September 2005 Archives

Excuses, excuses

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Ok. All that stuff about posting soon? The promises of book reviews, pithy insights, etc., etc.? Yeah, well, don't hold your breath.

I received an e-mail from my coordinator today, asking me if I would be willing to take on another course. I'm already teaching a full load, but there's a sudden need for a permanent substitute for this course, and apparently I'm the best candidate.

This isn't just another section of a course I'm already teaching, either. Right now I'm teaching Canadian Women Writers, Detective Fiction and Cracking the Code, the aforementioned critical thinking course. All of these are post-intro level courses. The new course is Literature and Composition, a.k.a. college English 101.

So this request represents four more hours in the classroom, plus a whole lotta prep hours, not to mention many, many more essays.

Naturally, I said yes.

Which means that my blogging - not to mention my social life, my weekends, and my laundry - will pay the price. At least until all those essays come in and I need a distraction.

Wish me luck!

Dr. T's 15 minutes

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Dr. T placed 8th in the 2nd Division at the recent North American Scrabble Championship in Reno. This is remarkable for a couple of reasons - first, he started the tournament rather badly, losing game after game in the first two days, ending up 107th in a field of 108 at one point. So 8th place represents a significant comeback.

Secondly, he, personally, made the Wall Street Journal.

In one go, Andrew Golding, an IT professional from Verdun, Quebec, placed RE in front of it and IZE at the end to make REmATERIALIZE. The R landed on a triple-word-score square, and the word totaled 93 points.

Also, I now know what to say when people ask what he does. He's "an IT professional." Cool. That sounds a lot more formal than "he's a computer guy."

Mind you, I suspect that the next time some one asks, and I say "he's an IT professional," I'll get a quizzical look and have to fall back on "y'know, a computer guy."

Of course, his tournament triumph is somewhat tempered by the fact that I didn't get to go to this tournament, which was disappointing, and that last year's, to which I did go, at which I met Heather N., and at which we had such an amazing time, took place in New Orleans. New Orleans was an incredible city, unlike any other place I have ever been, and my short stay there provoked what I suspect will be a life-long romance with the Big Easy. Our intention was to return there someday; in fact, the Scrabble people had been in negotiations (I believe) to make NOLA the permanent home of the National tournament.

Obviously, given the extremtity of the disaster and the human cost, my personal sadness doesn't mean much, nor does the fate of the National tournament. But I do hope that one day, I'll be back on Bourbon Street. Laissez les bons temps rouler.

Fall preview

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Coming soon: book reviews! life updates! cute quotes!

Currently available: new photos from our Labour Day weekend. We spent Saturday at Upper Canada Village with the cousins, and on Monday we went to the Old Port where we tried the Labyrinth, rode on a caleche, juggled at Place Jacques Cartier, laughed at clowns, and had a lovely supper. Also, vague excuses for not writing regularly and vaguer promises to write more soon.

Today's hot debate topic: should Muslim women be required to unveil for photo ID, or is such a request a violation of the right to religious freedom? Sultaana Freeman has just been told by the state appeals court in Florida that regardless of her religious beliefs, concerns for national security demand that all Florida drivers must reveal their faces for their licenses.

We discussed this case in my Critical Thinking* course this afternoon - we have not yet come to any conclusions, but if you'd like to add your two cents to the debate, comments are welcome!

*I'll write more about the courses and the new campus, etc., etc., soon. Promise.

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