Sunday, December 13, 2009
So today I spent THE. WHOLE. DAY. baking Hoska, a Chezch Christmas bread. It's beautiful, it's braided, it has fruit and almonds in it. Yum. Eight loaves of yum. We'll be mailing those suckers out to the family tomorrow and Tuesday.
In other news, I'm finished with my sed/strat class and came out with an A, which feels good. I won't be taking a course in the spring, as I'll be traveling all over the state collecting data for a new study. So... I figured I would miss too many classes to take anything.
Slogger's in the kitchen washing the dishes -- what a sweetheart.
Sunday, December 06, 2009
I'm thinking that the final exam will be multiple choice, which will MAKE. MY. DAY.
I'll get up early and study, I guess.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Last week I attended a national conference, one I attend every year. (Of course, I didn't go last year, but that's another story.) It was in the City of Brotherly Love, which was certainly nice, except for some HORRIBLE Dim Sum. Really, really bad.
But I digress.
While I was at the conference, I attended a reception -- now that I'm an editor, I'm a bigwig, ya see, and I get to eat cream cheese and nuts on crackers and drink cheap wine.
Anyway, while I was at this reception, I happened to be sitting next to a REALLY BIG NAME, an elderly gentleman, very well respected in the field. So, I started chatting with him, and he started telling me this story about his college girlfriend who dumped him, and how it affected him. With tears in his eyes. That is a story I'm going to remember for a long time!
So, the conference was generally about drinking too much and eating out. I was happy to get home on sunday.
A Forgotten Exam
Then, on Monday, I was headed to my geology class, thrilled to be back in class after missing a week for the conference. I saw one of my fellow students on the way to class, and he asked, "You ready for this test?"
After I picked up my jaw off the snow-crusted sidewalk, I hightailed it to the professor's office and begged for a little special treatment (this after telling the TA the week before that I really hoped she wasn't giving me any special treatment because I'm a professor). She let me postpone my test until Wednesday. So I studied for about 5 hours Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning, and I'm pretty sure I finally aced it. Now just the lab project and the final exam. Of course, I'm missing another week of class next week (for yet another conference) so who knows what will happen when that's over.
A Crappy Turkey
Slogger says the turkey was good, but for me -- yuk. Tough, not quite cooked through, awful. The only good thing about Thanksgiving dinner, for me at least, was the pumpkin pie. Oh, and that we didn't have to clean the house, since it was just the two of us!
* Editing a journal is freaking hard work.
* I have a chapter due next week, and I've only written two pages of it.
* I'm looking forward to spring semester, because I'm teaching an online course and supervising student teachers. No need to go to the office! (Except for the &*(^&^%%$^& meetings)
Sunday, November 08, 2009
Spending most of Saturday at a football game in which my team was annihilated?
Or spending most of Sunday getting ready for the week to come?
It should be a crazy week, with traveling twice to Capitol City, meetings and courses galore, and a great big ginormous dissertation to read by Friday. So....
Back to work.
Monday, November 02, 2009
Then we realized that the banquet is the same date/time as our first women's basketball game. We've been season ticket holders for seven years, and almost never miss a game.
So the plan is that Slogger will go to the game while I go to the banquet, and then I'll sneak out of the banquet early to head to the game. I'm not sure how I'll manage that, but ... I'll just break out my super-sneaky-spy talents and pretend to head for the bathroom.
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Student is standing in the hall, staring at the advising sign-up calendar. I am heading out to the same calendar to find out how many more students will be stopping by my office with no idea what they will be taking next semester.
ME: Can I help you with something?
STU: Ummm. ... I thought I signed up for Friday, but my name isn't here.
ME: Are you Awesome Clueless Student?
ME: You signed up for last Friday.
Saturday, October 03, 2009
That's a long day.
There are maybe 30 students in my sed/strat (including yours truly), so we all packed into 5 or 6 big Suburbans, with the prof and TAs driving. My vehicle included one of the TAs as the driver, one of the 5 females in the class, and three male undergrads -- I'd say they were all around the 19-year old range. We drove for about an hour and a half, during which time I was KICKING myself for not bringing work to do. I seriously spent the whole time alternating between playing solitaire on my Crackberry and glaring at the kid sitting next to me, who was snoring out lasat night's booze. Seriously, the car was full of fumes. It was probably dangerous.
