Tuesday, February 02, 2010


  • The Best Thing: Hubby has a phone interview today with Small Midwest Regional School (SMRS), and I am completely in love with the idea of this school, the town, the area of the country, the chance to go back to the U.S.--everything! They also have an English position open, but it's in a period just a tad bit earlier than my work (Renaissance). All good prayers, vibes, well wishes would be most appreciated in the AcadeFamily household. OMG, I want him to do well. Unfortunately, he's had almost no time to prepare, and since he's not back on our main campus, he doesn't even have the colleagues to conduct a mock interview. I put together a dossier about the school for him, a list of questions to expect (based on the placement seminar I had, Chronicle resources, and other files I've accumulated), and I offered to listen to his answers, etc. They're interviewing 10 other candidates, so he's got his work cut out for him, but he really would be a fantastic fit for this school!
  • I've applied to more CC jobs than 4-year schools...Job security (tenure-track) and a place where my family can settle has now trumped other considerations. I've also taken to heart much of the conversations about new PhDs needing to alter their expectations of what constitutes academic success. Okay, consider my expectations altered. Now give me a job.
  • My anxiety levels are back to where they were when we were preparing to move over here. I have an enormous amount of difficulty falling asleep, and then, if I get up with the baby, I have just as hard a time getting back to sleep. You'd think that would exhaust me? But no, the following night I'm still wide awake, brain won't shut off....worried about all things dissertation, job market, and moving.
  • I am so irritated with some of my students! Seriously, some student issues are seemingly universal. They don't like writing...they procrastinate...they forget their books, etc. That happens everywhere. There are some problems, howeve, that I have learned are specific to students in the Gulf region, and they are driving me insane! I have at least one student each semester who thinks it is acceptable to belligerently argue with me and insist that I take hir work, despite the fact that it is late; or, that I at least give hir partial credit. And when I mean argue, I mean stand in my face and repeat the same things over and over again, despite me saying, "No. I'm sorry, but it isn't fair for me to accept work you didn't bring to class when everyone else *did* follow the instructions. This is not negotiable." When I point out to said student that ze is arguing, ze claims "I just want to understand." What the hell is there to understand? Follow directions! Come to class prepared! Pretty simple stuff.
  • Also, I have three little doe-eyed Qatari girls who clearly worked so closely together on their first essay that it constitutes plagiarism. They all wrote on the same "event," despite the fact that the assignment was a Narration and Description Essay on an important personal moment, time period, or event. Apparently, they all had the exact same life-changing event happen to them.
  • I am desperately looking forward to returning to the main campus to defend my dissertation! That is, of course, unless I end up having to re-schedule my defense date because I am lame and can't finish the revisions in time, in which case I would rather hide in shame and drink myself silly. If things go well, though, I shall eat wonderful Mexican food, drink wine and martinis daily, consume large amounts of pork, chill and catch up with dear friends, and flitter about a very cool conference that our department is hosting that week. Oh, and on top of that, my Mom is driving down to spend time with me!! I don't remember the last time we spent time alone together, much less more than a couple hours.
  • I truly believe Amelia is allergic to this country. She's constantly got a runny/snotty/stuffy nose, and it can't be fun for her. It seems to get worse the more time she spends outside. She is now saying "Mama" daily, which makes my heart sing! She has a giant, toothy smile that's surrounded by chunky, rosy cheeks, and I just love her to pieces. Hannah continues rehearsals for her role as a member of Fagan's Gang in Oliver!, an outside activity that she's taken to like a fish in water. Eliza is happy, healthy, and smart, and I'm amazed at how much of the Arabic language she is picking up at her nursery.