"Lies will flow from my lips, but there may perhaps be some truth mixed up with them; it is for you to seek out this truth and to decide whether any part of it is worth keeping." --Virginia Woolf A Room of One's Own

poem for a colleague

I wrote this for a colleague who is moving to Australia to be with the love of her life. Many of us will miss her. She might be the third person we lose over this summer, with one headed to Gonzaga across town, Connie headed to Australia and a third maybe leaving for a position I won't list, because her interview is this Friday.

Connie's Sonnet

Let yourself go the way too long desired,
So lives merge anew in this mortal world;
Leave a hemisphere travailed and ingrained
For one into which you have yourself hurled.

Here is abandoned but not left for dead,
For all breath continues in your absence;
Now the new comes to life, to a fresh head.
Then and now meld despite walls or a fence.

Winter becomes summer; spring becomes fall.
Down under is the now piquing upside.
Each move slackens the diminishing pall
That recedes with the lamentable tide.

That which doesn’t kill will make us stronger,
Especially to regret no longer.

The only part of the poem I like is the way the concluding couplet works, but since the farewell party was last night, this is where it stands.

a letter to the editor

This past week I wrote a letter to the editor and they published on Tuesday, a few days ago. It was a response to someone who was complaining about the Supreme Court ruling that said detainees held in Guantanamo Bay, or anywhere on American soil, were endowed (they didn't use that word, but since it's in the Declaration, I'm going to use it) with certain rights that we're all endowed with.

George Carlin, 1937-2008

Shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker, tits. What else is there to say?

Thanks to Nick Carbone of Bedford-St. Martins via the Techrhet list for this link to a recent interview of Carlin: http://tinyurl.com/5o6g8y

blogging burnout

I'm having a hard time blogging of late. I just checked and I started on February 19, 2005, so I guess that makes a little over three years of intermittent blogging. I don't seem as invested, or vested, as I was at some times. The problem is what to write about. I have this desire to write about the life of a community college English teacher, not like that matters much in the long run.

keeping track of my traveling wife

My wife is in Tokyo (pronounced toke-yo for those in the know) for the next three weeks. This is what time it is there, compared to where you are. I'm on Pacific Daylight Time so the difference for me is 16 hours ahead.

creative counter intuitive plagiarism

I had a student come to my office last week to ask about a failing grade I'd given him on a revised essay. His essay didn't receive a grade because of plagiarism concerns. I returned the essay to him with a note to address the concerns, which I didn't take to be intentional. Turns out they were. One of the plagiarism concerns in the essay was an entry in the works cited section that I couldn't find in the body of the essay. In my note, I told him that any material used from that source had been plagiarized. It didn't change during the revision process.

who needs to learn what and how?

Yesterday I got myself into a bit of hot water during our regular curriculum committee meeting. For anyone who works in any level of academia, you'd know this committee, the one that approves new courses, deletes old ones, and approves of or suggests revisions to course and program revisions. In some respect, we are the guardians of the institutions academic integrity, whether it's involving college transfer or technical/professional education, what many who are not in the community college loop would consider to be job training degrees.

The Iranian threat, not!

This week Spokane has been visited by an Iranian couple, Somayeh (Nasim) Yousefi and her husband Jafar Edrisi, who are bicycling around the world and planting trees for peace. You can read more about them on their website: www.rmc4peace.com. Today they visited my college, SFCC, and last Saturday they joined a number of bicyclists and planted one of their trees for peace. In honor of them and their trip, I've figured I'd embed this latest video from MoveOn.org. Here's hoping saner minds prevail.

college readiness

A month or so back I was invited to participate in a college readiness program by a colleague down the road at Washington State University, otherwise known as WSU or Wazzu. The project is sponsored by the Higher Education Coordinating Board, otherwise known as the HEC Board.

more on p-p-p-p-plariarism

I'm on the techrhet mailing list, hosted by interversity.org, which is a collection of mostly college and university English teachers who have an interest in the roll of technology and writing and learning. Every now and again the discussion turns to plagiarism, often prompted by some news or question about plagiarism detection software or services such as turnitin.com.

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