26 October 2004


Three papers left to grade for tomorrow, buahahaha.

Sorry, having a Sesame Street moment. I am looking quite forward to having all the time in the world that the Faire had been eating to concentrate on teaching. Because I know I've got a whole lot of distance to go. And I don't know where to begin. I actually commented to both Robin and Susan that what I really needed was to take a pedagogy class. (perish the thought!) Robin of course had a very rude (and very funny) comment. Also concentrating on housework might not be a bad idea either. Mostly the house I've been cleaning lately has been my boyfriend's, cos it's the one I'm in. But I do have relatively few dishes (try not to fall over).

Still recovering from Faire and the funky formal and subsequent sleep impairment patterns. I might actually be in bed at a decent hour tonight, but I hesitate to hope after last night's abysmal failure. (thanks in large part to the fact that my boyfriend failed to be smarter than his apartment.)

Nose back to grindstone now. Pointy nose. Grind grind.

08 October 2004

No Middle Grounds.

dear sara

robin sent your note to me about allegro. here's the scoop. allegro was once a private company that prided itself in the quality of its coffee under the leadership of kevin knox, a most arrogant and obnoxious know-it-all. allegro was bought out by whole foods and about a year ago kevin was finally ousted. allegro makes outrageous and false claims about what it pays to farmers and has avoided the fair trade movement like leprosy. allegro claims that it pays on average more than the international fair trade price and claims to have an audit by ernst and young to prove it. of course, in this neo-orwellian world, allegro refuses to let anyone see the audit or know what the terms of the audit were. but i am a coffee guy and i challenged starbucks publicly on the same bullshit and won, so i can tell you that allegro pays brokers and importers, not farmers, so their price claim is apples and oranges to what we in the fair trade movement pay farmers directly. they also, i believe, included their decaf prices in their calculation, and we have to add a dollar per pound to decaf (their money goes to the kraft or nestles owned swiss water plant).

basically, allegro is an ordinary business (no harm in that) pretending to be a socially responsible business (lots of harm in that), but in modern america, what else is new? sorry for the joyless note, but it's the end of the week and i get so tired of being in an industry where lying qua marketing is the coin of the realm.

be well,
dean cycon
deans beans organic coffee company

04 October 2004


I have no context for grading papers other than either pretending I'm someone else (Ralph Black, Elizabeth, a fellow grad student) or pretending I have a clue what I'm doing and winging it. And comparing them against the others, which isn't fair. I have a shitload of B, B-minus, or solid C papers. Which is discouraging, even though it shouldn't be. If they could write, they likely wouldn't be at a community college. That Matt, though. Damn. With his Calvin and Hobbes esque go-kart narrative, taking it above the level of freshman writing and talking about the freedom of flight. Compared to the vague essays about freedom. Yawn, and badly executed yawn at that.

So I have the hippie lung plague. Again. Every October, round about Fair time. This year I'm damned if I'm going to let it turn into pneumonia, though. First off, because it was a pain in my ass. Secondly, because I want to be able to leave my fucking place of employment in the next few weeks. Even though Mi-Hye is completely crazy and I won't be able to resign at the end of our asinine meeting tomorrow. The one that she insists won't take long--of course it won't take long, she's already convicted me of something she had no right to even question. Fucking freak. God.

And yes that's anxiety and exhaustion and DayQuil talking. Or, more accurately, the need to take another dose of it. Only it's the bedtime kind for me. Even though I haven't graded but two papers and commented on a third. I've at least made a dent, and those are scaring me. Because that still matters to me. I still want to do well...I can't imagine not wanting to give back to Susan, who took a chance on me. And I wonder if she regrets her decision. (Jonas is pawing to get at the medicine cabinet, stubborn little fuzzbutt) I know I'm over-reacting, and that if I go in as a colleague and ask for help and guidance and mentoring like I was supposed to get.....that I can only get better. She knows I have no experience, so why am I crucifying myself for her? Oh yeah, because Mi-Hye trained me to.

And no, for your information, we haven't heard from our respective prospective employers. He at least is on a decent level of communication with his. And Eva just got back from Israel last week, so the house is still there. But still, the waiting is making me more like my worst nightmare-vision of my mother.

I know there's a lesson here. The lesson is supposed to be that I stand with grace in the waiting, grow into a thoughtful, serene woman who can roll with the punches. A rock, my boyfriend's firm foundation. Somehow it's not working out that way.

Oh, and ladies and gentlemen, Matt Schaffer with the go-kart essay on a breakaway, he shoots, he scores! The crowd is on its feet! Yes! Yes! The Giants win the pennant! The curse is broken! 1940! 1940!