Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Warning: rant ahead

Bring back the draft.

I teach American History. I do not utter those words lightly.

Rational but informed military figures have indicated that 60, 000 additional soldiers are needed for the war in Afghanistan and Iraq. I am still not clear as to why we entered this zone of the world in a military fashion, but now that we're there, we should do the thing properly. I'm of the opinion that as Americans we should be held to a higher standard and if we're going to do this "thing" for another three+ years (if not more, as seems quite likely) we should do it properly.

Our present military force is strained, exausted and needs, nay deserves, assistance and support. 60, 000 additional military folks can only be obtained through reinstituting the draft. All right then - if this is truly war, as I keep being told it is, then make it so.

However, I (in my control of the country) wish to reconstruct the terms of the draft. Unlike Vietnam, we will not send the poor, the minorities, the under-educated (remember, in the 1960s college professors were warned that poor grades would land a student on the front line) and the unconnected. No. This time, Americans will be forced to show how deeply they believe in their bumper stickers. Everyone with a "United We Stand" "Support Our Troops" and "GWB '04" emblem on their car must send a family member to serve in the Middle East. If you support the war enough to put on a sticker (or magnet) then you support it enough to send a loved one over there and, no, I don't mean the Texas National Guard.

I have another student scrambling to complete his classwork before being shipped back (and I emphasize back) to Iraq. He seems like a really great guy - and every time he leaves my office, I want to cry.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

weather musings

When I first looked out the window this morning, it looked to be a grey, glum, chilly Indiana day. There's not a shred of sunshine, everything is wet from last night's drenching and the leaves have begun to depart from the trees. Oddly enough, I haven't noticed any leaves still on the trees changing color, but the pile ups, now very slimy, have begun.

Then I remembered that said window, the one I can peer from without leaving bed, was open and my room wasn't cold. Instead of having his tail wrapped around his nose in "woman, what are you thinking?!! It's freezing in here! Close that window!" Sam was happily sprawled out, fast asleep, and occupying as much geography as possible. Perhaps this morning (day) wouldn't be quite so much like the land of Mordor after all.

Sam is none too happy about the wet ground. On mornings like this I imagine walking ahead of him with a hairdryer to dry out the landscape. Much as I love my dog, I don't love him that much, though I'm certain he would approve of the idea.

My neighbor assures me that dreadful weather is due to blow in later this morning, with perhaps a few plagues of locusts and frogs thrown in for good measure. Meanwhile, I'll enjoy what I have: a fresh cup of coffee, a happy dog and forty-eight hours in which to plow through a pile of homework assignments.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

thought to ponder

"Success and failure are greatly overrated. But failure gives you a whole lot more to talk about."
- Hildegard Knef

How so very true.

By the by, I had a fantastic work day today. I may be a PhD failure (the initial topic of this blog) but I'm by no means through in the classroom. Thanks be to God, Alleluia, alleluia.

Friday, September 15, 2006

weekend plans

I love teaching - one student, a room full of 500 - it's all fun.

It's the writing of horkwork assignments and exam questions (and the grading of the same) which is less fun. HJowever, being as I sent in another student loan payment today, I'm grateful to be employed.

I dreamed last night that I had on pajamas and a bathrobe, but was in a state of panic at tryiong to put on a second bathrobe before answering the door. I prefer not to examine the symbolic possibilities too closely!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

may I blame MD?

It is 8:15 AM.

It is dark.

Why on (swear word) (swear word) is Indiana on Eastern Time??!!

Dark, I tell you, it is dark outside.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

a threat

Dear Neighbor,

It's 8:30 PM on a school night. You have been pounding away at your gutters since 7:00 AM. Kindly cease and desist or I will throw what's left of my high heels at you.

P.S. your dog is silly.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


I do not understand the fetish/ obsession/ adoration most women seem to have for shoes. I own perhaps five pairs, counting boots. This is because shoe stores are among my least favorite shopping excusions.

Through some bit of potluck, I'd managd to find a pair of heels that looked dressy, matched nearly all of my teaching clothes and were actually comfortable to wear for eight hours straight (bear in mind that I'm on my feet for most of that time.) Said shoes have now betrayed me and I am grateful for Motrin. (sighs) Back to the mall!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Act II

You know, I think this semester is going to be a really good one. My morning class still seemed a bit annoyed this week (hey, they're college students and therefore much cooler than I) but I've managed to slowly lure them into being intereted in the matreial and the class.

(heh heh)

I do mourn the lost PhD. I'm highly annoyed by what happened. At the same time, I do notice how many people spent the extra $20, 000 plus blood, sweat and soul selling only to be 60 and still working one year gigs. Right now (and I don't know for how long) I get to teach, teach and teach (fun) and skip the meetings, conferences and politics. If my nose is clean and my powder dry, I'm OK for the time being.

In fact, I'm better than okay. My students are amazed by me (good) and I am happy. For right now, that's plenty.