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Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Remember that lower-left first molar? The one I had out last summer and had my first - rather pleasant - experience with nitrous oxide? It's healed quite nicely, thank you, but the one next to it needs to be removed.

But it can't be removed until next week, because it is so infected that my lovely dentist is afraid I'd end up in the E.R. and that the novocaine would not work on it. So I need to take antibiotics (and thank God, painkillers; I didn't sleep last night) for a few days before I can get that done. Tuesday of next week.

So, in a last-gasp sort of way, tonight's dinner will consist of chewy pork chops and crisp vegetables, with Easter-chocolate-on-sale for dessert. Because it's beginning to look like my last chance for any of the above for awhile. Then I'll be back on yogurt and applesauce until this one heals.

We'll have to be careful about the chocolate - samplers are not generally nut-free - but there's a lovely little chart on the inside of the box detailing which chocolate is which and Abby's allergy does require ingestion, not mere exposure.


Monday, March 26, 2012

Morose Monday

Normally I quite like Mondays. But today - before I even had my caffeine - I got word that the interview I had last week did not net me the job. I think the interview went well, and the reason they gave was "not enough experience in gaming".

Excuse me?

Um... I'm JennTheGamerMom for a reason. Most notably my addiction to games of all types.

So I have to assume that it's more specifically "Not enough recent experience in first-person shooter gaming." Which is more accurate; the last FPS I played on a regular basis (excluding MMORPGs) was Unreal Tournament 2003. And that was a long time ago in software terms.

And just for giggles, I realized this morning that I can no longer ignore the toothache I've been trying to for the past four days. Wonderful. Back to the dentist I go, Wednesday at ten.

In the meantime, I shall do homework. And housework. And job hunting.

Here's hoping the week improves fast.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Reluctant Housewifery

I've stated before how much I dislike the housewife role that I have been forced into by the (no) job market. I'm used to paying my own way with perhaps a bit of help, and the amount I get weekly from the lovely unemployment people doesn't cover my expenses. I have the utmost respect for the (willing) housewife and stay-at-home parent.

And when my beloved spouse gets home from work every day, it looks like I've done absolutely nothing. Some days this is true; I've done very little. Most of it is due to a) the kids and b) the fact that most of the stuff I do is intangible or at least invisible without looking carefully. As an example, today in the past five hours, I have done the following:

  • Made breakfast and lunch, and planned dinner
  • Cut up a gazillion veggies for dipping
  • Made chicken stew for a housebound friend
  • Done the dishes twice
  • Assisted an online friend with vacation research
  • Assisted a real-life friend with a game reference
  • Done five of the seven slides due in my Behavioral Science class this week
  • Done two of the three tutorials due in my Information Services class this week
  • Answered daily questions in both classes
  • Applied for four jobs online (weekends are slow)
  • Written this blog post
  • Ordered groceries for tomorrow and planned meals for the week
  • Done three loads of laundry (and I ran out of detergent so I added it to the grocery order)
  • Read seven books and assisted in construction of several Lego creations with Lizzy
However, because I haven't done the floors nor the kitchen counters yet, the place looks like a wreck. 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Bringing up Nerdlings

Or geeklings, at least.

Lizzy's a science geek at four. She's been begging for a "weal maganafying glass" for a week or so, and today she and the Hubs went out looking for ants to watch. They couldn't find any, but they did find some flies, because (as she told me when I got home from taking the Abbster to her dad's) "bugs like gawbage, and the Dumpster has lots". She's the one who designs complicated Lego (Duplo) buildings and begs older children to build them for her (I think she is somehow aware that her fine motor control is not as good as her design skills yet).

Leanna's the Animal Rescue nerd. She has a soft heart where everything living is concerned, and is the one who begs hardest for the privilege (seldom granted) of things like "bringing the poor injured snail in the house". She's the reason we had a plastic container of grass in the fridge for a couple weeks so she could "feed it to the animals", and who burst into tears when we explained that no, the frog eggs really didn't need relocating; they would hatch into tadpoles well before the mud at the edge of the pond dried up.

