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A cold, a new semester (with attendant craziness) starting, and now I'm sort of catching up with my own life and brain.

Writer Laura

In his summary of 2011 in webzines, Rich Horton mentions "Items" in his overview of Strange Horizons. Yay!

Positive comments or reviews aside (though, let me tell you, they're really nice to read), I also get a thrill out of the proof that someone who doesn't know me personally has read my story. I mean, that is the main goal--to have someone besides my parents as an audience.

Zweeble's Mom

Well, the Great Elementary School hunt continues apace. I still think this school choice nonsense is going to either kill me or drive me to drink, but we're narrowing the field. One more tour, next week, and we need to gather the forms and fill out the paperwork before handing it all in and then waiting for four months to find out which school he's been assigned to.

Right now it seems our ideal school is one that has a mostly open-air campus with friendly teachers and a professional, organized staff ... along with some other curriculum stuff I won't get into here because it's a) only halfway interesting to other parents, and b) probably different from state-to-state, anyway.

Teacher Laura

I had heard tales of people teaching during the daylight hours ... but I did not believe them! And yet, there I was on Monday, leaving campus in the daylight! I felt like a truant.

Bookworm Laura

If you can find Somewhere Beneath Those Waves by Sarah Monette, get it and read it (it's on the Nook, e-reader peeps) because it's really good. Short story collection, very good, by one of my absolute favorite writers.

TV Laura

Is on hiatus until Sherlock comes back, apparently.

And that, gang, is the State of the Laura. I had a wonderful Christmas break, but that's over now--back to the chaos that is my life. :)
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I don't think you can call what I am right now "awake." But my eyes are open and the body is functioning, even if the brain is a bit hazy.

We are officially in "head down and barrel through" mode for work--lots and lots of papers and homework to get through, then exams next week, and I need to have it all graded before I head to Michigan for the Wedding of the Decade. It's cool; I can do it. I have it all scheduled out in my planner, and so far I'm actually a bit ahead. It's going faster than I expected, really (knocks wood).

I also scheduled writing time, so I don't feel completely irritated when all of this is done.

Sometime this week I need to get some stuff for the wedding--stockings, that kind of thing--and I'm hoping I can maybe get a couple of new shirts and tanks when I do. And we have a wooden chicken to hang in the back yard, which needs to get done because I'm tired of seeing it on the kitchen table.

Yes, a wooden chicken. No, I did not buy it. It was a gift. Trust me, a gift is the only way we were ever going to own a wooden chicken. Technically, it's Z's. And it'll be going off to college with him.

And now to answer the eternal question: do I wrassle the kid into clothes, or do I just watch Scott and hide my laughter?
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So I've been stressed and busy and in "head down and barrel through it" mode since ... well, March, really, but it didn't take serious hold until May.

I think unconsciously I was hanging on until August, when the school year would start for all of us. The problem there is that it was unconscious. I have a tendency to "hang on until X happens, after which I will be able to do Y" (italics for emphasis). This time I was just hanging onto August, and I have no idea what Y might be (other than surviving the inevitable grading death marches).

Thus, I am at loose ends now that we have successfully navigated a week of school. I mean, there's a lot of stuff around here that needs doing, I need accessories for the wedding, and I have a story to revise, but ... I don't know what to do.

It's weird. I'll figure something out, for sure, but it puts me a little off and a little on edge.
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Yesterday was our last Big Adventure Friday for a while (I have to keep reminding myself that there will be other BAFs, or even BATuesdays, or whatever; it's just going on hiatus), so we asked Z. what he wanted to do, and he said the beach and DQ. So we hauled out towels and sunblock and went to the touristy beach.

Let me tell you, the time to go to the beach is before noon during the regular school year.

We had a really nice time. Z is getting a lot braver about the water, which is both good and bad. No sting ray sightings, though we did see some guys catch fish off the pier, and Scott found a live conch for us to marvel at. Oh, and the DQ is open-air, so a bird flew into the dining area and tried to cadge fries off Z.



I'm having a hard time working my head around my schedule, probably because for the past couple of terms I've been teaching Monday nights. I like having Mondays off; in my mind, it gives me a little cushion of time to get last-minute stuff done, and for some reason, doing the same thing Sunday night feels frantic and rushed. Anyway, right now I keep thinking I have to get everything done by tomorrow night, and that I have to get Z home from school and then rush around to get ready to leave for work on Monday ... which, no, that's Tuesday. (Actually, it's worse Tuesday because Scott will be in class, so my backup won't be here. But let's not think about that.)

I'm hoping we get into a nice routine within a week or two. It would be good to have routine.



Also, my husband knocked the passenger side mirror off my car when he accidentally sideswiped a garbage can.

Seriously, this damn town needs sidewalks, because on trash day the roads are hazardous. Even if the homeowner hasn't put the trash cans right into the road, the garbage trucks use robotic arms and half the time the emptied cans wind up laying on their sides in the street (this happened before the robot trucks, too, actually).

All of that said, I am still teasing Scott mercilessly about my car. The new mirror should come in today. And speaking of my car, it needs cleaning before the day gets crazy hot.

eek!

