Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Redbuds in Bloom

We had a short period of rain today and it now officially smells like spring. The redbuds are just gorgeous.

I emailed the city again this morning about the drainage blockage dating back to some construction behind us over a year ago. About an hour later, I saw a city car out front and had a nice conversation with people who seem to understand what needs to happen so that I'm not living in a swamp.

And there was the potential for more good news but the mud flaps I've been waiting 11 months for did not fit in an acceptable manner even to the GM service techs. There was double-sided sticky tape and gaps that would not only collect dirt and gravel and road debris but also encouraging the paint finish to get scraped up. So, back on went the generic mudflaps. The engineers have just had trouble resolving the new style running boards with the mudflap design.

Another situation is resolving itself and I am not left being the bad guy and have been in fact thanked for my extensive efforts on behalf of this organization.

I was able to get in some more heavy duty weedeating but will not head out to the farm given the hail possibilities. I had hoped to hunt for morels since they seem to be popping up all over. We're not supposed to get any super warm nights so maybe I can find them next week.

The best news from yesterday is that I finished all my grading even though it took me until after 7pm to do so. But I came home without that weighing on my mind. It's continuing to amaze me how students think grades are a debate and how students spend more time gaming the system and losing in the short term instead of understanding that the instructor operates on more than just raw points. But sending a 300-word email about less than 5 points is probably not a student's best option - but pointing that out to them only creates more havoc. So, I offered to do an entire regrade of all assignments and adjust all late papers instead of just this student's latest one. He's forgetting how much slack he has been cut and so arguing about 5 points that won't actually make a difference in the hundreds of points being offered is just not the best option. It's also interesting to see how some students think just by doing the work and meeting minimum standards earns them an A while most of us consider that average, or C.

I'm off to the Western Social Science Association meeting in Denver tomorrow. An econ colleague is going with me and two old friends and at least one new friend that I met at the OAH will be there.

Oh, I talked to Doc the other afternoon about Beau and Maggie. I pushed hard enough that he finally said he'd like me to get a puppy so that I have more influence in forming their personalities. It's made me think a bit more along with the advice he gave about how to check them out before I bring them home. I'm supposed to talk to their foster mom tonight and hopefully that will help me come closer to figuring out whether I am better as a one-dog house or a two-dog house. In any case, I have a room reserved for the first weekend of the month and will hang out with friends in St. Louis after I meet the dogs and do some thinking about what works best for everyone involved. This is so hard but worth it in the end. I can't believe I haven't had a dog at home for 5 months . . . it just doesn't feel the same - even though I'm trying to stay busier than usual.

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