Friday, March 31, 2006

Dear moron student,

Dear moron student,

I appreciate the fact that I obviously look like I'm six years old to you, otherwise why would you think you could play me, but I don't appreciate the fact that you tried to play me. These papers were due on the 22nd. Today is the 31st. These are not "highly suggested dates" these are "due dates." I e-mailed you to ask you where your paper was because I liked you (notice the past tense). When you e-mailed me back (three days later) giving me some slightly believable story, I decided to give you the benefit of the doubt, mostly because you promised to bring the paper to me on the 27th. Then I didn't get the paper. And we had class twice. And I didn't get any e-mails. Finally, yesterday, you asked me if I had gotten the paper. You claimed you had e-mailed it to me on Monday. This is the second time you made this claim. You said you would go print it out immediately and bring it to my office. I told you I wouldn't accept e-mailed papers, so why didn't you have a hard copy to begin with? Yesterday, I left my office at 5:45p. I did not have a paper. Today, you stopped by my office and tried to give me your paper. I told you I couldn't take it, since today is the 31st and it was due on the 22nd. You acted shocked and horrified. Then you claimed you had e-mailed it to me on Wednesday. Why do you think I'm that stupid? I'm working on my Ph.D. I have 2 MAs and one BA. And, I worked as a bill collector for 7 years. I've heard every story there is to hear. I've made grown men cry. And you think I'm going to believe your pathetic ass story? Think again. I told you I would discuss it with the professor again. I'm not going to. And, I read the paper: you obviously didn't even have the paper topic when you wrote it late last night because it doesn't even address the correct issue. It is an F paper anyway. And, I'm going to let you know that. You better hope your next paper kicks ass, otherwise, I'm going to kick yours.

Sincerely, the best TA in the world,

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Working my way down that list

Well, I had hoped to have all the papers graded and turned back by Friday. That's not going to happen. But, I'll only have 20 to grade this weekend, if that, so, that's not too bad. I've given up on trying to read anything new for pre-lims, instead concentrating on organizing my notes and reading my notes from stuff I haven't looked at for 2 years. I met with my advisor today, and we talked about my dissertation and all that other fun stuff. She gave me a brief oral exam about the stuff I've been doing and she gave me an A. That was good! And she basically told me that my pre-lim question would be about the stuff we talked about today. So, besides the fact that I'm all PMSing right now, I'm in a good mood. (Actually, I'm just tired and delirious, but that's good enough). But, I agree with the Queen: when this is all over, I think a full spa week sounds like a great idea. Maybe I could convince my students that would be a nice present, especially since their mid-term grades were so bad! Finally, one of the other TAs had a student who wrote about the communist leaders Hitler and Stalin. (If you don't know why that's wrong, please don't ask me to explain it).

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

You don't say?

I'm so stressed out I'm numb. I just can't even process what I have to do. I'm kind of in denial. Right now I'm grading 67 papers (apparently, I translated Karl Marx's Communist Manifesto into English). Tomorrow, I have an oral exam with my advisor and we're going to discuss my dissertation proposal and my short research trip this summer. I'm meeting with a total of 7 students this week about their mid-terms. I get my pre-lim questions next Monday. I have 14 days for them. I'm teaching one week during that time, but not the other week (Thank you to the other wonderful TAs). My one professor just informed me that my pre-lim questions from her are going to be historiography questions. I hate historiography. I'm just not good at it, and, ever professor means something different by it. I turn in my pre-lims on April 17th. Three days later, I have to e-mail my committee a syllabus I wrote for a class I would teach. Five days after that, I orally defend my pre-lim answers and my syllabus. The students have another paper due on April 24th. Their final is May 11th. I'm going to go visit my grandparents for a week. Beginning of June, I'm moving to VA to be close to my husband. I'm supposed to defend my dissertation proposal in June. I'm going to Russia in June for a month. Grant proposals are due in Sept., Oct. and Nov. I'm getting married in Oct. Wes leaves for 6 months in Nov. I'm sure I've forgotten something. I'm just blocking it out right now. I think I need to go make a chocolate cake.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Guess who?

