Saturday, April 28, 2012


Every peak has its slump, I suppose.  Partner is home again, but with an injury, so while it's nice to have him back I also now have someone to take care of, in addition to re-adjusting my schedule to normal dinner times and more regular hours out of the house.  I've felt overwhelmed lately with PLANNING, which seems like a ridiculous thing to take up entire working days.  But between campus service, a fast-approaching summer field season, and a role organizing the upcoming meeting of my professional society, there are several hours spent on emails and online forms on some days. 

Other near-end-of-term activities, like advising, also steal hours, and then I get crappy news, like the fact that one of the reviewers of a recently rejected grant proposal objected to the fact that the name of the research team under which my project would take place did not seem to have much to do with the topic of my proposed research.  If this is considered a valid reason to tank my proposal, I'm giving up all hope of ever receiving outside funding.  Is it so unreasonable to expect that members of interdisciplinary projects be evaluated independently, no matter what the team itself might be called? 

Also, students, I would like to note that if you put me down as a reference without ever asking me whether I would be willing to act as one, and without explaining the position you're applying for, you can be fairly sure that the resulting letter will be even worse than the mediocre letter I might have been willing to write for you if you had asked.

Ok, May, time to show me some good times.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

good days

I've been getting ridiculous amounts of work done, both in some house projects and at the office.  Being too sick to interact with people, yet still being mostly physically functional, over a rainy weekend really helped with this, as does my two-days-a-week teaching schedule.  I never realized how much impact a teaching schedule can have on productivity - my Tuesdays and Thursdays are really packed, but the rest of the week I manage to find time for class prep AND writing.  Unfortunately, this particular combination of non-lab courses will probably never occur again, and I'll definitely be back to five-days-a-week in the fall.

Also, of course, not having a significant other at home, while more lonely, certainly frees up a lot of evening time for working late and exercising late and eating late, which I would not inflict on others but which works pretty well for me.  I'll have to curb the late-night activity once Partner is done with his travels.

I've also had a few students stop by this week to tell me how much they're enjoying my class, or how interested they are in pursuing my subfield, or just to work extra hours on projects.  I'm not sure whether it's the near-middle-of-term status of this week or the weather, but I've quite enjoyed the positive feedback as I ride my productivity wave.  Good timing students!  As always, the students make or break this job, and I'm currently feeling gratitude for their awesomeness.  

Saturday, April 7, 2012


Today I loaded up on supplies for a few home projects that I will probably never find the time to finish.  But, at least I have mulch for some potential 10 pm mulching sessions, I guess.  During my short drive I noticed a house that we had looked at when we were buying four years ago.  The new owners have installed red light bulbs in the outdoor lights and placed several garden statues of the Virgin Mary in the front yard.  Interesting combination.  I am also amused, for some reason, by people who mow their lawns at an angle.  I would imagine that takes a lot more planning.

Last week I overheard the following conversation on campus:

Student 1: Do you want me to email you later?
Student 2: No, I'll just be in a movie, so you should text me.  I'll be able to text.

Students, this is why old people hate you.

Thursday, April 5, 2012


I am so sleep deprived this week, I looked like hell when I finally dragged myself out of bed at 9:30 this morning, and I am currently shoving leftovers into my face four minutes before class starts.

I am very behind, and I have a presentation to make next week at which I will be judged by my faculty peers, for which I am completely (as yet) unprepared. I'm also now dealing with blow-back from a particularly fabulous collaborating colleague, who is now in full-on "passive-aggressive four-year-old" mode and is pissing me off. The fact that this is somehow seen as my fault by other people is not making me happier. Note to old scientists: I am not going to kiss your ass, and when I don't, please behave like a friggin adult. Thanks.

Four minutes are up!

Monday, April 2, 2012

money money

I am currently wishing that I had just gotten a more expensive house in the first place and sucked up the higher mortgage payment, instead of dumping several tens of thousands of actual dollars into the house I bought, which keeps dying and being fixed in ways that are not adding to the overall value of the place but instead just makes it a more efficient and functional old house.

I would really love to have one year where my tax return is not swallowed by some larger house-related bill.