katernater: (family • (cool dad))
I SAW THE NEW FRIGHT NIGHT. And it was...not as cool as the original. I really wasn't expecting miracles (because few things can compete with Chris Sarandon mackin' on Amanda Bearse on the dance flo', accompanied by a kickin' synth soundtrack, amirite?), but I was entertained and that's really all I wanted to get out of the movie anyway. There were far too few David Tennant scenes, though. And what, only one scene with the leather pants? Moviemakers, if I'm spending $10.50 to see your project, the very least you could do would be to get David Tennant to chafe through more than fifteen minutes of the movie. /FACTUAL OPINION

Speaking of dire situations, DOCTOR WHO RETURNS TOMORROW AND I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH MYSELF.
katernater: (actor • (sheen))
THE COVE IS COMING BACK.

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katernater: (sanctuary • (vampire))
I've got to watch myself because I have a feeling I could get seriously caught up in the Fright Night re-make -- AKA: The Movie Whose Box Office Receipts Depend Solely On David Tennant Fangirls (Subheading: and for Very Good Reasons) -- and my credibility as a judicious, wizened movie-goer has already been compromised by the fact that I am more than a little in love with the original 1985 version. I'm not particularly impressed with Anton Yelchin as an actor, and Colin Farrell's best work (in my opinion) was in In Bruges and I really have no kink for seeing him swanning around in a wifebeater in the Nevada desert, trying to seduce Toni Collette. HOWEVER. This is one of those cinematic "perfect storms" which, through some odd confluence of casting and media hype, has made me believe that if I don't see it, I might just shrivel up and die. So, you know. I'll probably end up going.

Also, wasn't Apollo 18 supposed to be released this month? I'm really looking forward to that movie. (Here's the trailer, in case you missed it.)

SPACE, YOU SCARY.

My shoulder is back to normal, doing all of the things a shoulder is supposed to do. My dad and I were talking about it and I told him that I had just overexercised and he was like, "That's what happens when you get older," and there was a tense moment of silence on my end of the line because I was busy checking the Rascal™ Web site to see if I could get my mobility scooter in hot rod red. Seriously. I'm twenty-seven. Twenty-seven is not old. Twenty-seven does not even fit into the "older" category. In 1900, when the average life expectancy for a woman in the US was 48.3, sure, twenty-seven was old. Twilight territory. (Then again, in 1900 you were probably lucky to live long enough without contracting tetanus from rusty farm equipment or falling into a coal furnace.) Then again, there are times when I really feel my age. Like when I check my student roster and half my class turns out to be born after 1993. That's a pretty sobering moment. You were playing with Jurassic Park action figures while your students were still sucking amniotic fluid. Jeepers, that's rough.

Shoestring budget this month while I wait for my next paycheck. I'm learning to make choices about purchases based on what I actually need to get by, rather than what I want. I've stopped impulse buying, for the most part. That's been a real problem with me in the past. I think everyone should have the experience of living on their own, being in charge of their own finances, at some point in their life. It's at turns empowering and incredibly scary. You learn a lot about what you can actually live without. For instance: I just opened a Snickers bar I'd stashed in the freezer and accidentally dropped it in the trash can; pre-Terre Haute me might have left it there and gone for another one. Current!me was ready to launch a full-scale rescue mission to get that damn chocolate back.

It was delicious.
katernater: (movie • (tech))
My shoulder is nearly back to normal, thank god. It was a rough weekend. I thought I was doing better on Saturday but midway through the evening I turned my head a particular way and felt something pop again; I managed to drive to the store to pick up a heating pad and a bottle of extra strength pain reliever. I've been doing a series of stretches with it every morning and every night before I go to sleep and I've pretty much decided that I've not torn anything. Not irreparably, anyway. It seems to get better the more I use it, and the only time that it really gives me any grief is when I wake up in the morning. In any event I skipped yoga on Saturday and gave myself another day off from the gym today. I might go back for Zumba tomorrow, depending on how it feels. At this point, I'm so relieved it's not as bad as it was on Saturday. My mom was worried I'd torn a rotator cuff, which freaked me out a little because she's a nurse and I'm nowhere near as cognizant of how my body works as I should be. And because our conversations about the injury almost always devolved into her thinking that I might have permanently crippled myself and me imagining my future as a one-armed panhandler who sells picture post cards and flattens pennies between her back molars for tips.

