Friday, April 18, 2014

 Unfortunately, I didn't remember to take a picture until the job was started, but here is the before photo of the back of "the chair."
And here's "the chair" all done!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

I do my own taxes -- with pencil and paper, no software. It's a math activity that I like enough to not feel the need to pay for. But overall, I hate the task. I can't stand seeing how much we pay, and sometimes have to pay. It isn't that I want to shirk paying my fair share. I'd never cheat to try to get money back or avoid paying. But seriously? I also cannot stand the convoluted paperwork. Really? I'm 100% a public sector person, have great respect for civil servants, but are you kidding me? I can just imagine the ridiculous process that produces these absurd calculations.

What hurt this year was that I'd planned Friday as "the day" but then I was too sick to even attempt getting started. So it waited until yesterday. I still didn't feel great, but I had no choice. I finished at 2:45 AM, and the mailman took the envelopes away at 9:45. Yay.

I can't really write this on fb as I have a few "friends" who are "on the system" types who also are fb bullies. It gives me no pleasure to contemplate that my $ goes into their pockets -- they are perfectly competent, even privileged people who are lazy or crazy or both, and just feel entitled to take. Anything I wrote would be interpreted as if I was either a militia type or a 1%-er. Then, I don't want to empower the other extreme, the sprinkling of anti-government types among my "friends" who would perceive me as a kindred spirit! LOL. There's a lot more nuance possible here at GBP.

The other distasteful thing about the annual task is that it takes time away from my to do list -- and the clock is ticking on end of semester.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Thank you gift from a boy in faith formation

Thursday night after I got home from campus, I came down with the worst stomach bug I've had in years. Ugh! The details are TMI, but let's say you can just rip yesterday's calendar page out. At this point, I am up to ginger ale and toast (one piece). Since I don't eat bread or drink soda, this took some doing!

The case of the missing chair: recently I moved into a new (much nicer) office. The prior occupant left behind a wooden side chair with tattered upholstery. The chairs in her new office are in better shape, and she said I could have it, or if I felt it was too forlorn, I should throw it away.

I liked the chair, despite the worn fabric, and decided I would keep it. When Bob visited to see my new space, he immediately said "that's a Gunlock chair." So I bought fabric, and hauled his cordless screwdriver to campus on Tuesday to begin the reupholster job.

I took off the back, but discovered the seat required a regular screwdriver, which wasn't in the case. I decided the fabric needed ironing anyway, so I'd have to finish on Thursday. Thursday morning I arrived with another screwdriver and an iron...and my chair was gone!

After looking around the department (lots of moves, painting, etc. taking place at present), I contacted the office that has responsibility for such tasks, and was referred to email elsewhere, which I did. No response. Suddenly our department coordinator had a bright idea...she found my chair in the tunnel (four stories below).

Now, I have some ideas...but who took my chair and why?

Studying social class in Toleration class. I assigned groups of students a class, and had them make posters.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Second to last faith formation class. The kids have spring fever -- lots of energy to say the least! Tonight, we studied the art print "Good Friday" by Maggi Hambling (1989) and started the culminating project: banners that will be displayed in the chirch for Easter. These are the samples we made. The kids have the same burlap panel, bamboo dowel / rope hanger, and burlap cross. Aside from those elements, they will have free choice of design and decorations: felt, foam mosaic squares, fabric markers, artificial flower petals, dried flower potpourri, and pictures of flowers from old calendars. Tonight we looked at many design ideas and worked on sketches, and then they cut out shapes and letters. Next week will involve about a case of Elmer's glue as they put it all together.

 Teddy cat went to a veterinary opthamologist this morning. He's had clousy eyes ever since we adopted him, but after his third eye ulcer episode a couple weeks ago, our vet Dr. Tina referred us to a specialist. It turns out he has corneal dystrophy, a condition that is fairly common in dogs (especially boston terriers, chihuahuas and doxies) but rare in cats. There is no cure for it, but hopefully the eye drops he'll be on for the rest of his life will prevent the ulcers from developing, or at least reduce the frequency.

His right eye was bad before he saw our regular vet 3 weeks ago. It cleared up with the ointment she gave us (as it always does) so he seemed 100% this morning (excapt for the usual cloudiness). But the specialist was able to see a small ulcer in his left eye, although he was showing no obvious symptons -- surprising, as I know they are very painful. It's degenerative (and probably hereditary), so his vision is likely to gradually decline (he can see fine now). If he lives to be very old (he's nearly 9 now, we've had him since he was 5), he may go blind. She put a temporary contact lens in his eye to protect it!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Something I like to assign occasionally in class are 2, 3 or 5 minute free writes. So while the students were scribbling last night, I thought I'd do it too. Here is what I wrote:
Before class I was going from the education building to campus center. Don't students understand keeping right? Well, they didn't act like they knew -- they practically knocked me down as they streamed through the open door, the one on their left but my right, in their rush to get to class. I didn't want to get jostled or worse, have my foot stepped on, so I waited there until it was clear, but it must have been at least a dozen students who ignored me, did not let me through and also did not make any effort to open the door on their right! I finally was able to continue, but I felt pretty glum, to tell you the truth.

But on my way back from the bookstore (where I was buying cards for all the April birthdays in my family), a young man came up to me and said, "Are you Professor Giuliani?" (I said yes, even though my name is spelled just a little different from Rudy's). He shook my hand and said he has signed up for my class in the fall. Made my day! (He had "A" written all over him.)

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Spring break is over and the countdown to end of semester begins. In faith formation on Monday, we celebrated spring even though it doesn't feel like it out there! The lesson focused on The Parable of the Sower. The art print was "The Flower Seller" by Diego Rivera, the saint handout was about St. Fiacre (Patron Saint of Gardeners), we studied the world map to locate France and Mexico, read the parable and the handout, and planted tulip bulbs and pansies in the flower pots. Snack was apples with caramel dip. Only two classes left in AY '13-'14, hard to believe. When we told them, the kids were disappointed that it will be over so soon. Last two weeks will be our culminating project, stay tuned!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Being a faculty member is a "good gig" for me, as I like to work independently. But there are occasions when support from someone else is helpful. Such is the case with finding academic materials. It's possible to locate whatever is needed without turning to others, of course, and that's my preference most of the time. However, when it comes to textbooks, there are incentives for publishers to sell their books, and no shortage of sales reps who (allegedly) are eager to lend a hand.

Not true. I have never been contacted by (or found on my own) a competent book sales rep. It isn't that I never hear from any; I am contacted all the time. But no matter the publishing house, the rep invariably disappoints. Check off another today! Sigh. Maybe it is a crummy job and so the rep puts in little effort, I don't know. That's really no excuse, though. Update your linkedin and get back to work, OK? On my own once again I guess.

Added: This has absolutely nothing to do with the rest of this post, but I didn't feel like creating a new one. I used to be somewhat interested in world and national events. Somewhat, not a news junkie by any means. I think that might have been before 9/11 and turning 40, both of which changed me.  Anyway, I find myself fascinated by the missing jet mystery. I've written before about my talent for detective work here.