People! Vaccinate your children!


You MUST listen to the middle section on people who didn't vaccinate their children causing others to get sick. Babies can't get immunized for measles until they are a year old, and so unvaccinated children can infect them. Measles is wicked infectious, and can be deadly to babies.

There is no proven connection between vaccines and autism. An original study in the British medical journal The Lancet saying that there was a connection was found to be incorrect and retracted by the journal.

It's called science, people! Read some of it.

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My serious lack of updating here has been caused by a combination of Facebook addiction and navel gazing of a non-productive manner (navel gazing in the figurative sense - physically looking at my navel while I am 6 months pregnant weirds me out).

So where to begin? By category I suppose.

Two more classes and I will have officially completed my first semester as a college professor. Considering I was a complete neophyte when I started, and that most of my students' writing skills have considerably improved, I feel quite satisfied with the semester. I am sad that I will have to fail several students because they never showed up or did their work. In many cases I could tell there were problems that went beyond simple apathy - family problems, mental illness, lack of proficiency in basic English language skills - and these were beyond my ability to help, as much as I tried. I did have one or two students who did have a case of apathy. I'm hoping that we will be able to discuss this in the new adjunct salon that my cool friend and colleague Lis is organizing.

Next semester I am teaching Comp II, as I've mentioned probably about a thousand times. I'm both excited and scared - I want to be sure that I teach the students the skills they need to know. I guess teaching any new course comes with a bit of anxiety. I received my review copy of the Music and Culture book from Pearson, and I'm sad to say I'm not as thrilled about it as I thought I would be. I've definitely ruled out the Counterculture Reader - while it has some fascinating accounts of the sixties, I'm not sure a DSP class is going to connect to or care about this reader. I also got the Little, Brown Reader, which seems okay, but I guess I was hoping to avoid a "traditional" reader. I have to order my books soon - so I'd better hurry up and decide what I am doing.

Oh, he makes my belly visibly move around, and he kicks all the time. I've never been so excited and so scared about anything in my life. Andy is thrilled, and already a proud daddy. I couldn't ask for a finer husband and father for my child. Work on the nursery will soon begin in earnest - we're going with a Hawaiian/ocean theme, since that's where we made the little one, and the marine animals there are so colorful and fun. My father-in-law is making the baby a cradle in the shape of a peapod boat! I can't wait to see it when it is finished - the plans looked amazing. Did I mention that I am huge, and that certain activities like shoe tying or getting out of bed involve unintentional physical comedy? It's starting to happen when I try to put on my pants, too.

Poor Piper has somehow contracted cytomegalovirus (kitty herpes!)in her right eye. We had to take her to a cat ophthalmologist at a hospital in North Andover. Fortunately, it isn't transmissible to humans. She's on an eye steroid and lysine and is getting better. I'm relieved that we finally know what it is (albeit two months and $300 later), and that she doesn't have kitty eye cancer. Sadly, it's something that will probably recur for the rest of her life, especially under conditions of stress, which Malcolm is certain to provide.

HAHA. We haven't seen anyone or done anything in MONTHS. Thanksgiving when we saw the family has been the extent of our interaction. Tonight we are actually getting out to celebrate our friend Harmony's birthday with drinks (none for me) and board games at her house in Salem. I can't wait! We owe a TON of people invites: Tom & Jill, Joe & Elise, and many, many more. I promise, they are still coming. It would be nice to have some furniture in our apartment so we could actually have people over. I want a sofa & love seat. Is that too much to ask??? :)

I have to finish painting the bookcase I started - I ran out of paint and need to find the same color again. We have tons of items to put into storage, and we need to organize Andy's work area. I'm still drooling over the dragonfly floor lamp from Home Decorators. But right now, we need curtains, rugs, and furniture. The nesting instinct has really kicked in, and I'm hoping for a productive day tomorrow.

Be well, all! :)
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I had what was supposed to be the big ultrasound today - except that we found out in the ER a few weeks ago the gender of Baby Fyfe. Today's U/S confirmed he's a boy! He's ahead of schedule and is now due March 23rd. He weighs a whopping 14 ounces, and is about the size of a cantaloupe.

Mom & Dad Fyfe came to the ultrasound, and then we toured the maternity ward at the hospital. It's perfect, and gorgeous. The private labor rooms have a tub and a birthing ball.

Time for this pregnant lady to nap!

Baby & Music

The little man is so active in my belly - I don't know what he is doing in there! MMA? Planning world domination? Dancing the Electric Slide, which I had in my head all day yesterday? Playing the drums? Andy and I, and hopefully mom Fyfe get to see him on the ultrasound tomorrow. I can't wait! Andy felt him kick last night - it was fun to watch his hand move up and down on my belly and feel the baby. I cannot wait to meet this child. Now that he is kicking there is a sense of reality that just wasn't there before. Amy posted some early pictures of her sons on Facebook, and they just made me long to meet our little one even more. I have baby fever!

