Sunday, April 06, 2008

RBOC: Nothin' to Say Edition

When people have asked me how I'm doing lately, I've been frequently caught off guard by the question: "uhhhh...OK?"

There are a few low-lying worries on the back burner right now, but they are not primarily mine, and so with those, I'm sort of following the lead of those whose worries they are (Elliptical, I know, but not my stories to tell).

As for me, personally and individually, I'm doing ok; to wit:

  • The grad class went through a lull in March, which was partially the fault of the material (a body of work that I have found very little critical conversation on, which suggests a low level of interest generally, not just in my classroom). It was also partially my fault: I opened up the classroom for general discussion a bit to far, and did too little to frame the discussion, so several classes just sort of petered out, instead of filling out with rousing discussions. I added some more structure upon our return, and class went quite well again. I'm looking forward to a good push to the end of the semester.
  • The survey is plugging along. They continue to be one of the best larger sections of the survey I've taught, and attendance continues to be uncharacteristically good for this bunch, which has paid off in exam grades, including the last average of over 90% (previously sections have averaged 83 or 84 on similarly designed tests). That number is a little troubling, but in looking over it, and trying to control for a number of variables, I've come to believe that they just learned more than previous sections have. We'll see what happens for final papers in May.
  • Spring is finally arriving here in the hills: I picked some daffodils from the front hill this morning, and the lawn will soon need to be mowed (along with those leaves that didn't make it into bags last fall). There is a lot of yard work that needs to be done this spring, and while I've never been much for gardening and the like, I kind of want to get some of this stuff accomplished: transplanting, fertilizing, cleaning up, pruning, etc.
  • Willow is out with a friend today, so I've got the kids to myself. I'm thinking we get some time outside as soon as it warms up a bit. Perhaps I'll get some pictures taken. We'll see.
  • I've gained 10 pounds since last summer's weight loss. Some of that is muscle, since I've cut down on cardio machines (which I despise) in favor of weight workouts with Willow (which I kind of enjoy). Still. I'm looking forward to May when I can concentrate on losing that weight again, and maybe getting a head start on next winter, too. I'm aiming for 160, down from 193 last April, and 178 now.
  • Which reminds me: Soccer season should be starting soon. Hopefully, the team I played with last fall will re-form. This would be important since my squash partners have both stopped playing (knee and shoulder injuries), and my new racquetball partner and I haven't found a regular schedule yet. This is the exercise I really like: getting out with some people, running around, and playing a game.
  • Contrary to my actual hopes, I've done little writing on the book, though the grad class has gotten me to do a lot of reading. I really need to get writing, but all of the reading and re-reading actually has me a little paralyzed about the magnitude of the project. I think I just have to get my butt in the chair and write.

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