Saturday, December 31, 2005


Well, in the attempt to recover comments....I accidently deleted sections and ended up changing my template. Since it's the last day of the year, I'm just going to keep with this "out with the old, in with the new" theme and do a little re-arranging. Will get my blogroll up and going again soon.....

Missing comments?


Busy Vacation Day

  • Slept in until 9ish
  • Cup of hot tea in my PJ's
  • Quick shower
  • Off to a pedicure
  • Then a dose of reflexology
  • Followed by 1 hour hot rock massage
  • Afternoon snack of : Tartine with chevre, pommes frites, du vin
  • Dessert of chocolat chaud--the extra thick kind you can "drink" with a spoon
  • A bit of shoe shopping
  • 3 hours in the movie theatre for "Munich"
  • Bedtime blogging.....


Thursday, December 29, 2005

Change of Scenery?

I have had the most productive day of all ... the first one in many weeks..AND I AM ON VACATION! My host had a prior work engagement today and I have spent the day sitting and working diligently. Is it the fact that I am not in my own home or my own office? Is it the clearer mind after several days away from it all during the holidays? Is it the sense of impending doom if I don't get my butt in gear?? Whatever it is ...thank you! I needed a day of moving forward.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Holiday Backlog.. I haven't posted in forever. The holidays are exhausting and I need a vacation from them---so I'm taking one. Visiting a friend who lives near water--big difference for midwestern me. Hanging out, sleeping in, cooking good food, and just relaxing. It's great!!

Christmas Recap: Can you say "too much to drink"? Whew...survived it with a few quality moments with the porcelin god and a lot of sleep. It was a great party...need I say more?

Christmas Eve Recap: Spent the evening baking bread and cookies, and wrapped up in a warm blankie with the kitty. It was nice and cozy.

On the horizon: 2 campus interviews!! Yes, count them..... I'm so excited. Both are in great places and have different but very good things to offer. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Back to my vacation.....

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Done grading!!! Grades turned in! Hallalujah!!

So what am I doing?....avoiding writing (which was due 2 weeks ago, technically speaking. I'm catching up on reading blogs....

oh, and throw a personality quiz in too!:

Your Personality Is

Rational (NT)

You are both logical and creative. You are full of ideas.
You are so rational that you analyze everything. This drives people a little crazy!

Intelligence is important to you. You always like to be around smart people.
In fact, you're often a little short with people who don't impress you mentally.

You seem distant to some - but it's usually because you're deep in thought.
Those who understand you best are fellow Rationals.

In love, you tend to approach things with logic. You seek a compatible mate - who is also very intelligent.

At work, you tend to gravitate toward idea building careers - like programming, medicine, or academia.

With others, you are very honest and direct. People often can't take your criticism well.

As far as your looks go, you're coasting on what you were born with. You think fashion is silly.

On weekends, you spend most of your time thinking, experimenting with new ideas, or learning new things.

Yup! That's me.... what do my Friends in real life think?

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Random Holiday Fun Stuff

I've been grading ALL DAY. Can't take it anymore ...just need to do something fun.

You Are Blitzen
Always in good spirits, you're the reindeer who loves to party down with Santa.
Why You're Naughty: You're always blitzed on Christmas Eve, while flying!
Why You're Nice: You mix up a mean eggnog martini.
Which of Santa's Reindeer Are You?

OK....hhmmm? Eggnog martinis.....possibilities???

You Are "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer"
Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeerHad a very shiny nose.And if you ever saw him,You would even say it glows.
For you, Christmas is a mix of tradition and fun.You're not above strapping on a red blinking nose for a laugh.

What Christmas Carol Are You?

Definitely a reindeer theme here......

Your Christmas is Most Like: The Muppet Christmas Carol
You tend to reflect on Christmas past, present, and future...And you also do a little singing.
What Movie Is Your Christmas Most Like?

Muppets.....oooh! Oooh! Which one am I? Maybe Gonzo??

You Are a Fruitcake!
You taste like nothing else in this world.And get ready, you're about to get tossed!

What Crappy Gift Are You? figures.

Thast's my fun for the day. Now I want my friend Dr. Dice Singer to do at least one of these and giggle about it....she needs a smile today.
I also think that Russian Violets has been lost in grading land too long and should also participate in some mindless quizzes as well.
Will be looking for your posts!!

.... and to all a good night. --Statgirl

Tuesday, December 13, 2005


The grading pile doesn't seem to be shrinking very quickly. Yesterday I returned a set of papers, only to be rewarded with that classes' final exams to now grade. Still 2 more exams to give this week .....and then grade. Oh well, exams do grade much faster than research papers.

On the topic of research papers:
Hats off to my students who actually followed directions and kept up with me during the semester working on each section of their paper near the time we discussed the section topic in class. Way to go! I'm seeing great work that demonstrates a real understanding of how it all fits together.

Raspberries to those students who thought they could write their first ever research proposal the night before it was due. You are doing silly things like: eliminating variables through sampling, citing the actual point of your study as a threat to validity, failing to consider the ethics of your study, not demonstrating any potential impact or importance of your study, failing to show how your study builds on prior research, and running short on time (I hope this is your excuse) and lifting entire sentences from published research in your attempts to summarize other peoples research. [FYI: This is PLAGIARISM.]

Now...back to the stack of papers and the comedy of errors....I just wish I were laughing.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Focus Factor

Well, even thought the list of 'to do's was long...very little was accomplished today. Other than minimal organizing and much procrastination my time in the office was wasted. This was immediately followed by a near panic attack when I arrived home and began assessing what all must be accomplished in the next 2 weeks. Of course, most of this anxiety was brought on by the attempt to "make my list"--no need to check it twice--there is much shopping to be done. Geez I hate shopping ..especially when it involves cold weather and long lines.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Back from a blogging break.

Yes, I am still alive....if anyone even noticed I was gone [besides Seeking Solace who gave me a 'shout out'--thanks :-) ]. I have had a few days where I felt I needed to be a bit more introspective and let some things brew. Furthermore, nothing more exciting going on in my academic world that what has been covered brilliantly by the rest of my fellow academic bloggers.

Follow-up to birthday blogging of last week: I left work early with DA and went grocery shopping and then spent the rest of the afternoon cooking a spectacular birthday dinner with her. Very fun! I love to cook and I find that it is much more fun sharing the kitchen with others and talking and laughing as you go--hard to do when you live alone and have a tiny apartment kitchen that is not conducive to guest chefs. Thankfully, DA and GB have a wonderful kitchen made for friends and my birthday dinner was great!!!

Weekend update: Spent the weekend getting caught up on household chores and laundry--first real chance to do so after being out of town for Thanksgiving. Also spent much quality time with the kitty.

Beginning of this week: Furious end of semester grading, updating Blackboard, and dealing with various student issues. Cleaning of the office --had to get rid of some of the dead balloons and sagging crepe paper in my office as well as find the bottom of my desk (yes, we go a bit crazy sometimes with the birthday decos). Used some of my blogger buddies suggestions to put together gifts for my secret santa. So far so good---although I think she may have figured out already who I am. Actually, I'm thinking that my secret santa gifter may also be my giftee. Not sure yet...but I have defnitely eliminated a couple of possibilities. Good sign of the week: Now that application deadlines have passed for some of the jobs I applied for, I got my first phone call this week which has rescued me from the "what if no one wants me?" syndrome which creeps up on me at unexpected moments.

Middle of week: SNOW!!! Lots of it--so much that my very last class didn't happen because the university canceled classes. Should be interesting getting the final papers turned into me now--wonder how many students will ignore my email about turning them in by tomorrow and will just show up at the final exam next week with the paper in hand saying they didn't received the email and just couldn't figure out what to do ---but they had the paper done, of course.

Today: Pajama day--I have been so tired and just D. R. A. G. G. I. N. G. I spent the entire day at home in my PJ's (well almost, put on sweats to go outside and clean my car off and dig a path so I can get out of my parking spot tomorrow). I slept over 14 hours in the past 48. Did I work on the book chapter that has to get finished ASAP? No. Did I finish writing my final exams? No. Did I work on something that would progress my dissertation? No. I played video games. Actually just one game--Crash Twinsanity--Is it just me, or are the save points really far apart in this game???

That's it for true confessions today. I'm finishing my tea and going to bed I'ved jotted down my 'to do' list. Tomorrow is going to be a busy day.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Secret Santa Ideas?

I have 2 weeks to spoil my Secret Santa person at work---who has good ideas for little inexpensive gifts???

Birthday Blogging!!!

It's my birthday!! And I'm done reading ALL my students rough drafts---only the final set of papers in one week!

Hey!! It's my birthday!!! It's my birthday!!!

