Nov. 10th, 2012 02:58 pm
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I'm just posting this to say that I'm moving my online presence to Dreamwidth. As soon as I figure out how to move my content over there, I will, probably after Nanowrimo is over (and finals.) I have created an account as hobgoblinn over there, same as here, although there is as yet no post in it. Maybe I'll rectify that this weekend.

I think some of you crosspost here from Dreamwidth, so if anyone would like to share advice or experiences, please do.

My main reason for this is I'm getting tired of all the spam comments on my old posts, and the taking away of paid accounts and other actions by the PTB just seem like things I don't want to tolerate when I don't have to.

So, I will still check in from time to time here until my account reverts to a free one next Spring, I think. I will give plenty of advance notice if I decide to completely pull the plug on this account.

In hobgoblinn news, my job continues to be wonderful, and I have taken both the GRE general and subject (English Lit) tests. Other than math being as expected horrible, I think I did quite well on the others, enough that I probably don't have to retake any of them to get into a doc program if I want to fill my summers with that in a year or two.

And Wee Hob is being a Senior. At least his Senior moments involve lack of homework and nothing more serious. And my beloved is still wonderful.

I better get back to my write in. Can any of this count for word count, do you think? I am so far behind!

Love to all.
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What a week. I went to new hire orientation Thursday to pick up all my benefits forms and other materials, then went to see my new boss and meet some of my colleagues. All full time faculty have to be course manager for something. Since I have a computer background, they're giving me an online course that is an unholy mess. They know it's a mess, so I'm not expected to fix it overnight, but if I can make any improvements at all they will be quite happy. I get a week to take care of administrative stuff, then 3 shadowing the person I'm taking over for. I start on my own with those classes and a new class of my own in October.

The truly cool thing is, I can take courses at any Kentucky college or University for *free*. The classes I'm in now are already paid for, but after that, they will pick up the tab, up front, no minimum grade requirement or reimbursement needed. If I can get into University of Louisville, I can get my PhD in Rhetoric and Composition (only place in Kentucky that offers the degree.) Or I can take courses at NKU and take Master's certificates in Rhetoric and Composition and Professional Writing, both of which interest me. I can even take 18 hours in another discipline, like Music, and be able to teach classes in that. I might be able to start a chorus or glee club and eventually be able to offer a for credit class in that, or just basic Music Appreciation/ History.

It is so weird how life works out. This kind of situation is exactly what I wanted to do with my life when I left Austin College in 1988. Was a long and winding road, but here I am.
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Perhaps if I describe my current situation, it will both explain and excuse my long silence. My school is closing (not a shock) and I find myself unemployed. My Husband's mother passed away just before my last week, and as a result I ended up taking all the personal time I would have lost to be with him and help make arrangements. So I ended up working only 1 day my last week. I went in today and cleaned out my belongings and tied up all loose ends.

If I can navigate the Unemployment Maze, I will not be opposed by the Company, of which I am not allowed to speak any ill, per my severance agreement. And, scariest of all: I'm enrolled in graduate classes at NKU starting Monday.

Cut for What Was I Thinking? )
Anyway, I'm likely to be here at least once a week. One can only read theory, or check Facebook, or look at pictures of Cats so many hours a day. Will now go off to check the last few weeks/ months of the F-list.

Oh-- And Wee Hob is a Senior! I will have lots more time to redirect him now. He's being pretty tolerant so far of his crazy mom.
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Kind of dropped off the face of the earth in mid-April. It was not because my script for script frenzy took off-- that also dropped mid month. No, I found out from a friend that there was a full time English Instructor position at Gateway, the local community college. I applied, got an interview with the selection committee and despite a very painful 20 minute teaching segment, I now have in hand an invitation to interview with the President of the College and Vice Provost next week.

I've never been nervous in interviews-- not debilitatingly so, anyway. But I've never had one that mattered quite this much before, either. And while I am a damn good teacher, I realize I know almost nothing of Academia, having been out of those circles, that conversation, pretty much all my adult life. I've dabbled the past couple of years, but I've been far too busy surviving increasingly grueling teaching schedules at this For Profit nightmare I work for now.

Cut for more wittering )

I know many of you on my f-list are academics or have worked in this world-- could you share some questions you've been asked in these types of interviews, or your experience on what I should work on this week to get ready for this?

Any advice or questions or both would be much appreciated.
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Friday was the Boy Scout Fish Fry. As a veteran of Troop 8's Epic Turkey Dinner fundraiser, I was actually looking forward to a much shorter time of work. Wasn't prepared for how badly organized this event was with the new troop. Part of the problem is that it's a Church function, with different groups manning each night during Lent and taking the proceeds. So they do it "the way we've always done it." Probably works when the nearest competing Church Fish Fry doesn't take the week off. The overflow crowd was a mess.

