The Waiting Room

This could take a while...

Saturday, December 31, 2005


Posted by Seeking Solace |

Now that I am feeling somewhat human, let me tell you about my trip to Redneckville.

My mother was diagnosed with lymphoma. It came as a total surprise. My mom is 65 years old and in pretty good heath until now. A couple of weeks ago, she found this lump under her arm. She had surgery to remove the lump for biopsy before Christmas. She got the results on Tuesday. The hope is that the doctors caught it early. She will see the oncologist after the New Year. She is hopeful about the diagnosis.

My mother does not want to tell my brother about her cancer. Sadly, neither of us has spoken to my brother in over a year. This also means that we have not seen his three daughters in that time. My brother had an affair two years ago which produced a child, my nephew. While he acknowledges paternity and pays child support, he refuses to have anything to do with his son. Since my mother and I have a relationship with his son, we have been excluded from his family. What makes this story even sadder is that my mother and brother live in the same town. I have many thoughts about this, which I may post later.

While in Redneckville, we stayed with Husband’s family, which is always an interesting venture. My in laws have a small house with one bathroom. That is not usually a problem, but my husband’s brother, wife, and two children, ages 3 ½ and 5 ½, also stayed with the parents. Not much in the way of privacy or quiet. My 3 ½ year old niece had four meltdowns on Monday before noon.

My in laws suffer from Grandparent Syndrome. They spoil my niece and nephew rotten. They have more toys than Toys R Us. My in laws just gush over everything that my niece and nephew do. “Look, niece took a crap in the toilet….how cute!” Also, they let them get away with murder. Husband just laughs when he hears his mom say “Now, don’t do that” or “Please don’t touch that”. Husband says that if it was him and his brothers, the dialogue would be more authoritative, coupled with a few cuss words!

I also spent some time with my best friend, Piglet (her nickname, of course!). We went on a sinful shopping spree, had a wonderful dinner and never stopped talking to take a breath. We have been best friends for almost 25 years. Piglet is like the sister I never had. It’s hard to find someone who knows you better than you know yourself.

So, we returned home, stuffed from the eating and festivities, yet happy to be home in our own house and with the Boy. Family has always been a love-hate relationship for me. I love visiting with them, I hate spending too much time with them. I hate dealing with the garbage that makes me feel like I am eight years old, but I love the tradition and rituals that we share.

I guess that is what family is all about.

Happy New Year to Everyone!!!!!!!

Friday, December 30, 2005


Posted by Seeking Solace |

I am back from Redneckville, complete with a nasty cold. I will recap my interesting trip later.

My friend Lynn sent me a really cool Christmas E-card. I know Christmas is over, but this is just too cool! (You have to click to a few sites to get to it.)


Friday, December 23, 2005


Posted by Seeking Solace |

I made it home around 10:00 PM last night. All grades submitted. All attendance rosters submitted. To celebrate, Husband and I polished off a bottle of Yellow Tail, courtesy of GML. (Thanks again GML!)

The Boy got a Christmas present from his girlfriend, The Girl. (The Girl is a chocolate Lab that lives next door). He got a basket of peanut butter doggie biscuits. The Boy presented her with a giant organic biscuit in the shape of a bone. (The Girl has some food allergies, so organic is a safe bet).

Husband and I will exchange gifts tonight over dinner and wine. Then we will wrap the presents that we are taking with us. We leave tomorrow for Redneckville, USA to visit the family. Husband took the Boy to the Doggie Hotel and Spa this morning. We will give him his presents when we return.

I will be incommunicado for the next few days, so no blog posts until Wednesday or Thursday.

To all my readers, friends, and blog mates, Merry Christmas! (Or Happy ****! *= insert PC term)

Thursday, December 22, 2005


Posted by Seeking Solace |

Sweet freedom whispered in my ear
You’re a butterfly
And butterflies are free to fly
Fly away
Fly away

Somebody Save My Life Tonight, by Elton John
From the CD Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy, MCA 1975.

I am done….
Tired, but done.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Seeking Solace has left the building!

Thursday, December 22, 2005


Posted by Seeking Solace |

I’d sure hate to break down here
There’s nothin’ up ahead or in the review mirror
Out in the middle of nowhere know
I’m in trouble if the wheels stop rollin’

So God help me keep movin’ somehow
Don’t let me start wishin’ I was with him now
I made it this far with crying a single tear.
I sure hate to break down here.

