Thursday 13: Confessions, volume V

This week I’m couch-surfing with friends in downtown Phoenix.
In case you wonder, there are skyscrapers in the desert.

If you asked me to characterize this week, I’d tell you about all of the planes, trains and automobiles in my life. All of that transit, plus the requisite walking in between, left me a lot of time to think about some  Thursday 13 confessions. Enjoy!

1. Until this week, I had 5,743 emails in my inbox. I try to blame my smartphone. I typically read messages on the cell, and then forget to sort/delete. But really, I just avoid filing at all costs apparently. It felt *so* good to sort, file, and delete, delete, delete! For those keeping score, I’m down to 184.

Photo credit

2. I hate having my hands dirty. Notice I didn’t say getting my hands dirty. I don’t mind being messy, but I abhor the feeling of dirt/flour/grit/oil on my hands.

3. I think people who ride their bikes in the middle of the sidewalk going the wrong direction while texting on their cell phones deserve to crash. That I’ve spent extra time in Tempe this week has nothing to do with this confession, I’m sure.

4. Election years make me crazy. Can we revamp this system please? It’s ludicrous and unduly expensive. When I think about the millions and millions of dollars that politicians spend advertising themselves and arguing with each other largely about nothing, I want to throw up. I want the next president to donate all of her campaign money to charity. That’s a platform I can get behind.

I think about this when I hear arguments about “traditional”
marriage and values. Photo credit.

5. I think people should be able to marry whomever they want. Period. I especially liked Ellen DeGeneres’ comments this week about Prop 8 being struck down in California and some resulting flack (see the video here). Reflecting on traditional values, Ellen says: “Here are the values I stand for. I stand for honesty, equality, kindness, compassion, treating people the way you’d want to be treated and helping those in need. To me, those are traditional values. That’s what I stand for…I also believe in dance.” Amen. 

6. Academic success is coming my way lately.
Namely, I got notification about my first academic award this week! One of my manuscripts was chosen as a “top paper” for an international conference I’m attending in May. Too cool!

Don’t you think this long sad hallway
in Stauffer Hall at ASU deserves some
leaping and twirling?

7. I can sing all of the lyrics to Color Me Badd’s 1991 hit “I wanna sex you up.” Sad, but true.

8. When no one’s around, I skip/jump/twirl/leap down the long hallway in my building at school. It’s especially fun when I’m caught. Ahem. Nevermind the dancing the girl…

9. Jicama sucks. To me it tastes like crunchy flavorless water. I see no purpose in jicama.

10. The state of the world weighs heavily. Education. Politics. War. Homelessness. Poverty. Disease. Undergraduates standing outside of my office door and saying “like” every five seconds. It’s a tough world lately.

11. The quality of college writing frightens me on a daily basis. Truly. With #10 in mind, I am terribly concerned about the state of education today and what our world is going to look like in 20 years when the college students I’m teaching today start to become decision- and policy-makers. Writing isn’t just the ability to string together some words. It’s about constructing arguments, reason, logic… Lately, I’m just not seeing it. As I see a large quantity of lower-division students, I’m blaming high school preparation or lack thereof. (Insert sad face here.)

If you don’t understand this reference,
you need to watch more Southpark. Photo credit.

12. I hate Priuses. If a car is going to try and kill me, it’s most likely to be a prius. Not only do prius drivers more often than any other car owner cut me off on the freeway, merge into lanes while I’m still occupying them, jump out from parking lots without warning, and just generally act disconnected from the task of driving, today one came within three feet of ramming the lightrail car I was riding inside. I’m beginning to wonder if priuses have a Smash-Shawna program setting.

13. Dissertations are scary. Well, the thought of actually doing one is freaking me about a bit. On the one hand, I’m excited to finally get going and tackle it. On the other, it’s writing a whole book and my, doesn’t that sound like a ton of work?? Of course, I am keeping in mind this ancient grad school proverb that is sure to help:

Photo credit.


Related Links:
Confessions Volume I
Confessions Volume II
Confessions Volume III
Confessions Volume IV, Thanksgiving edition

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