Wednesday, December 31, 2008


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Thursday, December 25, 2008


So I finally figured out how to add my gmail account to blogger. Changes the way my blog looks slightly but at least now I don't have to sign out of gmail to sign in to my blog.

Talk about a X-mas present.

Hope all your wishes came true. I know my wish came true.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

"I Have Cookie Envy" and Other Randoms Thoughts

Yes, I have cookie envy, check out these beauties.

Maybe I can bake these next week. Check out the recipe here. and hang around for a rockin' Vegan blog.

So it finally hit me that the semester is done. I guess it was the 2 hour brunch I had with three people from school that I enjoy spending time with but don't get to see for extended periods of time, even though I share an office with two of them. Ha!

I also started training my replacement at the Union. I will miss working there, although I really don't have anything to do right now. My last day will be January 9. I have worked there for over 2 years now. Everyone there was so welcoming and warm, I hope that I am able to find a new group of people like that once I move on to my PhD program. Cuz lord knows that is not the way I would describe my other group of coworkers. (For a great example of that group check out this previous post). Don't get me wrong, they are not all like that, its just I like the people I work with at the Union better overall.

I have one week left to study for the GRE. Math book, here I come! All I need is to increase my score by 110 points. I am also reviewing some basic prefixes and suffixes of words to increase my verbal score.

Feeling fat. All my professional looking pants feel tight which is a problem since the wind is pretty cold right now and skirts are no bueno in this weather. (sing song) Someone needs to start hitting the treadmill...

I have to go get an oil change tomorrow. My car is starting to act and sound funny.

Nothing makes you feel more incompetent than trying to stamp the edges of an academic journal with the name of the library. I press in as carefully as possible but when I pull the stamp off, you can barely read the name. You gotta love service assignments in grad school. At least I ordered a new stamp pad for the library. It was delivered yesterday. Maybe that will help.

Still have to finish Christmas shopping. Though I was close to done, turns out not even close.

Tamale making in less that a week. Yay!

Even though school is over, I am still having trouble falling asleep. So tonight, after I finish cooking for a potluck dinner tomorrow, studying for the GRE and picking up my disaster of a room, I will try a hot bath with a "Dream On" ballistic from Lush.

Last thought, is anyone reading my blog anymore? Feels like I am simply typing for my own amusement. Leave a comment, will ya?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Another just Because


When I logged into my email this morning, I had an email that stated the strike has been postponed as both parties are back at the negotiation table. I'm glad I didn't have to make a choice between the union and my students.

In other news, pages left until the end of the semester. Yes, my countdown is in pages rather than hours to go. Time is immaterial at this point.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

UAW Calls A Stike

The United Academic Workers Union, which I belong to and represents me, has been attempting to bargain with the CSU system for a couple months now. Our contract has expired but even before that, they were not honoring the negotiated contract. The main sticking point is that we have a negotiated fee waiver which allows the Teaching Associates, Graduate Assistants and Instructional Student Assistants to work only one job as costs for being a student are drastically lower. How much lower? Depending on your position, lowered anywhere from $700 to $1,700 per semester. As negotiations have reached an impasse, the Union called a strike to begin at 7 am tomorrow morning.

I know there are grammatical errors in this post, I am very upset about this whole situation.

On one hand, I understand that unfair labor practices must cease and the only way to make a strike work is for all members to participate. And the service that TAs, GAs and ISAs provide to the university is invaluable. We teach basic courses for our departments, the ones that generate the most Full Time Enrollment which sets our budget allocation by the university each semester, we run lab sections which are required for the courses and we grade papers for full time professors. And that is just a partial list of our duties. In this economy, a tuition waiver really helps us provide the duties we are hired for AND be good students, the main reason we are on campus. Without fee waivers, may of us are forced to take second, sometimes third jobs. Either that or depend on someone else to help us pay out living expenses. Take a look at me, I live at home to save on living expenses (bless my parents for being willing and able to assist me) AND I have a second job on campus.

On the other hand, I think it is kind of a jackass move to ask for a tuition waiver during a budget crisis. The CSU's stance is that they cannot grant the tuition waiver as it will drastically cut the amount of money coming in through student fees during these tough economic times.

But the part that is really getting me is my sense of duty to my students. Those who teach Tuesday/Thursday classes are fine, finals begin on Thursday. They are done with instruction. But I teach Monday/Wednesday/Friday. And I have 9 students giving their last speech of the semester. If only they had waited one more day! Is it fair to these students to hand them over to someone else to grade their speech when I tell them I am looking for improvement over the course of the semester and then am not there to evaluate how far they came over the course of 15 weeks? Especially since the rest of their classmates got the benefit of my evaluation for this last speech, the hardest speech we require them to take.

I am preparing for the strike, have lesson plans ready and I can go in class on Wednesday to explain what is happening and say goodbye. But it is really bothering me. I really like my students, they have been so wonderful this semester. Everyone who has observed or interacted with my class has commented on how unusually interactive and attentive they are. They are great kids. We have so much fun in class, we spend a lot of time laughing. They are so nervous when they speak, it is fair to throw them a curve ball right before they give their final speech? How am I serving the students by stepping out at the last minute?

But that's the point, isn't it?

Friday, December 05, 2008

My Brother and Me

Here we are: My brother on the left, me on the right.

Ah, good times, good time...