lunadelcorvo: (Default)
So, real life entry! Been a pretty good week, actually. This is my last full week of uni classes (thank goodness!) though my HS/MS classes will go through the end of May. 

The yard is pretty much stabilized, so if I can keep up with the few weeds/vines that pop up for a few more weeks, I think I will have a good handle on it not becoming a jungle again! Imagine: I might even be able to USE my patio! Who'dd'a thunk it???

The niblet is in the Chamber Choir at his HS, and last night they did an amazing rendition of Gabriel Fauré's Requiem with the choir and orchestra. There were a few squeakers from the orchestra, but it was a really good performance, especially for such an incredibly complicated piece! I'm so proud of that kid I could burst sometimes. Of course I was geeking out all over the place that they did it in Latin...LOL

Otherwise, I'm just waiting for the weekend! I have a pretty big stack of grading to do, but I should have a good bit of downtime, too. And we should be back to our D&D campaign, which is a lot of work (I'm the DM, and it's an all-original campaign), but a heckuva lot of fun! Mostly, though I'm looking forward to sleeping!

I adore my HS/MS teaching; the school is amazing, the kids are fantastic, I can throw pretty much anything at them and they will tackle it head on. But OMG, I am so not a morning person! At least they start a bit later than Niblet's school, but I still have to get up to get him up, and even so, it's not by much. :( *yawn* Sooooooo sleepy.....
lunadelcorvo: (Summer light)
So, I will try to inaugurate my return to LJ not with a meme or quiz, as has been my wont, but with...just life. Here we go!

I'm done with classes for the summer. I got me evaluations, and they are pretty good. My numbers are still above national, institutional, and departmental averages. As far as comments, it's a mix, as it usually is. And it's rarely a surprise, either. There will be one or tow disengaged students that will whine about too much reading, too much writing, too hard, etc. Welcome to college! I'm a big pussycat compared to some of the best instructors I had; count your blessings, you lazy sots! The enthusiastic students will be complimentary, and occasionally offer legit critique or advice, which I actually welcome. The rest can barely be bothered to fill out the eval at all, and therefore refrain from comment. All my peer faculty assessments are glowing, so I'm tickled, all in all!

I'm doing this thesis thing (again!). Still not 100% sure WHY I'm putting myself through the thesis process again, but it's gong well, if slowly. I'm trying to use COMM theory to analyze early illustrated manuscripts of Dante's Divine Comedy. COMM theory is resisting. I'm (slowly) persevering. Good news is, once I beat the theory into submission, the rest is cake; I can talk Dante all day long!

I'm teaching the Photoshop summer camp for the third year, and I seem to have picked up two more, as well: websites and movies (egad! wish em luck on those; I know how to do both, but necessarily how to teach middle schoolers!). But it's quick and easy money, so no complaints!

Otherwise, I am chilling and enjoying the summer! Rather unlike many parents I talk to, I am actually thrilled when my kid is out of school; I hate sending him back in the fall! Although, we are really excited about this fall. He's going to a very small private school that bases its educational framework on classical education and Socratic method. They are amazing, and I am hoping this is what the Niblet needs. He's SO damned smart, but he hates school, largely because he sees he's getting crap for education. Here's hoping this gives him something to sink his teeth into!

So that's it. I'm relaxing between wrestling matches with the thesis, gaming a bit, doing a little Latin and Art with the Niblet, and just living. I like summer. :)
lunadelcorvo: (Compass Rose Collage)
So finished all my teaching classes, except for finals (and grading of course - ugh!) Also finished up my grad media class! W00t! That was a fun class - did my semester research paper on Dragon Age, which was a lot of fun! (Any game geeks that want to wade through 30-odd pages of academic/geek speak, I'm happy to share...)

I still have a Latin final, but that's no big deal (I have a LOT of studying to do tho! Eeek!)