Funniest note left by someone on my door--> "How many degrees of freedom in a happy birthday?" ---yes, I'm a nerd. :-)

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Ignoring my blog, too......

Not only did I manage to ignore all the ridiculously stupid emails I received in last few days, but I have also negleted my blog and received a few email prods to post.

Well, what can I say? It's the same song and dance as everyone else here in the academic corner of the blogosphere--things are winding down and there is much grading to be done.

My favorite student writing of the day--> An entire section in their research proposal about "constant variables"--this followed, of course, the section about the independent, dependent, and extraneous variables. Hello!? Got brain??? What do those words mean (in ANY context)?!

I will try to get more in the blogging spirit very soon.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Regrouping and ignoring student emails.

It's cold outside and I am breaking out the sleepy bear hot tea. MMmmmmm.....

There were a few snow flurries today and, of course, I got an email from a student wanting to know if we would have class---I ignored the email.

And I know I didn't really get that other email asking about something we covered in week 3 of the class which is uber important for the final paper which is due this week. I surely imagined that email.

Best of all, I didn't see the post on the blackboard discussion board asking about the homework assignment which I discussed for at least 10 minutes in class last week--that student couldn't be serious about asking where to locate the article that has been referenced in the last 6 homework assignments and is listed on page 1 of the syllabus with a note that says 'bring to class each week to use in class work/discussion'....

No...I'm sure I have imagined all of this.

Time for statgirl to drink her tea and go curl up in her warm bed with a book.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

It's good to be home!!

Yea! I'm back home and finishing up my laundry and almost ready to 'turn in' in my own bed. Miss Kitty is still walking around 'kitty bitching' that I left her alone for a few days. What a wonderful thing it is to return home.

All in all, a good short break from reality.....but tomorrow "Reality Strikes Back"

To do list:
  1. Finish class prep #1
  2. Read 2 articles for class prep #2
  3. Read and comment on multiple rough drafts.
  4. Score homework assignments.
  5. Write exam review.
  6. Begin writing/revising final exams.
  7. Major work on book chapter.
  8. Dissertation data needs some cleaning....

Big projects on the horizen 'to do' list:

  1. Revise article #1
  2. Reorganize and polish article #2
  3. Analyze data/write paper #3
  4. Revise/add to paper #4
  5. Finish syllabi for Spring semester

OK..public accountability is putting an undeniable end to the holiday---off to bed for one last evening of reading for fun.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

As seen at Russian Violets. . .

Your Life is Like
Being John Malkovich
What John Cusack movie are you?

Hmmmm? ..I really liked this movie...but I hope I'm not really living it.

You have the Rossetti girl look. You are the kind
of girl pre-Raphaelite painters admired; tall,
slender, and fair as a lily flower. The
pre-Raphaelite girl had dramatic beauty; long
neck, large soulful eyes, full shapely mouth
and masses of wavy hair. The pre-Raphaelites
painted girls like this, they showed them in
dramatic situations dressed as famous
characters in legends, plays and poetry. The
favourite colours of the artists were russet,
green and gold. The following artists would
have loved to paint you; Holman Hunt, John
Everett Millais, Edward Burne-Jones, William
Morris and Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

'Pretty As A Picture' - Which Artist Would Paint You?

Not so sure about this one.....

Friday, November 25, 2005

I am thankful.... (one day late)

Now that the eating has ceased..... (wow! was it good! traditional turkey plus slow cooked in a smoker ribs....mmmmmm!)

The Thankful List:
  1. My Life: I'm healthy, happy and have a great day to day existence.
  2. My family and friends: I have people around me who love and care for me. I'm especially thinkful for DA, GB, and the Dice Singer who have been so supportive of me during this job hunting/dissertation finishing escapade.
  3. My cat: She's the bestest, cutest, most cattitudinal pet ever!
  4. My job: I love getting up and going to work (yes, even on Saturdays).
  5. My home: It's small, but comfortable.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Blast from the Past.

I just spent the evening with someone I went to high school with--I haven't seen Aeroboy since our 10 year reunion? Our parents were friends for years and he is only 10 days older than I so we have baby pictures of us hanging together in the playpen. Six years of middle and high school together and then college degrees from rival universities. Both of us, oddities among our counterparts from small midwestern town (SMWT)-- we talked of how similar our lives have been: first there were wedding inivites and then baby announcements. Both of us still single ....and liking it that way for now. Neither of us willing to settle. It's good to live a single life and be mobile--he contracts work out and travels all along the east coast. I only visit SMWT once a year--he has been back twice in the past 3 years. We sit and listen to our mothers recount the local SMWT gossip and realize that although time passes quickly in our days, little has changed in SMWT. The only difference with each visit is how much our parents have aged and topics of their conversations.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Sluggish Tuesday

I was all geared up for a day of uninterrupted writing and research work..and??

Well, I could have had it...but it slipped away. I was so sluggish and unmotivated that I ended up clearing smaller tasks off my desk and avoiding the big jobs at hand. So??

I'm packing up articles in my backpack for the Thanksgiving holiday....

Maybe freedom from my office will inspire writing??


Not that I was worried...but being Statgirl and all, I wouldn't want to fail at this quiz!!

You Passed 8th Grade Math
Congratulations, you got 10/10 correct!
Could You Pass 8th Grade Math?

Monday, November 21, 2005

Countdown to the holiday

I only have to work 2 days this week but I need to accomplish what I would normally do in 5--so when am I supposed to get it done?

I've spent my morning prepping a class for today that several students will skip "because Thanksgiving is 3 days away"--what is up with that? The university doesn't close until Wednesday. I hereby vow to myself to not repeat anything that I cover today next week when the skippers return--I will answer any question that pertains to todays lecture with "you should check the powerpoint notes and textbook for the answer to that--we covered it last week". ---Yeah, right, let's see if I can really stick to that!?

Update: Not as many absent as I guessed there would be---I will be able to stick to my vow of not repeating next week.

Tomoroow I plan to show up in jeans and my most comfy sweatshirt for a day full of research related work... please, oh, please, let it be productive.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

I am more than my soda?

OK--day 4 with no soda and therefore no caffeine (other than the small amount from a few Hershey's kisses with cherry filling--great limited edition holiday flavor!) and I am really slow. I'm tired and kind of cranky---I'm having to work hard to maintain an acceptable attitude.

I have considered the probable causes:
  1. I'm going home for a few days?--eliminated this one, because I am actually looking forward to the trip for once. I have some work to take with me, a couple good books and I should be fine.
  2. The job search stress?---well, eliminate this one as well--not really feeling the crunch yet and I think I have a good shot at several of the places I applied. My CV is in decent shape for a new grad, I have pubs and I have teaching experience with great evals, I have done some service and feel like I am really prepared to be in a tenure-track position. I am confident about interviewing well (I have as much if not more personality than most 'nerds' in my field)--I just need an interview and I am secure that something will come along, it's early in the game.
  3. End of semester run down?--elimiate this one too---the end of the semester is my favorite time, I'm almost done with this group of students--just one lecture plus review day to go before I give the final exams. Then I will have several days to just work on my writing/research---I can't wait!!
  4. So? --Well, it must be my new found freedom from sugar/caffiene that I was loading into my body. How many days to really get through withdrawel??

I'm really hoping that after these days of "in a funk for no reason" are followed by a new found 'high' living without all the caffeine and that I get my optimism back and stop feeling so tired. Don't want to keeping dra....gggg...iiiinnnn....ggggg.......

Saturday, November 19, 2005


Harry Potter was great!!! Even though many parts of the book were abbreviated and many characters' roles where smaller than usual, all expected appearances occured and it was a great film. I'm placing it second in the HP series---still like the original the best.

*** PS I'm also successfully making through my third day of soda free life. Hanging in there for now.

Friday, November 18, 2005

I'm going to a movie!

I realize this is a typical friday activity for many people--however, it has been almost 2 years since I last set foot inside the door of a movie theatre. With HBO and all the regular cable television offerings, I don't usually feel the need to pay more money to sit in a room with strangers and watch the big screen. Plus, with trying to write a disseration while keeping up with my full time job--watching anything isn't really a priority. So TV does me just fine.....

However, tonight is special--it is HARRY POTTER!!!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Confessions of a soda junkie.....

Sometimes I drink 4 or 5 sodas a day and I drink "the real thing" --all the caffeine and all the sugar--39 grams in one of those little cans!! And I learned today from my dentist that I am the worst kind of soda junkie: I'm a "sipper"--I keep a can on the desk at all times and keep tipping it back all day long. I learned that even if I drank an entire case in one sitting I would do less damage to my teeth. But instead, I coat my teeth in sugar and just when it starts to wear off, I drench them again. So what to do???

