How to Survive the Texas Summer

Well, everyone kept talking about this SW Texas heat. I’ve been wondering when it would show up. 90 degrees hasn’t been too terrible. Well, here it is…

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Average of about 100 is a bit much for me. But sometimes I forget that I lived in Hangzhou, China for 2 years, which is considered one of the 5 furnaces of China. So I can handle San Antonio, right?

Here’s my tips so far for surviving the heat. I’ve learned these things quickly.

1) Always walk in the shade when possible.
– This helps avoid the sun’s blistering rays, especially right after leaving your air-conditioned workplace. Walk under the trees, slink in the shadow of that annoyingly oversized pickup truck, and do strange zig zags through the parking lot if needed. Your co-workers might question your sobriety, but, let’s be honest, they were probably already doing that anyway.

2) Don’t touch your steering wheel while driving.
– I’ll admit; this one is tricky. However, no one enjoys having their fingerprints melted off by that hot plastic. (If you’re a parolee and have been wondering how to accomplish this feat, you didn’t hear it from me.) I have not quite mastered this one yet. I’m still at the fingertip driving stage, but I’ll get there by the end of the summer.

3) Don’t ever leave your house.
– This one is like West Virginia in the winter. Stay inside a lot and resume your life in the spring. I’ve been told that April is the end of the nice season here and then festivals and outdoor activities will pick up again in September or October. I will look forward to wearing shorts on Thanksgiving Day, but, until then, I’m staying inside with my $249 electricity bill.

4) Drink lots of sweet tea.
Duh. We’re in Texas, y’all.

I hope these new-to-Texas tips will help you make it through the summer heat. Is it hot where you live? What kinds of things do you do to avoid burning alive?

A Teacher Has to Entertain Herself

Well, it’s finals week at my university. It’s hard on the students, but it’s also tough on the teachers. We’re all busy; we’re all stressed. Therefore, I have to think of ways to entertain myself and keep myself sane this week.

In my college composition course, our final exam ended up adding up to 99 points. Normally, I would just give my students the 1 point. However, this time, I made them earn it. They were instructed to draw a picture of me to earn that last point.

It was hilarious to watch them when they read that last question. The tense shoulders loosened. The giggles began. And then, as they seriously began their artistic work, they all started staring at me in order to really capture my likeness.

The results made my day.

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I suppose she thinks more of me than her poor drawing skills will allow her to express.

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This is the Asian me.

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That is some curly hair, and those are some big ol’ eyes!

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In the running for my favorite. I am a queen! *flips hair dramatically*

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I think I look like another race in this one. Like my ever-present podium?

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Good ol’ “no nose Ashley”

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Apart from the football player shoulders, this it’s pretty good! (I’m going to have a complex now…)

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I had a LOT of stick figures like this one.

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No arms and no nose, but I love this one.

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This one is probably my favorite. One question though- do I have a tail??

Oh man. I love my college freshmen. Now I think I can survive the rest of finals week.
Be sure and tell me which one is your favorite!

I’m Sorry I Wasn’t in Class but…

Today I received the most epic e-mail since the interwebs have been created. I mean good. I mean I have reached the zenith, the culmination of my teaching career with this e-mail.

I teach at a small university. I ask my students to e-mail me when they miss, so I know that they didn’t just blow off my class and also so they can see what assignments they missed. Today, I received an e-mail from a quiet student, who I’m not sure I’ve heard say ten words since the semester started in late August. He wrote this very formal, professional e-mail. As an English teacher, I appreciate a student taking the time to do that. He apologized for missing class and went on to tell me why he missed the class:

“The reason I missed class was because I had diarrhea.”

Wait! He just told me he missed class because he had diarrhea?!

Did this just happen? Did I really just laugh so loudly alone in my office? Can I look him in the face on Wednesday without crying with laughter?

He went on…

“I’m sorry I couldn’t word that to make it less awkward.”

Uh, yes you could have. You could have said:

-I’m having stomach problems.

– I’m experiencing digestion issues.

-My intestines are hurting.

– I have a tummy ache.

Can we work on synonyms in our next class? At least he spelled it right, I suppose.

Well, I’m not going to work tomorrow, because I have diarrhea. Or just because I can’t deal with freshmen.

