Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Year in Review Meme

As seen chez Abby. . .

January: Back to life, back to reality... Wasn't that a song in the 80's?

February: Things I learned while interviewing
I really LIKE talking about my research and people are actually interested in what I do.

March: Status Report
T minus 28 days....
Project X is out the door again (yes, it came back for revisions from another author as I knew it would)--no big deal this time, not such difficult changes to make and I actually wrote a real discussion this time (much better than the previous "this will do for draft #1 discussion)

April: Dissertation Dump: Part II
Today I delivered the Big D to my committee members. It only took about 2 hours last night to print the beast. All this extra hoopla with sending pages through the printer twice in order to get the tables with horizontal orientation on the page correctly. Then, of course, I made a mistake in the title (geez, of all places!) and had to reprint the 5 title pages this morning before I made deliveries.

May: It is finally time to take the defense ticker off my page--coming up on 2 weeks since officially getting the PhD. However, I am leaving the exclamation point [Ph.D.!] on my email signature until after graduation this weekend.

June: 4 days since I'm back from the beach and it's finally time to get a summer routine going. Summer school starts next week and I am suddenly very aware of how little time I have left in Midwest city.

July: I am a homeowner! I have been for almost 6 whole!

August: While traveling yesterday to new school city, I received some bad news: Super B, a sometimes commenter here who I knew IRL, was killed in a car accident.

September: One of the toughest things about taking a new job is finding a way to fit into New City.

October: Back from the conference/vacation with DA and GB. Where did we go?

November: What is wrong with me? I decided to turn down the consulting opportunity. I made my list of pros and cons and just couldn't come up with enough pros to warrent acceptance.

December: It was a happy birthday to me.....
First birthday celebration in new town was this weekend.

Wow...that was a whirlwind. Interview, job, defended dissertation, new home, beach trip, moving, loss of a friend, trip to Europe, trying to fit in and finally celebrating my birthday.

Now for the holidays and then it will be ...."back to life, back to reality" all over again.

why can't I comment?

I can't comment on anyone who has updated to blogger beta. It says I can use my blogger account to log it but it won't let me. It won't even let me click other and enter my blogger name (which isn't even a required field)--What is up with Blogger or am I just too stupid??

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Is it over yet?

Finals week starts tomorrow and I am still waiting on 10 final papers to grade. I guess I should write the final I am giving this week, better make it easy to grade.

Went to 2 holiday gatherings this weekend--so I guess I am gaining some popularity in my new city; however, it still doesn't feel like home. I'm really looking forward to going back to grad school city for a while--that is still home. My only guilt about the whole trip is boarding my cat for two weeks---I usually pay a pet sitter to visit my home, but since kitty is now on 2 pills a day and still adjusting to meds, she needs more attention. However, in kitty world, she would just rather be left alone. Please keep your fingers crossed with me that she eats while being boarded. I did book her a room at a fancy place with little mini pet condos---please kitty understand that this is what is best for you.

This week I have got to start my Christmas shopping...I just couldn't get off the couch today and brave the weekend crowds. Instead I watched the final 4 episodes of season 1 of Lost and although I have been warned about Season 2, I have next on my Netflix queue. I also discovered the most ridiculous reality show out there--Celebrety Paranormal Project, today's epidsode was pathetic, the celebs walked away without finishing the mission. I can't believe I got sucked into watching the entire pathetic of me.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

It was a happy birthday to me.....

First birthday celebration in new town was this weekend. I had some new friends over to watch a basketball game in the afternoon and then my neighbor dropped by with a gift which we promptly drank and got silly drunk. I had to walk her home (3 houses away); I was afraid she would walk into the wrong house. In the evening I went to dinner with Dr. Dice and her husband and another couple. I had yummy lobster tails and creme brulee for dessert. Mmmm!

Today I have stayed at home all day--finished up some grading, cleaned floors, and did laundry. This is the beginning of the last week of classes----tons of grading, but my first semester in new job is defnitely winding down.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

I'll chime in with "grading sucks"!

I am so behind on grading that I am having to give an extension to students on their final papers--after all they must get the rough drafts back in time in order to review them and fix them before turning them back to me, right??

