Friday, October 29, 2004


I saw you today, and you reminded me why my students are only little boys. It was a nice reminder. You make me wonder, if it were another time, another place and you were someone else, and I, I will always be I, no matter what. But under those conditions, would you be more willing, more able, more open, just more? I can make you whatever you want to be. I can take you to any other time or place. But I, I will always remain I. Place me in a house of mirrors and each reflection will be different, but it will still be I. You may not like some of them, but there must be one or two that you find. That's it, just find. Find mysterious, beautiful, dangerous, thoughtful, intelligent, creative, alive, even dead. I am all here. I am waiting and not waiting. Looking and not looking. Finding and not finding. Living and not living. Hoping and not hoping. What are you doing?


Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Thank you, thank you and thank you!

Today I was observed in class. My advisor came in and sat and watched and took a lot of notes. And my students talked and debated and were brilliant. And my advisor said I'm a natural, that TAing has made me more sure of myself and that I did an excellent job. Wonderful!

And then, I got my student evaluations back. They were great, excellent, wonderful. They have been typed up so I don't know who wrote what. On the grading scale, out of 5, I got 4.27. So, here's some of my favorite comments:

In response to the following question, How well does your discussion section provide an environment that encourage your participation?

Warm like a peat-stove in the height of winter.

How well does your TA answer questions and clarify concepts relating to the course?

She obviously have a wide body of knowledge of the material.
She seems very knowledgeable.
She explains things beautifully.

Please comment of the principle strengths of your TA and on ways your TA could improve?

Her knowledge and passion for the topic are definitely her strengths. She's a fine TA, no real weaknesses.
She is down to earth - not intimidating at all, educated.
She always does a great job guiding discussion and encouraging participation.
No complaints. Her strengths are her organization. No detectable weakness.
Principle strengths: Honesty, great attitude, friendly and well versed in Soviet history, a good TA.

How well does the TA arouse your interest in the course and stimulate your thinking?

Discussion is never boring.
Very passionate and involved with course work/topic.
She does a great job to provoke thinking.
And my absolute favorite:
I have been aroused and stimulated during discussion.
I don't remember doing that, but you are welcome!


Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Little Boys

Alright, perhaps I should start by saying I am thirty: THIRTY years old. I should not find any of my students even slightly attractive in any way, except maybe maternal. I mean, they are ten years younger than me. They are children. They are little boys. However, I realized I have a huge problem today, when my advisor mentioned one of my students, I blushed. Me, blushed. How often does that ever happen (never). He wore a really tight t-shirt today, and I do have to say: damn, damn, damn. Damn, DAMN!!!!! And I think he was wearing cologne. I'm sure it was for a girlfriend, somewhere, who is closer to his age. And probably doesn't know jack in bed. I could teach him so much more than USSR history. So we're being lectured about the millions upon millions of people that Stalin arrested, imprisoned, used as slave labor, shot, starved to death, tortured, ect. and all I can think is: yummy! (as I lick my lips). December cannot get here soon enough.


Sunday, October 24, 2004

USSR mid-term

The weather here is beautiful, especially considering what the weatherman called for. I've had a lovely, if uneventful weekend, doing lots of homework and some cleaning. And then, I start to grade the mid-terms.

Let's just get one thing straight. The Revolution of 1905 was way more of a Revolution than October 1917. The Revolution of 1905 changed the way Russia had been ruled for 300 years. THREE HUNDRED YEARS!!!!!! To the people of Russia, the October Manifesto was HUGE. And, the revolts, riots and violence lasted until 1907. Until the October Manifesto political parties were illegal in Russia. There was no national, centralized, representative body within the government. The October Manifesto created a constitutional monarchy. HOW IS THIS NOT A REVOLUTION? Just because the Tsar was able to circumvent many of the concessions made, he was unable to undo all of them. And the people became aware that they could force the government into action. The Tsar had shown his weakness. EVERYTHING CHANGED!!!! Just because the people didn't get exactly what they wanted (and really, all they wanted was better working conditions and land, not a parliamentary style government) doesn't mean the revolution failed. I mean, the Bolsheviks promised socialism and instead the people got a wannabe totalitarian system. So did that revolution fail too (ok, the Oct. 1917 Revolution wasn't actually a revolution: the revolution occurred later)?

