Thursday, March 31, 2011

Brainspill: Scholastic Edition!!

I realized this morning that it has been a while since I've actually discussed what's going on in my life of late. I've talked about Leo (who you all seem to shamefully hate), about food, and about my novel (which is moving right along) but nothing about what I'm up to. This is mostly because I feel like I'm not the most interesting subject. With that said, I keep this blog, in a very real way, to chronicle what I'm actually doing, which wouldn't be very useful if I didn't talk about myself. So, here we go.

The semester's thankfully winding down. My students have just finished their in-class writing, which is technically a mid-term. They're past the half-way point and will be onto working on their fourth paper, the last one before the final, which is, like the mid-term, an in-class writing. This means that my job is nearly done. I have to prepare them for the fourth paper, and then for the final, but that's it. I've got about 15 more classes to conduct, and four or five more labs, that's it.  Put like that, it sounds like a lot, but not when you consider that this class has upwards of 65 meetings between the class and lab. Considered like that, we're well on the downslope!

My classes are also going pretty well this semester, too. As the semester draws closer to the end, the work compounds, but it's not so much that it's insurmountable... I hope. My American lit class has just two more response papers, a long paper, and a final to go. Studies in the Teaching of Composition, which is a rhetoric of teaching class that addresses composition pedagogy, has much more work -- a long paper, a teaching philosophy statement, four more weeks of response postings and articles to outline, and a final. I'm substantially more worried about class, and all of it's work, than I am about the lit class.

The best news, right now, is that I'm finished with my thesis proposal.  I've gotten the whole thing written, it's about 17 pages in all, if you include the cover page and the working bibliography.  I've gotten the first round of corrections, which were relatively minor, and have completed them as of this morning!  Next thing is to give it back to my thesis chair (Dr. Y), who will make sure all the corrections are made to her satisfaction, and then it will go to the other two members of my thesis committee (Dr. C & Dr. S) for corrections. Once I get all of the corrections done, it'll be ready to go to the Graduate College!  I'm so very excited to have this step in the process completed, or nearly completed, anyway. It's been a lot of work, but I think that having done it will make the rest of the thesis fall into place. Not that I think it'll be a piece of cake, or that I'll just walk through it, quite the contrary, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that this is going to be a lot of work, but having the proposal done provides a nice guideline by which to work. Besides, I think that I'm going to enjoy writing my thesis.  I'm very, very interested in the subject matter, which is helpful for any long project like this.

Okay, enough rambling about that, sorry!  Let's see, what else?  Oh, I've decided to take the summer off (probably) and work on my thesis, study for comps, and finish my novel. Matt will be graduating in May (hooray!!) and will be working full-time (he works from home), so there's no reason I should work when I have other things that need taking care of.  I'm looking forward to having the time off to do what needs be done.  I toyed with the idea of working in the Writing Center over the summer, the extra income would have been nice, but I think I'm going to let Matt do his thing and just do mine. I'm nervous about not working, of course, but I think it'll be for the best.

Also, I think I mentioned, at some point, that I'm planning to get my class ring soon. I've decided to get it in June, with my last paycheck before the summer, rather than in the fall. Matt thinks it's a good idea, too, and that way we can save a larger chunk of my financial aid for our rapidly approaching move!  Melanie, Joey, Matt and I went to Swindle Jewelers yesterday to look at the rings, rather than just drooling over them online, since Melanie and I are both planning to get our rings. Believe it or not, in person, the one everyone liked the least online, I liked the best. It's this one...

They make it with a row of gold rope on the inside of the channel setting and I absolutely fell in love with it. I like the width, the way it looks on my hand, everything. Now, I just have a few decisions to make, like should I get white or yellow gold?  Should I get diamonds or CZ?  Matt says white gold and diamonds, it's a big occasion and worth the splurge. What he actually said was, "Oh, well you could get CZ's and wait to get diamonds for your next graduation."  Smart ass, he knows I don't plan to have another graduation!

