Saturday, May 19, 2012

Saturday, May 19th, 2012 11:00 pm
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I finally caught up on “House” not that I cared for many of these latest episodes. But at least I’m all set for the finale.

I spent the afternoon putting together a spinach lasagna – I used tons of turkey meat. I figure it would be easier to put together in the afternoon and then put in the fridge until closer to dinner time and then just stick it in the oven. Bear was coming over after work around dinner time. I also make a nice salad. And I got whole wheat noodles too for the lasagna. It all came out really well. It is a lot of food – even with Bear eating in for two nights and giving him food to take home, I will be eating it all week. But it did came out really well.

After cooking I did spent a significant time in the afternoon reading on the balcony in the sunshine. It was so lovely.

Bear and I spent some time online picking our Ketubah. We both like blue for color and we picked Interfaith vows we both loved. I think I want to order a sample to decide on the size but we do both agree on what we liked best. Here is a link.

We also went for a walk to a Redbox and rented “Captain America.” Since we saw The Avengers, I wanted to catch up. But we only watched half since it was getting late and I was too tired and just wanted to sleep, so we’ll watch the rest tomorrow. It is silly fun, though. I like it so far.

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).

Monday, March 8, 2012

Thursday, March 8th, 2012 11:00 pm
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Bear’s Mother and religion and her views on the wedding made me so upset. She is very, very super Catholic, and she does not believe that a wedding is real unless God is present there and there is some sort of religious ceremony. She did express that opinion before (and we told her that we will try to contact a priest, who is a friend of the family, to do a blessing or something), and she was talking to me about it on Saturday, trying to convince us to have any religious ceremony, even Jewish one.

Bear and I wanted to keep our wedding as simple as possible, both in cost and in hassle and we were just going to go to city hall. But Bear overheard her last night, talking to someone on the phone, and she was just so dismissive of our whole wedding because there will be no religion in it. She was saying that when I was showing her the pictures of invitations and dress and generally talking about it, she just wanted to throw up since it was just all fake wedding stuff. Basically, being polite to my face while seething about it inside. It is that dismissal of our plans and complete disrespect for any other idea of what a wedding should be that made me upset the most. And the fact that she was basically making me stressed and nervous and taking all my excitement at my own wedding away from me.

I was crying before I went to sleep and crying some more this morning when I was writing an email to Marianna asking for a name of the guy who married her. She married a Muslim and the cantor who did a Jewish ceremony for her, does specialize in interfaith marriages. I don’t know any religious officials since I go to synagogue once a year and religion to me is a social thing and not so much about God. Plus, now I have to contact people and sort this out and I get anxiety calling strangers on the phone. (Like I seriously usually make others order take-out). Bear and I, at least, both agreed that we are not paying for this – this could be several hundred dollars and his mother can cover it since she is so keen. She did offer briefly on Saturday so she should shell out. Bear will also contact the priest so we’ll see what happened. I hate the hustle but I recognize the need for compromise.

I rarely get really upset, because usually it sits in my chest the whole day and that is was happened. I did less grading because of it. I couldn’t concentrate as well. So at lunch, instead of grading some more – I have folder review tomorrow – I caught up on “House” on Hulu.

Such a nice warm day today, I wish I had time to enjoy it.

On a brighter note, Happy International Women's Day! When I was little and I lived in the country where this was a national holiday, we had a day off school and I got presents. So I'm still fond of it.
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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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“House” will end this season. It is really time. I’m not even sad about it.

In the Global class, we did Equiano discussion today. I think assigning them to each Chapter went pretty well as I could point to many details. They will have a hard time with the thesis, I think.

I did some reading today and some grading – the usual. But I feel at least on track with the teaching. I do like the Response Papers and I’m actually grading them all on time.
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So my voice survived the four hours of lecturing and class time. I did end the three hour class a little early because my voice was going but I covered all the material I wanted. We were talked about ancient Israelites and early Christianity today and how they influenced the gender relations of Western Europe. I also gave a Map quiz and explained citations to them. I think the most effective method is physically showing them a Word document on the projector screen and pointing to where they need to click to get to footnotes and then writing out a footnote together.