Break Down Here, by Julie Roberts
From the CD, Julie Roberts, Mercury Nashville (2004)

I am hanging on by a thread. Yesterday, I just wanted to cry.

One more class to go….

Wednesday, December 21, 2005


Posted by Seeking Solace |

So I have proved
Some things can't be moved
And here I wait
But my faith is weak
And the water is creeping up to my chin, and
I' m waiting for the tide to turn
Waiting for the tide to turn
Waiting, waiting for the tide
To take me away.

Waiting for the Tide, by Melanie Doane
From the CD Adam's Rib, Sony Music (1998).

Last night I received an email from a student which read:

Dear Professor:

I am disappointed with the C grade you gave me on my research paper. I am a good student and I work hard to maintain my 4.0 grade point average. I do not think that it is fair that you require your students to submit pre-project assignments. I know how to write a research paper. I should not be treated like I am in the second grade. I thought that the pre project assignments were extra credit. I did not think I had to do them. Because of this, my perfect grade point average is ruined. I think you are a great teacher, but your policy is wrong. I am taking this to the Dean. It's nothing personal.

Signed, Angry 4.0 Student

First, it clearly states in the research project that the pre-project assignments are part of the overall project grade. The due dates are given in the project and on the tracking calendar. So, there is no reason why someone would have thought that these assignments were extra credit, right?

Wrong! When I spoke to the DI about this, she said that the student recalls my saying that these were "free points". So she took that to mean extra credit. I am having trouble buying that argument. The students receive credit for submitting the pre-project assignments, even if there are mistakes. So I am spotting them 50 points out of 100 from the beginning. Does this sound like extra credit? I don't know. I am a little biased becausease it is my project...

But what irks me the most is the nerve of this student to send an email like that and say that it's nothing personal. I feel like she disrespected me. Why didn't she just come and talk to me face to face? I know I should not take it personally, but it is hard not to.

Incidentally, she earned a "B" in my law class.

And then, just when I thought it was safe, Plagiarism Case II.

Whenever I sense a case of plagiarism, I will engage in an exhaustive search until I find it. I am on a quest. I am a woman possessed. I will not stop until I find the source of the plagiarized material.

I spent a significant amount of time helping this student with her project during the course of the semester. I provided suggestion, reviewed research and gave her moral support. When she submitted her paper to me on Monday, she announced that she changed her topic at the last minute. That made the antenna go up. As I read the first page, I could tell that this was not her work. The paper read like a graduate student thesis. Plus, the cites were suspicious.

It took a while,.but I was able to figure out how she plagiarized. I must say, this student was slick. She dug deep into a webpage on the death penalty to copy the information. Buried deep in the article sectionof this website was the smoking guns. I found three instances where she copied the information, word for word. In one case, she even copied the tag marked "For more information, go to this website".

The student will fail my class as a result of the "F" grade on her paper. What makes matters worse is that as a result of the "F", she has reached her maximum time frame for financial aid. She can never return to school.

What hurts the most is that I spent a great amount of time helping this student. I was always available, ready and willing to provide help. Yet, she decided to take the bite of the forbidden fruit. It solved her problem for the short term. But the consequences are far greater. And most of all, I have lost any once of respect I had for her.

Why don't they use their skills for good instead of evil?

Tuesday, December 20, 2005


Posted by Seeking Solace |

Well I won't back down, no I won't back down
You can stand me up at the gates of hell
But I won't back down
Gonna stand my ground, won't be turned around
And I'll keep this world from draggin' me down
Gonna stand my ground and I won't back down

Won’t Back Down, by Tom Petty
From the CD, Full Moon Fever, MCA 1989.

So, I told the student who committed the plagiarism that she would have to repeat the class. She was very angry with me.

Student: But I did the pre-project assignments and all the homework.

SS: Yes you did. But, because you plagiarized your final paper, you only received 50/100 for the research paper. Plus, you chose not to do your presentation, which was another 50 points and 10% of your final grade. And you failed the exam you took yesterday. When I added everything, you received 65% for the course. (A student must have 70% to pass)

Student: But I don’t understand. I can’t take this class over because I can’t get no financial aid. So I gotta pay out of my own pocket. And I was supposed to graduate. You ruined it for me.

(Excuse me... ’ruined it for her”? I did not tell her to make the choices that she made).

SS: While I am sympatric to your financial situation, I cannot justify giving you a passing grade. You have 65%. Also, you did not complete a major portion of the course requirements.

The Student stomps out of the room, mutter something under her breath that I could not understand, but I have not doubt that it contained my name along with a few cuss words.