Anyway, long afternoon. Saturday was much better, as my Beloved and I went for a hike in the local arboretum. It's been neat to go the past few weeks and see the changes. Can't believe we're getting this kind of weather and plant growth in mid March.

Today was a hike in the hilltop cemetery a few blocks away. It contains one of the batteries that were built to defend Cincinnati in the Civil War, along with several graves from the early 1800s. Lots of flowering trees all over.

And tonight after mass, I was listening to Krista Tippet's "On Being" on my way home. Her guest, Kevin Kilng, made a statement about there being two trips "The one we plan, and the one we take," but I heard it differently. With regard to the end of things, the afterlife (which he was also talking about earlier, hence the connection) it occurred to me that for that trip, the trip you plan, is the trip you take. How you live now affects how that ending goes. Or maybe planning your life to appreciate things now affects the quality of your current life/ trip. It seemed very profound when I was thinking it.

I need to download the podcast version and listen to the whole thing. I did that a few weeks ago with the John O'Donohue interview, and it was lovely. If you haven't read his Anam Cara or other stuff, well, some of it sounds like nonsense at times, but it's beautiful nonsense. And some of it is quite sensible as well as poetic. Here's a link to a slideshow featuring O'Donohue reciting a lovely poem written for his mother:

And in a few minutes, Wee Hob should be home from scouts, and we shall see if he earned his next rank. I'll update with that, I guess.

Edit: He made Star Scout. He's been stuck at 1st Class for about 4 years now, so this is cool. Still has only a year to get to Life, then Eagle, so unlikely he will make it before he ages out. Still, many adult leaders encouraged him (or threatened to kick his butt if he didn't try.)
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Been a long day. Hung out at the mall a very long time to meet eldest son. He and his girlfriend got lost. They eventually showed up, about 2 hours after they initially said they would, and about 3 after we got there early (because I just do that.)

While wandering about killing time, I got tackle hugged by my youngest. She's now 12. She happily introduced me to her friends as "my real mom." She came back a couple of times for more hugs. She is so tiny and delicate. Reminds me of the little girl I used to see for visits so long ago. She is a beautiful little elf girl, bouncy and full of life.

Her brother informed me when he arrived that she was in fact "pure evil." I'm sure she is a handful, with my sense of mischief and her birth father's stubbornness (ok, mine, too.) She had several friends around, and she bossily sent some of the boys away because she said they weren't being appropriate-- she's a leader of sorts, and popular, and kind of all the things I never was. I am happy for her, though.

My eldest son is also wonderful. Looks just like me, but with a kind of scraggly beard. Wee Hob is a head taller, which floors me. Eldest is not much taller than I am. He mentioned wanting to study psychology and go into therapy practice, as he gravitates now toward giving advice with his friends. He certainly has a background to be great at that, from all his experiences. I hung back more as we wandered after the meal, letting him and his brother and girlfriend interact. It's great to see them able to reconnect after all this time. She also seems a nice girl. Not quite sure what to make of us, of course, but that's to be expected.

I do have to get on writing a "What Happened?" memoir for Eldest, even though as I told him, it's so hard to remember details of what and why. I was actually thinking about this earlier in another context, how much we want to believe memory is like videotape, and how much instead it's filling in blanks and extrapolating just as we have to do to try to narrate the contents of a dream in a way that might make sense.

Still, he's asked for it, and he deserves it. They all do.

That's about all I have for now. I'm trying to come out here and post more. It's writing, and it will fuel more writing, or at least it used to. Hope all is well with all of you.

Oh-- Music note: checked this album out from the library for Wee Hob. I kinda like it.
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Wee Hob might actually pass German. Thanks to all who commented, even with a "I have no idea." He had fun reading the comments and using the info to make this file, which he has titled "Awesomeness."

Awesomeness )

Yes, this is the sweet child who currently lives in my household, and may someday live in our basement.

In other news, I'm thinking of adapting the Book of Job to a script for Script Frenzy this year. I'd have to write a new story for it kind of, but the why things happen aspect is what I've been struggling with for a good number of years now. I think I can get 100 pages out of it.

Let's post this and see if the cut works. If not, sorry for the pic spam.

I'm waiting up just now to see if my beloved will chat with me before the end of the night. He's in Houston dealing with family decisions about his mom and dad. I wish I could be there for moral support, but I'd be useless otherwise, and I've been sick for over a week now. Not liking this shortness of breath when I haven't done anything and it's just a Cold.

