Friday, May 29, 2009

OSF: Outside the Box

This week is devoted to songs that people wouldn't believe we listened to. Once I post these songs I wonder how much fun Mr. C. will make of me, so Mr. C, you betta not laugh! LOL! OK, here goes...

Spice Girls: "Wannabe" - I was a freshman in high school and really liked the tune. So what!?

Sheryl Crow: "Leaving Las Vegas"

Tracy Chapman: "Promise"

Friday, May 22, 2009

OSF: This is Dedicated to

This may seem a bit narcissistic, but I'm dedicating this week's song to myself because darn it, I deserve it! LOL! I'm giving myself a huge pat on the back for the progress I've made on the dissertation (with 5 out of six drafted chapters). I met with my dissertation director last Monday and he said although I was on the right track, I couldn't have a bunch of 70 page chapters. I was trying to discuss theory, praxis, and methodology under different aspects of my diss., when I needed to discuss theory in one chapter, praxis in another and methodology in another before presenting my empirical findings (which I'll talk about later, not feeling that right now!) So, I had to chunk my sections/topics and organize them into chapters that made sense. Because I put in tons of hours of work on doing this this past week, I'm taking Friday off to bake a cake for the weekend and have some "me" time. That's why I'm dedicating Beyonce's "Me, Myself, and I" to me!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

What's Your Phobia?

OK. This post isn't as serious as the title may suggest. I know what you're thinking, but I'm not tackling that Other phobia today! I'm not interested in being an Afrafeminist or a critical race theorist at the present, so forget about phobias and other culturally-insensitive isms for a minute. Yesterday I went to get my hair done by my regular stylist. For anyone familiar with the culture of African American beauty salons, you just know to expect spending four plus hours in the salon per visit! Well, I had a six o'clock appointment and was still there at a quarter till ten when the even that I'm finna to described happened. While waiting to have my rollers taken out, a bunch of us ladies saw a raccoon peek in the window next to my stylist's station, a window that was open even though there was a thin screen!

The funny thing about this is that there was a ton of light in the salon and I thought raccoons primarily preferred the dark. Every time we'd shush him/her away, (s)he'd come back to peek in the window. It was very eerie; he kept staring at all of us! We assumed that (s)he was so comfortable with people because either someone was feeding him/her, or (s)he smelled food. Then, we saw a second raccoon who peeked in too, so there were two of em.

After all the screaming and OMGs calmed down we started to talk about the different phobias we have. My phobia is with birds. I just can't stand them. I've always been afraid of them since a child and still am. Don't know why but it's a phobia. My family thinks the phobia is silly, but my phobia doesn't compare to the one of my stylist's: She's afraid of clowns! Are you serious? Yes, clowns! After I left the salon, I told Mr. C. about her phobia. His response: "Is she afraid of Ronald McDonald?" I'll have to ask her at next week's appointment. A grown a** women scared of clowns... *shakes head.

I am interested in seeing what other people's phobias are. Can you beat clowns?

Monday, May 11, 2009

End of AY 2008-2009 Reflection: What's Next

Grades have been submitted, data have been collected and analyzed for the most part, now what? This will be the first time that I haven't officially worked (at least for employment) since entering the PhD program. The past couple of summers I've worked as a research assistant on particular projects collecting data for literacy-sponsored projects, developing curricular resources, co-authoring teacher guides, and editing first-year writing textbook readers. Now what?

The good news is that I technically don't have to work this summer in order to pay the bills, thanks to a King-Chavez-Parks Future Faculty Fellowship (a fellowship offered to graduate students across Michigan's public universities). Not having to work officially gives me lots of time to work on the dissertation (something I plan to do all summer long) and prepare job materials, dossier, etc. for next year's market. So far I've drafted several chapters and hope to spend this summer doing major revisions. That's actually a good thing.

What concerns me is the fact that I don't have an official schedule with anywhere to be (other than a few meetings to collaborate on articles already in the pipeline). In fact, I don't have to leave the house to write, something I actually prefer doing. During my first two years, I had to physically be on campus and in my office in order to work because I felt there were too many distractions at home. There's a fridge with good food in it. A television with soap operas to watch. Laundry to fold. etc. etc. But during my third year I noticed this big shift: I actually get way more work done at home and can't bring myself to work in the prison-like concrete walls of my campus office. Just can't do it. I'm not quite sure why or how this shift took place, but it did. The other odd thing is that I can't work in my office in home either! Mr. C now occupies that office and gets quite a bit of work done in there managing our church's website. He loves it. As for me, there's a particular spot on the end of our couch in my living where I have to work. If I'm sorting through data, which as a teacher-researcher usually consists of student documents, I just use the coffee table. Don't know why, but it works.

Anyway, I digressed a bit. The larger point is that I'm happy to be on fellowship with more time to devote to writing, but I'm clearly not going to write for the twelve plus hours a day that I'd be home. I need a hobby (besides baking and cooking, of which, I'm sure I'll do plenty!) so I don't drive myself crazy.

Friday, May 8, 2009

OSF: My Favorite Soul Train Performance

Here are a few of my favorite Soul Train Flashbacks (even though I wasn't born yet--LOL!):

Al Green's "Take Me to the River":

Minnie Riperton's "Lovin' You":

The Isley Brothers' "That Lady ~ Live it Up":

Friday, May 1, 2009

OSF: BBQ Music

Oh I love this topic. It reminds me of the summer holidays when my dad puts a playlist on his computer while we barbeque. It'll be interesting to see what he picks this week, but I gotta go with a few favorites of my own bbq music:

Earth, Wind and Fire's "September":

The Isley Brothers' "Coolin' Me Out":

Stevie Wonder's "Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I'm Yours)"