Just February

I don’t know how I came up with such an exciting title there. It’s Valentine’s Day and R. and I get to go to a concert tonight. I should be excited…but I’m worried about staying awake. Sadly, I know my husband is too. It’s at the Capitol–I love that building and we have good seats, and it’s the Beatles v. The Rolling Stones so you know it’ll be good. We just might be asleep by intermission.

It’s about 4:30 p.m.–about the time of day my brain usually decides it’s time to start powering down for the hour of Hell’s Kitchen I am now required to watch while I eat dinner with my housemates here. (We were watching The Walking Dead until a certain someone finally decided that watching dismemberments every evening made it difficult for her to choke down her tater tots.) I know you’re not supposed to eat and watch TV at the same time, but we do it anyway.

Sigh. Yeah, not a fan of reality TV, although it’s fun to throw a lot of Gordon-Ramsayisms around here, like: “Rustic, yeah? Rustic.”

As far as blog offerings, you guys are WAY more interesting this week than I am. Sarah’s at it again this week with her intense, hard-to-read posts about her mom’s illness. And reading Christina’s post about her daughter made me remember some hard stories about raising my oldest son, and the way we were mercilessly judged by some people who didn’t know any better.

I also really enjoyed reading about Kyle’s somewhat reluctant hunting partner and Ozzy’s weight loss.


First round!

Lots of great blogs to look at this quarter. I especially recommend (this week) Kyle’s take on how to literally s** in the woods, Sarah’s take on watching her mom go through a botched spinal surgery because the surgeon was on drugs, and Rene’s introduction to himself in his post “La Vida De Mi.”

I’ve probably already whined about grading and how much I hate it. The interesting thing is that I love reading student writing–that isn’t the hard part. The hard part is trying to figure out what to say to help a new writer.

You all will be struggling with that as well when we complete our first peer review. Once you get past the sheer mechanics part (is everything spelled right? Are there run-on sentences? Etc. etc. etc.) there are a host of other questions. Did the writer give us enough description? Too much? Did they take the time to lead us through their thought process, or do we feel yanked all over the place?

Enjoy your blog this quarter. Spend some time messing around with different themes if you want to “try on” a different look (you can preview a theme without actually committing to it). Just remember that everything you do here in WordPress should be free (don’t select anything you’ll have to pay for).


Winter quarter

So I wanted to explain how I grade blogs again. I will be checking the bio posts during the first week to make sure we’re all set up, and then I’ll be looking at your next posts(due next Friday, Jan. 12th).Ā  After that, I’ll grade blogs biweekly.

Part of being a college student is meeting new people–people meet folks in college you’ll be friends with for life. So you might as well click around and meet some of the other students in this class!

Fall standouts

So I’m behind the times this quarter, but I wanted to call out a few of my favorite posts so far. I really do enjoy reading your blogs, since this is the place where people feel the most free to let loose.

A lot of my students hate writing because they’ve never been allowed to write with a little attitude and sass before, but blogging can be an amazing antidote for stuffy research papers.

If you’re into music, test-drive Samantha’s post about seeing the band “The Bad Suns” in Portland.


Samantha E.

If you’re into risk-taking, check out Noah’s post about flying with a buddy who’s just received his pilot’s license (you’ll want to bring along a Ziploc baggie along, just in case you need to upchuck on the landing).

I’ve also really enjoyed Jordan’s honest foray into the homeschooling experience, Shayla’s trip to St. George to watch her boyfriend’s dad play in the Senior Softball World Tournament, and Karina’s brutally open post about what it’s like to face an unexpected pregnancy. Good stuff.




The Egg and I

I think I’ve probably told you guys that probably my favorite thing to do in this class (besides be in the classroom) is reading your blogs.

Standouts this week include Edith’s post about getting over the fear of traveling alone, Tommy’s take on getting “Shastasized” at Lake Shasta, and I also really liked Bino’s post about how his parents have pushed him.

My adventures this week include dealing with my old pet bird. She’s a hen (although it feels weird to refer to a green-cheeked conure as a hen). So that means that every spring, we go through a period of time when Piper is “on the lay” (as my husband so crassly puts it). She’s already laid one egg so far this spring, and I think she needs to lay another. Her companion happens to be a conure about ten years younger than she is who isn’t sexually mature yet and has no idea what to think about all of Piper’s weird cheeping and nesting behavior.

This year, Piper’s not having an easy time, and I’ve been worried about her. Birds will always hide their illnesses (otherwise their flock mates will pick on them), so when a bird looks noticeably droopy, it is always a bad sign. I’ve got her separated from her companion, but there isn’t much else I can do for her other than worry.

Anyway, one of the funniest things about Piper is that she immediately took a shine to my husband when I first met him about five years ago (that’s her on Roger’s shoulder there looking all excited to see him). It really irritates me, as of course I’m the one who feeds her and does most of the caretaking, but as far as Pipe is concerned, this guy is her mate. I joked once that if her eggs ever hatched, the hatchling would probably be bald and come out of the shell wearing thick eyeglasses (my husband didn’t think that was very funny).

The title to this post is a reference to a book that was written about a Northwest pioneer’s experience starting an egg farm (it’s a very funny book, by the way, written by the same person who wrote the Mrs. Piggle Wiggle series, if you read that as a kid). Interesting to note that titles are not subject to copyright law the same way things like band names are–it’s perfectly legal to cadge titles and use them as titles for your own work, like I did here to make a joke.

Nice work this week, people. Let’s keep it up!

Some Mighty Good Blogging

A tip of the hat this week to Stephanie, who wrote an excellent blog on fractals (you’ll have to check out the graphics, too, as they’re interesting). I also really enjoyed Kendal’s detailed discussion about North Korea and Lily’s post about how she had to make some tough choices between her work schedule and her studies, even though her employer tried to make her feel guilty about not working more shifts.

Blogs don’t have to be as long as these three posts, but I’m looking not only for some substance but some juice (meaning voice and expression from the writer). I love grading blogs, since I get to know y’all a lot better on your blog than I do from your more formal assignments for this class. Remember…your blog is YOUR blog. Write about stuff you want to write about, even if it’s about DIY projects or your family! You don’t have to write about science topics or news topics…unless you want to.

Good work this week–can’t wait to see the “fresh crop” this Friday! šŸ™‚


Professors get behind too…and the end-of-the-quarter blues areĀ settling in. Fear not: next week we have some fun things planned to help ease into finals week.

Some blogs that I really enjoyed the past couple of weeks? Laura’s “Winning in Third Place” was a good read, and so was Sara’s take on those “end of quarter blues.” I also enjoyed Quenton’s take on the TV show Inside the NBA now that basketball is starting up again.

We will wind up having a total of 10 blog posts for this class…a great start for those of you who are excited about keeping up with your blog in the future. Remember that if you’d like, you can delete your blogs (I can show you how) but ONLY after you receive your final grades for this course!

Good work and don’t forget that our final two posts areĀ due 3/3 and 3/10. If you’ve worked ahead, please let me know (email me, or tell me in class). Thanks!