Tuesday, November 25, 2008


There are some “firsts” which people love and hope will be the first in a long line. Like your first real paycheck. Other “firsts” are special because they may not – and should not – happen again. Your wedding day, for instance. Other firsts you may never want to encounter again – like your first funeral. Unfortunately, my “first” this weekend falls into the last category – my first accident (where I was the driver).

The only time I have been involved in an accident before was at Converse when Wendy, my sister and I were driving to the mountains. Wendy was the driver at the time and the car was totaled. No one was seriously hurt, however. This Friday night, however, I was the driver – no one was seriously hurt that I know of. This is how it happened.

This was the first day it snowed in Lancaster since we have been here. We woke to a white blanket. I dropped Gregg off at the train station, got home, changed, drove to work, came back, picked Giggs up to take him to the vet and then drove home again. Then at 6pm, I set off to pick Gregg up. It had been snowing all day but now the sun had gone down and the snow had turned to ice. When I drove up to the bridge I regularly cross, I saw up ahead 2 cars at the side of the road which had obviously been in an accident. Then suddenly the car in front of me skidded and rotated (eventually hitting the car in front of him). I hit my brakes to stop but the ice gave no traction and the car just kept going. So, I ended up hitting one of the cars pulled off to the side of the road (one of the ones already in an accident).

Thankfully, no one was hurt. I have mild bruises and a pain in the neck (literally) and it hurts when I laugh but that’s it. Our car, however, is in very bad shape – we have to wait till we know if it is salvageable. Now the only remnant is fear – I am terrified of driving in snow – or rather ice – again.

On the bright side, the rental car we have is awesome. It is a Buick with heated leather seats, XM radio and even heat for the steering wheel. Awesome!!!!

Have a happy Thanksgiving everyone – and drive safely.



Work: Only one more full week of classes left. Cannot wait.

Thanksgiving: I made a turkey with gravy, mashed potatoes, stuffing etc on Saturday. It was a nice way to forget the accident. We are going to CT for Thanksgiving but with the end of the semester almost here, we will stay only a short time. Have to prep for the last week, write exams, write study guides, grade papers etc.

NPSA: Went well. More on that later.

Giggs: He is now 9.8 pounds and almost a year old.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Eating in your office

Since the beginning of last year, I have been eating lunch in my office. Unfortunately, I do not like sandwiches and I do not like going to the common area to use the microwave or ‘fridge. So, I have been keeping a box of pistachios in my office and snacking on it throughout the day instead of having a proper lunch. This is made possible by the fact that I live very close to my school and therefore, my longest day has (in the last two years) been from 9am-4pm. Usually my longest day is from 12pm-5:30pm.

However, I am getting a little tired of pistachios. What do you guys do when you have to eat at school? Is there anything that does not need refrigeration or heating up? Or do you make yourselves a real meal every day?


In Other News:

NPSA: We just returned from Boston where Gregg and I presented at NPSA. I actually thought that, by simply writing out my presentation, I managed to develop my paper considerably. The comments were not extensive but they were helpful. Plus, we had a chance to catch up with Sara which was great. It was nice to spend some time walking around Boston as well.

Weather: It is now freezing in Lancaster. We have even had a snow flurry already. In fact, a flurry is in progress even as I write. I am clearly not equipped for this weather in terms of clothes – I definitely need new shoes and warmer shirts etc. The sandals I wear are not for this weather. Maybe I need Cuddl Duds as Jill suggested.

Work: I cannot wait till the end of the semester. The grading for 120 students, working on prepping 3 classes, advising students for spring registration, deciding books for the next semester and writing reports for committees is now more overwhelming than usual.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Irritating Questions

As the semester comes to an end, students seem to ask questions which are more and more unnecessary and/or annoying. Here are some of the questions which irritate me the most:

1. “Do you curve?”
I have said this hundreds of times and it is in your syllabus – I do not curve.
2. “When is the paper due?”
Why not look at the paper topic or on your syllabus?
3. “Can we get extra credit assignments?”
Why should I give you and myself extra work when your problem was that you could not finish the assigned work on time in the first place?
4. “Will grammar matter in the paper?”
Yes. What did you expect?
5. “Can you tell me what my grade is in this class?”
Can’t you do the math since you have all the necessary information?

Does anyone else find these questions annoying?


Work: What with the elections and the work, things have been crazy. I am counting to the end of the semester. Gregg and I are both presenting at Northeastern next week and I am on page 2 of that paper. Long weekend ahead.

Fall color: PA looks beautiful right now. I love the changing leaves and the mild cold.