After spending hours over the weekend researching my kitty's illness; I was just too deflated to tackle grading so I watched hours of season one of LOST---and now I am totally hooked. :-)

Update on Kitty: I have found a place within 1 hour of my home that will do the radioiodine treatment for $1000--I am waiting to hear about scheduling etc. but I plan to move forward with it if all other things check out. Meanwhile she is on two pills a day mashed up in gravy..mmmm.

In work related news: I got 2 proposals out this week so far, but still have one students proposal to look over --dragging my feet on this one since I asked it to be sent to by Nov. 10 and I actually received it on Nove 26. And, yes, I did just talk about my own inability to meet deadlines, but somehow this one is really bugging me. Could it be that this is the student who is always at least 15 minutes late to meetings? the student who doesn't have many relatives left for excuses (my aunt died, my grandma is sick, etc.)? the student who begged me to let her submit her idea even though she doesn't have the data analysis skills to complete it (hence, I will have to do that part)? the student who can't seem to manage to get all the articles I requested in week 2 of the semester (gosh ILL really doesn't work well for her)? the student who is so disorganized she has sent me the exact same article 3 times, stating each time it is the one she was waiting for from ILL (but it is from a journal to which we have an online subscription)? the student who will be in my class next semester because the 'guy who taught it last year was just too hard and I couldn't figure it out'?

Oh, and tomorrow morning the very senior colleague will be late to our research team meeting so I need to get it started ---I don't even know the names of the people on the team yet--could be entertaining.

Wish me luck and keep kitty in good healthy thoughts, please.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Kitty Hyper-T : Anyone have info?

My kitty was diagnosed with hyper thyroidism today. Searching on the internet (and according to my vet) I have found that there are three main treatments (1) pills to control it for life (potential side effects) (2) surgery (have ruled this one out ) or (3) radioiodine treatment (expensive and limited treatment sites)

I have been researching the radioiodine treatment online and it seems that prices range hugely ($800-$2000)--unfortunately, the unofficial report from the site closest to me (3 hours away) is at the upper end. I'm going to check with my vet next week and see if she knows of any other sites closer to me with a more reasonable price.

The first perscription is being filled tomorrow (I didn't ask the price)--but internet sites are reporting approximately $500/ year.

My cat is 14 years old. I'm wondering about the liklihood of her being on 2 pill a day medication for life. She hates to take pills--I can probably mash them up in the gravy on her food to get them down (if they are 'crushable' pills).

Right now, I'm thinking I should go with the pills for a while and see how she responds while I do some research on the radioiodine treatment and figure out how I will get her twice a day care when I am out of town.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Negativity in Academe

I've been mulling over this post for the last few days and the overriding thought is about all the negativity that seems to be floating around among academics. I originally thought (and sometimes still do) that this negativity stems from competitiveness; however, I have been noticing among my new colleagues that the negativity goes beyond the competitive perfectionistic nature inherent to most academics. I have colleagues who immediately note the negative to any situation--it can be as simple as choosing food for a department luncheon. They are incapable of focusing on what is cost or time effective; rather they will focus on any possible thing they can turn into a negative (i.e. for the food topic: guest perceptions, ordering difficulties, pick-up or delivery, vegetarian options are always the same). I mean totally ridiculous stuff that just. doesn't. matter. (i.e. the guests aren't coming for the food, we have staff to pick-up, we don't even know if we have any vegetarians--if so, won't they just appreciate a vegetarian option?)
But really for me this isn't about the food conversations--that is just an example of how strange it gets around here. It is about any time something good comes along for someone-the majority of the others suddenly feel the need to focus the conversation away from the good news and get the conversation steered toward some negative aspect (which might be remotely related to the good news). Maybe it is just that academics are such solitary self-centered beings that we can't manage to accept anything happening to anyone else but rather focus immediately on what is not happening to us?
I use 'us' loosely here--including myself as an academic--but really hoping I can keep my head above the negativity cess pool brewing in the halls.

