sarahmichelef: (Default)
When I don't blog for a while, you get bullet points.
  • Meeting with Old Plumber must be re-scheduled because the guy who did the actual repair last May was sick today.
  • Fashion on Tuesday: cream colored tunic-length sweater belted with skinny red belt (would have been better with a wide belt), brown slacks and red flats.
  • Fashion on Thursday (today!): my favorite glen plaid slacks, mustard-yellow cowl-neck shirt, khaki blazer, brown sling-back heels.
  • Kid: still precocious.  Not napping at school anymore, so she goes to bed pretty early.  Which is kinda nice.
  • SCA: I have taken it into my head to enter Kingdom A&S.  See, the theme was my idea, so I feel a LITTLE obligated.  I finished a set of 13th c. gowns for HRH Liadain that look awesome - I will be able to finish up the write-up of them next week after I actually have a picture of them on a person rather than just on my dress form.
  • Still loving the AutoFocus time management system.  I have knocked off SO MANY little niggling tasks that had been languishing - like taking a ton of wire hangers to be recycled, ordering omega 3-6-9s for the kiddo (hard to find them in brick & mortar stores in pedi doses), and other similar things.
  • Work: high school is weird, but the kids are pretty receptive.  Their grades, so far... not so hot.  But there's only been one quiz and a reading quiz, so hopefully they'll get the hang of it and/or actually ask me for help.
  • Dissertation: progress is being made.  I'm producing mini-reports for Bob that I would love to get additional feedback on - let me know if you want to read them!
  • I totally used up my perky earlier today, so I'm just going to say donate to March for Babies!  We're 1/3 of the way to our goal, yay!  And [ profile] marajade648  is coming to walk with us again, doubleyay!  (So if you wanted you could donate to her, instead.)
  • BSG cherry: officially popped.  Are you happy [ profile] relentlesstoil ?  At some point I will go back and watch from the beginning.
  • Speaking of tv, CURSE YOU CBS!  I USED to be able to get HIMYM web streaming... not anymore.  So I've missed the last ... 2 or 3 episodes.  :^(
  • The commercial with the dudes at the Renaissance Fair amuses me.  I'm not exactly sure why.

Still Alive

May. 6th, 2008 02:58 pm
sarahmichelef: (Default)
In bullet list form...
  • Spent 7 to 7.5 hours yesterday cleaning the house.  Am only about half done.  But ZOMG the bathrooms are extra-shiny and we have clean sheets & mattress pads and I even rotated our mattress all by myself.
  • Super Sekrit Projekt going well, very amusing to me.  More to come upon its completion.
  • Put in plastic garden border this weekend.  TRex LOOOOVES worms.  Loves them, is very gentle with them, moves them from the dirt we just dug up to our perennial bed and then covers them with more dirt.
  • That 100 bulbs for ten bucks box I bought at Aldi?  Totally worth it.  Hopefully this weekend will be lovely so we can do some planting.
  • CF light bulbs are cheaper at Aldi than at Target.  PSA and all that.
  • TRex has eczema, not some other bizarro rash, so yay.  Also, 35 pounds according to the ped's scale.
  • Swimming gets less annoying every time I do it.  But oh, freestyle kills me ded.  And I do need different goggles... no matter what I do, the minute I start to freestyle they fill right up.  And I was very averse to pool water in my eyes even before I wore contacts.
  • I think it says something about my fitness level that I'm planning to go for a "short" run today.  Y'know, only a mile and a half.  But, woe, my iPod is out of battery-juice and I didn't have the cable in my bag, so I will be running with ENVIRONMENTAL NOIZE!
  • Final exam Thursday.  Have spent most of today doing the administrative nonsense that goes with it.  Now administrative nonsense is all done.
  • Hooray for webcams and skype, they mean I get to actually SEE Sam instead of just typing at her.
  • Per the cleaning spree... I have two things warring within me.  Thing 1: being thrifty/eco-conscious and not throwing things away willynilly.  Thing 2: decluttering, which means occasionally throwing away things that might have been repurposed.
My miscellanea gun, she is out of bullets.  In conclusion, I give you a macro in search of a picture.
My mind, you haz blowed it.
sarahmichelef: (Tim)
Whatever issue I was having with my night guard last week (or the week before, whenever it was) has resolved itself and I'm happily back to sleeping very, very soundly with it in.  I don't know if there's actually a connection between my sound sleep and the night guard... maybe I'll have to do a systematic study.