College is a Wonderful Place Full of Candy Around Every Corner (or Advice to College Freshmen)

I teach a first year experience course, and at the end of the course, the students write a paper giving advice to next year’s freshmen. As college freshmen begin to move on campus and start the next phase of their lives, I’d like to share some of this (hilarious) advice.

– “Do not fall in love with the first guy or girl that you meet. That was harder than I thought!”

– “In high school, freshmen get picked on all the time and are thought of as the scum of the earth. However, in college, I have found that the only difference between a senior and a freshman guy is facial hair.”

– “…through a lot of hard work, blood, sweat, actual tears, racism, stares, breaking down, doubt, a car crash, and one concussion later, I have learned to persevere.”

– “You can get a job at the school, like making sure people don’t steal stuff from the library.”

– “The good drink machines are on the second floor. It has all the good drinks and always works.”

– “I still remember the look on my face when my parents left, and I was lost. Now I look back with a smile on my face, because now I have no fears.”

– “…sometimes it was interesting, and I liked it, but other times it was boring and I fell asleep.”

-“Most kids are used to being spoon-fed their whole life, and they really do not know how hard it is to be on their own.”

-“You never think you would miss beating up on your little brother every day until you can’t anymore.”

-“When you’re sitting in bed debating on whether or not to go to class, get up and just go,”

-” I thought if I could go here and become a better wrestler, get big muscles, and possibly a girlfriend in the process, then why not?”

-“It’s nice to have a little brotherly brotherhood.”

-“After extensive private lessons in American Sign Language, I now know how to sign bacon.”

-“Being away from home is hard. Especially 2,355 miles away.”

-“College is a wonderful place full of wonderment, surprises, and candy around every corner. Ok, I lied about that last part.”

You just can’t make this stuff up!

Miss Fugett is an Angel

I can’t get a break in the cafeteria at school. A student is either asking me what they got on the test that they just finished taking 5 minutes before lunch, or they’re trying to put the moves on me. Most recently, it was the latter.

I walked by a table of basketball players, many of whom were in my college composition classes in recently. As I walked to the salad bar, I patted one student, A, on the shoulder and said a general hello to the table. A jumped approximately 10 feet in the air when I touched him. Another student, J, wasted no time.

“Hey. Miss Fugett, you know why A jumped when you patted his shoulder?”

“Uh, no J. I don’t know,” I said a bit confused.

J then went on to say, “It’s because A never had an angel touch him before!”

Seriously?

A jumps in- “Uh, yeah Miss Fugett. Yeah! I never had no angel near me.”

I look at them both and they have the biggest, cheesiest grins on their faces. (I don’t even know what their teammates thought at this point…) And I said, “Guys! You don’t even have me for class anymore. There’s no opportunity for bonus points.” and continued on my way to the salad bar.

Sometimes I wonder about college boys. And apparently sometimes they wonder about me as well!

I Will Not Look at Your Online Dating Profile If….

So, if I were to ever look at an online dating site, which I’m not saying I have, these are some guys I would not check out. IF I checked out online dating. *Cough. Cough* Maybe, perhaps, it could be that these are real life examples I’ve seen. I mean, my friend saw when she was online. Yeah…my friend.

1) Your main photo is of you and a deer carcass. (Remember, I live in West Virginia.)

2) Your main photo is you in the bathroom mirror. (You don’t have one friend that could take a picture for you?!)

3) Your username is Mr. Giggles

4)You admit that your photos are all more than 2 years old.

5)Your username is Lonely Guy. (Desperate much?)

6) You have a face tattoo. (Apparently you don’t have a job.)

7) You dont use apostrophes in your bio. Youre better than that.

8) You are wearing jorts in one of your profile pictures. (If you don’t know what jorts are, you need to Google that junk. Now. You might be a violator too!)

9) The first line of your info says, “I still live with my parents…”

10) You call yourself a tool in your profile.

Well, that was a waste of 30 minutes. I mean, my friend’s 30 minutes…

Do you have any that you would add?

Why I Despise the Commuters’ Lounge

I can’t decide if hate, loathe, despise, or vehemently dislike best describes how I feel about the new commuters’ lounge that has so graciously been placed across from my office at work. What I do know, is that every single day something about it drives me a little more insane than I already am. Here is the ever-growing list of reasons why I hate it.

1) It has a clear glass door.

-I always feel like the students in there are spying on me. Even if they aren’t spying on me, they are at least staring at me and some of them very creepily so. One time, a student even pressed his face against the glass and made a face at me. Stop. It. Now.