Later in the faculty room, the Associate Dean of Students comes to see me. She is waiving an appeal form in my face. Her tone is angry and arrogant.

ADS: What is the story with this student? Why are you failing her? She said she completed her assignments…

SS: Did she tell you about the fact that she plagiarized her final paper?

ADS: Yes, but I don’t think you should fail her.

SS: Well, did she also tell you that she refused to do her oral presentation, and received 0/50?

ADS: No…

SS: Did she also tell you that she failed yesterday’s exam?

ADS: No, but I can’t see how she could fail…

So, I showed her my grade book.

ADS: Isn’t there anything that can be done? You are not being fair.

SS: No. I am not backing down from this. You cannot commit plagiarism, refuse to complete a required element of my class, receive a total grade of 65% AND expect to pass my class. I think it is VERY FAIR.

Later, I talked to my boss, the Dean of Instruction, who incidentally outranks the Associate Dean of Students. She was pissed that the ADS confronted me in that manner. The ADS should have spoken to the DI. The DI said that the ADS spoke with her after talking to me. The ADS felt that I did not understand our students and was out of line and unfair. The DI told me that she agrees with me 100% and will back me up if this goes any further. The DI also told me that this is the second time this student was caught for plagiarism!!!!

So, if I understand the culture at my college, we reward plagiarism and poor academic performance by turning a blind eye because we need to “understand” the student’s plight. The concept that numbers do not lie means nothing. And to top it off, we take a student’s word over an instructor; we corner the instructor and have her justify her policies.

Am I missing something here?????

Monday, December 19, 2005

Tricky Days Ahead

Posted by Seeking Solace |

(Just gotta get used to it) We all get it in the end
(Just gotta get used to it) We go down and we come up again
(Just gotta get used to it) You irritate me my friend
This is no social crisis.
Just another tricky day for you.

Another Tricky Day, performed by the Who
Written by Pete Townsand. From the Album, Face Dances , MCA (1981).

Unlike many of my blog mates, I am still lost in the abyss called finals week. Why my college thinks that running the semester until one day before Christmas Eve confuses, perplexes and bewilders me. Grades are due on Friday. With a little luck, I will be done by Thursday morning.

Today, as I plow through the mountains of research papers, it happened. I should not be surprised, because every semester for the past two years, it has happened. I should expect it. I should be numb to the fact that it happens. I should accept that no matter what I do, it will happen.

I am talking about plagiarism. It has been the subject of this and many other blogs. There are many articles and new stories about the high incidence of plagiarism in college. So, why does a part of me feel like I have been sucker punched by Mike Tyson?

My student, who was the subject of the post titled Fear, committed plagiarism on her research paper. Did she think I would not notice? Did she think that I would not check her sources, especially those found on the Internet? But I think the most important question is: Did she think that she would not get caught?

Well, long story short, I gave her an “F” for the paper. That’s 30% of her grade. Add the big fat honking “F” she received as a result of her refusal to do her oral presentation, and she has failed 40% of the course. Needless to say, I will see her next semester. I guess it true what they say about paybacks.

I know that she will not be the last. I have three other classes that have papers.

And three more tricky days for me.

PS: Thanks to Husband for suggesting the lyric from the Who!

Sunday, December 18, 2005


Posted by Seeking Solace |

So I decided to take a little break from grading. I lifted this from Angry Pregnant Lawyer.

Seven things to do before I die:
1. Write a song and have it performed by me
2. Write a book
3. Travel to Eurpoe with Husband
4. Own 160 acres of land with a house, pond, forest and room for dogs and horses
5. Make peace with my family
6. Take voice and piano lessons
7. Drive arcoss the country with Husband

Seven things I can (or will) not do:
1. Smoke
2. Be afraid to speak up when I think someone is being abused or harmed
3. Forget where I came from.
4. Wear fur
5. Listen to gansta rap
6. Take anyone or anything for granted
7. Give up caffinee

Seven things that attract me to my spouse:
1. His kind heart
2. His integrety
3. His smile
4. His sense of humor
5. His ability to love me when I don’t love me
6. His intelect
7. His faith

Seven things I say most often:
1. Sit (to the Boy)
2. Leave it (to the Boy)
3. WTF or What the fuck?
4. You have got to be fucking kidding me.
5. What the hell….
6. No (to my students and the Boy)
7. I love you (to Husband)