When we finally got to the first site, we all piled out of the cars, stretched, and gathered around the prof. She (and I have to say, I love her -- I think she's doing a great job) gave us a short lecture and some directions, which involved having us work in pairs to draw a strat column for a huge outcrop right off the road. Luckily, there wasn't much traffic. Unluckily, no one wanted to work with me.
So, I did a strat column on my lonesome. Which was awesome. It took me a few minutes to realize that I could just walk down the road and get up close to each unit on the outcrop, since it was slanting down into the road at about a 35 degree angle. Once I figured that out, the rest was simple.
But seriously, people. No one at all wanted to work with me? What? Because I'm old? Female? A professor? This mode continued all day.
And in the car on the way home, I did some writing in my writer's notebook (thank the universe, I had that with me!) about how I'm so not used to being taken for granted. Even if my students are pretending to listen to me, at least they're pretending! My colleagues, my students, my husband -- they all seem to value me. So... I'm not really bothered (much) that I don't get the same response from 19-year olds recovering from a drunken binge night.
Besides, on that first test?
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Mow the yard (hopefully for the last time, as there is snow predicted for this week)? Check.
Grading? Not. Even Close.
So, Friday was my first exam in sedimentology/stratigraphy. I would say that I prepped well for the exam -- I read all four chapters, didn't miss a day of class or lab, took good notes, downloaded the powerpoints, made index cards of the important points, and spent about 2 hours just studying the index cards. I think I did pretty well on the exam, although I was surprised by the design of it. I had expected multiple choice questions, which would be much easier to grade (though harder to design). The test was almost all short answer, drawing diagrams, definitions, etc. Lots of writing, and I was just able to get it finished in the 50-minute time period of the class. I had memorized the formulas for things like the Reynolds number, the Froude number (dimensionless numbers designed to differentiate between levels of flow). I didn't write the formulas down as part of the definitions, and after I left the exam I thought perhaps I should have. But I did indicate in my definitions what the controlling factors of each formula were.... so perhaps that will be good enough.
I do feel like what we're doing in lab is definitely helping me understand the content of the course. And so far, that seems to be fairly unusual!
I've also decided to write a sabbatical leave proposal for a one-semester gig during spring of 2011. That will be when I'll be finishing up my current two-year study, and I hope that I'll be able to devote a considerable amount of time to analyzing data and writing manuscripts. Sabbatical leave proposals are due at the end of the month -- writing mine should be fairly easy since I have a good description of my research project in my grant application.
In other -- more interesting!-- news, Roxy has now completed half of her first obedience classes. She's doing quite well at learning the commands we are working on, and managing to control -- most of the time -- her excitement about being around other dogs! and people! during the classes! This morning she ran around the back yard, apparently stepped in poop, and promptly jumped on top of our new bedspread to share her fragrance. Slogger gave her a bath, and I did poop patrol just before starting with the mowing.
Now it's off for a shower and a shopping trip -- I have some unspent gift cards that are waiting patiently to be used.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
I just love my new grad student, Single Mom. She was an undergrad in my courses several years ago, and after getting great teaching experience for three years in the public schools, she decided to pursue our new doc program. Thrilled! Single Mom is helping me teach my junior-level course. Well, she's actually pretty much in charge of it. Using my lesson plans and powerpoints from last year, she is in charge of planning. We teach together, and she is doing most of the grading.
And unlike the last grad student I taught with, Single Mom and I have very much the same approach to teaching. We see eye to eye, and that is fabulous.
In other news, I had to write rejection letters for some manuscripts this week. That was hard and it sucked.
Plus I have a test in sed/strat this Friday, and it involves.... physics. I guess I need to study.