Friday, November 17, 2006

The Week in Review

  • Draft of summer research money proposal completed--will need to reread and re-explain and rethink before Thanksgiving.
  • I have been "reading around" in my field--trying to find a theory to fit the research scenario that I have easy access to. I think I found something that will work--need to keep on reading.
  • A stack of 4 articles appeared in my mailbox this morning--example of an application of a statistical technique I've been wanting to learn more about and a colleague thinks his next data project will fit nicely. Need to find time to read more about this.
  • A stack of papers to grade and a string of emails to read from students regarding final projects/rough drafts, etc.
  • Returned corrected proofs to journal--can't wait to see it in print.
  • Invite this morning to participate in conference next fall that I was thinking of skipping. Need to do some serious thinking about pros/cons of agreeing to this presentation. How important is "air time" as an assistant prof?? Conference is in good location; but is only two weeks before European conference I plan to attend. Hhhmmm??

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

On writing, thinking, and grading

Writing: A productive 2 days so far- draft of summer grant proposal completed, but conference proposal not yet finished.

Thinking: Reading and new idea formulated for next semester research project--I'm thinking outside my comfort zone and it is a bit scary but exciting at the same time.

Grading: Have decided not to work into the wee hours to finish grading my students most recent assignment. I always hand back things the next week...except this terrible am I making them wait another! Wait! ....waiting two more weeks because next week is a holiday.....mabye I should have graded until the wee hours?

1 Word Meme

Everybody else is doing it......

1. Yourself: statgirl
2. Your boyfriend/girlfriend: who?
3. Your hair: curly
4. Your mother: sad
5. Your father: angel
6. Your favorite item: computer
7. Your dream last night: forgotten
8. Your favorite drink: martini
9. Your dream car: new
10. The room you are in: new
11. Your ex: materialistic
12. Your fear: failure
13. What you want to be in 10 years: tenured
14. Who you hung out with last night: kitty
15. What you're not: focused
16. Muffins: brownies
17: One of your wish list items: happiness
18: Time: flies
19. The last thing you did: read
20. What you are wearing: sweats
21. Your favorite weather: cool
22. Your favorite book: mystery
23. The last thing you ate: cake
24. Your life: busy
25. Your mood: moody
26. Your best friend (s): supportive
27. What are you thinking about right now: tomorrow
28. Your car: silver
29. What are you doing at the moment: typing
30. Your summer: hectic
31. Your relationship status: what?
32. What is on your tv: cable
33. What is the weather like: cool
34. When is the last time you laughed: today

Friday, November 10, 2006

Quiz time!!

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Midland

"You have a Midland accent" is just another way of saying "you don't have an accent." You probably are from the Midland (Pennsylvania, southern Ohio, southern Indiana, southern Illinois, and Missouri) but then for all we know you could be from Florida or Charleston or one of those big southern cities like Atlanta or Dallas. You have a good voice for TV and radio.

The Inland North
The Northeast
The West
The South
North Central
What American accent do you have?

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


After teaching, I always feel much more energized and ready to face the rest of my work/research/whatever. Unfortunately this semester, I do not teach until Wednesday so my Monday and Tuesdays tend to be rather unproductive. Next semester I teach on Monday so maybe the energy will come earlier in the week? However, it is also quite possible I will then fizzle out by Wednesday and waste my Thursday and Fridays.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Warning labels on candy?

Has anyone else noticed this:

"Candy is a treat. Please consume in moderation."

This was inside the wrapper. ???

Has this warning always been on candy bars? Or is there a sudden new awareness in line with coffee cups that say "Caution: Hot beverage"?? How stupid are we as consumers?

Sunday, November 05, 2006

I love yardwork?

What? Could it actually be possible that I enjoyed raking the leaves in my yard today? Why, yes! It felt good to be in my yard with my rake cleaning up the leaves. Now I'm hoping it doesn't suddenly get windy tomorrow because I filled my yard waste container and still have random piles of leaves in my backyard that will have to wait until I purchase some yard waste bags tomorrow. It was a nice moment standing on the back deck looking at those piles of leaves that I raked together. Not something I ever thought I would enjoy doing, but I did.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

grad student suck up

Today I got this email :

Dr *Statgirl*:

My name is "grad student suck-up extraordinaire" and I am a PhD student in the College of (other college than my own). I see that you will be teaching course X next semester and I have heard that you are incredibly organized and a wonderful instructor for this class. I know that the class is closed, but may I get your permission to enroll? I am very interested in learning X; I have enjoyed all my statistics classes. Thank you very much!


