Sunday, January 19, 2014

I Don't Know

A particularly baffling boy came through the door earlier this week.  He was a Biology major.  Ask me what his grades were in Biology...

So we went through the usual stuff:  the probation contract and what it entails, attempted discussion about why he screwed up last semester, etc.  The problem manifested itself instantly.

So...what do you think went wrong last semester?
I don't know.
No ideas?  Why do you think you failed these Bio classes?
I don't know.
(With a bit of frustration) OK.  So you're here, now, on academic probation.  Any thoughts about that?
I don't know.
(Me, hoping to find some sort of realistic inroad with this guy based on his hopes for his future):  Alright.  So tell me, what are you thinking about doing with your Bio degree after college?
I don't know.
No ideas at all?  Why did you pick this major?
I don't know.
(Very frustrated) You don't know?  OK...does that mean you took the course catalog, flipped through it and put your finger down and picked a major?  (Kid looks up.)  I'm not trying to make fun of you, OK, but this is a difficult major, and people usually have reasons for selecting it.  For instance, they think they want to go on to med school, or their parents think they ought to be a doctor or what have you.
Kid:  I don't know.  It's what my friends were signing up for, so I guess I just did it too.

At this point we signed papers, discussed terms of academic probation and a brief discussion about how if you don't have any idea what you're doing and where you'd like to go, you are likely to end up exactly where you find yourself right now.  He thanked me and left.

Will he get off academic probation?

I don't know.


Saturday, January 18, 2014

My New Joke: Ask Me What The Grades Are...

I'm back, biatches.

And you know why?  It's because I have so much irritation, so much bile, so much...pie-eyed wonder at the stupidity I see on a regular basis, that I had to return to blogging because otherwise I was going to a) explode and b) get in trouble for posting too much on Facebook.

Psuedonymity for the WIN.

So in a nutshell, here's what happened.  I kept working with students.  I kept rocking my job.  Eventually, with a bit of luck and persistence, I landed a position where I have less teaching, more one on one contact with students and more money-dollars.  Sweet.  I have an awesome position and mostly awesome people to work with and there is only one small problem with this job.  It brings me face to face with plenty of folks who refuse to accept reality.

Hence, my new joke.  Here's how it goes.  Student X walks into the office because she or he has to fill out an academic probation contract.  It is just as likely to be a she as a he, in my limited experience.  Let's go with he for now.  He sits down.  I pull up his academic profile -- transcripts, classes taken (and failed), etc.

So what's your major?
How are your grades in Biology?
I failed last semester.
How are your grades in Chemistry?
I failed last semester.  But I did pretty well in some classes.
This says you got an A+ in Bowling.
We don't have a major in bowling.
I know.
So ... what are your plans?  Do you intend to stay in this major?
Yeah. why do you think you failed your Bio classes last semester?
I don't know.  It's hard.  I can't remember all that stuff.  They want you to remember too much.
OK...what about Chemistry?
I can't do the math.
Oh.  So why don't you change your major to something less math heavy?
I want to do Biochemistry.
But you can't do Biochemistry.
Yes I can.
Not according to last semester.
Last semester doesn't reflect who I am as a student.
Yes, it does, actually.  It's a written record of exactly who you were as a student last semester.

This joke works for every single academic probation case I've seen so far.  Geology major?  Ask me what her grades are in Geology.  Criminology major?  Ask me what his grades are in Crim.

But they all get an A+ in Bowling.

-- DV

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

True Wealth

I've been bitched at to start blogging again, and I truly have gotten out of the habit of it, partly because of the end of semester stuff I had to do and partly because I fell in love with an online war game, lol. But as I was cruising YahooNews, I found this article, and I felt compelled to write, mainly because it seems so timely with what I'm reading right now, Simple Prosperity by David Wann, the co-author of Affluenza (a great read). The article looks at how rich people across the world measure what wealth really means.

Some of the findings are:


Asians and Latin Americans were more likely (49% and 47%) to say that wealth "allows me to get respect from friends and family." Only 28% of Europeans and 38% of Americans said respect was a byproduct of wealth.


About three-quarters of respondents in the U.S. and Latin America said wealth enabled them to give to charity. That compares with 57% in Europe and 66% in Asia.


About two thirds of Europeans and Americans said wealth made them happy. But it had a greater happiness affect in emerging markets, with 76% of Asians and Latin Americans saying wealth made them happy.

Role Models

Less than half of Americans and Europeans say the wealthy "set an important example to others to be successful." That compares with 71% of Latin Americans and 61% of Asians.