Panhandling future averted. For now.

I'm making slow but steady progress on The Transformation of Things. The details of the story change in my head from day to day but I have a pretty good idea of the overall plot, and think I will be ready to start outlining in the next couple of weeks. What really lets me know I'm on the right track is the fact I've set up an iTunes playlist and have started adding songs to it that I think fit the mood/characters of the novel. So far there's a lot of Muse, Pulp, and Michael Giacchino on there. And this stage of the writing process is my favourite, because it's the beginning and you're generally optimistic about everything and every idea is a good idea. It's like going to the grocery store when you haven't eaten anything; everything looks and sounds good and you must have it all.

I think I'm going to continue my trend of retiring a bit early with an episode of The West Wing and a book. I'm about halfway though Anno Dracula and President Bartlet just creamed Governor Ritchie in the presidential debate. If this show had corporeal form, I'd marry it.
katernater: (lost • (linus))
I did something crazy bad to my shoulder while working out yesterday. I'm not quite sure what happened, but I have a feeling that my time on the elliptical machine -- when I was holding on to the moving handles and every time I pulled them back toward me it was like I was winding up to throw a shot put -- had something to do with it. I didn't really feel anything until I'd gotten off the machine and gone over to the drinking fountain to fill up my water bottle and, reaching down, heard (and felt) something in my neck/shoulder area go pop. An explosion of blue-black pain smacked my back teeth. My entire left side seized up and for a split second I was worried I might pass out. Whatever it was passed, though, and I made it out to my car okay. I think I just overdid it.

I went out after work looking for one of those electric heating pads, but they're all too expensive (like, $30 or $40). I ended up buying some one-time-use heat patches instead. The box came with a special warning: "DO NOT APPLY HEAT PATCH TO GENITALS OR EYE AREA." I sometimes regret not going to law school because you know there was a civil case that set that precedent, and I would have loved to have been a part of it.

Yoga tomorrow morning, if I wake up in time.
katernater: (actor • (tennant))
I spent part of today trading e-mails with a guy I'm pretty sure I've been secretly in love with since we met at a party my first week of college. He's invited me to spend Labor Day weekend with him at his family's lake cottage and I'm trying to be all nonchalant, like, "Oh yeah, I get invited to lake houses by hot guys all the time; where's my regatta scarf?" when, on the inside I'm really all, "206 is the magic number, baby, because that's how many bones you have and that's how many I'm planning to jump."

My parents and I drove up to Valpo last weekend to move my stuff out of Todd's apartment. He was decent enough to break down most of the furniture and move it into the living room, but I still had a ton of books and brik-a-brak to box up. We filled a whole UHaul trailer with my half of the apartment. I'm not going to lie: it felt good to get my stuff out of there. Todd and I are on good terms and can carry on a civil conversation, but I think this last weekend made the break-up, well, real. I still felt like I had a link to my old life with all of my furniture and books in another place. Todd wasn't there, which was okay. He got a chance to go home to Fort Wayne to see friends and family and he took it, so my parents and I could come and go from the apartment as we pleased. It took about an hour and a half. The only time that I really got somewhat nostalgic was when I went through all of the LPs we'd bought together; I was sad to leave "Beggar's Banquet" and "The Stranger," but Todd had bought those on his own and it wasn't right for me to take them. I don't have a turntable to play them on anyway. I was able to move some small things back to my apartment: pictures, some glassware, other small items. I really feel like I'm making this apartment -- this town -- my new home. I finally got a gym membership (and am currently sweating it twice a week in Zumba classes) and found a classic rock station that comes in clear on my stereo. I'm happy in my job, happy with the friendships I'm making, and happy with the new creative opportunity in my novel project. Money's tight and I'll be happy when I will be able to stop paying rent-and-a-half for two apartments, but I'm nowhere near starving or deprived. I'm just learning how to manage my money and my time more effectively.

I'm not in any hurry to date again. I like the freedom that being single provides, and I have always been happy in my own company. I'm open to whatever comes next, but I also think that this time is an excellent opportunity for me to find out who I am and what I want in a partner. And there's no rush to figure out either of those things.