I can't stand the diet stuff ---if I could take it, it might be worth risking brain cancer from the asperteme instead of rotting all my teeth.

All the other drinks I like are also high in sugar--my naked fruit juice in the morning ( 20-30 g/bottle) and yes, I checked around---the natural sugar is just as bad for your teeth as sugar in soda (well, close enough anyway---and remember, I am a "sipper" which compounds the problem).

Now that it is getting colder I do drink a lot of hot tea and I don't add any honey or sugar so maybe this will help to control my need to sip and save my enamel? But what will I do when it is warmer? And will tea really take the place of my soda habit?--it's doubtful.....

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Temperature Tantrum!

Yes! I'm having a tantrum about the temperature--first it was 70 degrees a couple of days ago, then yesterday it snowed! Now today it is sunny, but only 29 degrees!! Crazy as this is I can live with it.
What I cannot live with is the temperature controlled environments that I live and work in--
(1) Yesterday I woke up to a room temp of 52 degrees because the heat in my home was not working. After a long conversation with the maintenance man about how I was unwilling to wait until "sometime in the afternoon" for him to diagnose my heating problem because he didn't understand my polite request for help--finally after saying "dude, it's snowing outside and I have no heat", he agreed to be there before 10am. So I was very happy when I arrived home yesterday evening to my cozy kitty basking in the 68 degree comfort of working heat.
(2) Now today, I am sitting in my university office which is registering a temperature over 80 degrees! It's 29 degrees outside--I've peeled all the layers I can peel without being dismissed for indecent exposure. Do we really only have one thermostat for 3 huge office suites? Persons in 2 of the 3 suites are suffering from heat exhaustion and the HVAC people do not think this is problem?? WTF???

Now a cranky and sweaty statgirl will return to her writing....

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

A girl needs friends...

I just spent and hour on the phone with Dr. DiceSinger. She is also looking for a tenure track position and it's nice to share our experiences, expectations, and worries. Even though we are in different (but related) fields applying for different kinds of jobs, she is doing the same things, wondering about the same things, and dreaming about the same things. Perhaps even more importantly, we have similar world views and we tend to be very positive optimistic people. It's good to have a friend like the Dice Singer!!!

Other friends:

NG didn't come to work it was quiet...and if my phone rings after 10pm--I am NOT answering it.

Beachgirl's car was stolen out of her garage!!! Shocker---she left the garage door open and the next morning it was gone. Her birthday is coming soon...hopefully I can cheer her up.

DA got to work at home all day yesterday in her PJ's--I'm so jealous.

Monday, November 14, 2005


It's cold out today--after an atypical fall season thus far, it suddenly IS fall and according to the weatherman: tomorrow it will be winter!! Wait! I'm not good with sudden change. I need time to aclimate myself. Today I am actually enjoying the fact that my office has no windows.

Meanwhile in studentland.....

I, *statgirl* pledge to: (1) not answer any email that contains a question whose answer can readily be accessed on the syllabus --oh no, you lost your syllabus? --look at the copy on Blackboard!, (2) respond quickly and curtiously to all students who submit the rough draft ON TIME, (3) ignore and delete those rough drafts that are submitted AFTER the deadline, (4) deny all requests to turn in late homework assignments from students who just now realized that the optional homework assignments would have helped their grade.

Note to self: I will never again have a "homework optional" component to any of my courses because in this trial semester, the students for whom I designed the assignments did not do them.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Another installment of "Random Sunday Thoughts"

Sunday has defnitely become my cleansing day--literally and figuratively. I always clean my house and do laundry and in the process unwind from last weeks events and prepare for a new week. Here is this weeks top thoughts--some enduring and other just frickin' annoying.....

  1. NG called me last night at 10:40 (!) to tell me that her conference proposal received the highest ratings of them all. Whoopty-f@%&in'--Do! And no, I'm not bittter--my own proposal ratings were great--I just think it's weird to announce this and it's certainly not worthing of getting me out of bed.
  2. I've got a TON of writing to get done this week--too bad I can't crawl under a rock and hide from my students. Worst of all, it is literature review type work which I absolutely detest!!
  3. Another round of job applications going out tomorrow and I must make a decision about applying to "good job in less than desirable location"....hhhmmm? I'm leaning toward 'no' seems like there are more than enough jobs posted this year.
  4. The new Harry Potter film opens on Friday--yee haw!!

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Tastes Meme

Dr. Crazy invented this one and since I need to go to the grocery store today this seems like an appropriate post.

Favorite food on a cold, rainy, fall day: Soup, of course! Chili, maybe? or perhaps aspargus soup made by DA ?--> mmmmmmm!!
Favorite food on a hot, humid, summer day: No food, just beer--Corona with lime. OK, if I have to have food with that---I like country ham and a couple cornichon on a baguette with just a touch of butter.
Favorite food when I'm feeling depressed or PMS-y: Chocolate and California Rolls (no--not together! Yuck!) Anything really greasy and bad for me is a close second.
Favorite food that is an embarassment to enjoy eating, because for some reason a lot of people find it gross: Mashed potatoes, with peas or corn, all covered in chicken gravy.
Favorite dinner made by my mother: Thankgiving/Christmas--traditional style : turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, blueberry pie.
Favorite dinners made by my grandmother: I used to love to back blueberry muffins with my grandma when I was young and she taught me how to make the best pie crust ever as well. I like it with peach or blueberry the best!
Favorite dinners made by me: I have lots of recipes I like--just depends on my mood. And I love preparing something new that I find in a cookbook or food magazine. Cooking is a very grounding process for me and helps me to unwind.
Favorite desserts that I make: Red Velvet Cake, White Wedding Cake, Chocolate Mousse, and Gingerbread.

And I need to add a category:

Favorite Appetizer or Snack-y Food: Cheese! Boursin, comte, port salut, chevre, bleu . . . (and a glass of red wine, please!)

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

The Waiting Game (A Job Quest Update)

This one is a request from Sheepish. . .

Several apps. are out the door, a few confirmations of 'full app. on file' have been received.
I contemplate a few more recent postings with looming deadlines. But mostly. . . . I wait.

My Earliest Memory

A request from Jo(e). . .

This one is rather difficult in many ways. As I thought back and reflected on my childhood memories, I was plagued with thoughts of "is this really MY memory?" or "is this a story someone in my family told me about my early years?" The more I contemplate this, the more intrigued I have become with memories. Which ones are really 'mine' and which ones feel like they belong to me because I have heard the story repeated so many times by my family?

So finally arriving at a memory that I am certain is my own. . . I was about 2 years old and playing in my sisters room (a corner of which was my room), I remember a lavender color for some reason, although I'm pretty sure the room was pink? Maybe it WAS lavender when I was very young. I was on my sister's big bed and noticed a stuffed horse at the end of the bed. It was tall enough that I could see the white tufts of mane on the top of the horsey's head. I don't remember the action of getting to the horse, although I'm sure it consisted of my sliding off the edge of the bed and onto the horsey's back. What I do remember vivedly is approximately 2 seconds of joy as I sat atop the horse before one of the horse's stuffed animal legs gave way under my two-year old body and I fell to the floor.

The interesting thing about this memory is that it stays with me because of guilt, I knew it was something I should not do but I did it and I most likely left the toy 'broken' by adding some additional flexability to a stuffed animal that was meant to have a ridged form. I do not recall being 'in trouble' as a result of this incident or any memory of my sister even finding out what I had done. There was no punishment (or at least no memory of it) for this incident and yet I know it happened. What does ths say about me? My earliest memory is such an insignificant incident (perhaps not even noticed by others) and it is fixed in place by feelings of guilt?

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

I've lost that blogging feeling....

Sorry...just nothing too exciting going on right now.

I explained the difference in the t test and the F test to someone today...... uh...... I graded some not so exciting homework assignments from my students. I'm working on writing an exam. I've got 2 papers bumping around in my noggin'.....but nothing exciting to write on my blog. >sigh<

I guess I could go with Profgrrrl's latest stategy...what do you want me to write about? It's not really my style....but maybe I need to rely on someone else's ideas for now.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Monday Movies....

I had no time to watch a movie today, it was just a typical Monday--busy and long. Nothing exciting to blog about so I'm going to do that movie list that has been seen EVERYWHERE by now.

