Wednesday, February 11, 2009


It had to happen eventually, and finally, here it is: it's not all happy rainbows and science at SLAC! I'm starting to run into the variety of problems I shall face trying to do research at a small college.

- I've already run into copyright limits for the year on recent articles from the primary research journal I use. This means I have to pay, drive to another university library (1.5 hours away), or beg for articles from my peers until 2010, unless I come up with a good reason why my students also need particular volumes of journals. Elsevier, you suck ass with your super expensive publications.

- I'm in a slightly awkward situation wherein the person who had my job last year and did not get the t-t position is still here teaching temporarily as a visiting prof. This person is nice enough, but is using my newly-supplied lab for a class they (and yes, I'm using the non-gendered "they" here just because) are teaching. I am continually nervous about them doing so, because they have used equipment inappropriately more than once, and now they're starting to break shit (not expensive shit, but still, I still have to buy another $20 worth of stuff they've broken). This pisses me off, as I haven't even gotten to use my lab for my own work yet, but moreso it pisses me off because this person is only breaking things because they are using them inappropriately - it's not even students doing the breaking! And I don't feel comfortable telling them off because I think that will reflect poorly on me, and because they are largely nice and friendly, just not all that great in the lab. If they break something worth more than $20, I will definitely not be quiet about it, but for now I just get to sit and stew.

Real life isn't being any kinder, unfortunately, as we discover more and more of the slimy things the previous owners did here to cover up their crap and sell their house.

- Our garage roof is leaking, severely, and will require a new roof this year instead of "sometime soon." So there goes the tax return that I had hoped would pay for a wedding. Our inspector had straight-out asked the previous owner whether they had any issues with the roof, which looked old, and they said no. However, I highly doubt that this is a new issue.

- We had a bit of a snafu with our existing sink, and are now down to half a sink and waiting for the day when we can replace the kitchen counters and get shit fixed (it's an old house with a lot of "custom" = weirdly sized stuff in it. Therefore we can't put in a normal sink without replacing the counter). This will probably not happen this year, but as my kitchen drives me a little crazy with its dirty oldness, it will hopefully happen in 2010 at the latest. But again, more cash that we get to toss at some contractor at some point.

It doesn't help that I wanted to make cupcakes to celebrate Darwin Day and yet we are out of vanilla. Darwin Day, you better treat me right, because I need a happy Thursday.


T said...

Is it this person's last year at SLAC, or do you think s/he will have the chance to stay on visiting for another year?

Liberal Arts Lady said...

T, that is, unfortunately, entirely up in the air at the moment.