Archive for December 2012


Moving from the old to the potentially new as New Year’s Eve approaches, I am reminded, for some reason, of lessons learned in my early years of college teaching. I feel the urge to share some of them, so here goes.


  • Don’t turn your back on the class when you write on the blackboard. The students will giggle as they watch you wiggle.
  • Don’t gesture with your middle finger.
  • Wait until class is over to scratch your nose.
  • Don’t cause your class optical and other stress by moving unnecessarily. Save your dancing moves for appropriate occasions. i.e., every move and motion should have a purpose
  • If you don’t know the answer to the student’s question, don’t fake it. Pretending to be an encyclopedia makes you look foolish, and teaches the irrational lesson that the student is deficient if he or she isn’t perfect.
  • Use the question as a teaching opportunity. Offer to look up the answer before the next class, or, better yet, ask the class to do it.
  • Maybe most important. When preparing and presenting your class presentation, focus on what the class will gain from it, not how smart or competent you will look.
  • Same goes for preparing tests and assigning papers.
  • Apply all these rules to individual therapy, unless you really feel that thumbing your nose or gesturing with your middle finger will provoke some kind of useful reaction.

Oh, another lesson to apply to the new year: If the class (or the client session) was a disaster, remember Annie. There’s always tomorrow, and it’s only a day away.

Happy anticipation of 2013.


Posted December 28, 2012 by Mona Gustafson Affinito in Uncategorized


It’s because these days have been active — pleasantly so.

For those of you whose primary celebration day was December 25, I hope it was a time of friendship, family, joy, celebration, something different from the usual schedule, or, at least, comfort.

For everyone, I wish all those things for now and the new year.

And I did get my cards sent off in time, presents wrapped, given, and unwrapped, enjoyed minimal exposure to the news, and expect I’ll be back on some kind of schedule after the beginning of the year.

Posted December 27, 2012 by Mona Gustafson Affinito in Uncategorized



I’m afraid I’ve neglected my blog friends, and even some of my more tangible ones. I can explain. I have been suffering situation-induced ADD. I mean, I go to my work space and waver from one, “This is the most urgent,” to another, “This is even more urgent,” to another “But this has to be done right now.”  Situation induced? Yes.

As I reported earlier, I enjoyed a fabulous cruise to Australia/New Zealand. I don’t know how it could have been more wonderful. Even the fact that I was out of e-mail and cell-phone contact, while frustrating, contributed to a relaxed sense of not being bombarded by the problems of the world. I still recall the experience with pleasurable warmth. (which is needed here in cold Minnesota, even if we are having below-record temperatures.)

But – and here’s the ADD explanation. I arrived home after a flight of some 13.5 hours plus another three or so from LA to Minneapolis. Anticipating that I’d be unable to sleep on the plane, I completely charged up my new MacBook Air intending to spend the time editing Mrs. Job for the new publisher. (I hope it will have a new title.) Well, the MacBook Air is sort of mine. In less than a year it will be all mine, once I finish paying off the credit card in time to avoid interest charges.

Anyway, I was the only workaholic on the long flight. While everyone else leaned back in the dark, at least pretending to be asleep, I worked on the editing until my MacBook Air ran out of juice about two hours before landing. And no, I still didn’t fall asleep those last two hours.

On top of it, I had a coughing cold, which I knew I would get when one of the men on an excursion the day before the end of the cruise kept coughing his cold into his hands. And then, of course, I had the traditional jet lag. But that caused no major problems, until I got to work on my computers and accepted the aid of a very nice tech support person.

What did I do with his help? I migrated all the stuff from my old computer onto my new MacBolk Air. It ran for 8 hours, and when it was done, the old material had completely taken over my new one. Even the trash was from the old computer. All the money records I had kept on the trip, and all the photos, and “Mrs. Job” were just plain gone.

I tried, I mean I really tried to sleep that night. Reminding myself of what other people have lost didn’t help at all.

The next two days I spent with a series of really nice and helpful technical supervisors, and, joy of joy! my photos were recovered, though without any of the editing I had done originally, and with labels missing. So, my project over Christmas break will be to do that all over again. But at least they aren’t totally lost.

It’s interesting, actually, that most of the photos are dated a day before they happened. i.e., they’re dated U.S. time which is behind New Zealand time. But I can deal with that.

As for the financial records, much of it was permanently lost, so I had to restore them based on the credit card statements.

But, it is all done, I think! My cough is gone. I have “Mrs. Job” and my photos, three of which I’ll be attaching to this entry.

Now to get to winding up Christmas duties – gifts, cards, etc.

Again, my apologies to those I’ve neglected. Not only bloggers, but facebook folk, and others who have sent me nice e-mails and other messages to which I have not responded. Even local friends who haven’t seen me because I’ve been holed up working on these issues.

Oh yea, even my own body. I haven’t done any exercise since I returned, except for going up and down my own stairs to get stuff.

I hope you’ll forgive me. I hope my body will too.

And now, a few

(1) Mona at Murray’s sheep farm Akaroa, New Zealand.

(2) View from almost the top of Mt. Victoria, Wellington, New Zealand (almost the top. I managed to overcome my fear of heights to a minimal degree.)

(3) Admiral Byrd memorial, Mt. Victoria.

Mona and Murray's Sheep Mt. Victoria, Wellington Admiral Byrd Memorial

Posted December 19, 2012 by Mona Gustafson Affinito in Uncategorized


The trip to Australia and New Zealand was fabulous. Getting myself, my life, and my computer back together since I returned is another story. But I’m here now, just before getting myself some dinner, to post one photo as proof. Beautiful Chinese Gardens in Sydney.

More words and photos will follow.

Chinese Gardens

Posted December 9, 2012 by Mona Gustafson Affinito in Uncategorized

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