Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Turn It In (dot com):

Otherwise known as the place where essays and term papers go to die.

So there is a website that teachers/professors can use to compare alllllll the papers ever written (and turned in) to one another to see if there is any academic dishonesty taking place.

(I saw this mentioned in an episode of Law & Order: SVU once, who knew?)

I had to use this program to turn in my big midterm essay for Brit Lit. I was very curious as to HOW it would read my work/writing/ideas. I knew I didn't copy a damn thing from anywhere and so I submitted my paper last night completely confident--with no WORRY or DREAD whatsoever.

This morning I checked it, just for giggles, and found out that I had 6 words similar to an essay turned in 2 years ago at some prep school. That was IT!

I'm glad to know that 2 years ago, some student at some prep school was 6 words as awesome as me!

But really, as a self-proclaimed Nerdy McNerdster who would rather fail a course than EVER cheat (I know, how honest am I?)...I'm glad to know that even 6 words (in a sequence of 9 words) would raise a little red flag.

Monday, September 29, 2008


As my dear Candidate reminded me:

The last day to register to vote in Tennessee is next Monday, October 6th.

Are you registered? Are your friends and family?

Each and every vote in Tennessee is absolutely crucial on Election Day. But in less than a week, the time for bringing new voices into the political process will be over. You need to be certain that you, your friends, and your family are registered by the deadline -- it's a small step that will have a huge impact on our Election Day results.

This election is too important to leave anything to chance. Make sure your voice is heard!



Saturday, September 20, 2008

To Know Her, is to Love Her:

God Bless Geoffrey Chaucer and his Canterbury Tales.

We have spent several class periods discussing various parts/tales in my Brit Lit class. I admit my own ignorance circa ten years ago. Now I can admit that Mr. Chaucer is a genius.

Why? Well, his masterpiece is still discussed in classrooms everywhere. Not bad for something 500+ years old, right?

Taken from something I have written for class:

We are first introduced to the Wife of Bath in the General Prologue. She has a red/ruddy complexion and is a little deaf. We find out that she is a talented cloth maker who’s “cover chiefs” are so elaborate that they probably weighed “ten pounds.”

She is very charitable and gives more on Sunday than anybody else gives. She is very well travelled having been to Jerusalem (three times), Rome, and Cologne (for example). She has been married 5 times and is full of laughter and gossip. She also knows about love remedies.

I will save you from the rest, but I must say that "the whole thing" (the Tales) really lives on today because they reach in and speak personal truths about human nature. GENIUS!


Friday, September 19, 2008

Pumpkin Bin:


My first PUMPKIN(s) "sighting" of the year...

I actually squealed when I stopped to take this picture with my cell phone a couple weeks ago...


Oh, greenly and fair in the lands of the sun,
The vines of the gourd and the rich melon run,
And the rock and the tree and the cottage enfold,
With broad leaves all greenness and blossoms all gold,
Like that which o'er Nineveh's prophet once grew,
While he waited to know that his warning was true,
And longed for the storm-cloud, and listened in vain
For the rush of the whirlwind and red fire-rain.

John Greenleaf Whittier (1850)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

She Knits, She Scores!

All rows: *K1, p1; rep from * across.

Was it Morse code or maybe another special message you just read? Yes, no or maybe? Chances are at least one out of three understood the above instructions, statistically speaking.

According to the Craft Yarn Council of America (CYCA) at least, because nearly 36 percent of American women can either knit or crochet.

In addition, the fastest growing age bracket--just happens to be young women between the ages of 25 and 34. The CYCA says since 2002 this particular set has grown by 150 percent to nearly seven million strong.

When asked about their motivations to pick up the hobby, the women interviewed mentioned friends, family, and one book in particular kept coming up: Stitch ‘n Bitch: The Knitter’s Handbook, by Debbie Stoller.

Released in 2003, the original handbook has since been translated into three additional languages (Danish, Dutch, and Finnish). Part history lesson, part mission to “take back the knit,” there are now four books in the SNB series.

Maureen Kenyon, 35, says the original handbook still holds a “sweet spot” in her heart and recommends it to friends and new knitters alike, “No doubt, that’s how I learned.”

About five years ago, Jodi Small, 30, purchased a pair of needles with the intent of teaching herself to knit, and quickly learned the importance of a mentor.

“My office manager was a knitter and she told me to bring them in the next morning before work," she said. "She taught me the knit stitch in about 10 minutes!”

Just like that, Small was casting on and inspiring others to do the same, chiefly an old roommate.

“We spent hours sifting through boxes of tangled, mangled discounted yarn in order to make funky scarves for less,” she said.

The scarf obsession is very typical; most knitters have a good scarf story.