This is a picture of Wes and I in highschool. He's a senior and I'm a junior. Besides the fact that we've both gained weight, and my hair has changed often and in a multitude of ways, we still look the same. He hates this picture. He says he looks like he's trying to pimp me out. Yes, that's a fedora he's wearing and a gold chain. This is the only picture I could find of us from highschool. I thought you could all use a laugh!

Thursday, March 23, 2006


Let the backlash begin! The students have their mid-terms. If you were on campus today, you would have heard a collective groan of disappointment followed by a passionate war-cry to KILL THE TA! I told the students they had to wait 24 hrs before they could contact me to complain about their grade. I've already heard from 3 students. We'll see how many that is by tomorrow morning. The smart ones hung their heads in shame at their collective stupidity. The rest had utterly confused looks on their faces, wondering how they could have possibly gotten such bad grades, especially when they mentioned Russia three times on their mid-term. Nevermind that they didn't know actually anything about Russia, except that I study it and therefore, if they mentioned it that should get them brownie points. And I fully expect at least one student to come argue with me about whether or not there was a proletariat revolution in nineteenth century Europe. Oh, these poor young students. They're starting to make me excited about visiting the highly unorganized, non-catalogued, never open when they're supposed to be, no heat, no air-conditioner, no toilet-paper, no English, no nothing, Russian archives. I love being a TA.

Pre-lims start April third. I still have about 20 books I need to read. I'm hoping to get through those this weekend. I met with the history graduate advisor about the process today. It sounds ok. I'm ready. I'm not even close to being ready. I think the pre-lims will be stressful, but I shouldn't have a huge problem with them. The issue will be my dissertation proposal, which I haven't officially started yet. I need to get one that. Like, a month ago. And I really need to figure out when my research trip is going to be, because I need to buy my plane ticket and start my visa process. Because that only takes forever. I'm exhausted but feel like there's too much to do. I love being a graduate student.

And, I've had three sty's on my left eye since March 5th. I went to the doctor today, because I have never had any eye problems. They're so useful. Let's just say, I'm thankful that health insurance covered it, because it was a waste of time. Although, she did prescribe me an eye cream in case it swells up again. I hope I don't have to use it.

ok, I want to go to bed, but I have to finish this book first. I also have 67 papers I have to grade (not tonight, this weekend). I hope they're better than the mid-terms.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Stoopid freshmen

I have graded 49 out of 69 mid-term exams. I have 7 Fs already and no As. The other TAs thought they were being too easy (or that I was being too harsh), but after reading several of my exams, they came to the conclusion that my students are just stupid. Very stupid. Now, I do have a higher percentage of freshmen than the other TAs, so maybe that has something to do with it. Still, these are bad. I had one student claim that Germany is between Great Britain and France on the map, one claimed that after Italy united it became a superpower. Apparently the peasantry of Europe went to bed one night and woke up the next morning as proletariat. The freeing of the serfs in Russia caused servants in Europe to want more political freedom. And, obviously the majority if my students are firm Marxists because I've had several of them tell me about the successful European proletariat revolution of the 19thc. Although, I'm at a complete loss as to why none of them provided me with dates or countries for that. And finally, a direct quote. "The bourgeoisie filled their sails with the steel breeze of industrialization as it came to Europe."

Have a great day, and remember, the zemstvas were not created by Napoleon!

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Disturbing dreams

I hate disturbing dreams. When I got back from Wes's, I was feeling so good and so happy. I was amazed at how Wes is just so perfect for me and how much he loves me. We're so comfortable together and can talk about anything. He thinks I'm the sexiest woman in the world, not just physically, but as a whole being, all of me. I was feeling happy and wonderful and not so stressed out about everything. And then I had that stupid dream last night.

