Thursday, May 26, 2005

Rhetoric Camp

The gathering of rhetoricians known as the RSA Summer Institute is now in full swing. The week-long seminar folks have been here since Sunday, and today the weekend workshop people began arriving. Apparently we are going to be about 150 strong over the weekend! Some people have been commenting that this feels a lot like summer camp, in some ways. I've been busy, too busy to write up or post notes, and right now I must go finish readings for seminar tomorrow. Maybe tomorrow?

- posted by laurie @ 5/26/2005 07:26:00 PM (0) comments

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Laurie's not a morning person.

It was too soon to write another post entitled, "crap, crap, crap." Besides, I am at a gathering of rhetoricians, and am therefore more acutely aware of my use of language.

What I am bemoaning this time is that I am seemingly fated to have awful conference presentation times. The program for Feminism(s) and Rhetoric(s) 2005 is up (can someone remind me to register as soon as I get home from Kent? thx), and I drew an 8 AM Friday timeslot. While teaching at 8:30 last year and then having a baby who awakes bright and early in the morn has made me somewhat more of a "morning person" (I manage consciousness and some level of functinality beyond basic brain stem stuff), I still would not describe myself that way. Ever. To anyone. This will not be the first early morning talk I've given (come to think of it, the last bright-and-early presentation might well have been at Feminism(s) and Rhetoric(s) 2003). Anyway, I'll do it. and it will be less horrible than I think, but at the moment . . . crap.

- posted by laurie @ 5/24/2005 02:31:00 PM (0) comments

Monday, May 23, 2005

Blogging from the RSA Summer Institute

I'm at Kent State right now, at the first ever RSA Summer Institute. I am blogging from my room - for some reason I am picking up wireless in my own room (and I appear to be the only one able to do this).

Today is the first dayof the week-long portion, and if the morning session was any indication, this week is going to be energizing, exciting, and really, really thought-provoking. I'm going to actually write up some notes this time - I always say I'll blog conferences and then don't - but this is definitely not a conference. By the end of the day at conferences I feel overwhelmed and brain-dead from attending so many panels, plus I'm usually exhausted. I think that will not be the case with the Institute. It's smaller, for one thing, and is set up such that there are extended periods devoted to a certain topic.

Also, the weather in Kent is not the best - cool and rainy - so I'll have plenty of indoor time to write, though I do hope it clears up a bit so I can explore at least one of the days that I am here!

Here's hoping baby and dad are doing ok at home by themselves. I miss them!!! Eight days is a long time to be away when it means being away from your eight-month-old daughter (and this id the first time I have been away from her for more than, oh, maybe eight or nine hours).

- posted by laurie @ 5/23/2005 10:34:00 AM (0) comments

Wednesday, May 18, 2005


Another semester done and over with. Grades were in this afternoon before the end of the business day - I think this may be some kind of record for me. Usually if I have a midnight deadline (and grades were due 11 minutes ago) I will be entering final grades at 11:55 and hoping there's not an ill-timed server crash or something equally disastrous.

Also in the good news department: I found a cheap ticket to Cleveland, and also got a good deal on a rental car, so I will not have to drive 14 hours to Kent State and another 14 hours home (AND I will be mobile while in Ohio for only slightly more than a cab to and from the airport would cost). This also means that I will arrive home sooner and have more time with my in-laws (parents and brother and sister), who have planned visits that overlap the RSA institute.

In the bad news department, however: while I had two good interviews last Monday, neither of my interviews bore fruit - in other words, I am at loose ends for the summer. Not sure what to do about this. On the one hand, I need to read for exams, and no work means more time to read. On the other hand, daycare and rent and cell phone and broadband and credit card bills still need to be paid.

Has anyone else out there seen the Malcolm in the Middle episode where Dewey experiences "money day"? I wish . . .

- posted by laurie @ 5/18/2005 10:11:00 PM (1) comments

Friday, May 13, 2005

Crap crap crap . . .

crap crap crap.

I am going to the RSA Summer Institute in Kent, OH in about 10 days. I've really been looking forward to it. I have also been planning to drive, which I have been looking forward to somewhat less. It's just that tickets are so very expensive (I think mostly because the Institute intersects with Memorial Day weekend), and then transportation from the airport to Kent is yet another big expense. A 12-hour drive (accprding to Mapquest) I thought I could handle. But someone who has made the drive just informed me that it may be more like 14.

Not sure I can handle that. All by myself.


