I’m too old

to stay up till 2:30 am working on papers and get back up at 6 am. But I was finding all kinds of interesting things to write for and possibly publish.

So I stayed up.

I haven’t heard back from the people I wrote. I guess if I don’t hear back by tomorrow, I will resend the email from one of my school addresses.

Doom, despair, and agony on me

Deep dark depression, excessive misery…

If you ever saw Hee Haw, you would know that song. And you would know that the tune is sprightly and upbeat. Not exactly a gloomy tune.

But that’s kind of how I feel tonight. I’m a little (lot) frustrated. I’ve received corroboration that my lack of presentations and publications put the kabosh on my being hired this last year at the college I applied to. And I am trying to remedy that. I have five presentations that have been accepted and I am working on a publication that I hope will be accepted as well. One of the five is a national conference. The others are local. But one must start somewhere.

I spent a lot of time homeschooling and I think that was the right thing to do. Someone asked me if I felt underemployed at the conference I went to in October, and I said no, that I felt grateful to be able to homeschool. And that is true. But I am also frustrated that teaching, which is what I want to do and what I do well, is not valued as much as presentations… or perhaps as much as a perky personality.

Poem a Day: Monsters Walk Among Us

This is a second version, a newer version, of yesterday’s poem.

Monsters walk among us
wearing cardigan and denim.

They have a smile that lies
all the way through their eyes.

Behind upturned lips and teeth
lurks Grendel, soul devourer,
haunter and destroyer of men.

Snatching children away from childhood
and into the valley of the shadows,
they ravage silently, stealthily.

We may open the door to let them in
unknowingly risking beloved kin.

Monsters walk among us
and they look like you and me.

Obama screening for gun ownership

His screening questions include gun ownership questions which are not limited to person and spouse. WHY doesn’t anyone care about this?

This certainly helps explain the increase in gun purchases since November 4.

59. Do you or any members of your family own a gun? If so, provide complete ownership and registration information. Has the registration ever lapsed? Please also describe how and by whom it is used and whether it has been the cause of any personal injuries or property damage.

“Demented” homeschoolers

As a homeschooling mom, I was appalled to hear that an on air journalist referred to homeschoolers as demented. Joy Behar was on The View

Start at 5:50… That’s where they begin the discussion.

7:10 “A lot of them are demented when they’re homeschooled.”

Poem a Day: Monsters Walk

Monsters walk among us.
They look like you or me.
We can only watch our children
While they dance.
We can only watch ourselves
While we race through life.
Monsters walk among us.
Grendel, troll, Cain, Jack,
And they look like you or me.

In response to a post on someone’s blog about a child molester moving into the neighborhood.

Poem a Day: Dreams

Dreams are born
in clouds that march
to cover the burning sun
before it conquers us;

born in the scars of furrows
slashed from the breast of earth–
scars we plant our hopes in.

Dreams are hard, hardy, holding fast.
Growing great and strong
in dry dying earth.

Dreams beckon when we are blinded
by our own foolish fumblings
or dirt spat into our eyes.

Thirsty minds can drain a cask
of dreams, settled deep for such a day.

Looking for work

It’s not a great time to be looking for work, according to everything I have heard. And I really want a full-time position so that we can pay for our oldest son’s college. (Well, not if he goes to Wharton, but…) I doubt SLAC will be looking for full-time people this year. So CC2 is looking (+1hr) and one alma mater is looking (1 hr 15 m).

Should I apply? I don’t actually think I would get the AM job. It’s an area of specialty that I have been out of for years. I think I could do it and I could come up to speed, but it’s not something I’ve done. (Unfortunately.) CC2 isn’t really what I want to do, although I can do it and I enjoy doing it. It is a clear challenge. But I really want to enjoy teaching and I am not sure I will if I do that.

So there are two jobs available, but not good travel time and not great fits.

I need to think about it, though. I may be sorry I didn’t apply. But I expect that AM will have plenty of candidates and will have a pile of resumes to sort through… I wish I could throw my hat in the ring with confidence, though. Even with the commute, it would be fun.

Poem a Day: I Miss

I Miss

Icebox, a simpler thing to fix, say, and spell.
It kept in the coolness and let out the smell.
Dugouts, cool and dark, smelling musty,
home for snakes, cans, and hiders who’d get dusty.
Polecats striped in dark and light
getting at chickens late at night.
Well house, where the water came,
where lettuce stayed crisp and we raced in a game.
Bright yellow school bus, home of rebel bees,
d run through the pasture and skin up our knees.
Tower tanks to fill tractor, truck, and combine,
more fun for Popeye, to jump from and climb.
Irrigation ditches and stock tanks ready made for a dip,
go swimming––accidentally––following a slip.
A tire swing, old rubber made new,
for swinging, flying, and changing the view.
Cherry trees and apple, close to the ground,
easy to pick from, easier to get down.
The hen house full of grain, eggs, and chicken;
most ended up in my grandmother’s kitchen.
Freezing our bottoms cranking ice cream,
hand aching turns till we’re ready to scream.
Sunday beef and potatoes, early bites of heaven snitched.
Coffee and Prince Albert, Grampa smells that bewitched.

