Gratitudes and Groans


  1. That spring might be on the way. The daffodils have leaves poking up. Okay, they’re sprinkled in snow, but at least they weren’t covered, smothered, or iced. I planted a whole bunch of bulbs in the fall, so I’m looking forward to seeing them come up (I planted a million or so. I hope I get at least one). When I come home, I check for crocuses–none yet, but I’m optimistic! I’ll post a picture as each kind of bulb comes up (the aforementioned crocus, tulips, and hyacinths).
  2. Students who actually learn and don’t just go through the motions. If there is a chance of seeing actual progress from someone I’ve been working with, that’s a genuine joyful moment. It makes me feel like I’m accomplishing something by teaching, other than grading papers that no one looks at (to be fair, most of my students check out comments!).
  3. Another great post by an author I like. Charles Stross has a write up of all the things that aren’t thought through in space operas. I don’t read/watch many of those, but I could appreciate a lot of points he makes. My geek brain approves. My question is, can a person still appreciate a good story in space even if he or she knows about that list? For me, yes–I’m usually able to go with the flow of the premise, at least while I’m watching it.


  1. The fact that I’ve read so many student mistakes in writing, they’ve filtered into mine. I just typed “too be fair.” Argh! Their/they’re/there is another one that I REALLY, DEFINITELY know and type wrong. Shouldn’t the students reading all of that edited stuff make their usage better? Why does it have to work the other way?!?
  2. That people do not use apostrophes correctly. It’s bad enough in student work, but “I like to eat mashed potato’s”?! “7 Pasta’s for $7”? That last one was from a restaurant–professionally printed on their menu. I recently saw “Shoes and Boot’s here.” That’s in a school. It makes me irrationally angry. Maybe that idea of grammatical shock collars isn’t such a bad one?
  3. The end of book series I like. I admit that it’s better for an author to stop before he or she hates the books/runs out of ideas, but it’s still upsetting to me. I don’t like change.
  4. For balance–a series that goes on toooooo long, past the point that the author is obviously bored with it or quite angry about it. I used to like Joanne Fluke’s Hannah Swenson series, an enjoyable cozy set in Minnesota with a fat cat and recipes. But at some point, the author started cutting and pasting descriptions, a sure sign that her heart wasn’t in it. Then it went off the rails–read the reviews for this one. They’re brutal but on the mark. I think that’s why some authors write more than one series–sometimes in different genres. Helps forestall that issue.



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