Names under current leading consideration, in no particular order:


In other news I am teaching Comp II next semester. I planning on using music as a theme. I'm waiting for my free copy of a music themed reader from Pearson. Here is the table of contents:

1. The Appeal of Music.


"The Imaginative Mind and the Role of Listener," Aaron Copland.
"Music as a Safe Haven," Melissa Etheridge.
"Music as Energy," Kurt Cobain.
"Life in the 30s," Anna Quindlen.
"Nas and Olu Dara: One Son Learns Lessons from a Father," Touré.

2. "Out of Tune": Youth and Morality.


"Music," Allan Bloom.
"MTV and Morality," John Hamerlinck.
"Punk: The Madness in My Area," Paul Cobley.
"Heavy Metal Under Attack: Suicide and Aggression," Deena Weinstein.
"Children, Violence, and the Media: A Report for Parents and Policy Makers," Senate Committee on the Judiciary September 14, 1999.
"It's Easy, But Wrong, To Blame the Music," Hilary Rosen.

3. Music & Sexuality.


"Madonna I: Animality and Artifice," Camille Paglia.
"Disruptive Divas—Courtney Love," M. LaFrance.
"I Am the King: Phallus Power," Simon Reynolds and Joy Press.
"Glam and Glitter Rock: David Bowie—Sexuality and Gender Typing," Dick Hebdige.
"Dancing Our Way Out of Class Through Funk, Techno or Rave," Beatrice Aaronson.

4. Musicians "Navigating the Racial Terrain."


"The Jazz Impulse: James Brown, Miles Davis and Jimi Hendrix," Craig Werner.
"Gangsters: Real and Unreal" from Hip Hop America, Nelson George.
"The Angry Appeal of Eminem is Cutting Across Racial Lines," Lynette Holloway.
"It's All About Comin Up: Ice Cube as Educator," Adam Krims.
"Bad Sistas: Queen Latifah," Tricia Rose.

5. Con$umeri$m: The Business of Music.


"Did Stones Sell Their Music Short?," Timothy White.
"Madison Avenue Woos Musicians," by Carla Hay.
"Here's Reality: 'Idol' Feeds Hopefuls to a Shaky Music Business," Alessandra Stanley.
"The Heavenly Jukebox," Charles C. Mann.
"Recording Industry Begins Suing P2P File Sharers Who Illegally Offer Copyrighted Music Online," Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
"Music: Are We the World? The Influence of World Music on the American Music Industry and Consumers," Carol Cooper.

6. Creativity, Craft & Culture.


"Pop Music: Authenticity, Creativity and Technology," Gavin Kendall.
"The Delight of Words: The Elizabethan Sonneteers and American Country Lyricists," Jill Tedford Jones.
"Music and Censorship," Victor Lombardi.
"Better Songs Through Censorship," Neil Strauss.
"Where'd You Get That? The Future Evolution of Sampling," Gail Mitchell.
"Hip Hop Divas: Those Who Rap, Those Who Don't," Kelefa Sanneh.

I want to incorporate listening to music in the classroom as well as reading and writing. I'm not sure how the semester will go (I'm teaching right up until the baby comes, and then will conduct the class online/through the writing center until I can return to work once a week). I think it will be fun and engaging for the students (and me!)
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Congratulations, President-Elect Obama! May we be back on the road to rebuilding America's reputation and economy. I haven't felt this hopeful in eight years...

Happy Halloween - Got Iron?

Ugh...my full blood work came back from when I was in the hospital Wednesday night. My iron is "the lowest" the OB nurse has ever seen, despite oodles of food and supplements, iron-absorption helpers like vitamin C, and avoiding eating dairy/taking calcium at the same time. I have a lovely pale white pallor and white gums. Charming. I am worried about the baby, as this puts me at a higher risk of premature delivery and low birth weight. I have to go to the lab Tuesday for more blood work (but don't I need every drop?) where they are going to test for some type of genetic iron malabsorption disorder, then see the doc Thursday and the following Tuesday. *sigh*I'm frustrated that I'm doing what I am supposed to be doing and it isn't helping. Plus, I can't get anything done except lie here. I need to meet with a student who is seriously having trouble in my class at 2:30.

I have to take this moment to say, once again, that I have the best husband ever - he took the car in to be repaired and picked up our free loaner vehicle (whilch we always like better than our own car) and right now is taking the cat to the vet while I lie in bed like a fainting Victorian lady.
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Copy this sentence into your LiveJournal if you're in a heterosexual marriage, and you don't want it "protected" by those who think that gay marriage hurts it somehow.