I have vivid dreams all the time and I usually remember them. I once had a dream that continued in the same place it had left off the night before, for two whole weeks. And I dream about all sorts of stuff (yes, I still have the dream where I can't find where I'm supposed to turn in my papers at the end of the semester and if I don't get there I'm going to fail. No, I'm not naked). Last night, the dream was just weird. As are all my dream where I am in Las Vegas again. And all my Las Vegas dreams take place at the location of the school I went to. So, what was so disturbing? This dream had Charley AND Andrea in it. Will these two never go away? Will they always haunt Wes and I at some subconscious level? Suffice it to say, when the dream ended I didn't know where Wes was and couldn't get a hold of him. I knew he was with Charley, but that was it. And I called Andrea a bitch. That kind of felt good. I don't know why I had this dream. I hate waking up after stuff like that, because now I'm going to feel funny all day.

Although, Andrea did piss me off again. She sent me an e-mail asking me where she should send the wedding gift. (no, that part didn't piss me off). I told her to Wes's, but that we were moving into a different place in May, so she should wait until after that. I mean, we're not having the ceremony until the fall! She e-mailed back: I want his current address now. And I think that was the only line in the e-mail. She can send something, but he's at work for 12 to 14 hours a day almost 6 days a week, so he won't be signing for any packages. Maybe she's thinking she'll just send a gift and then be done with us, which wouldn't be a bad thing.

Today, I am finishing that stupid 20 page paper that has hung over my head for so long because I couldn't figure out what to do, and then did a crappy job at it so I had to do it all over again. I will finish grading some of the mid-terms. I will attempt to write a 7 page paper for one of my other professors, and I will study for the oral exam I am having tomorrow, over what, I'm not quite sure. I hope you all have a great day.

And then, if all that weren't enough, I just saw this story:
Voikovskiia is the metro stop where my friend lives. The metro I took every day this past summer and will take again this summer (if it's fixed). I hope they're ok. I'm going to have to e-mail them.

Thursday, March 16, 2006


Well, I have put a deposit down for Wes and I's "wedding" and reception. It will be in October. And if the Navy moves his deployment date one more time, so help me, I will personally have a discussion with Pres. Bush. Like he cares. But, even though this actually means spending more money when we're trying to pay our debt down, it's still a stress reliever because it means I don't have to worry about it anymore. Although now I have to worry about dresses and such, but that's not too bad. We're having the event as a country club and they do everything, so that helps.

Today I'm also putting down a deposit on a three-bedroom townhouse here in VA. No, we're not buying, just renting, but it will be a lot bigger, with a garage and small yard. Better for kids and all my stuff. And then when I live here I don't have to listen to the people upstairs talk to their miniature dog in a baby voice: "who's the cutest little dog ever? You're the cutest little dog ever!!! Yes you are. Yes you are." I'm going to kill both of them.

ok, we all know I don't have time to be typing anything, so I must go. Have a great day!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The list goes on. . .

I'm supposed to be getting a ton of homework done this week. My pre-lim exams start on April 3rd. Between now and then, I have 69 mid-terms and 69 papers to grade for my students. I also have a ton of reading to do. And I have to write a syllabus of a course I would like to teach. I have a 20 page paper I need to finish (and have graded) and I have an oral exam on Monday (to finish a different incomplete). Let's talk, for a brief moment, what the pre-lims consist of. On Monday, April 3rd, by 9:00am, I will receive approximately five questions from four different professors. I will have to answer two questions for each of the four professors. I will have fourteen days to type approximately eight page answers to these eight questions. Then, I e-mail my answers back in and wait. After about a week, I will have to orally defend my answers. This could take anywhere from a half hour to 4 hours. How bad your questions are usually determines how long your orals are. I will also have to talk about my syllabus. After this, I will be ABD (all but dissertator). Let's talk about that process.

I have to write a fifteen page dissertation proposal. There will probably be a fifteen page bibliography as well. I have to orally defend this. Then, this summer, since I did receive funding, I will travel to Russia for about a month. I will go to the archives in Moscow and in Samara. There, I will try to figure out what the archives have, and if they'll even let me in. When I return to the states, I will fill out several grant proposals, so I can receive funding for Fall 2007, to return to Russia for 9 months. After that research trip (in which I live in the archives and libraries), I write the dissertation: it has to be approximately 300 pages long. Now, doesn't that sound easy?!?

