HVAC fail

Aug. 4th, 2008 10:14 am
yrmencyn: (Default)
One of the office staff just sent out an email to the creative writing listserve:
FYI—Denney Hall is without air conditioning at the moment.  You might want to bring a fan in, if you plan to visit for a decent length of time.  The maintenance team tells us it should be fixed in a day or two.  I’ll keep you posted…
I work in the DMP for 6.5 hours today.  You know, a room full of computers and computer equipment?  Joy.

Job

Jun. 26th, 2008 10:19 am
yrmencyn: (Default)
Yeah, so... I gave my location for that last entry as "The DMP," and then I realized that I hadn't really, you know, mentioned what the hell that is.  (This is probably related to the fact that I haven't really posted here, as such, in a few weeks.)  For a while toward the end of the school year, I'd gotten really stressed out, wondering what the hell I was going to do over the summer to convince someone to give me money for rent, utilities, food -- you know, those little unnecessary luxuries of modern life.  Right up at the end, with a lot of other stuff going on and my stress level rising, I had pretty much decided that I would just take out loans and pay myself to write over the summer.  And then, during finals week, a bolt from the blue!

I had applied, toward the end of April (I think that's when it was?) for a number of extra positions in the coming year, so that I could boost my income and maybe pay off [some of] my credit card debt and/or save for next summer (which will be, uh, lean).  I ended up getting a 25% appointment for the school year, bringing me up to three-quarter time (the maximum appointment possible for a grad student).  It didn't, however, include any summer funding, so while I was happy about the opportunity for Au/Wi/Sp, I was still nowhere for summer.

And then (here's the bolt), my boss for the upcoming year offered me a 50% (i.e. normal-for-a-graduate-student) appointment over the summer.  Yay!  So 20 hours a week I'm here in the English Department's Digital Media Project.  We're the department's in-house rich media production and pedagogical development unit.  This is actually a fancy way of saying that I sit at the front desk and check out equipment :)  Over the summer, the teachers are all pretty experienced and know how to use any tech they plan on using.  But during the school year it should be more lively in here, with various projects going on all the time.

Woot money, woot CV line.
yrmencyn: (qc - drunk)
God this week has been grueling.  I finished everything I detailed for this week back in this post, but it wasn't really pretty.  Tuesday was given over almost entirely to grading one assignment, and it was only because I declared Wednesday's class session of 110 to be an optional studio day that I managed to get all the letters written for fiction workshop.

In other fiction news, I spent most of yesterday wandering around in my head with a queasy stomach, trying desperately to write something, anything.  Seriously, by standards and goals were plummeting by the second, to the point that I would have been happy just churning out pulp in order to fulfill the requirement of a second story.  I had this idea for a love triangle involving a comatose person (which, somehow, would fail to resemble Hable con ella), and I kept moving the people and genders around, but it was gelling, and it was HORRIBLE.  So I started writing a different story, and that worked better -- I liked the voice and the characters -- except that I realized at the end of the day that I had no conception of where the plot was headed.

Not fun.

But I kept writing, hoping the characters would do something, in that way characters do if you're lucky.  And one of them did: she died.  The wrong one.  So that was surprising.  But it turned into a story that was at the very least acceptable to my tastes, and might actually be halfway decent, though I can't really tell yet. 

This just confirmed that I am really not a fiction writer.  I may write more fiction in the future -- in fact, I hope that I do -- and I hope to write some non-fic as well, but poetry is really how my mind works.  So I think I might revise poetry today.  It seems like a good thing to do.  And then maybe tomorrow I'll do research papers.  I'm gonna make it, somehow.
yrmencyn: (qc - drunk)
I feel very accomplished right now.  I took pretty much the whole day off on Sunday, because it was ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS outside for the first time this season.  And then I slept pretty badly that night, so I had to come home and nap after teaching on Monday (thank God my afternoon classes were canceled that day [professor -- same one for both -- was out of town]), else I fall asleep at my desk.  And then, as naps so often do, even when necessary, the nap pretty much made me worthless for the rest of the day.  I made a delicious risi e fagioli soup with swiss chard, which I *am* proud of, but that was about it.

So I realized last night that I had about three days worth of work, and about a day to do it in.  I started in on it this morning, and the longer I worked the more I realized how incredibly fucked I was.  I mean really, royally screwed, as in neither prepared to teach nor learn tomorrow.  I was supposed to rehearse with Minstrelry tonight, but I sent them an apologetic email and put my head back down and worked more.