Anyway, I've pretty much decided on the diamonds, even though with the added gold it's going to make the ring $995!  The biggest problem I have now is deciding about the gold.  I've never owned anything white gold, and while I like it, yellow would match my wedding rings better. I think, though, that that ring is two tone, with the ring being yellow gold and the coin being white gold, and I'm not sure I'd want that. I want it to be all one or all the other. So, if it's two tone, then I'm going for white gold.  Besides, it looks really amazing in white gold, so it's fine!

So, I'm going to put down $100 this month, and maybe $200 next month, and then in June when I get paid, I'll pay the rest. She said I could tell her, when I make the second payment, when I'm planning on paying the rest and they can have it ready for me. They're all custom, so they take four to six weeks to be made.  I just can't wait!  This is a huge deal for me, it's the last graduation I'll ever have, and because the rings don't have a year on them, or a BA or MA, it can serve to represent my entire college education.  I know it sounds like a lot of money, but I feel like I deserve it.  The only problem, right now, is the coming up with the money and we're tightening our belts and working around it.

Okay, okay, okay... so now that I've rambled on and on, about anything and everything, and realize that this should have been broken up into two posts, I'm off!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Who Doesn't Love Leo?

Matt and I spent the evening watching movies on Netflix Instant Queue tonight. I swear to you, our Blu-Ray player is the best investment we have ever made, hands down. It has gotten more than its share of use in the last few months since we bought it -- I'm almost afraid it's going to burn out!  Anyway, neither of us had seen Shutter Island, but it was available to watch, so after some debate we clicked it on. I really wanted to see it, but Matt wasn't terribly enthusiastic which is strange for him, he normally loves psychological thrillers. I talked him into it, but only after he confided that he actually doesn't care for Leonardo DiCaprio.  I was like, "Wait, what?!" Who doesn't like Leo?  It just blows my mind!

I started listing off movies he liked that had Leonardo DiCaprio in them, to which he simply replied, "Those movies are good dispite him, not because of him."  I just shook my head in disbelief, I mean, Revolutionary Road was amazing, Titanic, Catch Me If You Can, Gangs of New York, The Beach, The Man In the Iron Mask, The Quick and the Dead... nothing, he wasn't budging. He just kept insisting that he liked them despite DiCaprio (who he ineloquently called DiCraprio). There wasn't a single one of those movies I disliked and I liked them because of DiCaprio, not despite of him.  I think he's a fantastic actor and my god, he's so cute -- look at those fantastic blue eyes *swoon*! Until tonight, I didn't know it was even possible to dislike him.  Leave it to Matt to enlighten me -- okay, that might be slightly melodramatic, I've known people who've not liked him, but geesh, not under my own roof!

When all of those movies failed to move him, I tried one more thing, I went back to the early 90s and evoked Growing Pains. Still nothing, he just looked at me like I had a screw loose and went back to watching the movie. The man really, genuinely doesn't like Leo.  It boggles the mind.  I mean, sure he looks like he's eternally 20 years old, but I can overlook that.  Besides, in his last few movies, particularly Revolutionary Road and Shutter Island there were many moments when I thought he was really starting to look his age... not that that's a bad thing, mind you.

Anyway, I've still not seen Inception, even though we own it, but Matt says it's not that great.  He said the plot let him down, especially after all the hype he'd heard about it; he really expected more.  I can respect that, I suppose. Then, looking at his IMDb tonight, I saw something that made me squeel with giddiness.  Wait for it... Wait... *breathe*... The Great Gatsby re-make is in post-production and Leonardo DiCaprio played Jay Gatsby (a role formerly filled by Robert Redford)!  I simply cannot wait for this movie.  I love The Great Gatsby.  I truly believe it's the 20th century's great American novel. If you haven't read it, do, soon, it's a very quick read and well worth the three or so hours spent.

Did I just spend an entire post talking about Leonardo DiCaprio?  Why yes, yes I did, and I'd do it again.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Food: Chicken Fried Rice

Growing up, I never learned to cook. I think I may have said so before, but every time my beloved mother tried to teach me to cook, I just blew it off. I didn't want to learn to cook, I'd say, I'd never really need that skill.  I was a stupid kid, clearly, because I've really grown to believe that good food is one of the last great indulgences left.  People use to smoke indoors and drink a cocktail at 5:30, they knew how to wind down and enjoy themselves.  Now, we have food, it's not overtaxed or illegal, even if it does make us chubby.  I digress.

