1. morning meeting
3. afternoon grade-stravaganza / presentation preparation fest
4. evening dinner with an old friend / psuedo-sister who’s blowing through town for a night
So I’m a nicknamer. It’s a thing. I really enjoy the giving of nicknames, and the less practical, the better. I particularly like nicknaming my students, as I think it expresses the attitude of light-hearted-fun-lovingness that I hope to create in my classroom. This term, I’ve had some truly funny students who have put up with a lot in terms of my nicknaming. To wit: Travis James [last name redacted] has become: Travjam, T-Jimpsers, T-Jimmity, Trav-Jambo, TJ Hooker, Jim Travers, and JamTime. I’d share more of them with you, but most are first-and-last-name combos, which means I can’t reveal them without violating FERPA.
However, I can share with you my new favorite thing: when students nickname me. You see, since I’m such an enthusiastic nicknamer, I told them they could, if they wished, also nickname me. So far, I’ve gotten:
Milesy Cyrus (which is a pretty hilarious play on my last name, though I don’t share my last name in this forum)
Aren’t my little jerks the most amazing and hilarious students around? I’m a little bit in love with my job right now. And with their brains. I’m hoping for more good nicknames soon.
1. lesson plan — why do I always do this in the hour before I teach? Or, perhaps a more accurate question: why are the lesson plans I generate in the hour before I teach always so much better than the ones I spend weeks on?
3. afternoon pedagogy seminar during which I tried not to spill my lunch all over myself — nothing but classiness over here!
dress: vintage (the tags are illustrated — they make me so happy!) belt: vintage boots: Civico 10 tights: Target
Usually, I take my outfit picture early in the day, before I’ve been haggard and wind-blown and wrinkled and chalk-dusted by the day. Not today! Today I arrived at campus to find that my password had expired and I needed to create a new one; no big deal, right? Nope! I created a new one, but then everything fell apart and I couldn’t access our department printing privileges, etc. Needless to say, I didn’t have my act together before class started. But I prevailed, and held an awesome discussion of language and politics with my kiddos. And only once did I realize that the lowest button on this here shirt-dress had come unbuttoned, possibly revealing more leg to my students than I had intended! Success all around.
3. union bargaining — I don’t actually have to do anything, but as one of my department’s union stewards, I like to go to our union bargaining sessions and make serious face at the university’s bargaining team.
dress, blouse: Loft, both thrifted boots: Civico 10 white tights: shut up, I’m not wearing tights; those are just my legs and no, I don’t get much sun
This morning’s conversation with myself:
Self: Hey, Martina, it’s warm out! You can eschew tights! Rejoice!
Me: Great idea, self! Let’s wear that one blue dress we love.
Self: Superb! And let’s layer something cute underneath it.
Me: Oh, but I already wore it with that one shirt that one time. What else could I possibly wear with it?
Self: Martina, jeez. Come on! You know what you can wear with that dress? ANYTHING!
Me: [insert maniacal cackling here] True, self. Very true… [Burns-esque finger tapping]
2. afternoon pedagogy course
3. work work work
dress: Banana Republic, thrifted sweater and tights: Target belt: vintage boots: Civico 10
For some reason, day two of the teaching is always more stressful to me than day one. Is it because now I actually have to teach them something? Who knows.
1. morning pre-teaching madness — the copier was down last night, so I had to make my copies this morning right before teaching. So stressful for me!
2. teach! I love the first day of a new term, but it also wears me out.
3. afternoon puppy time! Puppy sitting is the best gig ever.
dress: c/o eShakti sweater: Gap belt and necklace: vintage boots: Civico 10
Every now and again, I like to go through the incoming search terms that have drawn visitors to this here blog. Most of the time, they make sense — “teacher in boots,” for example, was a given, as was “tattoos as an academic.” But sometimes? Sometimes they are absolutely perplexing and make me thank the stars that Google’s search formula thingy (mathematical equation? mystical alchemy? whatever) works the way it does. With that stunning intro, I present you all with my list of the best and weirdest recent incoming search terms:
Bitch in rainboots — I am sometimes sassy…
Cleavage homemade — you’re correct: it’s not store-bought.
Back tato(I wait judgement day) — I’ve kept the spelling and grammar errors intact for authenticity.
Funny fair trade bananas — what?
Very many pictures of beautiful women and very very hot bodys or thighs — the extra “very” really gets me
Biggest bare tits in the world — not here, friend. Sorry to disappoint.
Anyhow, this title is also fitting because of the great deal of searching I had to undertake in order to find my new classroom. The good part about working at a hundred-plus-year-old university is that everything is beautiful. The bad part is that the most beautiful buildings are also the weirdest. But I found the room and my students and we had a good first day, so here’s to the new term!