It is interesting that the Stu Dent notes that they have enjoyed their statistics classes, this doesn't lead me to believe that they have exceled at statistics. However, most importantly, this suck-up student didn't even bother to look me up online and find out that I am featured on my dept. website as a NEW faculty member--hence, all the superfluous flattery was a complete waste of Stu Dent's extraordinary suck-up skills. This is the first time I am teaching this course and GSSE will not be in it.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Turning down extra $$??!!?

What is wrong with me? I decided to turn down the consulting opportunity. I made my list of pros and cons and just couldn't come up with enough pros to warrent acceptance. And while the extra money would be nice, I am lucky enough to be able to say that I don't actually need the money. I am scheduled for summer school which is extra money and I'm working on some research grant stuff which would supplement my income as well as my CV. The consulting opportunity would have involved some long flights (equivalent to travel overseas because of the juxtaposition of my location and the consulting location) and I hate trips where the traveling part is actually longer than the stay. Finally, I also think there is a good chance this opportunity will appear again in the next few semesters and maybe then I will feel differently.

OK...decision made... back to writing....

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween!

My very first time having trick or treaters---I've always lived in apartments and never had kids in costume come to the door. This year my house is decked out in lights and decorations and I handed out lots of candy. It was fun!

Meanwhile, on the work front, I just can't seem to get organized and get things going on any one thing. Just when I think I have a few moments to get started on something, something else comes up--right now I'm figuring out course concerns (textbook, enrollment issues, etc.) for Spring---how can this take so much time? I have writing to do!!!

I'm off to bed early tonight---early meeting in the morning and I'm exhausted.

Monday, October 30, 2006


All weekend I was thinking about work projects. Now it is Monday and I am in the office and cannot focus at all on work projects....must be something in the air here.

The Halloween party was a success for a first party in a new town. There were some marvelous drinks and the company and costumes were quite entertaining.

Sunday was a day of cleaning and laundry (and thinking about work projects). And I finally watched Memoirs of a Geisha--what lovely scenary and costumes! And yes, I still like the book better.

I'm thinking about cutting out early and coming up with some fantastic recipe for dinner...

Maybe the work thinking bug will strike again when I step into my home???

Friday, October 27, 2006


Friday evening 10 pm and all I think about is getting though the weekend and getting into next wekk. What is wrong with me?? I have a party planned for tomorrow night and expect somewhere between 20 and 30 guests, I have baked snack foods and have my liquor store list and grocery list ready to go for tomorrow morning. A little decorating in the afternoon and I should be set for the event. But in the back of my mind, all I can think about are work related items--research projects in developement mode, writing up data that I already have, and teaching my class. Why am I suddenly obsessed? Where did this burst of work related energy come from? How do I turn my brain off?

Friday, oh lovely Friday!

After 'meta meeting' Thursday, Friday could only be better--just 2 meetings today; however one of them was across campus and it started raining on my way back. 2 minutes after I am back in my own office, it stops. Nothing like wet pant legs for the remainder of the afternoon.

I'm thinking about taking off early to go home and back some cookies. I am having a big Halloween bash tomorrow night and might need a few pre-cocktails this evening in order to get in the party mood.
However, now that I have a couple of hours to myself and there is virtually no one else in the building on this rainy Friday afternoon, perhaps I would be better served by working on a couple sections of a manuscript.....writing when it's just goes together.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Come on in....

Today I have gotten exactly nothing done due to the enormous traffic in and out of my office. Why are there only 3 meetings on my calendar for today, yet 7 versions of formal and informal (important to someone) interactions have taken place in here. What is up with you today, dear office???

Update: I have now even had a meeting about having a meeting (As Dr. Dice pointed out this must be classified as a 'meta meeting'. )

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

At my desk..

ready to work. I actually sort of feel like working on writing task, but, alas! I must finishing prepping my course for this afternoon....why do I put that off every week. I can't wait until next semester when I am teaching 2 courses that I really love (and hence, prepping is not such a strain). It's not that I do not like what I am teaching...I really do. However, I have taught this particular course in various forms for the last 15! (is that even possible?) semesters (including summers) with no break...I'm tired of talking about this stuff and no amount of love for my subject can override that fact.

On another note, I have a really great consulting opportunity which involves travel, how stupid is it to take on something like that in the first year of a new t-t job? It's only 3 trips in one semester and great money...and doing something I like to do. Hhhmmm....tempting....

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Here we go again. . .