I think I'm breaking the's supposed to be 15 films from the past 15 years.....some of these are older and maybe I won't make it to 15. I haven't been to a movie theatre in over a year--so movies don't really have high priority in my life; however, there are several that I enjoy watching over and over. (And I'm too tired to link them, sorry.)
  1. The Shawshank Redemption
  2. Dangerous Liasons (any of the 3 versions around --athough my favorite is the 80's version with Glenn Close and John Malkovich)
  3. What Dreams May Come
  4. Life is Beautiful
  5. American Beauty
  6. Like Water for Chocolate
  7. Less than Zero/ St. Elmo's Fire ( really like Andrew McCarthy---he's a 'hotty body' and those soft features---the lips....OOooooohh!!)
  8. The Hours
  9. Out of Africa
  10. Harry Potter films
  11. Au Revoir Les Enfants
  12. Heathers / Jawbreaker
  13. L'Auberge Espagnol

OK..made it to 13. Lucky 13! And with that, I'm off to dreamland.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Random Sunday Thoughts. . .

  1. I should be ironing clothes for this week but the pants I laundered today are not yet dry. I can't put them in the dryer because I am 'the woman with 8 foot legs'. (see Jo(e) for details).
  2. I am counting down the number of class periods remaining in the semester. Is is over yet?
  3. My 'to do' list for classes this week doesn't look to bad--I may actually make some progress on my own research/writing. Could that even be possible?
  4. NG called me last night at 11:30!!!! If I am not out at a social gathering, I am defnitely tucked under the covers by 11pm (usually with a good book) and I DON'T want to be bothered.
  5. The leaves are really pretty and a recent lack of wind/rain is keeping them hanging around longer than usual this year. Why do I spend my free day inside cleaning etc. when I could be out enjoying Fall?
  6. I tried to call my friend Cat Lady last night, and about 4 times today. I also tried last weekend. Considering the only communication with her lately has been short and sweet emails, maybe I've angered her (again?). How do I always do this?
  7. I will have a great week this work week, I can feel it.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Getting started again is the hardest part.

It's Friday and I've taught all my classes this week, finished all the grading and even have prepped (well, about 10% remaining) for next week. So I'm finally ready to get 'back into' my work, meaning my research, writing projects. Why is this so hard??

I have terrible difficulty picking back up where I left off. What was the next step going to be? How do I get back into that mindset where I was really thinking about this project? Hmmm....

Thursday, November 03, 2005

My Life

Saw this at the amazing Russian Violets page (she is also a "buttmunch" at love--hmmm...common thread among academic types???? ).

This Is My Life, Rated
Life: 6.8
Mind: 7.2
Body: 7
Spirit: 5.9
Friends/Family: 4.5
Love: 3.1
Finance: 7.8
Take the Rate My Life Quiz

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Music Meme

I found this at Brightstar --music and memories--how fun!!

Song I always put on mix CD's: "Walkin' on Sunshine"--Katrina and the Waves
Song I try to woo people with:, never thought of that-I'm always trying to get people to like me for me--what's wrong with that???
Song that reminds me of my childhood: ?? no answer for this one
Song that takes me back to high school : "Lean on me"--Club Nouveau
Song that takes me back to college: "I think we're alone now"--Tiffany (Ok that was even embarassing to type)
Song that always makes me cry: "Silent Lucidity" --Queensrych
Song that takes me to my happy place: Anything 80's
Song I play to get the party started: depends on who is at the party....
First concert attended: Michael Jackson-Victory Tour/Thriller
last concert attended: Last 3--Elton John, Sarah McLachlan Alanis Morissette
artist I've seen most often in concert: Easy one...Melissa Etheridge
first record/CD I bought: Culture Club--Colour by Numbers
last record/CD I bought: Tori Amos--The Beekeeper
album I love falling asleep to: Sarah McLachlan-- Mirrorball
album I love waking up to: no music in the
Best after-hours album: not sure what "after hours" means here---after the party is over? Pink Floyd--The Wall, of course!
Best song/album for falling in love: Now, if I knew the answer to this one I would be in love, no such luck. :-(
best song/album for breaking up: Alanis Morissette
Guilty pleasure music: Musical music --Rent

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


Dear Stu Dent,

Why do you come to my office and talk to me about how much you care about your grade and then leave class early during the break?


Monday, October 31, 2005

Good-bye October. . .

October is favorite time of year with bright colored leaves falling to the ground is ending. The evenings will eventually become too cool for an open window. This academic semester is flying by. Where did it go?

Coming up.... the frantic finals season, the end of semester research rush, and don't forget "Let the eating begin!" holiday foods and snack plates are sure to be just around the corner. Say good-bye to the skinny clothes. I'm afraid to go to the store now..I'm sure the Christmas decos are going up as the Halloween candy moves to the discount shelf. Why is everything so rushed?

New admissions policy for grad school

If I could change the admissions application for graduate programs, I would ask candidates if they had at any time in their academic undergraduate career sent an email that in any way ressembles this one : "Dear Statgirl, Will I pass this class?".

If so, then the student is probably not a good candidate for grad school, I probably don't need to read the recommendation letters or see the GRE scores. Simply by asking this question, the student has already demonstrated an inability read a syllabus and calculate their standing (grade) in the class. This also shows that the student does not realize that grades are not 'assigned', they are earned according to performance standards. The student does not understand that they are really the only person who knows if they possess the ability to "pass this class" based on requirement completion and effort expended. Furthurmore, if the student found themselves in this position in undergrad classes then he or she is not likely to be able to make it in a more difficult graduate program.

--Yes, my costume today is "Cranky Prof".

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Random Sunday Thoughts

  1. Why are some people so negative? NG is constantly asking how many application packets I have sent out and to where and then she immediately follows my response with a litany of reasons why I would never get hired in said locations. Thankfully, I think she is full of pooh and has some weird need to do this to make herself feel good. I'm assuming the job search was a difficult process for her and she has to relive it now in a more positive way (from her point of view) since she is no longer experiencing it???
  2. How did I aquire 5 pair of brown pants (granted, they are different shades)? Do I really need to be able to wear brown everyday for an entire workweek? Maybe I should go shoe shopping, I think I need more brown shoes to go with all the brown pants. . . .
  3. Fall back weekend is a great time of the year....nothing like looking at the clock on a Sunday and being surprised by how much time remains in the weekend!

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Saturday morning grading and 'just not feeling it'

It's Saturday morning and I'm grading exams. So far a very bimodal distribution- the "have a clue" and "clueless" groups. Very few "I'm partially getting it". The 'clueless' have me stumped--they are hung up on the very basic things which I have said so many times in class that the "with a clue's" are rolling their eyes. What to do....what to do??

Meanwhile my own projects are greatly suffering as of late because it seems there are only enough hours in the day to keep up with teaching and attend the necessary meetings. Any remaining time has been spent putting together job applications. I seem to have all the necessary items in place for those now, so future packets can be assembled rather efficiently. It's time to figure out how to get back on track with writing.

I've tried to make writing a habit and when I get a few days run going I am rather successful. Unfortunately, it is difficult to come back to working on something that has been left out in the cold for days or even weeks. A large part of my time is spent rereading what I have written and looking over notes and outlines to figure out what comes next and what I should be working on to advance the project. There must be an easier way to pick up the process without having to backtrack so far just to get going again. I've read a few writing tips online and 'how to' books but so far none of the suggested techniques have worked for me.

I only have this problem with some of my projects, other projects are constantly 'playing in my head' and I will have a writing breakthrough at the weirdest moment--while brushing my teeth or filling the cat's food bowl. So maybe the problem is really with my own level of engagement with the project, I'm just not 'feeling it'.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Congrats Dr. Dice Singer!!

My good friend Dice Singer successfully defended her brillant dissertation today!! She is now on the job watch out world!!

Thursday, October 27, 2005

I can do this!

As I drove home from a less than wonderful day at work-- (a) too much time on tedious tasks that don't add a line to my vita, (b) unproductive writing, realizing too late that I already had the info I needed saved elsewhere, (c) having to explain to a student that lifting sentences directly from a published source IS plagerism, and (d) a student showing up to my office one hour before the exam asking if I could go over the lecture they missed 2 weeks ago. Yes, all of these things are annoying, some are disheartening, others are just utterly time consuming; but, my thought today driving home was how much I really love what I do.
I love it when a student gets the break through moment where they finally understand a difficult concept. I love it when a student asks a really good thought provoking question. I love it when a student comes to my office and asks a question I cannot answer and we talk through the problem and find the solution together. I love it when I get a great idea for a research project that I just have to add to my research journal (in hopes that one day I can look into it more and develop the idea into a project). I love it when I finally figure out how to organize what I'm writing (when it seems like I have been stuck in a rut for eternity). I love it when I get to think about planning the next course I will teach, the next paper I will write, the next study that I will design, and the next set of data that I will analyze.