I also wrote up my lecture notes with Powerpoint in the morning and graded their Response Papers. Response papers for both classes are a really good idea to see how they read and to make sure they read, even though it is three hours of extra work for me per week for both classes. Really worth it, though.

“House”. I used to watch it with my full attention but I today I pretty much had it in the background while grading Map Quizzes. House )

A student managed to get 24 on her Map Quiz - she got all the terms beforehand and had a week to prepare. HeadDesk. She didn’t know Florence, Jerusalem or Mediterranean Sea.
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I spent the whole day at school. I do like being in my office all morning since I actually get things done. For the “Sex, Power and Identity” class, I’m making a lot less notes and more relying on just memory to talk. And I’m trying to get them to discuss the readings more, to teach them how to read more closely. And the classes went well, I think. I do like my Global more, though, because of location and students. However, the three hour class on top on another class is killing my voice on Mondays. I basically talk for four and a half hours. It is a little much.

House )
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Monday will be my busiest day this semester. First I teach “Global History” from 1 to 2:30 and then my “Sex, Power, and Identity in Europe to 1800” from 3 to 6. I do give them the fifteen minute break in the three hour class but it is still a lot of talking. My throat definitely needs some rest tonight.

The classes themselves went pretty well. I’m really liking the library room for Global class. Really good atmosphere. The powerpoint is a bit skewed but it works and so does the video. We talked about Luther today and will talk about Henry VIII and also religious wars on Wednesday. The seminar went fine too – I did have to reassure them that while we talked about theory today – the rest of the semester will be about actual history. We’ll see. They do participate but not heavily about the readings yet. But I did a three hour class today! Yay.

House S8E9 )
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I ordered the Global textbook in the bookstore and there will be a copy for me too. Should be interesting. One of my students showed up at my office at 11:50 and I ended up cutting my lunch fifteen minutes short – I really need to learn how to say no sometimes.

I did my lectures on Aztecs, Maya and Inca and then the last lecture on 14th century law. I forgot to bring evaluations with me and we had right amount of time for it. Ah, well. It still astonishes me how I have to physically show the students where they can find footnotes. Seriously!

Watched “House” in the evening since I needed a break. I don’t even want to think about how many papers I have to grade in the next three weeks.

I needed help of mods to with lj’s html. Dreamwidth is so much easier to use. Livejournal changed the quote marks to something weird. The mod really helped and went over much of it. I think I have a handle on it now, but lj is seriously annoying.
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Happy Birthday, Katya!

I was very happy to go into work today, since I knew the day was going to be pretty low key: office hours with some grading, a lecture on Black Death (which always, always goes over well) and a peer review day in the History of Law class. And this is the week of Thanksgiving, it is my only official workday of the week. I get a very much needed break.

My office hours were productive as one student showed up to talk about her research paper and then Abena and I talked about the Global History class we are both teaching next semester. I’m basically using her syllabus but we incorporated some of my suggestions too, like the writing class and the map quiz for the final. We decided on a textbook and that other readings will be online. I think this Sunday I need to sit down and plan my second class in terms of books too. I will definitely rely on her since I’m not as strong on modern Global History but I am looking forward to it – it will be something different.

My students really loved the Black Death video set to Hollaback Girl; they were singing along by the end. And in the other class I had a change to look over students’ ‘thesis’ and actually give suggestions, which works for me too since hopefully that will lead to stronger papers. Although, I always want to bang my head into the desk about the footnotes. I put the footnotes guide online for them and they still don’t bother to look at it and when I physically show them templates they look like it is a brand new discovery. One student actually emailed me asking me how to do footnotes since he never done it. So I emailed back and told him, for what feels like the fifth time, where to find this information. I showed this in class before too. And how to put them in Word. And how footnote and bibliography is not the same. And it is still like brand new information. Maybe they want us to chew the food for them too?


