Wednesday, April 27, 2005

New Shoes

Kim has been wondering what I have been doing - since my ritualistic grading ordeal is over. I'm busily preparing for an intersession course on Health, Healing and Religions. This is the course where I am going to get all my students to blog. It could be very cool - or a fiasco. The nice thing is that intersession is only a month long, so if the blogging stuff sucks, we're all off the hook in 16 or so classes.

I've been writing much lately. I've been working on my course outline, and a "Short Treatise on Blogs" which, if you are interested, you can read here. Basically, I explain why I want to use them, and some general criteria. I generally try and avoid rules, but sometimes, and I hate to say this, students will try and get away with the least amount of work possible. I've been taken advantage of in classes before. Not all students are like this...but I have been burned. Actually, I'll put it this way: The rules are for my benefit. It reduces my penchant for nagging.

I've also been writing about Science, Magic and Religion. I am actually getting very into it. I am going to do the reading, writing (blogging) assignments with the class. I'm giving "teach by example" a whirl. It's part of my strategy to encourage students to really get into the material. I have been finding that within the framework of Health, Healing and Religions - there is this opportunity for dialogue between scientific and religious/spiritual paradigms. I find this all very fascinating - but I will save the conversation for my "other" blog. (Polyblogamy remember?)

I editted, reworked, rewrote, spell and grammar checked that treatise on blogs at least 5 times. Writing does not come naturally or easy for me - and I get to a point when I am so intimate with my own work that everything stops making sense. I focus very intensely on the particulars - is this a proper sentence? How are my tenses? Is there a subject? An Object? Are there split infinative...and am I commiting a horrific gramatical crime? At some point, grammar rules dissolve and I become disoriented. I think I have explained some of my love/hate relationship with writing. I think my worse offense, is using too many words - I usually write something in 12 words when only 6 will do. And I naturally tend to water down my oomph. Well that directly reflects my pansy-ass nature. Really, it does. I am a pansy. Chicken SHIT...bwaaaak! cluck cluck!

I caught a student cheating the other day. (I am about to demonstrate my pansy-assness.) So, I contact the Chair of my dept, report the incident, and he in turn reports to the Academic Vice President (which is like the Provost in U.S terms). Anyway, the Chair and I decide to take no further action - this student was going to flunk regardless of his cheating. I was hesitant in pursuing a full blown investigation - because the student he copied was not in cahoots. I am 99.99% sure. Anyway - I did not feel it was fair to put this other student in a stressful situation - when he did absolutely nothing wrong. So, today I was having coffee with a colleague of mine and recounted my tale of woe. She encouraged me to tell this student that I caught him - to not let him get away with it. I suppose, looking at the big picture (you know the one without the frame), he didn't. He just is under the illusion that he did. So, I sat down today and composed the coldest most formal letter I could muster. My stomache was in knots. I hope he shits his pants.

So I have been reflecting on my wimpiness lately. I decided the best way to remedy that situation was to buy a new pair of shoes. Seems like the right thing for a girl to do. I got shoes to kick ass. Maybe if I dress the part, my attitude will follow. There is always hope eh?

New Shoes


Kim said...

LOVE the shoes. I was looking for something like that the other day, but whimped out and bought flatter ones than that.

I'll have to pop over to your new sweetie (that one you're cheating on us with) to see the article and scoop. Sounds interesting.

Wow on the cheating. I always hated it when the Nebraska football players cheated off my papers and the prof did nothing. (Oh, and I hope you didn't take offense at my stuffy prof comment on my blog today...not directed at profs in cool subjects--or you!)

Gia said...

Love the shoes!
And I hope he shits his pants too!

Robin said...

Cute shoes!
I know sooo many people who cheat (not close friends--people I work with) and it really bothers me--I have to resist the urge to lecture them.