Monday, December 31, 2012

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Christmas Cruise

We're back from our cruise. In ten days we visited a private island in the Bahamas, the Dominican Republic, Grand Turk (Turks and Caicos Islands), Bonaire, Curacao, and Aruba. We also sailed past Haiti and Cuba but didn't stop there. I was sea sick the entire trip, and also managed to pick up a 24 hour bug at the beginning of the trip. That said, I drugged myself with everything available, sucked it up, and went snorkeling a few times, kayaking, sailing on a catamaran, went swimming at numerous beaches and did some shopping. One thing I do want to mention, no matter how many times I heard Christmas carols being played on steel drums, it did not feel like Christmas. I had a good time in spite of the illness but am also happy to be back home for a few days. Yes, on Thursday I fly down to New Orleans, LA for a national history conference to interview 15 job applicants for our department. Three lucky people will later be flown to campus for a second round of interviews. I'm also teaching winter session, so back to work for me! Hope you all had a happy holiday.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

I need a break!

The last 6 months have been very stressful with both jobs, working overloads, elderly family issues and a new dog. Tomorrow is my last final, once grades are in, I'm going on a cleaning, packing, and baking frenzy. I plan to get my Christmas cards and gifts out, then hop a plane to Florida, and get on a big ship to cruise the Caribbean for 10 days. It's not my idea of Christmas, but it's a great way to disconnect and relax, and that's exactly what I need. So hopefully the world won't end on the 21st, because that would really suck for the holidays. Have a happy one and stay safe.

Friday, December 7, 2012


I try really hard to be a good teacher. I honestly like my students. I change up my lectures to keep them fresh. I search for books that are interesting, not too long, and easy to read so some of my students might actually read the assignments. I also change my paper assignments every semester to reduce the chance of cheating. I also make the paper assignments very specific, on unusual topics, often with local primary sources, to prevent cheating. I learned to do this after I found 16 papers in one semester where students had plagiarized. So when a student does cheat, after all the thought and hard work I put into creating an assignment, I feel a huge sense of betrayal. I just found two papers that were 98% identically. These two students turned in the same paper. The betrayal on this one is bigger, because I worked all semester with the one student, privately tutoring him after he'd been sick and missed a number of classes. I also told him to take all the time he needed to complete the paper. So to copy someone else's paper and hand it in, it hurts. *sigh*