Archive for June, 2009

the five things that i don’t like about teaching in summer. and their upsides.

Posted in books are bliss, drama drama drama, me, teaching, the joys of living in Florida, will work for food on June 29, 2009 by drbolte

1. the blinding, pit-soaking heat.

i’m really sorry if that’s too much information, but it’s the honest truth. i have to mop myself up before going to class. and that’s just with a 7 or so minute walk across campus. at 11 a.m.  i love florida summers, she says to herself.

upside: it’s training me (and my sweat glands) for august 8th, when i’ll be all decked out in satin and crinoline and hairspray, taking pictures.  at 11 a.m.

2. the blank stares of students on the first day of classes, when they stare at you as if you have the answers to all of life’s problems. or at least like they’re a tiny bit afraid of what you’ll do to them.

upside: when they laugh for the first time? it’s like a zing of success. i love watching them visibly relax when they realize that i am not in fact satan.

3. how hard it is to fill time in a 75 minute class. you can either plan for 50 minutes or you can plan for 90 minutes. i find it incredibly difficult, especially EVERY SINGLE DAY, to fill 75 minutes. i was rather surprised at how quickly i got through what i had planned for the first day. my syllabus schpeel? took like 4 minutes.  hello speed talker.

upside: i am not a clock watcher, so i go with the flow.  we’ll probably always get out a bit early. they’ll love me for that.

4. needy students with complicated questions. class hadn’t even started when i got an email from a student.  then i had two fairly complex issues to deal with straightaway after class ended.  yeesh.

upside: i am apparently approachable.  that’s not a bad thing.

5. the panic i genuinely feel when i start reading a novel and wonder how on earth i am going to find anything of substance to say. i have read jane austen’s persuasion probably at least six times, conservatively, at this point.  i know the novel backwards and forwards. i still find new and interesting things in it, but i am sometimes awash in panic that i am either going to come up with topics too mundane to suit the needs of a 3000 level literature class or too obscure to suit anyone but a phd teaching one of the novels in her dissertation.

i really do worry about this stuff.

upside: it makes me a better teacher, i suppose. and usually about the time that the panic starts to set in, the ideas start to trickle in. i’ve been scribbling them down on the title page in yellow highlighter the whole time i’ve been reading. i think it’s a hodge-podge of simplistic and profound.  i guess that’s pretty good.

at least i’m not depending on them to guide the class.  although they’re supposed to…

we’ll see how it goes.

i’m rather tired already.

ten things beginning with the letter c.

Posted in Uncategorized on June 28, 2009 by drbolte

so i’m participating in a meme that’s been going around the blogs. i get assigned a letter (in this case, c…) and then i tell you ten things that i like beginning with that letter.

it’s harder than it seems, fyi, but if you want to participate, let me know. i’ll give you a letter.

so, without further ado, the ten things that i like with the letter c. i was supposed to give you images, but copyright makes me crazy.

carousels

chocolate chips

cats

courage

christmas!

cupcakes

candles

caribbean blue

conversation

charity



well, hello, classroom. i’d forgotten all about you.

Posted in books are bliss, i love my life, teaching on June 26, 2009 by drbolte

with all the angst about job searches in the fall and all the different, but the same, angst about job searches in the spring and all of the part time teaching jobs that seem to keep falling out of the sky (or, i should say, the potential of multiple more part time teaching jobs that may in fact kill me but that i would still do anyways because hello MONEY and we could save some and that would be brilliant), you would think that preparing to teach on monday would not be nervewracking and slightly scary.

you would be, in fact, WRONG.

the classroom? haven’t set foot in one for an academic year.

there are lovely elements of being on fellowship. that’s one of them. and, in theory, it’s the perfect time to, you know, FINISH your dissertation but let’s not talk about that and instead talk about how i lost 40 pounds and found the love of my life instead.

still a pretty productive time, i’d say.

but i’m back to the thing i love to do most on monday. i’m teaching. and not just teaching, but teaching an upper-division novel course.  in six weeks.

let’s all say WHEW! in unison, shall we?

(i’ll wait. go ahead.)

i’m excited. oh, i’m EXCITED. but i’m also nervous. i find myself thinking about all kinds of things–what will i wear? should i worry about wearing professional or worry about not dying in my walk across campus in the death hot (and if today is any indication, it will feel like a tropical sauna)? how will i interact with my students? are my teaching skills rusty?

but strangely, at the same time as all of these thoughts about what to do comes a kind of oddly idiotic detachment. have i started reading the first novel? nope. did i intend to? heck yes. have i done my syllabus? yes. have i completely finished my first day’s lecture? nope. and, while i should be freaking out about it, i feel a strange sense of zen.

i’m not sure it’s zen, actually. i think it might be denial.

nevertheless, come what may…monday brings the teaching.  i’m kind of excited.

and i should kind of do some work.

i’ll admit it. maybe i’ll be the only one who will.

