Sunday, January 27, 2008


Yesterday morning I had to take the Miller Analogy Test to get into grad school. The closest testing location was in Salem, MA. Since I finished the test at 9:30 am I thought I may as well make good use of the day and the gas I used getting there by exploring the city. I found a cute local bakery to get a tea and croissant while waiting for the Peabody Essex museum to open. Then I explored the museum- getting to see the origami exhibit I'd been told about months ago, wandering through other exhibits and following a tide of people headed into an auditorium. Turned out that I had shown up on the opening day of a film 5 high school and college students had developed on immigration. It was brilliantly put together, personal, accessible and interesting to people of all ages. I'm getting a free copy sent to me to share with the high schoolers, perhaps through their TV production class, or maybe in history. If I get really motivated it could be through those, plus math and english, shared with the entire school and the implications of being an immigrant could be discussed among our population comprised largely of first and second generation students.

After I left that Salem, I headed to the other, in NH, to buy an excessively large wheel for the critters to run in. I managed to avoid buying mass amounts of yarn even though Michael's was in the same plaza, yay for will power. Today I must exercise more of that will to actually do some work. I have to teach again tomorrow, haven't actually done that in a week and a half with midterms. I wonder what I should talk about...

Monday, January 21, 2008

gone in a flash

Last post I was excited about building, now those buildings are gone.

Habitat had finished one 2 family home and was doing finishing touches (last coat of paint and installing the fridge) on another. Other buildings surrounding these two were ready to be inspected for asbestos and work should have started any day now. Those buildings are gone, along with a number of others in a huge fire that swept through a block in Lawrence this morning. Families moved into the nearby middle school for the time being, bringing with them nothing but their pajamas and maybe a blanket. I'm sure these families include some of my students, yet somehow they have to take midterms tomorrow and go on with life.

I had other things to post about, but they've left my brain and are insignificant in comparison regardless.

Saturday, January 12, 2008


Last Saturday and today were spent at Habitat. Spending the day giving back to the community is a great feeling, especially since its Lawrence. But really, that is usually just an added bonus to the fact that someone will give me tools and let me play. Manual labor is so satisfying! I can really, truly know that I have accomplished something because I can see it. Tomorrow's goal is another minor construction project- creating another entrance to the degu cage on the top. The kids have become rather bold and both run right out if I open the door. An opening from above might allow me to take them out individually and without them escaping. I'm crossing my fingers it will work, since they seem to have a slow learning curve when it comes to following the command 'come here.'

My apartment complex finally has recycling! After months of badgering and sending recyclables home with various visitors I can recycle paper, cardboard, glass and plastic. I thought metal was a pretty commonly recycled material, but we'll celebrate small victories. The newsletter announced this accomplishment as going GREEN (their emphasis)- while this is an environmentally friendly move, I would not go nearly so far as to say this place is 'green.' These are the things that make me want to buy a place here.

Friday, January 04, 2008


=dinner, only on vacation.

Happy new year. We spent the eve in Haverhill, Boston and Methuen. It sounds like a crazy party hopping event, but we actually went to the thrift shop (where I attained a snazzy CD rack), the early bird fireworks and spent the late night at home, making sushi and drinking some interesting varieties of alcohol. Chai liquor is only good chilled, its just spicy and strange at room temperature.

The rest of the week has sped by, lots of reading, sleeping, lounging, playing with the pets and an afternoon of sledding in 10 degree weather. I'm glad we didn't know it was that cold when we left because it was still fun, in the really numb- can't tie my boots because my fingers don't understand that neuron signals are occurring- kind of way.

Today I finally decided to be productive- planned classes, applied to grad school and wrote a recommendation letter. It was strange to be on both sides of that process. I have a scary looking mountain of grading that will have to wait until Sunday. Tomorrow is habitat! We're painting and it'll be good to get out and do something. Plus I've really been wanting to go, its the best thing I can think of to honor Kelly.

The wine and pancakes are mixing strangely in my stomach, I think its time to lie on the couch and add pistachio nuts, because clearly that will unconfuse my poor digestive system!