Abby's our fiction geek. She has a love of Harry Potter, Doctor Who, classic mythology, and video game references that rivals my own. It was especially apparent today on the trip up to her dad's house. First she wanted to hear a synopsis of the movie her stepdad and I went to see yesterday. Then we had to stop for a trip to the bathroom and given where we were, we stopped at one of my favorite Bar & Grill places, where they encourage the patrons to write on the bathroom walls. So when Abby left the ladies' room, her eyes were as big as saucers, because she had seen the words Bad Wolf (spoilers) and a drawing of a 1-up mushroom on the walls.

Thursday, March 22, 2012


From Wikipedia
We went to see John Carter today. We were going to go with my parents - A Princess of Mars was my "first grownup sci-fi" - but the timing didn't work out. So Laston and I went alone.

I know it's been pretty much panned in the media, but I have to say I don't really see why. Did it follow canon? No, not really, but far more closely than some movies I could mention (*cough*Starship Troopers*cough*) and certainly not a worse interpretation of an old Edgar Rice Burroughs story than others (hello, Tarzan!).

The Tharks were thinner than I imagined them to be. Princess Dejah Thoris kicked more butt than I remembered. The thoats were done very well. Wolla the calot ("monster-dog-thing", Carter calls him) was excellently done. There were shout-outs to other movies (ha! Carter covered in the blue blood of a White Ape looks very very Braveheart). The people of Helium wore more than the strategically-placed jewelry mentioned in the books, but I imagine that to do otherwise would have pushed it past PG-13 and it is Disney, after all. The airships were beautiful. Sadly, Sola did not get to say, "my father's name is Tars Tarkas".

So it wasn't a great movie, no. But it was a decent action flick, especially when keeping in mind the source material (written a hundred years ago and more than a little dated).

And then there were the previews... between Brave and The Avengers I can see it being a busy summer, movie-wise. And I want to take Abby to see Mirror Mirror.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Help out my friend!

My friend Ellen over at Defenestrated Feet has a dream of going to space.

As a child of Boeing and a long-time science-fiction fan (um, maybe about 35 years now?), I can definitely sympathize, although I would prefer a TARDIS to a space shuttle! Or the starship Enterprise, pretty much any era. Even a Stargate would work for me, though I'd rather pass on the murky politics of most of the other universes in which I have spent my life.

Ellen is much more practical.

So please, vote for Ellen and help her win a chance at the Final Frontier.

Help send a blogger to space!
Click here to vote 10x daily!

Thanks, all.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Wearin' o' the Green and Brown

Never sold Girl Scout Cookies on St. Patrick's Day before. The number of people who bought Thin Mints simply because the box is green was interesting, as was the fact that we ran out of Trefoils completely. It is the last weekend, though, which may be the reason for running out. Our sales were pretty good, as the girls spent a lot of time saying "Last chance for Girl Scout Cookies!" and also had St. Patrick's Day as an excuse for talking to everyone. They're Brownies rather than Juniors, so their uniforms aren't green, but they made up for it in their clothes and accessories.

Because we were out selling in the cold close to dinnertime, I set up Irish Lamb Stew in the crock pot. Cubed lamb dredged in a mixture of flour, salt, pepper, and Herbes de Provence; browned in bacon fat. This mixed in the crock pot with potato, onion, and beef broth. Peas went in at the last minute. It was teh nom. Even Leanna - who hates potatoes - ate hers. Now we're having mint chocolate chip ice cream to complete the green theme.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

What a Day!

The Good:
I got a ton done around the house. Dishes, laundry, cooking (dinner tonight, boiled eggs for everyone, Laston's lunches, homemade ice-creamy stuff), vacuuming, packing Lizzy's bag for Abby's gym session, some schoolwork, applied for three jobs and arranged for a phone interview tomorrow, and most importantly, cleaning Under the Couch. Under the Couch is pretty much a land of its own.