Posted in celebrities, Life, the internets on June 25, 2009 by drbolte

you can call me callous if you want.

i’m more saddened by the death of farrah fawcett than i am by michael jackson. perhaps it is the 24-7 news world that we live in, aided by facebook (on a lark, i decided to see how many of my friends had updated their statuses about mj…the answer? MANY.), twitter, eonline, and a whole host of others, but i am no longer really surprised by sudden things like this. heath ledger perhaps did me in.

(of course, i’ll date myself, but i remember princess diana and gianni versace…and the oj chase…so i feel like i’ve seen it all evolve.)

i suppose i feel like both of these tragic souls deserved some peace.  i hope they find some.

but really, and i feel like a jerk for admitting this, but one of my primary thoughts (after the “seriously?”) was this: can i still play thriller at my reception, or is that going to be morbid?

i may, in fact, be a horrible person. but seriously?

life goes on.

the 44 days project.

Posted in bff, i love my life, the engaged life on June 24, 2009 by drbolte

when it neared the end of 2008, i was also nearing the end of my journal pages. i’d bought it around the middle or so of 2006, and it had basically seen me through the bff’s mission and all that came with that two-year span of personal development.  it was obviously full of a lot of important stuff.

once i got back to gville in 2009, i wrote a few things over the first two weeks, but then dropped off as life sped up.  i wrote about the big milestones here, so things were recorded, but very little of the really deep internal stuff got recorded, fleshed out.

as the wedding has gotten closer, i have felt more and more compelled to record.  the blog is different. i feel like the blog has become, in some ways, a way to record the excitement i feel about what’s going on, to update you on what’s happening. it has drifted from personal introspection because, for whatever reason, that introspection has become increasingly deep.

in short, the divide betweeen blog fodder and journal contents seems alarmingly large.

this realization lit a fire under me, if by fire you mean it took me about a week and a half to do something about it.

but i bought a journal today.  and as i was thinking about why i felt so almost desperate to get one and start writing, i realized that the most priceless gift i could give myself and my children is to record all that’s going on right now.

there’s a lot more to getting married than buying a dress and having a party.  it’s the joining of two people, two families, two worlds that can be very different.  it’s the figuring out how you want to raise your children and how often you want to have breakfast for dinner.  it’s coming up with a financial plan and deciding which color comforter you both like.

for me, it has been a road paved with a lot of realizations that i’m only now understanding.  it’s the confronting of a lot of the things that i don’t like about myself–learning how to change those things or how to be kind and accept them as a wholesale lot.

i think these are the things that no one really tells you about being engaged.  i think these are the things that i never want to forget about being engaged.

so, for the next 44 days, i’m going to write in my journal every day (or try as much as i can). so much happens every day.

my little red journal, then, will become the story of our engagement from my perspective.  i think that will be a beautiful gift to give myself–and to all of the little bffs that come along.

i am excited about it.

four steps forward, three steps back.

Posted in Uncategorized on June 23, 2009 by drbolte

it means i’m making progress, but it’s depressingly slow.

i got to nc and suddenly was struck with a deeply evil sore throat. i thought it was allergies, as i thought my massive headaches last week were. but…’tis not so. some kind of virus has taken hold of my left tonsil and is not wanting to leave me alone.

it’s annoying.

it has also not stopped me from spending COPIOUS amounts of money on all manner of wedding things. i’m trying not to think too hard about my credit card bill.

i have now bought three pairs of wedding shoes. two white and one silver. the silvers i bought because i couldn’t find the white in my size. found them at another store and bought them. i sort of want to keep the silver ones, but i’ll probably take them back and then sell the other white ones i bought online.

(lesson learned: don’t buy shoes online unless you’re REALLY REALLY sure about the fit…)

i’m currently laying on the couch watching harper’s island back episodes on the computer.

i still haven’t done my makeup trial. the only thing i’m really concerned about is finding a base and a concealer that will even out my skin tone and get rid of my scary undereye circles (being sleep deprived for like 97 months will do that to you…), as well as finding the right combination of colors that will dramatically call attention to my eyes without making me look crazy made up and find a lip color that looks natural but awesome.

basically, i should just have my roommate do my makeup, but i’m kind of wanting to know how to do it myself too.

also, i really, really, really, really want to NOT be sick (even a little bit) on saturday. it’s my first bridal shower! i’m getting really excited.

