!!! VF

Jun. 26th, 2002 08:07 pm
Oh happy day, it's virtual Friday again. Amazing how that comes around every 7 days. Oh how i miss the good old days of sleeping in on the weekend. Now that we have the little one, who is growing by leaps and bounds, sleep aftert 5 a.m. is a thing of the past.
On the other hand, the world is quite nice that time of day.

Don't know what is on the agenda for tomorrow. The plan has changed a bit. Master doesn't think He's going to have to work on the car. So now i don't know. Maybe we can take the dog out for a romp at the ball park. We'll have to do it in the morning, fairly early, oh say about 5:15? so that it won't be so hot. Dog is learning fast how to play chase and fetch.

Got some really upsetting news today. The bitch from hell has my job over at the FoM. On the one hand, we won't be having anything to do with them next year because the 'experiment' failed and failed miserably. On the other hand, i really feel bad for the teachers over there, and more importantly the students. Life for them is going to be lower than Dante's ninth ring of hell. i am seriously going to have to talk with the public authority about moving over to that place.

Right now i'm having an argument with my daughter. i told her i'd be giving her some money for the time i'm spending at her place. i would have to pay to stay in a hotel, they are not rolling in the coin, i won't feel comfortable if i don't. i don't want to hurt her feelings but i won't feel comfortable. i think i have finally convinced her the efficacy of my plan.

Jamal and i met today briefly. We've planned out the chapter, and he said he'd call me when he has his parts done. That means i've really got to get my shit together and do some work. It will be done before i leave. Maybe not print ready, but it will be done. It WILL be done. IT WILL BE DONE!!!!

Master is hinting at breakfast out. Maybe Johnny Rockets? Who knows? Early breakie. Late breakie, maybe TGIF, or Chili's or Applebee's. Ah, the haught cousine of Kuwait, American franchise food. MMM MMM MMM
We have company tonight and tomorrow night. M is leaving Kuwait and will be staying with us until we take her to the airport on Thursday morning. It will be kind of fun to have company on the one hand. On the other it will be the first time we have had a third party in our lives. i'm working very hard to keep our life on an even keel, but it's a bit difficult. Oh well, i will consider this a test and hope i pass.

i had to write a letter of warning today. i don't feel badly about doing it. But i couldn't get it finished before she left, so I took the chicken's way out and put the reprimand in her mail box. She will be in the office tomorrow, i wasn't planning on going in, but i suspect i must for damage control. i think she will throw a hissy fit and then a tantrum. She knows she is in trouble, but she won't do anything about it. She refuses to go see a doc for the depression, she can't even talk without tears. She is always late with grades and is making us look bad at the FoM. That is something we don't need. They are in so much worse shape than we are, we don't need to give them any opportunity to point fingers at us. Everyone but C is doing the best they can with the claptrap they have to work with. She just doesn't give a shit.

i hope to be able to talk with the VDAA tomorrow. i keep getting a feeling of dread when i think of going to Jabriya.Even if we don't have to teach FoM courses, just being in that mad house will be enough to bring all of us down. Today i spoke with the chairman of the nursing dept. i asked her if she would put a good word in for me with the Public Health Authority. They will be taking over the baccalaureat degree nursing program. Maybe they will be needing English teachers. Maybe Dr. W will put in a good word for me? She said she would be very happy to do so. i will be willing to do any consultative work to help them get the English curriculum going. That should give me an entree into their program.

i can't go to FoM and if i don't go there i will have to leave Kuwait, and Master and that is unthinkable. Of course Master can always get a job in Bosnia or Uzbakistan. Yea, just what we need, to move into an even more unstable area.

surreya

Apr. 30th, 2002 07:47 pm
i was speaking with a colleague the other day. She is someone i would really like to get to know better. She has a Phd in physical therapy. Her specialty is shoulder therapy. She asked me to read her dissertation and see what kinds of topics i might come up with for further publication. i learned a lot from reading the dis, we had a good yak about some of my ideas, and maybe something will come from them.