House S8E7 )

On a random note, I’m so excited for theatrical re-release of “Beauty and the Beast.” I saw the trailer today and it just makes me smile.

I got into bed early with my laptop to get into the holiday mood to write my RS Small Gifts story. I turned on my Christmas music playlist and started writing it finally. I know what the story is about and what each scene should be but this story doesn’t want to be written easily. It is not flowing as well as I should like. I have a week to do it and hopefully it will come together.
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I was grading Exam 2 all morning and all the way until my 1pm lecture. But I got them done. Somehow Mondays are most productive grading wise.

My made-up on the spot law lecture based around Manor roll records went over great – they did need a little review after all the lecturing. And it allowed me to really clarify the concepts of different jurisdictions. And in my Global class I gave them an In-Class Exercise and gave my Africa lecture. So productive day at least.

Hunger Games trailer came out today. It looks so perfect just like the book is reproduced on screen exactly how I saw it in my head. I can’t wait.

House S8E6 )


NBC benches “Community” in January for a bit – No, NBC, that is your best written show! I really hope they get one more year.
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Last week was a bit hectic so I'm just catching up.

I started reading Tatyana Tolstaya “Slynx” in Russian. Papa gave it to me on Kindle as my birthday book. I love it so far. It takes place in a future apocalyptic world where the main character is a manuscript copier. I love the language of it – it feels like old time country Russian with the speech pattern and allusions. And there are many funny references which I don’t know if a person not familiar with Russian culture would get. It still would be interesting but this book depends a lot on cultural knowledge and references to literature and fairy tales. But I’m having fun with it so far. I just need time to actually read and not just grade all the time.

Some students did show up to office hours with drafts for Paper 2 but not students who really need it. Still. Good lectures today too. I did a Byzantium lecture and started Terry Jones’ “Crusades” video. And then I did my Henry II and the law lecture – which is a lot of information.

House S8E5 )

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Happy Halloween! I saw many kids out trick-or-treating today with some fun costumes – my favorite was a kid covered in all blue. We gave out a bit of candy too.

But it was a long workday for me as every Monday is. I have an access to a copy machine on Monday so I do most of copying or other grunt work on Mondays since I’m in my office from 8:30 to 12. And then I have two classes back to back from 1 to 4:10. And I did reading for those classes in the evening.

I also wrote Exam 2 for my law class (which I gave today) , graded In-Class Exercise 2 for one history classes and commented on bibliography for another, started re-reading “El Cid” for the discussion class on Wednesday and read law sources and book for Wednesday too. I did take a few breaks during the day (and I showed the movie "El Cid" for 25 minutes in one class) but it feels like I’ve been working all day. I just want to read “The Hobbit” before I go to sleep if I’m awake enough for it.

One weird thing today: so one of my Global History students asked for a paper extension for Paper 1 a month ago for just one class session, but since then he kept avoiding turning it in though lots of bullshit excuses mostly involving email not working or cooperating. Finally, finally today he brought a paper copy, like I told him too. When he showed it to me right before the lecture (in the classroom with other students gathering) he was enthusiastic and asked for a hug. Which threw me off and I didn’t exactly respond since a) I rarely hug people unless I haven’t seen them for a while and mostly really close family members/friends, except for Bear who I hug all the time, understandable and b) he is a student in college and not in kindergarden and c) I never hug students. But he came over and asked again and did hug me. Now the hug itself was not creepy – it was an appropriate length and everything; it was just something I would never do and I wish I knew how to or, had time to respond properly, to not hug. I did focus on his second paper right away and told him to make sure he had it on time and got in a serious teacher mode, which threw him off a bit. But seriously, dude, don’t hug your professors. And he would never have done that if I’ve been a guy. It doesn’t bother me on physical level, again it was not a creepy hug and I’m not really going to dwell on it after I write this but it was just not right.

