Employee party

Last night, we held the nursery employee Christmas party at a restaurant in Bagley. It was fun to get together with everybody.

The servers were overwhelmed, however, so things came slowly. We had more time to visit and talk than we had ever imagined!

Earlier in the day, I gave the last test to my classes, and we said our goodbyes. That was sad. Some lingered to talk. I'll really miss this batch of students. We got along pretty well.

We had to call the last test a quiz instead of a final to get around the fact that we were, in fact, having the final on the last day of class, a violation of University of Minnesota policy. Six of the students are taking the final next week due to heavy schedules, but most wanted to get it out of the way.

So, we called it "the mother of all quizzes."

One of the students who has struggled a bit handed in his test with "Father of all Failures!" written at the top. I hope he doesn't fail. I haven't corrected the mother of all quizzes yet.

I think I am finally old enough to teach. Ten years ago when I taught, I would get frustrated and angry and start battling the students a bit, trying to get them in line. Now, I just don't care. I do the best I can at presenting the material and if they want to sleep, or stay home, or whatever, they will pay the penalty on their final grade. But I won't get angry with them, and that is really the only way to do it in college. They are now adults, whether they have realized it yet or not.

Today is a dreary day in the northland. The sun was out earlier, but at about three o'clock, a bank of clouds rolled in which turned things gray. I crawled out of bed this morning, but after I broke the coffee carafe into little shards of glass, I went back to bed and slept three more hours!

My horoscope in the Fertile Journal this week said that I would have a great week, but that it would all fall apart on Saturday. I didn't think the stars would go so far as to shatter the carafe on the coffee-maker. I guess there have been some meteor showers going on, so perhaps that is what screwed things up.

TALKED to neighbors Mark and Sue yesterday. They recently returned from China. They were very excited that we are going. In fact, our itinerary looks much the same. They had a blast, even though, as Mark told me before he left, "the farthest I have ever been is to the Gary Pines!"

SEVERAL OF YOU have responded to my post on Barack Obama's speech on World AIDS Day. One Republican wrote that he has already signed up as an Obama supporter. A Democrat wrote that she saw Obama speak and was entranced.

Politics is cruel. The media lifts people up and then slashes them down. Obama is probably peaking about a year-and-a-half too early. That is assuming he is peaking. He is smart enough to know that the love-fest going on right now won't last, but he might just keep on convincing people, who knows.

The Republican who responded is a friend from the organ tour I took to Mexico two years ago. He says of Obama:
Although I'm under no illusion that he is anything other than a Democrat, and a liberal at heart, I am encouraged by the fact that he is willing to engage both sides in a discussion, that he does not automatically toss away the views of others. He seems to have all the qualities of a leader that some of wish for, and I for one am willing to postpone electing someone of my own ideology if it means we could have a reasonable and honest man. He has a real life story, and is pretty well grounded in the real world.

But Rush Limbaugh has started attacking him, calling him "Barack Odumbo," because of his large ears. Keep it up, Rush! Nice follow up to your mocking of Micheal J. Fox's Parkinson's Disease symptoms.