That isn't what interests me about her. She considers herself Indian, but she lived all her life in South Africa. She lived in South Africa from a very young age, or maybe even was born there. That's not even what interests me. She told me when she was with a friend of hers when she was younger. She went to a convention and she and her friend were sitting at a table when an American man sat down with them and began to talk with them.

He didn't want 'anything'. He was at the convention and so were they and he wanted to yak with them about what was going on. And she was nervous.. She is muslim, but she wondered what was wrong with the 'white' man wanting to talk to an Indian muslim woman. And then she wanted to know what was wrong with her, that a white man would find her interesting to talk to.

All of my life i have been different. i have been the dreamer in a family of realists. i am the adventurer in a family of stay-at-homes. i am the reader in a house full of watchers. i got the overdose of intelligence, the others got some talent thrown into their mix. But of all the things i have been i have never been so insecure of my place in the society that i wondered what was wrong with me that a man would want to talk to me.

i live in a foreign country. In this country i am a minority in many ways. i am a single woman. i am a working woman. i am a woman with a high level of education. All of these things are oddities in this culture. Here and in Taiwan, i have never worried about how i would be perceived as regards the color of my skin. No one, anyplace i have ever been has looked at me sideways because of the color of my skin.

i have received prejudice for many things, but never for the color of my skin. She has always felt inferior because of this. Not felt inferior, exactly, but treated as an inferior because of it. She is an intelligent woman. She is an excellent teacher. She is a devout muslim woman. She is a good mother, and wife. And yet, because of the color of her skin, she is treated badly in many places. She is treated badly in the stores, by the philippine workers, she is treated badly in the school by the assinine male students who do whatever they can to intimidate females. She is snubbed by other indians, both men and women. It is a crazy world that allows this kind of thing to happen to such a wonderful person.

i am amazed that she is such a wonderful person after having grown up in this kind of an atmosphere. i am glad she considers me a friend.

rant

Apr. 28th, 2002 08:36 pm
i'm fussy today and i don't know why. i can hardly stay inside my skin. Absolutely everything has irritated me since i got home. i don't have a clue what is causing this. It's sort of an anxiety attack, but not really. It's sort of an anger, but again, not really. It's sort of a sadness, but NOT REALLY!

i do have an inkling as to what may be causing this, i lied. Yesterday i was told that i am being called the instigator of what is going on with the HSC course. The story is that i'm responsible for the resit of the mid semester exam. i'm the one who instigated the student strike. i am the one who is spreading rumors about what is going to happen to the merger of the FoM and our Faculty. i am making up all these lies and accusations because i want to make someone look bad and lose her job.

It would be funny if it weren't so darned far out wrong. i don't have to make that someone look bad. That someone is doing a darned good job without my help. Perhaps it is upsetting me more than i realize or more than i am willing to admit. For the life of me, that is the only thing i can think of that could be making my body feel this way. And i don't know what to do about it.

If i leave it alone, it will go away. i know that. But what damage will it have done to me by the time it does leave. i am not going to respond to the accusations. Master did mention He knew a place out in the desert where a shallow grave could be dug and no one would be the wiser. That is a joke. i am not going to lower myself to that level. i have nothing to defend.

i'm not even angry that this stuff is going around. i know the person has reached the Peter Principle and is in way over hir (thank you, Heather, for the spellings) head. i know this person has lost control and is doing anything to save hir skin. i guess this person is feeling stressed at the mess that is over there. That particular universe is in total chaos. The teachers over there don't talk to each other anymore because no one is sure who is in what camp. And it's that person's fault.

What i am is sad. i can't imagine what is going in this person's head that would enable hir to be so mean. And i can't imagine what it will be like when the shit hits hir fan and this person is standing in front of it. How sad must this person's life be. How close to the edge must this person be to be willing to say these things....not about me particularly but these things in general.

i am not adapting a holier-than-thou attitude. i just am not going to respond. it is not worth my time or effort. At the end of it all, i will be the one standing. This person won't be.But what makes one human so cruel to another? So evil? So full of rage, and unwilling to accept responsibility for it? Or for the situation that got hir into this spot in the first place? This person got a taste of perceived power and it corrupted this person.
i hate to say this, but i do believe the world would be a better place without hir.