When I grew up, I didn't really bother to learn because I didn't feel like my ex-husband was nice enough to me to deserve the effort.  I made meals, but they weren't anything great. I never put a whole lot of thought into it, and certainly no heart.  Then, when I moved to Texas, I had to learn to cook in a hurry because Matt couldn't then, and can't now, cook at all. He's tragic in the kitchen and I enjoy a nice meal, so I learned to cook, but only tried the things that I'd had growing up and only cooked them the way my mother did. I called her and made her sit on the phone with me while I cooked the whole meal, asking her for step by step instructions. How did I do this, how hot should the oven be, what order should the food be cooked... I was tragic, but she was incredibly patient and helped me to learn long distance. You have no idea how much I'd wished, at that point, that I'd paid attention when I was a little girl.  Then, I'd know what I was doing and wouldn't have to go crying to my mother like a five year old because I couldn't make gravy.

Eventually, I was fine on my own, but I continued to make only recipes that my mom had made and only the way she made them. I didn't venture off the beaten path. I almost always liked the food she made (except the Shepard's Pie, bleh, sorry mom!), so it was no trouble for me to make those things I'd grown up eating.  Matt liked them too, for the most part (he still won't eat tuna casserole) which was a bonus.  Then, only a few years ago, I began venturing into the woods a bit, so to speak, making things that my mother had never made, or adjusting mom's recipes to my tastes.  I tried new things and sometimes they came out great, while others not so great.  Thinking about it now, I think the biggest influence in my recent culinary adventures has to be Melanie. She makes a lot of foods that I'd never tried to make, or made, and things my mom never made.

Take for instance mom's salmon patties, which calls for crushed saltine crackers.  I was at Melanie's once and she made them with cornmeal.  I liked them, they seemed easier because I didn't have to stand and crush up the crackers, so I began making them with cornmeal too.  Matt really liked it, so that was a plus, and I've never really gone back to making them the other way.  Another recipe I adjusted, on my own and without the influence of anyone else, is meatloaf.  Matt loves it, I don't love it so much, but like the salmon patties, mom uses crushed saltine crackers in her meatloaf.  I started out making it like that, but have recently changed my recipe to include crushed cheez-it crackers, rather than saltines. It comes out a little bit sharper, and more cheesy, and Matt loves it!

Okay, so why am I telling you all of this?  Well, I thought I'd share a recipe, one of those I've been talking about that goes off the beaten path for me, something I didn't grow-up eating. This is actually Melanie's recipe, but I make mine a tad bit different than hers, so we'll say it's greatly inspired by Melanie!

Chicken Fried Rice

Ingredients:[1. Approximations, since I don't actually use a recipe.]
4 Chicken Leg Quarters
4 Cups Cooked White Rice
1 Cup Frozen Peas
1 Cup Chopped Onion
4 Eggs, scrambled
Sesame Seed Oil
Powdered Ginger
Salt & Black Pepper
Garlic Salt
Onion Flakes
Soy Sauce


  1. Season chicken leg quarters with salt, pepper, garlic salt, ginger, onion flakes, and sesamie seed oil and cook in the crock pot, on high, about 4 hours or until the meat begins to fall off the bone (alternately you might boil it in a stock pot or dutch oven, or use pre-shredded chicken meat). Drain juices off of chicken and separate the meat from the bones and skin.  Set meat aside.

  2. Cook rice by package directions, with 2 tablespoons of sesame seed oil, cool and set aside.

  3. Scramble egg, set aside.

  4. In a large frying pan, sautée frozen peas and onions in sesame seed oil until the peas are thawed and the onion is soft.

  5. Add chicken, rice, and egg to the pan and mix thoroughly.  Season with powdered ginger, salt and pepper, and garlic salt until seasons are well incorporated. Add soy sauce to taste and fry rice until the ingredients are well heated.

