Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Of kettles and pots...

... and other things you might call black.

Last night I got my midterm (The Midterm of Doom) back. I got 63 out of 70 points. Not being bright enough to immediately figure out that 7 points of 70 would be a 90%, I had a little panic, did the math on a calculator and realized that I had a 90%. For one split second, I was relieved that I didn't have a 'B' or worse. I shifted directly to consternation, frustration, aggravation, and whatever other 'ation' word you can think of.

I got the lowest 'A' possible.


As I glanced through the exam, I could see that it looked like the only reason I had points deducted was due to not citing enough authors. I grabbed that bone and didn't want to let go. She didn't tell us we had to cite EVERYTHING! She just said to know the theorists.

Well, this little internal diatribe went on all the way home and for some time afterward. All along, I kept telling myself it didn't matter, it was still an 'A,' blah, blah, blah.

At the same time, I was frustrated with some of my classmates because they were complaining (the nice word for it) about the work we still have left to do in the last few weeks of class. "I'm tired of spending all my weekends doing work." "Why do we have to do all this?" In my mind I was rebuking them. "What did you expect? It's grad school. This has been on the syllabus the whole semester."

It wasn't too long into my "I didn't know I had too cite every little thing"-diatribe that I realized that at least a portion of my rebuke could apply to myself. "What did you expect? It's grad school."

I hate when things get turned back on me like that. Especially when I do it to myself!

I have no idea what to write about...

...but I have a little time on my hands and nothing due tomorrow. (Whoopee!)

The last couple of days I've seen this woman. She is sooooooo tan that she looks abnormal. Do you remember the butter tan from Seinfeld? Kramer starts using butter to tan with and he gets so brown and toasty and Newman hallucinates that he's a giant roast chicken.

Well, she looks like that except without the golden hue. She cold give George Hamilton a run for his money.

Actually, she looks darker than this picture.

I just don't understand the appeal of being that tan.

Of course, she could be somewhere right now typing a post about this woman she's seen the last two days with wet hair, a shirt that doesn't fit, and no makeup. She might be typing right now that she doesn't understand how someone could let themselves go out in public looking like that.

That would be ironic, wouldn't it?

Friday, April 11, 2008

In this in between space. . .

No. You're right. This is not a picture of me in my blue M&M costume. Why it is so difficult for me to get to this, I don't know. But it is coming. I promise!

Last night I turned in my research paper on the impact of Proposition 227** for my linguisitics class. So, as is my usual practice on Fridays, I am metaphorically horizontal for the rest of the day. I should be studying for my big test in my Monday class and preparing my tutoring log for that same class. But I'm not.

I thought I'd finally give the answers to my reading quiz. Here goes:

What is a diphthong?

Diphthongs are types of vowels where two vowel sounds are connected in a continuous, gliding motion. They are often referred to as gliding vowels. Examples: oil, hour, toy.

What is a schawa?

Represented by that funny, upside "e" symbol, the schwa is that "uh" sound. It is the sound a vowel makes on an unaccented syllable. All the vowels can make this sound and it is the most common sound in English. Examples: apart, secretary, population.

What is the Control R?

Your kids might know this at the Bossy R. Essentially it means that the "r" controls the sound of the vowel. Examples: store, start, flower.

What is a digraph and what makes it regular or variant?

This is really a four part answer, not a two part one. There are vowel digraphs and consonant digraphs.

A consonant regular digraph is two letters that make a sound that isn't produced somewhere else. Examples: chair, share, there.

A consonant variant digraph is two letters that make a sound already produced in the language. Examples: phone, laugh.

A vowel regular digraph is when two vowels make one sound and it is a long sound. Your children might know this as "When two vowels do the walking, the first one does the talking." Examples: knead, breed, cleave.

Finally, a vowel variant digraph is when to vowls make one sound that isn't long, but isn't necessarily short. Examples: bread, blue, shoe.


I have to tell you that this class, Teaching Reading to Elementary Students makes my head spin. It is tons and tons of information, most of which I will not need teaching reading to community college students. It is really an entirely different thing.


Does anyone know of a good source to get some page divider icons for a blog post? You know, those cute little scrolly looking things so I don't have to use asterisks? (I suspect Alpha DogMa might be able to help me here.)


This week has been the kids' spring break. A total bummer for them. Why? Because Paul is out of town, the banking account is running on fumes, I've had tons of school work, and almost everyone of their friends is out of town. Most years, we take part of the break and head up to Vegas (one of my least favorite places) to spend a few days with Paul while he is at a trade show. There's always next year.

Marley has been doing some charting: How many days is Daddy gone? What time did I find my towel? and so on. She also wrote some information about her house and about her. She posted it on her very own blog. It is a private blog, so I can't direct you there, but I will quote it here:

It is dirty.
My room is dirty.
My brother's room is clean.
My mom and dad's room is clean.
The living room is clean.
The bonus room is clean.
The bathroom is dirty.
The dining room table is dirty.
The kitchen is dirty.

This is a little piece called "Marley."

I live in a dirty house.
Very, very dirty.
This is a picture of me:


Well, I'm back off to my black hole of case studies, Discourse analysis, the reading wars, etc. Five more weeks until school is out!!!!!!


**Proposition 227 was passed in 1998 by 61% of California voters. It made bilingual education illegal. Waivers allowing exceptions are allowed, but only 7-9 percent of English language learners use those waivers to get primary language instruction. It was a very heated issue. After the first year of implementation, the proponents of the proposition declared it a resounding success based on improvements in test scores. Ten years later, there are some overall improvements but the gap between English learners and English only students is still large. A host of reforms enacted around the same time may be the reason for the actual improvements: ELD standards, standardized testing, reduced class size, etc. I could go on and on, but then I might as well just post my paper!!!!