Saturday, August 29, 2009
I can't remember if I wrote about this last fall, but I was decidedly unhappy with one of my classes in particular last year. There was grumpiness, there was lack of enthusiasm, there was downright anger -- and that was coming from both a group of my students and from me. I've worked hard leading up to the beginning of fall semester to have a positive attitude toward my teaching, my students, myself, and my class and I believe that is paying off. I'm encouraged about the positive vibes and interest I'm sensing, particularly from my group of seniors and postbac students. It helps, of course, that I had several in a course last spring that went particularly well. So, unlike last fall when I was already counting down the semester ("ok, just 14 weeks to go. Sigh."), I'm looking forward to next week and to seeing my students again. Of course, I completely changed my textbook, so that means I have shitloads of work to do to get ready for class, but... that's par for the course, isn't it?
My new grad assistant (I'm still working on a name for her) is working out well too. She's co-teaching my junior level class with me, and will be taking over that junior-level class next year so I can teach a doctoral course in our new doc program (yeah! new doc program!). Of course, it's going to take a bit of time for students to get comfortable with her -- about half of the students in this class have either had a class with me before or are my advisees, so they know me better than they know her. We're going to work harder this week, now that she's a bit more comfortable, on giving her meatier portions of the course to run herself.
I got my official letter this week saying we are now journal editors (Woot!). And on Friday I was able to make some solid progress on lining up interviews for my new (lightly funded) research project. All of that makes me happy.
Now, Slogger threw his back out, and he's gotten started on CPAP for his sleep apnea, and all of that is taking a bit of adjustment on his part. So things are not happy in Slogger-world at the moment, but we both believe that will just be a matter of time.
Today I have a ton of reading to do, Roxy has her first day of obedience classes (we're hoping she will be the star of the show!) and I want to make and freeze some pesto, using the lovely pesto I bought at the farmer's market yesterday. I'm looking forward to a pleasant weekend, and hoping to go camping next weekend....
Overall, calm is a good place to be.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Anyway, we headed up into the mountains and camped for a couple of days. Did a little hiking, lots of hanging out, some fishing, etc. Relaxing and great, except for one pair of lost glasses. Roxy, of course, is a fabu camper.
then when we came home, we spent a couple of days just hanging out here. We visited the university's art museum, did some shopping and cooking, read a lot, and generally relaxed. Of course, during that time frame Slogger threw out his back and I had an odd growth cut off the bottom of my foot, so there was some pain and weeping. I'm still walking with a bit of a limp as I wait for the damn thing to heal.
Of course, I did almost no work last week -- except that I went to a two-hour training session so that I can use a procurement card. That's right folks, High Plains University is trusting Doctor Bad Ass with a credit card. Scary, no? But seriously, a two-hour training? When you could have just given me the rules and regs? I spent a good bit of the training making a to-do list, as follows:
- analyze qualitative pieces of state-wide survey
- make comments on my co-editor's writing on the journal call for proposals
- do a write up on potential cover art for the journal
- read four books I just bought on teaching writing
- check on data for the program report
- schedule submission of the program report
- get Roxy's paperwork finished and mailed (for obedience classes! She doesn't really need them, but we're doing it anyway!)
- get together readings for a graduate seminar
- set up voicethreads for my fall courses
- finish setting up course platforms for my fall courses
- create a bibliography for a reading/writing resource fair
- prep for 1st week of class
- set up a date and place for mentor teacher workshop
- register for a conference
- renew organization membership
- make dinner reservations for this Friday
- sit down with department office associate to find out about procurement card reconciliation process
Most of that I've got to get done between now and Wednesday, since the beginning of school meetings and such will start on Thursday.
OK, I'm off to start on some of that list...
Friday, July 31, 2009
So I came home.
Apparently, her heart just stopped. She had been losing weight for quite some time, although the vets said there was nothing wrong with her blood work, her thyroid was fine, etc. I was hoping that I could fatten her back up and get her back to -- well, not to her prime, but at least to put some meat back on her bones -- but apparently her heart was too weak to go on.
We buried her in the back yard, found some beautiful stones to put on top, and drank a glass of wine in her honor. She was a sweet little cat, always a bit fearful, but she certainly had her playful moments. She has been part of my family for 14 years, and we will miss her. We do miss her, in fact. I keep looking around expecting to see her under a chair somewhere... and my other cat, Loner, is looking positively dazed and confused.
