Tuesday, February 18, 2003

Where is the week going?

I'm back at the farm. It's raining but that's okay. :} At least we're not snowed in like the east coast....

I was able to work quite a bit on adding pictures to the AP Government class yesterday morning. I took my guest speaker to lunch and, as usual, he did a great job with the teaching students. One student was concerned we were being a little too negative and we just tried to explain that we were trying to prepare them for the real world so that they weren't shocked and/or disillusioned when they took over a real classroom with real live students. He did a great job explaining about NCLB and QPA (a Kansas-specific accreditation plan usually done in conjunction with North Central) and how it affects a teacher's daily life. I have a recent graduate coming next month who can explain student teaching, etc. from a more recent perspective.

I went to eat with the quilt guild ladies but didn't go to the meeting because I'd been gone too much that day and Jan couldn't go either. I actually relaxed a little last night. :}

Today was busy with office hours. I had a nice chat with my chair (the person not the object :} ) about teaching in general and the challenges we face. I also started on loading Dreamweaver on my school computer - it is old enough it will just barely handle it. So I think it will work.

I need to do some paperwork for my Thursday meetings but otherwise I'm ready for the rest of the week. Next week will be busy with a KSDE meeting in Wichita.

Tomorrow I have to wait on a repair person and then go see a student teacher in Independence. She is expecting a baby early next month so I have to hurry and get the visit in. She's already substituted quite a bit in the district so she should be fine.

The builder and crew can't make it out tomorrow because of a funeral so we'll try for Friday - hopefully the potential rain isn't a problem. I just don't have any day to do it next week and I think the builder wants it off his list - which is a good thing!

Abby came by to get me for lunch today and we went to El Charro and munched down on chips and dip. She just went to Denmark with work and had a horrendous time getting back but had a great business trip during her stay. She may be going over 3 times a year.

I was trying to wait on the mail before I left town but since they had yesterday's holiday to catch up with I couldn't wait. I stopped by Palucca's on my way out of time to get some lettuce and then dropped some cookies off at M&M. I'm so glad to get my Explorer back - it almost feels like a new car and the guy did a really good job on the seat. The leather smell makes it smell like a new vehicle. I also dropped some cookies off for Lisa. I passed her on the road but Kim was a big help. I also chatted with Sam and Russ really quickly. Russ has a great idea for a slide show for some pictures that will go up
on Project Mine. The geography professors at PSU are studying why people are building very nice new homes on the edge of strip pits - where just the poor miners used to put shacks. It is quite interesting. We'll use some of the info in the summer institutes. I also gave the guys working on the house next door some of the cookie batch. I was good and only ate one (plus some of the dough of course). That was my comfort food during my grad school days. I always had time to at least make the dough. Some of the professors gave me a hard time that I had time to bake (the same ones that called me a workaholic) and I said many times I was baking in the middle of night so that I could relax a little.

I just watched Oprah's show on decorating from Wal-mart - she was inspired by the recent commercial with the woman redecorating her daughter's room from Walmart. I have never done much decorating - now I realize I should have experimented in all those apartments..........although I did put mini-blinds up in one apartment ..........they were pretty new then (late 1980s) and the drapes weren't dark enough to keep the light out - back when I couldn't sleep with even a little glimmer of light..........anyway.........I need to take some more chances and try some new things - even if I just paint some furniture in the garage.

When I was talking to my chair earlier today, we both shared our "publishing the monograph" challenges. I was on the state university press board when I submitted my dissertation for them to consider. Why they held on to it for two years and didn't just tell me, I don't understand. (I think I know why but that doesn't mean that I understand.) That lag really contributed to my losing momentum. And as I've begun doing more pedagogical and technological stuff, my thinking process has changed. I need to start writing more about those types of projects............that's part of the impetus behind this blog - just to have regular practice writing...........and work on presenting and publishing those. Our teaching load is too heavy and on top of that the work with teachers is so integral it only makes sense. Besides, many fewer traditional history monographs are being published and there are more and more PhDs graduating every year. I also think I'm contributing more to my profession by writing study guides and instructors manuals that tens of thousands of people used compared to a monograph that 5 people might read. Besides, the publishing-on-demand aspect of the web is going to change the nature of scholarship as it becomes more accessible. My chair and I also talked about that because, since I'm at the front edge of the curve, I won't necessarily benefit as much as those behind me. But hopefully that will all work out to the positive ...........and since my ultimate goal is to help students and if money were the primary object, I'm in the wrong profession anyway!

Time to get some dinner.

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