This may be the cause of my distress, but i don't understand why. Why am i letting someone else's failure affect me in this way? What happens to hir shouldn't affect me in any way at all. or is it effect me? no affect i think
Had a nice visit with the Vice Dean Academic today. i'm trying to decide just how he views me. i don't know if he thinks i'm someone who needs mentoring in her position, or if he sees me as an equal, well as equal as a muslim man can view a woman, if he is 'lusting after me in his heart', or if he views me as some pet to play with and have a good time.

i took him a draft of the goals and objectives for two of the new courses, gave him an outline of the units of the book, and showed him a first rough draft of the first unit. i asked him to look over the goals and objectives, explaining to him why we didn't follow Bloom's Taxonimy and asked him to be brutal if he felt it was warranted. i want this project to kick ass when it's done. i want the FoM people to drool and turn green with envy, even if the ones in power over there won't ever let our work be used in their courses. i won't tell the teachers my dream, i don't want them to know how small and greedy i am, but it's the truth. In my vision for myself, and the rest of my faculty i see us taking over, in a semi-bloodless coup, the HSC. Of course we would then be big enough to treat the people over there with every ounce of respect that they deserve. Wouldn't take much for some. i am pumped about this project. i am really really pumped.

Vice Dean was pleased. He mentioned taking it to some higher level place in the unversity to show them. He was interested in our decision to look into publishing the work we are doing, even gave me some marketing ideas to make the work more saleable. He called the Dean to ask him to look into a grant for us so we could get some extra pay for all our extra work. i know nothing will come of it as does he, but he also knows i appreciate the gesture.

The conversation then turned a bit uncomfortable. The Faculty Secretary was in the office with us. It seems Vice Dean generally manages to turn the conversation to a topic that could be construed as sexual in nature. i'm pretty sure, bein' as he's muslim, an'all, he doesn't do this with muslim women. i wonder if he thinks it's ok because i'm American. He said something about a man without his woman is in a bad state. And about not letting the elephant get any attention. In all fairness the original topic was the cardinals in the states, but i do get a bit uncomfortable when he goes on like that.

If it were the states, i would probably feel more comfortable about saying something to him about it. On the other hand, when it is business, he is all business and treats me with respect and includes me in the discussion, which would not happen in the Advisory Committee meetings or Executive Board meetings if it weren't for him. i am the only female at these meetings. The others, the majority muslim, would ignore me like the wind, even the Europeans, who have a real attitude problem.

Anyway, i am unsure how i will deal with this. i guess right now i'm not certain just what is going on. If he is this way because i am American and he thinks this is the way all Americans like to talk, i will probably let him know i am uncomfortable. Of course if this is his way of flirting, well, then, hmmm, maybe i'll have to give it some consideration.....dream on, you have Master you twit. If this is his way of being rude to me because i am in a position of some prestiege (yea, right) and he doesn't like women in power, then i will get in his face. On the other hand, his wife is very highly regarded in the FoCM. i just don't know. Sometimes i think he thinks i'm just sort of wandering around in a lucky haze. Well, dude, i got news. i have an agenda, i have a plan, i have goals, and i am not above doing what needs to be done to get where i want to be. If i thought playing the 'poor me' role would keep me on the path i'd do it in a heart beat. i suppose i could even play the 'good ol' boy' game for a bit if needed. i know my education, age, and perhaps even lack of ambition will prevent me from becoming 'queen of the world' but i could become princess of some small country if i play my cards right. Does that sound manipulative? Is manipulation a bad word? On the other hand, a man who has two cats, and lets one sleep under the covers with him can't be all bad.

Tomorrow is Administrative Assistant's Day. After dinner tonight Master and i went out to try to rescue a cat in the sewer and get a small token for my secretary, the Dean's secretary, and the Vice Dean's. He was going to be nice to me and get me an ice cream cone from the new Dairy Queen for desert, but it still isn't open for business. And for dinner tonight we had Gumbo a la Master. Very tastey. Tastey indeed.

