Monday, October 27, 2008


In answer to Jane's urgent request, I'll attempt to make up for my delinquency in filling you all in on the exams. The written portion went well, I think. I feel a little iffy about my morphosyntax question, but I hope I answered sufficiently that they allow me to explain myself in the orals. The orals are next Tuesday, and if I pass, the only things that lie between me and my M.A. are two term projects and a French translation exam. Facilísimo, ¿no?

In other news, I went to Phoenix for the weekend and met up with my husband at my in-laws place. I won't say it wasn't nice to see them, because it was, but obviously the highlight of my weekend was seeing him. I can't believe how much I missed him. I won't see him again until fall break, at Thanksgiving, but blessedly the University gives us the entire week. I'll be with him for six days, most of it at our little casa in Peñasco. He'll still be at work all day so I'll have time to write aforementioned term papers and maybe even nest a little, and I'll watch the sunsets over the turquoise water of the Sea of Cortez with my media-naranja. Cheesy, I know, but he's really played up those sunsets.

Lola is on the downhill.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

La espera

I've reached a state of calm, and I'm unable to pin down whether it's because I feel sufficiently prepared for the big day on Monday, or if I'm just numbed past the point of being able to worry about it anymore.

Right now I'm exactly fifty hours and eighteen minutes away from sitting down in the seminar room to write the first portion of my exam. Wish me luck, mis queridos.

Lola is approaching the most important test of her life with no signs of jitters.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Why is it that in my particular sleep-deprived actuality, my mind is drawn to twisted little details of the writings of William Faulkner? Where did that come from? Yesterday while I was strolling up the hill to my office it occurred to me that my mother is indeed a fish, given that her last name is Herring, ja-ja-ja. The sick part of it is that I'm so punchy (see previous reference to sleep deprivation) that Faulkner's Greek-style hubris lessons in decaying gentry aren't tragic, they're damn funny. I'll grant, Benjy is funny in that sick way that we all inwardly, guiltily laugh at the mentally retarded, but Quentin Compson should probably never be humorous. Then again, we are a special little exclusive club, we failed suicides, in our noirish adeptness at finding a chuckle in it.

Point being, I ought to be drawing connections between various theories of language change, not indulging in the distraction of Southern Gothic.


They liked Los Simpson, by the way, once we resolved the technical difficulties. Maybe I'll teach them the mambo sometime in the last ten or fifteen minutes of class.

Lola strangely feels like Mississippi might have some redeeming qualities, after all.

Monday, October 13, 2008

La locura no para

I bet you were all just astounded that I didn't update the day after the VP debates to freak out about the Governor's g-dropping, winking, long ums and pauses, weird down-hominess and the shout-out the the third-graders, weren't you? Lo siento, mis queridos, I was just too stinking tired. Can-saaaaa-da. Too tired even to bitch about the statistical-inacuracy pitfalls of evaluating the economy from the junior-hockey league sidelines. That's some serious exhaustion, folks.

I'm only writing here at the moment because I desperately need a short break from the MA list reading and figured I should update. Eight days and counting (incluso hoy). I'm just numb right now, and feeling a bit detached from reality. My husband has already gone to Mexico and started his new job, I've moved back into my old bedroom at my parents' house during the (procrastinated) prepping of our place for the renters, and in one week I take the most significant exams of my life to date, and here I sit watching my words pop up on a screen and being annoyed that my fingers are cold, again. Why am I not thinking about sociolinguistic theory, like I ought to be?

Because my head needs a #@&*ing break from Dr.s Bybee and Labov and Lapesa, that's why. Feel free to remind me of this when I start babbling about PhD programs.

I haven't cried in over a week. I'd like to call that maturity, but I know myself too well. Numb, indeed.


I had a good teaching idea today and managed to impress myself, because that hasn't happened for a while. I'm been operating on auto-pilot in the enseñanza department, but my kids don't seem too much the worse for wear. I've told them at least three times that class will be better after October 22nd. I'd better live up to that. Anyway, here's my nifty idea: We're going to watch part of an episode of Los Simpson in class tomorrow. The culture section for this chapter is on Puerto Rico and the stuff in the book is painfully uninteresting, so their homework for tonight is to look up some info on Tito Puente online and write a short paragraph about him. Tomorrow, we're going to watch a few minutes of the "Who Shot Mr. Burns?: part II" episode, specifically the part where Tito Puente argues that it's better to slander Mr. Burns with a scathing mambo than to shoot him.

"Señor Burns, ¡con el corazón de perro! Señor Burns, ¡el diablo con dinero!"

You remember.

Then, because I am an educator an it is my mission to foul up entertaining things by converting them to learning activities, I'm going to make them get into groups to write a short narration of what happened in those ten minutes, because some of them are still struggling with conjugating the past tenses. It's better than verb drills, though, yes?


Back to the grind for me and my bloodshot eyes. I'll let you all know how things go with the late great Sr. Puente tomorrow.

Lola is still counting down.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

La candidata perfecta

I'm sorry, but I just had to. Every time something comes out of her mouth, or someone repeats previous idiotic comments, I laugh even harder (mostly to bury the fear). Anyone else planning on being gleefully entertained by the debates tonight?