Tuesday, April 25, 2006

the struggles of a teacher

Today one of the students in my afternoon class confessed that he didn't write the first two papers he turned in. He's been really busy, he said, and he just used some papers that his sister wrote. There are only three papers in our class, two response papers based on a piece of literature, and a final research paper, which we're working on right now. That means that all of the papers we've done so far, he's plagiarized. The official policy is that this requires me to fail him in the class. I went to see Dr. Raign, the director of the Freshman Writing program at the university, but she wasn't around. So I talked to Dr. Phillips instead, who is the assistant director. Dr. Philips said she would be willing to give a student the opportunity to re-write the original papers; she also recommended that I talk to Dr. Raign and predicted that she would say to just fail him. "Basically," she told me, "it's your choice what you want to do with him." I haven't spoken to Dr. Raign yet, but I'm having a really hard time deciding what to do with this. I don't like the idea of letting him escape the consequence for a very serious transgression. On the other hand, I do feel a certain responsibility to dispense mercy. "For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged; and with what measure yet mete, it shall be meted to you again" (Matthew 7:2).

Teaching has certainly given me a lot more appreciation for Heavenly Father and the Savior and their immensely difficult jobs as judges.

On the brighter side of things, I am getting ready to give a presentation at a Graduate Student Conference on linguisitcs and literature in Louisiana this weekend. I'm pretter nervous and excited for it, and I'm feeling a bit stressed about getting the presentation ready. I'm a little worried about squeezing 60 pages' worth of research into 20 minutes. But it's definitely something I need to do if I want to have any kind of career in this field.

Also, Erin is going to make dinner for us tonight. Chicken parmesan and ratatouille. Mm-mmm!! I bought tons of frozen foods the last time I went to the store, and since then I've been sharing lots of it with Erin, as she's been super busy with her final paper for a class. So she offered to make dinner sometime during this week to make up for taking all my food. :) We're pretty excited ... especially since it's parmesan chicken, after all!

Rumble, rumble, rumble - mutiny, mutiny, mutiny. (12 points)

Sunday, April 23, 2006

5 weeks = not a month

I have been avoiding talking very much about Jim on my blog, because I don't want you all to get sick of it. But I do have to let you know about something that happened recently.

A couple weeks ago, after some already frustrating occurrences, Jim came over. He came just for a walk around the block and to let me know, basically, that he wasn't sure about our relationship and wanted out. It's now been 5 weeks since things started spiralling. I count from the day he decided to go home and nap instead of coming over to my apartment after church ... I guess since that was the first day he made me cry.

Take my word, the mockingbird will sing the saddest song of all -- he knows things are wrong, and he's right. (22 points)

Monday, April 3, 2006

feeling good

So life has been quite happy today. Katie Bills is here to visit, and that always makes me happy. My British Lit professor actually liked one of my response papers and asked me to discuss it with the class. We had "homemade" Boboli pizzas for dinner. I got to chat with Christina, which was wonderful -- I don't get to talk to her a whole lot anymore, and the conversation was fabulous. We had apple-and-blackcurrant flavored squash (a British specialty) with dinner. General Conference was, of course, marvelous and inspiring, and I'm still feeling the effects of that. I found the courage to quote C. S. Lewis, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Book of Mormon in today's response paper (about Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde). We're having bruschetta later on. We got to have M&Ms and ice cream, which Erin bought for us. I got a letter outlining all the financial aid that has been approved for me for summer classes. I registered for my classes for summer and fall semesters, and I got into all the classes I want/need -- with the small exception of one, which claimed that I needed special departmental consent, and I'm getting that worked out with the department head. I found out that I have a federal Work Study grant for the summer, which means I should have little trouble getting a job on campus during the summer. I have NO (count 'em, NO!) evening classes in the fall (although both of my summer classes are evening, are they are l-o-o-ong). I'm sure there are plenty of other things to add to the list, but this is good enough to give you all an idea of how happy I am about life right now.

The last quote was from The Scarlet Pimpernel, the 1934 Leslie Howard version ... and I must say I'm rather disappointed that no one got it. *sigh* Oh well. Here's another from a fantabulous movie.

I think it's only fair that any further instructions or explanations be given on your bathroom time, not mine. (245 points, just because it's such a great movie, and if you know it, you deserve super points)