The Life and Times of Florence Knitingale

Friday, January 05, 2007

I Am A Cranky Woman

A cranky woman with a really stunning sock, mind you...

....but still cranky (the sock isn't really all scrunched up at the ankle like it appears in the top photo--I was twisting my foot weird so you could see the heel of which I am particularly proud. Not at all modest, apparently, but proud.). I am partly cranky because it is January in the Pacific Northwest which means that it is wet and cold and dark and the house is perpetually full of tracked in pine needles and everything just seems bleak (you folks who live north of me--you know who you are, you Canadians and Alaskans--obviously have it worse. I'm not sure how you do it...does it involve a bottle of anything?). But I am partly cranky because school, while full of opportunities and doors into the future I want yada yada yada, is nevertheless also full of things that tapdance on the last good nerve I have (what with the crankiness and the pine needles and all).

I'd like to make a few gentle suggestions to my teachers:

1. I know how to read. I have known how to read since I was 3. While I realize you have not actually seen me do it, perhaps the fact that all my classes this quarter have prerequisites would be reason enough for you to take it on faith. That being the case, it is probably not necessary to give me a printed sheet of anything--and then spend the next 20 minutes of class READING IT ALOUD. This is particularly true when the sheet is nothing more than a syllabus. I get it. And I know where to find you if I don't (you're the only one facing the's really quite simple).

2. In the same vein, I'm pretty sure my classmates know how to read as well. Hence, having us "go around the room" with each person reading a section aloud is probably also unnecessary. I can guarantee you that I will have read the entire sheet to myself before the first person finishes their paragraph, and I will be ready to bang my head repeatedly on the desk by the time the tenth person does. Please. For the love of wool, PLEASE.

3. I understand that you have a nifty little vision in which all of us in the class become fast friends and love one another for life and possibly even name our children after one another. I am not one to puncture the dreams of others, so let me just say this: we can find each other pretty easily. And if we want to make friends, we will. If we don't, we probably won't. And both these things are true whether or not you spend half an hour in the first class requiring us to "partner up with someone you don't know, introduce yourself to them, and then take turns standing in front of the class to introduce the person you talked to". I'm begging you--spare me the spectacle of 30 different renditions of "Okay, this is Susan, and Susan likes to collect unicorns and she's hoping to, what were you gonna be again?"

4. 8:00 am is a perfectly reasonable time to hold a class. However, my "perky" tolerance is typically somewhat low, and my tolerance for you trying to sound young and hip is even lower. You can tell us that safety is important rather than "totally uberimportant", and I think that people have been mauled for lesser offences than "Chemisty has, like, almost it's own language, sort of." Please. The alcohol in the chemistry lab is not the right sort to help me cope with this kind of thing. Have some mercy. (I know some of you folks reading this will think I'm exaggerating, but I swear I'm quoting directly. I only wish I wasn't.)

5. You can be somewhat casual about what time you show up for class, or you can be demented in your enforcement of our punctuality. You cannot do both. (This is from last quarter...but it still bugs the butt off me.)

6. When lecturing, please do not ask painfully obvious questions and then wait several minutes for an answer while everyone stares down at their desks and wonders if you escaped from your job as a first grade teacher and no one has caught you yet (as in "okay, the sun sets in the....? Anyone?"). For one thing, if it's that obvious we tend to think it's rhetorical; for another, it's downright embarrassing to proudly shout out an obvious answer ("West! It's West!") and we can all too easily imagine the rest of the class thinking something like "Good one, Einstein. Did you have to look that up or did it just come to you?" If we don't know those things, you'll figure it out soon enough when people start asking if they can get extra credit on the test for spelling their names right.

7. Little games like "let's make a scavenger hunt out of where all the safety equipment is!" may break up the tedium and are probably well intentioned...but we're all past the stage where we should need to get a lollipop for learning our times tables. Just tell us where the damned eyewash sink is already.

See? Cranky. And I know it's not pretty. I'll work on it. Meanwhile, here is the yarn that didn't get to be posted yesterday (and which is pretty):

Left (your left) is the Elizabeth Lavold angora; the purple is the Ultra Alpaca. I think it may end up being an Eris. Or not. I'm indecisive when I'm cranky.

Oh, and it turned out that I cast aspersions on a perfectly innocent computer yesterday. The camera card had gone bad and was trying to strangle the computer. Mr. K gets extra hugs from me for making it all better. I'm pretty sure he did it just because he's that sweet and not because he's afraid that anything that frustrates me when I'm cranky is a little like poking a bear with a stick. Pretty sure.


  • At 2:33 PM, Blogger Marianne said…

    aaaaahhhhhhh, blue bunny tummy fur, aaaaahhhhh. That alpaca sure looks familiar....#6283? do tell.
    As to the rest of the post...I'm gigglesnorting still. sheesh.

  • At 2:38 PM, Blogger Marianne said…

    I need to take notes, wanna ride bikes?
    The #6283 is called lavender mix, which is what I have, the other shades, of which yours may be one of, are a bit darker and more purple,eh?
    I LOVE the sock! Good knitting!
    There, did I get it all?

  • At 5:20 PM, Anonymous Jill said…

    I live in Canada. I hate snow. I hate being cold. I've lived here forever, and really can't see myself leaving anytime soon. Mostly I knit and drink alot of coffee, and do alot of wishing that I had a man type person to cuddle up with. Other than that, you just wait until oh, say May, for it to warm up!

  • At 8:09 PM, Blogger Faren said…

    No wonder you're cranky! Now, do they think the students are idiots or are they themselves idiots? The sock and the yarn are all so pretty!
    P.S. I just recieved my first swift, nostepinne, a set of KnitPicks Options, the book Knit Fix and I love them all so much! I'm excited, can you tell?

  • At 10:53 PM, Anonymous angie Cox said…

    My sister a nurse for 20 years phoned me yesterday to tell me about the "wonderful" govt. initiative to send her back to school .She has qualifications in medical and mental health ,worked in an E.R for easily ten years .She has "A" levels but now is going to be giving some pompous ass the chance to patronise her by giving her basic English ,math and Science again. I realise that as a Paramedic training person who will now be given prescibing duties she needs a bit of a re-fresher but hell she has been weighing and measuring for years .She is unlikely to give Mrs Miggins a litre of adrenalin if it should be 1ml.....can easily identify a heart-attack .But in our town the ability to smell alcohol on breath ,slrred speech and thinking everything is hilarious is all she really needs. She told me she just had one night when she got to help with a really geuine sick old lady and her job was with The N.H.S not The Salvation Army .

  • At 6:19 AM, Blogger Jo said…

    You need to teach those teachers a thing or two by the sound of it, lovely socks and I love both the new yarns, especially the purplier one, look forward to seeing them knitup!

  • At 12:48 PM, Blogger Charity said…

    Ooooh, Ahhhhh the yarn is lovely! I need to get me some more yarn!

    I so hear you on #1. So. Hear. You. (Would you like to read it out loud, so you'll remember?)


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