Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Breakfasts with daddy

Funs stuff happens while mommy is still sleeping. We get to eat Cheerios, for instance.

 It's fun to get them out of the bag yourself.

 Muffins are fun too, even when we're woken up by a sore toof.

Cleaning up, though, is not so much fun.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Long weakened

Here's a group of the best pictures sent by my sister Carol after she and partner Wayne came to visit. It looks like we had a good time, although so much has happened at work and home since then, we've forgotten that we did have a good time.

Apparently we spent a lot of time on the swings.


And we went to the fair. That must have been nice for us.

We ate apple crumble...

...and were even at the lobster pound. What tourists we were. Proper grockles.

Since then, Roo has officially walked. She can now walk short steps between myself and Aimee or between a supporting piece of furniture and one of us.

The first time this occurred was around Tuesday this week. Happy walk-day, dear daughter.

She also says words. Sort of. She likes the word "up", meaning "pick me up, mommy (or daddy)". And the word "ot", for "hot", is now useful when food is too hot, or we want to keep her away from the woodstove.

In other news, work.

The four letter word.

Notwithstanding the rush of midterm grading, there has been a further rush of "essential", late meetings.

I have around a twelve-credit teaching hour semester. In addition there are my administrative duties, and the need to make lesson plans for three classes and a lab. Ordinarily, I teach a night class Wednesday, teach early classes on MWF, meaning I have to be there by seven or seven-thirty to prep, and must be on campus at least four weekend days this semester. I also get up at four or five am each morning, sometimes earlier, and use most of that time to get writing, lesson planning, or grading tasks done.

Once you take into account all the early morning prep and grading and office work, all this would amount to about a sixty hour week, were I to stay on campus until five pm.

Instead, I've felt justified in clearing out of there by around two pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and around three-thirty pm on Fridays, thus recapturing some of my time, and getting me down to a "mere" fifty hour week, a number I can live with.

But these late meetings are eating into this scheme for sanity. In addition, they make for some long days in daycare for Roo.

Aimee, for her part, is teaching an introductory Biology class with a high grading load. So that makes for two overworked parents. Most weekday evenings we just feed ourselves and her, play a little, and then collapse in front of the TV to watch Sesame Street with her, before her bedtime at 7.30.

On weekends whichever of us has least work to do looks after her, while the other grades or does some farm work. We just had a long weekend of four days that followed this pattern entirely (hence my bad pun for a title).

Our poor kid is getting shortchanged here, so something will have to give. However, with just over a month until Thanksgiving, and only a couple of weeks after that to do, I can see my way to the end of the semester and winter break, and should have fewer classes in the spring.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Falling accidentally into fall

It's fall, and we've been letting it happen to us without much of a fight. Not that we could do anything if we wanted. Snow will be here soon enough, and it's best just to enjoy the wind and rain and blowing leaves and, of course, those wonderful New England Indian summer days, when we have time, that is.

Here's a couple of shots of the Womerlippis goofing off. One of the advantages of having a kid is that you get to visit the park and have a swing set in your yard, and you can play if you like. Roo particularly enjoys the swing set we built for her this spring. She also likes the Belfast City Park. Here she is on their big swing earlier this year with Aimee.

School is busy, though and grading season is upon us. The midterm grades are due later this month, so we need to get all our grading done. Grading is a brain-sucking chore that spoils your weekend and ruins your family life. Sometimes I wonder just how much time we spend grading. If that time were to be added up then divided across the summer days we have off, including the early morning and late night office work we also have to do, would we even break even?

A British left-of-center newspaper, the Guardian, has been reporting research that shows British school teachers work between 54 and 60 hours a week. If you count the time we spend working at home, it's easily that much.

In other news, my sister and her partner Wayne came to visit. This was the first time Aunty Carol had set eyes on her niece. They seemed to have a good time, and, among playing with Roo, managed a couple of tourist outings.