RIP little girl.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Hi, so let me start off by telling you about my laptop. A year ago I spilled a large coke on it and ever since it has acted funny as I'm sure you can imagine. Now I'm telling you this not as an excuse, just what I think is the explanation, as best as I can figure. When you told me last weds that I had never turned in my [third written assignment] I thought that was weird cause I remembered doing it, so I went home and looked on my hard drive and couldn't find it. Then when you emailed me about my [other big, important paper] I thought that was odd too, since again I remembered writing and turning it in. but again I searched my hard drive for it and couldn't find it. So I rewrote it and submitted it on Tuesday and now this email which I just received. Now I can't find the second paper I wrote nor can I find my final so my only explanation is that my computer ate it, which might be funny on any other occasion. I don't expect you to give me a third chance and to tell you the truth I'm not sure I could write that paper a third time. The only consolation I can think of is I thoroughly enjoyed your class and aside from hurting my wallet it won't be a hardship to take it again at a later date. Sadly my college career seems to be full of these pitfalls, all well se la vie right. Well I'm sorry our class has ended this way and I hope you won't hold it against me.
Monday, July 20, 2009
Howsomeever, we had a lovely surprise for Slogger on his birthday, which was Saturday. Slogger's daughter (City Girl) flew in to Big Western City, rented a car, and drove to High Plains City to spend a day with her daddy for his big birthday. I wish you could have seen the extremely stunned and surprised and delighted look on his face when City Girl drove up in her fancy red rental Chevy. I WISH I had had a camera, because that expression was truly priceless.
So on our block at that time, there were the following events taking place:
- roofers hammering away on our house, plus their compressor roaring
- a very popular yard sale at the house next door
- a garden tour taking place across the street (which meant people parking and walking all along our street)
- City Girl showing up
Needless to say, it was a bit crazed. Soon after City Girl arrived, we packed up and headed for the local park, where we spread a couple of blankets, drank some Snapple, and just got lazy for several hours. Yours truly went to a nearby deli and got sandwiches, so lunch was easy. It was a sunny, but cool day, so hanging out in the shade, with a bit of sun, was nice. And peaceful. And happy, with City Girl there to show her daddy that she loves him very much. Which also makes me very happy.
Around about 4, we headed home, and the roofers were gone, and the roof was finished. Peace. Quiet. And a new roof!
We grilled salmon and corn-on-the-cob, drank a couple of glasses of chenin blanc, had a nice ice cream cake for Slogger's birthday, and had a good night's sleep. Then on Sunday we drove up to the mountains to check out our camping site for August (which was a good thing, as it was almost completely encompassed by a snow bank, and we had to change to a different site), have a picnic lunch, and generally enjoy being up in the cool mountain air.
Then City Girl had to leave to make it back for her flight. This engendered a few tears, but they are tears of love, which makes them good.
Now it's 8:15 AM and we're still in bed.... can I just say that I'm SO happy that Slogger retired?
Off to get some breakfast and the office for me. My goal for the day is to get a complete draft of the program report finished.
I'm hoping that your weekend was as lovely; or if not, that you have some peace to look forward to!
Friday, July 17, 2009
- Finished the IRB proposal for my grant research, and sent it in. Oops, I was supposed to do that when I applied for the grant, but didn't.
- Got a good start on syllabi for my two fall courses.
- Wrote about half of the program report, which is due September 15th.
- Returned multitudes of emails and phone calls that came in and slipped through my Crackberry while we were traveling.
- Started a chart on my master's students so I can keep up with where they are in their programs.
- Recorded one set of assessment data for the program report; I still have one more set to go.
All of this makes me feel so virtuous that I will probably drink an extra glass of wine tonight.P.S. So earlier I hinted about some good news, and I think it is time now to share it. A colleague from a university down south (I'll call hir Timex) and I decided to apply for the co-editorial positions for a journal in our field. We sent in our application materials, did a phone interview, wrote answers to questions, and waited. Last week (while I was sitting with Slogger undergoing an echocardiogram, in fact) we found out that the publications committee has selected us as the new editors. There is still some paperwork to be done, but... it's pretty much a done deal. We are thrilled! And scared, also.... but then it's both a huge honor and a great responsibility to the field.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
We've spent the last couple of days getting back into the swing of things here, recovering from our month-long trip, cleaning up, and doing laundry, etc.