The Bad:
All the crap from Under the Couch is now On the Living Room Rug. Some family members have an ant infestation.

The worst bit is that a family friend was taken to the hospital from his workplace today. We have no news, but I told his wife I'd put out a prayer/good thought request. So here it is, please send them to Everett WA, on behalf of Mike. Thanks.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Cookie Time

...and the Girl Scouts are busy,
Cookie time in the spring of the year,
Cookie time, when the scouts sell their cookies,
Cookie time, only once every year.

Those are the lyrics Abby made up this week, to the tune of Summertime, (Gershwin, Porgy and Bess, 1935).

They're quite accurate, actually, except for the spring part. Today we got lucky because the nice store manager allowed us to sell cookies inside the doors. It's chilly - around 45F - and windy, which was the worst part. But our cookie mom was our partner in selling today and she brought hand-warmers for all three kids - how nice is that? So yeah, today was certainly busy - school until 3, cookie sales from 4-6, and now a Brownie meeting from 6:30 to 8 (as I write this from my seat in the library where they have their meetings).

Sunday was also a site sale for us, and it was probably colder but not as windy. We've got another on Saturday afternoon late, after which we intend to come home to hot lamb stew for St. Patrick's Day. And we will of course wear green). Today Abby wore her "Welcome to the Dark Side... we have cookies. ~Vader" T-shirt and a sweater under her Brownie vest.

See? Busy. And pretty close to the spring of the year, even if not quite there yet...

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Open Letter to the World at Large

It's been that kind of day, where nothing momentous - or even OMG-Cute - happened. But there were lots of little things.

  • Dear Favorite Grocery Delivery Service - if you don't have lamb-for-stew in stock, please take it off the list of available items. I want some for Irish Stew this weekend, and this is the third time I've tried to order it to no avail.
  • Dear Deliveryman from Favorite Grocery Delivery Service - I apologize for my preschooler's mouth. It's not that you have dark skin; it's that you have dark skin, are very tall, have a very deep voice, and were wearing black. She said that you were "scawy like Dahth Vader". We are working on this and as long as all four criteria are not met she doesn't seem to have the issue. Again, my apologies.
  • Dear Craigslist Job Lister A - I have news for you. Nobody who meets your stringent criteria of a BA in computer science, at least ten years of experience in the field, and availability to work any shift on short notice is going to seriously go for your part time job at minimum wage. You probably should have figured this out last week when you posted the same ad... since you didn't even remember to change the date.
  • Dear Craigslist Job Lister B - I have seen this same ad every other week for a year. Perhaps you'd have better luck getting good employees if you changed your pay structure away from "$10-18/per hour, depending on how good you are."
  • Dear Mom - I am so glad you're back in town.
  • Dear University of Phoenix - you guys have been great, and I'm really enjoying working with you.
  • Dear Employers in general. I'm still here! Come get me!
That's all I've got today.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Politics in the Very Young

Would you vote for this face?
Lizzy has a set of matching tiles, originally given to Abby by my dad and stepmom, with drawings of children in traditionally cultural dress from around the world to match. She can identify a few of them - Hawaii and Scotland and China, and I showed her some Google Images of Puerto Rico and Norway and France.

And then she asked about the girl with the pink scarf over her head. I explained that this was the child from Afghanistan and she wanted to see a picture.

Finding a picture of Afghanistan these days is a challenge - at least if one wants a picture appropriate for one's preschooler - because most of the pictures are either of Taliban soldiers or of bombed cities or of bleak landscapes. So I told her that Afghanistan was having a war right now and the pictures aren't very nice. She asked if they were "inappwopwiate" and I said that yes, they were. The she asked me whether this war was a long war, like "days and days". 

"Yes, sweetie, years, actually. This war is older than Abby, and almost as old as Leanna."