This seems a bit incoherent and rambly. Who cares? It's my journal.

Oh, wait! Is that the iron i hear calling?

Bah!

Apr. 21st, 2002 07:01 pm
i have decided i'm not going to tell P anything anymore. She can't be excited about anything. i went to the Ministry of Information today to talk with someone about intellectual copyright. As we were talking, and with the help of one of the women, i got the brilliant idea to try to get the teachers some money for the work they are doing. I'm going to check with J about publishers and make an appointment with one or two to see about getting our work published and getting money for it.

i had decided i wasn't going to tell anyone anything about it until i'd spoken to a publishing house, but P called and i couldn't resist. Next time dummy, resist. She wasn't all excited about it. She admitted she was playing the Devil's Advocate, and i guess that's ok, but then she went on about how if we were going to share the money equally, she was only going to work on two chapters. She wasn't going to do any extra work. i mentioned that J had volunteered to do all the formatting, and for that she should get extra money.

Then she went off on how we wouldn't even be able to do this if it weren't for her work on the 099 course. She said she knew J had taken most of her material for the new book from the 099 course book. She said she was sick and tired of never getting any credit for the work she did. My first reaction was (to myself of course) that it was her fault if she didn't think about actually getting her work published. And if she didn't want to accept the blame, it was D's fault for not suggesting it. She had nothing but complaints about something that isn't even much more than an idea yet. She really made me angry.

She asked what would happen if not everyone wanted to work on the book? i said, all who were interested would be invited to work on it. Those who didn't want to do it, wouldn't be required to. Then she spouted off that it would mean more work for those who took on the task. i reminded her that if there were fewer people there would be more money per person. She can be such a bitch. i asked her not to tell anyone about this yet. i'm not sure she can keep her mouth shut. But i guess it isn't any big deal if the word gets out before i have solid info to give the others.

It will mean work. We will have to work on two or maybe three books at one time, in the future. We may be able to have a year to finish the first book, and even a year for the second, but we will be working on the second as we finish the first. It will be a lot of work, and it may become problematic with the way teachers leave and all, but I'm planning on being here for at least four more years, so i would be the guiding force. As teachers leave we can ask incoming if they would be interested in taking on the task.

Probably it would be best to just contract to do the book, selling the copyright to the publishing company, rather than taking the royalty. With the possibility of so many of us working on it, dividing the royalty would be about a buck two ninety-eight per person per year. Not hardly worth the effort. i wonder how much to ask for the copyright? 200 books/year x$12.00/book =2400.00x.09=216 divided by 7=$30.85/year as royalty. Now if the book is only used 4 years, that's only a bit over 120$ for all the work. If it's used for 10 years, that's $308 per person/year.

On the other hand, perhaps we can get 30,000 for the copyright. That would be over 4000 per person. That wouldn't be a bad thing. And if it was used in the FoM, that would be even more. It wouldn't be a bad deal at all.

On the other hand, the publishing company might not think it is a good deal at all, and turn us down flat in our faces. Then P will be angry because we don't get any money.

The good news is, the weight gain was water. The bad news is i didn't lose anything last week. Now i have to really be moving to take some more off by Friday.
i've been checking my friends' list on live journal for the past week and wondering why no one has been posting. Then i learned about the <<25 previous >><<25 next>> buttons. Sometimes i can be so damn dumb i don't even believe me.

i'm about to face the first true test of my administrative abilities. i have a teacher who is falling down on the job. And because of her, the other teachers who share the course are suffering. She's been thisn way ever since she's been here, but the previous director didn't handle it. i went through her file today to see what other documentation has been done. i could find only one. To D's credit, he felt he couldn't say anything to the people upstairs unless her coordinator made an official complaint. And F wouldn't do that. She kept trying to get C to do the work. Finally F just got tired of messing with her and when there was a need for only two teachers in that course F chose the other one, the one with less seniority because she worked better.