I didn't think this recipe would be so tough to put down until I began trying to write it out. I've never followed a recipe, Melanie doesn't either, I just sort of learned from her as she was making it one night. After that, it was just trial and error. I've made it a few times now and Matt loves it, so I'm sure I'll make it again. I hope, if you make it, that you enjoy it too. One tip, go easy on the soy sauce at first, you can always add more to the pan until it's just right.  Also, taste it and add extra seasoning and soy sauce to taste. Everyone's different and this is one of those recipes that requires attention to taste because there're no exact measurements for a lot of the ingredients.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Love's Daughter: Concept Cover

I've been working on my novel, Love's Daughter, a bit lately. I wrote a while back about discovering a newly found inspiration to devote myself to getting it done... it's only been in the works for two years, after all.  Sarcasm aside, I really enjoy writing this story and I hope that someday, someone will enjoy reading it.  For now, it's not even nearly half done but I have a ton of notes to push the plot through, at the very least, the halfway point.

If you've seen my novel page, then you've seen the covers and synopsis's there, but I've been feeling pretty unsettled about them lately.  Okay, a quick rephrase, I've been feeling pretty unsettled about the covers. There's a lot of talk about novel covers being a huge selling point for books, and mostly the conversation is taking place among Indie authors, but it's still gotten me thinking. I want my novel cover to be simple, pretty, and somewhat professional. It's tricky, though, since I'm far from a professional with graphics and Photoshop.

Still, I wanted something more sophisticated than what I had, so I've been tinkering with Photoshop, using images I found on Dreamtime, and wanted to share what I've come up with...

Please click the cover to see it full size. I had to shrink it to make it fit in this entry, but in so doing I lost a bit of definition. The cover is somewhat like what you'd find on a print book. Most e-Book covers are only the front, no back is necessary for obvious reasons. Still, this is my first attempt at anything like this and I know the dimensions are off by quite a lot, but I thought it was a good first try, which is why I'm showing it to you at all. In other words, I'm proud of it, even though it's hardly professional.

You'll probably notice that the bio information is somewhat off, but I'm hopeful.  It reflects my not-so-distant future plans, rather than where I am right now.  A girl can dream, can't she?! Anyhow, I'm feeling quite under the weather today so I'm going to go back to vegging on the sofa now.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Gone Golfing

Last night, rather than doing what I was supposed to be doing and working on my thesis sections, we decided to go out with Melanie and Joey. Over lunch we had gotten to talking about bowling, and how we wanted to go bowling (all except for Matt who hates bowling), when Joey suggested that the mini-golf place in town was open again. So, rather than bowling, we went miniature golfing and we had a blast. In the end, it was Matt's suggestion that we go, which is rare since he's not usually a get up and go type. The place in town is tiny but it's only $4 a person, for 18 holes, who could say no to that? Besides, it was an absolutely beautiful night!

When we got there, the breeze was blowing, it wasn't hot or cold. It was fantastic, the perfect night for an evening out. I absolutely love miniature golf, even though I'm terrible at it.  We played girls against the guys and even though they beat us by about 20 points, I still had the best night I've had in a while!  Joey had his iPod touch and took a whole bunch of pictures.  So, I thought I'd share our fun with you.

This is me and Melanie. The one on the right isn't the most flattering picture of me, and certainly not the most flattering angle, but it's a fun picture so I'm sharing it anyway (self-conscious concerns aside)...

At one hole, Matt and Joey decided that they should have a duel with their clubs. I have no idea what Matt's doing in the right-hand picture.  Oh, he just informed me the right hand picture is "golf zen"...

Matt thought it would be cute to pretend to bash my skull in.  Awesome, what a great husband (Love ya honey!)...

Okay, looking at these again, he does look quite crazy!  Either way, you just gotta love it, he's so much fun sometimes!  He can be the most loving, fun guy one minute and look like he's crazy out of his skull the next. Now that is pure marriage gold and it certainly keeps things fun. I think it warrants mentioning that I had no idea he was making those lovely gestures of playful agression behind me until I saw these pictures -- I am so oblivious.

I was totally rooting for my teammate while she was golfing when I was, quite unexpectedly, caught red handed. Bunny ears, what?!

When we got to the 18th hole, we shot our golf balls up the chute.  For some reason, that hole was a par 2, which makes no sense. Anyway, when it came Matt's turn, the light on the top of the chute lit up.  He got a hole in one and won another game. So, now we can go miniature golfing for only $4 between us sometime soon! Can't wait to go again, it's fantastic to blow off some steam and just have a good time without having to worry about anything for an hour or so. Well worth the price.