(i may or may not have accidentally seen on my registry that some exciting things have already been bought. i went not for that purpose. i went so that i could update the number of plates that i want…but…scrolling happened. and i feel guilty. it takes some of the surprise out of it. but i only saw a couple, and i’m sure i’ll be so excited when i get them. should i feel guilty? i feel guilty. i should stop it.

and ban myself from ever looking at it again.)

that’s pretty much the end. except that i’m having fun.

and i miss my bff SOOOO much.

we’re rather pathetic. oh well. i’m happily and pathetically in love. ❤

have you left me?

Posted in bff, family, forward my mail, Life, me, my amazing mother, superheckyes, the engaged life, the glass is half FULL on June 17, 2009 by drbolte

…or are you just melting somewhere in the death hot?

my main goal every single day lately is to stay alive in this heat and to stay hydrated at the same time. it takes effort, i want to tell you.

i’m off to nc tomorrow morning to spend a week with my family. it will be wedding preparationspalooza, with a side of going to the apple store and forcing them to replace my shorted out power cord and some time spent at the gym and blissfully asleep in the seriously air conditioned house, hopefully with a cat or two by my side. i feel like naps are definitely going to be in order.

i’m very excited. i don’t think i’ve been this excited to go anywhere for a while, and that makes me very happy. i can already feel the weight of stress leaving me.

changes of scene are good.

the bff is not so excited to see me leave, for which i feel a bit guilty.  i will miss him, of course, but i am thrilled to be able to go hang out and get taken care of by my mama.

i need it. i’m not ashamed to admit that at all.

the bff will be here, finishing classes and working at a new job and probably playing a lot of ncaa football 2009 and (i hope) doing fun things with his friends too.  i am hoping he will catch up on his sleep as well. and i am really hoping he will eat while i’m gone.

(i feed him a lot.)

come what may, it will be good. when i return, i will return to my first bridal shower and the start of the summer class that i will be teaching up until the wedding and the sprint to the finish.

the finish, of course, being the absolute bliss and blessing of starting our lives together.

i’m not sure if i’ll blog this week. i imagine i might, but i’m not sure. so keep me on your readers and i’ll pop back in when i’m back, when my computer is fixed, and with heaps of updates on lacy, frilly, pearly, gorgeous things i bought and fun times i had.

it will be good.

take care of yourselves and each other in the meantime. and drink some water, will you please? it’s hot out there.

bridal diaries: in which i introduce and illustrate what i call “bride brain.”

Posted in bff, bridal diaries, me, the engaged life on June 15, 2009 by drbolte

this weekend, the bff and i went to otown to get some things done.  basically, it was wedding gown weekend. i was going to meet with his grandma to get measurements taken, to find a pattern and fabric, and to show her my dress so that she could make the bolero that she said that she would be willing to make for me. i also made an appointment at david’s to get my alterations done, since i was told that they wanted two months to do them. we were only planning on being there for a little bit over a day–we left on friday afternoon and would leave to return to gville on saturday night.

we left a bit later than we had intended, and i packed only after i ran home from work.  i felt like we needed to hurry and leave because we were running late, but we got there safely and were intending to make some good use of the pool once we did.

(this may explain my hurry to leave.)

when we got there, the bff’s mom told me that she had found a dress for the bff’s sister, who is one of my bridesmaids, and wanted me to see it. it looks a lot like mine in design, which she was worried would bother me (it doesn’t.), and when the bff’s sister got there, she tried it on. we were all standing in the guest room and the bff’s sister said that she really wanted to see my dress. i began to reply that she could see it sometime and then it hit me. it literally felt like something hit me.

I LEFT MY DRESS IN GVILLE.

all of my worrying about what shorts to wear and whether or not i had flip flops that properly matched mattered very little when i forgot the one thing that was absolutely essential to the success of this weekend.

i was horrified. i was already exhausted, headachy (i feel like i’ve had a headache for about a week straight), and hot.  now i was stupid and forgetful.

i went and grabbed my purse, intending to just go back and get it.  the bff’s parents were horrified at this, worried that i would be too tired and suggesting that i just come down another weekend and get it done.  a light of realization glimmered in their eyes when i told them that there wasn’t another weekend before the wedding that i could do it.  every single weekend was occupied.

i don’t think they really understood before that how busy i actually am.

there were many options tossed around about how to fix the situation: go then and stay in gville overnight and come back in the morning, have the bff and the bff’s dad wake up very early in the morning and go to gville to get my dress, hang out for a little while and then go get it, or go then and get it and turn around and come right back.  though the least popular option among the bff’s family, the last option was really the only one i could deal with.