So I have been MIA for quite some time.... After returning from my Europe jaunt I was back in the office for 3 days and then I had house guests (family) for a week and did some sightseeing in new home state. I have now officially seen more of new home state than many of my colleagues who have lived here for several years. It was an adventure..but eventually I had to come back to work. I am faced with many writing projects and a severe case of avoidance. I did finally clean my desk off last friday and I had great intentions for the weekend; however, I only left the house once--walk to *bucks to do some grading---spent the rest of my weekend on the couch.

I want to write. I want to write...but I can't seem to get going. I want to write. I want to write.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Back home

Back from the conference/vacation with DA and GB. Where did we go?
Here's the rundown:
  • 3 days in Paris
  • Numerous little towns in champagne--bonus! we were there during harvest time and saw the grape pickers in action. We met the cutest family in a tiny village who invited us to their midmorning meal. The men were in the fields and the women were making food for 50 people in the kitchen--they were lovely!
  • 2 nights in a B&B in a chateau (with a moat--how cool!)
  • 1 night in a cute hotel in the middle of nowhere--a bit of a walk in the country and a wonderful meal.
  • 3 days in little university town in Germany for the conference
  • Found a festival in Heidelburg--nothing like beer stands everywhere serving beer in glass steins to people wandering the cobblestone streets.

It was a super vacation-I mean conference for work.......

However, my return home has been difficult--I was welcomed by a sick kitty (I think she went on a hunger strike?) and a car that wouldn't start. Much stressing and distressing about the cat, a tow truck and $400 later, I have car that is running and a cat that seems to be on recovery road--thank goodness!!! Now....back to work.....

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Progress (on several fronts)

  • Finished my presentation for my conference--my first presentation with the new uni affiliation
  • Went to 2 social events this weekend-one with friends from work and a second with people in the neighborhood.
  • Have things mostly in order for an out of the country trip--woo hoo!!!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


I've seen this one around lots of places. . .

1.Where did you take or get your profile picture? I don't have one.
2.What exactly are you wearing right now? Off-white sweater, khaki pants, brown shoes, glasses.
3.What is your current problem? No real problems at the moment--I'm in a good place after a stressful summer.
4.What makes you most happy? Laughing with my friends.
5.What's the name of the song that you're listening to? Something by Tasmin Archer, don't know the title.
6.Has anyone you've been really close with passed away? My dad
7.Do you ever watch MTV? Sometimes--I check in on the real world everyone once in a while.
8.What's something that really annoys you? People who don't read directions and then ask a really dumb question (Yes, in this case, there is such thing as a "dumb question".

Chapter 1:All About You
1.Middle name: Procrasination
2.Nickname(s): nothing I can put here
3.Current location: East of the Mississippi
4.Eye color:blue

Chapter 2:Family
1.Do you live with your parents: No way!!! Are you crazy????
2.Do you get along with your parent(s): Sometimes
3.Are your parents married/separated/divorced: My father passed away 14 years ago. My mother has remarried.
4.Do you have any Siblings?: 1 sister

Chapter 3: favorite...
1. Ice Cream: Dove's Brownie Affair
2.Season: Fall/Spring
3.Shampoo/conditioner: Matrix Curl Life

Chapter 4: Do You..
1.Dance in the shower:No, sounds dangerous.
2.Write on your hand:Never.
3.Call people back:Yes
4.Believe in love: ?
5.Sleep on a certain side of the bed: nope, I am wherever I land in the biggest most comfy bed.
6. Any bad habits: A bit of a control freak, obsessive about neatness, and quick to judge people.

Chapter 5: Have You...
1.Broken a bone: No.
2.Sprained stuff: No.
3.Had physical therapy: No.
4.Gotten stitches: No.
5.Taken Pain killers: Yes, from the dentist.
6.Gone SCUBA diving or snorkeling: No, but I would like to.
7.Been stung by a bee:Yes and I swell up like the Michilin man.
8.Thrown up at the dentist: No, but I have anxiety attacks just thinking about the dentist.
9.Sworn in front of your parents:Yes.
10.Had detention:Yes, I skipped school to go to a university library to finish a research project. What a nerd!

