During the Last Twelve Days of Fall Semester


My Students Gave to Me:

Twelve harried phone calls,

Eleven hours grading,

Ten sleepless nights,

Nine more hours grading,

Eight homemade cookies,

Seven failing grades,

Six thank you e-mails,

Five homework due date extension requests,

Four calling cell phones (during final exams!),

Three requests for reference letters,

Two handwritten thank you cards,

And one job I hate to love 🙂

Photograph Andrew Taylor

What’s to Like About Rockford: The Roundabout


Yes, Rockford has a roundabout. Just like all those other cosmopolitan cities: Melbourne, Dublin, London, Calgary, and Clearwater Beach, FL.

Designed to *calm* traffic, the roundabout is supposed to be safer, once you get used to it. And as you can see from the picture, it’s a busy, happening place. Well, no, it’s not. In fact if calm is the goal, I’d say it was long ago achieved.

I pass through the Rockford Roundabout at least twice a week and 50% of the time mine is the only vehicle there. And many of the vehicles I do see, stop. Just stop. Even when there are no other cars. Driver looks at the sign. Driver looks at the road. Driver’s face looks a lot like this…


But then, he takes a breath, and plows on through.

Which is one of the things I like about Rockford. You may have to drag some of the residents kicking and screaming into that “new-fangled circular road thingy”, but they’ll get on board eventually and even support the next one. Bring ’em on…

Coming soon to the Auburn and N. Main intersection. And it will be two lanes this time!

Roundabout photo © Karin Blaski 11/24/12, Scowling boy © Andrew Taylor

First Week of School? Blue Screen of Death…


Every day this week my computer at work greeted me with the ominous message above. The photo doesn’t do it justice, since you might not be able to see such flavorful sentences as “Collecting data for crash dump”, “Initializing disk for crash dump”, and “Beginning dump of physical memory”. Any time you see the word DUMP on your computer screen it’s not a good thing. Seeing the word DUMP half a dozen times, you’ve gone from bad to worse. Lucky for me, rebooting temporarily solves the problem, until this beast of a machine decides to start dumping while I’m working.

Of course this being the first week of a brand new college semester, did not help the situation.


At home, I am blessed to have a Macbook Pro who greets me every day with a heartfelt chime and an eagerness to get the job done. You see even when the PC in my office at school is working, it takes so long to boot up I can go to the copy room and back before I have access to a cursor. Coffee? Sure. Plenty of time.

The Mac? He’s ready, willing and able the moment I pop his lid and press ON . . . and I love him for it.

Now if someone could invent a remote start for the PC (like some folks have for their cars) so it’s all warmed up by the time I climb two flights of stairs… Or maybe the rest of the world, including my college, could just switch over to Apple computers and we could stop this nonsense.

Photo by Karin Blaski 8/20/12