Posted by: nikiyustis | January 2, 2008

did i write that?

The title and the topic are unrelated, but a second ago I saw a different title in my blog entry list, and I was surprised that I would have written such a thing (pleasantly surprised, so it’s probably from somewhere else).

Bitch Ph.D.

This means something.

Posted by: nikiyustis | December 16, 2007

I’m teaching

pronunciation and communication skills.  The first one is for international scholars who will teach a class to undergraduates.  Their English lacks clarity and they struggle to express themselves online.  It’s funny how hard it can be to use your second language to avail others of your thoughts.

Me acuerdo de los días en España cuándo tenía que escribir todo lo que iba a decir porque temía hablar sin planearlo.  Veo a los alumnos que ya entienden muy bien el inglés escrito y que escriben bien, pero cuándo sube la presión de usar la lengua automaticamente, no se confian en sí…  Vamos a hacer errores, hasta no expresarnos a veces…  Y mientras menos usas la lengua, menos podrás exresarte con la facilidad que se requiere de un maestro.

Posted by: nikiyustis | October 9, 2007

speaking of disposable

This website is fascinating. While I already consider any number of these tactics to be our best, most compassionate, most logical considering the drive to survive, I don’t think I’m ready for voluntary joblessness and dumpster diving. I view this as a transition, an important one, but a transition nonetheless. I think the Ph.D. students will have nightmares of dumpster diving tonight.

Posted by: nikiyustis | October 5, 2007


I just read some blogs that included music people were listening to and I started to get that nauseated feeling like being stuck in the back seat while someone is smoking and listening to loud, overplayed, unoriginal music. These blogs read like the FOX radio stations’ play lists. Classic rock, modern, alternative, it all has such similarities that I can hardly stand it. I used to love the Beatles, now I wince when one of their songs comes pouring out of some public audio device.

I don’t play my music loudly for the unsuspecting passerby. Once, someone complained about people who have music that automatically plays when you open the page, and I thought the complaint was a bit harsh. Not anymore. Music, especially tired, schmaltzy tunes, disrupts my thinking by adding uninvited structure. How can anyone be creative or original when they constantly take in so much redundant and disposable culture?

Posted by: nikiyustis | October 4, 2007


I was reading about an animal rights activist who began work back in the 50s or so, and there were various videos available through the site.  I wish I could remember just where I was reading that, and I wish I had “pressed it” so that I wouldn’t be wondering just WTF ever happened to that site.

Posted by: nikiyustis | October 4, 2007

Speechless « Shapely Prose

Speechless « Shapely Prose

Two biggies here:  publication of total crap (an insidious and pervasive societal disease) and fat acceptance (not sure how I feel about this yet).  Check it out!

Posted by: nikiyustis | September 18, 2007

I see a light

…and his name is John Shore. Haven’t finished reading all the comments, but it’s interesting, a pressing matter for everyone.

I used “press this” in my bookmark bar and it didn’t stick the link in here… I’ve copied it manually:

Before I read one word of his page, other than the headline, which could have easily come from an atheist or a Christian, I saw his picture and new he was a Christian (note that I’ve respectfully capitalized where in the past I have not). How, might you ask, could I tell? There is seriously something in the smile. Is it security (insurance)? 😀

Posted by: nikiyustis | September 18, 2007


Interviews with native speakers present a great learning opportunity for the students. I often get wrapped up in textbooks and exercises and forget the value of face-to-face interactions in which the students actually have to extract information that can be synthesized and presented to classmates. Both my grammar and fluency classes will benefit from weekly interviews. For grammar we can ask native speakers to do grammaticallity judgements and explain when they think (if ever) they would use certain phrases. Fluency students should ask about teaching–what do native speakers think makes a good teacher? What is the best way for them to learn new material? Also, they may ask native speakers to give directions to and from familiar places downtown. Ask what they think constitutes ‘good’ directions versus ‘bad’ ones. They can ask for a few recommendations.

Recording: I need a good digital recorder that links to my computer. I can also record conversations for both grammar and fluency classes. I need to make more assignments using podcasts, too. They can pick out three elements (pronunication/word choice/grammar) and either discuss their reaction/analysis or ask questions about it. Take notes on anything they want to begin using in their own English, also anything new and unusual.

Posted by: nikiyustis | September 17, 2007

My mom’s tincture

Cayenne peppers, garlic, everclear: steep for a moon or two and, YUM! There may even be other ingredients that I don’t know of, which, including the afore mentioned, make up a potent potion that will kill what ails you. You open the lid to this brew, and it may just kill you. It only takes a couple drops a few times a day, and you should be feeling better. When I’m sick, I put these helpful little drops into a couple ounces of orange juice and toss it back, quickly. Don’t use too much orange juice or you’ll spend a hellish eternity chugging it all down. The few drops make orange juice into a much more acidic beverage. Use orange juice though; nothing else will tone down the flavor of the tincture.

Mom always suspects that I’m not using it as I should, but I do. I mean, I am, starting this afternoon. 😮

Posted by: nikiyustis | September 16, 2007

Head cold

The typically dramatic seasonal changes here in Iowa have made me sick again. Every fall as the leaves begin to turn, my tonsils swell, my sinuses fill, and my body aches. I didn’t vacuum, I didn’t mow the lawn, and I didn’t read any of my students’ papers today. I did the laundry, I swept and mopped the floors, and I took Helix and Kiefer to the park for some frisbee and ball action. The last of these efforts left me tired and cranky.

I uploaded a picture of the desert on my other blog to commemorate my recently deceased desert dog. Thinking of her made me certain that I had more photos of her somewhere, but I couldn’t find them. She was always elusive, preferring to go her own way. I guess the photos have gone theirs.

Troy made a spicy curry dinner, hoping to kill whatever bug has settled into my head. Admittedly, I feel somewhat better, but I still suspect my head could blow up, splattering runny snot all over the room. What a mess.

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