Speaking of Latin, I also have discovered a wonderful possibility for the niblet for hight school! It's a classical academy, and they base their teaching around Latin, Greek, the Socratic method, and a solid foundation in classic and classical literature. It's a challenging atmosphere, but it's really small, and I think he'd respond well. He's been so disenchanted with school, it's kind of heartbreaking, so I'm really hopeful about this!

In other, sadder news, we lost the grand matriarch of the family last weekend. She was my son's great, great grandmother, and a Winchester, no less! (Yes, those Winchesters...) Not many people get to say they spent time with 5 generations of family in one room! At 104 years old, she was still sharp as a tack, full of piss and vinegar, but equally full of laughter and wit, and a character like only she could be. What an amazing woman. I guess I had sort of started to think she'd be around forever... Here's to you, Sudie; we'll miss you, but with fondness.
lunadelcorvo: (Default)
Good heavens' people! Does LJ even *want* customers anymore? *headdesk*

Well, other than that rant, not much going on here. Niblet finished Shakespeare camp, where he spent two weeks working on acting, improv, etc. and having a thoroughly grand time. The two-week camp finished with an abridged production of Midsummer Night's Dream, where the kids chose their favorite acts, and re-wrote the dialog to reflect their understanding of its meaning, but framing it in their own context. So for example, when Helena and Hermia fight, the unfriend each other on Facebook. It was awesome!

Niblet played Lysander (one of the two lovers) and Operon, King of the Fairies. He did great! I know I am biased (parent's job, after all) but I really think he had the most presence of anyone on stage. I think I have an actor on my hands!

Otherwise, we are resting up from the amazing Midsummer party at a friend's house, hiding from the heat, and generally taking it easy. Oh, and I am selling two tracotrs on eBay. Uh, yeah, you read that right, LOL. DH works with an organic farm doing this and that, ond one of the things that needed doing was unloading two tractors. Being the resident eBay queen, this became my job. But hey, I get a handsome cut, so sure, I can sell tractors. So if you ever wanted a tractor, I can hook you up here!

Oh and I am playing the living daylights out of Neverwinter Nights 2. Love it, love it love it!
lunadelcorvo: (Quixotic Klimt Forest)
The Niblet has been accepted into a super Middle School program! The school district changed our home school after we bought our hose, and placed us in an awful Middle School. So we had to apply to a 'magnet program' to get into the school a block away from where I teach. He had to get recommendations, write an essay - it was practically like applying to college! But he got in, and I am so proud of him! It's a great program that really plays to his academic strengths. And by the end of next year, the program will be accredited as part of the International Baccalaureate (http://www.ibo.org/)!

In other news, Niblet and I are going to Panama this year, and he is terribly excited. About the trip, but also because he gets to miss the last week and a half of school! Turns out we can handle this as an 'academic enrichment absence,' which will be perfect as he head into his International Studies Magnet Program!

On the topic of the Niblet, I spent last Thursday chaperoning an all-day field trip by the entire fifth grade. Whew! What a day that was! The morning on a riverboat (paddle-wheeler, even), followed by a movie at the performing arts center, then a four block walk to the history museum for a scavenger hunt through time. It was a lot of fun, but I have 12 kids under my personal supervision (Niblet included) and by the end of it, we were exhausted!

I gave my final today, and returned the graded research papers. Pretty mixed batch this time - a few good ones and some....wow. Now I just have stack of finals to grade and I'm done with another semester! Seems easier on this side of the desk, at least this time of the semester! When I'm agonizing over how to get through everything I need to get through, or how to fill up all my class time it's...less so.

I was dismayed to find we had something like quarter sized hail, but as it turns out, the garden didn't take too much damage. Lost a few been sproutlings, but nothing else. Even my newly leafing roses seem unscathed.

This came about during a rather odd show we all went to see. A show consisting of performing cats. yes, you read that right, performing house-cats. The Amazing Acro-Cats! It was very strange, much like one light expect from a troupe of performing cats! There was even a band, the RockCats, which consisted of four cats and a chicken. Yes, a chicken. Entertaining, but very, very, strange.

