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Errantry: Novak's Journal
...Words to cast/My feelings into sculpted thoughts/To make some wisdom last
Personal: Last Grading; Owen's Second Birthday 
4th-May-2008 06:22 pm
Marquette Gang
In for a quick dinner break. Last grading rush and composing the Final Exam for later tonight. Came in to a voicemail from Dan telling me that the day was too pleasant to go without grilling and that the Harrises were already on their way down to their place, back around 4pm. So I lost out on that. But the work has to be done. (Or so I tell myself, as I've debated through the weekend the politics of just giving the students all "A"s on their remaining material, given that I'm not paid enough at adjunct wages to justify how much work I put into my courses. Or so I tell myself.)

Owen's second birthday party went off well on Friday, with the Man of Honour looking very pleased and repeating "Choo Choo Train!" in excited tones to everyone around him, looking delightedly at the train painted in frosting across the top of his cake. Amid all the bustle of having the "party" part of the day before dinner so that Donna could get away in time for her overnight retreat with other women from her church, I was especially pleased to finally take what I thought was a first-rate picture of all the gang. When I first met them, they were four, and now they're eight – and that pretty much makes for a loud, happy party whenever the two families come together.

Owen was also particularly excited about the adventure of getting to blow out the candles on his cake, and repeatedly requested "More blow!" through the afternoon, which lead Mike, Dan and I to make lots of cocaine jokes, to the initial confusion of the ladies. Other exciting moments included a first encounter with the idea of jumping rope for Anna and Renée, although we quickly decided that using the short rope in combination with a bent-in-half, six-foot-two Dan trying to demonstrate how to jump was a singularly bad idea. At least the girls got the idea down. They then had lots of fun swinging the rope around, and then decided it was just more fun to tie themselves up with it or to tie themselves together and just giggle about being unable to move.

Grown-up conversation centered quite a bit around ecology and economics, with a long riff on the benefits – real and imagined – of ethanol in our fuel economy today, and its impact on food availability and prices world-wide. I've been out of the news loop for a few weeks with all the grading and such that's part of the end of the semester, and so an apparent U.N. complaint about the amount of American grain now being diverted to fuel had gotten past me without my noticing it, but Mike and Dan turned it into a lively bit of conversation and speculation. We had a certain amount of current Department of Theology politics to talk over, and then I think as the guys got into more presidential politics or somesuch, Amy and I talked instead about the new Grey's Anatomy episodes that had been broadcast. After a week of near-constant grading, this was all part of a good reward.
4th-May-2008 11:31 pm (UTC)
I'm not paid enough at adjunct wages to justify how much work I put into my courses. Or so I tell myself.

And as I keep telling you...
4th-May-2008 11:38 pm (UTC)
As if I could possibly spy on you and discover that you're doing any less thorough of a job with your own courses!
4th-May-2008 11:39 pm (UTC)
You'd be surprised, truly. Pity I'm not teaching til 2009 for you to come and see for yourself.
4th-May-2008 11:44 pm (UTC)
Me neither!
4th-May-2008 11:46 pm (UTC)
*laughs* I know and am vastly pleased.

Though technically I *am* TAing, so I will have some grading (so you could see how cavalier I am about paper grading) and face-time, but I did get the joy of telling the book reps to leave me alone...
5th-May-2008 12:02 am (UTC)
?!?!! My book reps give me free books! You don't piss off the book reps!
5th-May-2008 12:04 am (UTC)
Yes, but we have one that haunts our office for weeks at a time -- I have perfected the art of dodging her. She's the one rep who is useless in terms of free books, I should also note.
5th-May-2008 12:40 am (UTC)
You know, the world is small, and keeps getting smaller. Donna and Mike are good friends of mine. Donna took my kids to school for me 3 days a week while I was recovering form my heart surgery. Why do I have the feeling that after all these years of me quietly reading your journal, that we know each other in RL and dont even realize the connection?? How lovely!
5th-May-2008 03:18 pm (UTC)
Heh. Now that is funny! I had no idea. Were you at the little birthday party/cookout for Renée's last birthday, in the backyard? That was the only time I met lots of neighbourhood friends....
5th-May-2008 05:02 pm (UTC)
No, invited but couldnt make it. I actually talked to Donna today when I stopped in for coffee. She thought this was sooo funny. I think we need to "formally" meet for coffee and see if the world is any smaller than it already appears to be :)
5th-May-2008 07:30 pm (UTC)
I'm sure that will happen before too long, though I'm afraid I'm booked more-or-less solid between the semester's end and traveling. I'll start to return to life in Milwaukee toward the end of the month....
5th-May-2008 01:21 am (UTC) - Waffles Anyone?
Love the pic. I don't know how, but the pic was so sweet that it has caused my computer to bleed syrup, smells like maple. I guess I'll make waffles and scoop it up. My keyboard is getting sticky................... Spoiler

5th-May-2008 03:19 pm (UTC) - Re: Waffles Anyone?

And ain't no way I'm apologizing for that sweet pic: that's just how cool my friends are. :-)
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