I got 2 compliments on my hair today - one from a stranger and one from a friend.  So yay on that.  I am very much still loving it.  It's kinda like my hair was in 11th grade, actually.  I'll have to dig up a copy of my junior pic to really compare.

There is only one HP geek in my class.  See, I talk about how language creates meaning and use words like "muggle" and "kneazle" and "Voldemort" to illustrate how these concepts didn't even exist until J.K. Rowling made them up.  And only one person snickered.  I also got to tell the story of [personal profile] baronessmartha, [profile] mittenydoom, and me accidentally spoiling the book for the poor woman in line in front of us at Wegman's.  Poor woman, I hope she's forgiven us.

New gym clothes make me happy.  I can totally understand why people live in their workout pants - I got these (in both black and grey) and they are oh so comfy, and they don't look awful.  But I know what Saint Tim would tell me if he knew I was considering wearing them anywhere but the gym.  I also got this shirt and this one in white & grey.  I already have a couple of tank tops, so I'm set in that department, and when spring/summer roll around I'll have to get a couple more pairs of shorts.

Sadly, I managed to forget my snazzy new exercise gloves today and so I had to deal with rings pinching and losing my grip due to sweaty palms.  Thursday I will not forget them, but Thursday I won't be doing the Gravitron which is really when I need them most.


Jan. 18th, 2008 10:05 am
sarahmichelef: (Default)
I win at office hours. See, my office hours run from 8:45 - 10:00. I got here a little after 8:30, plunked down at my desk. It is now 10:01 and I have gotten done all of the things that I really needed to be on campus to do.

And so I am going home, finding an OnDemand workout to do (baronessmartha, I will report back with what we have, and if the tae bo is there, I will try it), and then cleaning up and going to collect my mother at the airport. (and buh, Delta lists her flight as scheduled to leave at 4:45 this afternoon but actually leaving at 9:54 this morning. WTF? In any case, "awaiting takeoff" makes it sound like they've left the gate, which is good.)
sarahmichelef: (Default)
I just got my quantiative course evaluation from the last course I taught at UMass.
(5=Almost Always, 1=Almost Never
The instructor was well prepared for class4.64.5
The instructor explained course material clearly.4.82.4
The instructor cleared up points of confusion.4.82.4
The instructor used class time well.4.73.47
The instructor inspired interest in the subject matter.4.18.75
The instructor showed a personal interest in helping.4.73.47
I received useful feedback.5.000
The methods of evaluating my work were fair.4.91.3
The instructor stimulated student participation.4.73.47
Overall, how much do you feel you learned?  (5=much more; 1=much less)3.731.01
Oveall rating of instructors teaching.  (5=almost always effective; 1=almost never effective)4.55.52
Overall rating of this course.  (5=one of the best; 1=one of the worst)3.82.75
sarahmichelef: (screaming)
This is what I've decided teaching race realtions in an introductory sociology class feels like - paining the Sistine Chapel with an 8" paintbrush while wearing mittens.  So of course I made a PP slide to illustrate this to my class - I figure it'll be good for a chuckle at least.

I was gonna go with a "carving something gorgeous with a chainsaw" metaphor but, well, we all know that's possible.  (I really, REALLY wanted to find either a David or a Venus de Milo done with a chainsaw, but not enough to spend more than 2 minutes googling for it.)

Day 3...