2) My office always smells like ravioli.

– They heat up their lunches in the microwave, and the smell always wafts into my office. The mix of about 10 meals creates quite the stench. Every other person that walks into my office asks me why it smells like pasta. Doh.

3) The room is not soundproof.

– When there are a lot of people in there, they are so loud that I can’t concentrate to work. The strangest thing though was last week when I sneezed, someone in the commuter lounge blessed me through the closed door. That’s just not right.

4) I can hear you in the hallway too.

– People step out of the lounge to take phone calls so that their peers don’t hear their phone conversations. Well, the problem with that is that they are right outside my office talking on the phone. I don’t want to hear you fight with your boyfriend. I don’t want to listen to you describe your ailments to your doctor. Stay in that room and yak.

5) The sign’s not even spelled right.

– The sign on the door says commuter’s lounge. Is it just for one commuter? Oh how I wish! You could have asked me. I’m an English teacher! Plural possessive=s’. COMMUTERS’. My boss stopped by the other day, and we chatted about that mistake for about 10 minutes. Only English teachers would do that. So, now I have to stare at that erroneous word every dang day. Who should I report that too?

I better stop at 5, because I’m starting to get angry on a Sunday night. I’ll wait until tomorrow morning when I’m across the hall from “that which shall not be named” to get annoyed. If you walk by my office and see me banging my head repeatedly on my desk, you now know why.

Update: A sign of rules was just posted today. The rules are so strange, so you can understand how strangely they act in this lounge! The parenthetical after the PDA rule and the shoe rule are my favorites.

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College Souvenirs

College. Oh, college. It’s a special time in life. Friends are made, habits are formed, and sometimes you pick up a thing or two. One is hopefully a degree. But, sometimes you pick up something you weren’t quite expecting….like a disease. Yes. I admit it. Shamefully, I contracted a disease in college. It’s called boxfanitus. Perhaps you’ve heard of it.

I lived in the dorms, which are often quite loud. I bought a box fan to drown out my noisy roommate. And the neighbors. And the girl on the basketball team who lived above me and insisted on dribbling her basketball. Incessantly. The fan worked really well to help me fall asleep peacefully.

However, it also created an addiction, a sickness, a disease. 10 years later, I still use a fan to sleep. In fact, I can’t sleep without a fan buzzing in the background. I wear out fans, because I run them all night, every night.

This also creates a problem when traveling. Most normal people don’t have boxfanitus, so they don’t offer you the droning noise of a fan to help lull you to sleep. A hotel usually doesn’t come equipped with a fan. What’s a girl to do?! Praise the good Lord in heaven that there are now sound machine apps that can recreate that soothing fan noise! My iPhone has been my savior many a trip now.

I wish I could kick this habit, get rid of this disease. Are there recovery groups for this? I’d imagine not. A pill you can take? Oh well. I guess I’m stuck with boxfanitus for life.

Mouth-to-Mouth at the Gym

Weird things always seem to happen to me when I exercise. In the evenings, I usually walk around my neighborhood. One time a man passed me riding a golf cart and asked me if I needed a ride. (I politely declined.) Another time, an older lady came running out of her house and insisted I unzip her dress! Apparently, she was home alone and was stuck in her dress. I chuckled and helped her.

The strangest one has to be when I was at the gym working out a while back. I hopped on the stair stepper, because the elliptical was occupied. I was listening to my iPod, just wanting to work out and keep to myself. Apparently the dude beside me didn’t care. Through my music, I heard this big, muscular guy say something to me. I turn down my music to hear him say, “These stair steppers are tough, huh?”

I mumble something like, “Yep, sure are.”

He goes on to say, “But girl, you’re killing that stair stepper!”

“Uh, thanks…”

He introduced himself to me, so I told him my name.

Then he said, “But I mean it’s natural to breathe heavy when you’re working out. So if you, uh, get out of breath and need mouth-to-mouth, I could help you out…”

I just started laughing. I mean, has that worked for him before?! Did a girl say to him, “Well, I’ve only known you for 3 minutes, but that sounds like a good idea!”

I stayed on the stair stepper for 3 or 4 more minutes, just to be polite, but then I moved on to another machine, laughing for the next 30 minutes as I finished my workout thinking about Mr. Mouth-to-Mouth.