Wealthy Europeans are far more likely to spend their dough on travel and interior decorating. Latin Americans seem to put the highest spending priority on education, while the U.S. surges above the rest in philanthropy (which the report counts as spending).

We can read several things into the differences. Most obviously, the U.S. has a more formalized and tax-favorable system of philanthropy than the rest of the world. (It is too sweeping to say Americans are the most "generous.")

What is more, the global financial crisis may have tarnished the image of the wealthy -- even among the wealthy. And finally, the longer a country has wealth, the less it craves the attention and respect wealth brings.

I think there are some interesting things to think about in terms of why people think wealth should give respect, what wealth "buys", etc. Especially since in this article, wealth itself is associated with lots of money and financial assets. Many people would probably list more money as something that would make them happier, but when you ask them what they would use the money for, you'd probably find that what people really want is security, happiness, opportunities and more education.

Houses are a good example, as they are considered most Americans' primary asset. I don't think I'd want a super expensive home, even if I could afford one. The house I'm in now, the first one I've ever owned, I got for a fantastic price. It's in a small and close-knit neighborhood, my utility bills are wa-a-ay lower than the crappy apartment I used to live in, the basement was completely redone by the friend who owned it first. That friend worked very hard to make sure the house was well insulated and kept up. The basement used to be a wet, smelly, dank and dark mess. Now it has a full bedroom, bathroom, and living space -- completely dry, bright, and wonderful. We worked hard as friends to put together a deal that benefited us both, and we largely kept lawyers and real estate agents out of it. I'm proud we were able to do that as friends. The house has character and a connection with people I love, who moved away. It's on 2 1/2 city lots, so I have a yard, a garden, and lots of trees. I can look out my kitchen window and see the tops of my neighbors houses and also the West Virginia mountains. Every window has a "view". The house is only about 1450 square feet -- 725 on both floors -- and yet because of the way it is laid out and the work my friend put into it, there are still enough bedrooms for everyone plus a guest, living and relaxing space, a space for family meals, a pantry, a bathroom for a preening almost teenage boy. It's seven blocks from the center of town, and the bus stops a few feet away. It is considered a financial asset. But it means so much more than that to me.

I consider my home a different kind of wealth, because it's where we're so happy to be at the end of the day. It's the place where said preening nearly teenaged son cooked his first meal entirely from scratch and served everyone, and was sooo proud. It is the place where we sit at the kitchen table and talk about math, pull our hair out, and talk about it some more. It's the place where we turn out the lights so said teenage-ish boy can ask about girls without being looked at. It is a breezy ceiling-fan, cat stretching in sunlight, good book on the deck kind of place.

Selling it for the $120,000 I bought it for would not buy those things.

Giving to charity is another example. I am happy that the wealthy see that as something they enjoy doing, and money makes a big difference. But so does giving time and energy and getting to know the real problems in your own neighborhood. I think watching Dante decide he was going to give the charity money he'd saved up to the group that spays and neuters animals to control the population was just as valuable as a $500,000 donation; because he was thinking about community problems, what he was interested in and that some money should be prioritized for those things. The people I've worked with in a volunteer sort of way, we've all benefited by being together and "spending" time. We all get reinforced by knowing that there are others who do care, and that spending your time makes a difference, and that small differences are just as important as big, earth shattering differences. We got to know the people who need the services we were working to provide in a way that an impersonal check does not allow. We found out that many of those people were just like us, and that the margin between safety and tragedy is often pretty slim. That sort of thing is priceless.

And would I love to slap down money and go somewhere expensive? Sure, I guess -- never tried it before! :D And I'm sure that sailing around the Greek isles in your private yacht is great. But, next year we're going to India to see BatMite!, which I'm so excited about. We'll get to eat things and see things and connect with another culture, and we're going as a group of friends to see a dear, dear friend. I cannot think of a richer experience. That winter I plan on being in Nicaragua, looking at volcanoes, trying to speak Spanish and visiting coffee plantations. I will be going for probably less than $2000, maybe even less than $1500 with pennies I've put back from the way-below-average teacher's pay I get. I'm sure it will be every bit as fulfilling and enriching.

I'm not suggesting we all hate on the rich, or that the rich should be ashamed, although I think there are cases to be made for that sort of thing in some circumstances. What I am suggesting is that it's beyond time that we as a culture reconsider what it means to be "wealthy" and what we think we want our money to really buy for us. There are ways of enriching one's life that has nothing to do with one's bank account, 401k or property holdings, and everything to do with how vital the life one has really is. How do you count your wealth?