Seven books (or series) I love (these aren't necessarily my top 7, but they are 7 I love):
1. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
2. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Haper Lee
3. Alng Came a Spider or anything by James Patterson
4. Bones Would Rain from the Sky: Deepening Our Relationships with Dogs, by Suzanne Clothier
5 The 100 Peiple who are Screwing Up Americal, and Al Frankin is #37, by Bernard Goldberg
6. The Color of Water, by James McBride
7. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou

Seven movies I watch over and over again (I am a movie freak and could watch a billion movies over and over again, so here are just the first 7 I thought of):
1. Any of the old James Bond moives with Sean Conery
2. The Breakfast Club
3. The Color Purple
4. The Godfather I and II
5. Forest Gump
6. Sixteen Candles
7. The Blues Brothers

And my addition:

Seven Cds that you could listen to over and over again without skipping any tracks.
1. Fumbling Toward Ecstasy, by Sarah McLachlin
2. Blue, by Joni Mitchell
3. The Rising, by Bruce Springsteen
4. Who’s Next, by the Who
5. Adam’s Rib, by Melanie Doane
6. Under the Table and Dreaming, DMB
7. Greatest Hits, Sheryl Crow and The Josuha Tree, by U2 (I know that makes eight, but I could not choose between them!)

Thanks for the list APL. What say the rest of you?????

Friday, December 16, 2005

To Do

Posted by Seeking Solace |

Today is my day off. So much too do!

  1. Check on status of on line purchases for Christmas. I dread seeing my credit card bill in January! DONE

  2. Grade papers

  3. Clean up house. How is it that two adults and one dog can mess up a house? DONE

  4. Grade papers

  5. Work on new research assignment for Sociology course

  6. Grade papers

  7. Purchase gift cards for niece and nephew who probably own every toy under the sun.

  8. Grade papers

  9. Send on line gift card to niece studying overseas DONE

  10. Grade papers

  11. Send Christmas cards DONE

  12. Grade papers

  13. Finish laundry

  14. Grade papers

  15. Make arrangements for the Boy to go to the Doggie Hotel and Spa when Husband and I go to Redneckville for the holidays DONE

  16. Grade papers

  17. Purchase final gift for Secret Santa DONE

  18. Grade papers

  19. Stock up on wine and whiskey. Necessary for grading DONE

  20. Grade papers

Did I mention grade papers???????

DONE as of 12/18. Also finished grading research papers for law class. Three more classes to go!!!!!!

Thursday, December 15, 2005


Posted by Seeking Solace |

Check out New Kid the Hallway’s Teaching Carnival. This is a marvelous compilation of all the things that I and several of my blog friends have shared, confessed and bitched about this semester. A must read for all!

Thanks to New Kid in the Hallway for all your hard work!

Thursday, December 15, 2005


Posted by Seeking Solace |

I finished my last class today. Now I am beginning the awesome task of grading papers. If you don’t hear from me, send in reinforcements!

Astroprof wrote about some of the things that he heard his students say this week. So I decided to add my own.

Student 1: (Rushing in at 8:30 AM). I need to finish typing my paper.

SS: Then why are you’re here talking to me? Go!!!!

Student 2: Do I have to turn in a Works Cited page?

SS: What do you think?

Student 3: Am I going to pass this course?

SS: Well, you have all you papers with grades on them. What do you think?

It’s only 2:00. Sigh.

PS: For some reason, my template is AFU. Does anyone know WTF is up?

Wednesday, December 14, 2005


Posted by Seeking Solace |

But I fear, I have nothing to give
And I have so much to lose...
Fear, by Sarah McLachlin

Written by Sarah McLachin. From Fumbling Toward Ecstasy, Arista (1994).

My law students are doing oral presentations of their research papers. I added this component to the course requirements because of the numerous cut and paste jobs that I received. I don't think the students really understand what they are researching. They are given the project assignment early in the semester and must turn in different parts during the course of the semester. They get credit for turning in their work, even if there are mistakes. They receive feedback and are encouraged to check in with me on their progress.

Granted, some people find getting up in front of a group of people terrifying. I can appreciate that. I don't think many people are born great public speakers. It is definitely something that is developed and improved over time. But many of my students freak out when they hear the words "Oral Presentation", despite the fact that many of them take a course in oral presentation prior to or in conjunction with my class.

Many of the presentations were poor. It was clear that many of them did not understand the topic they researched. One student chomped on gum like a cow chewing grass. Another mumbled the entire time. It was a sad site.

