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Lies. Switches. No real explanation of where the candidate wants to go from here (except that it won't be where that "other" guy wants to go). Using polls to show one is up, then the other, back and forth. Unwillingness to work with the "other" side.

News flash...we're all in this together, like it or not. If you can't cooperate and make some concessions or compromise with the "other" side, neither one of you will accomplish anything more than deadlock.

Oh, and special interest groups? Butt out, too.

Give me your stances, unhyped, straight and to the point. Let me, a (relatively) intelligent citizen, make my decision, and stop trying to pull my emotional strings or push my emotional buttons. Because, well, you push and pull too much and things break.

I see disaster no matter which man gets the Presidency. I also see some good possible, no matter which man gets the Presidency. Get over yourselves, and tell me you have a viable plan for what you will do. I don't need to hear what the "other" party did wrong in the past. I want to know how the candidates plan to fix what is wrong, without hearing accusations that the "other" party caused the problem(s) in the first place.

I am so looking forward to the end of political campaigns in the media.


Back to writing

I've not done much writing this past year--except for some editing. With NaNoWriMo coming up, I'm hoping that will kickstart me back into the swing.

End of Semester

Today is the last day of the semester, and the weather is a bit drizzly and cold (but not cold enough to snow, except for some isolated flakes), and that means attendance is down.

Late yesterday, our building principal send out a notice that we are to have hard-copies of our pre- and post-assessment scores for every class that we have, and that they are due to the counseling office before January 5, 2011. (The letter actually says 2010, but even I do that for a couple of months into a new year.) This means I have to go back in my electronic records, find the pre-assessment scores, and print them out. I have the posts already.

My question is, since we're trying to go paperless, why 'n heck are we required to supply hard copies, when the counsellors can just go online and see the scores themselves?

As I once wrote in one of my novels, "Paperwork is the lifeblood of any bureaucracy."

Yes, I'm annoyed. But we do what we have to do.


Five things make a post

1. Having diabetes gives "legitimate" reasons to say "no" to certain foods and drinks. Saying "I don't drink" seems to be less acceptable than "I have diabetes and drinking alcohol tends to raise my blood sugars." I'm not sure why--I mean, really, isn't personal preference a legitimate reason for something?

2. I love being a teacher. This is not to say that I'm completely happy with the way education is going right now, but the act of teaching is really exciting. I just wish we were not also required to be counsellor, police officer, nurse, mommy, parole officer...everything except a teacher.

3. I love writing. I may not get some writing in every day, but in general I manage to get a couple of hundred words on my project every day. I may never be published, bu tit is very freeing to write my thoughts.

4. I sometimes feel like I'm being a hermit. I'm finding I need to come up with reasons to go out and socialize with my neighbors and collegues, or I stat feeling depressed. So making an effort every day to meet and talk with someone is very important to my mental health.

5. I sure like to travel, and I regret that recently my finances have made it more and more diffcult to take the trips I would like to take. If I can manage it this coming summer, I hope to do a trip north, just to travel, and not to go to a conference or something work related. If I do get that opportunity, I may visit some of my LJ friends and FB friends and just enjoy myself for a change.
I found a bunch of questions which I can mix and match to give my ELL students speaking practice. To my great relief, they actually had fun with this activity. Naturally, some got more into the topics than others, but overall I can say this was a plus. Here are today's questions.

1. What is the last thing you watched on TV?
2. When did you last laugh? Do you remember why/at what?
3. What is the last film you saw?
4. What type of music do you like most?
5. What's the farthest-away place you've been?
6. Is there anything going on this weekend?
7. What do you most when you are bored?
8. Can you touch your nose with your tongue?
9. Can you close your eyes and raise your eyebrows?
10. Do you have pets? If so, what kind and how many?

And in the interest of playing this myself...my answers!

1. CSI Las Vegas
2. About 30 minutes ago, and it was at something my neighbor teacher said.
3. Despicable Me
4. "Adult Contemporary"--but I actually like all sorts of music.
5. Yemen
6. Long weekend. I'll probably use at least some of the time to do housework.
7. I personally don't get bored very often. I can always resort to writing stuff for my novels/short stories/poems.
8. No--not even close. I'm not sure if that's because my tongue is short or my nose is.
9. Yes.
10. Yes, 2 cats.


Back to blogging

Yeah, it's been a loooong time. Let's see if I can get back into the swing of things. So, five things make a post?

1. My classes this year are actually pretty fun. I have one class of "regular" sophomore English (though some of the kids are still freshmen by credit), and then I have the four sections for the ELL classes: Listening/Speaking (called 'language arts--go figure'), writing, reading, and grammar. The sophomore class is my largest--28 kiddos in it. And wow, can I tell the difference between them and my language learners! The language arts class is my smallest--currently only 17 students in it. The others are about 25 each.

2. While I had not forgotten how much I love teaching grammar, this is the first year I've actually taught a "grammar" class. In the past, grammar was just one part of the whole, but now I have an excuse to spend a whole week on some nit-picky grammar issue. We just finished four weeks of nouns and verbs (with half of that working on S-V agreement). Now we're tackling adjectives!

3. My new kittens (okay, so not so new any more...they turn one year old in only 2 more months) are still happy and sassy. We've learned each others foibles, and while I'm still trying to get Sulimon to stop jumping up on the top of my fridge just to push my medicine bottles off it!!, and trying to get Bilqis to stop climbing the curtains!!, at least they don't share bad habits. (I think Sulimon likes the sound of the pills shaking in the bottles.)

