Serious enough for a portmanteau.

Things are going to get a little crazy around here. I think I’m ready, though.

  • Stocked up on drinking water, ground coffee, non-perishable food (including Baked Cheetos), propane gas for the grill, AA batteries for LED lamps? Check!
  • Did laundry, vacuumed, charged all electronics, filled gas tank, sandbagged basement door? Check!
  • Sent emails to students with updated due dates, downloaded documents needed to study for Thursday’s midterm? Check!
  • Brought in wood if we need heat, cleaned last year’s ashes out of wood-burning stove, set out large bin to collect rain water to supplement the store of plumbing water? Check!
  • Got dark rum and ginger beer to make Dark n’ Stormys? Check!
  • Downloaded “Riders in the Storm” for cell phone ringtone? Check! Continue reading

A diversion.

Things are heating up around here. No, not the weather. It’s the American northeast, so we’re finally getting some cooler weather, which is an absolute delight to me.

So what is heating up? My grading pen, for one thing. Papers having been swarming in at an alarming rate and I curse the person who assigned all this homework.

Oh yeah. That was me. I’m a fool, aren’t I?

I can’t take it anymore! I’m going over the wall!

I’ve also been doing my own homework for my second course in my paralegal program. I wrote my first brief for my Litigation class and this coming week, I have to “file” a complaint for a lawsuit that I’ve invented. I’m going with negligence for moldy carpets or false imprisonment due to mistaken identity. Which would you choose?

Writing, however, has been slow. Oh, the ideas swirl and essays even get outlined and researched, but nothing has been completed. I’m working on it, though. I’m slow, but I’m stubborn.

In the meantime, I’m going to borrow an idea. I was reading through my blog list last week and came to a post by Robert on 101 Books called 20 Questions: Round 2. He asks his readers 20 questions, mostly regarding books, but also about some miscellaneous things. He’s done this before but this time, he first answered his own questions and then invites readers to give their own answers in comments.

For some reason, I always enjoy these sorts of games. I always end up learning something about myself – something small but still unexpected. As I was writing my comment, I realized it was getting quite…well, unwieldy.

And so, I decided to answer the questions on my own blog, where it’s my party and I can be unwieldy if I want to!

Without further ado, I present the Q&A. Continue reading

Why yes, I do speak a language.

To start off one of my writing courses this semester, I had my students read an article called, “Getting it ‘write’: Essay styles vary by country, creating difficulties for international students.” It explains some of the ways that writing philosophies differ in various cultures, and how awareness of this fact helps students understand their task a little bit better as they try to adapt to an American education.

We’re all in the same boat.

Many of my students have had higher education experience in their native countries and thought they knew how to write. Then they arrived here and found themselves placed in a developmental writing course. Many of them believe it’s solely due to their grammar or vocabulary but don’t realize that there are other factors involved. Having them start the semester with this article gives them a chance not only to adjust their expectations, but also to make them feel better about why they need remedial work. Continue reading