Thursday, April 26, 2007

Officially, the last day of class!

And we had no class! Poor Prof. M got sick and had to be taken to the hospital less than a half hour before our test today, so it was canceled. We're all extremely concerned about her. We don't know exactly what happened, but if she was admitted to the hospital, several of us want to go visit her, even though I'm sure she would be horrified. She has no family in the States and she'll just have to understand that this is what people in America do, they visit people they care about when they are admitted to the hospital. And technically speaking, we're not her students right now (with the exception of the exam next Friday, which I don't expect to have to take, although I guess I will be taking my exam for her Roman Lit class... ah well... several people other than myself are not her students right now). Of the students that were in the classroom at the time this happened, they said that her major objection to any of them actually driving her to the hospital themselves was that they were her students and it would be unprofessional. Jordan said she almost didn't want to let him help her out of the building to the cab she had called. She was in a lot of pain and very sick though so it was absolutely necessary. She seemed most upset though over our grades and what we would think and what her colleges would think about her needing to leave like that. Those who were there said they assured her that their grades were the last thing they were worried about. Still, she said that she would double everyone's highest test grade to compensate for the loss of this last test, and she would contact us via e-mail later about the final exam.

Also, most disturbing, I heard through the grape vine from a few other Classics students (not in our class) that due to some thing with the fact that she has to renew a visa every year, she also has to reapply for her position at USF, and she only found out about this in the last week or so. I think that, if this is true, this is total bs and USF should be ashamed of themselves for having such a ridiculous policy. But, if it is true, this would explain why she's been so concerned with her professional performance recently. However, I've quietly told quite a few of my classmates about this possibility and every single one of them said that they are all perfectly willing to literally camp out in the Dean's office if the school thinks, even for half a second, of firing her. We will go to bat for her if we have to. She is *not* loosing her job. Most especially not for being sick at the end of the semester, if that's what she's worried about. We just won't allow it.

After the shock wore off, I walked around trying to find some of our classmates for a secret project which I won't mention on the very unlikely possibility of Prof. M reading my blog right now. And out in front of the Arts & Sciences building, the Pentecostals were back, but there were even more of them (apparently, they breed like rabbits - Tuesday there was 1, yesterday there were 6, and today there were about 10). But I had come prepared today with a copy of the exorcism ritual in Latin. As soon as I said that we needed someone to read it, Jordan grabbed it, jumped up on top of a table so he could kind of lean over them from above and began chanting in Latin. It was awesome! People were like "what is that?" "It's Latin" "But what does it mean?" I told someone it was an exorcism ritual I had found and people were giving me high-fives and shaking my hand for my clever idea, and the word went around and soon, most people were highly amused. The funniest thing was that the Pentecostals were totally dumbfounded. The looks on their faces were totally priceless. They just stood there in total shock, like a lot of other people did when Jordan first started reading. And then the one with the hunters'-camo hat on said, "You sound like a demon-possessed Pope with long hair!" That was the best he could come up with. Jordan didn't miss a beat though and continued as if he hadn't said anything at all. Did I mention that Jordan kinda looks like Jesus in traditional Christian art? All were mightily impressed. Pictures...


These were the signs the Pentecostals were carrying...


This was the guy with hunter-camo hat. Isn't he just as I described? The kid standing next to him was someone I don't know, but I am highly amused by his little impromptu sign.

And these last three are Jordan exorcising the preacher's demon:



See, doesn't he kinda look like Jesus? Also, notice the Pope-like gesture he's making with his hand as he's reading the Latin ritual. :D



So I'm done with classes for the semester. I have the final draft of my term paper to turn in by the end of the day on Monday, and then the aforementioned Roman Lit final next Friday, and that will be it. Quite excited about this...

Oh and as of today, I have an entire gallon ziplock bag full of marigolds for my dyeing project. I couldn't fit another flower head in there if I wanted to. And I also found more dyers' chamomile growing wild in the flower beds. As I think I said before, I planted it last year, not knowing what it was other than it was delightfully cheery, but they didn't do very well. But I guess they did well enough to reseed themselves or something because they are back and popping up all over the place. There are also little pokeweed plants coming up all over the place. I should have plenty if I decide to do anything more with those.

12 comments:

ilana said...

Yay! I may have some coreopsis coming up, even though mom got me more seeds. Going to plant some hollyhocks, too, and a few other things. Of course, I still have to use the stuff in the freezer. ;P

Yeah. Well, we tried petitioning over the annexation thing, and the council told us referendums are illegal. Um... WTF?! Of course, they completely ignored the petition and went ahead to annex 20 acres which will be home to 68 townhouses... long story. I told mom we should xerox quotes from the Federalist Papers and put them up all over town... but they'd probably have us arrested for vandalism. Bleh!

Rachael said...

Coreopsis are very nice indeed! I imagine one can always use more of those. I've never grown hollyhocks because they won't grow this far south in Florida, but I think I've seen them before when I've been further north. Do they dye pretty colors? I can't wait to break into my stash in the freezer! Not to mention the indigo I have sitting on my fireplace hearth.

Referendums can't be illegal... I don't think. That sounds like total bs to me. Good old boys at work, I'd guess. It's simply horrid! You could always have businesses and the like post things in their windows I suppose. Then it wouldn't be vandalism... Or if you went door-to-door perhaps? Or take out articles in the local papers? Or letters to the editor?

ilana said...