Now C is in a different course and the whole situation is different. i'm not afraid to do this, it's been on my mind for a long time. i've just been trying to figure out how to do it. i will be 'tough' and not feel bad about it, but i don't want to become Ms. Dictator. i have to be strong and respectful and demand respect in return. And i have to get C to realize her job is in jeopardy.

Master and i nearly had words today. i went out to ride and couldn't get it out of my system. My phone rang just as i was getting into the elevator. i thought it was Him wondering why i was so late getting home. It wasn't, it was the cable company. We've been having trouble with the channels and He had called to see what was up. The cable company finally got it all straightened out and while i was talking to them He was trying to get my attention, so i could ask about something else. i waved Him away, i was going to get to His question in a minute, and He got frustrated and tossed the pen and paper. One piece of paper flew by me, and i thought He had thrown it at me. i don't have to put upl with that kind of behaviour.

i went for my ride, the damned wind is still blowing, and when i turned into the wind it almost stopped me dead in my tracks. i wasn't prepared for that, and got frustrated and lost all enthusiasm for the ride. i couldn't get the endorphins going and i came back home nearly as black hearted as when i left.

i think it is gone now. Nothing was said or done either way. Master cooked chicken on the grill, i made the salad. Sitting out on the balcony is a blood pressure lowering thing for me. Even if the street is busy, being able to see the ocean and the ships is instant serenity for me. We had a good meal and nice conversation, so i think the bad is past. But, i didn't have a very good ride.
So tomorrow i have to double the time. That's all there is to it. Maybe i'll ride morning and night. NO! that would mean i'd have to shower before work and that would mean yucky hair for work, so i'll just ride twice as long at one time. i sure hope the wind is gone. it will be real difficult to ride twice as long with the wind at my back all the way.

i hear the iron. Good thing there are only 19 teaching days left. i wonder if i can not wear the same thing again till the end of classes?
Got to school today and was ambushed by three teachers and about 50 students. The students in the HSC class are on strike. i'm not surprised, in fact i'm sort of happy about it, i just hope we aren't charged as guilty merely by association. i had a delegation from the student union in my office before 8:30 this morning. They presented me with two well prepared documents professionally bound and well written. One was a petition, signed by what appears to be over 90% of the students and one of testimonials about what happened in one of the testing venues. Too bad for W and R, hooray for J, her name wasn't mentioned once.

i do believe the shit is going to hit it. There is a Dean's Advisory Committee meeting tomorrow. i put together a small packet of memos and documentation to send to the Deans telling them the situation. Mainly did it to cover my ass. i didn't expect it to go any further because we have only 6 more weeks with the HSC course, but after the strike i'm not sure that this won't be a topic added to the agenda. i wonder how long the students will strike?

Add to that one teacher coming in and asking that something be done about another teacher. Both teach the same HSC course, is every bad thing in our unit related to HSC?, and is doing things that will make us look bad. She is intentionally not handing in grades on time, coming late for invigoration, arriving late for classes, and leaving early. She may be having emotional problems so i have to suss this all out before i speak to her. i've decided to take the caring tack, but let her know that if she continues to screw up, i won't be able to save her from any repercussions from FoM, if it comes to that. She's an odd woman, aren't most of us who do this for a living, but i believe she is sincere in her feelings for the students. She may just be in over her head. She seems to use her son as an excuse an awful lot of the time. That has to stop. She isn't the first single parent to have to work for a living. That can no longer be an excuse. She has to get her shit together over the summer or there will be consequences that i won't be able to prevent.

Then there is the student who shouldn't have passed 099, but is in the last course we offer. He is a nursing student and highly coddled by the nursing department. i image he is a good nurse, but he still hasn't learned to play the university game. He hasn't learned to play by their rules. He is making his life difficult and ours too. He came in to the office saying S had sent him there to write his essay. The essay he wanted to write is about 2 weeks late. I called her and asked her about this. It was on the up and up, so i let him sit in the conference room and write. He's an older student, married, with children, in the national guard, and working as a nurse. He is trying to get his nursing degree (RN) and the Nursing Department is moving from our university to the vocational college, so the Nursing Dept, is pushing us to pass him through since he's the last. i don't have a problem with that, but damn i hope i don't get sent to a hospital while he's on duty. i'd hate to go in for a sore elbow and come out with a hysterectomy.

