Monday, October 31, 2005
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?
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
- 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???
- 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. . . .
- 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
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
Thursday, October 27, 2005
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.
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
Well, here is why (in my best "I'm not writing a stinkin' essay form"):
I need a fall break in order to . . .
- Catch up on grading
- Organizemy life outside my job
- Organize my desk (where ever it may hiding under those mounds of papers)
- Clean my house
- Make my Christmas list (and check it twice)
- Catch up on sleep
- Write my dissertation
- Write a book chapter
- Write, write, write....
I'm thinking of evaluating all future postings in my field in terms of their school calendar.
Saturday, October 22, 2005
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
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
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
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
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 do.....it's just a different level of working hard and understanding leading to a different kind of happiness).
OK....now that my post has fully demonstrated the effect of 2 huge ass matini's...I'm ready for some sleep, I think.
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
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
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 things...like 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
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 so...my 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.)
Sunday, October 09, 2005
Friday, October 07, 2005
- Changed the kitty litter box (real fun)
- Scrubbed the toilet and shower (even more fun)
- Cleaned out the refrigerator (not too scary)
- 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...freak signing off now.....
About Me Meme
Relationship status: single and looking, I suppose (although I'm pretty good at being single and enjoy it)
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)
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
Book: Wow..I'm supposed to choose only 1? Le Petit Prince --Antoine Saint-Exupery
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 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
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 work....how 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!..technology 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!
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
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
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
- 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
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.
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
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.