Friday, September 28, 2007
I got the email you sent today, saying, " I hear you might be watching a debate with Bill -- can I ask you a favor? Bill mentioned "a big bowl of chips" in the email he sent you Tuesday. If you are one of the three people who get the chance to join him, can you make sure he eats carrots, not chips?"
OK, first of all, please tell Bill to stop emailing me and asking me out. It simply isn't going to work out. I have a full and fantastic life, and I'm just not *open* to starting a new relationship with your husband.
That's what he was offering, right?
If I understood HIS email, "Why don't you and I share that excitement together during an upcoming debate? Hillary's campaign will pick three people... to watch one of the upcoming presidential debates with me. We'll sit down in front of a big TV with a big bowl of chips, watch the debate, and talk about the race."
So if I understand this correctly, if I donate to your campaign, I get a chance to win a date with your husband, the former leader of the free world, and maybe one of the most famous flirts the world has ever known.
And that "date" would involve us watching YOU cream a bunch of guys in a debate.
Is that the BEST you could come up with??
I mean, sure, I've got $10 to toss down on trying to win a date with Bill.
Really, I *want* to win so that could spend the rest of my professoring and writing life telling stories about how I am completely immune to his charms. But I can't DO that if you don't at least give the man a shot, OK?
Let him take me to a nice little restaurant. We could order calamari, talk about foreign policy, and say really smart things that would make the waitress stammer and giggle.
I'm not paying $10 to spend the evening with a man who would take me on a date to see his wife.
He won my vote, but he does NOT get to see me in my "lucky dress."
So, Mrs. Clinton, please accept my $10 in support of your candidacy.
I wish you all the best in auctioning off your husband to the women of America.
Please let me know how it goes, I think you've started something quite brave and I expect it might just catch on like wildfire.
PS -- he does like calamari, doesn't he?
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Today Lauren wasn't especially chipper. She sat down, helped me alphabetize exams, and started to spill her guts about a guy calling her five and six times a day from Iraq.
I said NO WAY in mocked amusement and shock.
That many calls? That means we must be winning. Right?
She confided that he is Air Force and that she doesn't' know what he does.
Oh, of course not -- some things can't be discussed. I think that's like an 80 year jail gig.
Lauren's face fell just a little bit, and it saddened me to see her dimples disappear and a little furrow growing between her big blue eyes.
It's OK not to know what he does. Just pretend he's a spy.
She laughed. I laughed, thankful it's so easy to cheer her up.
So then she continued explaining with her situation.
Apparently, Mr. Air Force man was a text-jerk the other day
He has back problems, she explained, and on top of that he was sick...
How did he hurt his back?
She shrugged. He won't tell me.
Jumping out of an airplane, I declared. Maybe in Iran. Or Pakistan....
Her eyes widened. You think so?
Sure. I mean he's Air Force. There are planes.... it's plausible.... and wouldn't you rather imagine him doing something a bit warrior-like instead of maybe hurting his back because he tripped over something when he went to pee in the middle of the night?
OK, he hurt his back jumping out of a plane. We both nodded in unison, declaring our truth to be valid and enjoyable.
But look at this text! He didn't call me for a day and a half, so I texted him to see how he was and look what he wrote...
She pulled her phone out, scrolled through a few things, and handed it over. It said something like "What the f*k, stop bugging me, I'm sick and I can't handle this f*cking sh*t."
It's awful, isn't it?
No? A sweet glimmer of hope crossed her face.
Well, it's nothing personal, right? He told you he was sick, right? And I bet he's tired. Oh, and um.... how do I say this gently? He might be missing some "female companionship."
She laughed. He wanted to come to Tallahassee for a weekend when he comes back from Iraq .... but now? What does this mean?
How long have you guys been talking?
Over a year.
And he's usually the one calling, right?
Always. Want to see his other texts?
She started scrolling through them. I didn't read them all, but I saw a more than a few "love" and "I love you" and "see you soons" in there.
Yep. Clear it all out. That's a phone, not a grudge-holder! Delete the bad message, don't mention it again.
I'll do it! She bravely cleared her messages. What do I do NOW?
Oh Lauren! You're a gorgeous young smart college woman who has suitors from around the globe.
Now we all know you are sooooo busy and you get so many text messages you have already forgotten what the message was. And that he sent it.
Ohh, that's good.
Well, he gets a pass. This time.
This time, she nodded her head in agreement.
Then we both looked at her phone.
Should I call him? Check on him?