- posted by laurie @ 5/13/2005 11:52:00 AM (0) comments

Friday the 13th

Just a reminder, in case you overlooked it. This used to be one of my favorite things, the occurence of a Friday the 13th. As an older kid/adolescent, I decided that lucky number 7 was bogus, and 13 was where it was at: lucky number, best day, etc. Of course, I didn't know then that oh so many nonconformist kids were doing the same thing, making us all into conforming nonconformists. Oh, irony.

Friday the 13th is also a wedding-related joke between me and Eric. As you know, yesterday was our anniversary. Five years. But for the fist few years of our marriage, Eric and I had a terrible time remembering what the date of our anniversary was. The reason for this mental lapse is actually quite simple: we got married on a Friday, and the big joke was that we were not getting married on Friday the 13th. Not sure what was so funny about it at the time, but we joked about this with everyone. So, when our first anniversary neared, neither one of us could remember if we got married on the 12th or the 14th - all we knew was that we had not gotten married on Friday the 13th. I actually had to go look it up - used my Palm software to review the month of May for the previous year. The second year we were married the same thing happened. Thereafter, though, we finally got it down.

We also tend to celebrate the date we began dating more than the wedding anniversary. While we just hit five years married yesterday, our relationship as a whole turned nine years old last month. While five years of marriage is pretty cool, nine years together is much more of an accomplishment, in my opinion.

Well, happy Friday the 13th. Remember, we did not get married on this day.

- posted by laurie @ 5/13/2005 10:15:00 AM (1) comments

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Happy Anniversary

I skipped putting up the mother's day post I wrote, for various reasons, but I will not skip letting everyone out there know that Eric and I reach a pretty cool milestone today: as of today, we have been married for five years. Congratulations to us! Come on, everyone, wish us a happy anniversary and many more to come. Aww, thanks!

Sorry, I am a little punchy: sleep-deprived, under grading stress, doing a pile of paperwork for exams, recovering from two back-to-back interviews for summer employment on Monday, and being happy happy happy about this day.

The past five years have been wonderful and challneging, and I wouldn't give them up for anything. Hope no one takes this as gloating - I am just in a great celebratory mood - but I have a loving and supportive partnership with I guess what you might call my college sweetheart (I wouldn't, but others have. Why fight it?).

The recently-arrived wonderful little one has definitely changed things for us, but really, that's all been for the best (though the three of us went out yesterday afternoon in search of little anniversary gifts for Eric and me to give one another, and we came home with practically nothing for ourselves but lots of cute summery clothes for the wee one).

Plans for celebrating include the little family trip yesterday and a nice dinner out this evening. I'd love to go to the Melting Pot (and they even sent a gift certificate for our anniversary), but we can't ever get out of there in under three hours, and while the Minneapolis location does have high chairs, they have about the least baby-friendly restrooms I have ever seen. No changing table even in the ladies' room, and no alternate space for changing a diaper - an inevitability with a seven-and-a-half month old baby and a three-hour dining experience. Even the vanity tops in the restroom are narrow, with chic cut-outs between the sinks for hidden waste receptacles, which means a counter without a single space wide enough to accomodate a wiggling baby butt. And I will not put my kid on the floor of a restroom to change her - even a fancy and well-maintained one such as the Melting Pot has. See what I mean about the baby changing things? But we want her to be a part of our anniversary celebration, so no fondue.

Maybe it's that I have had too much caffeine (almost always a possibility), but I am definitely bouncy today - even though it's May and the current weather here is 36 and raining.

I've got to learn to hold back on the parentheticals some, you think?

- posted by laurie @ 5/12/2005 11:31:00 AM (1) comments

Friday, May 06, 2005

Hong Kong scouts gain IP proficiency badge

According to The Register (and numerous other sources over the past few days), scouts in Hong Kong can now complete a proficiency badge in Intellectual Property. This effort has apparently been spearheaded by the MPA, and will be given to scouts who attend seminars aimed at educating them about IP.

One site quips that, of course, IP is important for every scout. Actually, I would argue that it is - but I would argue that any education in intellectual property should look at historical erosion of the rights of people to use creative works, and should include a section on fair use (or other freedoms and protected uses, IP laws differing as they do from country to country).

Overall, I don't actually think this is a bad idea - I do think that spearheaded by the MPA, it will end up being a bad thing for free culture, however.

- posted by laurie @ 5/06/2005 08:21:00 AM (0) comments

Sunday, May 01, 2005

A Few Selected Photos

My mom's high school graduation picture.

Mom in front of the family home on Easter 1966. She was 22.

The family sometime in the early 80s (probably 1982 or 1983). Left to right, me, my stepdad, my little sister on his lap, and my mother.

- posted by laurie @ 5/01/2005 08:45:00 AM (1) comments