Monday, September 26, 2005

the results are in!

And they're good! I got a 76 on my dissertation (remember, anything above a 70 is an A grade at Lancaster). That means I also earned an overall distinction for my Master's degree, and that's definitely a good thing. :)

Erin wants me to mention her, so I just did. She is sitting on the couch behind me while I type this. I also have to just say that Erin is one of the best roommates I've ever had. She makes life very entertaining, and she's really mellow and laid-back about roommate-y issues (like clutter in the room, or who gets the bathroom when, or whose turn it is to do the dishes).

A couple of weeks ago, I had a really wacky dream about my classes, in which Cary Grant and Jimmy Stewart were listed on my roll. Cary came, but Jimmy was absent that day. So when I went to teach that day, I told my students about it, and I was quite surprised by the reaction it got: "Who's Cary Grant?" Wow. The things my students don't know sometimes really shock me. I plan to show them a clip from a Cary Grant movie soon, in an effort to educate them for life and broaden their horizons -- while at the same time teaching them how to write, of course.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

eagerly awaiting ...

Assuming that Marj (the Linguistics Department secretary at Lancaster University) was nice and not overly annoyed by my early email and those of dozens of other eager Master's students, I should have an email waiting for me tomorrow to announce the results of my Master's dissertation. I'll be sure to let you all know right away as soon as I learn anything.

I have to get up extra early tomorrow morning so that I have time to go over to the media library on campus and check out 'Shrek'. I want to use the "ogres-are-like-onions-because-they-have-layers" clip tomorrow in my composition classes. We're doing a pracitce peer review in my classes, and I want to first discuss all the different layers of writing (e.g., grammar, spelling, wording, ideas, organization, etc.) and make sure the students understand that peer reviewing is much more than just saying that someone spelled a word wrong. Although I suppose I should check the media library's hours first, just to make sure they'll actually be there when I plan to be.

Monday, September 5, 2005

life in Texas

Well, here I am in Texas, and we finally just got our router working the other day so that I can get internet access on my own computer (instead of using Erin's to check my email, etc).

The first week of school was pretty hard to take. I just feel so disorganized and unprepared for everything, and it has already caused some small trouble. Luckily, with this being Labor Day, I've got some time to get myself organized and prepared before anything else really major comes up.

I am teaching two sections of Freshman Composition, which is a challenge. Along with that, I'm taking three graduate courses: one in teaching composition (which only lasts half the semester, thank heavens!), one in phonology (which makes me feel like a linguist again, since lots of other things are making me feel more like an English major these days), and one online course in principles of linguistics.

My roommate's family was wonderful in donating lots of furniture to us when we moved in to our new, unfurnished apartment. That means that all three of have beds (halelujah!), and we have a couch, a kitchen table and chairs, and lots of dishes and cleaning supplies. My other roommate also bought a washer and dryer, so we have our own laundry facilities, which is also great.

We are living just a few blocks away from campus, so we can walk to classes and to institute and church. I'm taking a church history institute class, which I'm pretty excited for. Also, all three of us just got callings at church yesterday. Margo is the ward pianist and Erin is a family history consultant. I'm either a Visiting Teaching supervisor or coordinator -- there was a slight confusion, and the RS president wasn't there, so we couldn't ask her. I haven't been set apart yet, and we'll wait until next week so that we can be sure I get set apart as the right thing. Either way, though, I'm feeling pretty happy about that calling. I do love Visiting Teaching, even though I'm not always great about getting it down, and I think it's frequently misunderstood and underused. And besides, I think it will take a lot less effort and time than many of the callings I've had recently -- no ward council meetings, no conducting RS meetings, etc.

Last, but not least, here's the movie I just finished watching on TV:
A man in a really nice capmer wants to put our song on the radio! (76 points)