Saturday, June 24, 2006


Yes, the cheesecake scam is indeed brilliant. In order to combat any attempts to build up my ass-flab rather than my muscles, I took the decadent chocolate cheesecake over to my parent’s house. There, we had a picnic, I took the kids for a walk up the creek, and then I ate my slice. It tasted divine. So rich and creamy it was that I had to put a dollop of Coolwhip on top in order to soften the bite of the sweetness.

And I left the darned thing there in their freezer, too. Poetroad – with an almost painful look on his face – implored, “What did you do that for!?”

At that moment I knew for sure that the power of the cheesecake was strong, stronger than I had anticipated.

“If we take the cheesecake home,” I reasoned, “then I will eat it all for sure. This way it’s a good 15 minute drive away from us.”

Hopefully the distance will put a damper on desire.

Friday, June 23, 2006

I am a big Winner.

I love the group dynamic of the various exercise classes I am a part of at the local “club.” In particular, because of peer pressure, I tend to work out harder when I exercise with a group of people than if I were to work out on my own. And there is also the added bonus of having a leader that has a work out plan all figured out so that I don’t have to think about what to do next.

Today, I tried out a new cycling class (my regular class is on Tuesdays and Thursdays), and, wow, talk about some kind of dynamic going on there. As we are biking our buns off, the instructor yells out music trivia questions (who sings this song, what movie was this song in, what year was this song written, etc.). You’ll never guess what I won from guessing a “softball” trivia question (Joe Jackson sang “Steppin' Out” – easy 80s music trivia, people)…I won a chocolate cheesecake. No, seriously. I won a whole chocolate cheesecake.

Apparently, this instructor bakes 5 or 8 of these cheesecakes in a week, and freezes them. On Fridays, people can win a cheesecake in class.

I don’t know about you, but the winning the cheesecake thing is kind of counter-productive to my whole weight loss plan. If I want to drop a few pounds, I don’t think chocolate cheesecake is really an option on my menu.

If I cut out a few meals, however, maybe I can eat a tiny slice…

Thursday, June 22, 2006

School Recap

Yes, school is “out.” It has taken me a few days to recoup from the stress of trying to take care of my family and wrap up my classes over the last few weeks too. And since I’m sure you all (all three of you) are dying to know how things went, here’s the poop:

The college course: If you recall, things were a bit rocky for a while with the College Writing II crew. First, there was the dreadful “they don’t get it” shtick. After re-grouping and re-teaching “how to write a paragraph and incorporate borrowed material,” things seemed to go more smoothly.

Then, there was the whole “cheating” incident. You remember - that strange student who totally borrowed his paper from various Wikipedia pages (and from a site where comfortable beds are sold). That ended well, as the student never returned to class to face the consequences.

Finally, (and this is the new-to-you dish) there were the “mixed reviews” I earned from the end-of-the-year student evaluation process. A total of five students (of the 20 that completed the course) reviewed my teaching skills, and I think my overall average was a strong “C+.” Unfortunately, another adjunct was teaching the same class at the same time in another room, so our mixed reviews were mixed up. How do I know? Well, several of the comments penned by the anonymous reviewers referred to the other teacher, “Mrs. Smith,” by name. Consequently, the registrar mixed up the reviews, and I inadvertently saw the reviews for both sections (so much for confidentiality). Let me tell you – I was just glad that I didn’t get some of the reviews that Mrs. Smith got. Let’s just say that the comments directed to her were less than nice (better than barfing orange juice, but worse than eating worms). At least my students (if in fact any of the students reviewing my class were actually my students) had the sense to direct their evilness at me by without using my name. The head of the department seemed to think that my reviews were really positive (wow – I’d hate to see what these kids say about their other teachers). I laughed at that, and asked him, “I’m sorry, but did we read the same reviews?” He was quick to point out that “We tend to assume that the students who were satisfied with the class didn’t review your performance, but those who felt disgruntled did.”

All in all, I made many mistakes in teaching that college writing class, and I will be sure to adjust my approach next time around in order to avoid the same pitfalls.

The online school: At the other end of the teaching spectrum, the online school end of the year went well. Although I graded papers for 80+ hours in the span of two weeks (yes, that is about 40 hours of overtime work there), the students I had this year seemed to really learn something from the curriculum and my mentorship. And, I had more “thank yous” from students and parents this year than ever before – which is always nice.

Hopefully, I’ll get re-connected with my blog buddies this summer. Maybe I’ll even write something that will be worth your time to read.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Oh, that is sad

As you may have guessed, I've been a bit preoccupied with grading the last few weeks. Bleck! It's the most un-fun part of my job. It's what I do the most of, however. Grade papers, that is.

So the last time I posted was May 31. That means that every minute I've spent on the computer over the last two weeks was, basically, ahhhhh. Not thinking about it. Avoid. Denial.

It's as if I just woke up from a two week drunken binge. Time went by, and I don't really know what happened. I'm waking up, and it's JUNE.

Very sad, people. Now I have to figure out a way to make it up to Poetroad. He's awesome. What would I do without him?