"Oh," she says in a small voice (and for those of you who have met her, you know how uncommon "small voice" is for her), "They're pwobably so sleepy."

Now, we've been explaining Daylight Savings to her, and how it makes all of us kind of tired and grumpy, and yeah, it looks like we're going to bed in the daytime but we're really not. So she has sleep on the mind right now. But could there be anything more sweetly innocent than a child who thinks of a decade-plus long war as merely a cause for sleep deprivation?

And then she hit me with, "Mama, what is the war for? Why are they fighting?"

"Well... they're trying to decide who gets to run the country."

"The mommies should wun the countwy, because it's their job to take care of people."

 Would that it were that simple, baby.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Sweating the Small Stuff

There's a difference between modesty and self-deprecation. I often have trouble believing I'm as capable as I am, because it seems immodest to me to acknowledge it, especially out loud. I worry about people thinking I'm a self-aggrandizing bitch when I brag, so my humor tends to be of the self-deprecating sort.

Some of you - especially those I know in real life - may have noticed this once or twice.

But I've been in school now since August 15th, and you know what?

I'm a damn good student.

Even with all the crap of last session, I got an A- in both of my classes. My lowest score thus far at the University of Phoenix is a B+, and that was in my first block of classes.

Who knew?

I mean, I wasn't a good student back in the day; I was bright enough but I'm just wired differently than the schools were capable of dealing with in the 1980's. They have more resources now. But I am a mom and wife, hunting for a job full time, helping my kids with their schooling, and seasonally depressed... and yet I have a 3.67 GPA.

This is amazing to me.

I have any number of friends and acquaintances who will either nod wisely - "See, we told you!" - or scoff - "Why do you have so much trouble believing you can do this?" - and they're right.

So when you see me tearing myself down over something small, remind me not to sweat it. Please?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Home Sick

Not very. But a little.

Both Abby and Lizzy are down with colds. Sneezing, coughing, low-grade fever. Nothing serious, but temperature at or over 100F = home sick (school won't allow attendance). All bundled up in the recliner for Abby. Lizzy's another story - she only relaxes into illness when it's a high fever - she's acting pretty much as usual except for the Dropping of Spoons.

What always surprises me is how quickly it happens with kids. They were fine last night at bedtime (7:30 and 9, respectively) and this morning they're both dragging around, sniffling and sounding like death.

So I guess we're staying home, watching Phineas and Ferb and drinking weak herbal tea. I used to worry about missed school days for Abby, but last year she earned a certificate for missing fewer than three days (and this will be the first missed day this year), and I'll make her read and study her multiplication and division while we're here. I'm sure everyone will be fine by tomorrow as long as we take it easy today. A lot better attitude than last year, when I was all stressy about a mere head cold in Abby.

We need to get well though - it's Cookie Season - and there will be plenty of standing around in the cold and the damp next week, shrieking little tunes (this one is to Pop Goes the Weasel) at the top of her lungs:

All around the neighborhood streets,
The Girl Scouts sell their cookies,
Ringing doorbells, asking please,
Please buy some cookies!

So we're taking a day off to recuperate. Lying around watching kid TV for them, school and laundry for me.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Paper

I posted a couple days ago about the paper on adoption by homosexual parents that I wrote for my Research Writing class. Posting the entire paper here is cumbersome, but I believe that the topic is both important and um... well... topical, so here goes. I feel very strongly about equal rights for the GLBT community, and I don't get political on this blog all that often, so if it offends you, please skip it and come back tomorrow when I talk about cute things my kids say / gaming / the weather.

Please note: I've removed the title page at the request of the school, but other than that and the references page (which is more accurate now) I haven't edited this from the one I turned in (so you get to see all my mistakes in punctuation and formatting (and apparently those that didn't copy-and-paste well) - isn't that fun?).