I feel much better now. But I think I'll grade the rest of these mid-terms later. Sorry for the history lesson.


Thursday, October 21, 2004


So I administered the mid-term exams today. They were at 2:30p. At about 1:45p I get an e-mail from a student stating he suffers from depression and the UW mental health system refuses to see him. He got depressed last night, got drunk and passed out. He just didn't think he was up for the mid-term. Well, I can't make that decision. A couple minutes later, he shows up in my office. He reeks, REEKS of alcohol. Like he's been drinking for several weeks straight. After talking to him for a couple of minutes, I realize, he doesn't suffer from depression, he's a drunk. Well, he did show up for the mid-term. It has not been graded yet. I just couldn't believe it.


Wednesday, October 20, 2004

What time is it?

It's midterm time. Papers to write, papers to grade, papers to read. Sometimes I really hate paper. I will be observed next week, and she's coming to my absolutely worse section. These people just stare at me. And they've read the stuff. I don't know what to do. Guess I'll find out next week. Tomorrow I'm giving the mid-term. Then I'm grading them. And this weekend's exciting plans include. . . . .cleaning my apartment after I grade, read, and write.

So I went swimming on Saturday and when I got out of the pool the guy in the lane next to me was so obviously staring at me it was ridiculous. I mean, we're all wearing bathing suits. Although, it's been so long since someone so obviously and unhesitatingly lusted after me, it was kind of nice (would have been nicer if he had been good looking). On the one hand, I think a fling would really help me relax and maybe even attract a long term prospect. On the other hand, I don't even know anyone I would want to have a fling with. There is such an apparent dearth of single men my age in Madison that I'm surprised the city is managing to grow. I know someone whom I'm sure would be more than willing, but I just can't bring myself to do that. It's nothing personal, it's just I don't think you should mess with friends like that. I'm thinking of trying to get a mail-order husband from Russia.

Anyway, I hope everyone else is doing well and getting plenty of it, or at least as much as they want,

Monday, October 18, 2004


I feel like crap. I hope it's nothing serious, because I have three papers due this week, a presentation to give, and I'm giving mid-terms in the class I'm TAing (which means I'm also grading them). Hopefully it was just the Sunday blues (does that normally include a low-grade fever and swollen lymph nodes?) and I'll be fine today. Just to be on the safe side, I'm not leaving my apartment today!

On a happier note, I was already offered a TA position for next semester. It is an interdisciplinary Russian course (history, literature, economics, ect), sophomore level. It kind of sucks though, because it's a MWF course, which means I have to be on campus EVERY SINGLE DAY! Ok, so that's what it's normally like when you have a job, but I will be taking classes too and I don't study well on campus. I guess I will just have to figure something out. And other good news, my one professor told me my prelim list is way too long and I need to cut it in at least half. Ahhhhhhhhhhh! Like I wanted to read all those books anyway.

My friend Andrea called on Sat. night and left a frantic message. I was at a history seminar dinner (yes, that's the extent of my exciting social life). Since I had just talked to Andrea, I knew this was not good and called her as soon as I got her message. Her parents, who have been married for 37 years, retired last year and moved to Corpus. And apparently her dad is an alcoholic (her mom is boarder-line) and they both appear to be suffering from depression and stupidity. Andrea thinks they'll be divorced within a year. I think if her mom leaves her dad, he'll be dead before the divorce goes through (she does everything for him). So Andrea is understandably upset. And she's also afraid one of them will try to come life with her. I understand her fear and hope neither one of them would.