Nov. 5th, 2007 10:20 pm
sarahmichelef: (emo)
5 November 2007 (by sarahmichelef)...and I totally am understanding why people say this drug is crazy-making. I am sapped of all motivation. I really, REALLY need to be writing a lecture, but I just can't bring myself to do it. It doesn't help that it PAINS me to try to treat issues of race relations in the U.S. in the way that you pretty much have to in an intro class - there's just not enough TIME - teaching this class is really making me believe that the UMass way of teaching intro makes much more sense (no general intro, just topical ones - social psych, social problems, race/class/gender, etc.).

Probably also doesn't help that despite my being OH-SO-CLEVER last night and putting my pills in my purse so I wouldn't forget them this morning, I forgot them this morning. Yes, I am a GENIUS.  So I took my "after lunch" one when we got home and my "after dinner" one after dinner.  One more to take tonight, then tomorrow I'm down to 3 pills.  The hives, by the way, have not made a reappearance, so that's good.

I really think I'm just going to give up on getting lecture written tonight.  I am too fried.  We do live life at a crazy pace in my family... In October we had company for two weekends and I was out of town for five days.  November isn't going to be much less crazy... we had M's parents here last weekend; this weekend M has open house at work and then we're possibly speaking at a March of Dimes thinger Saturday afternoon (did I mention that we're signing up to be an Ambassador Family?).  Next weekend is Aethelmearc Rapier Academy and another MoD thing Friday night (Pink & Blue night at the Sabres game), and the weekend after that is already Thanksgiving!  Gah.  I also have an application for a dissertation fellowship due on the 15th (it's basically done, I'm just waiting to hear back from them with some guidance on the budget/resources end of things), and am still working on sorting out my job situation for the spring.  Oh, and I'll be applying for one full time, tenure-track position for next fall.  There's an opening locally, and I'd be stupid not to try for it.


Sep. 14th, 2007 09:27 pm
sarahmichelef: (Default)
Apparently what it takes for me to be a REALLY GOOD lecturer is to turn me loose on material that I really, REALLY love.  I suppose I knew this...  but today was the first time I got to really lecture about symbolic interaction and it was far and away the best lecture I've given, possibly ever.  So that was nice.

The question is, how do I get myself that excited about the bits that I just am not as interested in, for the sake of consistently delivering lectures that good?
sarahmichelef: (Default)
Happy New Year.  I'll leave it to [personal profile] belmikey to actually know what year it IS because I can never keep track.

We still haven't joined a temple here, so today we went to the children's services at Temple Sinai.  The weather was GORGEOUS and we actually had the 45-minute service out in the lovely courtyard (which made taschlich much easier, as the fountain is out there).  TRex loved it because of all the singing and clapping.  She wasn't the youngest one there, but she was the youngest non-infant.

Other than that, a fairly lazy day.  Walked down to CVS to acquire shaving cream, milk for the kiddo, and sunglasses for her as (we assumed) her last pair got lost when she was in MD.  Of course, we got e-mail from the grandparents today saying that they were, in fact in Grandma's car.  Oh well.

Tomorrow promises to be madness, as TRex's school is closed but both of us have to teach.  She'll be home with me for the early morning, then on campus with a combo of M's department secretary and M while I teach, and then I'll pick her up again from the secretary because M has to teach at noon (and I teach until 11:50).

Ummmm... I have nothing else.


Sep. 6th, 2007 11:14 am
sarahmichelef: (Default)
Spinning class is still fun.  I'm apparently still a bit under-powered after my sickness last weekend, so I wasn't able to work as hard as last time, but it was plenty sweaty.  Today I could see the clock, too, which was less torturous than it sitting there taunting me, but at the same time I think I prefer not knowing how much time has elapsed.

TRex loved her first day of preschool.  They learned about red things, made collages (yes, [profile] relentlesstoil, school beat me to collage fun...), and played on the playground.  When I asked her what she did, she told me, "I had a snack and then I took a nap."

We're switching from DSL to cable modem - they're coming to do the install on the 18th.  Shortly after that we are going to do something that we would previously never have considered... ditch the land line.  If you've ever talked to us on our landline, you know that it involves a lot of "what?  I couldn't hear you!"  You would not BELIEVE the buzz that emanates from it - phone conversations are literally painful, as I press the phone to my head as hard as I can in hopes of actually catching what the person on the other end of the line is saying.  So it's just going to go away.  I'm due for a new cell any day now (my upgrade date was the 4th) and will probably get it this weekend.

