After a summer bookended by week long events that I was co-chairing (the teaching academy summer institute and the new distance students’ bootcamp), with 36 studnets in internships in between, I now am trying to get three online courses ready by next Tuesday, September 2. Which means that, since last Wednesday, the last time I wrote, I’ve been in a lost weekend of nothing much but work.
On Thursday, I had a morning training session on the student & class scheduling software at UW, ISIS – and I’m pretty sure now it shares a name with a terrorist organization for a reason. I knew I was getting cilantro & chiles & tomatoes in my CSA box, so I cooked a big pot of beans on Wednesday night, and Rach & Mark & I had refried beans and corn salsa and tacos for dinner. We ate a remarkable amount of beans.
On Friday instead of working at home, I went in to the office. My goal was to have 2 of my three courses ready to be logged into by the end of the day, but I didn’t quite make it. The problem is that even though I’ve taught all the courses before, I haven’t taught online searching or web design since 2012. The only head start is that I had to get a lot of the online searching course ready for the bootcamp at the beginning of August, and my 3rd course is the same internship one I had with 36 students in the summer, so all I had to do was change the dates. And only 6 students in that one this fall.
On Friday evening we went to see Jason Yi at MMoCA. Yi spent three weeks building an installation with plywood and duct tape (mostly) that will be at the museum for until November. It was as good as artist talks ever are – the artist earnestly talking about what h/she was thinking when they made the work, the audience trying to ask “smart” questions and show off their one knowledge. There were drinks and snacks on the roof, and we hung put with our neighbors, an artist married to a doctor. Ann’s a pediatrician and we walk when we can – her dad died this summer and she’s been in Ohio taking care of the house and getting her mom settled and all that – so I haven’t seen her much. So it was nice to catch up. On Sunday morning when we were breakfasting with Mark’s son, who’s in business school and interested in a career in finance or public policy, said. “People get paid for that? Maybe I should rethink my career choice”. We tried to explain how hard it is to talk about your work to get those grants, how that’s what John’s spending 3 years in an MFA program to learn how to do, and seemed like Ethan was reassured.
On Saturday, I wanted to go to the smaller westside market instead of downtown one, so Mark and I biked over there. I got lettuce, apples, parmesan, eggs – not a whole lot needed because of getting 3 CSA boxes in a row. Came home and ate a little breakfast and worked until it was time to go see Guardians of the Galaxy. The weather cooperated – it was hot and muggy and stormy, good for staying inside and working.Rach and I didn’t even walk on Saturday morning. The movie was fun, if a little silly, and I have bad ’70s pop stuck in my head now, because one of the characters had a beloved mix tape that his mom gave him on her deathbed.
Sunday we had a big scrambler, with potatoes and corn and broccoli and peppers and cheese and tomato. Which meant I finally got the dozen ears corn that had been in the basement fridge husked and cut off the cobs and some went onto the scrambler, some made another batch of corn salsa, since we snarfed the first batch so fast; first batch was more tomato than corn; second more corn. And I now have one cottage cheese carton – about 3 cups – of corn in the freezer, and a tub of corn cob broth, with bay leaf & pepper corn. I made blueberry coffee cake, too, using my cherry coffee cake recipe. It’s good blueberry, I used the blueberry compote from the ice cream sandwiches, but the cherry is better, especially with Door County cherry pie filling – which I will have to get more of when we head off to Door County, Wednesday.
During my bout of brunch time cooking, I made a key lime pie to take to Debbie’s pie party. No pics, but it looked a lot like the one below that I made 3 years ago; graham cracker crust, cream cheese, key lime juice and sweetened condensed milk in the filling, all natural cool whip on top. This crust was especially good because I used cimmy grahams. The rest of the day Sunday, I worked, then put Mark on the bus to Chicago, and went to the pie party.
And, jeez – started this Tuesday morning, finishing up Wednesday. I have all three syllabi and the course websites basically ready. I should still send emails to the students – but I guess I can do that from a coffee bar or the library on Washington Island. I am feeling pressed but shouldn’t be – I am finally on V A C A T I O N. And it’s time to get packed.