Aug. 8th, 2011 08:26 am
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This is the last week of two-day-a-week preschool. Next week is a break, and then the Zweeble starts pre-K every morning.

In an interesting turn of events, Z. starts school that Monday, I start teaching on Tuesday, and Scott starts school on Wednesday. I, however, am the only one of us not required to be up at 7am. ("Not required" does not equal "Will not be," though.)

I'm trying not to skip ahead in my brain too much--I still have 2 classes of this term, and so does Z!--so this is my way of getting the eek! out. :)
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This is a seriously crappy draft I've got going. So clearly it's time to start typing up what I've got and finding the shape of it.

I think this could be a good story. Right now it's ... not. Urgh.

In other news, I am trying to sort of let go the worry and enjoy the last three weeks before the fall semester and my heavier course load. We're going to have money problems for the next two years, and there's not a whole lot I can do about it. And the fall is going to be super busy, and I can't do anything about that, either. So I am going to ignore as much of it as I can for the next three weeks, and try not to jump ahead of myself. I don't want to lose the time by worrying about something that'll be here soon enough.

Now, if I could just get this story figured out ...
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I'm getting myself organized for my class that starts tomorrow night, and I am absurdly excited to be using an old blue binder I have that comes with an attached accordion file, and has pen slots and such inside the front cover. I stopped using it because it's not really practical for more than one class, or for large classes, but I'm only teaching one and it's relatively small.

Heck, I might be able to fit the textbook in it (it zips), and then only carry the binder and my Girl Adventurer bag around!

Hang on, I'm getting a little wild, there, sorry--didn't mean to spike your adrenaline, there, everyone. My life is just so exciting, and I forget that not everyone is used to the never-ending thrills like I am. :)
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Day 20 - How important you think education is

Well, seeing as how I work in education, I think it's pretty darn important. I like my house, my BBC America, and the occasional meal.

Other than that ... oy. Don't get me going. Let me see if I can sum up:

Education is extremely important. You need to know things like how to spell, how to write a clear sentence and a coherent paragraph. You need to know how to read critically, recognize bias, and think for yourself, even when everyone around you is saying the same things--that doesn't make them right. You need to know math. You need to know history beyond the past five years. You really need, in this word, to know where things are on a map and how to find them when they're tiny and sort of blend in. We so desperately need a basic grounding in science to survive in the world.

Education is more than the grades you make in school. Education is more than a degree, more than four years in college or a certain amount of time in grad school. Does everyone need to go to college? Probably not, and that's okay. But everyone needs to be educated, needs to be able to think, and needs to continue learning throughout his or her life. We live in a world that is getting smaller and smaller, and we need to engage in it regularly. And, seriously people, there are many amazing things in this world if you are smart enough and driven enough to find them.


Day 21 - One of your favorite shows

Really? Have you been reading this blog?

Nah, okay, I won't go there--since we're also talking about education, let's go with this one:



Say what you will, but dude's educated. :)

still to come )
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Thus far I have ...

... done the bit of school-related work that I couldn't do last night and was driving me nuts.

... captured a frog and shown it to the Zweeble before letting it outside. Without shrieking or otherwise acting like a girl.

This is the third frog in three days we've found inside the house, and I have not gone girly on any of them. I'm proud. Especially since the first one jumped within centimeters of my face.

Zweeble likes frogs. "Fer-og," he says, pointing. He also likes the grasshoppers ("Hopper!"), which are eating my rain lily bulbs. Lizards are okay, too ("Zizerd!"); we watched two lizards having a territory dispute yesterday.

Today is our first mom-and-baby music class. Best case scenario: Zweeble makes friends, Mom meets another kinda cool mom. Worst-case scenario: Zweeble rampages through the class like Godzilla, throwing musical instruments and leaving the broken, bloodied bodies of our classmates in his wake.

He's fueling up on waffles and bananas right now, so ... hm.
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I don't want to get today formally started.

Tomorrow I will have a signed contract and textbooks and probably a deadline for my syllabus. Today is probably the last day of being a stay-at-home mom. The last day of our schedule as we know it. Tomorrow is the first day of finding out if I can do all this juggling.

Granted, it's a slow immersion. But still. Change.

It's exciting, on the one hand. Scary, on the other.

But, nothing for it but to do it. And the kid wants out of the high chair. :)
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I got a job! Back to teaching part-time this fall. I think I have child-care situated for twice a week with my grandmother and a family friend ... I'm a little nervous about it for various reasons (the leaving the kid, not so much the teaching), none of which are anything beyond what I would assume are normal for a mother who's been at home with her child since he was born. But there they are.

Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, which I think everyone reading this has seen by now, but just in case. Not really a Sing-Along, and not entirely a blog. But whatever, it's hilarious. "The world is a mess and I ... just need to rule it." Hurry, it goes dark today and then I think you have to pay for it.

Okay, after a week of interviewing and mandatory fun at the Evil Empire's Summer Picnic, the house is a wreck and I ... just need to clean it.

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Laura E. Price

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