Hope you all are well, and again, thanks from Wee Hob to all.
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Well, new to me anyway. My Beloved upgraded to a larger screened Macbook, and in the process I am inheriting his very shiny old one. I used to have one kind of like this from work, but when I saw the handwriting on the layoff wall, I quickly moved to buy a refurbished Macbook that would hold all my music and writing and programs. Wee Hob will someday be the owner of my little white Macbook.

This one runs so much faster than my old one. I made the mistake of upgrading the OS recently and it has been sluggish ever since. Once all the stuff I want to keep has migrated over here, we'll probably wipe the old one and reinstall the OS or go back to an earlier version of it. Wee Hob only needs it for Word processing and Very, Very supervised internet use. He'll probably get to take it out for a test drive during Nano.

I'm slowly building up characters and a plot for Nano-- thought I'd try something new this year, and not merely continue stories or launch out on day one with no preplanning whatsoever. I'm finding the asking what if kinds of questions before I actually need them for the story is not unlike how my fanfic stories started-- taking an already built world and idly wondering about an aspect of it. The only difference is that I'm creating the world myself. It's not the epic thing I thought it would be (though perhaps I'm doing it wrong.) It's more just getting glimpses and building up slowly what needs to be there.

As soon as I get the photo on this new machine and download it into LJ correctly, I will share my new desk, with its Welsh Flag front. I've had it a month, but I've been so busy with my new classes I haven't felt like fighting the technology to post a pic out here.

Cheers to all.
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Gallileo Was Wrong

SP found this on slashdot. I was sure it was a hoax, but looking around, I couldn't find any evidence that it is. We're already changing the liturgy in 2011 to be more faithful to the original Vulgate (that's sarcasm, btw), and given the behavior of the Church in general these days, it doesn't seem like such a stretch for them to jettison years of scholarship and intellectual tradition to go back to a different, simpler tradition.

Still, I hope I'm wrong, and I'm sure my faithful f-list will be able to tell me. Feel free to point and laugh. My nightmares involved this situation.

In other news, Wee Hob attended the Homecoming dance with the girl his quasi girlfriend told him to invite, and -- he now has a new girlfriend. I could not begin to navigate his strange social life. But he seems perfectly content.

And I am still playing a piano a day until the 17th. I already have played all 42. Will post more stuff about that later. Probably in a couple of weeks after finals, when I have time off. Hugs to all.
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Pianos update. )
Nook Study App. )
Finally, since I am more "back" now as a denizen of LJ, I have been casting about for a name for my Beloved. I wanted to call him "Saint Patrick", as anyone who cheerfully drives all over town with an obsessed Hobgoblinn deserves the title, but he objected that such a name put too much pressure on him. He'd prefer "Sinner Patrick." I shall call him SP and let his actions speak for him. Have I mentioned how very lucky I am?
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1. Beer imbibed in sufficient quantities before a diagnostic mammogram makes the process MUCH more comfortable. Will have to try this next year for the routine one. I always forget how bad they are.

2. Due to said beer, I can't tell you exactly what they saw that they needed a second look at, but part of it was "calcification." I think. At any rate, when they took the extra pictures of my poor squashed breast, they found nothing of note. I will not get the "come right away for a biopsy" card in the mail-- in fact, they held me there this time until it was read and gave me the results right then so I wouldn't go home and worry.

3. Group work is great for my students. And those who only come once in a while are hating the extra work they have to do at home to make it up. Very cool. Will probably have more drops this term from people who are realizing much sooner that coming once every couple of weeks and enduring a lecture will not in fact earn them a D. But those who are left will benefit.

4. I actually learned this a while ago, but reading in the fandom is a good way to get back into it.

Arsinoe de Blassenville's "The Best Revenge" is a great retelling of the books with some welcome changes. A little too perfect at times, but a neat "might have been" exploration.

I also really enjoyed a great EWE story last night: The Lost Chamber. Of course, there's a lot of stuff out there that holds no interest for me (PWP for instance.) But these two are raising new issues for me; probably more than rereading the books would at this point.

5. Rereading fic I've already read is not as helpful, but maybe as I get back into it, it may be. I'm still up for recs, if anyone wants to make them. I haven't read anything new in over 2 years, so feel free to go back to some outstanding things in that time span if you think of something.

