Thursday, December 14, 2006

The Good, the Bad, and the Procrastination

My graduate class had the best discussion of the semester last night; I managed to ask the right question at the right time. People were uncomfortable because the question challenged a fundamental assumption most have made about reading practices. People dealt with their discomfort well, listened to each other, made points, and thought about what we were doing. One student, especially, a student who's been relatively quiet this semester, but who's also demonstrated real growth in writing at least since the last time I had her in a class, spoke brilliantly to the point, bringing up a salient example at just the right time and in just the right way. For just those few minutes, I thought maybe I can do this teaching thing decently.

I forgot an important duty; fortunately, one of my colleagues emailed me asking about it earlier in the week, and now I'm taking care of it. I hate when I mess up like this. When I talked to the colleague who reminded me, I cussed out loud at myself (which I try not to do too much) and we laughed about creative cussing. While my favorite cuss is the early modern 'slid (God's eyelid), that's purely intellectual and never comes to my tongue in times of need. In regular usage, I tend to combine short words for bodily stuff. The fact that we both became immediately fascinated by my chosen cussword says something about our willingness to be distracted at this point in the semester.

Distraction plays a big part in my procrastination (as does writing in my blog, evidently).

I've suddenly become interested in the differences between arras/orras (alternative spellings, at least in early modern texts, of a plant from which hair powder was made) and arrowroot.

I'm also deeply curious about the difference botanically between a rhizome and a tuber. And how is a rhizome different from a bulb?

I don't know how I survived without an on-line OED.

Edited: I just finished the task. Is it wrong that I laughed out loud in my office when I read a student evaluation for a remedial writing class that said the class was too much like high school?


  1. Anonymous9:02 AM

    And I thought it was spelled orris...You have some interesting interests!

  2. I'm interested in the difference between arrowroot and cornstarch. How come all of the vegetarian and organic and "natural" use arrowroot powder as a thickener instead of cornstarch?

    You know, just in case you know.

  3. Anonymous10:36 AM

    I trained myself to use "Scheiss," both because I could get away with it in more places, and because the hissed "s" is so satisfying. But I like 'slid quite a lot -- might have to work it in.

    I don't know how I survived without the online OED, either. And I don't know how I will survive if anything ever happens to the Blake Online Concordance...