Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Need some idiom help!

I am teaching an ESL class (that I love), and every day we start with a brief discussion of an American idiom. We've covered a lot of them: dodge a bullet, get something straight, learn the hard way, and many more.

I'm wondering if you all might help me think of some of the more common ones that you use or hear.


Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sunday, October 19, 2008

What's so great about reading

I'm not quite sure why, but this fall I've been reading more than I normally do. Maybe it's because my schedule is busier than it's been for a long time, so I'm savoring those quiet moments with a good book. Maybe it's because I've found some books I really like. I don't know.

But I was reminded again what's so great about reading this afternoon. I took 15 minutes away from my afternoon and started a new book, "Burning Bright" by Tracy Chevalier. In the five or six pages I read, I was jettisoned to 1792 London. Like a time machine. When authors create a strong sense of place, it is easy to get lost in the story, description, and time. The trick for the writer, of course, is to show the universality of the human condition even in times that were very different from our own by creating believable, authentic characters in real jeopardy. When those elements come together, a good book is the result, and something like time travel is what the reader gets.

Tracy Chevalier is particularly good at painting the picture of a place. I adored Girl with a Pearl Earring. Learning the story behind the painting, or the story behind the work of art is always a treat for me--even if it is fictional.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


I got gas for $2.68 today. Awesome! I topped up the tank even though we were only down a third. On the radio yesterday morning, they played some "angelic" sounding music and Charlie Butcher on WOWO said, "miracles do happen!" regarding the gas prices falling. It was funny--but true. Last week, I was excited to get gas for $3.34 a gallon. This is even better.

So...The Happening was good but not great. It's M. Night Shyamalan's latest. I still love Signs the most, mostly because the storytelling is so strong and the acting is phenomenal. I just love Joaquin Phoenix. Always SO convincing.

This is fall break at IPFW, so I had two days off. What luxury and indulgence! It's been so great getting caught up.

Monday, October 06, 2008

A good movie

Last Friday night, I watched "Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day." Adored it! It was such a simple, fun movie, but well acted and a nice story. Just one of those feel good movies. This evening I finished my third Sophie Kinsella novel in three weeks (plus I snuck in an Alexander McCall Smith one too), so I guess I'm getting more done than only grading and prepping these days.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008


So I ordered a refill of allergy medicine this week from Express Scripts--the mail order company that our insurance pays to lower our prescription costs. The service was fairly fast. I ordered it maybe last Friday, and it arrived yesterday.

But when I opened the package (which was not tampered with or damaged in any way), I found loose pills all over the package. What was up with that?! I gathered up the pills and counted them. I could account for all of them, but I wasn't so sure I wanted to give a bunch of loose pills to my child for his allergies.

So I called Express Scripts today. I was transferred to the pharmacist who told me that the inside of the package is just as clean as the inside of the bottle, so we should go ahead and use them. Okay...well...I guess I can accept that. But then when she asked me if there was anything else she could help me with today, I said that maybe the next time we ordered our prescriptions they could make sure the bottles were shut.

What annoyed me was her response. It wasn't: I'm sorry, I will make sure that this doesn't happen again. Or: we will make every effort to ensure that the bottles are secured before throwing them in your package. Or even: We'll do our best. Her response was: "Oh, well, sometimes this happens. Not very often, but occasionally it does."

What? A customer asks you not to throw around medicine for her child and you say, Oh, it doesn't happen too often, but oh well. Can't really do anything about that. Grrr