“I didn’t know how to purl until last year,” said Amy San Juan, 33, about her first completed project and so it was “scarves--many, many scarves--all done with cheap yarn and only with the knit stitch.”

Besides scarves, preferred projects range from accessories like hats and purses to wearables like raglan jumpers and cardigans.

“There is no seaming and you can try them on as you go,” said Kristen Collins, 28. Not only does she spend time knitting clothes for her young daughter, but she also manages to sell items she makes through her online store for some extra money.

The most popular item she sells are longies—little wool pants which function as cloth diaper covers; when her store is not hibernating she sells up to ten items a month.

When people find out she knits, the reactions can vary. “They say ‘how cute!’” Kenyon said, followed closely by, “‘can you make me something?’”

Small said some people make “old” lady jokes, but sometimes people come back with, “Cool, me too!”
As turned in to my Feature Writing class.


Friday, September 12, 2008

Mini Gasoline Poem:

Beginning hours before Ike made landfall
along the Texas coastline,
the lines to the row of pumps snaked
in and out of the parking lot,

and continued throughout the day,

it was something I had never seen before in my lifetime!


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Forms of Poetry (week 3):

Villanelles! A French verse form derived from an earlier Italian folk song; retains a circular pattern of a peasant dance.

five tercets rhyming aba
followed by a quatrain rhyming abaa
(19 lines)

"The Waking" (Roethke)
"Missing Dates" (Empson)
"One Art" (Bishop)
"Villanelle for the Middle of the Night" (Osherow)


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A Prescription for Preparedness:

Meet Robbie and Margaret Chambers: as Ole Miss graduates both with their B.S. in Pharmacy, not only do they share the same profession and work for the same company (Wal-Mart), but they have also been married for 16 years.

You could say they have experienced practically everything in their combined 35 years as retail pharmacists.

Then Gustav made its way into the Gulf of Mexico.

“This was my first, I’m a hurricane virgin!” Robbie said over the phone as another tornado warning sounded in the background.

Neither one had direct experience with a hurricane, having only moved from Memphis to the Mobile Bay region of Alabama a little over two and a half years ago.

They took positions at nearby Supercenters, Robbie as pharmacy manager in Bay Minette and Margaret working as a part-time staff pharmacist at the Saraland location.

In 2005, Katrina forced a massive surge of water into the bay, knocking the USS Alabama off its mooring and causing flooding in downtown Mobile.

While both pharmacies are within 25 miles of Mobile Bay, the couple resides--along with their 11-year-old son--in Spanish Fort, which is less than five miles away from the inlet.

As the weekend and Gustav got closer, the Chambers spent time gathering flashlights, fresh batteries, non-perishable food, water and gas for their generator at home.

“Personally, it was a little exciting--but please don’t take that the wrong way!” Margaret said about the possibility of a storm, “Having never been through anything like this, we were not sure of all the things to do to get prepared.”

Both pharmacies saw a sharp increase in volume on Friday, with Bay Minette filling near 500 prescriptions and Saraland topping 650.

“The only thing I can compare it to is the craziness that occurs when snow or ice is predicted in Memphis,” Margaret said, “it’s not just a little increase like the normal seasonal increases. It was like a frenzy.”

Saturday in Bay Minette, the inventory were increased by nearly $100,000 (retail cost) worth of drugs. As mentioned in a conference call it was in anticipation of evacuees but also in case trucks were not able to run their normal routes.

By Sunday evening as the pharmacies closed, there was still no absolute certainty where Gustav would make landfall.

“I had to tarp over all of the prescription bays, in case the roof started leaking. I had to cover all the computer equipment with garbage bags and make sure nothing was on the floor in case of any seepage,” Robbie explained.

Pharmacies were close Monday in anticipation of Labor Day, but Gustav continued on its path to Louisiana.

The Chambers spent the day listening to the rainfall, watching television and paying close attention to the tornado warnings.

They never doubted their decision to move to the Gulf Coast.

“We have always vacationed nearby and fell in love with the area. There is always a chance for some catastrophic event where ever you are,” Margaret said, “at least with hurricanes you have plenty of warning.”
As turned into my Feature Writing class.


Forms of Poetry (week two):

Sonnets! Traditionally a poem of 14 lines, linked by an intricate rhyme scheme.

broken into one octave and a sestet;
rhyme scheme abba/abba/cdecde


broken into quatrain, quatrain, quatrain, couplet;
rhyme scheme abab/cdcd/efef/gg

"Sonnet 60" (Shakespeare)
"On First Looking into Chapman's Homer" (Keats)
"Yet Do I Marvel" (Cullen)
"The Forge" (Heaney)



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