Gay Marriage and Adoption – Should Homosexual Couples be Allowed to Adopt?
Although some think it is unnatural, gay adoption should be encouraged because children need families, and for some it is the only way of having one. The usual argument against this is out of fear for the child’s safety, because some people believe that a) homosexuality is a choice, and b) that it is equal to pedophilia. In Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous speech, which says in part, “...not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character” (King, 1963), he posits that people should be judged by their actions, not by things that are not under their control, such as skin color… or sexual orientation.
The Need for Children to Have a Family
Children need families. Institutional care is better than no care at all of course, but in general, children need families. However, the makeup of those families – whether they have two parents of opposite genders, for instance – is of less importance (“Evaluation,” (2009), p.142). The most important factor in how children mature is how involved with the child the parent is, which is also why institutional settings are less efficacious to bringing up children; there are fewer adults available per child.
The adoptive children of homosexual parents show approximately the same degree and incidence of behavioral problems as those of heterosexual parents; that is, more behavioral problems as a group than biological children of married couples, but no more than other adopted children. (“Evaluation”, 2009). Homosexual parents tend to have a higher degree of education than the heterosexual ones, and were more likely to adopt children of their own racial makeup. Some of this was probably due to restrictions on homosexual couples adopting in international adoption situations. Children who are medically fragile or who suffer from prenatally induced issues such as fetal alcohol syndrome often need placement, as do children who were abused in any way as infants or young children, whether physically, emotionally, or sexually.
These children – those who are ill, abused, or neglected – often need more one-on-one attention than “normal” children, sometimes of a medical nature, sometimes of a social or emotional nature, and sometimes both. This applies even to biological children who are abused or medically fragile as well; such requirements as medical care, and occupational or educational or psychological therapy can be expensive in terms of money and intensive in terms of time spent. These are also the children least likely to thrive in an institutional situation; that hands-on one-on-one approach cannot as easily be accomplished in such an environment.
The Need for Adults to Have a Family
Many homosexuals cannot have a family in any way but adoption; either they are not physically capable of performing with the opposite sex, or cannot come to an agreement with a compatible partner in the act of producing a child. Some can achieve parenthood through other means, such as artificial insemination of a surrogate for gay males, or some sort of legal agreement between a homosexual male couple and a lesbian couple, usually using artificial insemination.
These methods are of course simpler in jurisdictions with legal recognition of “gay marriage” or even civil unions than in those without such legal recourses; the processes for things like custody and visitation are more like standard divorce agreements than in those areas where it is all done by legal contract not connected to marriage. That said, all the various laws and contracts vary from state to state and even county to county, so care must be taken to cover all the legal bases. Also, custody laws take time to rewrite even after marriage laws are written (or rewritten) and with the vigorous debate surrounding the idea of gay marriage, there are often appeals to new laws and the like to contend with before custody laws can even be touched upon. (Children of lesbian and gay parents. (2009). p. 728). In Washington State, for instance, laws have been recently enacted to allow gay marriage, and before the end of the week in which those laws were signed there were already appeals to the laws on “marriage is between one man and one woman” grounds. These issues have to be resolved before adoption and custody even enter into the equation.
Additionally, with over seven billion people on the planet, and a wide variety of homosexual couples ready to be parents through the medium of adoption, why add to the population rather than allowing these couples to adopt? Some people feel that homosexuality equals pedophilia and that therefore these children are placed in danger by prospective adoptive parents, working on the erroneous assumption that every homosexual prospective parent is also a pedophile, grooming their adoptive children to become easy-access victims of their “unnatural behavior”. No creditable research suggests this link – in fact it suggests that homosexuality and a pedophilic attraction to a child of the same sex are often mutually exclusive; in pedophilia the age and pre-pubescence of the child is the attraction, rather than the gender. The arguments that homosexuality and pedophilia are linked are generally on religious or moral grounds; as such, these may be understandable fears, but they are not a logical concern.
