Thursday, February 27, 2014

Week 6

It is Thursday, February 27 and the sixth week of classes is over. I had a decent week and a good conference with my problem student. Boy, the real world is going to wake her up some day and she is going to be shocked. I decided to quit the graduate faculty because it is really an unfair program and what they are doing right now seems a waste of time. There are really no benefits to my being in the program and I will avoid the tension of debating something that I have no chance of changing. I helped Claire Hall out with a loan for her trip to Ireland. I will have lunch with her tomorrow and catch up on how life is treating her. I went for a hike this morning even though it was only 24 degrees. I increasingly hate the cold and I will be glad for spring to really come and for me to be somewhere else in January and February after I retire.

Friday, February 21, 2014

week five is finished

The last three days have been rough days indeed. My tractor got a flat tire (fortunately in the front), then after I got the tires off, my truck tire was getting a flat and I just got to the Nissan dealer before it gave up (I pumped it up twice on the way in). Fortunately Mike Fox fixed it quickly and I was on my way to Farmland to see about the tractor tires. I didn’t need to replace them so that saved my 300 or so dollars and fixing the flat was 10 dollars. I decided to go back and put the tires back on but that was a disaster mainly because I didn’t have enough long, wide wood to put under the bucket so the tractor could be raised. I got really upset as the bucket kept tipping off the wood piles I created and I finally gave up and had a nice walk up to the house (from the gate where the tractor is) and then I got some clothes and walked back to the truck and tractor. I went to Lowe’s and bought 4 2x10x8s and had them cut up so tomorrow I should have plenty of wood to lift the tractor so I can put the tires back on. My road is utterly a mess but after I get the tractor going tomorrow, I should be able to put it back in shape pretty quickly. My classes went pretty well and my conference with the problem student went very well and I think she got a good bit out of it. Five weeks done.

Friday, February 14, 2014

the great snowstorm

The big news is the huge snowstorm, with over twenty inches of snow. On Wednesday, when the snow started, I wisely got a room at the Hampton Inn (much nicer than the Microtel) and settled in for an amazing storm that didn’t stop until Thursday late afternoon. On Wednesday, I took several walks along the plowed roads and there were almost no vehicles out except the plows. I had done my weights and yoga and stationary bike at home so the walks were a perfect choice. Fortunately, O’ Charley’s was open for dinner though not very crowded. Thursday was worse. With all the heavy snow still coming down, there were very few vehicles and almost everything was closed. I did walk over to Lowe’s at about 4:30 but the store was closing at 5 so I was only able to walk inside for a few minutes. I did the stationary bike for 45 minutes and took another walk but the plowed roads were very icy and I walked extremely slow. I did a lot of work, grading papers, reading Gatsby, writing a blog, catching up on a lot of little things I needed to do. I had dinner in my room, consisting of microwaved wild and brown rice, pepper jack cheese, salad and a can of beans. It was fine with me. After that I did 40 minutes of the treadmill and watched the Olympics. I found out that Radford was going to be closed on Friday so that meant I was going to get a 5 day reprieve from teaching. I called Mike this morning and he didn’t think I had a chance of getting in today so I will stay in the Hampton at least till tomorrow. With the winds last night I don’t doubt that a tree or two has come down. I have to be patient because things are going to warm up a lot by Monday (45) with Tuesday on being in the high 50s and 60s.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

fourth week of classes done and summer plans moving forward

My semester progresses well although I do have one problem student that I hope has now withdrawn from the class (which overall is not going that well). She is the one who had personal problems early on and then wanted to take the course online and had been very aggressive in class. The rest of the students are fine and I should have that class going in the right direction soon. My house is in good shape and I have made a lot of progress with the cabin. I got rid of the old survey maps, donating them to the geology department. I threw out another big bag of garbage, finished sorting the letters and cards, gave a couple of golf clubs to the thrift shop, and cleaned all my diaries and brought them and the letters down to the guest room. I have also brought down two drums and sorted out the rest of the fishing gear up there and brought that down. I have been hiking in the morning when it is warm enough and doing my stationary bike and my weights and yoga. I have done a few walks with Rob and some walks on campus and at Tech. I have finished four weeks of class and I think all is well with my preps and grading. I have signed up for a half day of fishing on the Gallatin, three days in Yellowstone, and I am planning on a half day of fishing around Buffalo with a guide. I also hope to hike in on the Tongue and to fish Rock Creek and the Ten Sleep. My financial situation is fine, and I think I will only be taxed on less than half of my social security benefits. That should get my overall taxes to around 6K, more than the 4K I originally planned on but a lot less than the 8.5K I figured on last week before I did the ss worksheet. After this semester I should have to work 4 or 5 semesters more, not the 6 I thought last week. I did a little work on my Horizons paper and did another Lumosity Training session (I am now at the 56th overall percentile). I had a nice time with Gyorgyi on Sunday, going to dinner at Local Roots and to the Grandin to watch August: Osage County (a well acted but very grim movie).

Sunday, February 2, 2014

second week done

It is Super Bowl Sunday and the Denver Broncos are getting killed 29-0. Big surprise and it probably means that I will leave early. I have finished my second week of classes and things are going very well. Not too much prep and I have done pretty well with the first poems. The weather finally warmed up and I got to play golf on Saturday and I rode my bike yesterday and today. I went for walks in the morning the last three days. I was able to do some more cleaning up in the cabin and I got rid of a big garbage bag of junk. I am also 80% through the letters and cards. I will be giving my paper on Thursday morning at 8AM so that means I won’t be able to teach my Wednesday class. Mark B may cover for me but he has not totally committed. I will get up to New York to see Gabe and I will see Kelly on Sunday. I made my reservations in Yellowstone and got the last cabin for the three days in July (20-22). I am hoping to get a guide before and after so we’ll see.