Ottoman Empire consisted off and many couldn’t even point to Egypt). We went over World War I, World War II, nationalism, Balfour Declaration, Zionism, propaganda and other terminology. One class asked me to talk about different types of Christianity because Copts were mentioned in the article. While a part of me thinks this type of article is hard for them because of all these terms another and stronger part says that this is the type of stuff they should read in college and that we must expect them to learn.

Every year, my friends and I get together during Passover (usually on a Saturday) and have a Passover Seder (which I run because I have the book and it matters most to me. I actually keep Passover, foodwise, unlike my friends). This Seder is one of my favorite traditions of the year and I always look forward to it because we all cook together and make this gigantic dinner. And it is really a multi-religious fest since the women are all Jewish and our partners are Christians and Muslim.

Since I’m the person who usually organizes things, and especially this event, I usually give out grocery lists and generally make sure this event happens. So today I sent out Seder Menu for general approval.

Seder Menu )

In the evening, after all that grading I managed to watch some TV, including last night’s “Modern Family” on Hulu and "Community" and "Grey's Anatomy" on TV.

“Modern Family” I loved the table conversation. Two laugh outloud moments (I was watching the first half in my office at the end of my office hours since I was done with grading and needed a rest, and after one involuntary really loud laugh from me(Cam’s sarcastic line about getting another child from the Orient) I was glad it late enough for not many people to be hanging around the offices.

Ah, “Community”. You are such a nice fluffy show that understands the awesomeness of pop culture tv and movie references. No-no juice!

I had a minor panic over computer cord; I had to use a pen to move the inside where you connect the battery cord.

My jaw on the left side feels a bit stiff where it joins my skull. It’s annoying.

Today was a very long day.
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Reading about the whole nuclear meltdown situation in Japan is very scary. Japan just can’t catch a break and even start to recover from the earthquake and tsunami. Now they have to deal with radiation too. I was almost six when Chernobyl happened in 1986. And when that happened all the wind blew the radiation on Belarus, where I was living until 1993. So I lived with the idea of radiation in the environment for seven years of my life, not that I could register the severity of the situation and the government initially did not let on too much on the seriousness of it. But I grew up knowing about instruments that measured radiation and that we had to do that in our country house (dacha) where we grew vegetables and fruit in the summer. And I lived in Minsk, not really that close to the radiation zone. My parents do remain convinced that my father’s thyroid cancer developed because he traveled close to radiation zone for work sometimes. Ok, I really don’t want to make this nuclear disaster in Japan all about me, I’m just trying to work out some thoughts about it and why I can relate to this particular threat much more viscerally than to the idea of an earthquake (although that was terrible).

I did not have to go to teach the writing class today because of Spring Break and that was nice and necessary.

I finished editing a friend’s article and worked on Islam lecture for tomorrow. And I finished Season 4 of “Grey’s Anatomy.” One more season to go to catch up.

Exercise: 30 min walk
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I’m getting “sexy sick voice” which always makes me think of that episode of “Friends” where Phoebe loved her sick voice so much she tried to get sick again after she got better. I’m very glad I don’t have to lecture tomorrow since talking for more than 10-15 minutes makes my throat hurt.

Today, I started reading John Barrowman book for real and it is funny in many parts and sometimes suddenly surprisingly dirty. Good fun.

I started “Grey’s Anatomy” Season 3 too. “Brothers and Sisters” had a really good episode tonight too – better than it has been in a while.

In general, a day where I tried to relax, drink lots of tea and be annoyed at my throat.
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Another Friday, another day I wanted to work but really couldn’t. Yesterday’s grading shut down my brain.

No “Gender and Sexuality” class, it has been recently taught. So I need to come up with something else. My brain is not thinking right now, maybe this weekend I’ll think of something.

So watched a bunch of Season 2 “Grey’s Anatomy” episodes – I need to use my Netflix for something. “Who Do You Think You Are” had a Rosie O’Donnell episode - I liked it.

Mark Watches blog is finally up to Season Four of Doctor Who, so I’m just so excited about all the reviews because Donna! I adore Donna and Season Four.

My throat started feeling itchy and uncomfortable in the evening; I really hope I’m not getting sick, although 3 day weekend might be the best time to get sick if I have to get sick at all.

Cross- stitch – blue and light blue to finish the book and pumpkin for big bear’s paws
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I woke up at Yeva’s and made myself breakfast. Yeva was staying with her boyfriend at his place but she gave me a rundown of her fridge. Then I made my way to the bus and went home.

On the way I stopped by at a card story and finally bought Bear his Valentine’s Day card. The cards are so stupid. All the inane sayings inside. I bought the least offensive. Bear and I are postponing Valentine’s for a few weeks but we don’t generally do much, just exchange cards and he gets my one rose and we might go to dinner. We both feel this made up holiday is generally stupid. Well, at least I got amusement over some creepy stalkery type Valentine’s messages or messages were the sentiment is that what one most values in the other person is how happy the other person makes one feel about oneself. Yeah, very romantic.

Since I had a really busy week and did not have time to cross stitch I spent some significant time on it today while watching “Real Time with Bill Maher” and “Who Do You Think You Are” on demand on my TV.

I also discovered that Netflix put the whole of “Grey’s Anatomy” on instant so I can have that in the background while doing other things.

Cross-stitch: blue and pale blue for the book the animals are reading.
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I found my library book! And right in time since I would have had to pay that fee tomorrow. It was on the very bottom of one of the book piles hidden by much larger volumes. I moved the couch to see if was behind it and ended up checking the piles by the couch more thoroughly! So now I can return it and just pay the late fee and buy some more presents for people instead.

This was my only exciting news of the day, since most of the day was grading and avoiding it with “Grey’s Anatomy” 6th season (since it streams on Netflix).

In the evening, I did take a break and I went to my neighbor’s house since my neighbor Andrew turned seven and Laura invited me for cake. He was very excited about being seven and he put all the candles on his football shaped ice-cream cake himself.
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Happy Birthday, Katya!

I got the ingredients for my cranberry/orange muffin bread that I always make for Thanksgiving to bring to Bear’s house. I’m making it on Wednesday.

I always use TV to avoid doing things I should. Even when I know I’m being self-destructive. Instead of grading stuff I need I watched more old Grey’s Anatomy episodes. Well, tomorrow will be a full grading day again. I really don’t want to fall into depression again and it feels like I’m sinking into it. I really need to pull myself together next week – even with the holidays.

Dexter S5E9 )
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Book review of All Together Dead )

I think I slept for nine hours last night. I guess I really needed it. I did have weird dreams. There might have been a vampire in one of them.

I went to the library today to return my book and I went to the post office too. Walking is nice, and it was pretty warm out today.

For some reason, I started watching “Grey’s Anatomy” this season on Thursdays. I never been into it really. I might have caught a scene here and there. Never cared for it. But this year I’ve been watching it. So I saw on Hulu that Season 1 is available for free and I watched the pilot. I might watch that first short season if I need something to watch so my brain relaxes when there is nothing else on.

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