I think [livejournal.com profile] another_myself and I are going to watch an episode of Doctor Who together tonight. I can't wait until the second half of the series; it's in, like, two weeks, right? I NEED MY DOCTOR. I AM MARTHA JONESIN'.

ALSO. [livejournal.com profile] awesomesquared, I AM LOOKING AT YOU AND YOU KNOW WHY.

BOOKS.

Aug. 2nd, 2011 01:40 pm
katernater: (movie • (brainwork))
I have, in my hot little hands, the new Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child novel, Cold Vengeance. I will now proceed to read it until my face falls off.

I also bought this book, completely on a whim (and because when I flipped through it I saw the names Mycroft, Lestrade, and Abberline, all within fifty or so pages of one another. This book is like a Who's Who of 19th century literary personalities!).
katernater: (actor • (fame))
I'm in such a good mood today. I feel like I made good progress on my NaNo project last night and I woke up this morning (at 11:15, which is really late for me) feeling really good. I spent some time by the pool this afternoon, watched an episode of Luther and then went out to pick up a couple of pies for my boss's birthday. While I was out I also got some Chinese food from this little place everyone at work's been recommending. For $8 I got, like, ten pounds of food. That's insane. And it was good, too. I don't eat out very often these days and when I do I'm pretty much looking for economy: how much is it, and how much of it can I keep for lunch tomorrow? I ate until I was stuffed and put the rest in the fridge. I didn't even touch the hot and sour soup I ordered. Maybe I'll go back for a snack later on.

I'm going to hang around here until it gets a little cooler outside, then I'll go out for a walk. I usually run in the mornings on Saturdays and Sundays, but I missed my window this morning because I slept in. I don't feel much like running with a stomach full of sesame chicken, either, so the walk will be nice. Tomorrow we're having a half-day workshop at the office, which should be interesting. It's mostly for the new teachers (we've hired on two new ones who are set to start this next term) and, since I still consider myself something of a newbie, it'll be good for me, too. After the workshop I'll run back to the apartment to pick up my stuff so I can go back to Fort Wayne for a few days. Wednesday is the Muse concert, so I'll drive down to Indianapolis sometime that afternoon, rendezvous with my brother and his girlfriend, and get my symphonic rock on. The new Preston-Child book comes out on Tuesday, too! Gah. This week is going to be amazing.

On Friday night, I was invited to a dinner and reception for the Rose-Hulman students. This last Thursday was my last day with them. Overall, the experience was very positive. There were a few things that I would have changed -- the lines of communication definitely needed to be clearer, and I would have liked more time to spend with them each week -- but I am very satisfied with the project. I hope that I will be able to revisit Rose-Hulman next year, with a new batch of students. Anyway, on Friday all of the Korean students got together at the coordinating professor's house and made an authentic Korean meal for everyone. I have never seen so much food, my god. The dining room table was jammed with plates, bowls and piles of steamed white rice. I had kim chi that just about took the roof of my mouth off. But it was so good. And it just kept coming: as soon as one dish was depleted, some mindful student swooped in with a fresh helping. And they really took care of me: they saw that I was being a bit indecisive about what to put on my plate and took it upon themselves to intervene, piling my plate with a bit of everything on the table. The professor whose house we were occupying is originally from Manchester, England, and he told us about growing up overseas (especially his time in Uganda, where he constantly had to look over his shoulder to avoid Idi Amin and his men) and the things he's learned in his travels. It was really neat to listen to him. I soak that kind of thing up like a sponge. A little while later the Koreans were doing shots of red wine around the dining room table. They would fill their red plastic cups, clink them together while saying something in Korean, and neck them back like champions. Everyone was feeling pretty loose at this point and the house was full of that rare kind of camaraderie that makes you feel good about being a part of something much bigger than yourself. A couple of Koreans slung their arms around my shoulder and guided me to the tableside, putting a red cup in my hand. Another student sloshed an inch and a half of wine into my cup and we all raised our drinks. "This drink is for Ms. Katherine. We love you, Ms. Katherine!" they said, while I blushed like a maniac. It turned out to be a terrific evening. I left feeling very happy. I am grateful that I am in a place -- and in a time in my life -- where I can experience nights like that. Taking this job has changed my life in so many good ways. I could not imagine being anywhere else right now.