Meanwhile, I have to find time to visit my elderly grandparents, move to Virginia, and plan a wedding and a honeymoon. After all this, things will settle down considerably. Part of that is because Wes is being deployed in Nov. for six months. Just the way you want to start your marriage out: by not seeing one another. He'll be gone for the entire month of September as well.

So, this is why I'm slightly stressed out. And I should actually get back to my homework.

Monday, March 13, 2006


I am currently in VA with my husband. I feels nice to be able to write that! But, the trip here, it's always an ordeal. First, my first flight was late. A hour and a half late. I only had a hour and a half layover. When our flight finally made it to the airport, the flight attendant announced that all people with no connecting flights should stay seated. Half the plane stood up. While we were still moving. It took them forever to get us in a spot and then to open the door (15 minutes). Thankfully, I was in row 6, aisle seat. But some college age girl started screaming: get out of my way, I have a flight I have to catch!!! We all responded: so do we. She kept screaming. Seriously. But, I'm pretty sure she missed her flight, since it was supposed to leave 15 minutes before we landed. I had to book it to my next flight. They scanned my ticket, told me to run to the plane and then shut the door right behind me. I pretty much slept the entire way, happy that I had made my flight. When we landed in VA, they asked that we stay seated for several extra minutes. Then an air marshal and two policemen got on board and arrested the man sitting across the row from me. The guy sitting next to me said this man had also been on his flight from Germany, and had caused problems. We forgot to watch the local news to see if it said anything about it. But, since I had barely made it to the plane in time, my luggage hadn't, so we had to go back to the airport at midnight to get my suitcase from the next flight. At least it was there.

Saturday, we drove to NC to visit his kids. Wes's son had a soccer game. He was really good. Then we took the kids out to eat. They (and his ex) don't know that we're married yet. Since we're still planning on having a ceremony in the fall, we'll just let them think that is it. The kids were great and we had a good time. When we drove them home they kept pointing out all the houses that were for sale, so they could just walk over to visit us every day. I only wish it were that easy.

Yesterday, we went to church. The church Wes goes to is right across the street, and the weather was beautiful, so we just walked. I liked it, although, I always have a hard time making friends, so the thought of meeting new people scares me. The rest of the day, we did some shopping, and just hung out, watched TV and eat. It was wonderful to just be able to hang out. And to have sex. I think it's going to be a good week.

I found out I passed my Russian reading exam. However, my advisor kept telling me I would receive funding through the department to go to Russia this summer. Lately she hasn't said anything about it. I need to e-mail her to find out, because if I'm not going to Russia, I would move here sooner. Wes is working this entire week, and you should see how much work I brought. I really need to get it all done too. It's going to be a busy week, but at least I get to spend it with my husband.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Congress of Vienna

I'm currently grading mid-terms. They are so much fun. I am so excited about this. I wish you could actually hear the unbridled joy in my voice. And for those who don't know, that is utter sarcasm. (A lot of people have a hard time with my sense of humor, because if you were here to hear my voice, you would detect absolutely no change in it: you just have to know me). Anyway, did you know the Congress of Vienna was held in France? You learn so much grading student stuff. That's ok. Last week, they had a map quiz, and more than 60% of them mid-identified Berlin Germany. I hope they never get lost in Europe (probably the States too).

Yesterday I had my Russian reading exam. I don't know how I did yet. She said she would e-mail me in a couple of days. Russian is tricky because it has no articles and it doesn't have the verb "is". Therefore, you usually translate and then go back and "clean up." I didn't have time to clean everything up, but I understood what was going on, so I hope I did ok. I forgot to ask her about funding for this summer though. If I'm not getting funding to go to Russia, then I'm going to move to be with my husband sooner. When she e-mails me about the exam I'll ask her then.

Half of my flowers haven't bloomed yet. I leave on Friday for a week. But, there are a total of 9 lilies and almost five are open. They're beautiful. I think I'm allergic to them. I can't breath. Don't tell my husband though. Also, this is a great country. Today, from the comfort on my own house, I requested to have my mail held. Isn't that great! I didn't even have to shower!

