Professor J's Place

31 October, 2014

I am an old nerd

So, I am beginning the quantitative literacy project (called "Q" by those of us in the know) in my Comp I classes. I'm a little terrified and a little excited. I've recently become a convert to the importance of quantitative literacy in my own life and in the lives of my students, but numbers have not always been my friends. Hence, fear. So, I made this for my class website:

and none of my students got it. I thought it would help to lighten the mood. Oh well. 

28 October, 2014

about blogs and facebook

I was looking at the blog after I posted yesterday, and I realized I post once a year. That's just sad. I also realized, as I looked back at some old stuff, that I miss the women I used to read about and talk to in this format. Some of us are on Facebook together, but not all.

I'm bucking the trend, I know. Just last week Mrs. G said she was done with the Manor (sad sigh). But what the heck?

So I think I'm going to start writing and reading blog posts again. Who are you reading these days? Who should I add to that list over on the right hand side of the blog? Would you consider posting more, too, dear readers? Facebook is wonderful for the daily (all right several times a day) peeks into the lives and thoughts of my friends, but it is not enough. It is not a format for a real discussion of life and all its "hills and valleys" as Cheri said today. I want to know about the hills and valleys.

I know I'm always making promises to myself that I don't keep. "I am going to blog every day." "I am going to write a poem every day." So I won't be making any promises of that nature just yet. I just know I'm going to sweep out some of the cobwebs and see about settling into this place again for awhile.

And I really want those reading suggestions, okay?

27 October, 2014


my friend Heidi years ago (with two dear, lost companions)

Those of you who are my friends on Facebook know that I have begun a daily walking regimen. I started because I wasn't able to control my blood sugar, and I thought I'd give this diet and exercise thing a try.

So every morning before school, I lace up my kicks, put a reflective vest on my dog Judy, and hit the streets. Walking has had a somewhat surprising effect on my life: increased nostalgia.

Have you known me long enough to have heard of my dog St. Ursula? Here's a picture of her grinning at my mom. 
I adopted Ursula in 1989. For the first several years of her life, we lived in apartments, so Ursula and I walked. A Lot. And we walked in the dark early morning a lot. I had a Buick Skylark with bench seats at the time. When I drove with Ursie, she'd sit right next to me, and I'd put my arm around her shoulders. She was my constant companion and best friend for the first three years of her life. After that, she was "only" my best friend.

When Ursula was three,  I moved to San Antonio, where I had a back yard. I also had a broken humerus, so I got out of the habit of walking her so much. But we did walk in the neighborhood often. 

These mornings walking Judy (also a black lab) around the neighborhood at 0'dark thirty, I think of my walks with Ursula often. Never so much, though, as when we pass a particular house. It is a Craftsman, like my own (there are half a dozen or so in my neighborhood), except it has an extra bedroom and porch added on. And it has a wire fence. Back then, there was a little terrier who lived in a dog house behind that wire fence, and she and Ursula loved each other. Every day I'd have to cross the road with Ursula, so they could stand nose to nose for a few minutes, and then walk the length of the yard together. She never barked at Ursula. Only kisses.

Now, when Judy and I pass that house, I think of the little beige dog and how Ursula loved her. Saturday when we walked by the sun was up (later walks on the weekend, folks), and there was a little white terrier in the backyard! She must live inside at night. Anyway, I shall make sure to bring Judy over when we walk by and there are no people in the yard. Do you suppose they'll be friends? Wouldn't it be pretty? (apologies to Ernest Hemingway).