There were two students in the back of the room who were talking during the other student's presentations. I had asked them twice to be quiet. On their third infraction, I told the chattier of the two that she was next.

Student: I am not going to do my speech.

SS: Why not? It"s OK; I promise it will be pain free.

Student: Because I don't know it by heart.

SS: Well, that's OK. You may use note cards or glance at your paper, but you can't read directly from your paper.

Student: I just don't want to do it.

SS: Do you understand that if you do not do your presentation, you will receive no credit, zero points?

Student: Yean. I am not going to do it. You can't make me.

SS (falling back into attorney mode): OK, no one is going to force you. But I just want to confirm that you understand the consequences if you do not complete your speech today.

Student: Yeah.

What else could I say? There was no way she was going to do her presentation. And I am certainly not going to force someone to do something she does not want to do. But I don't know if the real reason why she would not do her permeation was because she was truly afraid or because she did not understand her topic. Maybe it's a little from Column A and a little from Column B.

I wonder if her fear was worth the cost.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005


Posted by Seeking Solace |

I’ve been swimming in a sea of anarchy.
I’ve been living on coffee and nicotine.

Everyday is a Winding Road, by Sheryl Crow

From the CD Sheryl Crow, A & M (1996).

OK, maybe not nicotine, since I don’t smoke. Maybe other caffeine would be more appropriate.

Why do administrators pile on addition work at the end of the semester when they KNOW that faculty is at the end of their rope? I made the big mistake of opening my big mouth and complaining that the research requirement for Sociology was a big waste of time. The research project calls for the students to develop a plan in which they define their strengths and weakness. They are to indicate how they will change their weakness or maintain their strengths. They must back it up with research. How in the hell can one back that up with research? Read Dr. Phil?? So, the head of the Gen Ed department has asked me to come up with a new research assignment for next semester that would better suit the course outcomes. They want to implement the changes next semester, which begins in January.

Sweet merciful crap, why did I fucking open my mouth? I am not even teaching this course next semester! What the hell was I thinking? Like I have enough to do with grading, Christmas shopping and preparing to go to Redneckville USA to visit the clan. I am hefted up on coffee, taking Ambien to help me sleep (The Ambien story will be explained later) and living on take out. I have not worked out in two weeks. It’s 5 degrees outside and my joints hurt. Blah, Blah, Blah.

The morale of the story is: be careful of what you bitch about!

Monday, December 12, 2005


Posted by Seeking Solace |

I have a mystery on my hands.

The research paper for my law class was due today. My students know about my zero tolerance policy regarding late work. If it is not submitted by the precise end of class, I do not want it. The assignment is considered late and the student will receive no credit.

One of my students shows up for class today and tells me that her paper is not done. So I tell her to go finish it, instead talking to me about it. I warn her that if I do not receive it by end of class, don’t bother turning it in.

We finished about 10 minutes before the scheduled end of class. Class ends at 2:25 PM. A student asked me for a copy of the blank outlines that I use in class for notes. Unfortunately, I did not have the particular outline with me. So, I ran upstairs to get a copy. I returned to the classroom and gave the outline to the student. Not seeing anyone flying down the hallway, I left to meet up with GML, whose classroom is around the corner. She was talking to a student. I left the room to give them some privacy. I checked my watch again; the time was 2:27 PM. I walked back to my room; just to be sure no one was there. Sure enough, the room was empty.

After shooting the breeze with GML for 30 minutes, I went back to the faculty area. In my mailbox was this student’s paper. Nothing indicating that it was dropped off. No note of any sort. I called the receptionist to see if she had put the paper there. She said no. I asked my colleagues who in the room if they put the paper in my box. Nope. I asked around to see if ANYONE put the paper in my box. Nada. I asked if anyone had seen this student put the paper in my box, or if she was anywhere within the vicinity of my box. Nothing. No one saw anything.

Frustrated, I checked my email. Here was a message from the student with a time stamp of 2:37 PM. It said

I tried to catch you before you left the classroom but, I was too late. I had to type the paper at school and miss the class because over the weekend my computer crashed. Thanks and I apologize for any inconvenience.

She did not mention that she put the paper in the box. And the statement about being late is somewhat vague. I sent her a message, asking her if she put the paper in my box, and if so when. I have not received a response.

So, here’s my problem. Does her message indicate that she did not hand in the paper by the end of class? Since I don’t know when she put the paper in my box, should I give her the benefit of the doubt? Or, should I be a hard ass and say too bad, so sad?