Chapter 6: Who/What was the last
1.Movie(s): The Da Vinci Code
2.Person to text you: SS3
3.Person you called: Ann
4.Person you hugged: DA
5.Person you tackled: Haven't done this.
6.Thing you touched: My coke can.
7.Thing you ate: Jambalaya
8.Thing you drank: Coke
9.Thing you said: see you later
10.Friend you miss the most that has moved: My friends didn't move, I did and I miss them all!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Happy Blog-iversary to me!!!

I year ago today I was sitting in front of my computer on Labor Day and I decided to join the blog world.

How much has happened since then and how fun it is to look back through the archives!

Monday, September 04, 2006

'Fitting in' in New City

One of the toughest things about taking a new job is finding a way to fit into New City. However this weekend I feel like I have made some progress:
  • Sunday evening I had my very first dinner guests in my new home. We had a great time and good food. I have the very best porch in the world for drinking wine. :-)
  • Tonight I was invited to dinner by neighbors and also met other people on my street. They were super nice and I really enjoyed talking with them. Hopefully I will get to know them all better as time goes by.

In other news:

I bought a dining room table today--unfortunately I picked out a table that was not in stock and now I have to wait approximately 6-8 weeks for it to arrive. Oh well, I don't have 6 friends yet to seat at my new table--so now I have a goal--make that many friends before the table arrives.

DA is coming to visit this next weekend--we have a paper to write. She will be my very first "official" houseguest--looking forward to hosting her and spending some time with her.

I have an RA--what am I supposed to have said RA do right now--I'm so unsure of what the expectation is and honestly I am not organized enough right now to even know what I need done at this point. This will be my point to ponder tomorrow morning before my afternoon meeting.

I set up my wireless today---and it works--now I just need to figure out how to go back and make it password protected so I am not sharing with everyone in the neighborhood.

Looking forward to a productive week....

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Cared for and well fed former grad student

Reading the posts written by psycgirl and profgirrl regarding the treatment of grad students I have to comment as I make the transition from grad student to faculty. My own experience heavily influenced the type of academic position I searched for and ended up accepting. My initial thoughts of academe and becoming a professor did not entail being a mentor to someone. I loved teaching and I wanted to learn more about research and I didn't care what kind of unversity I would be working in. However, after my experiences in grad school and with DA, my mentor, I knew that I had to find a program where I would have the opportunity to work with grad students. This become a priority when considering job offers. I had such a good experience with my mentor. Believe me, I'm certain my recent weight loss has something to do with moving away from my mentor. :-) And now, as a new faculty member, I am very excited about the mentoring part of my job and I am wondering who my very first mentee will be.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Rainy Day Monday

Achievements today:
  • Finally figured out the benefits forms and got them submitted
  • I have keys! (They don't unlock anything...since I am still NOT IN MY OFFICE)
  • Sent out a project (formerly known as project X...may never have to see it again--other than to check out my name in print which is kind of cool)
  • Accepted appointment on committee in organization (service points that I'm actually interested in)
  • Received email for first meeting of in-college service assignment (boring, but "easy"--so I'm told)
  • Found my one interdisciplinary group to work with on grant application (as advised by Dean)--a project that semi-borders on former career interest--it's an evaluation that if funded I might get some data from that would interest me--not bad for my first attempt at branching outside of my college. First meeting with group later this week...hopefully they are interesting.
  • Went to dept. social event and met several students in the dept. --it ended early--yea!

Not bad at all for a Monday.....

Tomorrow I am really hoping to move into my office.....please, please, oh custodial powers, please finish my floor tonight so I can have a place to park my books and files and make my own.

Saturday, August 26, 2006


Tonight I missed my friends in midwest city. And no, I wasn't sitting at home being lonely. I was out to dinner with new colleagues. It wasn't the same and I know it shouldn't be the same, but that doesn't make it any more comfortable or less difficult. I don't fit in yet and I am not comfortable saying what I think or really expressing any sort of opinion. This makes for a long and borish evening. I have never been so glad as when the other guests made the suggestion that is was time to go; finally an escape. I missed being in familiar places with close friends. I've forgotten what it is like to try and figure out what to wear, appropriate arrival times, what food to bring, how to make polite conversation, etc. This is not enjoyable stuff to me. I miss salmon, asparagus, cards, dominos, dog toys, and laughter.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

First day of class. .

is tomorrow. And my syllabus is almost done---I've held off copying it for 2 reasons (1) I do not have a copy code and (2) I keep thinking of things to add or change.