It’s more a catalog than a poem. Written in 1998, despite what my computer says.

An abortion doctor becomes pro-life.

And he became pro-life at great expense to himself and his family, who lost jobs and educational opportunities.

Stojan Adasevic, who performed 48,000 abortions, sometimes up to 35 per day, is now the most important pro-life leader in Serbia, after 26 years as the most renowned abortion doctor in the country.

“The medical textbooks of the Communist regime said abortion was simply the removal of a blob of tissue,” the newspaper reported. “Ultrasounds allowing the fetus to be seen did not arrive until the 80s, but they did not change his opinion. Nevertheless, he began to have nightmares.”

In describing his conversion, Adasevic “dreamed about a beautiful field full of children and young people who were playing and laughing, from 4 to 24 years of age, but who ran away from him in fear. A man dressed in a black and white habit stared at him in silence. The dream was repeated each night and he would wake up in a cold sweat. One night he asked the man in black and white who he was. ‘My name is Thomas Aquinas,’ the man in his dream responded. Adasevic, educated in communist schools, had never heard of the Dominican genius saint. He didn’t recognize the name”

“Why don’t you ask me who these children are?” St. Thomas asked Adasevic in his dream.

“They are the ones you killed with your abortions,” St. Thomas told him.

Tolerance from the Left? (No.)

A student with a conservative and a liberal parent decided to see what people said when she wore a t-shirt to school that said “McCain girl.” Students told her she was very stupid, deserved to die, should be crucifixed [sic] and burned in her t-shirt.

“In one class, I had one teacher say she will not judge me for my choice, but that she was surprised that I supported McCain,” Catherine said.

Colleges aren’t immune, either. An 18-year old freshman girl was attacked for wearing a McCain/Palin button. This was after students felt okay in boo-ing her as a self-identified Republican and a Peta-guy went ballistic in her dorm room over her hunting pictures.

God help us all.

Poem a Day: How to Eat a Poem

Would you scoop it up
With a dipper
Like Oreo ice cream
And shovel it into your mouth
As fast as you can swallow?

Or let it melt in your bowl
And stir it around
Till you have ice cream soup?

Would you nibble through the middle
Leaving the edges, leaving the crust,
Like a crunchy peanut butter sandwich?

Or eat the whole sticky, smacking, creamy mess
in large bites
So you can be done?

Would you peel it,
Like a kiwi or banana,
Feeling the skin is nasty,
Itchy, hairy, smooth, tough,
But sucking up the moist soft insides?

Or crunch into it like an apple with the skin on,
Enjoying every bite?

Would you sip it
Like hot soup?

Gulp it
Like icky medicine?

Lick it
Like a lollipop
Till you got
To the sweet chocolate center?

And once you ate it,
Would you digest it
Or puke it up?

Written 24 May 2002

Obama’s election

was 52% and the news continues to call it an “overwhelming victory.” (Bush’s 51% was a country divided.)

Look at this map if you think the country has gone liberal. It made me feel a little better.

I continue to pray for the nation and for our elected officials.

Poem a Day: Blizzard of Student Papers

Wading through piles of student papers
Strung like snowdrifts across my living room-
Why don’t I use the office for this?-
I search grudgingly for the stack
Whose owners patiently await their most recent grades,
Before the next essay is due.

As I hand back flutters of white paper snowflakes,
The red ink streaks across the vision of my students
And startles them with its ferocity.
They were sure they had not made that many mistakes.
And their eye drifts onward, searching,
Seeking the positive comments to balance
The shock of those red numbers at the top of the page.

12 November 2008


Peaches, full and ripe,
like an eight month pregnant belly
hang from the limbs
leaning towards my hand from the weight.
Yellow and a dark sunset orange
punctuate the green finger leaves,
dots of color drawn with a child’s marker.
The wind shifts the limbs,
bowing, blowing,
and the peaches keep their place
steady, stalwart on the branches.
An old gray fence, leaning with age,
separates me from this seasonal feast.

30 April 2000

What is your view of Facebook?

Here’s mine:

My view of fb is that it allows me to keep in touch with acquaintances quickly and easily. It allows me to forge better connections if we happen to mesh more than I had thought previously. It allows me to know what is going on with their lives and keep up with them even when we are far apart.

In addition, it has let me reconnect with people who were important in my life when I was younger- college professors, best friend in sixth grade, college buddy. So people who once meant a lot to me but because of time and geography have drifted away are there again. (Potentially. I looked for eight sixth grade buds and found one.)

Also, if there are people who are good friends and we connect on the internet, I can get to know the minutiae of their lives, as far as they publicize it. I have good friends living in Thailand, Uganda, and Illinois. I can read what they write, see what they are doing, and pray for them.

I believe fb creates a simple, easy, and potentially useful tool for redeveloping, enriching, and maintaining relationships…

In response to Doug’s question.