All right. Time for that walk. Then I'm coming back, putting in some Castle and sitting down with a little light reading.
katernater: (misc • (books))
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200 years into the future, medical science has progressed to the point where dreams are no longer necessary for healthy human brain activity. Sleep cycles have been reduced to three or four hours a night, with no perceivable adverse effect. For the nostalgic, however, the escape of dreams is something that can be achieved -- for a price. The ultra-rich may purchase "dream furloughs" -- periods of intense REM sleep that may last between twenty-four hours and six months -- that give them an opportunity to act out their wildest, deepest fantasies and desires, all without fear of consequences. When they awaken, they return to their normal lives.

The Dreamers are looked after by Cogzants: members of the working class who, themselves, have no hope of ever dreaming. Dreams are big business and it is the responsibility of the Cogzants to safeguard the minds and bodies of their Dreamers while they slumber. For Elliot, a young Cogzant working in the heart of the metropolis, things are not so simple. He has fallen in love with his Dreamer and has found a way to share her dreams. As their subconscious relationship deepens, Elliot discovers that his actions may have far-reaching consequences beyond the world of the dream. In a desperate race to evade capture and save the woman he loves, Elliot will plunge into the heart of a nightmare that could change the very definition of human consciousness.



So, there it is. My novel idea. This is what I will be working on for the next few months, until the writing start date in November. I'm really excited about this. I've already started to assemble a cast list in my head (Cillian Murphy is an early frontrunner for the role of Elliot) and I'm having a great deal of fun looking into the history of dream research. The (tentative) title comes from the Zhuangzi, a Taoist work from the 8th century:


'Once Zhuangzi dreamt he was a butterfly, a butterfly flitting and fluttering around, happy with himself and doing as he pleased. He didn't know he was Zhuangzi. Suddenly he woke up and there he was, solid and unmistakable Zhuangzi. But he didn't know if he was Zhuangzi who had dreamt he was a butterfly, or a butterfly dreaming he was Zhuangzi. Between Zhuangzi and a butterfly there must be some distinction! This is called the Transformation of Things.'


Because if I'm not hitting you over the head with symbolism, I'm not doing my job as an author.

I'm not sure where I am going to post updates about my NaNo project. I would post them here, of course, but given LJ's track record lately I'm reluctant to start storing things and then have to deal with the fallout of losing them when the site crashes. I've got my bulletin board and in all likelihood I'll probably just throw everything onto a flash drive and make sure that I know where that flash drive is at all times.

Whew. It feels really good getting that synopsis up there. That might have been the hardest part of the process so far.
katernater: (luther • (one coffee))
I started watching Luther this week and, honestly, I can't watch any episodes after it gets dark outside because I am legitimately worried that it will give me nightmares. There is at least one moment in every episode (of the three I've seen so far) where I throw my hands up in front of my eyes because what's happening on screen is freak-out-level disturbing. Of course, the writing is amazing (would have to be, for this kind of show to fly) and I'm quickly becoming a fan of Idris Elba because, my god, that man can act. And you don't even notice that he's acting while he's doing it; his reactions are so natural and so well-timed that, even from the first scene in the first episode, you're in his head. And that can be a very scary place to be.

INTERLINK graduation is this morning. I can't believe we've come to the end of another term. It was probably the most stressful term I've had here so far, but also the best in terms of what I learned and how I think I came along as a teacher. We've a week's break after this and I'll be going home for part of it. On Wednesday of next week I'll be seeing these guys --



-- the idea of which is still gives me happy tingles every time I remember it.