On belonging to a non-academic family

I've been thinking a lot about my relationship with my family lately. It might have something to do with waiting forever to buy my plane ticket home for Thanksgiving (once I purchase it then I am really committed to going home).
During my childhood, school was of paramount importance and the broken record in my head played over and over 'education is the key to your future'. [However, I do think my parents were thinking more along the lines of medical doctor, lawyer, or accountant rather than PhD.]
So what happened along the way that made them really lose me? Did I take to long getting here? Or is it that they just don't really understand what I do?
I am reminded of the subheading on Dr. Crazy's page "Thinking for a living is serious business," this is so true; however there could also be a subheading to the subheading "What people think you do for a living is less than serious."
When you are the only 4-year college grad in the family, your education, graduate school, and faculty life is a big mystery.
. . . and let's not even replay the scene of me trying to explain my research or what I teach to my family.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Why I need a fall break.

So doesn't that sound like the most boring essay topic ever assigned?

Well, here is why (in my best "I'm not writing a stinkin' essay form"):

I need a fall break in order to . . .
  1. Catch up on grading
  2. Organizemy life outside my job
  3. Organize my desk (where ever it may hiding under those mounds of papers)
  4. Clean my house
  5. Make my Christmas list (and check it twice)
  6. Catch up on sleep
  7. Write my dissertation
  8. Write a book chapter
  9. Write, write, write....

I'm thinking of evaluating all future postings in my field in terms of their school calendar.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Upcoming holidays = Family = Travel = Stress

As I spoke to my family member this evening on the phone I realized that I will soon be visiting for for almost 4 WHOLE DAYS. Am I a terrible person for sort of dreading this event? I know that while I am there I will be thinking about either a) the work I could be getting done with no one else around over the holiday or b) catching up and relaxing --some quality "me" time. That sounds awful but sometimes spending time in my home town is very trying--it's hard to listen to the same gossip that has been going on for the last 20 years since I left (isn't there anything more exciting going on there?). For example, there was a murder there (Oh, my gosh!) 2 years ago that still gets press---it's that small of a town. It's not that I don't enjoy seeing my family, I do. I think its more the shock of returning there and realizing that I don't fit in there anymore--I'm the outsider. This goes without mentioning all the conversations that come about when you parents start aging and things like metamusil and laxatives are a regular topic of conversation---there are just somethings you never want your parent to share.

On the other hand there are some good things about going home---there is that one type of soup that even if I follow the recipe exactly it never tastes the same as when my mom makes it.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Let the games begin!!!

I did it!! I went to the post office and sent out the first three completed application packets--all 50+ pages of stuff that the ads requested. Now, of course, I have to obsess about any possible mistake I could have made even though I painstakingly read and reread each letter, checked a million times for typos, had friends read, etc. My immediate thought upon exiting the post office was : "What if I put them in the wrong envelopes!???" --now rationally, I know that I checked (twice) before sealing---but it's just my nature to obsess about this kind of thing. I'm very good at mathy, nerdy stuff and can organize big projects but little details like photocopying, putting together teaching evals , etc. are difficult for me. The exact same thing happens when I'm writing for publication--I get the big pieces put together and then have near nervous breakdowns over little things like formatting a table. Go figure.....

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

So..what IS the answer??

There is some saying about 'you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink' and I've decided the teaching equivalent is 'you can give a student the information and tools to learn, but you can't make him think'. I'm at my wits end with a couple of students. One of the topics in a course I teach deals with understanding the validity of resarch tools. I spend considerable time on different possibilities for demonstrating valildity in my lectures, I have student look at examples of how researchers provide this evidence, and I have multiple small group projects where students develop their own possibilities. There is also a book chapter on this topic which is supported with online learning center examples and practice provided by the textbook authors/publisher. The students that are pushing me over the edge at the moment are those students who refuse to think about this, rather they constantly ask "So, what IS the answer?" and do not seem to understand that there can be a variety of answers for a given situation depending on the context and usage of the research tool.
As a class activity, I divided the students into groups and gave them each a paper with a description of a measurement tool and had them devise ways to demonstrate the validity of the instrument. What the students didn't know was that I gave each group the same tool--the point was to show that people approach the situation differently and many correct answers are possible, it just depends on how the groups defined their context, etc. I even said this was the point of the exercise and still those same 'nonthinkers' asked "So, what IS the answer?".
Shouldn't graduate students be a little beyond this stage of intellectual development? Shouldn't they realize that not every situation has only 1 solution? Where did they get the idea that learning is about getting THE answer?

Monday, October 17, 2005

I'm back ....and the technology gods hate me!!!!

I'm sure you all thought that I was recovering from a gigantis hangover after the 2 big-ass martini night on Friday; however, it wasn't that. internet was down!!!! Horror off all horrors!!! How did I ever live without 24 hour/day live connection to the rest of the world??

Anyway...problem solved and fixed and back in action..... So here is the weekend update:

Saturday: Grading, grading, and more grading. This trauma along with no internet service led to Sunday, which turned into a completely wasted day--I spent hours reading fiction, playing video games, and talking on the phone (had to get my words in somehow, if not by typing). All in all, not a bad weekend.

Today the technology gods were frowning upon me again! I show up to teach my class and the projector is not working--20 minutes later a techie has that up and running and I'm off (after talking through the first few slides of my powerpoint without visual backup). Then I get to a part of the lecture where I want to demostrate how to do something and I try to open the necessary software program and get some weird message about being an unauthorized user (funny since I used that very program 10 minutes before class in my office). So I talk around that glitch as well and decide to let my class out 30 minutes early in order for them to go to the computer lab and work through the "how to" project with my assistence in the lab. We move to the lab, everyone logs on and then try to open the program and only one student can successfully open the program and accompanying file--all others receive a variety of error messages (oddly enough, they all receive different messages for trying to do the same task). Lab assistant is ready to poke out his eyeballs and cannot solve the problem and is on the phone with the "power techies". At this point, I give up and send my students home as there is only 15 minutes left in the period and no sign of a solution on the horizon. So, in sum, I gave up a treasured 30 minutes of classtime I could have used finishing up other things in the classroom and I had to alter the homework assignment as students were unable to access the materials necessary.

Must be the full moon.......

Friday, October 14, 2005

2 gigantic martinis later....

I am feeling much better and am OK with the fact that I did absolutely nothing productive today. Now, of course, I recognize that this is really not a good thing but I am going to live with it anyway because I had a really good time laughing about ridiculous things and also engaging in some fairly serious conversation about DOG (I mean GOD). Essentially, a discussion about religon and the role it plays in everyday life (mine and my friends).

Another good thing today...I heard from a friend from way back (more than 7 years ago) who contacted me out of the blue and reminded me how much we used to laugh in my previous grad program. For as competitive as it was...those of us who really didn't give a damn about where we stood in the hierarchy (I was OK with being a B student and living with one of the most competitive people in the cohort) really had fun. Not that I am not having fun now, I am.....but fun for a different reason....I really like what I'm doing now and being good at what I do is very important to me and it comes to me much easier in this field than my previous grad school experience where I worked very hard for everything I got. (I'm not saying I don't work hard now, I's just a different level of working hard and understanding leading to a different kind of happiness). that my post has fully demonstrated the effect of 2 huge ass matini's...I'm ready for some sleep, I think.


Second meeting of the year for Faculty Follies today (a.k.a. monthly faculty meeting) .....need a HUGE, GIGANTIC, BIG-ASS martini. Need I say more.....

Now, back in my office, I'm completely uninspired to work on anything....

I should: answer student emails, grade assignment, put together class lecture for Monday, work on my own research

I will: read any and all blogs that look remotely interesting, surf for good internet airfares to exotic locations, maybe clean off the top of my desk

Friday are so NOT productive for me.....

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Thoughts before noon on Thursday....

Several things going on...maybe will blog in greater detail later after my day calms down. Preliminary thoughts:

1) Again I spent another Wednesday evening with DA and GB---drank a martini, ate, and played cards. This is a good thing (ah shit...I sound like Martha Stewart) and really helps me to relax midway in my week.

2) Why do some people have to escalate a discussion to a higher level by raising their voice and interupting? I'm really trying hard to understand this persons point but yelling doesn't make it any clearer (my hearing is fine), what I need to understand is the reasoning they went through to arrive at the disputed conclusion. If you won't explain your reasoning will you at least let me explain mine?

3) I finally got in contact with my friend who is on sabbatical! She is living on the other side of the big pond and I am planning to visit her on my spring break...woo hoo. It's been a few years since my last voyage across the pond, I can hardly wait. Looking forward to some good food, wine, people watching and of course, some quality time with my friend. She will need a name for my blog .....hmmm...have to think of something creative.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


On needs of another kind.....

