Thursday, January 18, 2007

Catching up, falling behind

I'm sitting in my bed doing my homework. I have to write a diagnostic essay. Ick. It's due in two hours. I always sound like I'm talking out my ass when I write that kind of stuff.

It's gray outside. It snowed some dust in the night. The arbor vitae outside my window looks like it's shivering. The ice on the lake is cracking. It always sounds like a long, rumbling gunshot. When we first moved here, we didn't know what it was. It sounded like a police shoot-out and scared the crap out of us. I finally realized what it was, and then I thought it was pretty cool.

Kelsey is home sick today. She's not especially ill, but this time of year, when everyone else around us is either coughing or puking, if she says she's tired and has a headache and wants to sleep, she is welcome to do so. She said she wanted to sit by the fireplace and watch a movie in the dark. I think I'll join her soon.

We switched the paper to a new software. The designer, who did no work over winter break, showed up last Thursday and said she was going to switch it over. She was supposed to be working on it and be done with it by then. I didn't care if we switched or not, but I think she wanted to be able to put on her resume that she ported the paper to a new program. Fine. Except she didn't finish it on Thursday, some of what she did was wrong, and then she said she was going out of town for the weekend. So I had the joyous, long weekend to learn a new program and put the paper together while I edited the writing, chased down photographers, and put the art together. I'm not so good at design. But I'm getting better now. My only worry with the program is that it took about 20 seconds to FTP the largest file to the printer. Usually it's more like 20 minutes. So I'm wondering what quality we're going to get back. We'll see.


laurie said...

what the heck is a diagnostic essay? it sounds ... hard.

Amy said...

It was just a response to an essay we had to read. Pretty typical stuff with a scary name.
-Do you agree or disagree? Why or why not?
-Refer to the essay to support your ideas.

It was not what I expected to be in a feature writing class. Soon, though, we'll all be selecting our subjects for profiling. We're doing nontraditional students and having a helluva time coming up with what we mean by that since MATC is filled with nontraditional students. I've got mine all picked out. I just hope she cooperates and that I can stand her for 48 hours.

Lisa said...

I just hope she cooperates and that I can stand her for 48 hours.

Well, don't space out and tell her you have a blog before you are done.

Amy said...

Heh. Good advice.

laurie said...

i remember teaching a magazine class about 10 years ago and it never occurred to me to tell the students that (a) they could not profile their spouse or partner, and (b) they could not recycle a profile they had done for a previous class.

about half of them violated one or both of those rules.

this was a graduate level class at OSU, which ostensibly has a good j-school. but most of them seemed intimidated by the idea of going out and interviewing a stranger.

Amy said...

I would think that by the time you're in graduate school in journalism, you wouldn't be so intimidated. Ferchrissakes.

I heard from a teacher at school that UW-Madison does not have a very rigorous J-school. He also said it is more theoretical than practical. I'm sure that's true. That's the impression I got when I visited last year, and there are not a lot of school-sponsored opportunities for practical application at UW.

I'm happy to be getting good experience at my two-year tech school, where I've done enough to not be afraid to interview someone.

laurie said...

are you still experimenting with weird foods, by the way? like spotted dick?

Amy said...

Actually, I've gotten Kelsey into it now. We were just at the store last week, and she stopped and examined everything. We'd tried Yan-Yan once before, and she loved it, so she wanted that again. She chose cane sugar juice to go with it. She hasn't tried it yet, but when she does, we'll be taking pictures.

And it's funny you mentioned the food thing. I'm writing about it for my personal essay, due Wednesday. I better start....

glenda said...

....what's yan-yan?