Thursday, February 17, 2011

Potpourri No. 30

Random tidbits o’ life:

Ah, Summer
It’s February in Florida, which means the first signs of summer are upon us. As in years past, the shortest month in the calendar has given rise to the first sunbathers by the pool. Lately, I myself have been wearing t-shirts and shorts and driving with the A/C on. It’s uncomfortable not to, which sucks considering we’ve got about six months of steadily increasing temperatures to look forward to. Currently, afternoon temperatures have been reaching into the high 70’s, and tomorrow it’s supposed to top out at 79 degrees. Crazy!

So What Else is New?
Guess who’s sick? Trick question! The real question, of course and as always, is who’s the sickest? That’s a tough one right now. Melanie’s just starting to get over something terrible, and I think I might just be descending into it. In a family of five, it seems impossible to fully exorcise illness from the home, which sucks a donkey. I somehow thought I might scrape by this round with barely a scratch—or scratchy throat, I should say. My throat had been sore and swollen for a few days, but nothing major. It seemed to be getting better, but last night, my throat suddenly feels like it’s coated in sand. It’s not sore again, but it’s obnoxious and I’m occasionally seized with coughing fits that leave me seeing stars and tasting blood. I assume it’s salt and not blood, but I always think of blood when I’m hacking my lungs out and get that distinct flavor in my mouth. It would have to be snot, methinks. Or, maybe I’ve just got tuberculosis! LOL!

Taking Teaching to a Whole New Level
Some exciting (dreadful?) news this week: I’ve been given a teaching position for the latter part of the summer semester. That means I’ll have full responsibility of a class, the first time in several years that this has been the case. During my time at Georgia State, I taught seven classes completely on my own. But my teaching gig this summer will be quite different. First of all, I’ll have as much control over the course as a genuine professor would. At GSU, we grad students didn’t have much say over anything other than what work-appropriate clothes we wore while we taught. The syllabus, textbook, lesson schedule, exams, etc., were all selected and written for us. Very little was left up to us. At FSU, I’ll be calling the shots. That’s cool, but it’s also a lot more responsibility and work on my part, so I’m sure it will be stressful. But, funny enough, I think I’ll have a TA of my own to help me out. Wow, I’m growing up! But anyway, another huge difference between my time at GSU and my upcoming teaching gig is that I’ve now been assigned to teach a 3000-level class. A symbolic logic class, no less. Reductio ad absurdum! Symbolic logic is not my specialty, by any means, but I guess that’s beside the point as far as the department is concerned. It’s assumed that I know the material at this stage of the game, and of course, I do. I’ve taken symbolic logic twice, after all. (“I’ve been going to this high school for seven and a half years. I’m no dummy!”) I took it at the U of U even though I didn’t have to, and then I had to take it as part of my master’s program at GSU. I always kind of liked the subject and did exceptionally well with it, but it’s also one of the most intimidating subjects I’ve ever studied. It can easily confuse people, and I’m not excluded from that. I often have to think through matters of symbolic logic very slowly, and I can’t help wondering how inept I might sometimes appear to my students this summer. But that’s OK. It should be quite an experience teaching the class. An overwhelming but interesting and good experience.

It’s Official—I’m a Twit
Yup, I’ve made a Twitter account. Why? Why ask why? No reason, really. I decided to follow a bunch of celebrities just for the heck of it, and also because most of them excel at being witty in 140-characters or fewer. (Bam! Bet you thought I’d say “less”!) Probably everything I put on Twitter I’ll also put as a status update on Facebook, but in my experience, Facebook status updates are much easier to miss. One reason is the fact that Facebook friendships are practically meaningless, so people have way more Facebook friends than they could ever keep up with. Another reason is that status updates on Facebook have to compete with updates about someone’s horse dying on Farmtown or with the results of someone's survey to determine what kind of legume best captures their personality. (You are a garbanzo bean, but your besties call you chick pea!) On Twitter, depending on whom you follow, you’re not getting so much excess baggage and fluff. That’s nice … even if it is pointless.

Two-Line Poetry
While walking home from the bus stop the other day, I thought maybe I should start writing simple, two-line poems. It would give me a chance to be more artsy without demanding too much of my time. And, as we’ve all learned from haikus, short and simple can be truly beautiful, just like Dudley Moore. So, anyway, I came up with these gems. Hope you enjoy them!

Suntan while you can, little turtle
For tonight, it’s turtle soup

I thought she’d never ask
Turns out I was right

The end!


  1. As short as it is, that Silent Rejection poem is quite heartbreaking.
    I'm on twitter too, supposedly. I'll have to find you.

  2. Ah Ben, what a delight you are to read. You have almost made me curious about Twitter... but not quite. I am very thrilled about your teaching position. Off you go, eh!!!!! You have indeed grown up.

    Take care of that throat. Hot soup with black pepper, remember, or nachos with hot peppers. Also a hot pack might make it feel better. I saw your status on Facebook.... I will be calling tomorrow to see how you're doing.
    Love, MotherofEwe...You!!!!

  3. You are amazing! I laughed out loud (by myself) when I read this.
    Your teaching stuff sounds amazing... and daunting. I never thought about who chooses the books and what was taught etc. I thought it was the powers that be. When I was teaching, I had a lot of say in what and how I taught, but I was still assigned the text book and had to meet certain objectives, so it kind of just worked out. To come up with it alone??? You amaze me! I want to hear all about it.
    Hope you get feeling better.