I am all for helping a struggling anxious student...happens a lot in my field; however, a student who sends 9 emails in one 2 hour period is a bit excessive. Sometimes I feel like when you give a student an inch (offering help), they take a mile (expecting you to be available at their convenience). I'm sorry, but some of the 9 email questions are just not that urgent and could wait until classtime. Yes, I understand that teaching is my primary responsibility in this position but I also have to do other really exciting committee meetings, eat, go to the bathroom, and research. I wish students would think before they send off a quick email. I know that most students would never dare call a professsor or talk to them in person the way they do by email. What has technology done to teaching??

Monday, October 10, 2005

The Needs Meme (as seen on numerous blogs).

This was really fun for me (I have a very common first name so about a million hits come up from googling "{first name} needs"...

Statgirl needs a lot of rest today (Ain't that the truth everyday!)
Statgirl needs her sense of humor now rather than later. (Humor has gotten me out of many 'situations', yes indeed.)
Statgirl needs a bookcover. (?? hmmm..didn't know I needed one??)
Statgirl needs an agent to become an actress. (I don't think debut in the middle school play as an egg pretty much sums up my acting ability.)
Statgirl needs a night of blinding sex to get out of the coma that Bob left her in. (I don't know who Bob is but there are a couple of other names I could substitute in ... and, a night of "blinding sex"--wow!)
Statgirl needs the support of her friends the most. (Well, of course, they keep me going....)
Statgirl needs some weight on her, but keep in mind that she is one of the most beautiful women in the world. (Well, thank you! ...I think..except for that comment about weight?)
Statgirl needs that abnormally think facial hair, to keep warm and dry in the winter. (See previous need.)
Statgirl needs to get her freak on! (Will work on this one....... if it involves martinis and 'blinding sex'...I'm all for gettin' my freak on! )
Statgirl needs to take the gloves off and get into this race. (apparently I'm losing a race I'm not aware of???? )
Statgirl needs a job. (Well, duh....but first I have to get back to work and finish up this dissertation.)

I found it.....

...the very first job posting on the Chronicle that is actually (a) a job I'm qualified for and (b) a job that I would like to have (school size, location, etc.). I'm so I really have to finish my "I am great" letter and my research and teaching statements. Woo hoo! Keep your fingers crosssed...This will be the first application (of many) out the door and into the mailbox.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Krazy Kitty!

Today I did laundry (as I do every Sunday) and I dropped a dryer sheet on the floor upon removing my towels from the dryer. Kitty has claimed it and has spent the last 3 hours dragging it from room to room with her. Now, as I sit and type at the computer she is curled up with the dryer sheet using it as a pillow. She looks adorable. I think it is love.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Everything ended up OK....

So maybe this won't go on record as the most exciting Friday night ever ...but I have gotten lots of things done that I normally put off doing but suddenly I was energized to do.
  1. Changed the kitty litter box (real fun)
  2. Scrubbed the toilet and shower (even more fun)
  3. Cleaned out the refrigerator (not too scary)
  4. Took out the trash (nice walk out in the cool air)

Now I'm baking cookies....homemade suger cookies in the shape of pumpkins. I aired out the house and now have my halloween shadow casting candles lit...Fall is here. Well, need to go mix up some frosting..... orange, of course. :-)


OK, I know, it's Friday...I'm supposed to be happy for the weekend. I'm not. My day is dragging along and I'm not making the progress I had hoped for. My happy hour friends have canceled (different, less reliable group than last weekend's partying crew).....should I stay at the office and work into the evening? --What a loser!!! or should I go home a crack open a bottle of wine?--Again, loser!! drinking! no! None of it sounds very appealing at the moment. I want to go home and curl up on the couch with somebody warm and maybe let them brush my hair. Last night I had this great dream where lost love boy was brushing my hair..... weird, I know, but I loving having someone else brush my hair. Very relaxing....

OK...freak signing off now.....

About Me

Saw this over at New Kid and decided to join in......

About Me Meme
Relationship status: single and looking, I suppose (although I'm pretty good at being single and enjoy it)
Height: 5'9"
Shoe: 8.5
Parents still together: no
Siblings: 1 sister
Pets: 1 extremly spoiled cat (and then there is the dog I frequently have under my desk at the office)

Colour: green
Number: 11
Animal: gorillas and monkey (I can sit at the zoo and watch them for extended periods of time...facinating...who can really deny the theory of evolution?)
Drinks: Martini's --Dirty with blue cheese stuffed olives
Soda: Coke
Book: Wow..I'm supposed to choose only 1? Le Petit Prince --Antoine Saint-Exupery

Do you?
Colour your hair: no, but I donate it when it gets long
Have tattoos: no
Piercings: ears, once
Like cleaning: no, but I feel really good when my house is spotless.
Know how to drive: Yes

Have you ever?
Been in a physical fight: Yes, in high school--all out girl fight in the parking lot of the local grocery store. Still don't know how it got started but she was bigger than me....
Kicked someone in the nuts: not on purpose
Stolen anything: no, unless you count paper clips, etc. that have gone from work to home office.
Held a gun: yes
Drink: Of course!
Cried over a girl: yes ---a couple of friends have hurt my feelings at one time or another
Been in love: yes
Lied to someone: nothing big, but a lie as an excuse so I didn't have to do something
Cried over a boy: yes

Current clothing: Jeans and orange sweatshirt
Current mood: avoiding work--the usual Friday feeling
Current taste: chocolate--just had a yummy snack
Current smell: me? no, I showered today--my hair is still damp and I can smell the shampoo
Current thing I ought to be doing: working on this #$$% book chapter
Current CDs in stereo: Tori Amos "The Beekeeper"
Last book you read: Harry Potter and the half-blood prince
Last movie you saw: at the theatre? can't remember, I rarely go.....
Last thing you ate: chocolate
Last person you talked to on the phone: my sister

Do you...?
Do drugs: No
Have a dream that keeps coming back: yes, whenever I am sick I have the same dream--I'm stuck in a room that is filling up with something (balls, paper, boxes, etc.) and I can't remove the items fast enough
Play an instrument: used to play the piano, bass guitar, the flute, and the piccolo
Read the newspaper: not usually

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

A happy place

I just wasn't in the greatest mood all day today and was sort of sleepy. However, GB convinced me that I NEEDED to go out to dinner with her and DA..... I said 'yes' reluctantly but now am so glad I did. Not only did I have great food and company but I am so much more relaxed and feeling more positive than I did all day long. It' s really important to have someone in your life who reminds you how to laugh at stupid things like you did when you were a kid. On this particular evening it was just the three of us in a nice restaurant trying to hang spoons on our noses. Wonderful!

Lazy or just "that clueless"?

Email from student to whom I have recently sent abstracts found in online database:


It must be me because I have been looking for over 2 hours online and I can't find those articles to read. The abstracts are out there but not the full article. I'm very frustrated...

Dear Stu Dent,

Did you not read the instructions on the library's website, or the handout I gave in class (also posted on blackboard), or come to the library orientation, or listen when I said you CANNOT limit yourself to only full text articles. You have to do a little work ---like look in the full text directory or at least fill out the online interlibrary loan form.


And I mean a LITTLE did I ever get by in my own undergrad years when I actually had to walk to the library physically and check to see if the book was there and if it wasn't then I had to walk to the interlibrary loan department and fill out the paper form and then walk back again weeks later to pick up the article or book.

Wow!.. that was a lot of walking ...must be why I was thinner then.....yes! has made me gain weight. That is certainly a better thought for the day than thinking that students actually have it hard when I ask them to find 5 empirically based research articles....because that IS so difficult and frustrating!


Only I could take a quiz from such a well-known storybook and be matched to a character who is NOT IN THE BOOK!!!?? WTF???

You're Gopher. You're not in the book, but you're
still an important character! You like to dig
tunnels and build things. You're usually
pretty wrapped up in your work, but you try to
help out your friends when you can.

What Winnie the Pooh Character Are You?

So what does this say about me? I am so confused . . .

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Rambling Thoughts...

  1. I have so many things to be working on right now and I finally just finished grading everything so I can move on to writing, but I have no idea even where to begin. I seriously sat down to organize my 'to do's for tomorrow and I didn't even know what to write down. How much of a set back is it to have to reassess where I am on every project and figure out what the next steps and then pick one and get going??? Can 5 straight days of grading and off task things really disorient me that much!? Apparently ..yes.
  2. Why am I not very motivated to write my "I'm so great letter" and "teaching philosophy statement" so I can start applying for jobs? I've never really thought that I was one of those people who are fearful of success or failure; however, since my motivation to 'just do it' is so low I must be fearful of something (or maybe I'm just tired).
  3. Literature reviews are so boring so write, but they are even worse to revise. Now that it looks like the target journal is changing, this may also involve some reorganization. That may rank even lower than revising a lit. review.
  4. Data, data everywhere...but no time to analyze.

Time for some sleepytime tea and a little shut eye..... maybe this will all look better tomorrow.