After golf, we went to Peacocks, a local 24-hour greasy spoon, and had coffee (or diet coke, in my case), a veggie plate (which consists of fried vegetables), and pie. They have an amazing Oreo cream pie that is crazy delicious and that I couldn't resist. When the end of the night came, we were in by 9:30pm which would have given me enough time to work on my thesis stuff had I not procrastinated all evening -- I didn't get it started until midnight, but I got 3 sections done and only 2 were due, so I feel okay about it.

All in all, our night was great and I hope to do it again soon. I think I'm going through the "we're-moving-next-year-and-I'm-going-to-miss-everyone-and-everything" phase. I'm certainly going to miss hanging with my bestie, but they've promised to come visit! Which reminds me of something else I wanted to say, on a completely different topic, but I'll write about that later. For now, good night!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Playing Catch-Up

Wow, where have I been?!  You know that saying that the longer you don't do something, the harder it becomes to do it again... well, that's very true with blogging. Get busy, don't blog for a while, suddenly all you want to do is avoid blogging because you can't seem to gather your words. Or, at least that's my experience. Anyway, spring break was last week and that made me lazy. It also made me grumpy, but I'll get to that. So, I'm back in school this week and that means back to routine. When I have a routine, so much more gets done.  So much more!  When I have breaks, I tend to use them doing absolutely nothing for the whole break. Best intentions be damned, I tend to turn into a lump.

Yeah, so spring break was okay but not nearly long enough -- I say that every break, in case you hadn't noticed it before. While I had things to do over spring break, I managed to do almost nothing, which was nice.  Bad, but nice.  Thanks to my lack of diligence, I have an abundance of things to do and little time to do them, which makes me grumpy. I'm also a bit grumpy that I didn't manage to get anything fun I wanted to do done, either. I have a few books I'd love to read, I want to sew (and have all the materials to make a few more bags like the one I made before), I'd have loved to work on my novel, but none of those things made it into my actual daily activities.  I would have done absolutely nothing if it weren't for my Composition Studies midterm (on which I made an A!!), the seven papers I had to grade (which doesn't sound like much but took me about 4 hours), and the fact that my house was a disgusting mess.

As you can imagine, the first thing I did after my midterm, which I actually finished on Friday night before spring break officially begun, was to clean the house. I cannot stand to live in a mess.  I'm not much of a housekeeper, but I'm also not a total slob... I like to find a happy medium because I don't want to spend all of my time cleaning. I'd really like to get into the habit of spending 15 minutes to a half an hour every evening cleaning up, but I'm so tired in the evenings that I can hardly make myself do it. I'm not lazy, I'm just exhausted.  You'd think that one man, a woman who's only home about half the time, and two animals couldn't make such a mess, but you'd be wrong. I think messes just spill forth from Matt and Anakin... literally, just spontaneously flower to life around him.  Melodramatic?  Yes.  True?  Yes. Anyway, I did manage to get it all cleaned up and so far, it's remained cleaned up, so I'm hopeful that this time, unlike the dozens and dozens of other times, things will stay cleaned up -- and I call myself a pessimist!  Pretty Optimist wouldn't have sounded quite right, and I'm hardly what anyone would call an optimist anyway!

Once I got it cleaned up, I did almost nothing. I was supposed to go to Marsha's on Wednesday, but Matt was sick so I wasn't able to go.  I'd really have liked to, but leaving him alone and sick is a sure recipe for disaster.  Besides, he's such a baby when he's sick, he'd have texted me every two minutes whining about how miserable he was.  So, I stayed home.  Also, to be fair, I was up until the middle of the night (around 4:30am or so) with him sick and there was no way I could have slept enough to make the day a good one.  After that, the whole week just went down hill.