Other than that, not too much to report....
lunadelcorvo: (Summer Violets)
I read every day, but I find it seems to take ever so much less time than it used to. Well, OK, I'll toss a post out here, maybe it will spur a blogging renaissance!

Really, I've been out in the yard most every day that I'm not teaching, and some of those days, too! The food garden is going great - it's almost all planted and starting off nicely. This years crops will, if all goes well, include several kinds of lettuce, spinach, cabbage, broccoli, radishes, kohlrabi, celery, kale, mustard greens, green beans, lima beans, cucumbers, green and red peppers, 5 varieties of tomatoes, and pumpkins. I'm still trying to find a spot to toss in some squash, too. I also have loads of herbs, many of which came back strong from last year. I have chive, sage, oregano, two mints, tarragon, rosemary, thyme, parsley, savory, lavender, chamomile, and catnip.


For the flower garden and the beds on front, I've scattered some of the perennial herbs there instead of the raised beds. There they can spread all they like, and not crowd out the edibles. I've also planted four old English roses (an Eglantyne, an Alnwyck and two Crocus Roses (That's the Eglantyne pictured here). I am so anxious to see how they develop! I have the four grouped around the birdbath, with asian lillies in front, the lilac to one side, and a reddish-pink Knockout Rose (that I'm not actually too fond of, but it was a gift) on the other, and assorted this and that in front. I even found a small patchouli! How awesome if that really takes off!

And along the ugly chain fence (on the side where the redneck neighbor parks his tow trucks - yuk!) I'm putting in a hedgerow of double pink and blush Knockout Roses. My shade garden is sort of languishing because the soil back there is awful, but it's limping along. The bleeding hearts and lillies of the valley came back when I'd have sworn they were done for. I've been composting and mulching the bejayzuz out of it, so if I can keep them going this summer, I think by next the soil will have started to get better. (Go, worms!) The foxglove and monkshood seem to be going like gangbusters, though - yay! (Yes, it's a rather toxic little garden patch....)

But perhaps the best gardening news of all: Niblet is old enough to cut the grass! W00t! We don't have much, and are working on mulching over a lot of that, but until then, it's no longer my job! Yay!

More on non-gardening topics soon, promise, and pics as soon as things start coming up!
lunadelcorvo: (Halloween Pumpkin)
Well, here it is, the Niblet's costume for this year:


(Didn't I tell you it was a blast! *ba-dum-rimshot*)

Seriously, it was his idea, and I think it was a great one. It was pretty easy, a lot of fun to make, and he was thrilled. Truthfully, I think this costume got a better reaction than most, and he's gotten some big reactions! And of course, he got a sh*t-ton of loot - I'll be taking in a bucket to my classes tomorrow and haven't really made a dent. Cute, creative costume + cute kid + super sweet, polite kid = candy overload!

All in all, it was a great evening, a gorgeous night, and a wonderful time had by all!
lunadelcorvo: (Halloween Samhain)
I can scarcely believe that it is here so soon, but once again, the wheel turns, the days grow short, the light grows golden, and the veil grows thin. I know, the time one considered the new year is somewhat arbitrary - calendar, season, how to mark it? Samhain has always seemed to make the most sense to me. As we cross the divide between autumn into winter, as crops die back, and the night overmatches day, we enter a liminal time. With the verdancy of summer past, and the slow and thoughtful reawakening of Yule yet ahead, it is a fallow time, though not an empty one. It is a time to turn inwards, to recall, to reevaluate, to look back and tally what we have done over the living, growing months. With such reflection comes adjustment, planning, and in the months ahead the future begins to take shape in our thoughts, out intentions, so that when the balance shifts and the nights shrink again, we are ready to birth something new.

Yes, I'm thinking a lot about Mom today (as always), and I will light a candle for her this evening. But so far I am remembering her with smiles and good memories more than tears. (Honestly, I think Christmas will be the hardest time to get through since her loss.) For now, she's with me, a voice in my memory, especially as I get the niblet's costume finished. (She always seems to come around when I get crafty; she's the one who taught me so much and got me started on the arty/crafty side of things! I swear she was about while I was helping with the first-ever 'school project diorama' too!) Costume pics soon, but I can tell you, this year's costume was all his idea, and...well, it's a blast!