Yeah. It's the Good Old Boy syndrome. We did go door-to-door when we collected signatures for the referendum petition, but as my father pointed out, the council doesn't have to pay any attention to the petition. In an ideal world, they would, but Shep.town is hardly ideal. Mom's written to one of the local papers, and the editor printed her letter; the other paper is terrified of losing advertising money from the real estate developers, so they won't touch it. If you want to, take a look at her website. There's a lot more info there than I can squeeze in here:
http://www.oldunterrified.org

Coreopsis gives you varying shades of yellow, depending on what mordant you use. I think hollyhocks give you pinks or purples, but I don't remember. I'll have to look them up in my Dye Garden book. Are you going to plant more stuff this year? I've got some new seeds, but I have to wait until after the frost date to see if anything comes up from last year. :-)

Rachael said...

I'll definitely take a look at your mom's site and I'll pass it on too in the hopes that some people I know might be able to help or at least provide ideas.

The coreopsis and the hollyhocks sound lovely. When I get up to Virginia at some point for longer than a few days, I'll have to see about planting some hollyhocks up there perhaps. And for now, I'm going to see if I can find any coreopsis seeds around here. I'm sure I can.

I am planting more stuff. In addition to the marigolds, zinnias and cosmos that are already in the ground, I've got Queen Anne's Lace (which unfortunately does not grow wild this far south), henna, indigo, yarrow, yellow bedstraw, and St. Johns Wort sprouting in pots, and I'm sure a few other things as well that I'm forgetting at the moment. There are some other things I have seeds for, but they need to be planted in the fall if they'll have any chance of coming up at all. I also want to get some more golden marguirite daisies from the garden center around the corner now that I know that not only do they look pretty, but they're a dyestuff too! Don't you love discovering things like that?

ilana said...

hee! yes! I'm still waiting for the frost date to pass before I can plant stuff. What color do you get with Queen Anne's Lace? Do you dry things to use later? Most of my stuff went in the freezer.

Rachael said...

According to the sources I've read, Queen Anne's Lace flowers at their peak bloom give a bright spring green kind of color...

I found instructions for how to use them for a dye here: http://www.thefoldatmc.net/dyes.howto.qalace.html

I freeze most of my stuff. I have shelves though that I'll be able to use for drying herbs and flowers and things if I put them up in my garage.

When will you be able to start planting?

ilana said...

Probably mid-May. It still gets pretty chilly at night, but it hasn't affected mom's daffodils or anything. She's a bit upset because she missed the deadline for her potatoes; usually they go in around St. Patrick's Day, according to her. She's experimenting with planting vegetables in pots, which is easier to cope with because there's less weeding, so we have several enormous pots scattered about the front walkway. She didn't start any seeds this past winter, so I guess we'll just have to do it after the frost date and see what comes up.
Oh.. and if you plant hollyhock seeds, mom says they don't usually bloom until the second year. If you're impatient (like me!), you can usually find potted seedlings at places like Lowes or Home Despot. HellMart also has some good prices on bags of bulbs later in the season, which is how I got my dahlias. Ordinarily, they're pretty expensive. As in... small bag with three or four roots for somewhere around $9. I think I got mine in July for ninety-nine cents, or two dollars.

Rachael said...

Wow! That late! We've had such hot weather for so long, it's difficult to imagine that it isn't at least warm everywhere.

I tried some winter veggies in pots this past fall. They didn't do too well. But there were very few weeds and those that did pop up were very easy to pull up. I hope your mom has better luck than I did. For the Spring, we decided to just say "oh well!" to the weeds and planted a little 10 x 10 plot with tomatoes, eggplant, zuks and yellow squash. We're not going to weed. We'll just let it do what it will do and hope for the best.

That's perfect about the hollyhocks because we're not living up in Virginia for long periods of time this year, but next year we're hoping to go up for most of the summer at least. And thanks for the tip about dahlias! I love dahlias but they won't grow well here either. I'm going to have so much fun with that yard in Virginia.

ilana said...

Is your soil very acid? I have no idea how to test for soil acidity, but I know things like azaleas love acid soil, so much so that you can add things like coffee grounds for them to munch on and it makes them happy. :P
It's getting hot here, too. It was cooler today (about 70), but that's a rarity at this time of year. Makes it easier to mow the grass, though.
Oooh.. didja see the green lidded Silk soy milk cartons? They claim they're trying to convert to completely wind-powered production. That would be pretty neat, if they can pull it off.

Rachael said...

There are little soil acidity kits you can get at garden centers. They're pretty simple to use. Our soil is just very slightly acidic. It confuses the heck out of our hydrengeas. It's not quite acidic enough for them to really color. They just blush a little. I haven't tested the shade parts of our yard, but I would guess that since we let the leaves decay where they fall, the soil in those parts of the yard would be more acidic. I think I'll try adding coffee grounds around the hydrengea and see if that perks it up.

I did see the Silk soy milk cartons! My mom is addicted to the chocolate flavor. Personally I can't stand the taste of soy milk. It's just one of those things... But isn't it nice that companies are doing things like that now?

Oh, yeah! Before I forget, I sent my biological mother, Susan, the links to your mom's website and blog. Susan has a foundation that tries to help people fighting the sort of thing your mom is fighting and people who are trying to deal with the mess that is local government. Susan says she's going to e-mail her, so you might want to tell your mom to be on the lookout for something from "Adair Fox" (that's her company name) or from "Susan Smith." I hope she's able to help.

ilana said...

Thanks. I'll let mom know.

I just started drinking the chocolate Silk. It's a little chalky, honestly, but not so horrible as to be undrinkable. Mom and I are both lactose intollerant, so we just buy soy milk.. it works fine in things like macaroni and cheese, believe it or not.

Rachael said...

Cool!

I don't know why but I've just never been able to stand soy milk or tofu. But I like edemame, so it's not all soy, just those two things. I've never tried using soy milk in cooking though, so maybe that would be alright.