Monday, May 28, 2012

Outfit Fun & Memorial Musings

I just finished grading research papers, so I really have no mojo for a poem.

However, I will leave you with some of my thoughts. 

On Facebook today, I posted the following:
Writing a research paper without actually citing any of your research is much like celebrating Memorial Day without actually acknowledging what you're memorializing. Thank you, veterans, for this day off that allows me to grade the rest of these research papers and draw such a comparison as this one.

True true.

This weekend, I learned (did I know this information before?) that my paternal grandfather was a Marine. I knew my maternal grandfather was in the Air Force (he made sure to tell the same story ad nauseum, so it was a bit difficult to forget), but how did I miss the memo about my dad's dad? Maybe I need to pay more attention. When we're little, we disregard so many of our parents' and grandparents' stories (except maybe for the funny or incredible ones) when we should be drinking in everything that they have to say. It's a shame we don't realize how cool our elders are until someone else considers us elders. 

That's all, folks.

Oh, in case you're wondering, my entire outfit, minus the Jessica Simpson blue flats, is from Old Navy. 
I love me some Old Navy, especially since it sits beside a Marshall's and a Bed Bath & Beyond.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Research Ridiculousness

As an English teacher, I am charged with a seemingly impossible task: teach teenagers, who, on a normal day, cannot string together coherent thoughts, to construct formal, informative, interesting research papers on a topic about which they could not care less. If I turn out to be an abominable human being, my eternity will consist of perpetually reading painful research papers that make my eyes bleed...literally (not just the figurative bleeding that they currently do when I read research papers).

Okay, so maybe I am being a bit harsh? Honestly, not all of the essays are terrible. Some gems sneak into the stack. However, those gems are very rare...very.

And then I think of something. Why the hell does the "system" force me to force my students to write research papers about topics that bore them? And why must it leech so much time? Would it not make more sense to teach the skills relevant to research in a fashion that takes less time and involves more worthy (in the students' eyes) subject matter? My regular-level sophomore boys do not give a flying ninny pants about Literature (yes, with the capital L). They just don't. So, why would they want to first learn how to write a research paper and then write one about this "Literature?" They wouldn't. However, developing research skills is critical to becoming a more effective consumer of information.

If we could just focus on the skills, not the final product involved, then grading would be [theoretically] less painful for me, and research would be [theoretically] less painful for students. Oh, the novel ideas we lowly teachers consider in our ever-fanciful brains.

Anyway, today's poem is dedicated to all you teachers who must grade research papers and all of you students who must write them. Enjoy.

In comparison...

Plucking every hair from my head and
Knitting a prize-winning scarf
Would come with utter ease

Chasing a rabid bear and
Tackling him to the ground
Would not shake my knobby knees

Carrying a wildebeest on my shoulders and
Dancing a ten-hour polka
Would be a total hit 

Poking out my ocular organ and
FlambĂ©ing it in some acid
Would not hurt a bit

Punching myself in the throat and
Singing the nation's anthem
Would offer quite a thrill

Running away to Deliverance and
Befriending the locals
Would not be against my will

Oh, county magnates, can you not see?
All of these tasks might just be
Less painful,
in comparison,
than research is to me. 

Dramatic? True. But I needed some imagery to clearly convey the range of (negative) emotions that overwhelm me as I try to grade some of the most painful papers. If you've never graded or written a research paper, consider yourself lucky. It is also quite possible that you live under a rock.

I am going to go waste my brain cells on junk TV now.


Sunday, May 20, 2012

Better a Bridesmaid than a Bride

Today is a sartorial and sentimental Sunday, so I am writing a cinquain poem in honor of one of my best friend's weddings on Friday. Accompanying this little number will be some pictures of my fashion choices for the rehearsal and wedding.

The cinquain poem is a five-line poem. Typically, this is the format:

Line 1: one word (subject or noun)
Line 2: two words (adjectives that describe line one)
Line 3: three words (action verbs that relate to line one)
Line 4: four words (feelings or a complete sentence that relate to line one)
Line 5: one word (synonym of line one or a word that sums it up)

Overwhelmingly Exciting
Worried, Amazed, Relieved 
Forever in one day

My TJMaxx dress & belt, Marshalls shoes, and The Limited purse
for the rehearsal dinner at Heavy Seas Alehouse in Baltimore
(AWESOME steak!)