Class is going well so far.  They have their first quiz tomorrow, so that will give me a better idea of what's going on in their heads, and their first activity write up is due on Monday, which will give me an even better idea.

New Car paranoia is wearing off.  But we really need to vacuum the back seat because TRex took off her sand-filled shoes on the way home from school yesterday.  I have a feeling that our kid who has usually been bathed every other day or so is going to get bathed every day she goes to school.  She was FILTHY yesterday.

[profile] master_mr, if you read this, drop me a line - we would love to see you tonight if it fits with your travel plans.
sarahmichelef: (Default)
1) Someone is playing the drums somewhere down the hall.  Keep in mind that this is the CLASSROOM BUILDING.  Don't know what's up with that.
2) Class went well; there were only four (out of 48) absent and one of those is accounted for.  I had severe technology problems - which is to say, I had completely forgotten that my gig-on-a-string was formatted MacOSX Journaled, which is COMPLETELY unreadable by a PC.  It's been re-formatted to NTFS and life will be much happier PowerPoint-wise on Wednesday.
3) I'm ahead on lecture prep and hoping to stay that way.
4) I do love getting my spreadsheets set up.  I am a dork.
sarahmichelef: (Default)
1) Let me hear someone in the background saying "You're going to have to use Internet Explorer".
2) Tell me that IMAP access is unsupported and tell me that when I use the office machine I need to double click on (*shudder*) Outlook.

Actually I probably won't be an IT nightmare...  I will merrily bring my own network cable from home (so as to not have to crawl under the desk to unplug the one on the office computer) and I'll suck it up and use webmail instead of trying to get Mail to see my BuffState e-mail.  Or I'll just tell my students to use my UMass address... oooh, I bet I could set up the BuffState one to just forward to UMass.  That would be lovely.

But I'm online now, whoo!  In my little box of an office, with no windows to stare out of.  :^(  But the parking at Canisius and bussing over here plan worked like a charm, so that's good.
sarahmichelef: (Default)
In bullet point form.
  • I have another sore throat.  Yes, yes, yes.  I'm going to get myself something for nasal lavage, because I KNOW this one is post-nasal-drip related.
  • I have a job for the fall.  Had I mentioned this?  Anyway, I'm picking up a section of Introduction to Sociology at Buffalo State.  Went over there today to talk details and get info on textbooks, all that stuff.  My books are now ordered, recommendation letters for my HR file should be on their way, and I'm sending off for an official transcript from UMass.
  • Our house's Walk Score ( is 42.  We don't take advantage of some of the stuff that's within walking distance.  I may start walking to the grocery store (just over a mile away) occasionally.  I SHOULD walk to RiteAid today except for the part where I feel AWFUL.
  • [personal profile] baronessmartha and [profile] mittenydoom are sleeping at our house on Friday night.  Yay!
  • The roof is done.  I forked over the remaining 2/3 of the cost this afternoon and a crew of guys came to finish up the last things that we weren't happy with.  Like getting all the roofing debris out of the gutters.  That kind of thing.
  • I really think I need a nap.  My brain isn't functioning AT ALL.
sarahmichelef: (Default)
I'm SUPPOSED to start teaching Internet & Society in summer session on Monday.  But as of this moment, there are only 2 students enrolled in the course.  :^/  I need 4 for the class to run - if I don't get that number, I have the option of running it as a tutorial and being paid on a per-student basis (and earning less than I would if it was a formal class).

I asked the registrar & dept. chair about the possibility of running it as an online course, with the same timeline as if it was meeting in the classroom (i.e., starting on the 21st of May and finishing on the 21st of June).  I got a response from the registrar almost immediately saying that he thinks it's an "acceptable option".  If Pat says it's OK, I'll probably run it that way, with some real-time interaction (assuming I can get the blackboard real-time system to work reliably - I need to test it with safari and see if it's more reliable there) and using the discussion boards w/in blackboard.