Well, I have a busy day today, and I have to call my friend Tiffany because today is d-day for her. She will know today if she is pregnant or not. I have been hoping and praying that she is.
On to those three papers,

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Rape: in Three parts

I'm learning not to look over my shoulder.
and maybe I'll no longer have that dream.
That dream, where I wake up and
You stand at the end of my bed:
With a rifle,
With a baseball bat,
or worse,
nothing but your hands.
Just because I (will be) am (was) your wife
does not give you the right to enter (me).
The sky is dry, the room is dry
The bed is dry, I am dry.
Regardless, just because you (think you) own me:
it is still rape, when you try to enter my (w)hole.
That is not my soul on your hands, but my blood.
I just close my eyes and
tunnel into that part of me that you can never get to.
Besides, I know this will be over very quickly.

Why do you look for me between my legs?
I am not there.
If you want to find me,
look up at the Starry Night,
walk with me in the Garden of Earthly Delights.
Help me collect Stones from a River.
Join with me, as I perform the Rite of Spring,
or let us play in the Leaves of Summer.
Let's dance among the Soot and Stars,
as we look for the Reptile among the Wasteland.
We can chase the Butterflyz after the Lightening Crashes.
We will survive Little Earthquakes,
as you look into my Green Eyes, as I tell you You're not Alone.
Or perhaps I am in A Room of One's Own
pouring over Maps or even drawing my own Map of the World.
You may find me reading King Lear on the Red Carpets
under the Blue Dining Table in the Red Studio.
But you claim I have a Heart of Darkness
So you shoot the Arrow of God at me
as I try to explain that Things Fall Apart.
I made The Promise to always
sing to you a lovesong, but now
that feels like the Dream of a Ridiculous Man.
I thought you were Some Kind of Wonderful and
I wanted to Praise You.
But now I know that was a Terrible lie and
all I feel is Fear as
I am Waiting for the Barbarians.
You make me wish for the Time Before Man.
I feel like a Raw Youth,
and I know that I can be Cruel but I am not The Demons.
All I am looking for is What I loved
among the Crazed and Midnight's Children.
I listen to the Other Voices, Other Rooms and
pray you quit playing these Wicked Games
and just Say Good-bye.

You called me a whore if I wanted it (which was rare).
Worse if I didn't (which was often).
Words of pleasure rarely spoken between us (in the bedroom).
But now I decide:
Whom to spread for
When to spread
Where to spread
How wide to spread
How many to spread for.
And I discover what you were looking for (myself).
And I no longer look to see if you watch me squirm with a pleasure
that you never provided (anyone).
You no longer exist (for me) on me.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Congratulations Amanda!

Amanda, I was so happy to read the news! I hope the tech was right and that everything will be fine and back to normal, and no more blood and no more fear. Being a woman is a bitch. I have one friend who is pregnant and having huge problems with the whole thing (ok, huge is kind of a pun). And another friend who has been trying to get pregnant for more than two years. I just want to tell her to just go adopt already, but it's not my choice. Sometimes people look at me really strangely when I tell them I don't ever want to be pregnant. I want to be a mom. I want to adopt. But I have no desire to have some weird parasite growing in me. I mean, let's face it, my genes are nothing special. But some people seem to think this makes me less of a woman. Whatever! Everyone makes their own choices and has their own reasons for the choices they make. I am no less of a woman just because I don't want to experience pregnancy and childbirth. Good for those women who do, but leave me out of it.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Too busy

Well, I guess I knew it would eventually happen. I moved away and eventually I would become less and less important. While my mom still calls every Sunday night, the calls get shorter and shorter. I know a lot is going on with them, moving to a new house, practically raising Phoenix, ect, but it's hard. I had so much stuff I wanted to tell my mom. None of it is too exciting, but it's important to me. Like how my advisor freaked out in lecture the other day when she was being observed. After class she was pretty much crying and I'm just not really good in situations like that, especially since she is in an authoritarian role over me. Or how I'm probably going to have to fail this one kid, because he thinks he's pretty, and I'm willing to bet his parents are rich, and therefore he doesn't think he has to do the work. I don't care that he's pretty or that his parents have money; all I care about is if he does the work. And my advisor really likes that paper that it took me forever to write (see previous blogs). She thinks I'm a really good story teller and my research is really strong. And I finally told Tony that we're not in any way, shape or form compatible and he agreed and we were both happy that it was finally out there. But. . . . I guess I'll just have to tell her some other time.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Death of a husband

Now that I know that Todd is remarried, it is like he is dead and I can finally deal with stuff I was afraid to look at before. It's kind of pouring out, but then it floats away and is gone. It's great. I feel much better. I'm working on another piece. I'm not sure if I'll post it though.

