Posts Tagged ‘Leia’

brickline-grassMost of my Spring Break has been haunted by student papers.  Or rather, the commenting and grading of student papers. I like to give constructive comments, but I also need to give clear indications of how far they’ve gotten towards adequacy at this point [and at this point, for most of them there is a very long way to go!].

The problem with coaching outside the sporting world is that the transition to accountability/assessment is much more arbitrary — in NCAA basketball, a coach does what he or she can to get the team ready, but the real TEST isn’t administered by the coach; it’s administered by the next game, meted out by the opposing players. The scoreboard, referees, and stadium crowds give feedback that go far beyond what a coach could ever say.

When I grade students, I’ve shifted gears from coach to judge, and some students never really grok that I am playing two very different roles simultaneously; they just think faculty are fickle….since along comes the next assignment, and suddenly I’m coaching again, until the next judgement day.

leiacloseredeyeThe irony is that I myself am in the assessment spotlight, but without benefit of coaching.  Leia may be adorable, but she can’t help me with tenure.


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Two syllabi and a 1-2 page book chapter proposal.  By end of day Monday.  Oh, yeah, suuuure.  And of course, the day is gorgeous, now that the storm has past.

While I go wrestle with obligations and worry about the folks in New Orleans, here’s the latest picture of Leia, who is acting more and more like a cat.

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Yes, there are two cats in that picture.  Two.  Leia is puffed up on the left, and Malkin is on the right.  Only yesterday did we discover that Leia had ‘graduated’ from sleeping under our bed to sleeping on top of the bed, right where she could be seeeeeeeen.

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Leia hates thunderstorms.  It is the one time she comes downstairs and actually gets close to people.  She takes up residence in the lower “house” section of the cat tree in the hallway, or she runs up to Malkin and rubs against him, sometimes crying.  Tonight I happened to be petting Malkin when she ran up to him, and so I almost got rubbed against, too.  She backed away from my at the last moment, but the fact that she wants to be near other mammals during times of stress is better than cowering under the bed in my office.

But I went upstairs to close windows, and she’s decided to be on the bottom step.  So I’m in the crook of the staircase, typing on my laptop, humming old Beatles’ tunes…..

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But here she is anyway:  Leia! 

A few days ago, when we came downstairs to give the cats their evening meal, there she was, very much the Princess, blocking access to the food [it’s in the low cabinet she’s sitting on]. I didn’t dare use a flash; we’re trying to convince her that people are not evil, and that being seen isn’t going to lead to unpleasant consequences.

With luck, there will be better pictures of her in the future. But for now I can at least prove that there is a Himmie in the house.

As I was typing this at my desk, which faces the window, away from the bed beneath which she hides, I heard crunching behind me — she’d come out to eat some kibble.  Then she moved into the doorway, and then out into the hall, to wash. This effectively “traps” me in my office, and my Beloved in the bedroom.  Some of you out there have already realized this means that whether or not we think we are making progress in domesticating this cat, she is finding ways to control the household just fine on her own!

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