Surprisingly Effortful
Communicating, Trusting, Uniting
Forever is worth it.
My shamrock-colored bridesmaid dress for a half-Irish wedding :)

Oh, and to clarify today's title, I'd like to state for the record that being a bridesmaid is so much easier than being a bride. Phew. As a bride, you're all tied up in knots (almost to the point of pooping yourself). Of course, that's not because you don't want to get married; it's just nerve wracking to worry about whether or not all of your hard word is coming together the way you had hoped. Plus, you're surrounded by SO many people, and all you really want is a moment to yourself just to absorb it all (and poop in peace). As a bridesmaid, the worst you have to worry about is not falling flat on your face during your walk down the aisle, but since the day is not about you, it's all good if you fall on your face. If you do, then it might relieve some of the bride's stress, and that's half of your job as a bridesmaid. I kept offering to squeak out a fart so that everyone could experience a cathartic laugh, but no one said yes. 

However, once the wedding day is so quickly over, it's all worth it. Marriage is not easy work, but it's gratifying work (as long as both people are willing to work at it). 

I have to say: all of the hard work that went into my best friend's wedding was well worth it. It was a gorgeous ceremony and reception for an exceptionally beautiful bride. I love you, Jo!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Baby Shower Ditty

So, my big brother is having a little girl. Well, his wife is technically having the girl, but you know what I mean. Anyway, we're throwing a shower for my wonderful sister, and her invitation inspired my creative juices. In fact, shortly after I composed this beautiful little ditty, I decided to create this blog. So, thanks Jess and Tater Tot (my pet name for my soon-to-be niece) for the inspiration!

Guess Whooo’s Coming?

___________ is on her way,
So we’re celebrating with a special day!
It’s sure to be a hoot
Showering __________ with baby loot!
Mommy loves books, and baby will too.
In lieu of cards, bring a book signed by you!
Not sure where to shop? Don’t fuss.
She’s registered at
Target and Babies“R”Us.
______________ is where
We’ll shower love on this beautiful pair.
So, on ___________, be there.

*Note: This invitation's shape is an owl hence the "guess whooo's coming?" part.*
*Note #2: As you can see, I removed names and identifying information that would allow you to stalk me. I've reached my stalker quota for life, so I need no more.*

Monday, May 14, 2012

Use Me As Your Spaniel

Welcome to the first installment of this clever little Webber's poetic musings. My valiant effort to maintain a fashion blog of sorts flopped. (I like clothes, but remembering to take pictures of each outfit , uploading those pictures, and then posting them to my blog annoy me.) My not-so-valiant attempt to maintain a wedding "reflection" website no longer strikes my fancy. However, what do I always enjoy doing (aside from eating fruit snacks)? I'll tell you. I always enjoy writing. Alas, my vocation of teaching canonical literature to the youth of America leaves me feeling...well...stupid. I need a hobby to exercise my intelligence. So, here I am on yet another blogging adventure. I do hope you enjoy today's poem, which has been inspired by Shakespeare's ever-pitiful character Helena from his ever-comical play, A Midsummer Night's Dream. I shall call it "Fie, Helena!"

Fie, Helena!

Shall I compare thee to a midsummer's day?
No, instead, you will interrupt to say
That you are as ugly as a bear or a boar
And it is Hermia whose value is so much the more.
Though it is clear for this you have quite the propensity,
Do not degrade yourself with such intensity.

Poor, poor Helena, you are a colossally pathetic mess
Who woos Demetrius without a bit of feminine finesse.
You tell him to neglect you, lose you, and give you leave.
The scent of your desperation makes my insides heave.
Would that you stopped chasing an unrequited love.
You think the griffin should be pursued by the dove?

When a man then returns your love token,
You claim that he has misspoken. 
He reveals the trappings of his heart,
and in some game, you think he plays a part.
Fie, Helena! 
Do not allow others to tarnish your self-esteem!
And, please, to yourself do not be mean!
A wise man once said, "To thine own self be true."
So, take heed: there is no better you than you. 

So, for those of you who have never read A Midsummer Night's Dream, you've probably guessed it by now, but I will still tell you that Helena is a character with terribly low self-esteem. Though she is well meaning, she relentlessly pursues a man who loves her not. By some stroke of fairy magic, she manages to catch Demetrius's eye. Of course, by this point, she does not believe him when he professes his love (even if we, the audience, realize that it is drug-induced.) Nevertheless, my advice to Helena is to stop measuring herself against other people's standards for her and measure herself against the best that she can be. I do believe this overall message applies to anyone in general. 

Feel free to comment positively. I deal with some rude butt nuggets during the day; I do not need to add cyber critics to my list of parade crashers. Thanks ever so much.