On Thursday, St. Paddy's Day, my fish died. R.I.P. Mr. Pretty, we hardly knew ye.  Then, Friday and Saturday I was feeling quite under the weather. On Sunday two things happened, I spent the whole day grading (or at least a good portion of it) after sleeping way too late, and my oven died. This is the second time in a year this has happened to us. I'm going to call Sears and see if they can send someone to fix it because it's almost new and I'm not buying another one already.  Electric ranges are not cheap!  Besides, it's likely still under warranty, which will be good because I'll get it fixed and it won't cost me anything.  Still, it made for a miserable day during which I was supremely emo.

My goodness, reading back over this I've realized that my life is supremely boring!  I'm not a terribly interesting person at all.  Fantastic. Ah well, c'est la vie.  Just a tad more and you'll be all updated and given a reprieve (~.^). Today it was back to work after the week-long break.  It's always hard to get back into the swing of things after a mid-semester break. Spring break is a blessing and a curse, for certain. Fortunately, today was quite good, which made coming back from break less painful. We got all of our prep for the in class writing out of the way (for the class I teach, not one I'm attending), so there'll be no lab tomorrow and my best girlfriend, Melanie, got her job back at the writing center (working part time) and we're going to be working together quite a bit!  Then, this evening, Matt, Melanie, Joey, and I went miniature golfing at a little put-put place in town. It's not much, especially not compared to places like Scandia and Castle Park, but it's a cozy little small town place and we had a really great time.  Then it was off to pie.  Now, I'm writing this because I'm procrastinating even further on my thesis proposal, two sections of which are due tomorrow.

I suppose I should be off to work on it, it's getting quite late.  Good night.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

At the Office: Writing Center

I found that I had my camera in my purse the other day, while at work, and thought I'd take a picture. There was no one in the writing center, with the exception of me and Ashton, another tutor, so I snapped a few quick pictures.  She was looking at me like I'd lost my mind, but it wasn't long before she went back to work and left me to my snapping. It was nearly closing time, and this is the only picture that really turned out decent. I'm not a great photographer.

This is the back of the writing center, shooting forward toward the door. Behind me there's a fantastic old wooden filing cabinet, a door to a closet, and one to another office where Matthew, our tech guy, works. His office is awesome because one whole wall is windows, looking out over the quad in front of the humanities building and the library. I would love to work in that office, but I have the feeling he doesn't have heat/air because when it's cold he's wearing a coat, even inside the building.

Anyway, starting the fall, I'll be working in the office next door -- the door on the left side of the photo, next to the book shelves. It's the adjunct office, which they share with graduate teaching assistants. There's also a GA lounge-type area in the back of that office for our stuff. I can't wait for next semester (fall 2011) when I won't have any more classroom-type classes. I'll just have internship and thesis -- I'll also have 50 students and my own class. That is going to be so nerve-wrackingly amazing!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

CCTE at Tarleton

Yesterday, rather than carrying on with our usual daily activities at work, we took time out to attend the Conference of College Teachers of English (CCTE), which was being hosted by Tarleton this year. Since no travel was involved, we trekked across campus to the Business building for the day's festivities -- which they were kind enough to re-schedule their classes to accommodate. Though the conference actually ran from Thursday night to Saturday afternoon, but I only took the time to attend yesterday's sessions for two reasons: I don't really have time to attend the others and the sessions that were of the most direct interest to me were on Friday.

It was an absolutely beautiful day. The sun was shining from behind a hazy cover of whispy clouds. It wasn't hot, but not cold, either.  I sat for a while, at the end of the conference, in the quad area in front of the business building and enjoyed the day while I waited for Matt to come pick me up. It was perfect. I could probably have sat there forever, in the shade, looking up through the naked branches at the muted sunshine, watching the conference-goers milling back and forth on their ways to their hotels, home, or to the refreshments mixer.  It was so temperate and lovely, I feel a bit bad for the people attending today's sessions as it's freezing today, rain pouring in fits and spurts from the gray-clad sky... wow, that sounded so melodramatic, didn't it?  My apologies.

Anyway, this isn't the first conference I've had the chance to attend as I went to the writing center conference in the fall and will go again when it comes around next month (especially since our school is hosting that one too, though it's in Granbury, not Stephenville), but it's the first conference of it's size I've gone to.  The writing center conference is small by comparison; one session, one day. The CCTE had something like 6 sessions and each session had three or four concurrent sessions. That's a lot of speakers, so I had to make a schedule and decide which sessions to attend in each time slot, and I think, overall, I made the right decisions. If I could do it again, the only thing I'd do differently is attend a different panel at the 9am hour -- I went to a panel over pedagogy, rather than the new professionals panel, and wish I'd not.  Even still, the speakers were excellent and I enjoyed hearing their papers.

