Wednesday, December 21, 2011


December is my favorite month, and not just because I don't have to spend much time at the office. I also love me some winter weather, although winter has thus far been pretty warm and disappointing. I'm going to be on leave this Jan and Feb in a much warmer place, and so I had hoped for a bit of snow this month. I'm sure everyone else hates me for even thinking of such a thing.

So, since finishing my grading and sitting through a variety of post-term meetings, I've largely been writing up my "statements" for my fourth-year review and cleaning my house, so that my house-sitter won't suspect that we generally live in a state of permanent dustiness. These thing have been good for my ego and my allergies; I actually really enjoy reflecting on the last few years in my job, and I feel very accomplished once I list everything that I've done. Also, packing, which is going slowly but surely. It's hard to pack while keeping the house clean.

Happy Holidays and enjoyable grant writing for January NSF deadlines to all.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Recently I've been exchanging emails with various collaborators who have misunderstood field arrangements or have thoughts that I disagree with concerning our work. I find that in these cases, once I've read an email that contains something I feel needs correction, I obsess over the wording of the email I want to send in return until I've sent it, at which point I can forget about the issue completely. But, if I don't send the email right away, my brain can't let it go, regardless of whether I'm exercising, reading, or trying to sleep. This is new to me, but maybe it's just because I'm now more personally involved with the research collaborations I've developed. Or maybe I'm becoming more obsessive in my old age. I end up writing back immediately just to get this stuff out of my brain, which is probably not a good thing overall since I think I end up being more defensive and negative as a first reaction.

I've also been renewing memberships to professional societies now that it's the end of the year. Am I a horrible person for maintaining my "early career" status whenever I'm allowed to do so, and therefore continuing to pay less? If the jump between "early career" and "professional" wasn't so huge, I might be more inclined to do it, but c'mon professional societies, I'm broke. There should be some sort of discounted "single salary household" status that makes me feel less guilty.

I've begun the "small panic attacks" stage of planning for an extended research period abroad. This time with Partner coming too, things are a little more complicated and require more prep - like paying bills while we're gone. I think I've got most of it worked out at this point. I'm sure I'll find out what I'm forgetting when my car is repossessed, or something equally disastrous happens. Or, at least I'll be happy if the repercussions are less severe.

Monday, December 5, 2011


As usual! This term was more insane than normal, since I was overloading my teaching schedule and had two extra conferences to attend. I also presented three different posters over the course of two months, which was a horrible idea, and submitted a grant proposal. It was ridiculous, but it's over.

Now, another grant to help others write before the end of the month, and a lot of planning/packing/prepping for my RESEARCH LEAVE, which I am very unprepared for. But, I'll be out of the country early Jan to early March, and I hope to get a lot done. I should also FINALLY get something written, which just hasn't really happened this year. I know I need to make time for it, but I've been writing grants instead despite the fact that I know it's a dangerous trap to fall into. Book chapter and journal manuscript, minimum, by February.

Also, admittedly, I have spent several days over the past few weeks doing absolutely nothing. Or, more specifically, I've been playing video games and watching movies and reading books and exercising and eating and sleeping. Which is awesome, and hard to stop doing now that the "solidly December" status of the date indicates a need to get my ass in gear.