We had the monthly lunch meeting today, the Lunch Bunch. Yummy broccoli-potato soup. Spent most of the day working on the comic handouts and images for the comic book lesson plan. I finished working on the lesson plan, but I still need to do the interactive. There’s still no access to the tool. I can get in, but I can’t upload images. Maybe by Monday. Did the grocery shopping this evening, and generally got little else done. Watched Lord Jim and Hurricane.

Had my doctor’s appointment today to discuss my carpal tunnel. The resident was okay, but I really wanted to talk to my doctor. BP was 120/84. She said that I can cancel the appointment with the hand surgeon. My hands are much, much better. Maybe it was taking off my rings, as silly as that sounds.

Came home from the doctor’s and the plaster guy was here to put the finishing touches on the ceiling. Basically, he painted it. Now I have a patch of the ceiling that is much whiter than the rest of the ceiling. I guess I’m going to have to paint that entire hallway to get things to match. And eventually, I’m going to have to clean up all the dust that’s on the floor. :(

I didn’t go to the office today. Between the doctor’s appointment and the ceiling work, it didn’t make sense. Continued work on the images for the comic interactive. In the process, I got an idea for a lesson plan. I can use the format information from this comic book lesson on how text and various graphics are used to create a lesson that analyzes the style of some cartoons. I’m thinking of using political cartoons. First I have to get the interactive finished, and I still can’t load it into the MarcoPolo tool. I’ve contacted MarcoPolo to ask for help. I hope to get the comic book lesson plan up soon, but I can’t finish it until I have the interactive. And I have to finish all of that before I can write anything of my own.

The roofer finally got someone to come and take a look at the hole in my ceiling this morning; and he had someone who could come over and begin work this afternoon. Instead of patching the hole, he cut out the entire square of the ceiling between the attic access and the walls then placed a piece of drywall into that hole. Speeded up the process dramatically from what we originally thought. The first layer of plaster has been applied, and now we just wait till tomorrow to see what else is needed.

I spent most of the day working on images for a comic book/strip vocabulary interactive. Most of the work is finding or designing little pictures that fit the definitions that the lesson plan writer has provided. They’re all fairly corny; but they’ll accomplish the goal. When I get it finished, it should be usable from the 3-5 grade band to secondary. Unfortunately, the MarcoPolo tool that I would use to make the interactive is down. So I can’t actually drop any of this work into place. Sort of disappointing. I wanted to see it in context. Guess I just have to be patient. Still I got a lot done because I was working at home all afternoon while I was getting plastered (har har). It’s amazing how much more you can get done when you’re not interrupted all the time.

During our team update this morning, I noticed, I think, that I go about things differently from Lisa. Maybe it’s just perception. She had her usual list of things to cover#151;lesson plans to review, proposals to respond to, and so forth. She worked down her list, telling us what she needed us to do. I thought about how my updates with Sharon go. Lisa works down through a list of what she needs from us. In my updates, I spend a lot of time saying what I’m working on. Maybe I talk about what I need too. But it just suddenly felt as if I go about things all wrong. Maybe I spend my time trying to justify things by going through that list of projects I’ve finished and the ones that I’m working on. Maybe if I peeked in on Lisa’s updates, I’d see her going through similar lists. The team meetings really aren’t the same as our individual meetings with Sharon. Still, I just had this revelation that I focus on the wrong things. And worse yet, I’m not quite sure how to change it. So much of what I do isn’t things that others can give me input on. I don’t need anything from them to update the server or work on interactives. Sigh… I guess I just have to try to listen more and then decide if I really am doing this all wrong.

Inbox: Research Strategies for the Internet Age

The Ideas section for this week’s Inbox focused on Research Strategies for the Internet Age: how to examine resources, avoiding plagiarism, and so forth.

I need to do a better job overall. I never get to work on time anymore, and people have noticed. I’ve been told that I have to improve. Soon. I wish I weren’t so messed up.