All right. Gotta' put on a shirt and go to work.
katernater: (doctor who • (tardis))
I had horrible insomnia last night. Which is weird, because at seven o'clock I was leaning on my arm while typing up student evaluations, literally a minute or two away from faceplanting into my laptop. I went to bed around ten thirty but couldn't fall asleep. I eventually got up and tried sleeping on the couch, like a change of venue was the problem. It wasn't. (FYI: If any of you ever get up here to visit me I'm not making you sleep on that couch; it's like a topographical map with a slipcover.) I went back to my bedroom and toughed it out and I guess I fell asleep around two or two thirty. The good thing about the whole thing was that the sleeplessness gave me a chance to think and I essentially reworked my whole NaNo concept for this year. I mean, to the point where I've scrapped my original idea entirely and gone in a wholly different direction -- right down to characters, setting, plot and time period. I decided that, to do justice to my original idea, I'd have to build a time machine out of used dishwasher parts, travel back to 1970s Britain and make friends with glam rockers. It's hard to explain. I could do it, but I feel like I actually need to live over in the U.K. before I start aping their slang and mannerisms, you know? So I'm putting that idea on the back burner and working to develop another project I've been kicking around in my head. It's kind of Philip K. Dick meets Inception meets the general tone of any Pink Floyd album. I'm going to start all over with the outlining process and, fingers crossed, I'll be ready to start writing at the beginning of November.

Work has been kind of stressful this week but it's the last week of the term and that's to be expected. I've been cheered up by my co-workers, though, and it's really great to have that kind of support system at the ready. It's also great to be around people who come from so many different backgrounds and levels of experience but who, at the same time, are a lot like me. My boss found out that I was a Doctor Who fan today and we spent, like, twenty minutes talking about which Doctor from the "classic" series was the best. My boss grew up with Four. I told him that I liked Two. We both agreed that Ten was awesome. I finally feel like I'm becoming part of that group. At the beginning it was a little hard for me to acclimate to my new job. I mean, everyone was terrific and very helpful, but there was still that stigma, like, "You're still a newbie and we're not completely comfortable with you yet." I feel like I'm starting to really make a place and an identity for myself. I feel more comfortable joking around and offering my honest opinion about things; generally when I'm new I like to keep my head down until I've earned the right to say something. After almost eight months I think I'm at the point where I can show a little bit more of my personality and weigh in on things.

I am really lucky to be where I am. It's stressful at times and I'm still not completely sure what I'm doing (and probably won't be completely sure for a long time), but I feel happy here. And, my gosh, you know when prospective teachers give you that line, like, "If I can help just one student learn something, that will be enough."? That's mostly bull. Teaching is a numbers game. A lot of the time, if students are just meeting the benchmark you're happy. If they get the concept and can prove that they can follow through with it, hallelujah. If more than half of the class can string a sentence together without too much trouble? You're doing pretty damn well. But I had one student in my writing class this term who struggled and really had to work on her skills. I worked with her one-on-one, got her additional help outside of class, and her skills really improved. She turned in an awesome research paper to me today. It was worlds better than her writing at the beginning of the term. I almost got choked up reading it. Seeing her succeed made my entire term. It was as close as I've come in my life to knowing what being a parent is like -- if being a parent involves long explanations about punctuation and subject-verb agreement.

It's still hot outside but I'm going to try to run anyway. I didn't run last night and that might have been part of the reason I couldn't sleep. Apparently I just need to exhaust myself to the point of collapsing if I want to get a decent eight hours.
katernater: (movie • (pirate))
Thanks, all, for your thoughtful reading recommendations on my last post. In the end I decided to re-read the last book in the Pendergast series, as a refresher for the sequel that comes out at the beginning of next month. I'm sure I'm going to eat right through that book, though, so I'll be picking up some of your suggestions when I'm next at the library. (Which will hopefully be when Cute Bespectacled Librarian Boy is also working.) A lot of you recommended Game of Thrones, so I'll probably start there.

I got a Facebook message from one of my friends from graduate school this afternoon. She's currently teaching English as a second language at a women's college in Hiroshima. She wanted to let me know that there would be a couple of positions opening up at the college soon -- in September of this year and March of next. I checked out the position and it looks pretty interesting; you teach a bit and then participate in a group-focused research project, the subject and parameters of which are determined by your individual discipline. It sounds pretty cool. I mean, I wasn't exactly looking to go overseas within the next year (I have plans to do so eventually, but after I've accumulated a little stateside teaching cred first), but it's good to know that the opportunities are out there.