-- DV

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Burning Strawmen

*Edited to add, I have no idea why the font screws up. Tried to fix it, can't. Sorry.*

So, it's been a while. There's lots to update, including the fact that in a couple of months I hope to work on an exciting new website (to me). But for now, here's a little something I got some fun out of. My sister works in a very conservative environment. Honestly, she works in a tea party environment most of the time (someone gave her Sarah Palin's biography as a birthday present). So she sends me a good number of the email forwards she gets from her coworkers along with little notes like, "God, this makes me so aggravated!!!" My sister is not a "liberal." She is a classic independent, in my opinion, meaning that she makes her mind up on each and every issue based on her own ethics, and not because a party mouthpiece tells her to vote a certain way. We have good conversations about politics.

So when she sent me this forward totally strawmanning conservative and liberal positions, I couldn't help myself, being the teacher of rhetoric that I am. I'm sure most of you know what a strawman argument is, but for those of you who don't, this is how I explain it (keep in mind I'm a "layman's terms" teacher). Strawmen fallacies mean that someone has created a highly simplistic version of the argument that leaves out most of the context, so that they can then whale on that simplistic (and untrue) argument with a bat and beat the stuffing out of it. Instead of addressing the actual person/argument, they've built one out of straw and stuck it up in the garden, hoping it would scare people away or so they could set fire to it and think "Hah! I showed you, look at how it burns! Your argument is totally in flames!" I know that's a whole lot of metaphor, but hopefully that makes sense. For your entertainment, I present what she got and then my response to it. Feel free to add your own contribution!
If a conservative doesn't like guns, he doesn't buy one.
If a liberal doesn't like guns, he wants all guns outlawed.
If a conservative is a vegetarian, he doesn't eat meat..
If a liberal is a vegetarian, he wants all meat products banned for everyone.
If a conservative is homosexual, he quietly leads his life.
If a liberal is homosexual, he demands legislated respect.
If a
conservative is down-and-out, he thinks about how to better his situation.
A liberal wonders who is going to take care of him.
If a conservative doesn't like a talk show host, he switches channels.
Liberals demand that those they don't like be shut down.
If a conservative is a non-believer, he doesn't go to church.
A liberal non-believer wants any mention of God and religion silenced.
(Unless it's a foreign religion, of course!)
If a conservative decides he needs health care, he goes about shopping for it, or may choose a job that provides it.
A liberal demands that the rest of us pay for his.
If a conservative reads this, he'll forward it so his friends can have a good laugh.
A liberal will delete it because he's "offended".
Well, I forwarded it to you.
Here's my response:

1. If a conservative doesn't like guns, he's too ashamed to not renew his NRA (National Rifle Association) membership, because otherwise he'll be told he's unAmerican. Besides, the militia needs every hand they can get, since Obama is coming after all our guns. Any day now. Seriously. It's right around the corner.

2. If a conservative is a vegetarian, he can never reveal it, because then he might be labeled as one of those "tree hugging hippies" by other True Conservatives (TM). Also, see number one and attach it to hunting, because everyone knows the bigger the antlers mounted on a conservative's living room wall, the bigger the peenie in his pants.

3. If a conservative is homosexual, he has three choices. He can join the Log Cabin Republicans (oh, snap, we don't like to talk about that branch of the Republican party, do we??), he can sneak off for some quickie sex in the men's bathroom, where he somehow has managed to learn all the "code" for "gimme some now," or he can hit on underage interns and page boys. He has stellar role models for all three options. Bonus points if he can take the fourth underutilized option and claim that Satan tested him and he failed, but he totally has cured Teh Ghayy now with the love of Jesus.

4. If a conservative is down and out, he will somehow find a way to blame it on Bill Clinton.

5. If a conservative doesn't like a talk show host ... wait a minute? You mean there are other talk show hosts besides Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity? LOL, that's just crazy talk, mister.

6. If a conservative is a non-believer, he better not dare show it, as he'll again be labeled unAmerican. After all, the founding fathers all believed in Christianity, even though their own personal papers show they were mainly deists with a variety of beliefs. If a conservative thinks there is something wrong with church tax breaks for groups that molest kids and steal their congregation's money, praying in school even though a Muslim call to prayer would probably give him an instant aneurism, or any of the other ways that church and state are really not separate, even though that's what the founding fathers really wanted, he might be considered an atheist! And everyone knows that atheists are communists, so we can't have that.