I hope all of you are having a ghoulishly good day, and I wish you all a Happy Halloween & Blessed Samhain.
lunadelcorvo: (Geek is Sexy Willow)
OK, yes, I am one of those (likely insufferable) geeks who actually gets a huge charge out of going to lectures at symposia and universities and such. (Shocked, aren't you?) Well, I just got a double dose of October geek heaven!

October 6: Eastern KY University, Chautauqua Lectures: Richard Dawkins, "The Magic of Reality"

October 10: University of Kentucky Boone Symposium: Bart Ehrman, "Are Faith and History Compatible?"

*dances happily* Dawkins everyone knows (love or hate him, everyone knows him!) but Ehrman is a prominent scholar of Biblical textual history. His specialty is in researching the history of the Bible AS a text, with all its inconsistencies, edits, mistakes, etc. In fact, he started out as a fundie, but from years of studying the texts of the Bible, he became an agnostic. I've read several of his books, including two specifically recommended to me by Dr. Slavin, whom you may recall is one of my all-time favorite professors. (In fact, I think I will e-mail him and let him know about the lecture.)

I am terrifically excited! I'm also offering my students extra credit for going to either one if they bring proof and write a short summary/reaction paper to the talk(s). Best of all, Niblet is going too, and he, too is very excited.

w00t!
lunadelcorvo: (Blush)
So my son has discovered Battlestar Galactica. No, not the much (possibly 'over') -hyped SyFy series that aired a couple of years back. I mean the original (dare I say 'real?'*) Battlestar Galactica. Oh, and now he's on an A-Team kick, too. (Also the original, natch. Gotta love Netflix Watch Instantly.)

It's....nice to see it again, if a little embarrassing. It's homey and comfy and awkward all at once. Much like going back to your high school reunion, I imagine. For one thing, it was all so real, so dramatic, so...epic back then. Now I have to admit, it's sort of cheesy. Endearingly cheesy, but still. This is where some of the embarrassment comes in, I suppose.

Then there's the remembered girl-crush. Oy. I mean, Starbuck, on whom I will confess I had a heck of a crush (the cigar-smoking, sexy, womanizing Starbuck, that is), still looks darn good in the reruns. Then I remember he is now 65. This is a hard pill to swallow.

Still, I have to say the past is pretty cool. But I really wish I could visit for real...

*You gotta allow me this one, sorry. I know, I'm totally dating myself, but I grew up on the first series. It was seminal, formative, precious.
lunadelcorvo: (Where is all this stuff written?)
(Albeit a bulleted one)
  • We are moved! Well, mostly. There are still a few carloads of gods-know-what in the storage room at the old place. I am having to leave this up to others, as I have really messed up my wrists & elbows painting, packing, fixing, scrubbing, lifting.... DH has really been a champ; I don't know how he does it, and I'm afraid he's going to drop any second.... But - we have a new home, and we love it, so things are groovy on that front! Squee! (Yes, new house piccies when you can see something other than boxes!)

  • Mom is doing better. In fact, you'd hardly know she went through any of it. She still is a little shaky on her feet, and her back is a bit touchier than before, but even that's getting better with time. She even made it out to the Irish Fest with Niblet and I this weekend.

  • Niblet is loving school like wow! he's having to actually work a little, and I think that's a good thing! He's also loving the new house, and has developed a real passion for celtic music - I thought he'd murder me if we didn't get the the Irish fest Right. This. Minute. LOL! I'm glad; music is a good passion to have, and I'm so happy it's one we share.