And, anywhere I go, I need to be sure that I can still see first run movies in theaters because, OH MY GOSH, YOU GUYS, THERE ARE COMIC BOOK MOVIE TRAILERS BEING LEAKED ALL OVER THE PLACE AND I'M JUST LIKE

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BECAUSE 2012 IS GONNA' BE THE YEAR OF THE NERD.

Pages.

Jul. 17th, 2011 02:15 pm
katernater: (misc • (books))
I went to the library this afternoon to pick up a copy of the first Harry Potter book because, hey, I figured I might as well get on that bandwagon before it becomes really popular, you know? But when I got there, the library was closed. It was like the Universe had stood up to tell me, "Hey, you: stick with what you know." Which is not meant to be Harry Potter, apparently.

I'm between books right now. I spent part of yesterday afternoon finishing Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, which was really awesome, but not the kind of book that you could put down and walk away from for more than a day or so. The plot was dense and there were a lot of people coming and going (and backstabbing and mole-ing). I found that if I didn't sit down and read it for a day or so, I had to backtrack. Overall, though, a really enjoyable book. I'm looking forward to the movie, due out this fall. The next Preston-Child comes out August 2nd. I'm very excited. I've spent the last nine or so summers in the company of Special Agent Pendergast and it's one of the things I look forward to most all year. So, yeah, need to find something to occupy my brain between now and the beginning of August.

Any recommendations? What are you kids reading these days?

Brainwork.

Jul. 15th, 2011 07:52 am
katernater: (house • (communicate))
I made coffee for the first time in weeks today (it's been too humid out in the morning to even consider coffee) because I needed an extra boost to get through the day. I then changed my white shirt out for a coffee-colored one so that when I eventually spill half the mug on myself it will be less conspicuous.

Yes, this is the kind of adult I've grown into.
katernater: (actor • (stripey))
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katernater: (misc • (writer))
So, after living here for seven months I finally discovered that the apartment complex had a pool. (I really should have been tipped off earlier: seeing people wandering the cul-de-sacs with pool towels around their necks was clearly not just a sign that terrycloth was en vogue this summer.) I tracked it down and spent some time there this afternoon. I also discovered that, despite the best intentions of all the sunscreen in the world, a pale white girl of Anglo-Irish descent will still get a sunburn if she stays outside for more than an hour. (Warning: wince-inducing sunburn picture at the link.) It doesn't feel all that bad now, but I've stocked up on aloe for the foreseeable future. My legs, actually, feel the crankiest. They have had very limited sun exposure yet this summer and they are always prone to pinkening whenever I go out into the sun. Of course, the first burn of the summer is usually the worst. I tend to get one which, with repeated exposure to the elements, eventually evens out into a relatively pleasant-looking tan for the rest of the season.

I went out yesterday afternoon and bought a huge corkboard to use to start storyboarding my novel. As you can see, there's not much there yet:

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I've got this very ambitious, color-coded index card system going on in my head. Yellow cards are for character names and details, pink cards are for plot timeline, and green and orange cards (of which there are none) are for two other very important categories which I haven't thought of yet. I took a notepad and a pen to bed with me last night and actually woke up this morning with some things scribbled in it that I don't remember writing. Apparently my creativity can run on autopilot while the rest of me sleeps. It's like Skynet in here or something.
katernater: (doctor who • (trust me))
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I've always had an interest in the space program. Growing up, my family and I would spend weekends during the summer at our family's lake cottage, where an impressive telescope was in residence. Away from the bright lights of suburbia, my grandfather would swing the telescope toward the front bay window and point in the direction of the night sky. I'd look at the stars and imagine that I could see right past them to the heart of the universe. When I was eleven, my family took a trip to Johnson Space Center in Houston, where we actually got to see Mission Control. I knew I wasn't science or math-minded enough to ever actually get a job in the sciences, but I have always loved the space program. The ambition of it. The ability and drive inside of people that pushes them to break through physical and mental barriers to achieve something beyond themselves. I believe that the space program has been one of our truest, most noble endeavors as a species. It represents what is good about us, and what we can accomplish when we stand at the crux point of science and imagination.

I watched the last space shuttle launch with my class this morning. It was an amazing experience. In that room, watching the live feed as the shuttle gathered power to leave the earth, it didn't matter what country we came from or what language we spoke. We were the same because we could all appreciate what we were capable of as a people.