There are those who says that there are plenty of “normal” (i.e. heterosexual, married) couples available to adopt children, and there are. But there is more to parental fitness than sexuality and marital status. Adoption agencies often have very tight restrictions on who is allowed to adopt – some of these are sexuality or marital status, but sometimes age, health, financial status, and even – sadly – race come into the equation. While homosexuals are not the only group left out due to circumstances out of their control, they are the only people who as a group have no other options. There are a few examples of people in other groups, such as socio-economic status, who cannot adopt simply because of cost, but as a group attitudes are more discriminatory toward homosexuals and single parents than to the other group.
There is no evidence to support that children placed with gay or lesbian parents suffer any unusual consequences compared to children adopted by heterosexual parents. Again, many of the counterarguments assume – usually on moral or religious grounds – that homosexuality is a deviant practice rather than an inherent state of being, that homosexuality is a learned behavior, and that children of homosexuals are either a) in danger from their parents as in the paragraph above, or b) being “trained” to become homosexual. And again, the research suggests precisely the opposite.
While there is evidence of situational homosexuality, this is almost always in an institutional setting such as a prison or a boarding school, rather than in a family setting. This is typically a case of having no other available outlet for sexual urges, rather than a tendency for homosexuals to “train” others or to groom them as sexual abuse victims. Since family groups in American society have built-in taboos regarding sexual behavior, such behavior is far less prevalent in adoptive families than in these institutional situations. In fact, although no evidence was easily available one way or the other, it follows logically that given the higher incidence of “learned homosexuality” in institutional settings such as boarding schools or prisons, these children would be safer in a family setting – with homosexual parents or otherwise.
Sexual preference is an intrinsic part of one’s physical being; again, some have religious or moral objections to homosexual behavior (or simple distaste of anything outside their own cultural norms), but there is very little logical argument against it. It is a matter of biology. Whether one chooses to act on one’s sexuality is the only choice involved, else why would anyone choose to be part of a hated and despised group?
Children of homosexual parents are no more likely than other children to identify as homosexual, according to research (“Evaluation.” (2009). p. 135). However, it could be that homosexual parents, having “been there” so to speak, are more likely than many heterosexual parents to be supportive and accepting of homosexuality in a child, and also that the child is more likely to feel comfortable sharing his or her concerns regarding sexuality – such as “coming out of the closet” –  to a parent who has shown openness and acceptance. This is not to say that heterosexual parents are not supportive or accepting, because many are, but that people who have been through any given situation are more likely in general to be supportive of people in that same situation.
There are countless examples in the world all around that homosexuals have the same parenting skills and talents (and faults) as any other adult human being. They are doctors, soldiers, lawyers, line cooks, retail clerks, artists, software programmers, engineers, musicians, taxpayers, and most importantly people… just like everyone else. Defining them solely by whether they sleep with people with the same sexual equipment as they have – this does everyone a disservice – parents, children, teachers, world leaders. Would the world judge a heterosexual white married lady as a bad parent simply because of her straight status? No. So why does the world judge a gay white married lady as a bad parent simply because her spouse is also a woman?
Should homosexuals be allowed to marry and raise children? Of course they should. It’s a human right, not a heterosexual right. During the Proposition 8 controversy in California, the Reverend Al Sharpton said, "Unless you are prepared to say gays and lesbians are not human beings, they should have the same constitutional right of any other human being." (Sharpton, 2008). If we are prepared to say that homosexuals are less than human, we have bigger problems as a society than who is adopting children.
 Averett, P., Nalavany, B., & Ryan, S. (2009). An evaluation of gay/lesbian and heterosexual adoption. Adoption Quarterly, (12)3-4, 129-151. doi: 10.1080/10926750903313278 Lavely, V. A. (2007). The path to recognition of same-sex marriage: Reconciling the inconsistencies between marriage and adoption cases. UCLA Law Review, 55(1), 247-291. 
Patterson, C. J. (2009). Children of lesbian and gay parents: Psychology, law and policy. American Psychologist, 64(8), 777-736. 

