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Archive for May, 2009

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RoseRoomBuffet09No, no, not this kind of party — the Thesis soiree was several weeks ago — although yes, that is Dr. Landman’s back, in case you’re wondering. And the catering at the Towers has vastly improved in the last quarter century or so.

No, I’m talking about gardens partying — the grand bash of mid-May, after the tulips have faded [and they don’t seem as inclined to give repeat performances here as they were up North; that makes no sense to me], and the big guns of the garden start their shows. Azaleas. Iris. Peonies. Dutch iris. Elderberries. Nine-barks.

The first iris opened last night; more are due tomorrow [so far, two plicatas, a Thornbird, and a lovely silver-blue thing].  The peonies all have big fat buds, and the clematis out in the front yard is not only climbing the cast iron post I gave it, but has two blooms already.  Gotta love late-season sales and those half-price plants!pinkazalea-close

The azaleas are midway to gone; the ones to the right I caught last week [a nicer thing to catch than a plagiarist, but my job makes one take priority over the other].  While I do miss the great swaths of blooms on the hillside of our old home, the way the sun-loving plants have taken off in the last three years has really been impressive.  In fact, the garden beds are filling in to the point that today I felt fine buying annuals.  Normally I’m trying to dig in things for the long haul, because I really want to reduce the grass coverage of the yard.  But some decorative annuals in pots just seemed like fun for a change. [It may also reflect the fact that the next round of terraforming here will require massive amounts of dirt and perhaps professionally-installed drainage.]

Oh, dear — look at the time.  Must go listen to Word sing!

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Burn, baby burn!

Insert plagiarized paper here

I tell my students not to use Wikipedia as a source text. They can read it all they like, but their citations and their examples must come from more established literature. So yes, plagiarizing great farking blocks of text from a wiki would also be a fast way to make me take out the flamethrower….

One of my colleagues asked — did the child at least change the font?  No. But said child did delete the internal citations from the passages.  When a wiki has higher academic standards than a student, I have even fewer qualms about making things extra crispy.

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Over in the NY Times Opinion section, there’s a weekend thread running about special family vocabularies — you know, the words that your household uses which might have some resemblance to the English [or Yiddish, or Spanish, or Italian] language, but really mean something very specific in your home’s argot — in my family some notable ones have been:

Happy Cow Milk — milk from an organic dairy that really does taste better, and comes in glass bottles

Murfle — what you say when you are depressed and feeling too awful to really contribute to a conversation, but you want to participate somehow

Kittenny — something worthy of being cossetted and protected, because it is soft, cuddly, and kitten-like

Doing a Wisconsin — trying to get from one room to the next using an inadequate scrap of towel or clothing to cover ones nakedness

When I was growing up, I heard a lot about “Sam Hill”, although it was never clear what exactly he was doing, and “Mrs. Sew-and-Sew”, who I thought might be a seamstress, but who also seemed to be up to all sorts of things that often did not merit approval.

In my current life, I occassionally wonder if words like “reading” and “analysis” are specific to my tribe, because God knows I’ve got plenty of students who don’t seem to understand these activities in any way that overlaps with my uses of the terms…..

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