Going to watch "Brother, Where Art Thou?" tonight as a treat. I've never seen it, but Beloved tells me I will love it. There may also be Ice Cream, as today was Traumatic.
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First, for anyone who cares, I have gone back to another WIP and put out another installment. It's the sequel to "Lost Boys," the one with Ghost Snape and David Dursley, called "No Malicious Haunting." On this one, I am trying to see if I can take material already written and round it out, as opposed to doing an epic adventure as it was originally conceived. I am really surprised at what I wrote over a year ago, (at how decent it is) and I'm not sure if I can continue that level given how far I've drifted from the fandom in the intervening time. At any rate, the link is here.

Second, we got Wee Hob this morning, and-- Wow. I am so proud of him. Several of Troop 21's leaders came up to us while the boys were unpacking the trailer, telling me what a great son I had, what a joy he'd been to have around all week, how he was a "fine young man" and a "self starter" and a "great role model for our younger boys." Not only that, the boys themselves were making plans for him to come with them again next year. They all really liked him-- you could see it in their interactions.

Except for the "self starter" thing I knew all this, but it meant more than I can say to hear others say it, especially after all the problems he was having just a couple of short years ago. It also reassures me-- yes, at times here at home he may well be lazy and unmotivated and mouthy-- but out in the world where it counts, he can function. If he can reinvent himself out there, I can deal with redirecting a little boundary testing here at home. And I know he loves us and is not deliberately trying to be disrespectful when he pushes. All in all, a successful week. I think his own troop leaders will be very proud of him, too. And I am so happy for him, that he was able to go off on his own and make friends like this.

That's about all for now. He's out with friends at a local Church festival. And now that it's getting late and a bit cooler out, I'm thinking about taking a celebratory walk. I have posted on two different stories in the same week. Go, Hob.

Week 1 over

Jul. 9th, 2010 09:01 pm
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New School Term Update )
Wee Hob Update )
General Writing and Doubts Update )

More on Doubt:

Most people on my f-list have already seen it on [ profile] sahiya's journal, but if you missed it, she recently posted a link to a very helpful article: Too Much Self Doubt? Try Thinking Like a Creator. I posted a link on my school blog. Some students assume they're the only ones who have ever been paralyzed by self doubt and feelings of inadequacy when they are trying to write. I hope they are helped to know the feelings are normal and that I've been there, too.

Sitting by the lake tonight with my Beloved gave me an idea of something I might be able to write. He teasingly told me I loved the green growing things because I am a wood elf. It struck me that I have always felt an outsider, a changeling in my world. That's a theme I think I could explore in fiction. A lot of what passes for modern "literature" leaves me cold-- even if well written, why do I really want to read about 2 couples having dinner where the husband of one and the wife of the other are having an affair and they all know it? Bleh. I hope never to have anything in common with that.

The foregoing example came from Francine Prose's How to Read as a Writer, which is excellent, even if her examples make me despair a bit of having anything literary to say. Ever. Also of knowing enough to say anything not stupid, which is why the other article was so timely for me.

Thus ends the State of the Hobgoblinn Address for this week. Stay cool, everyone.
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Well, my week of vacation is over. I managed not to use too much time trying to revamp my classes, which means tomorrow may be more exciting than I'd like. But I think well on my feet, and I do have some ideas about how to tackle persistent problems.

I got some things accomplished that I meant to. )

Oh-- for those who care, the link to the continuation of "In Loco Parentis" is here.
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Wee Hob just got back from the Great Lakes Region South Basic Encampment (Civil Air Patrol). He spent a week in a highly militarized and structured environment, and not only did he do okay, his flight (cadets in his little company of 10) was selected as the honor flight - best at the encampment. He has been regaling us nonstop since his return with tales of the great week he had and all the cool things he did. We can only hope he will begin to apply all the organizational skills to his own bedroom. (He did just cut his shower time from over 30 minutes to less than 2-- cool.)

He is not a little boy anymore, and while I am proud of him, it also makes me sad. I had the past brought home to me a little yesterday when one of my students had her little granddaughters with her, and the 2 year old decided she loved me. She and I conversed very gravely about matters of import to her, and at the end, she gave me a hug, and I remembered what it was like when I used to see my little birth daughter, or what it was like when Wee Hob was small. I don't know what it will do to me, honestly, when I am a grandmother myself. I missed so much. And those small kids I hold in memory now, are nothing like that now. And I won't ever get that back, even if they come looking for me.

I bought this Joseph Curiale CD last night; I heard "Wind River (I am)" on WGUC Cincinnati, and the only way to get it was to download the whole album, which is wonderful. It's not on iTunes: I had to buy it from CDBaby. Great writing music, and Wind River itself is reminiscent of both Copland and some of the Star Trek music (DS9 especially)-- the trumpet solo is reflective of that ideal of the West and of the Star Trek universe, of beings, human or not, who rise above. Who overcome with dignity and grace. I don't know if I can explain it.