I finally have filled out all the forms (cross your fingers for me) and gotten all the necessary approvals to get a blackboard site up and running for my class. Good thing I don't really need to post anything until next week because it has taken FOREVER! How much red tape can there be for a course shell???

The painters are supposed to arrive in the morning to paint my office--then the floor still needs to be cleaned/replaced/whatever they are doing....loooks like I might actually get moved in there by next week. I guess then I will actually have to unpack and really "be at work".

I'm looking forward to my class tomorrow--meeting new students and getting back into the groove of something familiar--all the newness and frustration with little things is getting old and I need to be somewhere confortable--the front of the classroom should be just the trick.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

On the eve of the last meeting....

before classes start. (yes, there will be more meetings, I know).

Tomorrow is a campus wide meeting--time to get out of my college and mingle. Although I don't expect to get much in the way of pertinant info at this meeting, it should provide some campus basics (hopefully). If not, there at least looks to be a good lunch planned and an evening reception (maybe with cocktails? boy do I deserve one after all the meetings I've sat through!).

What I still need to know:
  • How to get a key to the building (and eventually my office)?
  • How to log onto the university library system?
  • How to get the computer programs I need on my office computer?
  • How to get a blackboard site up and running for my courses?
  • Where is my mailbox?
  • Why does my computer give me an error message everytime I log on?
  • Where do I make copies? Do I need a copy code?
  • A million other things I can't think of yet....

What I have learned:

  • I am the only new faculty member in my college who got a reduced course load as part of the deal
  • My class is full (but I don't know how many students that is).
  • Where my classroom is for the first day.
  • The bookstore has possibly ordered the wrong book (?).
  • That my office is now vacant (but still needs to be cleaned and painted)--I have chosen a lovely light shade of orange.
  • Lots of other misc. things about the new U--but basically I just jotted down website to go to when I actually need some of this info.

What still needs to be finished:

  • Obviously, I still need to settle into my office (maybe next week??)
  • Syllabus is still not done. . .
  • Need to make a to do list of research projects/presentations/ due dates, etc. Can't even remember half of what I have going right now.
  • 3 remaining boxes to be unpacked at home.

All in all, even though the new semester is about to take off....the settling in to a new city stuff is finally winding down and my new house is starting to feel like home.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Secret messages to people in today's meeting

  • To the person with selective hearing: Why don't you try actually listening to ALL the words and the tone of the speaker and maybe better understand what the person is saying. It is not OK to make inferences and take things out of context when you comment on what a person says.
  • To the person with multiple personalities: Pick one and stick with it for a while. I can't keep up with your constantly changing opinions and contradictory comments.
  • To the person who talks constantly while others are talking: STOP! If what you have to say is so important (it isn't, no one cares what you did in high school) say it out loud.
  • To all the people who speak in acronyms: Please mention from time to time what the #$$% you are talking about. I'm lost.
  • To whom it may concern: Today's meeting was a total waste of our time. What was the purpose and why did I have to be there???

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Tagged. . .

by Abbey. Lots of other stuff to update on as I settle into my new home and try to get into my new office (no such luck--can you say temporary space?). More on that later. . .

For now, I must respond to being tagged for this 2's and 4's:

2 moments in your life you'd like to erase:

1. Losing my dad.
2. ??

4 moments you'd like to relive:

1. 2 weeks in the South of France traveling with my good friend T.
2. Falling in love. . . (maybe next time it will be forever?)
3. Any Christmas before the age of 15.
4. The first few weeks of college---wow, what a different world!

2 places you wouldn't go to/go to again:

1. Hhhhmmm....I can't really think of anywhere that I have disliked that much and as far as places I wouldn't go--how do I know if I haven't been there?

4 places you can't wait to visit/visit again:
1. Paris and all the little towns and villages outside of touristy France.
2. Seattle--just love the city, the weather, etc.
3. New York--love to visit, but would never want to live there.
4. Africa--I have always wanted to go there.

2 foods you can't stand:
1. I don't like really spicey hot foods.
2. Not a fan of liver and onions--smells disgusting.

4 foods you love:
1. Cheese--- Brie, Boursin, Comte, Gorgonzola, Bleu. . . . let me count the ways! mmmmm!
2. Lobster tails
3. Duck breast with a fruit sauce.
4. Mashed Potatoes.