My favorite papers of the day were given about Milton's "Paradise Lost" and Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper."  The first paper, "The Twins of Paradise: Milton's Sin and Eve," was given by my gal pal/co-woker/co-cohort (is that a word, co-cohort?) Marsha Decker and it was beyond interesting. The paralells she drew between the figures of Sin and Eve were really fascinating -- I never felt so much sympathy for Sin.  The second paper, "'Reviewing' Charlotte Perkins Gilman's 'The Yellow Wallpaper' beyond Feminism" by Mina L.S. Thompson was also incredibly interesting. She discussed teaching and understanding "The Yellow Wallpaper" in contexts other than the obvious feminist reading. Some of the methods she came up with, and the connections she was able to draw between Perkins Gilman and the story, were so keen. She gave me, and Marsha, a copy of the slides from her power point presentation, so if I ever teach it I'll be prepared!

After the conference sessions, some of the members of the English department attended a dinner at Pastafina in honor of Dr. Randall Popken, to whom our program is owning much. He passed away the first year I was attending Tarleton, so I never had the opportunity to take his classes, but he was incredibly influential in the formation of our writing programs; a man well ahead of his time, he ensured that our programs are, likewise, well ahead of their time. It was nice to get together with everyone, though I knew relatively few of them. A lot of the previous graduate assistants came back for the dinner, as they were attending the conference, so the camaraderie is something that went a bit over my head, but we managed okay and had a nice dinner. My bosses were there and it was nice to see everyone outside the office.

We skipped on the drinking afterwards because I hate bars and because Matt doesn't drink at all anyway.  The cramped, loud spaces inside bars set off my anxiety; I'm such social dud.  Instead, we went to Hastings to find a few books I need for my thesis, which they didn't end up having, but we got a movie instead, which we promptly went home and popped into the Blu-Ray player.  I spent the night pretending I didn't ahve anything else to do. I also got some cute little buttons, which is actually accumulating more stuff than I need and will likely just end up in a drawer, but I couldn't resist them. I ended up buying the three books I need from Amazon. I still need to get a few more books and some DVD's -- love that that stuff is for research (sorry, can't say what stuff exactly). What I can say is that I am so pleased with my thesis topic!

Speaking of which, now that I've thoroughly procrastinated I need to run and work on thesis proposal. Have a lovely Saturday!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Too Tired for a Title

I'm so exhausted and while I have plenty to say (don't I always?), I'm too tired to say it. It's 2am and I've been awake since 7am yesterday. I'm still awake because after working all day, then attending class for 3 hours tonight, I went out and had something to eat/coffee with my friend Nikka and we didn't leave the restaurant until nearly 1:30am!  We just get so carried away with the yapping.

One bit of good news that I'll take a minute to share is that I got my thesis topic proposal and prospective source lists back from my thesis chair yesterday. She said, "I love it!"  All that worrying for nothing!  We talked it over and I'm going to change one of my novels to something more fitting, but otherwise, it's a go. So, once I decide what novel to use in Jane Eyre's stead, I'll be working on my official thesis proposal for the graduate college, which is about 10-12 pages.  Since it's six sections, however, each section is only two or three pages each. So, I'm all set to move forward, with a definite topic and I'm so psyched! Now I just need to come up with a title for my thesis, which I'm normally okay at, but am stumbling over at the moment. I'm sure it'll come to me as I work on my official thesis proposal.

Anyway, since I don't have the energy to share much more than that, I leave you with the two videos below. They're my newest musical crush, Bruno Mars. No only is he adorable, but his songs really have a way of clinging to you. I keep hearing them and can't shake them off.  The first one, I've loved since the first time I heard it. There's something so beautiful about the sentiment. The second, I didn't like immediately, but can't seem to stop listening to it now. I'm not sure about the videos, but I love the songs!

Enjoy. Good night.