4. To my great distress, my thumb drive I had been saving my novels onto went kaput, and I'm currently in the process of putting them on not just a new thumb drive, but a couple of ROM-CDs to prevent this from happening to me again. My laptop also died and needed a new hard drive, but praise the techies, they managed to save my files relatively uncorrupted. All I had to do was reinstall a new word processing program so I could open them. In a way, having to redo my stories is a good thing--I'm editing as I go (I had hard copies of them; I'm sooooo glad I did that last year).

5. According to my doctor, I should no longer take Ibuprofen or Naproxin, as these raise my blood pressure. He suggested Acetomenaphin (or however it's spelled), but I would do no better than if I were taking a placebo as far as that stuff's effect on my back pain. Maybe I should try that Thermacare I keep hearing about. At least my sugars are under control, and my calcium/vitamin D levels are "perfect." Weight is stuck, but that's better than gaining, at this point.


I did get the kittens. Two of them, both absolutely adorable. I did get the yellow girl with white feet (named Bilquis), and her brother (named Sulimon) is a big grey who almost looks like a Russian blue, right down to golden eyes, except he's not a solid grey but has some stripy markings.

I've posted some pictures on Facebook, and here is one for LJ...

Thanks again to those who bore with me through my loss of Yorkie and my acquisition of Sulimon and Bilquis.


Cute Overload

So I went to see the kittens yesterday after lunch. They're adorable! It would have been hard to choose if I had to pick them right now. They'll be ready to be adopted in about two weeks, so maybe by then I'll have a better idea of which ones I want. So far the yellow one with white boots (probably the only female) is a strong contender. But that may change. I hope to get over at least once more before Adoption Day to visit again.

I'm still leaning toward one of each color, simply because they'd be quicker to tell apart than if I get a matching pair. But who knows, I may decide to go with a matched pair.


Kitten Adoption Soon

I haven't really LJed since Yorkie died, I see. That's been a while now, and lo and behold I'm going to be getting two kittens in a couple of weeks. They were born the last weekend of September, so they should be old enough in about two or three weeks for me to bring home. One of the teachers where I work has a cat who had the kittens, and there are four to choose from--two yellow and two gray. He's brought in pictures so I can see them, and they are really cute.

So tomorrow afternoon I'm planning a visit to his apartment to see them in person, and see what sort of personalities they have before I choose which ones are best for me. I know that when I got my cat Sheik as a kitten, when I visited him at his mommy cat's home he came right up to me and sat in front of me and looked up as if to say "So you're my new mommy!" I'm not sure I can expect a similar experience with these kittens, but I do know that many times it's the cat that chooses the human rather than the other way around.

So anyway, I am looking forward to the new babies. I'll have to "kitten-proof" my place a bit. Yorkie was such a sedate cat ever since I had him I sort of got lazy as to making sure there weren't things around that a curious cat could get in trouble with. I've been looking my place over and removing a few things that could be too easily swallowed by a kitten, or too easily caught in, or...well, those who own cats will know what I mean.

I did decide on names, tentatively (came up with two of each sex, just to be sure), but I really do want to see them before I saddle them with anything permanent. Kittens are sure to be fun, as well as keeping me on my toes.


Fall Has Fallen

Five things make a post...

1) This whole week has been a lovely one, temperature-wise. Highs only in the upper 60s, lows in the low to mid 30s--and the leaves on the trees have finally started to change. Not that we have tons of trees around, but the ones that are have turned some lovely shades of yellow and orange. With the weather changing like it has, of course I now have some sniffles and a little bit of a cough, but I've learned these symptoms come with the changes. I don't feel sick, just sniffly.

2) If you've never seen an Arizona sunset over the stark mesas of the northeastern corner of the state, you've missed a treat. I've always loved Arizona sunsets--you get so many different colors here, and no two are the same. In my many travels (and no, I haven't been everywhere, but I've done my fair share), no sunset can measure up to an Arizona one. Some have come close, though.

3) I'm up to chapter 19 on my final portion of my trilogy. I can see where I'm going to have some heavy duty editing once I'm done, to make everything fit smoothly in all three parts. Still, overall I'm quite pleased with this arc, and even if I never get it published, I've had a grand time writing it. Just don't expect me to leave my day job for a while.

4) I think I'll try Nanowrimo again this year. I've yet to "win" that, and I would like to do so at least once in my life. Maybe the third time is a charm. I'm thinking of writing a "youth of" for my MMC in my trilogy. I already did for the FMC, and I believe it's time for equal treatment. If I like it well enough, maybe I'll have a four-part series rather than a trilogy when I'm through.

5) Many thanks to all those who offered condolences when my cat, Yorkie, passed on. Now it looks like I'll be adopting a pair of kittens from a teacher whose cat just had kittens at the end of September. I'm just waiting for them to get old enough now. I get a choice of colors--the litter has two greys and three marmalades. I'm thinking one of each, so I don't get them mixed up. I don't really care whether they're male or female; either way they'll be neutered once they're old enough. By the time I can adopt them, I expect to have my apartment fully kitten-proofed, though from experience I also know they can still get into a surprisingly large number of adverse situations.


Carol Bartholomew

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October 2012


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