I did it! I am completely caught up on grading--every last test, homework, quiz--all of it marked, recorded and ready to return.

gotta run...student due to arrive in 15 minutes to do make-up exam---want to enjoy the next hour or so of "having nothing to grade" :-)

Monday, October 03, 2005

To students who ignore all indicators of important material.....

  • I talked about it in class
  • I did 2 examples using it
  • It was on the homework assignment (did you turn it in?)
  • I put another example in the powerpoint slides
  • I listed it on the study guide

Why would you NOT expect that to be on the test???? Am I missing something here??

Sunday, October 02, 2005

I want to do the number meme too!

It was Jo(e) who started this one....

Number of years my cat has allowed me to live with and take care of her: 13
Number of organic catnip mice her highness currently has in her possession: 2
Number of classes I teach: 3
Number of students I have this term:71
Number of computers I own: 2
Number of sisters I have: 1
Average number of times I eat every day: I'm a constant grazer.
How many academic conferences I went to last year: 2
How many "angry chick music" CDs I own: 22
Number of musical instruments I can play: 3
How many times I've been to California: 3
How many times I've been to Europe: 4
How many times I've been to Florida: 6
How far, in miles, I live from my parents: not far enough
Number of left-handed siblings I have: I'm the only lefty in the family
How far, in miles, I live from the nearest grocery store: .8
Pairs of cute black shoes I own: 12
Number of television shows I watch each week: 0--nothing regular, but several mindless shows I will stare at when bored or avoiding work including all the Law & Order, CSI type series.
How many students in my high school class: who cares...high school is over.
Number of college degrees I have: 4 (including the PhD I will have by the end of this academic year).
Years I've lived in this town: 8
Number of cars I've owned: 4
Number of cars I've purchased new: 1
Number of words I should be writing daily to finish my dissertation : approximately 750
Number of job postings in my field in the Chronicle so far: 2 (I'm not anxious about finding a job at all....STRESS!)

OK....back to writing a test.


Just reading around the academic blogosphere today it seems like several of us were engaged in grading activities today. Ifinished grading all the exams and posted scores. Overall, I am quite pleased with my students performance--although I'm worried about some of the lower scores because they were really low. Like so low, I don't think the book was even touched and I'm thinking maybe classtime was naptime?? Judging by the number of very high scores the exam was not all that difficult, so a low score is pretty indicative of either a student doing very little or a real lack of understanding.

I still have several homework assignments to finish grading and rough drafts I should read but they are going to have to wait until after I finish writing an exam for another class. I usually don't wait until the last minute to write but the motivation bug has not struck.

Not sure when I will actually have time to do something that will add some depth to my CV......

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Happy Hour Report

2 happy hours + 4 martinis + dancing + laughing = one very late night (actually very early morning)

But it was fun...... finally a little break from the reality and stress of day to day existence in my tornado of 'to do' lists and anxiety.

Today I'm taking it easy all day: slept in very late, doing some laundry and watching mindless TV.
Tomorrow I will have to get back to the grind.

Friday, September 30, 2005

woo hoo!!

Now I have managed to schedule in a pre-happy hour drink with DA---so only 3 hours 41 minutes until this day is done!!!

5.5 hours until happy hour....

Solution to crankiness today: Count down the hours remaining until happy hour.

To do:
  1. Grade exams (so far in part I they are doing well...yea!)
  2. Write exam for class 2
  3. Organize outline for chapter project
  4. Deal with some data......

....5 hours and 29 minutes until happy hour..... martini is drawing closer.......

What is up with me?

It's going to be one of those days when I am going to have to close the door to my office and isolate myself. I have this incredible urge to lash out at everything today--so far only 2 other people in the office and almost every little word uttered has about pushed me over the edge. WARNING: Dangerous *statgirl* today--high alert!!

Note: I do think I may have done/said something to upset one of these people because she has been 'a little off' the last couple of days; however, this could just be my own emotional overload of the moment causing me to misread the world around me.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Horrible Haiku

It is obvious
Work shall not occur today
I am a big slug

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

What does it mean that I stared at the same data file all day??

  • It means that I did not check off one single thing on my 'to do' list today.
  • It means that I was non productive.
  • It means that I had absolutely no focus.

It was like I was "frozen" and just couldn't get going on anything--everything was just buzzing around inside my head and nothing would stand still for even one moment for me to organize it, structure it, and get moving on it. Just a few days ago I felt like I was so on top of things and managing it all very well. How did it have time to pile up?? FRUSTRATION!!!

Now that I have revealed my absolute craziness, there were a few good things to my day. I located a friend whom I haven't talked to in a very long time. She is living in a different city and it just happens to be somewhere I am planning on visiting in the near future. Bonus!

This also happens to be one of the first days of the season that seems like fall---it even smelled like fall today. I love that smell and the sound of the dry leaves drifting across the pavement in the breeze. Yeah! Fall !

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Fun Stuff

Saw this over at Just Tenured and couldn't resist. I so loved the 80's. So this is what I got.....

Your 80s Heartthrob Is
Bill Gates

How about that?....if I just could have met him, I would be a gijillionnaire!!! But I know that money doesn't buy happiness and I'm happy in my little corner of the world. Oh, but what I wouldn't give to have a little nerd to love. :-)

Monday, September 26, 2005

Oh no....

Was it just 2 days ago that I posted about cleaning and organizing and going through the junk mail stack piece by piece?? Yes!! Then why can't I find the $150 rebate check from the new computer I just recently purchased?? It's just got to be here somewhere....I couldn't have mistaken that for junk mail during my cleaning and purging episode!!!

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Should I worry that ....

1) less than 10% of my students have even picked up the practice exam questions less than 48 hours before the first exam

2) only about 55 % have turned in all 4 of the homework assignments due before this point in the semester

3) according to the few questions I have gotten---they are not seeing the difference between memorizing a definition and being able to apply the material to a situation. [Even though I told them knowing a defnition would be of little help unless they then knew what to do with the concept and all of the in-class work and homework assignment have focused on application.]

4) I worry too much about my students? Sometimes it seems like the more 'safeguard' things I put in place, the more they blame me when they do not learn the course material. Maybe I should try to transform into one of those 'hard ass profs' that just gives a midterm and a final -average the 2 scores --> voila final grade.

Dear Advisor, Thank you...

for caring enough to begin your weekend day by sending a long email about the manuscript I'm working on. Now you want me to direct it to a different journal than originally planned. This one has a larger audience (and accordingly, a higher rejection rate). I am so glad that you have confidence in my work and spend your "off hours" thinking about it. Although sometimes it's a little scary when you come into my office and say "I was lying awake last night thinking about your project and I think that....."
You have worked so hard to help me become a competitive job candidate. Am I going to live up to the expectations you have of me? What if no one out there likes anything I write and hates my research? What if everyone finds errors in my analyses? What if I never generate any discussion in my field and never publish another thing?? What if I get a job and then don't make it?

Oh dear advisor, how do you deal with me everyday.....sometimes I'm a real mess. Am I going to be able to do this for my own students someday?

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Cleaning and Organizing

Why don't I throw out the junk mail immediately? No...I let it pile up until it takes over my desk and sometimes the dining room table. Then I have to sit and sort through it piece by piece to make sure something important didn't end up in the junk mail pile. Note to Self: Stop at trash can next to mailbox and throw junk mail away right away.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Reflections on a love lost

He was not the typical guy to whom I would normally be attracted. He was rather thin, and a sensitive type with no college degree, a child and the recent experience of a difficult divorce. He was the most romantic man I have ever met; in fact, he nearly crossed the line of 'trying to hard' but yet never quite fell into that status because he really meant everything he said and did so much for me because he cared and he liked to see me smile. He scared me away at first because he was so intense; but he won me over with his gentle nature and ability to share his thoughts and dreams. It only lasted a few weeks, circumstance kept us apart but the impression on my heart is everlasting. It was the biggest heartbreak I have endured and I thought that one day I would look back and say it wasn't real. But time does not a relationship make, he was the love that I longed for and the memory will never completely fade away.

People are surprised....

I saw this post on jo(e)'s page and it inspired me (as many posts there do because jo(e) is a wonderful writer and draws me in everytime I read a post).

Things about me that surprise my friends:

1) I love playing video games, not the car racing or sports type games, but the puzzle solving, character direction varieties.

2) My undergrad GPA is pathetic..actually really hideous (the freedom of college life was a bit overwhelming for me). Thank goodness that I am really good at standardized tests or I wouldn't be finishing a Ph.D.--no one would have ever believed I had the potential.

3) I am a complete "neat freak" at home even though my office always looks like train wreck.

