A bug of some sorts Monday, Feb 25 2008 

Late last week, McK started coming down with a cold. Friday night she was up most the night, screaming and holding her stomach. Saturday then was pretty much a wash. Yesterday, I started out tired, but as the day went on, it got a lot worse.  Felt like I had been kicked in the ribs, ran a 20 mile marathon, and had a vise attached to my head. Needless to say I didn’t get much done at all. McK woke up at 1, 1:30 and 1:50 talking and fussing. At 2:47, she decided to wake up for real. So we have been dozing on and off and watching Little Einsteins since then. I don’t know if we have the flu or what, but we’re all staying home today.

Update: Tuesday, McK and I felt a lot better. I went to work though I tried to maintain distance from folks. When i got home, hubby informs me that daycare said she woke up complaining of earaches. I KNEW, dang it, that I should have brought her to the children’s hospital right away. Here is the run downof what happened that night :

  • put McK in bed around 9:30–a little later than usual. She watched Little Einsteins for about half an hour. I started work. That lasted about thirty minutes.
  • called the AskANurse Line at 10:30 as McK was screaming and clearly trying to sleep but couldn’t be calmed or comforted. Answer: wait two hours. If she doesn’t calm down or sleep, go to ER; otherwise, go to clinic in morning.
  • Sure enough, she fell asleep at 11:30. That lasted for about thirty minutes as well (do you see a pattern?)
  • at 12 pm I woke up dear hubby and said, “Paul, wake up. We’re going to the ER. Now.” (I have had an average of 4 or 5 hours of sleep per night for the last week and a half, so it might not have been worded so nicely, I have to admit).
  • We were admitted within, yes, 30 minutes.
  • Diagnosis roughly 30 minutes later: 2 ear infections. We discussed how hubby and I had flu-like symptoms but that was ignored.
  • Presription picked up 30 minutes later: ear drops every two hours, Amoxacillin, Ibuprofen.
  • Returned home: roughly 2:30 am.

A night passes painfully slowly when it involves a sick child and movement in half hour increments.


  • McK woke up at 5:30, the time hubby was going to work. Then she fell asleep on floor.
  • Gave 6 am SOS to youngest sister whose schedule is a little more free. She agreed to be here by 9:30.
  • 8 am: called campus to cancel classes
  • Daughter was up at 9:30, sister arrived, and we had 30 minutes to get them re-acquainted before distance ed class began!
  • Attended class
  • 11 am: Hubby calls. He went to clinic and was diagnosed with flu. Was told to stay home for five days. Doctor immediately prescribes one more medication for McK, as well as TamiFlu for hubby and I (and cough syrup with codeine. Of course, we have to take it in shifts!)
  • between noon and 2, I email my students, make some lunch, play with McK and sleep.
  • 2:30 I feel more ill (from meds) than I have since Saturday and sleep for an hour.
  • 4:30 Sister leaves. I give baby a bath. She coughs so hard she gags. We get past that incident and play some more. I’ve had baby duty until just half an hour ago (hubby was on the codeine).  We’re nearing her bedtime; she’s in high spirits, re-medicated, and watching Dora. Again. I’ve canceled classes for tomorrow as well.  I’ve been vomited on, kicked and pinched (all by daughter, not hubby, just so we’re all clear). I think it’s my turn for the meds and the bed.

We’re not complaining. We’re just trying to make it through. If you get at all achy, GO TO THE DOCTOR! The fellow Paul saw today said he’s seen 50 cases of flu, often from people who had the shot, this week alone!


Project Ideas for blogs or wikis Friday, Feb 22 2008 

I have saved this list all semester in a draft! It hasn’t changed too much, but here is what I am currently thinking about using as my project for the Weblogs and Wikis class:

  • Thrift store finds:
  • I love finding goodies at thrift stores. There are at least half a dozen in North Fargo and Moorhead alone. Concerns: my budget. my time. a place to put it all. Benefits: this would be fun. There are hundreds of crafty type sites and this is sort of a related niche–junk store finds. I just googled “thrift store blogs” and found this entry. Both the blog and the “research” (heehee) would be a great stress reliever and force me to make time for what I enjoy. What a hoot this would be. In fact, I can start with things I bought in the past (or is that cheating)?
  • Mommy blog
  • Drawbacks: market is saturated with mommy blogs.  I’m lucky if I get to see McK for 5 hours a day during the week. I’m a little schizophrenic about certain aspects of my home and school life and she is one.  When I’m at school, I’m focused on work and my students. From the time I get home until the time she falls asleep, I focus on my daughter. Besides the logistical nightmare of working while a toddler is running around, I sort of like our quality time to be separate from school work of any kind. She can see that she has my attention during those times. I’m also not a great photographer and a blog filled with grainy, out of focus pictures of a toddler easting and sleeping and playing just doesn’t seem to shout “hey read me!” I think, too, that I want my blog or wiki to reflect my professional interests more. Benefits: Two birds-one stone theory. Play with daughter and do homework. That just doesn’t seem compelling enough.
  • The role of literature in composition courses
  • Benefits: since this has been a recent department concern, the research and keeping track of it seems like a logical idea. I am passionate about literature. I think there is a lot of material out there that could be collected into a wiki space. Drawbacks: Somehow this doesn’t excite me as much as thrift stores or the ideas below. I just sense that after a week or two of posting and researching, I’d tire of merely collecting resources that may or may not be useful to anyone but myself.
  • travel literature wiki
  • I am going to be teaching a special topics course in the fall called Travel Lit. Currently, my colleagues have taught Horror and Supernatural Lit last spring and Banned Lit this spring. Drawbacks:  Is this reading that I have time for right now? No. Will I soon? probably. Without the 3x week meetings online and my hybrid course that finishes up in April, I’d definitely be able to re-purpose those time slots for this project. Benefits: I could use a wiki space as a notebook to develop an outline, a syllabus, a reading list, possible class assignments and projects, and to record my own reactions to works I am reading and considering. I have already read a handful of books, so until I have time to read more, I can start writing about what has been considered. Also the wiki could grow as the class starts–students can contribute, etc. Major concern: if I do all this work and the class doesn’t fill–we’ve never run the course in the fall and these are relatively new, unheard of classes. If it is cancelled and I have crunched all this into spring instead of over the summer, will it be a waste of time?
  • Student wiki  (for novel material and student-created content)
  • I think this one has the most practical application so I started it already–will that count against me?
  • When I first heard of wikis, I signed up with pbwiki and then did nothing with it. I recently set up cw1102.pbwiki.com to create an experimental place for my 1102 classes. Two sections (on campus) had the choice of reading Tess of the d’Urbervilles, which I have used for a couple of years now, or The Kite Runner, which I chose for its modern relevance and the lack of current online material (minus info about the movie, of course). I wanted my students to create their own cliffnotes, so to speak. Future classes will be able to use it. Blog stats indicate that others are looking for Kite Runner essay material 🙂 So far, I students have been in groups discussing the elements of the novels. I also ask some specific questions for them to consider. Then I decided to post this to pbwiki. Since I didn’t ask them to type their first set of work, I am slowly adding the content.  However, for the second group assignment, they are typing which will make it easier for me to post. I hope to soon have students post to the wiki itself but I need to arrange for us to meet in a computer lab and prepare some basic (really basic) instructions on how to log in, edit and save, as well as some ground rules. The will also do a creative, fun group project and can use the wiki space for planning.The benefits are obvious. The drawbacks: I’m not certain this will fit the project for the class. It’s collaborative, but I am merely providing the structure, some resource material and my students are creating the rest of the content. Even if they create it and I end up posting it, it’s still not my writing.

So. Any suggestions? Reactions? If you read any one of these ideas and just say to yourself, “Oh! Hell no!” let me know.

Busy weekend ahead Saturday, Feb 9 2008 

This weekend I will (Saturday updates follow in parenthesis)

  • bring in-laws to MPS airport in a blizzard (yay) (HWY 10 and I-94 closed; they had to drive themselves)
  • find out what children’s museums are in a certain radius of hotel (also cancelled. Instead we played and read and colored and slept.
  • grade process essays from 1101 (not yet)
  • tweak the next online units for  1102 and  accelerated 1101 and catch up on reading the discussion boards for each
  • update my wordpress blog and answer/read question/responses for weekend  assignment (did this AND visited all my classmates blogs just to see what they’ve been doing. Look at all the pretty pictures! I really must tackle this obstacle).
  • grade 1102 (3 sections) blog entries (not yet)
  • prep for Monday’s classes; 2 1102s so only one prep!
  • send mass PTK email for upcoming meeting and community service project reminders (not yet)
  • Surely there is more; I just cannot remember right now.

Three observations this morning Friday, Feb 1 2008 

1. I’m a sloppy typist. I must always remember to spellcheck.

2. It has become apparent that I cannot write a pithy post to save my life.

3. My links are hard to identify. Can I edit something to make them pop?

Hello world! Sunday, Jan 20 2008 

Things to do Monday:

Make this page “pretty

Play with features

Come up with topics

Read chapters

Check daybook for class