7. If a conservative needs health care, he gets prayed over by his preacher, has a laying on of hands and is healed through the spirit of the Lord. Duh!

8. If a conservative reads this, he'll stop and think about making stawmen arguments about "liberals", since it doesn't feel very good when it's done to you. Oh, who are we kidding? He'll probably just delete it and turn the volume on Rush Limbaugh back up.

I realize this will piss off my conservative friends, but I don't care. More of you need to explain to them the concept of the "strawman" fallacy and why it isn't good to use it.

-- DV

Thursday, February 18, 2010

In Other News, I'm Still a High Schooler

And I still hate Facebook, but this is related to it. There are lots of people, especially from high school who either try to friend you or pop up as friend choices on your screen. Most of the time it just amuses me -- we didn't hang out in high school because we had nothing in common. Why would we hang out now? It's not like you've tried to contact me in the past nearly 15 years, so why are we pretending to care now? So, most of the time I just ignore them.

But this week, I decided to have an internet fight.

I got a friend request from a former friend in high school who married my then best friend -- and proceeded to abuse and break her down over the next several years. I found out about it through the grapevine, as by then I was booted out of the church and my then "best" friend made no attempt to keep in touch or deal with me. I was JW Kryptonite then (now on the border of being upgraded to radioactive status); but when you say, "This doesn't change a thing," personally I assume you mean it. Goes to show me.

Anyway, former said bff and I reconnect via Facebook -- I contacted her first, because I feel the need to point that out, being petty and whatnot. She filled me in on some of the gory details. Then a couple of weeks later, her ex sends me a friend request. I went 16 - 17 years old all over again. Who knew? I thought those days were behind me.

Back in high school I had quite the mouth, as you might imagine. Actually, imagine a chihuahua and you'll have the whole picture. No, that's not quite right. Chihuahuas can be hushed by tapping on their heads or a good stamp of the feet. I was more like a Jack Russell terrier. Once I was obsessed with a problem or a perceived injustice or whatever, I barked my head off and wouldn't let it go. I once saw a dog owner absolutely flatten a Jack Russell terrier with its shock collar (not a big fan of that practice); it got right back up and snarled that much harder. That was pretty much me. JR terriers are absolutely one of the most annoying breeds on the face of the planet. I recognize that I am, too. I point this out, because it's not like it was a secret in high school. It was one of the most recognizable features of my personality -- don't fuck with Virgil's friends or sister or whatever, and she won't develop an obsession with biting your ankles off or barking at you until you jump out of a second story window. It wasn't a mystery.

I'm a lot more mellow than I used to be. I take the time to investigate before I decide there has been some injustice committed or some perceived slight. El Hijo will tell you that sometimes I rage around the house before I get to that stage, and he's right. Now that I look back on it, it's just what my father used to do -- stomp around bitching about it for a while before sitting down and saying, "OK, now let me figure this thing out." And when I do figure it out, I take more time in plotting my revenge .. er, .. I mean, I think the situation through before I do anything. This is much better than Before Adulthood.

In the era of Dante's Virgil B.A., things like this would happen. I would walk down the hall as a junior, in between classes, and then -- lo and behold! -- some Kentucky numbnut had taken one of my girlfriends by the throat and shoved her up against a locker. I remember that incident because it was probably the time I was most violent in my life, and it was weird. I remember some parts of it very clearly, and then there was this black space where I have no idea what the hell happened, and then it's clear again. I think they call that Rage. I distinctly remember thinking that when (not if) I struck him, I was going to have to go for his temple, because if I didn't incapacitate him before he knew what was happening, his black belt stuff would whip my ass. I also decided to use my World History book, it having the sharpest corners. I remember throwing my stuff down apart from that, breaking into a run, and yelling, "You motherfucker, I'm going to fucking kill you, you piece of fucking shit." That might be a paraphrase, but I'm pretty sure that's what I said, because I had a "battle whoop" before I went into these things. I remember connecting the corner of my book with the side of his head.

I don't remember anything that happened in between except for the sound of someone's voice floating overhead: "Virgil's killing Bill!" This is pre-Quinton Tarrantino, and yes his name was really Bill. I don't remember hitting him apart from the crack to the side of the head. There's all this black space with whoever it was yelling that. The next thing I know, two of my other friends have me by the arms off to the side saying, "Virgil, it's OK, no problem, just take a breath," and all this other weird stuff, I'm cursing up a storm, and Bill was nowhere to be seen. I'm not really sure what happened, but I never caught him doing that sort of thing at school, at least, ever again.