No. Not from my office. I like to pretend there is war going on and they're all very busy there.
Jumping out of planes?
Yes. Without their cellphones.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Whatever it was, it hit me hard, and as I sat on the sofa hugging my pillow, I didn't have the mental energy to watch last night's The War from PBS. It would be too loud, too bright, and I know WW2 so intimately that I kinda wanted to watch something a bit more upbeat than the Anzio campaign.
So I went to HBO On Demand and found a wonderful, wonderful movie that was shot in Cuba, "Perfecto Amor Equivocado."
Set in modern Cuba, this story centers on the life of a famous writer, his gynecologist wife and his professor girlfriend. From the first scene I was completely absorbed by this intelligent, smart and funny film which reminded me of *Love, Actually* and *Four Weddings and a Funeral.*
Both of those films were set in the UK, a culture and background which emerges as an enchanting character in both films.
Modern Cuba -- beautiful, sparse, hot -- cradles "Perfecto Amor Equivocado."
I know my Cuban History and I know that the US has had an embargo on Cuban since 1960.
What I could never imagine was the impact this along-term embargo has had on breasts in Cuba.
Everywhere, every scene, happy women wearing clingy shirts gesticulate dance and generally go on with their merry lives completely unashamed of their jiggling communist breasts.
Just wait until Castro dies and Victoria's Secret opens in Cienfuegos.
These women can then know the glory of perfectly set -- and well behaved -- good freedom-loving breasts.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Ott is a fantastic student. He keeps to himself and causes no disturbances. He enjoys classes where the professor can keep him interested. Loud speakers more than likely will keep him awake…He works mornings so falling asleep is very likely.
He is a good student, always keeping up with his studies. He either eats a bowl of fruity pebbles or a plain bagel with strawberry cream cheese every morning.
He has recently broken up with his girlfriend of almost 2 years…so don’t be mad if you catch him checking out the beautiful girls in class. And let him know if you see one checking him out ahah.
In general, 0tt is a joy to have in class, very dependable.
John is a fairly good and outgoing student who has had his problems in the beginning of his college career, but is now ready to take class seriously He might miss class every once in awhile but always get caught up.
Overall John is a fair student, but sometimes John is bad with time management when it comes to studying. John works two jobs and likes to go out.
In the end, John might not be the top student in his class but will try his best to be successful and have fun doing it.
In college classrooms there are always three types of students: the hard working student that never gets anything below an A, the in between student who works hard but can never reach that A, and then there are the students who just barely get by.
V6 is the second type of student; she is an unsure and smart student who has always strived to get an A but always falls short of her victory.
In the beginning of the year she always has hard time getting the swing of things as hard as she tries. V6 tends to put a lot of pressure on herself to do well and this maybe the reason why she never reaches her goal.
She is the type of student who sometimes gives up when she feels like there is nothing more she can possibly do to improve.
In lecture she will answer a question if she is sure of the answer to avoid humiliation.
She is very shy but when she gets comfortable her true identity comes out; smart, witty, and funny.
V6 attention will always be on her professor during lecture making sure she gets the whole lesson; she realizes in class that this is no time to play around.
Overall she is a great student, but sometimes V6 waits to the last minute to finally do an assignment and ends up being very disappointed.
Her time management is still very bad, she can never find enough time in the day to do everything.
Sometimes she is faced with temptations of her friends to go out when she knows better, however, V6has no problem saying NO after a few maybes.
She study’s hard and most of time comes up with B’s. V6 is still most of the time disappointed because she knows she could of did better.
Overall, V6 is a wonderful student to have; she is humble and very sweet. She has no problem getting along with anyone and is very pleasant to be in company with.
You’re very lucky to have her in your class.
( I agree!)
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
(another submission for ratemystudents)
Do not let the blonde hair fool you, this girl takes her education seriously.
123 always shows up for class and is very concerned about her grades. She is not looking to walk out of class with an A, but she wants to take things she learns in class and be able to apply them in the real world.
Although history is not one of her better subjects, she studies hard and tries her best to enjoy it. 123 just about always gets her work done and any extra credit she is offered. However, you might see her start slacking at the end of the semester.
123 is usually on time and prepared for class. The morning classes are sometimes a struggle for her, and occasionally you might see her come to class tired after a fun night out. Although, that fun night out does not happen before test days.
123 is overall a pretty good and enjoyable student. She is laid back and is not really a hassle.
You can see in the classroom 123 is hard working and is determined to have a good outcome from the class.
Y21 is the prime example of an unmotivated student, but he is also a prime example of the perfect “the college student.”