4) My age....never met anyone yet that can guess it correctly. {Thankfully, everyone guesses too low...I'll start really worrying when the standard error is in the opposite direction.}

5) I do not intend to have children...while really facinated by the biological potential to create a "mini me" and I do love kids (I am the cool adult in my family that during holiday meals sits a the kids table...and it is because I want to, not because I am the "old maid" of the bunch), one of the best things about kids is that they go home to someone else.

6) I really dread social gatherings (of medium to large size). I'm fine once I get there and start mingling...but I hate the whole "find something to wear", worrying about if I'll know anyone, etc.

Thursday, September 22, 2005


So much to write, so little time to accomplish it all.

Seems like the writing projects keep piling up and the stuff I like to do (data analysis) is few and far between right now. Only one of the projects on the plate involves any data at all--unfortunately book chapters and lit reviews aren't as much fun for me. I wholeheartedly second Profgrrls post from a few days ago titled "Lit Reviews are Evil"--they are!

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Blackboard Thread of Terror

I suppose it does not bode well for the upcoming exam in one course I teache when I discover an entire thread on the course discussion board which starts with "I can't find the hypothesis in the qualitative study". So I shouldn't have been surprised by another comments later on in the thread "Do you know if anything from the textbook will be covered or is it just the lecture?" --Dude! Where do you think I get the topic for my lecture!!?? ---I am not one of those profs who "reads" the textbook to students and calls it "lecture"---but my lecture certainly parallels the assigned readings in the book and I choose examples that compliment and contrast with the examples in the text--so, YES, I assume you are reading the book. Furthermore, this is a GRADUATE level course---take some responsibility for your own learning.

OK--I'm irritated....I'm getting over it......but tomorrow will be another round.

UPDATE on "what is wrong with people?" post --I actually got a return call from the manager of the restaurant where offensive comments were made by our waitress. After wishing I would have left a note, I did call the restaurant and left a message expressing my concern that one their staff would say such things to customers. He apologized, offered a free breakfast to our group and assured me that the staff was informed that those types of comments were not appropriate and would not be tolerated. --- Small victory--I'm not usually one to stand up and speak out, but it's time I do.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Monday Mania!

Why do I feel like I accomplished nothing today...even though I was running most of the time? Two meetings this morning before 10 am and then 2 student appointments followed by a proofreading session for DA. I'm a terrible proofreader and so is DA so I guess she is hoping that in this case 2 poor proofreaders are better than no proofreaders (office was deserted today except for undergrad entering data). Not sure where my afternoon went? I remember reading 2 requests to substitute courses for a required course I teach and then skimming my notes before I taught my class, but the rest is a blur until my course. I was moving right along with material there until I tried to slip in the "area is probability" material in connection with the normal curve and z-scores. Suddenly I had several students who no longer saw any connection between proportion, decimal, and percentage formats of probability. They were so hung up on these elementary math conversions that they missed the whole conceptual picture I was trying to present. I love when you see the exact moment "the lightbulb turns on" and equally detest the moment when you see "the lightbulb switch off . . . and then tumble from the top of their head and shatter on the floor"--it's so evident in some students expressions.

Tomorrow is another day....I'm going to try to keep better track of time and stick closer to my 'to do' list.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

What is wrong with people?

Went to breakfast this morning with my usual group of Sunday Morning Brunchers. We went to a different location than usual. After we got our food and were into our meal talking and laughing and telling stories about what is going on in our lives and new jobs (all of us have the same former job in common--liked each other, hated the boss), the waitress comes to our table and says "Hey, I've a got question for you" and proceeds to tell two innappropriate gay bashing jokes. She didn't even seem to notice the looks of shock on our faces. She didn't know anything about us, if we were gay or straight, if we wanted to hear a joke (or how violent or non-violent we could be). She was in her mid-50's, I would guess---we didn't even know what to say--she had been perfectly nice up until that point. I really want to believe that she is just totally out of the loop and has no idea how offensive those jokes are. Is telling jokes really appropriate EVER when delivering food to strangers who have in no way engaged you any conversation other than placing orders. And why would anyone ever tell such inappropriate unfunny comments to a group of strangers?

Friday, September 16, 2005

Friday Assessment....

I've been thinking about how much more I like my job this year....this is the same position that I really disliked last year. DA says it is just because I don't accept change well and now I'm finally getting "in the groove". DA is probably right...she usually is; however, I keep thinking that if this is true then I am just going to go through all this again very soon as I plan to find a tenure track job for next year (keep your fingers crossed).

Whatever the difficulties I have with change, that can only be part of the mess for me because there are still many things I don't like about this job. I don't fit in very well in my division or unit. I'm the crazy quant. person in a sea of qual. people. I like numbers and probability...give me a break...I'm a nerd.

On a personal note: I think I may have alienated my best friend this week. Humor doesn't travel well by email and I was misinterpreted which resulted in an outpouring of emotion from her and some statements that I found pretty extreme. Mostly she just said some things that make me think that she really doesn't appreciate me in the same way that I appreciate her. I guess I always believed she would be there for me.....but maybe she wouldn't. Hhhmmm...kind of a not so kind revelation to have about someone that you have counted as your closest friend for several years.

On the subject of friends (yes, I'm in a rambling mood tonight) friend turnover rate has been fairly high in the past few decision to go back to school and change jobs has essentially made it hard work to keep up with some friends. I think I've tried....but I need a little effort from the other side as well. So what's going to happen when I get old and crusty.....will I be that old lady who likes nerdy math books and has a million cats?

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

The Day After....

Well, there was one last entry into the pool for NSP Day (celebrated yesterday) but I went to bed before 11pm so I didn't open the email until today......and this one just might be the winner:

Sorry I missed class tonight but first I forgot that we were meeting at the library so I went to the regular classroom. Then I saw your reminder note to meet at the library, but I couldn't find it. Sorry.

In my fantasy I would click reply:

Perhaps you are just not student material, after all , the library is the largest building located exactly in the center of our small campus and one of the few building that isn't sitting behind a placard bearing some benefactor's last name--the big stone sign actually says "Library". You most likely drove past it to get to the building where our class is usually held. (If you didn't then there is a good chance that you were driving the wrong way on a one-way street.) ---Statgirl

PS No need to apologize, it is not problematic for my learning and understanding that you missed class tonight, I already have a good understanding of the course material.

As for the rest of was good progress on the things I need to do list. However, I'm terrible at estimating how much time it will take to complete things and I don't get to cross much off the list. I'm thinking of listing things in smaller tasks so I than I can do some crossing off--it's mostly psychological, I know, but I want to feel good about finishing things rather than be so focused on what is left to complete and gets carried over to the following day.

One more manuscript to review and then sleepy time for statgirl........

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

National Stupid People Day...

It must be! Stupid highlights of the day:

A student contacts my colleague to find out if the test this week will be out of the 'required' or 'supplemental' texts---well, considering that the supplemental text for this course is the APA style manual and the lecture notes have been in reference to the required text as well as homework from the required text. . . -- What is wrong with this student?

I have been reading homework assignments from my students --I have 62 students in 2 sections of a course I teach. Of these 62 students, 8 of them missed a question in which the answer to the question was given in the first sentence of the abstract of the article, and was also repeated in the first paragraph of the article--> They didn't even have to read the article to get the answer, it was right there! I used this format so it was equivalent for the other articles where the answer was not directly stated and students had to formulate a response. Needless to say...these 8 students didn't get those right either.

Next, another colleague was swamped with emails this morning from a list serve she belongs to--2 of the messages were from people asking for help about how to get off of the list so they wouldn't get so much email. Like most listserv's, this one has instructions for how to remove yourself at the bottom of each email sent out. So these people are getting those instructions appoximately 10 times each day. Can people not read???

Received phone message from student who missed class last night asking if they may take the quiz which was given. "I know your syllabus says that make up quizzes will not be given, however I was really tired and just couldn't make it to class"--- Wow..too bad I can't skip class when I am tired!

Student email received today: "I was wondering if we could use the 5th edition of the text instead of the 6th....that one is much cheaper online. " --What has this student been reading for the last 4 weeks of class while she was deciding which edition to order?? Note: The exam is this way you will get that book in time to read 6 chapters and prepare.

I give up........

One more just in..... email exchange with student:
Stu Dent: Can I come to your office tomorrow morning to go over some of the material covered in class last week?
Statgirl: I'm sorry, Stu Dent, but tomorrow I am booked all morning and will not be back in the office until my scheduled office hours starting at 3:30. If that will not work for you, my schedule Thursday is fairly open.
Stu Dent: OK, I understand, however, my Thursday is pretty full. So , I hate to ask this, but how about tomorrow in the afternoon around 2:30 instead of the morning?

OK....what is unclear about I will not be in my office until 3:30???