The second incident I remember happened when I was a senior. My sister was dating a piece of shit, and I saw him shove her up against a locker. What is it with high school boys and lockers? So, of course, I came flying and screeching some variation of "You piece of shit, if I catch you, I'm going to beat the holy hell out of you!?!" and throwing books at him. I connected with one in the back, but he had a lead on me before I could get him, and I chucked the rest of them from above at him as he ran down the stairs. Later, I called him and told him that if he ever came within 50 feet of my sister again, I'd take out a restraining order on him. And I told him if he ever touched her again, I'd kill him. I don't know why I picked 50 feet instead of 60 or 45 feet. It just seemed like a good number. And I meant it about killing him. He laughed, and I told him to "Try me," basically. I could've probably frozen Clint Eastwood's blood with it. I remember at the time I hated this boy's guts for touching my sister like that. It probably came out like, "Go ahead, punk. Make my day."

The next day, my sister came running up to me in tears, screaming, "Darren won't talk to me anymore, he won't even come near me. What did you do?! I hate you! I HATE you!" My work there was done.

Then there was the time I ran my best friend's rapist out of town. I could go on and on.

The point is, I did not respond well to people who threatened or hurt the people I cared about. Not at all. This is not a mystery, and it's one of the things about me that has generally remained constant through the years. The delivery mechanism might have changed. I've got a son I'd like to stay with, not spend time in jail for murder. But the things that trigger the terrier are still the same.

So, this numbnut asks permission to friend me. And I partially regress to my 16/17 y.o. self. Here is what I sent back:

You've got to be shitting me. Seriously? I'm assuming you remember me from high school. I'm assuming you remember what I value in life and what I don't. If you don't remember, I can refresh your memory and keep it simple for you.

I don't like woman beaters and abusers. I never have, I never will. I especially don't like it when they curry favor with those around the woman they chose to abuse, in an attempt to steal or cut off support from her, or to make themselves look like anything less than what they are -- cowardly, craven, abusive, pathetic, social wastes of space.

Don't even bother trying to deny the things you've done. It's common knowledge and easy to find out from multiple sources. Hell, I found out about it without even talking to her. You're really lucky that she didn't tell the male members of her family the full details of what you did. I'm not sure why she didn't, except that she did you a favor.

I have no idea why you thought friending me was a smart idea, given the context and given that you knew me pretty well in high school. How did you think I was going to react? Did you really think I'd just be all, "Sure! Wow, I'm really glad to talk to you again after all these years, even though you made my high school best friend's life fucking miserable for a few of them?" You're lucky we're not still 17 years old and therefore not able to be legally charged as adults. You'd need every inch of that black belt. You're lucky I'm an adult and value other things in life much more than the temporary pleasure it would give me to try and beat your ass. From what I hear, I'd have to stand in line anyway. Which I would gladly do, by the way. I'd queue up in a heartbeat.

So fuck you. I'm not interested in being your Facebook friend.

I think that's better than "You motherfucker, I'm going to fucking kill you, you piece of fucking shit."

If he's smart, he'll just let it go. If he's not, and I'm betting "not," he'll try to defend himself or get something else in. At that point, I might ask him to call Bill.

"Your message has been sent" never felt so good.

-- DV

Thursday, February 04, 2010

FaceBook Update -- I Still Don't Like It

Big surprise, I know. Recently I bit the bullet and got more active on Facebook. I've been on FB for a while, but kind of in a secret, hidey, spying kind of way. OK, I'll admit that Farmville was a huge part of the draw for me to come back. But also because some of my former students kept needling me about it, and I realized that if I ever wanted a chance of staying in touch with them, I probably ought to be more active on Facebook.

I have really mixed feelings about Facebook.

Part of it has to do with the fact that to really participate in it, you kind of have to give up your psuedonysm on the internet. And I don't like that. For one thing, there are all kinds of articles about universities and employers snooping on people's Facebook pages. In fact, I use those articles as part of my Spring Rhetoric courses. My students' dorm resident assistants try to friend them on FB because they are encouraged by their superiors to snoop on the students' pages to see if there are pics of them doing things they're not supposed to do in the dorms. I've had several students kicked out of dorms because of pictures on FB. On the one hand, yeah, they were in the wrong. But on the other hand, they obviously weren't causing a disturbance if the only way they were caught was a pic on FB. Additionally, students in those pics who aren't doing anything wrong also end up getting charged just because they were there, which is completely unfair.