This one is a little murky, I could use some help here.

Sunday, December 11, 2005


Posted by Seeking Solace |

You Are Blitzen

Always in good spirits, you're the reindeer who loves to party down with Santa.

Why You're Naughty: You're always blitzed on Christmas Eve, while flying!

Why You're Nice: You mix up a mean eggnog martini.

So that’s why Bitzen is in the middle and not up front!

Sunday, December 11, 2005


Posted by Seeking Solace |

The boys from Dublin did not disappoint. What a phenomenal show! A great mix of old and new. Plus, many tributes to the late John Lennon. They did a great rendition of Instant Karma. Personal faves also included: Bullet in Blue Sky, One and 40.

Well worth the $100.00 per ticket price. Yeah, I know, it is kind of steep, but I am in this phase where there are certain artists or groups that I want to see before they die or give up touring. Unlike the Rolling Stones, who will tour until they are on life support. Or Mick stops having all these kids, thus paying an obscene amount of child support!

So that leads me to a great question for all of you. Is there any performer that you would pay any price to see? Here’s my list:

Sarah McLachlin (My absolute favorite)
Elton John (I guess he is doing a set of shows in Vegas next year, but I don’t see myself going to Vegas anytime soon.)
Paul McCartney
The Who (I know, there are only two member left, but if you have ever seen them live, you will understand.)
Joni Mitchell

What say you?

Friday, December 09, 2005


Posted by Seeking Solace |

I am going to see the guys who sing this song tonight! I have been a fan since the days when one could only hear them on college radio stations.


Thursday, December 08, 2005


Posted by Seeking Solace |

Only one student out of eight showed up for my 8:30 AM Critical Thinking class. This always happens when an assignment is due. I asked the lone student if she had an essay to turn in.

Student: I don't have an essay done.

SS: Well, it is not due until the end of class, so you have an hour and 15 minutes to put something down on paper.

Student: I am not going to turn one in.

SS: You have only turned in one assignment all semester. You realize that you are going to fail my class, don't you?

Student: I don't care. I am just here to get credit for attendance. My advisor said that as long as I keep attending class, I will get a grade. If I stop attending, I will get a withdrawal with failure and I will be responsible for the student loan debt in a few months.

Side note: At my college, we actually have to take attendance. Students have to sign in on an attendance sheet. They can sign in whenever they want, so long as it is during the scheduled class time. Sometimes students come to class, sign in and leave. Others walk in with two minutes left and sign in. In either case, they are considered present. Furthermore, a student receives a withdrawal with failure if they miss a certain number of classes.

And now, back to our story.

Student: I hate this school anyway. The teachers don't know nothing I am going to transfer to Public Community College.

SS: How so? (This should be interesting)

Student: Why do I have to study Critical Thinking? How is that going to help me start a business? I don't need no one telling me how to think. I am a thinking person. Plus, I don't like how you teachers make me write stuff. All my teachers want me to write stuff.

SS: Well, if you were paying attention throughout the course of the semester, critical thinking is also about problem solving. In business, you will confront with many different issues and problems that require problem solving skills...

Student (interrupting): That don't make no sense. Why can't they just tell what I need to do to start a business? At my last school, they took us on field trips and stuff. This stuff ain't helping me. These classes are boring. Nobody wants to help me.

SS: Well, why haven't you sought help, if you are having problems?

Student: Why should I? They should have taught it to me the first time. I just decided not to do the work anymore.

SS (getting very annoyed): And whose fault is that?

Student: I don't think I have a problem. The teachers here don't know how to teach.

WTF!!!!!!! And this girl got her education degree from...(and no, the one that she found at the bottom of the Cracker Jack box does not count!) It took every ounce of strength for me not to bitch slap this little witch. I was so pissed off at her that I told her that there was no use in her staying for the rest of the class. So, she signed the attendance sheet and left. I really wanted to tell her to not let the door hit her in ass on the way out.

I am still burning about this one. Some of it has to do with the audacity of this girl to suggest that she knew better, but mostly it is because of how the students view the faculty. We have no power or authority in the classroom. The students know this. Even if I wanted to kick this girl out, I can't. The HMFICs would tell me not to let the door hit me in the ass.

Somebody save me!!!!!!!!

PS: Today is the 25th aniversery of the death of John Lennon. RIP.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005


Posted by Seeking Solace |

Today, I returned my Survey of Law students' rough drafts of their research paper. Their papers were so pitiful. I got a headache just reading them. Their errors blew me away. Needless to say, the papers were swimming in a sea of red. I think I wore out my red pen.

