Wednesday, November 25, 2009

homecomings, turkey dinners & teaching about kinship

ETA: attendance was 43 out of 131 (for which most of them earned 5 pts. extra credit by identifying parallel cousins on a kinship diagram. Some of them identified their children as their cousins, proving that even when one states at the beginning of class "pay attention and ask questions if you do not understand, since TODAY there will be an extra credit opportunity related to this," one cannot distract everyone from their FB pages or movies or whatever it is they do in class).
Yes, that sums up my day, in reverse order. MP2 comes home today and we are having a traditional southern (seasonal) dinner because he is seriously ready for some home-cooking; not Thanksgiving dinner, just a variety thereof for our little foursome (Thanksgiving dinner is a veritable feast with family and friends and card games galore). I forgot to reserve a smoked turkey for tonight, but I was able to get a 10 lb. fresh hen (we buy diestel organic turkeys from wholepaycheck). After class today, I'll head home to begin roasting it. Yesterday was grocery shopping and baking day. The oven kept us warm for hours, as cornbread (for MP1's favorite stuffing), oatmeal/raisin cookies (for MP2's snacking pleasure) and dark chocolate brownies (that would be for TH) rotated in and out. I processed the last of a whole-grain loaf of bread for the additional bread crumbs; potatoes and green beans are standing by for afternoon prep. I actually meant to make chili yesterday, to give us all a break from turkey sandwiches, but I can still do that for Saturday (MP2 flies out early on Sunday). And now, after 2 hours of doctoring up my PPT slides, I am headed onto campus to teach about inc*st, exogamy, endogamy, cross/parallel-cousins, ghost marriage, polyandry, woman/woman marriage in Africa (including a discussion of women who formed their own patrilineages in East Africa during the colonial era--this always blows the mind of students who don't understand how "naturalized" kinship systems really are), and all that fun stuff (I actually really do like this chapter--I'd love to teach an entire course on marriage). Hmm, I might just do that. I am sure I will not have a full house or anything approaching one (maybe 60 students/half the house, if I'm guessing correctly). I was one of the few folks in my department who did not clump their furlough days this week. I am saving them for the Spring--so I can either line them up with spring break and/or take a trip to see MP2 perform in a Spring jazz marathon event UNT hosts each year. Finally a couple photos to mark the season. I took these with my iPh*ne on Monday. Free-range (parking-lot) turkeys. I have NO idea where they came from, but they were strutting around like they owned the campus. Cars were honking at them to get out of the way. Very funny (click on images to enlarge).