?

Log in

No account? Create an account
 
 
14 January 2008 @ 09:45 pm
From Les Semaines, Sunday (Monday), January 13 (14), 2008  
Unsuspecting Question Answerer Suspects Nothing

I'm a day late, but I'm not re-dating this or anything. I'm just in a mood like that.

The first week of Winter Quarter has passed and I survived it. It wasn't awful or anything, just busy.

And I am daily astonished at the amount of hand-holding prospective students applying to doctoral programs seem to require. One of my favourite questions went something like "if you say you require a master's degree, does that mean that you want your applicants to already have a master's degree?" Um, yes. Another was "You only accept students for Autumn Quarter, so can I apply for Spring?" Um, no. Those are just two samples of recent questions. Most of them are like that. Only a very few are a little more complicated or subtle. Mebbe they're winding me up, but why would you wind up the person who is processing your application? I wonder at the reading comprehension of these people, and can't decide if this means they should be doctoral students or that they shouldn't. I guess shouldn't, because the students we do accept have never asked questions like that; they mostly excel at more complicated questions, which frankly I find more entertaining to answer. I don't much like worrying about people's intelligence and reading comprehensive level. Also, I don't like how crabby answering the dumb questions makes me. It's such a relief to see the students I know and trust.

I also had a bunch of certificate students come by to talk to me and I always enjoy talking to them, especially the ones who are happy to know that they will be able to complete the certificate after all.

I also survived the first Clarion West workshop meeting for 2008. I hate meetings. Or rather, I hate making myself get out the door to go to them. Once I'm there, I'm fine, but motivating myself to leave to get there feels impossible. I moan, I complain. I leave everything to the last minute. I slowly gather things together. Then suddenly if I don't leave right away I'll be late and I swoop up four last things and run out to the car yelling back at Jim to ask if he can (get me my glasses/bring me the thing I left out on the counter/sorry could you do the dishes I forgot). Then I race off, all anxious, and arrive a couple of minutes early.

It's kind of like getting to work, though I'm nearly always a couple of minutes late there. I always stay a little late to it evens out, but somehow since morning are so much not my thing I have trouble getting out the door.

Let's be honest: I really want to stay home with the cats and a good book (even if it's one I have to write), no matter whether it's work I have to go to or meetings. Or even traveling. Getting out the door when I travel is the worst.

We finally had Christmas with Devin and Tamar, and they both have annoying colds that won't go away and leave them alone, so we were all tired but we had fun and cool presents. Devin gave us all sorts of cool things, including a framed copy of a hilarious photograph of Atia and Titus. I really should scan it and put it on LOL-cats with a caption like "Unsuspecting cat suspects nothing" 'cause in it Atia's relaxing into a cat-loaf while above her! where she's not looking! are four! big! heavy! paws! about to land on her. It's really funny.

And Tamar got us a panini maker. Guess what we had for dinner tonight?

* * *

If you want to know what I've been listening to, reading, writing, and read my (Jim's) old journal, see Les Semaines.

* * *

And if you want to read a recent poem, there's one newly up today at Strange Horizons.

 
 
 
Katherine Sparrowktsparrow on January 15th, 2008 03:32 pm (UTC)
Great poem! Also loved the ones you sent.

Hmm, I can remember asking you and Leslie a stupid question before CW, which was, are you sure I'm in?

Oops.
Neile Grahamneile on January 15th, 2008 04:30 pm (UTC)

Oh, but we love those questions. They mean that you're excited about it. That's our favourite thing.

Glad you liked the poems! Thanks for saying so.
A.kaiweilau on January 16th, 2008 12:04 am (UTC)
You're getting stupid questions because students are getting stupider, thanks to lots of babying by mommy and daddy. I can't wait for some kids to go to college and see how well phoning their kid's professor works.
(Anonymous) on January 16th, 2008 12:52 am (UTC)

Believe it or don't: I also work with master's-level students and have had a few calls from students' parents.

Aye yi yi.
Neile Grahamneile on January 16th, 2008 12:59 am (UTC)

Oops--that was me.

I guess I should point out that I haven't yet gotten calls from a doctoral student's parent.