I think my bigger problem is family and FB. Despite my rabble rousing personality, I don't really like drama. I like raising a fuss when some right is being violated or justice and equality are being trampled on, blah blabbity blah. But otherwise, I don't really care very much for confrontation. Most of my family, in-laws included, are fairly conservative and religious people. I like being an open atheist. I like bitching about my family from time to time. I'd like to post things about my crappy hometown without expecting to get whined at over it whenever I end up coming home. Frankly, I'd like to think I'm not in the spotlight all the time.

FB also seems to be the place to find all your old high school friends again. First you have to get over the pictures people have posted of themselves. Some people look really fantastic. And some people ... don't. Finding them all seems exciting until you've friended them and then realize that they really haven't changed since high school, and why was it you were friends, again? The friend who was a bossy-pants in high school is still a bossy pants, but this time on Farmville, leaving bossy signs all over her farm about how you should run your farm. LOL. Or, people who aren't really friends at all are busy friending each other to ... what? Have more friends?

Then there is the posting. I'll admit that most of my own posts are Farmville accomplishments, but that's because whenever something good happens to you, if you post it your Farmville friends can potentially get a bonus off of it, too. Most posts, though, seem pretty inane, mine included. Few people post interesting things on FB, and rarely with wit -- I honestly think Twitter has FB beat on that score. You only have so many characters to use, including spacing, so you have to be thoughtful about what you tweet. It seems like micro-micro blogging instead of just ... niceties.

I dunno. Maybe I just need more FB friends. Me and my co-worker-buddy use Ning anyway. :p

-- DV

Oh, and Meg, you are the exception to the rule. Your posts are always interesting. :D

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Why, Hello There!

So, it's been a while. How have you been? Me? Oh, I've been ... well, nuts. Thanks for asking.

We closed on the house, were supposed to move, and then a giant snowstorm hit. So then we rescheduled for the day after the university started back, and the movers came -- and a giant snowstorm hit. We've spent the past 2 1/2 weeks trying to put the house in order. It's most definitely very livable, but we're still not done. I'm planning on trying to finish putting things in order this weekend -- during the middle of the next giant snowstorm. Honestly, though, that's how West Virginia winters are supposed to be. The past few years we've had it pretty mild and have suffered droughts in the warmer periods as a result.

I love my little house. It's probably not everybody's cup of tea and there is probably a great deal of pride of place going on that helps me gloss over its faults, but I am absolutely in love with it, and everybody else who lives there seems to be as well, including the cats. I like what I see when I look out my windows. I love my fully remodeled basement, which makes what looks like a tiny house on the outside doubled in space on the inside. I like the fact that I have an extra city lot attached to mine, which doubles my yard. I love my little deck off the kitchen. I like my showers. I'm in love with my house. Probably a good thing, given its 30 year mortgage.

I have also fallen in love with Freecycle. I've given away excess furniture, books, games, cat stuff, even the boxes we moved with on Freecycle. I cannot say enough about how fantastic that site is. We're planning on using it for the local Boys & Girls Club to get some of the things they need. If you need stuff or want to offload stuff, all it costs you is wading through a few emails and arranging pick up.

After we got moved in, we got sick. All of us. Yay! No rest for the wicked. (Or is it the weary? I think we'd qualify as both.) So I sit here with an industrial box of tissues and Tylenol Cold & Sinus on either side of me. Oh, and in related medical news, the dentist says my wisdom teeth need to come out. So, Spring Break is going to involve Novocain and a visit to I. Yankum, Dentist. Maybe while I'm groggy I'll imagine I'm on a beach somewhere.

Other random notes include the fact that more than one couple I know who've been married for what seems like forever are busy falling apart and divorcing with the new year. Maybe there is something about the concept of resolution that gives people motivation to do it? I guess problems like that brew for years with no resolution, but when couples who seem rock solid begin to crumble, it shakes you a bit. If they couldn't do it, what on earth does it take? El Hijo and I are in a really good place in our marriage. It seems really scary to think that fifteen years later, it'll all blow up. Isn't it supposed to get stronger over time?

Also randomly, I miss having real friends. I don't like drama and I don't like people who keep things from me and hope I won't notice, and I've had my share of both this past week. I think I need to make more of an effort to expand my circle and/or bring back those people who I care about deeply but live apart from or whatever.

Upcoming blog posts include the fact that I published a story, commentary on Facebook, issues with the Humanities, and other minutia that seem to only be interesting to me.

-- DV

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