The TAing is going well, but I am having problems with that one pretty boy. He isn't doing his work, but seems to think that's it's going to be fine. I hope an F is fine with him, because that's where he's heading. The semester is about to get busy though. How exciting.

Strangely enough I dreamt about Michael last night, which is weird because the e-mail I got was from Wes. Wes is a player (I love you Wes, but not in a million years), but he wanted to let me know my Mexico pictures were good (I think he used the term sexy beast). And meanwhile, I've been throwing away my pictures of Charley. Sorry baby, but we're not ever, ever, ever getting back together. Ever. (I hate to repeat myself but Charley has a hard time with the meaning of ever). And, if for some strange reason, I had the chance to have a fling with one of my students after the end of the semester, I have narrowed it down to two. I prefer one, the other will do just fine.

gotta get to the homework, before it gets to me,

Monday, October 04, 2004

The Words

The words exploded into their respective colors:
blood red, bruised purple, silent black.
they crushed and weighted and scarred,
worse than the rain of blows.
Blows which left
blood red, bruised purple, silent black.
Or is this just a recreation of a recreation?
The words, the words, the storm of words.
repeat; repeating; repeated.
Then complete, utter, deafening, ear-splitting
These; this; that;
much worse than the blows:
cotton candy pink; light lavender; washed-out grey.
But people understand the blows.
Refuse to acknowledge the explosion of words.
Words painting the landscape of my brain:
blood red, bruised purple, silent black.

Saturday, October 02, 2004


I just don't know. It just swirls and flows and rips and floats above and below me. But I can't grasp it and I can't swim in it and I can't fight my way out of it. It's just there. And I don't even know what it is. I choke and struggle but I refuse to cry. I won't ask for help, for deliverance, because I don't think there is any. I'll just wear myself out and sink slowly. Hopefully there will be something entirely new down there, something I never imagined and then maybe it will be alright. Maybe it's what I'm looking for but I was just looking in the wrong places. I had to lose and tire and give up first. And maybe I'll wake up tomorrow and it'll be lying there besides me. And maybe I'm the virgin Mary

Friday, October 01, 2004


I just received my first TA paycheck, and while much smaller than I used to make in the "business world" it's still much larger than anything I've made since I started school. It's enough to cover all my living expenses. So I will no longer be living in the negative. Very exciting. I might even be able to put some money in savings. That would be nice.

I still enjoy being a TA, but it really takes a lot of energy. I have four sections on Wed. and by the fourth section I'm so tired and losing my voice and I've already said everything three times. And I am going to have to fail some people if they don't do their work. I asked my advisor if I should talk to these students and she said if I don't have a problem failing them, no. They are adults, albeit brand new ones, but they're not freshman either. They know what is expected of them and it has been restated several times. I also have one group that just does not talk at all and I have threatened them with turning their papers in early so I can call on them better during section. We'll see if that works.

I am still swimming. I enjoy it so much that I'm going to try to go more than twice a week. Even though I love the tension of my muscles against the water, I don't feel like it's exercise. It's more like active floating. Just concentrating on slicing the water in pretty patterns and counting to breath in rhythm. It's just beautiful. I really don't think about anything when I swim. When I walk, I feel alone and I think about how I'm alone. I worry about homework. I worry about papers. I worry about everything. But not when I swim. When I swim, I just am. It is a beautiful feeling. Why didn't I do this sooner. I do need to get goggles though, because I'm still seeing halos around everything.

I do believe that is about it for now. I have a ton of homework for this weekend, but what else is new. It's also supposed to get really cold and that sucks. Oh well.