Sunday, September 25, 2011


I’m now twice as far into the semester as I was the last time I wrote. Things are still going well. I actually had a student come by during my office hours just to tell me how much she enjoys the class. She stuck around for a few minutes just to chit-chat. It is her first semester in college, and she told me that she’s really happy because all of her professors have been awesome, including me. (For the record, I’m not actually a professor.) Admittedly, it was nice to get such positive feedback. Without even knowing it, she reassured me that many of my desires for the class are being met, at least in one student’s eyes. She said she likes how much class discussion we have, and she says the class feels like a very safe place to share your views, etc. I was thrilled to have the feedback, as bizarre as it felt to receive it. I’ve never had a student show up just to tell me that he/she likes my class. It’s a strange thing.

So, teaching is going well, but I’m sick—again. It’s beginning to feel like I should blog about my health only when I’m not sick. As always, it seems to be a matter of the illness circling around within the family and never really leaving. I was just getting over a cold when the semester began. Then everyone else in my family got it. In fact, many of them are still coughing regularly. They’ve all been to the doctor and hooked up with prescription meds. Eddie, Peter, and Creegan all had ear infections. They thought Melanie might have bronchitis. I haven’t been as bad off as everybody else, but it hardly matters. When you’re a parent, it sucks to have sick kids. You feel depressed on their behalf, and your rest is only as good as their rest. As for my own physical condition, I’m tired of feeling a massive amount of pressure in my head and of constantly needing to blow my nose. Thankfully, I think we’re all finally heading out of this one. Let’s hope for a good two or three weeks before anything else strikes, shall we?

Quick complaint: the weather. It’s late September. You go outside at night, when it’s dark, after 9pm, and you walk from your doorstep to your car. Guess what? You’re sweating like a pig. I’d like to tell Florida to shove it where the sun doesn’t shine, but the blasted sun is always shining here!

I’m no further along on my dissertation than I was two weeks ago. Pity. I don’t often feel inspired to work on it, although I occasionally get into conversations with others about it and get kind of excited. I get excited as I talk about it mostly because I feel more and more convinced that I’m right and that I have something to say. But, man, it’s a lot easier to have something to say than to actually say it. It’s the latter that overwhelms me. Philosophy is a picky, picky thing. You have to be so careful and precise. It makes it exhausting. Yes, yes, that’s what makes it so brilliant and beautiful when it succeeds, I know, but trust me, you can be a lot sloppier writing for almost any other field. Sometimes I fantasize about being a psychologist instead. Or even a high school teacher. Shhh, don’t tell!

On a positive note, this is looking like a great night for TV. I’m excited to see the premiers of The Amazing Race and Sister Wives. And yes, I’m going to watch Pan Am. Melanie and I have been watching a bit more TV this season, and it’s been fun. I’m already ready to bail on a few of the new shows we’ve tried, but it’s been nice to do something different.

And that’s my life.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

School, Kids, the Yoozh

I just got done with my second week of teaching. I’ve been wanting to write about it, of course, but it seems there is always something else to be done. As I reported before, I only have one TA to help me out, and the class has actually grown slightly since I griped about that. Fortunately, I quite like the TA I have; he actually entered the program at the same time that I did, so I’ve known him for a while. So far, he’s acted like he’s not too worried about handling the workload. He keeps a positive attitude, and I’m grateful.

Teaching ethics is quite different from teaching logic. It is better in some ways, not better in other ways. Clearly, having literally ten times the number of students makes the class feel less personal. And yet, ethics is something we can actually get into classroom discussions about. I’m not just teaching the students rules, I’m (hopefully) getting them to think critically about interesting things. That’s fun. But it’s also more work. It’s more up to me what I say and how I say it. I have to stimulate their interest, and because I’m not just teaching them rules, it’s not as laid out for me what I should be saying. The last couple of times that I’ve taught, I’ve worried that I’ll cover all the material in 30 minutes and have nothing to say for the remaining 45 minutes. That hasn’t happened, fortunately.

In other news, I can’t believe how “midlife” things feel now. That might not be the best description, but I don’t know what to say. “Established”? Eh, maybe. It’s hard to say that, though, when I’m still in school. But as a family, we’re very established, and it’s kind of mind-blowing. Eddie’s in Kindergarten. Can you believe it?!? And he and Peter had dentist appointments today, and going to something like that just feels so … I don’t know … parental, I guess! What’s more, Eddie is going to start gymnastics on Monday, and he and Peter both started taking an arts & crafts class at a community center on Wednesdays. Somehow, all this “extracurricular” stuff going on with my children just makes me feel all the more tipped over into adulthood. It’s crazy. And probably one reason I feel so desirous to be done with school and actually into a settled job (like I whined about last time). Not to leave Creegan out, he’s getting several teeth all at once. He’s growing up!

Well, there you have it. Another blasé peek into my life. I promise I often have more interesting thoughts and feelings than I ever get around to sharing on here. In the words of Brian May, “someday, one day.”