Yesterday I picked up the cats from the vet, where they had been boarded for 40 days. It was expensive, but it was worth it to know that they were being well cared for. The cats are 13 and 14 years old, so I'm always concerned these days about their health. Marty, in particular, has been losing weight lately. She's always been a sickly and somewhat feeble cat, so I'm not sure what's going on with her. They did some blood tests and found nothing -- so I'm going to see what I can do here to put some weight back on her. Loner, of course, is fine, although he lost weight while at the vet as well.
The plan for today is to finish up the laundry, clean out the frig in the camper, and get going on a couple of projects for work. Boring, I know.
Tuesday, July 07, 2009
* I got a grant. A small one, to be sure, but still. I wrote the proposal all by my lonesome, sent it in, and voila, it was funded. I gather it's a fairly competitive thing, so it makes me feel good. Of course, I haven't started the research yet, and I may be singing a different tune when that happens....
* I got a graduate assistant. Starting in Fall of 09, I have a doctoral student to assist me in my teaching and research, which is very timely considering the grant (see above). The GA is a former student of mine and I think we will do quite well together. She'll be helping me teach my junior-level class in the fall, so that next fall she can take it all on her own. Next fall, I'll be teaching a doctoral course of some kind... happy dance!
* Slogger retired. As of the middle of May, he is officially unemployed. His retirement was a bit earlier than we had planned, but after his heart attack, I am MUCH less interested in him working. The job tended to stress him out, so we're hopeful of better health and strength as a result of retirement.
* Facebook ate all of my leisure time. Well, you already knew that.
There is some other potential good news soon to be announced (no, I am NOT pregnant. Much too old for that!), but I don't want to jinx it, and it's not quite a done deal yet.
In the meantime, here we are, sitting at a campsite in 95 degree heat. We're in the shade, and there's a nice breeze and low humidity, so it's ok. Looking forward to the sun going down, though. We've been out camping and touring the country in our new little trailer for the last month and a half -- we're on the homeward side now.
Thursday, July 02, 2009
Wednesday, July 01, 2009
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Facebook did take me away temporarily, and I went through quite a few months when I was certain that I didn't want to maintain this blog, but I've now gotten an urge to write something here. So here I am.
Slogger and I have been traveling around the countryside for the last month, in our new T@B. See the website here for what it looks like: www.tab-rv.com.
We're currently in DFW, visiting my brother and his wife (and the triplets, of course!). Roxy is with us, and at 8 months is as sweet and loveable as she was at 9 weeks. Doesn't fit as well in the lap, though.
We've learned a few lessons on this trip. Most importantly: Never travel through the south without an air-conditioner in your RV.
That's all for now. I'll update again soon, I promise!
Sunday, January 11, 2009
That makes us a bit sad, but the good news is that we have our new little puppy to keep us entertained and smiling. And really, we are both amazed at how much she makes us smile.
But anyway, to get back to the chronology. Friday night we put Roxy in her crate when we were ready to go to bed. We had decked it out with a hot water bottle, lots of old towels, a clock, and some chew toys. She cried for about 20 minutes and then -- with a sigh that I've heard from MANY teenagers in my years as a teacher -- she went to sleep. We got her up twice during the night to go outside and pee, and each time she cried a little less before she went to sleep. I think she's going to be fine with the crate in just a few days. Saturday night she only cried for 10 minutes, and less every time we got her up. Of course, on Monday we'll have to leave her in her bigger crate while we go to work. We'll both be coming home at lunch -- or on some days both of us will -- to take her out and get her some exercise.
