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January 2011
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March 2011

Writing my "example paper" on "public intellectuals"

Just as I do each semester I teach ENGL 102, I choose a topic and stay a few steps ahead of the students in the assignments that I make them do. Right now, I'm creating the Annotated Bibliography of 10 sources on the topic of "public intellectuals" and previously posted and talked about the Research Paper Proposal which I've posted online at . Astute readers may or may not notice that I made a few mistakes in that example, enough to drop me down to a 92 or 91 --yikes! For example, I left out an entire book's information, because I was getting lazy and in another case, I left out 3 pertinent pieces of information about another book. That and I didn't capitalize the main word in one of the titles. I am THAT picky, even with my own work.

Now that I'm choosing the 10 sources I will annotate, I realize that I have all of their bibliographical information EXCEPT the database where I found the source(s). So I had to go back in and locate each one, but it wasn't hard, just took an extra half hour.  Then, of course, I need to annotate each one before Tuesday's class to have the example to show them. 

On a personal note: I am going to lose 27 lbs. at least--as soon as I can. If I lost 2 lbs. a week, it would take 14 weeks. Oh, that seems sooo long! I suppose I could do it by the end of  June, if I cut myself some slack and didn't demand 2 every SINGLE week.That would give me 4 times when I wouldn't have to meet that quota. Okay, I'm checking in today--you don't get to know the starting weight (unless you know me), but I will tell  you the pounds gained or lost each week on here.

Keeping Up with Intelligent Blog Posts

It's not so hard to just write ANYTHING every day or every once in a while. It IS, however, a little challenging to write more intelligent blog posts every day, like a newspaper column, almost. You want a single message to come through. So this post will be about creating significantly-thought-proking posts  frequently. It may take me all day to write this, but probably not.

Well, since today is FEB 2nd, we must defer to the venerable groundhog for our weather predictions: Punxatawney Phil predicted that we would have an EARLY SPRING, and his handlers predicted that the Steelers would win the SuperBowl! Of course, that last prediction is their own preference, but I'm sure everybody in attendance (for the most part), would have agreed with him. Steeler Fever is growing here every day, as game day gets closer. It'll be weird to see the SuperBowl in Boston rather than in the heart of Steeler Nation.

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Apparently, the origins of Groundhog Day lie in its connection to the celebration of Candlemas. Since German settlers came to that region of Pennsylvania, they brought with them their traditions and religious beliefs, one of which was Candlemas. On that day, churchgoers lit candles  for the Feast of the Purification of the Virgin, the end of Epiphany, frequently holding a procession with the candles. When Jewish women had children, they were considered unclean for 7 days, and then after 33 days is supposed to wait until the end of that time (40 days altogether) when they  underwent a purification ceremony involving a ritual bath and the lighting of candles. Mary was also expected to bring Jesus to the temple where the priests could dedicate him. After this time, the mothers, including Mary, were allowed to have relations with their husbands.

On a non-Christian level, this was also a time of weather predictions. One site states:

"Farmers believed that the remainder of winter would be the opposite of whatever the weather was like on Candlemas Day. An old English song goes:

If Candlemas be fair and bright,
Come winter, have another flight;
If Candlemas bring clouds and rain,
Go winter, and come not again."


As many Christian and Pagan customs do, we often get a secular "holiday" (if this can be called a holiday), corresonding with the time of a Christian holiday, whether still practiced or not.


One of the things I like best about teaching college students is that they know all the current music! Lately, I've had this song in my head, partly because it's a great tune, and partly because the words remind me of how I feel about my husband (and how much I miss him when I'm not with him). Yesterday as class was over, I asked anybody if they knew who sang that song (remembered a few phrases from it) or knew its title. Several people knew it, but Jordan Baughman sang a few lines right away--right in tune, I might add--and told me its title and artist! Congratulations, Jordan! You also have a pretty good voice.  It's Matt Nathanson's "Come On Get Higher."


To Dan