Here is a list of the top five most common errors brought you from the home office in Lake Effect Snow Central, USA.

5. The spelling of the following words:

Themselves spelled as there selves
Myself spelled as my self.
Where spelled as were,

4. Run on sentences, sentence fragments and incomplete thoughts,

3. Cutting and pasting information in the paper without actually reading to see if the information is appropriate or makes sense,

2. Failure to cite sources within the body of their paper using proper MLA format or only citing quotations (tie) ,

And the number one error made by my students is

1. Outright cases of plagiarism.

As I handed back the papers, there was the sounds of groaning, complaining and the muttering of obscenities that they think I did not hear. I explained to them that the purpose of submitting the rough draft is to give them a chance to make their mistakes in a controlled atmosphere. That way, when they submit the paper, it should be their best work. I explained that my comments are not meant to criticize, but to help them.

Just then, one of my former students stopped by my class. She overheard my class complaining about their papers. She told them that they need to get over themselves. She began to explain to them how she experienced the same thing two semesters ago when she took my class. She told them how I tore apart her research paper. She said that at first she was angry when she received her rough draft and found it covered with red marks. She then explained how once she got over her anger and really read my comments; she understood that I was trying to help her. She told the students that she worked on the paper that entire weekend. The end result was that her paper was virtually perfect. She received an A for her effort. She told the students how lucky they are to have a professor who takes the time to help them and show them how they can be the best that they can be.

Maybe they are listening after all.

PS: Shout out to Statgirl: Where are you??? I hope all is well! Give me a holler!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005


Posted by Seeking Solace |

I took the day off today. I think I just needed the rest. So, I relaxed on the couch with my electric blanket to help the joints. The Boy tried to help, resting his head next to me to keep me company. Husband brought home Boston Market for dinner and took care of things around the house. I am so lucky to have both of then.

Things are going a little better. It doesn’t hurt as much. On a scale from 1-10, my pain level is a 6. Yesterday, it was an 8. Normally, it’s about a 2 or 3. Typing still hurts a little, but I am able to grade rough drafts, thanks to Dr. Grips pens. They are fat and have cushioning, which makes it easier on the hands.

Thanks to all for the kind words of encouragement. It makes a huge difference!

Monday, December 05, 2005


Posted by Seeking Solace |

I hurt today.

I have Rheumatoid Arthritis. Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation of the joints. It can also cause inflammation of the tissue around the joints, as well as other organs in the body. Autoimmune diseases are illnesses which occur when the body tissues are mistakenly attacked by its own immune system. So, I have pain in my hands, fingers, elbows, hips, knees, ankles and toes. My fingers are slightly swollen and I am very fatigued. There is no cure, but the hope is that through treatment, i.e. medication, there will be little destruction to my joints.

I have battled this disease for almost seven years. For the first three years, the doctors did not know what was wrong with me. Blood test used to help diagnose this disease would end up negative. After many tests and a trip to the Cleveland Clinic, I was diagnosed in 2001. Since then, it has been a constant battle to stay healthy.

RA is an insidious disease. Three are times when I am in remission and I feel like I can do anything. Then there are times, like today, where I feel 90 years old. To look at me, one would think I am a healthy person. But when the disease flares, it’s like I am someone else. Physically, I have difficulty walking, holding things, and doing everyday tasks like brushing my hair. I feel exhausted and brain dead, like I am walking around in a fog. It has taken a toll on me psychologically. The constant back and forth with remission and flare is frustrating. Also, I have been forced to give up many things that I once loved, because the nature of this disease will not allow me to continue doing them. Managing a chromic disease like this has lead to serious bouts of depression.

So, I will rest now and hope that this flare will pass.

Monday, December 05, 2005


Posted by Seeking Solace |

Ok, so I think I got all the "friends" back on the list. If I forgot anyone, let me know.

Is Monday over yet????

Monday, December 05, 2005


Posted by Seeking Solace |

Somehow, my blog temple was AFU and I lost all of my links. Now I have to find all of my friends and link them again.

God, I hate Mondays.....

Saturday, December 03, 2005


Posted by Seeking Solace |

Lifted from Angry Pregnant Lawyer's page. Click on Songs to link to her page.