On Saturday, we had planned to drive over to the nearest big city to buy some things at Petco and to to pick up our new hot/cold water dispenser. We were just about ready to go when Roxy came running into the kitchen, dripping blood all over the floor. After a few moments of freaking out, we calmed down, picked her up, and called the vet. I guess they glue the skin together over the incision, and she had knocked that loose jumping over a low fence in the front yard. Most of it was fluid, but the vet kindly came in on Saturday, stapled her shut again, and wrapped her in a beautiful blue and white bandage. AND didn't charge a cent for the staples, the time, or the antibiotic. We decided to head on over to Petco, where Roxy was the CUTEST DOG THERE. And that's not just me saying -- everyone else was captivated by her. Of course, she's a puppy, and there's nothing cuter than little puppy faces. She was not afraid of anyone or anything -- people, huge dogs, etc. Very friendly and outgoing, consistently. Plus as we were heading out the door, I looked down at her and realized she had picked up a little pink stuffed animal to carry out with her. Shoplifting! At such a young age!
The cats have not yet come to terms with the interloper. Loner is hanging out with us, but he's gotten chased a few times. Marty has adopted the space behind the washing machine in the basement, but she did come upstairs for a few moments last night. I feel certain that all will be well in that arena with time.
In other news, classes start on Monday, plus we have two candidates for our big search coming in. This means I'll be having breakfast with the first candidate on Monday at 7. Erg.
Tuesday, January 06, 2009
TRIPLETS. For Christmas, Slogger and I drove to Big Western City, to spend Christmas day with his sister and her kids. That was really great, we spent the night, and then drove back to High Plains City the next day. On Saturday, my brother, his wife, and the triplets arrived in Big Western City and used loads of guilt and manipulation to get me to drive back there. Loads. Slogger, of course, was not to be manipulated in this way, so he stayed home. Brother, sister-in-law, the triplets and I hung out and shopped, had a nice lunch, and then headed for High Plains City.
And then the madness began. Imagine, if you will, four adults (two of whom are over six feet tall), and three five-year-old boys, all in a 1000-square foot home with one bathroom. Now, my brother and his wife did sleep in the basement bedroom, and I’m not including the square footage of the basement in my account of the house’s footprint. HOWEVER. The one bathroom thing was quite interesting, to say the least. Every time my sister-in-law or I saw a young man headed into the bathroom, we would point at them and sternly pronounce “You should lift up the seat when you pee.”
This didn’t exactly work the way we planned it to.
Howsomever, we had loads of fun with the boys and their parents. We went skiing, we went sledding, we went to the movies, we went out to eat. My favorite was the sledding, since it didn’t involve much more work than just plodding back up the hill with the sled after roaring down it. Have you ever tried to get skis on three five-year-old boys who have never skied before? That’s an interesting proposition, involving kneeling in the snow, grabbing a boy’s ski boot, the boy grabbing my head, and saying “point your toe, ok, point your toe, point your toe, good! Now press down with your heel really hard. Press down. Press down with your heel. Press down hard. Ok, great!” And then, when faced with a tiny incline, not even the bunny slope, two of them get all scared and clingy while one races down it backwards. Then you follow them down the hill, get them out of their skis, and trudge back up the hill carrying the skis. Start all over again. Whew. That was hard work. And all of this while their mom and dad were taking a ski lesson. Poor Slogger got so worn out that it took him a couple of days to recover. Sledding was much easier.
AND IN OTHER NEWS, HERE'S ROXY. I wrote most of this post sitting outside the animal shelter, waiting for it to open, so that we could adopt a puppy. That’s right. A Rottweiler mommy and her NINE puppies were dropped off at the shelter. They seem to be a mix of Rottweiler and black Labrador retriever. We adopted one of the runts – a little female that we’re going to name Roxy.
They came up for adoption today, and on the assumption that everyone else in High Plains City would be beating down the shelter door to get one of those puppies, and because we wanted ONE of the puppies, a particular one (Roxy), and because the shelter operates on a first-come, first-served basis, Slogger and I thought it would be a good idea for me to get to the shelter early. So, I sat in my car for the three hours. By the time the shelter had opened, there were about 10 people in line. But since I'd been there for three hours, I was first! OK, it is possible, perhaps, that we overreacted just a bit. But the good news is that Roxy will go to be spayed on Friday, and we'll pick her up Friday evening.