Last Day of a Term: Teaching Writing Online

Today's the last day of another SNHU term. I have a stackful of papers to grade in the next few days, but I always feel a little mixed when the end day arrives. I keep thinking about what I should have done differently, or thinking that I hadn't connected with this student or that well enough, but when it comes right down to it, I spend more time than most people doing this job. It's low pay, if you consider how much aStack-o-papersctual time I put into it and that's required of me to do my job well. But I like that I can do it from home. The down side of that is that I'm always working, it seems! Last weekend my husband was feeling neglected, I'm sure, because I had the laptop on my lap every time he turned around. Still, I think this term is one of the best terms here I've had yet. 


Reinventing Oneself

    This is the beginning of a new era--at least for IdeaWarehouse! Here I am in Boston, one of the most concentrated capitals of higher education, and for a long time I have identified myself as an academic, though it took me a long time at the beginning to really feel like I was, and it's the first day of classes either today, yesterday, or a week from today. Yet this is the longest time (since I was 14) that I have ever been without a full-time job. So it's time to re-invent myself (btw, does that require a hyphen or no hyphen?--I wonder what Grammar Girl would say?). I need to OWN my job as a writer and writing consultant. 

    Long before I established WW Writing Services as my own writing consultant company, I was doing free-lance jobs in writing and editing. I edited Dr. Dan Shelley's book for K-12 educators on using computers, way back near the time the WWW was being invented (makes me feel like I am from the stone-age era). Then I helped another professor with a master's thesis, which in fact, needed a complete overhaul. Unfortunately, this person must have thought I was doing it just to be nice or because I wanted to be friends or something, but I never got paid! Somehow we got our wires crossed, and I'm sure I could have done something more to have gotten the money, but it was a touchy situation because we had both started working at this college at about the same time, and I had to continue working with this professor throughout the years, so I sucked it up and decided never to make that mistake again (have someone mistake my hard hours of work for "just being nice" and trying to "be friends," especially when there were never any more overtures of friendship being extended after that.)

    Then I had several other miscellaneous projects--for which I always got paid, but the totals never amounted to anything more than extra clothes money, which I always welcome. When I was living in Slippery Rock and commuting 70 miles to Edinboro, I ended up purchasing my own paper for handuts and syllabi, file folders, and any office supplies I used at home, since I did so much there, rather than at the office. So, since Staples delivers for free to businesses, I decided to become WW Writing Services. Ahh, how I miss my spacious office!  ....Okay, I won't go there! I DO have own room within our condo that IS my office still. It's all mine, even though it moonlights as a guest room when people visit. If I didn't have a ROOM OF MY OWN, I'd go crazy, I think. Here in my "Office"--the official home of WW Writing Services, I crank out my projects:

The 1st 3 projects are the most official WW Writing Services projects, while the others are personal writing projects or academic ones, focused on first-year composition and writing center pedagogy. I plan to keep plenty busy and expect to post on this blog at least once a week (usually between Sunday and Tuesday) from now on.


Germs Catching Up with Me

Unfortunately, I've been sick most of this week, battling an upper respiratory infection that leaves me super exhausted, if possible even more so than usual. Good health is something a lot of people take for granted until it leaves them. Nevertheless, besides resting, I am using this time to communicate with my students and colleagues via email, and catch up with grading, along with adjusting the two course calendars so they are back to being up-to-date after these small glitches.

Even so, I'm pleased to be asked to be a reviewer for a First Monday publication, which coincidentally is where I have planned to send my most recent article early this summer.

If you are a cat lover or a fan of Tiger (he has his own "Catbook" page!), please say a prayer for him! He is losing weight too much and seems to be more depressed and inactive than usual. He is 14 years old, but shouldn't be declining this fast. We are worried. He used to be so fat, and now you can feel every little bone in his skeleton. His backbone feels more raised than normal or knobby, so I wonder if he has cat arthritis. Poor Tiger. I sure love that cat. He is in Boston now, so he can't catch any of his favorite critters, like voles. He used to get one for us (like a present--ewww!) practically every day! He'd leave it right outside the back sliding door so you couldn't miss it when you tried to step out. I may bring him back here next week to see if that helps any. Nicer whether always makes him happier.

 Meanwhile, here's one of my latest favorite songs: "King of Anything" 

Wednesday Workday

168584595_629c04b602_m  By the way, that's NOT ME up there! But it's my name, at least part of it. I like her jacket, though. I wonder which Wendy Warren it is: the one who writes romance novels, the Irish newscaster, the doctor?.....there are a few of them I've encountered on Internet searches. This is actually me.Image006

Looks like I may have to post some pages to this blog for my ENGL 102 classes in Research Writing. I haven't been able to post material to my webstorage account at school, which stinks because that is how I organize my units and post material so as to reduce "my carbon footprint." Maybe it doesn't really do so, because students print out the material, but if just one student does not, then I guess I am. I like this unit the best in my classes because it's fun and follows all of my own advice from my articles and dissertation. I wish I didn't have to teach so many students (100 per semester; i.e., 4 classes/sections per semester, but considering they're all full very quickly, that must mean that I'm not a terrible professor.)

Lady Gaga's Everywhere--you go girls!

Scanning the news/Salon articles this morning, I came across this video on YouTube where these flight attendants on a Phillipines airline decided to mix it up a little while showing those boring instructions. They DANCED THE INSTRUCTIONS TO A LADY GAGA SONG, "Just Dance!" How cool was that! As you noticed, Salon writer whose name I forget, the passengers paid attention and CLAPPED at the end of it. When was the last time THAT happened??

Court Decision Regarding Privacy of Emails

A federal appeals court today made a startling decision about the privacy of emails: they determined that 3rd part ISPs must consider their subscribers' message content private unless they notify them that it is not or allow them permission to read them, if I read this article right. That is a turnabout from what we've been expected to believe, essentially, as the writer of this article describes, making email more like a sealed letter than an open postcard.Personalcorrespondence_letterstatio

IPod Speaker/Case

With IPods connected so directly to personal listening, I always wonder why there isn't an easy just-as-small gadget or accessory to go with it to turn it into a personal stereo. Sure, there's IHome, and all these cool speaker setups, but this one gadget seems just right to fit the bill (not trying to sound like a commercial or anything...): the SandbarSandbar_soundmate Soundmate. Although I have to give up my regular-size 80GB IPod this week, this thing would be good to know about if/when I get another.