Saturday, December 29, 2007


Home was nice. Sometimes my family is frustratingly smart though. I have been playing and getting 40-43 on average. This was great, higher than the people I challenged, until my dad and uncle both managed 49's (out of 50!). Their vocabulary has had twice as long to develop as mine, so I guess its something to aspire to.

Christmas was pleasantly quiet and everyone enjoyed my gifts. I managed to finish all of my yarn projects in time, and let my grandma take the snowman even thought I really wanted to take it home with me (so cute!). My kitchen is now even more fully stocked, especially with a 'play and freeze' ice cream ball! New years and ice cream go together, I swear.

The degu's survived the week, made some new friends and got a brand new, full size wheel. They also got names- Nala and Lola. Lola likes to run, so we get to say "run, Lola, run" and then laugh at the allusion. Nala is still a little skittish but she really loves gifts of toilet paper to add to the nest she is building.

Monday, December 17, 2007

live life

RIP Kelly

There are no words to describe the loss, 21 years old, so much potential, already accomplished more for this world than many do in a much longer lifetime. No Impact Man says it better than I can here.

There were many occasions when I was her mentor, but from now on she will be my inspiration. To teach, to love, to serve, to really live.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

money for fun

This afternoon I got paid to hang out with a bunch of math people and try to solve the problem: there is a lock with 5 buttons on it, to create the combination you can press as many buttons as you want, in any order you want and press them one at a time or in groups. How many combinations are there?

I'm going to spend the next three summers doing the same thing- getting paid to go to BU and solve problems with the same guy who has been teaching these workshops. In the process I get my masters which significantly increases my teaching salary. I still can't believe that people want to pay me to do cool things! Plus, I'll get to take the train into Boston every day, which means lots of time to sit by myself and get work done. Maybe I'll be the crazy person on the train who talks to themselves as I try to learn Spanish via podcast.

My degus are causing trouble already, trying to break out of their temporary home. I hope I can pick up the cage before they arrive this weekend!

My carbon impact is less than half of the average person's! Not that the average person is a good bar to compare to, but still an accomplishment. What's yours?

Monday, December 10, 2007

homemade pretty warm fuzziness

Meaning, the blanket I've been working on is finished. Complete with fringe! Its so pretty and matches my bedroom perfectly, I want to keep it... Sadly its a Christmas present so I'll only get to visit it occasionally.

I will get some replacement warm fuzzies this weekend: baby degus! They're like chinchillas, except smaller. Planning for their arrival has been my biggest form of procrastination lately. Getting them was very much an impulse decision so I've been giving myself a crash course in degu history and care.

Grading quizzes was a surprisingly amusing venture this weekend. My students have taken to writing notes when they encounter problems they can't do. Such as:
"Fractions, aaaaahhhhh!" -I still really don't understand what is scary about fractions
"I need to retake this test, you teach too fast" -the student who sleeps through class
"Two b's??!!" -next to 5b+1=2b+7, a type of problem we spent several classes on
"Things that work well together" -definition of coefficient

Monday, December 03, 2007

Snow day?

Yup, today was a snow day. Guess when I found out? I had a pretty good hunch that there was at least a delay when I turned off the highway to find no traffic at all. I wasn't really sure though until I asked the security guard getting in his car to leave. Apparently Lawrence closes all of the schools for a couple inches of snow overnight. I did try to check school closings this morning, but the radio didn't mention any in the few minutes I turned it on and a check of the school website and a google search turned up nothing. I have now set up a text message and email that will arrive as soon as delays are announced.

I spent the day appropriately- got some stuff done at home that needed taking care of. Mostly though, I lounged and baked cookies, crocheted and left my school stuff packed up. Best of all, I decorated my 'Christmas Tree.' The yucca that lives with me is nearly as tall as I am now so I wrapped it up in a strand of lights and hung some snowmen and peppermint candy ornaments on it while listening to holiday music. It was downright festive, without being gaudy like some of the banners my neighbors have hung on their balcony. With the added bonus of avoiding the 'artificial vs. real: which is more environmentally friendly?' debate.

This weekend was great, and after spending a lot of quality time in coffee shops with great friends I'm wishing for a good coffee shop around here to hang out in. I almost got motivated to go find one today, but the idea of staying home all day won out. My tea might not be as fancy and my apartment may not be as social, but not having to drive always seems to trump everything else.

p.s. After all that discussion, I decided to take the calculus class, even if it is 4 preps. Good luck to me!