House S8E4 )
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I finally started grading Gilgamesh Papers. I’m trying to get on a grading plan to finish all I got this week, to give everything back by next Monday. So that means all writing midterms, the rest of Gilgamesh papers, Map Quiz, in class exercise 2 and commenting on bibliographies.

My lectures today were on Buddhism and medieval universities.

House S8E3 )
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Netflix came to its senses. Still don’t know if I’m going to keep the DVD part of it.

I finally finished Frederik Pohl’s “Gateway.” I did like it. The book is older than me but it didn’t really feel like it nor was it dated. Now only Hardy left to read, at least before I pick up my library book. I did read the intro to “Origin of the Species” during “House” commercials – I like the free classics I can get on my Kindle.

Dexter S6E2 )

Baseball playoffs annoy me when they preempt my TV and I have to guess when the show will start. And I can’t watch “House” online until next week. So that meant sitting in front of TV with it on mute.

House S8E2 )

My head finally cleared around 1 or so but I pretty much took it easy today. Next three days will be hectic.
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Today is twelve years since my grandmother Tanya died. She was my favorite person in the whole world and today I just missed her terribly. I listened to Mozart’s Requiem in the morning, since that is my favorite piece of classical music and suited my mood. After work, Mama and I stopped by the cemetery (we always pass it on the way to Local College).

It’s Monday and that means a new list of work related things to do. I photocopied and graded and came up with the quiz for Wednesday. True story: At the end of the class before the quiz I put the sources for that quiz on the Powerpoint slide for the students to see and prepare. And I talked about it for a minute or more. And I still got an email tonight asking what did they have to prepare for the quiz. Head-desk. Listening is a problem for many.

My lectures today were on Han China and Justinian and his law. I’m looking forward to my law class so much now since we are in the medieval period and I’m on much firmer ground. I felt today went really well. They had to pick their research paper topics for today and I have three guys doing papers on prisons.

I bought two binders today and finally organized all the lectures for the two classes. I had lots of printed lectures from last semester and primary sources and they were just sitting in a pile. Well after an hour with a whole puncher I finally organized. It feels nice.

House S8E1 )

Monday, May 23, 2011

Monday, May 23rd, 2011 11:33 pm
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Weather continues to be gloomy. I’m a bit melancholy today, maybe because of it. Also it has been a while since I was home by myself. I no longer have anxiety issues of three years ago and I do look forward to the next two weeks alone in the house but it is just weird. Bear left around 3 today and he will be back here in a week. So it is just me and dissertation. And I need to finish my cross stitching. I just could not get into it today.

Avatar: TLA Season 2 E19-20 )

House S7E23 )

I watched the fourth episode of “Borgias” with dinner. That show continues to be awesome. I like it a lot.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011 10:34 pm
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Endeavor crew made their own space shuttle Star Trek poster . Awesome.

Season 8 of ‘House’ will not have Cuddy in it. This show is already sketchy in how it writes women. Well, at least in will be a change. I wonder if there will be new boss dynamic. I watch House for Hugh Laurie and his amazing acting but it will certainly be different.

Today I watched more Avatar: The Last Airbender and finished season one of “Queer as Folk US”. But the best thing I saw today was “Easy A.” That was a really fun movie and a comedy I can get behind. Nice crispy dialogue and very entertaining. I highly recommend it.

The guests are leaving tomorrow, so there is still lots of food every evening and more socializing than usual. A big contrast to next few weeks, I think, when I will get a house all to myself. I did really like Mama’s friend and her family and I have a standing invitation to Miami which I might actually take up sometimes.

Cross stitch: more yellow

Monday, May 16, 2011

Monday, May 16th, 2011 10:35 pm
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An article from New York Times about a high standing basketball executive coming out – really well written and moving article.

House S7E22 )

Cross-stitch: I finished the pink balloon and I started on the yellow one.


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