I watched something from Biography Channel on Dostoevsky. I wouldn’t normally have even known it was on, but I found it in the listings when I was scheduling the TiVo. So I scheduled it. Perhaps not the best thing I’ve ever seen, but it was at least one rerun of Spongebob that I didn’t watch—and I did get an overview of good old Fyodor. And there were lovely quotes to describe my life. Fyodor explores “what we are, not what we should be.” Now if I could only be happy with what I am, instead of what I should be. Then again, Dostoevsky focused on antiheroes, tortured loners on the outskirts of society. Maybe I’m trapped in a Dostoevsky novel, and I’m only just now figuring it out.

Now I have to go to bed. I MUST be at work on time or I’m going to be fired. I wish I could get more done and be better at all this. :(

Emeril is talking about how to make mushroom stock. I think I may throw up a little.

I got in touch with the roofer and the construction company, and someone is coming over to estimate the work on the hole in my ceiling tomorrow. No idea when the work will take place, but at least something is happening.

Another ReadWriteThink content report was due today, and we had two lessons: the 9-12 lesson, Defining Literacy in the Digital World, and a new K-2 lesson that went live today, Digging Up Details on Worms: Using the Language of Science in an Inquiry Study. Together, they hit three different areas that the NCTE Executive Committee has identified for our work this year. I also wrote up my Inbox column for tomorrow’s issue, but no hints.


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Why do I feel like such a failure for eating one cracker? Yes, that’s all I’ve had today. I was late. I’m always late, so I didn’t eat anything before coming in. I had had nothing since I’ve gotten here. Not even water. But I caved in and ate a cracker. And now, I feel like the world’s largest failure. But I’m not really sure what I failed at. Maybe everything.

Well, the day is almost over, and I haven’t done anything useful. I’m such a slacker. I did begin the laundry, and I need to go down to the basement and deal with the load in the washer. Other than that I fiddled about with TiVo settings and watched various things on Food Network and TCM. I had some trouble with the desktop application for the TiVo transfers. I ultimately had to delete every file with the word TiVo in its name by hand; then do a reinstall. It’s working though, and I copied a file to my machine. Didn’t try a DVD burn though. I have three blank DVDs but they are fairly nice. I need to go buy some cheap ones to practice with.

I feel badly. Partly, if not all physical. I so have physical symptoms and whatnot. But maybe it’s partly mental. My brain is stupid, so it’s probably partly my brain. I was having bad thoughts today about my life. I kept thinking that I wanted to just be a housewife, to stay home, keep things tidy, sew, cook for someone. I want to just do that. Maybe I just want someone who is mine to take care of. But that’s an all-wrong thought and my women’s studies training slapped my conscience around for such inappropriate thoughts. I think all the wrong things. Maybe I’m just still having nostalgic loneliness for the things I used to be able to do when I was home for the holidays, for the things I wanted to do but didn’t get to. I don’t know. I often think that I was born in the wrong time period. I just know that sometimes, like today, I think things that I know I’m not supposed to, that everything I’ve ever been taught says are wrong. I don’t know why I think such wrong things, so many different wrong things.

woohoo! I now have the TiVo working through the Airport. Wireless :) It took FOREVER to download that software and update the box. In that time, I read/skimmed the manual. Turns out TiVo is a Linux box. I’m so entertained by that. If I had known, it would have been another reason to choose it.

The cool part of all this is that now that TiVo is on the network, it’s just like another computer on the LAN. Well, actually it IS another computer on the LAN. I can copy recorded shows from the TiVo to my laptop and then burn them out as DVDs or save them as Windows Media files to play on another computer.

Now it’s time for sleep, but when I get up, I’ll go about scheduling things so that it records things while I’m at work or asleep. I know I’m being a lazy, gluttonous brat; but it’s too late now I guess. I already have it, and it’s all set up.

I am TiVoed. I rearranged the pile of electronics to new heights and untangled and then retangled a million wires. The update to the latest version of the software is still going on, but it’s working even now. The download is taking a lifetime, because it uses the phone line. Once I get the latest software, I can get it on the DSL connection. For the time being, however, I’m entertained.

I also (finally) unloaded nearly everything from the car earlier this afternoon. Some of it it still sitting in the kitchen, and other bits are scattered around. Most of it is not unpacked. But it’s not in the car anymore. That has to be enough. That and I got the trash to the street. That is the best I seem able to do today.

Karla and Dickie finished up the work on the C&W proposal. I may never have done less to create a conference proposal. I don’t deserve to even be included, but they tell me it’s too late now.