This could be really exciting, or it could be a total bomb.  We shall see...
sarahmichelef: (Default)
I just set up my grade spreadsheet for my summer course.  I find it immensely enjoyable in a terribly OCD kind of way.  And now all I have to do is put in "1" for attendance, reading responses, and response comments and put in actual scores for the other stuff and everything adds up so prettily to 100 points at the end of the term.  And I don't have to do any math whatsoever.


Apr. 13th, 2007 03:51 pm
sarahmichelef: (Default)
I've been merrily working on my syllabus for my summer class and just now noticed what time it is...  Soon, I will need to get moving on making the beds and emptying the dishwasher before I head off to collect TRex from daycare.

I actually have nothing of substance to say.  I am more than ready for this late spat of winter to be over and done with.  It should not snow on the thirteenth of April.  (It should be noted that last time I was bitching about snow in April it was for one day, and on the fifth, not the thirteenth.)

I have been successful in my goal of working out four days this week.  I seriously tricked out my menubar yesterday, too. 

Other than that...  nope, I got nothing exciting to report.  Weekend looks to be weekendy.  (Shit!  Forgot to sign up for TRex's swimming lessons and gym class today!)  Next week marks some crazymadness...  Ben Folds show on Monday, M takes 2 teams to programming contest in Rochester Friday and Saturday, then the next weekend [profile] marajade648 is here for WalkAmerica (donate!), then a weekend off, then Grandma and Opa come for Mother's day, and then it's Canisius graduation (and Ae War Practice, which we're now thinking we're NOT going to attend) and I start teaching.  Seriously.  double-you-tee-eff?
sarahmichelef: (Default)
I'm feeling listy...

  • I forgot to take clean underwear to the gym with me this morning. Not a big deal since I was coming home afterwards (I just shower & dress much more efficiently at the gym than I do at home).
  • My arthritic shoulder is flaring up again. :^( I added my PT exercises to my regular gym routine and I must make myself stop sleeping on my right side.
  • Mom is coming to visit this weekend.
  • Classes start on Tuesday. I've got day 1 ready to go, day 2 mostly ready, and have done squat for anything past that.
  • On a related note, I can't log in to Blackboard, which is kind of a problem, since I need to upload the readings for my class.
  • No fight practice this week or next. But on the 25th there's a tourney at practice. Whee! Motivation to finally finish my new armor (all I have to do is make a point with which to tie my second ho' to my braiesgirdle).
  • I have a couple of posts percolating in my little brain... one about the rather amusing politics going on in Amherst, NY, and the other about Aethelmearc 12th Night. Will try to do those later today as a break from class prep. And I had been meaning to write up my impressions of Sweeney Todd but I think too much time has passed for me to write anything coherent anymore. *sigh*
  • I think I'm using about half of my tags for this post.
sarahmichelef: (Default)
My friend Ilene mentioned to me today that she seems to have gone from the age of 18 to the age of 30. I suggested that maybe this wasn't a bad thing. :^)

But one of the things that seriously freaks me out about being an "adult" in an academic environment is that students come to me to write them letters of recommendation. Now, this isn't all that surprising considering that UMass has bazillions of students and often the people that kids (and yes, I use that word intentionally... and am aware of the possible irony) get to know best are their teaching assistants. What the hell do I know about whether or not these students are qualified to go on off-campus programs (2 of the 3 I've been asked to write have been for off-campus study)? All I can say is what I know about them. (Y'know how you probably thought it was dumb that your teachers asked you for a little writeup of what you wanted them to say in recommendation letters? It wasn't dumb.)

I'm just thinking this as I sit down to try to write another recommendation. And this one is for a student who ended up doing okay in the class where I met her, but really didn't do well in the beginning. Which is really easy to spin into positive stuff, but still...

The other thing that freaks me out, but has only happened once: being asked to review articles. What the hell do I know about what's worth publishing?


sarahmichelef: (Default)

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