1. What 3 albums would you take on a road trip, if music was the only companionship you had?

Fumbling Toward Ecstasy, Sarah McLachlin
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Elton John
Who's Next, The Who

2. You are in the worst. Mood. Ever. Name three songs that would cheer you up.

Rapper's Delight, the Sugar Hill Gang
All Jacked Up, Gretchen Wilson
My Give a Damn is Busted, JoDee Messina

3. Your in-laws just called. (First off, that never happens. It's my crazy family that won't leave us alone, God love 'em.) They are in town unexpectedly and want to drop by for coffee in an hour. The house is a mess. Which three albums have enough energy to pump you up for the task?

Who Are You?, The Who
Crazy Train, Ozzy Osborne
Bohemia Rhapsody, Queen

4. Name 3 songs you loved from high school. (I loved a bajillion, but here are the first 3 that came to mind.)

Our Lips are Sealed, The Go-Go's
Born in the USA, Bruce Springsteen
Purple Rain, Prince

5. Name 3 songs that make you think of your childhood. (Again, these were the first 3 that came to mind.

Easy, The Commodores (My father used to sing this all the time)
Hotel California, The Eagles
Midnight Train to Georgia, Gladys Knight and the Pips

6. The kid is in bed. Your partner is elsewhere. You have a bottle of wine/pot of tea/case of beer, a great book, and the evening to yourself. What 3 albums are playing in the background?

Afterglow, Sarah McLachlin
The Girl in the Other Room, Diana Krall
Under the Table and Dreaming, Dave Mathews Band

7. Name one new (2005) song, CD, or band that you've "discovered."

I am not into the new music scene, but I do like "Wildflower" by Sheryl Crow. Not your typical commercial pop crap.

8. Name 3 songs that make you weepy.

Departure Bay, Diana Krall
Blue, Joni Mitchell
Imagine, John Lennon

9. What song would be your theme song?

I'm Still Standing, by Elton John

Friday, December 02, 2005


Posted by Seeking Solace |

Who are you? ‘Cause I really want to know.
Who Are You, by the Who
Written by Pete Townsand, From the album Who Are You?, MCA (1978).

A reader asked me to contact him or her to see if we teach at the same or similar college. I decided against it. Why? Because I want to maintain my anonymity. If I were to reveal my true identity, I am not sure if I would be as open with my thoughts and comments. We are more candid when we have our identity masked by our blogger name. There is some security in that. (Of course if someone wanted to find out someone’s blog identity, I am sure they could).

When I first began to blog, I told a few colleagues about it. Word got around about my commentaries. A colleague began to post some nasty things about me, personally and professionally. So I had to end that blog. Of course I began blogging again, but with several caveats to protect my identity.

Some people do not look fondly on the blogging experience or understand why people blog. New Kid in the Hallway recently blogged about the pitfalls of ‘coming out” as a blogger. They tend to confuse it with keeping a journal. I have kept a journal on and off for most of my like. A journal is a place to chronicle your most personal thoughts that you would never share with ANYONE. Bloggong is different. Blogs allow us to share our personal thoughts, but with a community who shares those thoughts or experiences.

Blogging has become an outlet for me. I can share, complain or discuss things with people who have similar experiences. Sometimes I feel vindicated when I read a post or a comment which confirms that I am not the only one out there. There are times where I gain a new perspective on certain issues, or someone challenges my line of thinking. I have met some wonderful and interesting people through blogging.

So, I think I will keep my secret.

Thursday, December 01, 2005


Posted by Seeking Solace |

I need just a little more silence. I need just a little more time.
Time, by Sarah McLachlin.
Written by Sarah McLachlin. From the CD Afterglow, Arista (2003).

That seems to be echoing in the Blogger world lately. Everyone is drowning in a sea of papers, questions, emails and other monotonous administrative crap that is thrown in for shits and giggles.

I begin every semester with good intentions. I vow that I am not going to allow myself to get behind in grading or other projects. But honestly, who the hell am I kidding? No amount of careful planning can avoid the overwhelming feeling that seems to control at this time of the year. The usual solution is that I push myself to the point of insanity to finish something on time. It’s a guilt thing, I guess.

With two weeks left in the semester, I just don’t have it in me. What makes it worse is that it does not get any easier. We keep building up to this massive crescendo of final projects and exams that leads to the final grade. My college does not give the faculty a huge amount of time to submit final grades. They are due at the end of exam week. So, I try to have all of my assignments and projects due the week prior. Unfortunately, it is a colossal undertaking where I chug coffee, deprive myself sleep and become an evil bitch with a red pen. All because there just is not enough time.

I’d clone myself, but I would not have time for the surgery!