Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Week 2.15 - Finally

This is really the first chance I've had to sit down and write up my blog this week.  Things have been very, very busy.  This is the last week of classes--finals start Thursday (thank goodness!), but there's been a lot going on. 

Friday, we had our yearly assessment meeting, where we went over papers by a random selection of sophomore lit classes to see how they were stacking up to our program outcomes.  I brought Derby pies to assessment, because I'd discovered that no one down here knew what one was.  They were a hit, which was great.

This weekend and Monday, I worked on formatting our program review.  I'm almost done--we have a few tweaks yet to make, but a document over 200 pages long is almost complete, and thank goodness.  I think we all could throw up the next time we hear the words "program review."  That said, we have some recommendations that are getting passed along up the chain, and hopefully we'll be better off for it.

Naturally, there's also the end of the semester catching up on stuff that I've got to do.  I did cringe a bit earlier this week, though, as my department chair stopped to tell me that even if I wasn't giving a final exam--which was fine, since they do have a final assignment that kind of works as an exam--anyway--I had to have my students come in during the final exam period from now on.  *sigh*  I felt like a grad student again, to be honest.  And I'm not in trouble or anything--I didn't know we were supposed to do that--but it just served to underscore once again that I'm still junior faculty, for all that I've learned over the last year of teaching here. 

In the meantime, Mogo has become very active in the last several days, particularly in the evenings.  I've been drinking iced tea by the gallon, and I have to admit to indulging in the stereotypical pregnant snack--pickles and ice cream.  Shut up, I didn't have them together, just one after another.

I've also been very grateful this week for my kitties!  The bugs are driving me CRAZY.  Flies keep getting in the house, much to my chagrin, though Dear Husband has been going after them with the Bug-A-Salt, which is exactly what it sounds like--a salt gun he shoots at flies.  (I'd much rather clean up the salt than deal with the bugs.)  His cat is also quite the flycatcher.

They'll tell you that everything's bigger in Texas.  This is also true of the bugs.  What's creeped me out has been what is referred to in polite company as a 'palmetto bug.'  What it is, in reality, is a very large, very scary, flying subspecies of cockroach.  Naturally, the assumption is that your house must therefore be nasty and not clean.

Yeah, no.  Palmetto bugs are simply part of living along the coast.  Everyone has them, no matter how clean their house is (though SCRUB SCRUB SCRUB OMG SCRUB EVERYTHING), and everyone hates them.  And what freaked me out was when I noticed that Ding was watching something over my head in the bedroom...and looked up and saw one crawling along the wall.

I shrieked, Ding kept close watch, and DH came and rescued me and flushed the offender down the toilet.  Ding then sat in the bedroom for several hours afterward and watched to make sure it didn't come back, and cuddled up to me--as in the picture to the right--to protect me.

Trust me, I'd *much* rather find the dead one in the floor that they've caught than a live one, and I am telling you, while I know people have been concerned about the cats when the baby comes, the cats are staying, because I am way, way, WAY more worried about the bugs than I am the cats.  WAY more worried.  I feel much better with the deadly hunters on watch.

Sorry, just had a full body shiver.  (A friend of mine who is a recent transplant to Orlando is having the same issues and the same reaction.)

And note that this does not include the mosquitoes!  Mosquito season in Texas goes from April to November, and they're already fogging neighborhoods.  This is ridiculous, and like the palmetto bugs, the mosquitoes here are again, much, much larger than their counterparts in Kentucky or Tennessee.  The kitties have been chasing them too, but we will definitely be investing in a mosquito net for over Mogo's crib. 

It has not all been doom and gloom here, though.  We did go out to the beach on Friday afternoon and spent the afternoon out there, which was undeniably pleasant.  I got a little sun, but not burned, thanks to copious applications of sunblock (see, I'm learning).  We took a little cooler out so we had drinks and a snack, and read on the beach for several hours.  We were expecting the water to be cold, so DH hadn't brought his swim trunks, but it was actually quite warm once you waded out into it, so he will bring them next time.  I don't want to get into the ocean while I'm pregnant, though apparently, the college has an amazing pool, and one of my friends has suggested using it during the summer, as it will be cool and help buoy my weight.

We also took a break Saturday afternoon to go see the new Avengers movie, which did not quite live up to expectations, but was still entertaining, nonetheless. 

We have an end of semester get together for the department this weekend--I'm going to make a key lime pie and some brownies for it.   (Yes, after once again scrupulously scrubbing my kitchen.)  Like I said, finals start Thursday (thank goodness!), and all of my students have their papers due this week, so for finals WEEK, I only really have presentations and a final exam to give, which isn't too bad, though I'll be taking most of the week to grade all of those papers.

And really, the last week has been really good. I've been able to see students really making strides over the last few weeks, and if not academically, then certainly personally.  I've been really proud of some of my students who are working past some really hard times.  There are some who probably need beaten about the head with a reality stick too, but most of them have figured it out.  I'll know more when I get my grades all situated, which is how I can really judge how I'm doing.

And of course, as soon as I'm done, I start putting together syllabi for my summer courses.  Mexican-American Literature and ENGL 1302, here I come.  (But after a couple of weeks break.  Trust me, I need them.)

No comments:

Post a Comment