I had hoped to have some words on a page by the end of this week, but that has not happened. My original plan had been a chapter a month. January was dedicated to the proposal. February to Chapter 2 (which I really finished quite early). March was supposed to be Chapter 4, but IRB stuff shifted me to working on Chapter 1. I’m hoping I can get a draft of Chapter one by the end of next week, but we’ll see. I can’t work on it tonight because I have to get up at 5:30 a.m. tomorrow to drive North to give a workshop (on blogging, of course). I will have Sunday to work on it and every night next week, but I hate feeling behind like this. I have to check with my institution, but I think I officially have until December. If I don’t, I’m going to file an extension because I just don’t want that pressure.
I’ve been constructing a letter in my head to the superintendent of schools. I want to request that all teachers put their assignments on the web. I’m even going to volunteer to teach them, set up a blog or something. I’m tired of the paper shuffle. Not only would it help students because they could just look the assignment up at home (obvioulsy, there could be a paper version too), but it could potentially get parents more involved. Instead of just asking, “Have you done your homework?” you can ask “Did you read Chapter 3 in your history book?” If they could even put a little bit about what happened in class that day, instead of asking “How was your day?” we could ask “How was the spelling test?” I know, kids should be telling us this stuff, but the reality is they don’t. I know there may be access problems, but that shouldn’t entirely prevent them from doing this.
My other cantankerous issues are unbloggable for now. I’ll update later in the day.
I’ve been reading the roundup of commentary on the alleged Duke lacrosse team gang rape. I have to say that though I know where many of the commenters are coming from in terms of their characterization of lacrosse players. I mean, I live in lacrosse territory, so I know. But my son plays lacrosse. His friends play lacrosse. I had friends who played lacrosse in college. And they’re not anything like what some of the commenters are characterizing lacrosse players as. I in no way condone what those particular players did, but I think we always have to be careful about making sweeping generalizations. Otherwise we’re just doing what they did.
Obviously there was a problem with this particular team as there often is among many sports teams where aggressive behavior is encouraged and masculinity must be proved, often at the expense of others. I think it also speaks to a broader cultural problem that continues to devalue women.
New Kid’s post, which prompted me to post this, is actually quite indicative of my own feelings on the matter. Her back and forth speaks to the complicated nature of deciphering what’s behind such an act. Because we have a desire to prevent those acts in the future. To prevent them, we have to know what the root cause is. But that’s hard. We have a swaggering administration that’s all about brute force. We have states actively seeking control over women’s bodies. The message to men is, what you want is yours for the taking.
For a while, I was collecting kid quotes. Yeah, there’s only one there, but it’s cute. I always love reading Phantom and Bitch, Ph.D.’s kid conversations. I was reading Phantom’s this evening and I thought how cool it was she was recording those so that when her kids get older, she can embarrass the heck out of them. Or she can cherish them in her golden years. Either way.
That’s a long introduction to a very short quote. On the way home tonight, we were listening to a track off of Prince’s new album, “Get on the boat.” Geeky Girl was snapping her fingers and generally grooving when she stopped and said, “Why do we have to get on the boat? It’s spring.”
A hit slut, that is. via the ragey one
50.0% 50.0 points out of 100
33.5% 33.5 points out of 100
308 people have taken this silly test so far.
35 people have scored higher than you.
260 people have scored lower than you.
13 people made the same grade as you.
What does this mean? *
50 points is in the 40 through 59 precent
TYPE U (HIT-UNDECIDED). You have a healthy number of readers that you’d like to maintain but you don’t think you can keep them happy all the time. It bothers you when your weblog gets less hits than usual. You know there are things you can do to increase hits to your weblog but you just don’t think you’re desperate enough to actually try it.
* These results are just for fun. Do not sue me. Have a sense of humour.
I was pleased as punch when I discovered that an old friend from high school was reading my blog. When I first started blogging, I wasn’t looking to connect with people I knew or once knew. I just had something to say and I thought somebody out there might be interested in hearing it. Interestingly, though, I started reading blogs through someone I knew in real life (or at least Mr. Geeky knew better than I did). I started reading the links on his blogroll and voila, I stumbled into this little community of random people. Having participated in many online communities before, I once again enjoyed connecting with people from afar, but it’s also been interesting to me how many people I know in real life I keep up with via their blogs or via their comments on my blogs.
Early on, I bumped into a friend from grad school. Then there’s Megan, whom I met during a semester-long seminar, and who has now moved and purchased a fabulous house. There’s Eric, who works at the college down the road whom I also got to know during that same seminar and with whom I share my political interests. There’s a couple of students, one who is abroad now, that I keep up with via their blogs. Michelle, a faculty member at my school, blogged last semester (hope she picks it back up again!). Her husband picked up blogging a little by having his class blog. I’ve met a couple of people via blogs. Bryan and I worked on a grant together, but I had started reading his blog before that. That kind of freaked out our fellow grant participants a little. And I’ve met one of our illustrious bloggers of academe on a trip I made a while back.
I’ve also enjoyed the virtual connections that I might not have been able to make but for the blog. During the election, I bumped into Bill, who lives in rural PA and who is about as different from me as you could get on the surface, but I think if we ever had coffee together, we’d have a lot to talk about. I read science blogs (who’d a thought! an English major!). I read technical blogs. I read parenting blogs. And, sometimes, I read political blogs. And I love this little virtual world made up of all different kinds of people. I don’t think there’s any way I could get this variety in real life. And I certainly couldn’t get the level of discourse I find in this community in real life. Even at the college, we tend to, when we bump into each other, stick to small talk. Here, we can do that too, but we can also do more when we feel like it. And on any given day, you’ll find both and something in between. But mostly, you’ll find a bunch of interesting people to connect with.
Toast! I know, I know, that’s not the way it goes. I read until my eyes dried out. I wrote a little. I read some blogs. I should have done a little more, but what the hey. I got engrossed in Bitch, Ph.D’s abortion discussion. I couldn’t help myself. The scary thing is, while reading that, I actully researched how much we spend on the military. 400 and something billion. And we spend $521 billion on security (homeland variety). Is there a line-item budget somewhere that’s in plain English? Well, kind of.
The headache dissipated. I managed to get some work in and now I’m settling in to watch Villanova take on Florida. We come from a long line of basketball fans. Unfortunately, we never have time to watch until the tournament.
I’m also making the Philly Cheese Steak sandwiches from Cooking Light–cool! I’ll update you on how those turn out.
Update: Sandwiches were excellent, though I think the sauce was little sweet. The game sucked. Now I don’t know who to cheer for.
I’m fighting a huge headache.