And here it is, a quarter after midnight, and I'm about to go to sleep.  I have graded papers, I have written a short-short story, I have written up commentary on a classmate's manuscript for baby fic, I have revised and expanded my lesson plans for tomorrow, and I have attended a planning meeting for the end of the year (yeah, I would have skipped that one, too, except I didn't realize until about 10 minutes before we started how slammed I was, and I was already sitting there doing work while other early-comers chatted around me).  I still have 12 poems I need to comment on before the undergrad workshop I'm sitting in on this quarter, but that's not until 5:30 tomorrow -- I've got three hours of freeish time sprinkled throughout the day tomorrow, and I should be able to squeeze that all in.

So I'm tired, and I'm stressed, but I also feel proud of myself for managing to keep my nose to the grindstone* all afternoon -- I'm generally not good at that kind of sustained effort.  And in the end I managed to dig myself out of my hole, so go me.

---

*I nearly said 'nose to the wheel', which seems to be a conflation of 'to keep one's nose to the grindstone' and 'to keep one's shoulder to the wheel'.  I think I sort of prefer the neologism to either standard saying, but oh well.

Hi peeps

Oct. 31st, 2007 10:34 pm
yrmencyn: (Default)
We-e-e-e-ell, it's been about two and a half months since I put up a substantive entry.  I don't even know how to give an update of everything that's going on.  I've been really busy for... oh, since school started.  Teaching is kicking my ass four ways from Sunday.  Not that it's too hard -- I think I'm doing a good job -- but it's just a lot of damn work.  I know the teachers on my flist are rolling their eyes and saying "Uh, yeah," but really: it surprised me.  I think it'll be better next quarter, since I won't be preparing lesson plans all the time, and I'll have some sort of idea what I'm doing.  Or I could be totally wrong, and it'll still be nuts.  Either way, that's part of the reason I've been gone so long (although I assure you, I've been reading, even when not posting).

My Student/Faculty Reading went well.  I got many compliments, and I felt like it was a very successful time.  I like performing.  I'm fascinated by the performance aspect of my profession, which I think many of my colleagues don't think about, or discount.  (Not to say they're bad for that; everybody has different interests.)  It was a great experience, and I'm glad that my family was there for it (Mom, Dad, my aunt, my sister and her husband, Kevin).  Poetry in general... I feel like my work is strong recently, and that's great.

The broader academic view... oy.  There's a good chance I'm going to be going back to school after I'm done with this degree.  I hate this.  I mean, I like to learn.  I really do.  But more grad school... man, I will have been in post-secondary school for nine years after I graduate with my MFA.  I'm burned out.  I don't know if I can handle three (or more) years after that.  And yet, it's REALLY hard to get the kind of job I want without a PhD.  So I don't know.  I'm looking at regular ol' academic PhDs and PhDs with creative dissertation, but I'm also keeping my eyes open for other ideas (university jobs that I might could end up with despite not having a PhD, prep school gigs, the dreaded adjunct positions, etc).

Er... that's about enough writing, I think.  Yep, yep.  Maybe we'll try to make a tradition of this.  And maybe I'll see some of you tomorrow night [I'll be singing! Songs!]:
harvest
yrmencyn: (Default)
So things here in Columbus-town are interesting, as always.  Last weekend Kevin was in town for my birthday/Mollie's birthday/Liz's move-out/why-the-hell-not, and in a surprising turn of events we ended up moving all his stuff out of the storage unit and into the apartment, thanks to the unexpected opportunity to press a friend and his rented moving van into service.  Now K's back in DC, and I'm left here with this bizarre apartment that's gotten stuck in the middle of a transition.  Which is fun.  On the other hand, Liz's old room has undergone adequate conversion into The Study, so I'm sitting in here at my desk looking out over the sunlit front lawn.  And a shirtless man wielding a wheelbarrow just jogged up the hill.  So that's something.

I should really be working right now, but I spent a little time earlier typing up the poems I've written so far for my independent study of poetic repetition, and in the process discovered that I've written more than I thought I had.  That seemed like a good enough reason to reward myself with a little break.  This, by the way, is the reason the reward system has never worked for me as a means of self-motivation: I'm too good at rewarding myself.  I think, "I'll just reward myself with a half-hour of TV after I read these two 20-page article," and if I'm being surprisingly diligent, I'll decide after the first article that it was really quite dense, and I deserve a reward now (more likely, I'll decide I deserve the reward after about half an article).