Frankly, I think it all comes down to who he’s learning from.
Both of these teachers’ opinions are different, as are their teaching styles.
Teachers that feel the book is that all that matters and student involvement is least important will find a student that will care very little about the course.
The other side of that spectrum, a teacher with great enthusiasm and student involvement will spark something in Y21 that makes him strive for success.
He’s always been this way and I’ll bet it’s the reason he isn’t at FSU already.
If you look at his TCC transcript you’ll notice two things, A’s and B’s… and then D’s and W’s.
All the teachers he’s succeeded with have been fantastic, true definition of teachers that have brought out the student in Y21.
Y21 has also found success in a schedule that allows him to go out at night and have fun. I even heard him last year say, “the teacher is probably wondering how that hung over kid is acing my class.”
It’s because he actually enjoys going to class when the teacher is exciting and engaging.
B13 is a down to earth, confident student.
For the most part he pays attention in class and does all of his work.
B13 doesn’t talk out loud in class a lot, not because he is shy but because he chooses not to.
I recently found out that B13 is a baseball player. I now know why he sometimes looks tired and seems to be unfocused during lectures.
B13 has turned in some well written papers and class work, but he doesn’t do so well on the tests. When it comes to test day, he seems to get some anxiety and he gets nervous.
I really wish I could help get B 13’S confidence level up during tests. I know he has the brains to do well; he just needs to believe in himself.
B13 also interacts very well in group work. He helps the members of his group if they are having trouble and he puts in a really good effort into getting a good grade on the assignment.
One thing I have noticed about B13is that he likes to break the ice.
He likes to find a good chemistry with others and get a good vibe going.
B13 is also very laid back and relaxed. He doesn’t like stress and he likes to be in a good atmosphere.
B13 might make jokes or try to get everyone in a good mood, but he knows when it’s time to settle down and get things done.
I have developed a good relationship with B13 inside but also outside of the classroom. Often B13 will come by my office to ask me questions and to post concerns.
He even comes by if he is in the area, just to say hello. If he is not able to come by the office he will sometimes email me to ask questions on the homework or study questions. This shows me that he is trying to be a good student and he is concerned with the grades he makes in my class.
If you ever have B13 in your class, it is going to be an enjoyable experience.
He is an overall good student who is willing to take in information and learn a lot.
The Life of A Non-Traditional Student
What can the world say about P6?
If any knew her, they could say that she is a nontraditional student divorcé with two children and a business to run.
She has a heart for people, and she loves what she does.
P6 has founded a non-profit organization which services the bond community area. Sean’s Simple Solutions is her heart and sole upon which many tears, sleepless nights and years have been poured.
P6 loves school, and she loves to learn, very strange for a student hailing from Los Angeles, California, one of whom has been any many troubles.
She always states that her idea for Sean’s Simple Solutions came from here past life of gang activity and crime.
Who would have thought that someone as rough and tumble as she could have evolved into an elegant rose?
Yes, she has come to know that there is more to life than her, especially after she married and brought two lives into this world. Her heart began to beat for others and this was the opening of P6.
P6 is a pretty good student, who tries to respect others at all times, and wishes she could improve on her study habits. She often knows that she could have had an A on any given assignment but had to put what is more demanding first, and as a result earned a lower grade.
P6 has learned, as a business owner, to own up to her own responsibilities, and does know that she is thee only person held accountable for herself and two children. Yes, life’s experience has taught her many things, preferably about herself, and one thing she has learned is an education is a valuable asset, and a privilege to be appreciated.
Friday, September 14, 2007
- I eat ice cream with a fork. But only when I'm alone.
- I am not at all friendly when I'm writing. I'm either friendly OR writing. That's it.
- I have a huge and growing crush on Genghis Khan.
And, again, I remembered that my grownup friend, Sally Hammer, has sparkly gold ballet flat shoes just like Zoe's.
I need to call her, to tell her.
She'll laugh. I know she will. Her laugh comes as easily as mine.
I've been meaning to call Sally for awhile, you know.
A couple of years ago I called her to say goodbye, to let her know I was leaving Tallahassee for a new job in Fort Lauderdale.
She wished me well. We'd keep in touch.
When I came back to Tallahassee in August 2005, I meant to call her. I did.
But Sally lived so far across town, way out the other side of town from where I bought my new house. My first house. I remembered when Sally bought her new house, how excited she had been, and how warmly she shared it.I meant to invite her over. Soon, definitely soon. I promised myself I'd call her, invite her over, you know... as soon as things slowed down.