  • The semester goes.... well it goes. Italian is actually a lot of fun, and I seem to be picking it up pretty easily. And hey, no papers! Italian Ren Art is fine; the instructor is very passionate and kind of fun, so I'm enjoying it immensely. First test comes back today; let's see if it likes me, too! Theory is...interesting. Some very different persepctives, but I have a paper idea that I think will be fun to do, which the prof seems to like as well. This is a good thing since....

  • Committee? What committee? I have no thesis and no committee. *sigh* Not going to go into it here/now, just busy working in plan B. Which may involve that paper I mentioned for theory class. So, there's that. What a crazy thing this MA is turing out to be....(Please, gods, can I be done nao?)
So, great stuff, good stuff, insane stuff.... sounds like life as usual for the Raven.... More details on all when I have a)time b)sleep c)answers d)all of the above.*

(*You do know it's 'd,' right?)
lunadelcorvo: (Preschool toys)
(credit goes to [livejournal.com profile] greysong, who posted this some time ago.)
For those with No children - this is totally hysterical!
For those who already have children past this age - this is hilarious.
For those who have children at this age - this is not funny. (actually, I think it's hysterical, too. ed.)
For those who have children nearing this age - this is a warning.
For those who have not yet had children - this is a form of birth control!

1. A king size waterbed holds enough water to fill a 3 bedroom house about 4 inches deep.

2. If you spray hair spray on a nylon duster and then run over it with roller skates / blades, they can ignite.

3. A 3-year olds voice is louder than 200 adults in a crowded restaurant.

4. If you hook a dog leash over a ceiling fan, the motor is not strong enough to rotate a 42 pound boy wearing Batman underwear and a Superman cape. It is strong enough, however, if tied to a paint can, to spread paint on all four walls of a large room.

5. You should not throw balls up when the ceiling fan is on, using the ceiling fan as a bat, you have to throw the ball up a few times before you get a hit. A ceiling fan can then hit a ball a long way.

6. The glass in windows (even double-pane) doesn't stop a ball hit by a ceiling fan.

7. When you hear the toilet flush and the words "uh oh," it's already too late.

8. Brake fluid mixed with Bleach makes smoke, and lots of it.

9. A six-year old can start a fire with a flint rock even though a 36-year old man says they can only do it in the movies.

10. Certain bits of Lego will pass through the digestive tract of a 4-year old.

11. Play dough and microwave should not be used in the same sentence.

12. Super glue is forever.

13. No matter how much Jell-O you put in a swimming pool you still can't walk on water.

14. Pool filters do not like Jell-O.

15. VCR's do not eject toasted sandwiches even though TV commercials show they do.

16. Garbage bags do not make good parachutes.

17. Marbles in gas tanks make lots of noise when driving and are very expensive to remove.

18. You probably do not want to know what that smell really is.

19. Always look in the oven before you turn it on. Plastic toys do not like ovens.

20. The average response time for the fire dept. is about 20 minutes.

21. The spin cycle on the washing machine does not make earthworms dizzy.

22. It will, however, make cats dizzy.

23. Cats throw up twice their body weight when dizzy.

24. The mind of a 6-year old is a wonderful and amazing thing.
True story: One day the infant school teacher was reading the story of the Three Little Pigs to her class. She came to the part of the story where the first pig was trying to accumulate the building materials for his home.

She read,"..And so the pig went up to the man with the wheelbarrow full of straw and said, "Pardon me sir, but may I have some of that straw to build my house?'" The teacher paused then asked the class,"And what do you think that man said?"

One little boy raised his hand and said, "I think he said...'Holy moly! A talking pig!'"

The teacher was unable to teach for the next 10 minutes.
25. 60% of men who read this will try mixing the bleach and brake fluid.

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Things I need to remember:
• Asking for help is not, as it turns out, fatal.
• Laughing is easier than pulling your hair out, and doesn't have the unfortunate side effect of making you look like a plague victim.
• Even the biggest tasks can be defeated if taken a bit at a time.
• I can write a paper the night before it's due, but the results are not all they could be.
• Be thorough, but focused.
• Trust yourself.
• Honesty, always.

Historians are the Cassandras of the Humanities

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