So what's been going on? The spring term of the course I was teaching is finished - anonymous student survey gave an instructor rating of 6.57 out of 7 and a course evaluation of 5.71 out of 7 (yea, me!). The summer course was canceled due to low enrollment - one of the hazards of retail education (as opposed to years spent teaching college students with guns to their heads taking a required course), but normal for this time of year - and I'm looking forward to the fall term. In the meantime, I've been tutoring a student who, I suppose, would have taken the summer course were it available. Because of time limitations - it's a prep course for an exam which will be offered in its current form for the last time at the end of June - the sessions have been pretty concentrated, covering what was 20 hours of classroom material in about a week and a half of after-work meetings. A pleasant experience - the student and I have gotten along well, she's worked hard and I love doing this stuff. Just a tiring and, for writing purposes, a time-consuming one.
And now I'm off for a few days. Considering the schedule for next week includes a colonoscopy (I picked up the gatorade-from-hell from the pharmacy yesterday), a dentist visit, and a checkup at my doctor's office, how much I'm looking forward to it says something about the current state of my tight-woundedness. A few other projects I wistfully hope to fit in include trying out a couple of cupcake icing recipes (Nigella's cupcake recipe worked great; the royal icing she used with it didn't appeal to us over here); finishing writing an article I hope to get published somewhere (faithful reader and all-around terrific person Oldhousegal will remember giving me some much-appreciated editing suggestions a couple of hundred years ago - yes, I finally hope to finish it); and finishing building a new case for my magic items. We'll see how many of those things actually got done by the end of the week. Pray for me.
No, Really, it is a Speaker
Since the last post I have gotten to fly to another state for a show, and learned an important lesson: if ever you're feeling in need of attention, put a wireless PA speaker in your carry-on bag. You'll get to meet lots of nice people from the TSA. Just be sure to allow extra time at the airport. (I did notice that they were so focused on the speaker, they didn't examine the battery-pack unit for the lapel mic. Tsk, tsk.)
The Sixteenth Minute
We're seeing a barrage of entertainment news: Jon and Kate, Rob and Kristen, Heidi's and Spencer's contentious interview with Al Roker, etc. etc. The nature of celebrity makes for a great study of the human thought process, and there are great debates to be had on things like the definition and importance of celebrity, its role in our culture, etc. Here's one thing I'd always thought there was no debate on: "celebrity" should, at some point, involve someone you've heard of. Who in the world ARE these people?
The radio is on as I write this, and as part of a news report about a product recall of packaged cookie dough I've just learned there are more than 40 groups on Facebook for people who love raw cookie dough. Who knew? I suspect a good number of folks who feel a need to be a member of one of those groups enjoy their cookie dough while watching entertainment news.
Go West, Young Man
The-bimbette-formerly-known-as-Miss-California has been back in the news again. Let's put aside for a moment our inexplicable penchant for putting a microphone in the face of some woman whose ambition is to be Miss Someplace-or-Other and being shocked - shocked! - when she says something less than insightful. Past entries have already made clear my disdain for beauty pageant perpetrators, so I won't repeat that here. Still, this latest episode is even more fun than usual because of her total, unabashed insistence that every aspect of this has been someone else's fault.
I'm reminded of a friend who served in the Marine Corps and was awarded their "Good Conduct" medal. He explained that, within the ranks, it's sometimes referred to as the "never-been-caught" medal. The real mystery about these beauty pageants is not why it seems as if some mis-guided contestant gets exposed - literally and figuratively - every year. It is by what public-relations miracle doesn't it happen to more of them?
Maybe it's a good thing there are people who think these contestants represent the feminine ideal. It means less competition for the women really worth sharing your life with for those who know better.
I Got You, Babe
One celebrity news item that did catch my interest this week was Cher's public statement concerning her daughter's sex-change operation. The matter of having to issue a public statement about something so private in the first place notwithstanding, I loved what she wrote. A stage persona is just that; in the clutch, Cher has once again shown herself to be the epitome of grace and dignity. If you've not seen it already:
"Chaz is embarking on a difficult journey, but one that I will support. I respect the courage it takes to go through this transition in the glare of public scrutiny and although I may not understand I will strive to be understanding. The one thing that will never change is my abiding love for my child.""Although I may not understand I will strive to be understanding." Take that, Miss California.
Obligatory Cute Cat Picture
This is from this morning. Just a quick cel-phone picture, but I thought it was worth sharing. They do grow, don't they.