The University for which I wrote this uses a plagiarism checker that crawls the Internet, so if any student at University of Phoenix finds it good enough to use in their own paper, well... thanks for the compliment. And don't. Just don't... it'll get you in big big trouble.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Apologies to Dr. Seuss

Lizzy "reads" Dr Seuss in 2011
I do not like this snow and ice,
I do not like - don't think it's nice,
I am not fond of snow this year,
It does not bring me warmth and cheer.

Special sun lamp on, at the proper angle. I will not go there again. In spite of the newest unemployment insurance drama (nothing major, just a bit of a wait because I've slipped to another tier of payments so there's a delay). But this time I have hope on the job front (lots of interest in my resume at least, if no real action), it's early days in this session's schooling, I have the sun lamp and the vitamin D3, and I refuse to let one snow day (or even a bloody week of them, God forbid) throw me this time. All my supports (except my mom) are in place, everyone in my family is safe, and although I said snow day, technically there isn't one in our district - the roads are still fine. And I will insist on a bit of time to myself - probably out of the house - when the Hubs gets home. I'm sorry he's had a long day (he's on mandatory overtime) but I will need that half hour out by myself if we don't want a repeat of the Winter Blues of Doom. 

The fact that - even though I have no particular plans today, but I still have already put this last weekend's roast chicken on to make broth (with the last of the fresh basil my mom gave me before she went on vacation and mushrooms and green onion and carrots), started the dishwasher and the laundry, written a blog post, and done my schoolwork due today, and it's only 8:20 AM - that means that I can do this thing.

Oh, and for a slightly more entertaining bit on poetry, Abby and I have worked up Brownie Scout lyrics (to the tune of Summertime) for Cookie Sales Season. We plan to make a poster to share with her troop at next week's meeting.

Monday, March 5, 2012

I did it!

As you may know, my final paper in my Research Writing class was on the topic of adoption by homosexual parents (I'm for it!). I was originally inspired by this incident that occurred in my own backyard.

I am pretty much thrilled to announce that I earned 244/250 points on the paper (and although this is not my final grade for the class (those come out later this week), it looks like I'll have a B+ overall) and none of the points taken off were for erroneous or fallacious reasoning; they were instead for little finicky formatting issues.

I'm really proud of this, and I realize this is a teeny tiny blog post, but I wanted it to get attention rather than get lost in the shuffle of my day-to-day.

Saturday, March 3, 2012


This was a rough session at school. 
I had that bout of seasonal depression, and two classes that were very hard for me. I mean, to the best of my knowledge (I just turned in my final papers for both classes and they have not been graded yet) I'm getting an A- in Environmental Science and a B in Research Writing; the grades were not the problem. It was the topics.

Environmental Science was pretty interesting, but the final project was to choose an area of environmental impact (I chose Water Resources in the Puget Sound Basin) and write a long paper about it, citing sources, etc. No real problem, except that it's a long paper for me (approximately 2000 words). I have no problem whatsoever rattling off fiction at 2000 words, but a research paper on how important water-based tourism is around here is pretty nerve-wracking for me.

Research Writing, surprisingly, was actually worse. I was surprised because, well... I'm a bit of a grammar nazi and you'd think that sort of class would be easier... but it wasn't. I think the reasons for this were many-fold, but primarily that I'm used to writing either fiction or blog posts, which are considerably more casual than a research paper. Secondly, when I have written research papers in the past, I've used a different style guide than that the University of Phoenix uses. Thirdly, the topic I chose for my paper was "Should homosexual couples be allowed to adopt?" (I'm for it). Some of the counter-arguments were heartbreaking and literally made me sick to read.

Anyway, I'm done now, all that's left is the Daily Questions for today and tomorrow, and the post-class reviews. 

And Monday I start again, but it's a lot less intense at the beginning of a session. In springtime.