In May of 2006, one of my colleagues, Dr. Hemmingway, died suddenly. I inherited his class, which met in a large auditorium.
The first day of class I remember fumbling around in the technology bunker under the podium. There was a random video another professor had left. In neat letters was printed, "Marion Hammer, NRA President, Speaks on the 2nd Amendment."
That made me smile.
Marion Hammer, might be known as a powerful and brilliant woman, but to me, she was Sally's mom.
I knew this was a sign.
Call Sally, reminded myself.
I knew her phone number by heart.
I remembered where she lived.
Maybe I should drop a card by her house?
Soon, when I got the time.
Spring turned into summer, and then came Fall. Things didn't slow down one single bit.
Zoe started school. I need to tell Sally that, and ask her how Kayla and Eric were doing. Soon. Definitely soon.
During last week of May, back when every single thing felt wonderful in my life, I was eating a sushi lunch with two friends. One of them mentioned, "Oh! Did you hear Sally died?"
No, I had not.
No, should could not have.
Because I didn't really believe that she had brain cancer, and that it really would get worse.
No, I had not heard that Sally died because I had not called Sally.
Over and over this past summer, as I drove home through twisting canopy roads, I told Sally that I was sorry.
I told her that I really had meant to call, that I love her, and that I never ever believed that she was really dying of brain cancer.
Yes, she showed me her radiation tatoos.
Yes, she was so sick that she was throwing up in the car that one time we took our daughters to play together back in 2002.
But I didn't believe it.
I couldn't accept it.
And no, I cannot yet still eulogize my friend Sally -- and believe me, the woman lived a life worth writing about.
Sally, I am so deeply and mortally sorry for not making the time to laugh with you.
I did not understand and cannot still really accept that your laughter and light would fade so quickly.
Thursday, September 6, 2007
Subject: Zoe's Tooth
Dear Tooth Fairy,
I am writing you today to let you know that Zoe lost another one of her bottom teeth.
Of course, you know that, because we all know that you get a computer signal when teeth fall out.
So that's great.
And Zoe knows that every time you go to a kid's house, you spin your moneywheel to see whether the kid gets a random amount of cash between quarter and $20
And Zoe knows that you take the teeth to build your magical tooth castle.
She understands, and I understand.
But here's a problem.
Zoe lost her tooth *twice* today.
First, it fell out today at school while she was writing an essay on the book she read last night.
Then wonderful first grade teacher made tooth necklace out of the tooth and pink dental floss... which broke while Zoe played outside at her elementary school.
Despite the best search and rescue efforts, the tooth remains missing in action.
So you see, we are in the awkward position of having NO TOOTH to leave under Zoe's pillow.
Which means you have to TRUST me about this missing tooth, which can't be easy since I apparently ruined my credibility with you back in the 1970s.
I know you know what I'm talking about, and I'm sorry.
You remember, right? No? Let me remind you.
It was 1974. Summer.
My anonymous brother and I hid tiny beach shells under our pillows to try to trick you.
You didn't for it, and we were pretty sad because we could've used more money back then.
But that's OK. We both respected you very much for sticking to your "no tooth, no money!" policy. Who knows, if we had successfully tricked you, maybe we might've moved on to lives of crime and deceit.
But despite the rocky history you and I have, I hope you'll believe me this one, important, time.
Please please, even though we don't have a tooth to put under her pillow, won't you PLEASE still come visit Zoe tonight?
Of course, we have to put SOMETHING under her pillow so that you can swap it out for money, so if you get this email before 9pm, could you please reply and let me know if you'd like pop tarts, kashi bars, a banana or a beer.
Thank you VERY much for everything you do,
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
(This is a facebook message 9/4/7)
I just wanted to thanik you for the way you have taught me to learn.
You told us in class that you were preparing us for upper level college and I just wanted you to know that you have done that.
I already see that I am prepared for 4000 level classes and I know that it is strictly from your ways of teaching.
I really appreciate it Dr. You truly have been the best professor I have ever had, and i really appreciate you more than you know!!
PS. I'll be keeping in touch because you were also a great mentor for me as well. You encouraged me to get the hell out of TCC and get school over with. I'm doing just that. Thanks again. Besides, I'll probably ask for a reccomendation letter at some point, so I want to stay on your good list.. lol. Take care
A letter of recommendation???
For a well-mannered gringo who wears guayaveras and is dating a very very acceptable Cubanita?
Claro que si!