Sunday, September 30, 2007

How is your evening going?

I'm sitting at the computer right now working on a lesson plan for class tomorrow. Or more accurately, I'm procrastinating a little before I finally force myself to get something, anything, done. And I hear a little scritchy noise.

In this part of the country I've learned a scritchy noise usually means one thing. So I look around a little and sure enough, I can see its outline in the plastic upside down "lampshade" thing in the light that I just turned on. Big roach. It's trying to climb up away from the hot bulb but it can't get enough traction on the plastic to make it.

So basically I'm watching a roach slowly die. Just so you know, I don't feel any guilt. And if you could see the size of this thing you'd know why I'm waiting till I know it's dead before I turn off the light and try to fish it out.

That light may stay on for a long time before I even try to look.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Mmmm, ham

I was joking with my wife this morning. Or teasing depending on your point of view but I'm the one telling this story so stop trying to impose your perceptions on me. Anyway, she's been missing having friends she can talk to face to face. So far I've had a little more time to socialize out of the house with others and understandably she's missing the people she's used to seeing every day.

So she was emailing one of these friends this morning and to get back on track here is what roughly went down.

Me: "Are you writing Person X?" (Note this is not this person's name though that would be really bad ass if it was. I'd love an awesome code name. Wait, I have one already Professor Makey-Outey, no, I mean Professor Matthew).

Wife (Another note, not what I call her, at least most of the time): "Yes." I'm paraphasing.

Me, pretending what I'm saying is what she's writing: "'I miss talking to you. Move down here and live with me. We can dump Matthew in the alligator farm.'" Again, paraphrasing.

Wife: "Hmmm, alligators don't like human flesh, we'd have to attach hams to the body."

Her tone of voice was so matter of fact it was as if this is something she'd considered for some length before realizing hams would be the perfect solution to this situation. And truth be told, she's right.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

We are! Penn State!

If you don't know, I'm a sports fan. On a certain level with some of my peer group that's a dirty thing to be. Sports aren't exactly punk rock. But I'm a fan. Especially of college football, hockey, and soccer. Also of trash sports but I think that might be better as a separate blog post.

Anyway, recently ESPN put out a list of rules for college football fans. And in reading them I realize, I don't do a very good job of following them. I went to Penn State and while I love Joe Pa like I should and celebrate the fact that we can win football games and graduate players who can read, I have trouble with other factors.

I don't hate our current Big Ten rivals. When I went to school there we were independent. So our rivals were Notre Dame. And to a lesser extent Miami. And I still hate them. Along with Nebraska for some reason, still not sure why I don't like them but I don't. I'm enjoying this season as much for Penn State's success as for the schadenfreude of Notre Dame's season. Nice job there giving the "genius" Charlie Weis all that money after you ran Ty Willingham out of town for doing what has now amounted to a better job.

But when I was a kid, I rooted for the Big Ten to beat Notre Dame so now I can't really get behind rooting against most of them except when they play my Lions. It also doesn't help that my academic career has taken me to so many different schools, both as a student and as a professor. You gain an interest in all of them, at least a desire to see them succeed, especially if you have athletes in your class that are good students. It makes me a sports team whore. Some times I feel no better than the people who jumped on the Red Sox bandwagon just so they could back a winner and feel good story.

Except when the Lions are on. I have trouble watching them unless they are blowing out their opponent. Every bad play makes me so anxious. I really do honestly feel horrible if they lose but it's even worse if I watched it cause what if I jinxed them somehow? Not the best logic. But isn't that part of what being a fan is sometimes?

Fight on State. Roar, Lions, roar. LET’S GO STATE!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

We're all adults here

The school I'm now teaching at has some unique ideas when it comes to the social lives of students. There is absolutely no mingling of the genders in the dorms. Males are not allowed in female dorm areas at any time and females are not allowed in male dorms at any time. Also, zero tolerance with regard to alcohol.

Now a lot of schools have a zero tolerance with regard to underage drinking. But this is zero tolerance with regard to alcohol. None on campus. Also, none in your body on campus. That's right, even if you are of legal age to drink and go to a bar, if you get drunk then don't go back to your dorm room. Stay off campus till you're sober. Or else.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm loving working and teaching here. But there is concern in some of the administration because of retention. We lose bad students. But all schools lose bad students. Bad students hopefully realize they don't belong in college and stop wasting time and money or realize they need to take things more seriously and become better students. But we also lose a decent percentage of good students too. And they're not sure why.

Maybe because they are smart enough to realize that we expect them to act and behave like adults with regard to planning their future but we don't trust them enough to actually behave like adults when it comes to their social lives? Maybe they realize they can go to some other school that will allow them to perform activities that other 18 or 21 year olds can do? The ones many of us took advantage of during our college years to various levels of success or excess. You think?

Saturday, September 8, 2007

By the way

We got wedding band tattoos. Yes, it hurt quite a bit. But it was over quickly. And they look amazing. I can't decide if I'm even going to go back to wearing my band once it finishes healing.

What is that, is that Asian?

Word has gotten out about me on campus. So far it appears to take two main tracks.

One is that I have my tattoos and my plugs. I'm starting to attract a little bit of the freak population. I've also heard through the grapevine that one of my students told a different professor that, "He's cool. I wasn't sure because of the tattoos but he's cool." What's funny is that I haven't worn short sleeves to class yet because I'm trying to establish credibility. I can't wait till the middle of next week because it is still way hot even with a recent cool down in temperatures.

The other is one that is hilarious if you know what I look like. People think I'm Asian because of my last name. Many students have asked other faculty if I was Japanese. And if not then I must be Russian. One said she is going to start telling students I might be both. I've told a couple people to tell students I was adopted by a couple from Korea just to see if I can get that rumor to spread. You know, Americans go to China to adopt babies, so why wouldn't Koreans come here?

The last name is Polish if you didn't know for some reason.