Then there is the teacher who is so flustered with her students she can't seem to get a handle on grading their first big writing assignment. This experiment with the HSC sure fucked everybody up. And for what? i spent two hours with P trying to catch where about half of her students plagiarized their papers. And then helped her decide how to deal with it.

J gave me the phone number for an attorney in the Ministry of Information. i have to talk with her about copyright stuff for our books. i have some ideas from the books i wrote in Taiwan, but am not sure if the procedure for licensing is the same here or not. She is supposed to call me back tomorrow to set up an appointment. yippy.

Man oh man am i glad i had already made the appointment for my manicure and pedicure. Those are about the best relaxers i know. i have to sit still, i have to let my mind go slack. i hate forced inactivity, but man is and pedis are life savers sometimes. i also got my hair highlighted, added some red to it. Master hasn't noticed it yet. Wonder when He will?

Thank whoever tomorrow is virtual Friday. i am so looking forward to this weekend. i don't know what He has planned, but even if it involves building a pyramid in the desert it would have to be less stressful than today was.

The worst of it is, i couldn't ride tonight. It got dark before i got home. Maybe this is a good time to start riding in the morning. i'm getting up early enough. But Master said He would ride with me again tomorrow. So? Why can't you ride twice in one day? What? You say! There is getting exercise and then there is being a fanatic. And then there is the thread on women's mags et al.

Got to wonder about soulhuntre. When he gave his description of himself he prefaced it with he is a big man. always was, always will be....or some such thing. Me wonders if he doth protest too much. 6' and 225-50 is pretty good sized. Maybe he is not his ideal, eh?

What time is it? IRON TIME!

Dessert

Apr. 7th, 2002 06:41 pm
Hmm Hmm Hmm, it's going pretty good this week. i'm getting pretty good at manipulating people. i don't mean that in a bad way. K went to P and J after the meeting yesterday and complained about wanting everyone to do his/her fair share of the work for the new book. P and J came to me to explain what happened, and ask me to work it out with K. i went to talk with her. i asked her to think about what she wanted to do for the book, and gave her some alternatives, which were completely workable for all if she chose one of them. i asked her to think about it and let me know as soon as she could. she said today, i said tomorrow is soon enough. She came into my office about 1:30 this afternoon and said she would do what was originally assigned to her.

Now that i think about it, it really isn't manipulation, it's more about presentation. i'm learning how to present ideas to different people to make the ideas attractive to them. i'm learning how to read people, to understand what they need to feel to get what i want. That sounds so cold. A bit conniving. But it isn't. i suppose i could use it to my advantage to divide the group against each other if ever something didn't go my way, but i'd like to think i'm bigger than that. i know my ideas come slow, and i know that i work better in a room that warms up because everyone's brain is cooking with creativity. In the end, this whole project comes down on my shoulders. i'd like to think i'm intelligent enough to know that it's the people i work with who will make it a success or failure. If they won't work with me, i will have a much more difficult time. Anyway, K is going to do the work she was assigned and she feels it was her choice. Everyone is happy.

Master is down at the computer shop. He's getting His new computer. i'm amazed He took this long to get it. Now i suppose all i'll hear for the next week is how His computer is 'newer' than mine. He is such a tease. We will get the lan connected and both be able to use the dsl line at the same time. He said that next month there will be a company in Fahaheel that will offer a cable connection.That's what He has been waiting for. He is such a guy.

i 've had a headache all day today. i thought it went away when i drank a coke, but it didn't. It's not a migraine, it just won't go away. Stoopid headache.

Master is back. And He brought dessert! And it's before 7:00! Sometimes life is just too good. And How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying is on the MGM channel. A root beer float! How cool! He knows how to trip my trigger that's for sure.

Tonight the iron isn't calling. IBC root beer is.

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Julia Klein

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