3. more work
4. teach — tonight is the last day of class, and I have to admit: I’m going to miss these little dudes!
dress – Old Navy (ancient) blouse (worn under the dress) – thrifted tights – Gap knee-socks – Hema rain-boots – Hunter belt – J.Crew scarf – from a fair-trade source (a beloved gift from my beloved Mommy)
Man oh man, has this ever been a whirlwind of a term! Tonight is my last night with this class and I’m realizing how much I’m going to miss them. They were challenging and enraging, just like every class is, but they were also rewarding in a totally unique way. I always tell my students to keep in touch, to drop by my office and let me know how things are going, to think of me as a resource for the rest of their time here at the University. Some of my students have taken me up on that — in fact, some of the students I mentored way back when I was an undergrad “peer mentor” have remained dear friends whose lives I’m constantly impressed by — but I really hope these ones do. I’m really proud of them.
So I baked them cookies last night. It’s the least I can do, right?
2. mid-afternoon shopping break — my favorite thrift store is having its quarterly 50% off sale and I am a sucker
3. teach in the evening
4. celebrate Purim all day long!
dress – Loft, thrifted boots – vintage blouse – Old Navy tight – Target
So, Purim is another one of those amazing Jewish holidays where we celebrate a time when someone tried to kill us all, but didn’t succeed. Yay! But truly, Purim is actually a really fun holiday. Purim features:
- noisemakers, called graggers, that you’re supposed to sound every time wicked Haman’s name is spoken to drown out his bad name
- the bad-ass heroine Esther, who uses a variety of wiles and awesomeness to defeat Haman’s plan and save all the Jews of Persia (perfect lady to think about on International Women’s Day, no?)
- hamantaschen, these amazing jam-filled cookies that are meant to look like a tri-corner hat. Or, as my friend Sarah said, “‘I’ll eat my hat’ never sounded so tasty.”
- a commandment to get so drunk that you can’t tell the difference between “wicked Haman” and “blessed Mordechai.” I am so sad to be breaking this commandment…
What I’m saying is, this is a super fun holiday. I wish I was celebrating it in style. But at least I’m wearing a blouse under a dress, something I would never have done pre-blogging. Because I don’t feel comfortable having bare arms when I teach, I always wear this dress with a cardigan over it. But that sort of diminishes the awesomeness of the dress’s faux-wrap shape! Enter: the jumper-style compromise. And you know what? I love it.
Happy Purim, all!
1. morning class
2. afternoon class
3. the break in the middle of the day where I try to DO ALL THE THINGS
4. teach in the evening
jeans – Old Navy Sweetheart boots – Hunter Wellies blouse – Gap sweater – Target belt – vintage scarf – a street market in Holland (hey hey, Albert Cuyp Markt!)
When I woke up this morning, at 6:45 (or, as I think of it, the Horrible Hour), there was snow on the ground, snow lightly blowing around the backyard, snow delicately piled up on the doghouse. It was very picturesque. So I dressed in anticipation of snow: heavy socks, rain-boots, practical trousers (instead of skirts). But do you know what I found when I stepped out of the door? Not-snow. But the sun came out, so I got to wear my new sunglasses:
shades – Franco Sarto
Oh, Oregon! When is your weather going to start making sense?
1. student group conferences all day long
boots and sweater – vintage jeans – Old Navy blouse (you can only see the collar) – Anthropologie belt – Gap
So I teach college composition, as you may know. While it’s not everyone’s favorite class (to take, to teach), I actually really like it. I think it’s important, I think it’s useful, and I think most students discount those first two facts, which means that every class I teach is my opportunity to absolutely change how my students think about writing.
But. But it’s also not the easiest class to make…. fun. It’s also not the easiest class to get students invested in. So I do a lot of work as an instructor to make my classes fun and to try to get my students invested in each other as peers. So this term, I’m trying a new thing: writing circles. Students are grouped into three-person circles and they then spend the term working together on each other’s writing. Today was the first day that we met in groups and I have to say, it was an exhausting blast. I was delighted to see them work together.
Here’s how it work: they read each other’s papers. They answer specific questions in written form about the strengths and weaknesses of each other’s work. Then they come together, in my office, and talk with each other about what they need to change in revision. And here’s the thing: they are amazing! They say what I would have said. They are critical and considerate readers of each other’s work. They ask astute questions and interrogate the way they’re crafting their arguments. It’s great to watch!
It’s also really exhausting. They come for hour-long meetings and we talk and I work and there’s no time for me to rest and I just need to be on all day. It’s really draining. So I am now really spent. Plus, it turns out that this is the most difficult sartorial event in a good long time… how do I look professorial and professional without looking weird and uncomfortable while sitting in my cramped office with students all day? I took the jeans-with-a-polish route. And hey, I’ll get to do it all day tomorrow, too, so if today didn’t work, then I get another chance in a few hours!
1. morning class
2. afternoon class
3. plan and write and grade and coffee
4. evening teaching
dress – Loft, thrifted ($6, baby!) boots – vintage sweater – thrifted and refashioned by me tights – Gap
It’s Tuesday morning. It’s pouring rain. I’ve just arrived for a 12+ hour day. Let’s do this! There’s something about the amount of sleep I got last night, or my love for this new-to-me dress, or the amazing This American Life episode I listened to during my morning commute that really kicked me into high gear today. So today? It’s on; let’s do this!