Ok, I have about 4 more hours of homework I want to get done tonight, and it's already 8:15p. Just ask Camille, I'm not a night person, and I'm usually in bed by 10:30p. But, since I'm leaving on Friday, I have to get all this crap done. Oh, I meant all this highly intellectual reading and writing. And, tomorrow is my mom's birthday and I forgot to send her a card, although she already found her birthday present that I left there at Christmas time. I hope she likes them.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Brighten your day

These are the beautiful flowers my wonderful husband sent me. It was wonderful to get home today, after 4 1/2 hours at the library, and see them. Everytime I finish reading something, I look at them again. It's now 9:30p. I was hoping to read three more articles tonight, but I don't think I'll manage to get to all three. Tomorrow I want to clean my apartment, get groceries, do the laundry, write a paper (I need the articles for that) and work on that long paper, the one that was originally due 2 1/2 years ago. I leave on Friday to see Wes for a full week. That will be wonderful. But I have so much stuff to do before then, and while I'm there. Pre-lims begin April 3rd. I don't think anyone can ever be well enough prepared. But I also want to do better than just good enough. I want to prove I know my stuff. I think I can do that.

On another note, Andrea and I have reverted to an e-mail only relationship. Well, she calls, I don't answer and then e-mail later instead of calling her back. We'll see how that goes.

Well, I need to get at least one more article read tonight. Hope everyone is having a slightly more exciting weekend than I am.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Where's Stacy?

I just took a test about where I should live. Here are the results.
Test Results

Emotional Stability




50%Your sloan type is SLOANYour primary type is Organized
You are moderately social, moderately moody, organized, moderately accommodating, and moderately intellectual, and may prefer a city which matches those traits.
The largest representation of your personality type can be found in the these U.S. cities: Charlotte, Harrisburg, Cleveland, Memphis, Cincinnati, Kansas City, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Richmond, Philadelphia Area, Greenville/Spartanburg, Reno, Indianapolis and these international countries/regions Luxembourg, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Turkey, Taiwan, Iceland, Hong Kong, South Korea, Portugal, Philippines, India, Guam, Canada, England, Indonesia, Japan

The most ironic thing about this: Dallas /Fort Worth are listed. I hate Dallas. I lived there for 14 years. I should, however, add that I did take advantage of the museums, Shakespeare in the Park, zoos, Symphonies (on occasion) and other intellectual things. And as far as the International countries, as all Russian historians know, the Ukraine is technically part of Russia, so therefore, that would be my first choice.

So, the birthday went fine. Received lots of cards, phone calls, and e-mails. My father-in-law sent me a beautiful card about how happy he was that I was a part of the family and how he can't wait to get to know me better. My husband sent me a beautiful bouquet of flowers and said that I also have a gift waiting for me when I visit. He also said he'll make me a cake when I get there. Overall, the day went well.

Ok, ton of stuff to do before pre-lims. That's going to be my new mantra.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

I feel old

Today is my 32nd birthday. And all I can think of is "I don't have time for this." I feel old. Not like ancient old, but in "wow, it seems like just last week I was in my early twenties" old. And then, when I teach, these kids keep getting younger and younger. And when I tell them how old I am, they look at me like "wow, that is old. But you look really good." I'm still young enough to believe that life has plenty of excitement and adventure for me, but old enough to know that it's going to be more and more difficult to fit it in. Young enough to still want to go dancing all night, but old enough to decide the consequences the next day aren't really worth it (at least not during the semester). Young enough to want to have sex with my husband until two in the morning, old enough to plan on going to "bed" at eight so I can still get some sleep. Yet, I'm still in school and don't have a career yet. This really makes life in ones thirties a little unreal. I'm definitely an adult, but I'm still a student. Anyway, it's my birthday.

Meanwhile, back at the batcave. I will be getting very little sleep over the next month. Preliminary exams start on April 3rd. I still have WAY too much to read before then. And I haven't even started typing my dissertation proposal. And I have to write a syllabus too. My Russian language exam is Monday. I'm worried and not worried. I kind of feel like there is nothing I can do but work on my Russian.

Ok, that's about it. I need to get started for the day. I hope everyone has a good one!