I don't mean for this post to be maudlin, or to polemicize about the end of the manned space program. While I strongly disagree with the decisions that have been made to gut the space program (or at least to freeze its budget until 2016), I do not think that today is the end of exploration. There will be other opportunities for us to discover our universe and other areas much closer to home. Divers have snapped the first photos of a fish that uses tools, and Italian archaeologists recently uncovered a skeleton which they believe to belong to Lisa Gherardini, the model for da Vinci's Mona Lisa. There's a whole lot more out there for us to find; we just have to be willing to open our eyes to see it.

In the meantime, check out this photo retrospective of the space shuttle program by the Denver Post. There are some truly stunning images there.
katernater: (actor • (fassbender))
Starting next week, I will be teaching part-part time at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. A group of twenty students from the University of Seoul, South Korea, will be taking part in a four-week set of courses, one of which includes supplemental English language instruction. Another teacher at INTERLINK has been brought on to teach the brunt of the class but they need additional instructors to supervise and/or tag-team teach when necessary. My boss approached me about the position a few weeks ago and I got confirmation today that I'd been brought on. I'm really excited! It's a little more work at a hectic time in the term -- I am slated for at least five additional hours per week, mostly in the afternoons -- but it will pay dividends, both in terms of extra cash and real-world experience. Frankly, I'm very flattered to have been considered for the position. This is only my third term teaching and I am absolutely chuffed to have this opportunity. The students are all on track to return to Korea after they complete their classes, with another group to come to the States this time next summer. Out of 200 applicants, only twenty were chosen to come to Rose-Hulman. I have an inkling that they are a very elite group, which will be very much like the type of teaching I did during my certification.

Anyway, experience
+ extra cash
+ the opportunity to be around adorably nerdy Rose-Hulman interns =
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It's so hot out today. I want to go for a run but the heat makes me lean toward staying inside eating chocolate drops and playing with make-up.
katernater: (actress • (poehler))
Oh my gosh, have you ever had one of those naps that's, like, "Hello, I'm going to fix everything that was wrong about today that you totally didn't know about, so you're welcome"? I have gotten out of the habit of taking naps. It's my schedule, I'm sure: get up in the morning, go to work until about three or four in the afternoon, come home, run, eat dinner, plan for the next day; there's not a lot of room in there for napping. Well, today I took a nap for the first time in months. 'Did it "classic style," too: I pretty much just faceplanted on the couch and didn't move from that position for an hour. It was awesome.

The term is clipping right along. We're already into the middle of Week 6, which leaves just three weeks until the end of the term. I finally feel like I'm hitting my stride with this research paper class. Last week was so revealing: I just let go of a lot of expectations and started focusing on what my students needed. I was putting a lot of (unintentional) pressure on them (and myself) and it just started to burn us all out. Last Thursday I brought in donut holes and green tea and we all sat around for the first part of class, discussing the research paper and fielding questions from one another. It was fantastic and I think it really helped overall class morale. I'm learning (sometimes painfully) that this whole process is really a complex balancing act and that, in the end, it's impossible to control everything. I've got to let some things go. I've got to give my students the information they need, but it's up to them to follow through on it.

Things are going well for me. Without getting too into it, I continue to develop myself spiritually and see daily improvement in my overall attitude and outlook on things. I'm learning to trust my instincts and to rely on my emotional barometer; if something upsets me, I allow it to upset me. If I'm happy, I'm comfortable saying that I'm happy. I am not doing as much free writing as I would like, but I think that's probably because I'm stacked to the ceiling with work stuff right now. My plan, by the end of summer, is to put some serious time into the rough scratchings of my novel. I would like to put together an outline by the end of August so that, if possible, I can do NaNoWriMo this year. I've always wanted to participate and I feel that the structure would compel me to write on a regular basis. Even if I end up missing the 50,000 word goal I will still have made some progress in the right direction. Is anyone else planning to participate this year? Can we be NaNo buddies? I can ply you with Oreo Balls and iTunes playlists.

Right. Off to grab a bite to eat and then grade some papers.

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katernater

December 2011

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