But I will issue, not a fic rec, but a short story rec: James Baldwin's "Sonny's Blues," which I love even more every time I teach it. This time I realized: the Blues is born of sadness, but people who are defeated do not sing them. The Blues is a type of music for survivors-- for people who are going on. I pointed out to students, when I asked them to describe the blues for me, how many of them were smiling as they remembered some blues music they knew. The Blues is not about wallowing in the depression, but about living through the pain and rising up again in spite of it. They got it. Some of them.

I need to start writing again now. I have the week off, my grades are all in but one class (where some irregularities require input by the Powers that Be), and I don't set foot in a classroom again until July 6.

Have a good night, everyone.
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My last entry (which was on a filter-- so not everyone may have seen it) got me to thinking about the past, and I realized there's another entry I would have made in early March when I found out about this, had I been here. I correct the error now to celebrate the life and mourn the passing of Tom Willenborg.

He was my lawyer for most of the proceedings involving my children, and he got way more than he bargained for when he took on my very complicated case. He did a goodly number of things he didn't have to as the years dragged on, much of it pro bono. He was a genuinely good man, and he will be greatly missed.

Cut for length. )
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It is really different, being back in LJ land.... )

On the writing front... )

There's also the existential angst I'm dealing with just now, which I will not go into at present. Except to note, that this, too saps one's strength. Or maybe that's just the cold.

Hugs to all.
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Just a quick note to explain my long absence: I am getting married to my Beloved this Saturday, September 26th in a Handfasting/ Civil Ceremony. I will then have a week off work, though we can't really go anywhere while Wee Hob is in school, and I do have lessons to plan for next term. We will do fun day trips that week, assuming both of us have recovered from the colds we have been fighting this past week or so.

Love to all. Wee Hob is a Patrol Leader in his scout troop now and doing very well in high school, growing into quite the little man (or PHB-- he really loves to order people around and organize them to do his bidding....)

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First, hello friends. I've often thought of you, longingly, as I have been grading papers, planning lessons, and making a new life with my Beloved and Wee Hob. Term is over and it went pretty well-- I just have a handful of ungraded papers I set aside for the end so I could check them for Plagiarism.

Below the cut, I have a draft FAQ I'm thinking about putting into my syllabi next term. I'd appreciate comments, especially from teachers past or present. It discusses plagiarism, among other things.

Hope everyone's well. I'll try to skim back through the past 3 months or so on this planning week before the next term starts-- I should have more time as I've taught these classes a time or two now and know what to expect. May even have some time to write, or at least apply beta comments on No Malicious Haunting, something I've been doing in my head the past month or so.
FAQs for Hobgoblinn's Classes )
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Greetings, friends, and apologies for the long silence. I am in week 11 of my first 12 week term, and final exams are next week. I have got through this first venture into teaching fairly unscathed. As one might imagine, the administrative nonsense trumps anything my students can do. Most of the fainthearted have already been dropped for extreme lack of attendance, and are therefore no longer my problem. Except there's this silly little instructor retention percentage to contend with and meetings with said administration to find ways of boosting student retention. Sigh.

But enough of that. I have exams to write. I discovered a great book by Douglas Cazort called Under the Grammar Hammer, and I have presented it in my Developmental and Business English classes using this handout (apologies for the link to the blog-- the handout is a pdf and I wasn't sure how to attach it to my own journal.)

At any rate, if anyone still remembers me fondly and feels inclined to butcher some English in a good cause, I am finding it harder than it looks to deliberately commit particular grammatical sins. It's even harder to commit sins obvious enough for my students to pick up which rule is being broken. If you think you have what it takes, please reply to this post.

Also, If anyone has a good web resource for generating sentences that can be stolen for exams with impunity, I'd love to hear about that, as well. I had a most uncomfortable discussion with a student about plagiarism recently, but I still caught myself contemplating stealing practice sentences later the same day. Funnily enough, the Cincinnati Enquirer often has ready made mangled sentences there for the taking.

Hope everyone is well. I'll check in again in about a week and a half. Love to all.

(ps-- things with my Beloved are still going quite well.)

Update: I've decided to try to write sentences on how hard it is to write bad sentences, and what my high school English teacher, god rest her soul,'s reaction would have been. Kind of a narrative, using the different rules. I'll put it all out, behind a friends lock when I get done....
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