see, the minute i realized that i had left my dress, a colossal wave of “i can’t believe i did that” and “how stupid can you be?” and “what a huge waste” crashed down on my brain.  the idea of waiting around just made my skin crawl. i had to fix it. and i had to fix it then.

bless him, the bff, when we talked about what to do, totally understood and just grabbed the keys and said “let’s go.” i was surprised–it seemed unnecessary for him to come. it was my mistake. i was very okay with just going and coming back. i wanted him to stay and hang out with his family.  it would have been fine, truly.

but he would have none of it.  so we drove up, grabbed the dress, tore a loop off of our paper chain, and got back in the car.

he is a saint, according to my mom, because he never once, even for a moment, seemed irritated or critical of my MASSIVE mistake.  he just understood.  he probably understands better than anyone how fried my brain is right now.

so luckily we got all of  the stuff done that we needed to do. and my alterations? take two weeks.  NOT two months.  oh well.

as we were pulling into the parking lot of my apartment building on saturday night, the bff turned to me (who was driving) and said “i left my keys in your car, right?”

nope. left them on the keyring in otown.

(luckily, the bff’s sister is coming back today, so his keys will be arriving soon.)

with a roommate out of town and no spares to be found at 11pm, the bff was relegated to camping on our couch and wearing whatever he had in the car.

it happens. apparently, lately, it’s contagious. i thought that was an appropriate way to end the weekend, actually.

oh dear.

facebook bares my soul?

Posted in me on June 12, 2009 by drbolte

i have been told twice on facebook in the last week that i rock.

by people who live far, far away and, while they know me, couldn’t possibly experience the day-to-day of me.

(they might be glad. some days, i would be.)

i find this somewhat strange. and puzzling. or maybe stuzzling.

why would they say i rock? i feel far from rockish. i feel…weakish. and stressish. and somewhat sheepish that i have gotten a whole lot of not a lot done this week.

rockish?

not so much.

but it’s been lovely to hear, completely unsolicited and from lovely people that i like very much.

(please note. this is not an invitation for more comments with similar content. this is merely musing, because i wanted to blog and didn’t know what to talk about and then ta-da…)

bridal diaries: favor quotes.

Posted in bff, bridal diaries, me, the engaged life on June 10, 2009 by drbolte

i was going to write today a whining post about how MUCH I JUST WANT MY BODY TO FREAKING ADJUST to birth control already, and about how i am experiencing just the tiniest bit of what it must be like to have morning sickness and i’m NOT a fan (that’s stupid. is anyone?), and about how when i was 130 pounds heavier, somehow birth control was not this horrible, and about how periods are absolutely NOT easier (yet) because i woke up this morning, after mercifully sleeping well but dreaming about weddings all night, with literally everything except my chest and my feet in some degree of pain, and about how that, on top of whatever else it is that is plaguing my body by making me randomly feverish periodically, made me think that this was just the suckage.

BUT.

things are looking up. i ate an apple and it tasted good. i actually got more cheerful when i got to work with students at work. the time passed more quickly than i thought it would because of the aforementioned students.  my bff is the most amazing guy ever. i read weddingbee and got wedding excited. and my night will probably consist of laying on my futon mattress, sprawled out in the middle of the living room floor, watching reality television. i might possibly eat banana pancakes. or poptarts.

things are looking up.

so here’s your wedding planning update.

favor bags.

i bought some, off of oriental trading, in red and yellow (or maybe i got them in red and white? i can’t remember now…). i will fill them with some kind of candy that has yet tbd, and they will be lovely. they look something like this:

14_302

but i want to personalize them somehow.

basically, i want to schmaltz them up with a quote and something with our names and wedding date. i’ll probably use the same font as i did on our invitations, so that’s not hard.

but choosing the quote…THAT’S hard.

i randomly saw this on someone’s facebook status. it’s from wuthering heights.

“he shall never know how I love him: and that, but because he is more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.”

it’s a lovely sentiment and very true for us, but i’m not sure i want my wedding tainted with what is perhaps the WORST AND MOST UNHEALTHY relationship ever captured in print.

i have had this quote on my facebook wall for ages, and i used it in the bff’s valentine’s day extravaganza gift.

Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.–Lao Tzu.

i love that quote, but it’s not really over the top romantic, is it? just true.

so i went to the google and i googled some stuff.  these are rather lovely.

Two human loves make one divine.–Elizabeth Barret Browning

True love stories never have endings.  ~Richard Bach

Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.–Aristotle

anyone have any others? i’m not sure i’ve found the right one yet. i haven’t even hit the song lyrics, though…that’s always an option…