I'm trying to puzzle out my new neighbors.  I mean, there's a big PODS thing sitting on the lawn, which is currently being unloaded.  But... the apartment next door isn't really that terribly nice, as far as I can tell.  And PODS, while not super-expensive, just strike me as a slightly higher-budget solution than the next-door apartment signals.  I also can't tell who lives there (as is common, there are a lot of people helping to unpack, but it's hard to say who the actual tenant(s) are).  I'm pretty sure the guy with the puntable dog lives there, but I'm at a loss for the others, if any.  Time will tell.

Elisa and Francis got married down in Nacogdoches on the 28th, which was very nice.  They both looked fantastic, and I felt rather honored to be able to contribute my voice to their wedding.  Although they did make it hard for me by choosing the most emotionally-charged song in the American Catholic repertoire, "On Eagle's Wings," which has been sung at more weddings, funerals, and other major milestone events than I can possibly express.  Nice and easy to sing without choking up.  But yes, a lovely ceremony and reception, all done in-house: no wedding planners or caterers.  I have the memories of making countless fruit skewers to attest to this.

What else is going on... poor Jetta.  The AC died about an hour into my drive from TX to OH, which I guess really makes it "poor me."  It's in the shop right now.  Hopefully Tom (mechanic) will get back to me soon about an estimate, and hopefully said estimate will be less than astronomical... AC repairs aren't really know for their cheapness.

That's most of the news from Lake Wobegon.  And now it is off to Pistachio with the inimitable [livejournal.com profile] merodi_no_yami and [livejournal.com profile] flohchica!
yrmencyn: (food)
I feel like today was shockingly productive, without being overwhelming.  Really a great balance; if I could get that to happen everyday, I'd be so far ahead of the game.

Kevin and I got up at a reasonable hour this morning (like... 11? we have a skewed view of 'reasonable'), and decided to go to Whole World for their Sunday brunch.  Always a fine choice, I think.  Whole World (roughly across from Cornerstone Cafe at High & Como) is a delicious vegetarian restaurant that I wouldn't have any qualms about taking meativores to-- everything is hearty and delicious, and very reasonably priced.  Kevin had the Big Breakfast (two eggs any style -- or scrambled tofu, which he got; veggie hash, for which Whole World is justifiably famous; two 'sausage' patties whose recipe I really need to figure out, because they're great; and toast.  I had a tasty southwestern quiche chock full of black beans, peppers, jack cheese, etc, along with a cup of Irish bean soup.  So filling and wonderful.

Back at the ranch, I worked on setting up the images for my art project.  I had taken a screen capture of some text, but had foolishly not noticed that it included some squiggly underlines from MS Word, so had to redo those.  Also had to do a large amount of work with my hand-scripted calligraphy; I was changing it from black to ochre, and doing some reduplication of the initial capital to do a multi-colored illumination.  Unfortunately, I had to teach myself the basics of the GIMP in the process, which really lengthened the time required.  And required installing the GIMP, which I hadn't yet done on this new computer.  And then the best part: I had printed the squiggly images before I realized they were, you know, squiggly, so that necessitated a trip back out to the Meijer later in the day to buy more transfer paper, sigh.  But I'm getting ahead of myself, because before that I did some work requesting sources for my Medieval paper.  Did you know that Dissertation Abstracts often will give you full text of the indexed dissertations?  I certainly didn't, but I was immensely excited to be able to get a hold of Ed Eleazer's PhD diss. from Florida State back in 1984, since everybody (and their dog) seems to think it's pretty spiffy for work on The Gast of Gy (which does make sense, given that his diss. was an edition of the quatrain MSS with critical commentary).

And then there was the joyous Meijer trip.  Sawmill Rd. is really ridiculously far away -- the drive takes longer than I think it should, every bloody time.  But whatever, I got my paper, and a bottle of Pickapeppa sauce (which is delicious in and of itself, and also happens to be an excellent vegetarian substitute for Worcestershire sauce -- I keep learning new things), among other random things (you know, if you're at Meijer anyway...).

Watched The Dresden Files and Battlestar Galactica with Liz and Molly while eating the Oyaku Don they made, and now have been doing random internet stuff and laundry.  And making some barbecue sauce on the stove, on the suspicion I might use it tomorrow.  I this really the last week?  Jesus, how the time has flown.

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