2 songs that make you change the station:
1. That really anonying "my hump" song--uugh.
2. Can't think of another that repels me as much.

4 songs you play over and over:
1. The newest Nelly Furtado song--can't remember the name.
2. Will think about these and update later--my mind is blank at the moment.

2 books you'd never finish/read again:
1. Anything by Marcel Proust
2. There was a really popular book out recently that was everyone's book club book that all took place in 24 hours--can't remember the title--everyong raved about it--I just couldn't get into it.

4 books you have read more than once, and/or will read again:
1. Anything Harry Potter
2. Atlas Shrugged -Ayn Rand
3. A Tale of Two Cities--Charles Dickens
4. Interview with the Vampire- Anne Rice

2-4 people to tag: Hmmm? How about Profgrrrl and Phdme?

Friday, August 04, 2006


Poo problem solved!! woo hoo, no more poo!!!

Front yard was dug up yesterday to correct a plumbing error (hmmm, I wonder if the plumber is getting paid by the builder??) New grass has been seeded and should be fertilized quite well-- ha!! Oh well, poo happens!

Thank goodness the problem is solved and I am happily flushing again. . .

In other news. . .

Unpacking is going well. Kitchen done, clothes done, guest bedroom done, living room in progress.

Cable and broadband will be installed on Monday.

My new bed (huge awesome pillow topper!!) was delivered yesterday.

Have disconnected old three prong cord from dryer but am a little uncertain about reconnecting 4 prong cord---so no laundry happening yet.

Can't take 14 boxes to campus office because the prior resident has not moved out yet---hmmmm? No one seems to be pushing him and he doesn't really seem to be in a hurry. I want to be in and settled before I have to start going to meetings. It would also be nice if the office were painted. Need to check on the progress again today.....

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Good news and bad news.

Good news: I finished my conference proposal and got it submitted--in the midst of moving, unpacking, cleaning, etc. --I actually finished a proposal. I did have to have DA submit it because the pirated wireless I am currently using has a pretty unstable connection. I also finished up a proposal for Dr. Dice and made up some pretty good plans for data analysis that we didn't have time to complete. Maybe it will actually fly (fingers crossed).

Bad news: there is poo in my yard--yes, a sewer drainage problem in the new home---plumber will be here in the am. Please fix my drainage--I want to flush!!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Home Sweet Home

On a happier note, I am posting this from the front porch of my new home!! {Yes, this means I am pirating wireless from a new neighbor--but don't tell!} I spent my first night in the study with Miss Kitty, who did amazingly well yesterday on the 10 hour car ride. No blood curdling screams at all-- a bit of discontented mewling for the first 45 minutes then periodic updates every 20 minutes or so. If I put my arm too near her carrier, I got a beating with the paw as if to say "Are we there yet? How dare you put me in this moving vehicle!".

There is nothing nicer than waking up to a empty, dirty home that is all your own. :-)


While traveling yesterday to new school city, I received some bad news: Super B, a sometimes commenter here who I knew IRL, was killed in a car accident. Such tragedy.... she was just hooded in May and was finishing up an internship and soon to return to the area of new school city where I know we would have shared a few good martinis together. She will be missed. My heart goes out to her family and friends--especially Dr. Dice, her close friend. Rest in peace, Super B.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

I'm leaving tomorrow...

Tomorrow is the day...finally out of here and off to move into my new home. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Miss Kitty will not have a full breakdown and will calm down and nap for the ride. I bought her a new bag of treats today in preparation for the trip.
I turned in the keys to my apartment today--my keyring is really light at the moment with no apartment, no work keys, etc. However there is a nice shiney new key on the ring that will open my new front door. woo hoo!!!

T minus 2. . .

Saying good-bye's is winding down and the last days are finally here. Because my moving day has changed in the last week--there have been a couple of 'lasts' which ended up not really being 'lasts'.
I've spent so much time planning and preparing for this move, I just want it to be over. I am dreading the long drive but am anxious to get into my new home and get settled. I need a new routine to start to give me some semblence of my familar world. I will miss a fair number of people here in midwest city; however, with internet, cell phones, and airplanes--it doesn't really seem that they will be that far away. Maybe this thought in my head hasn't made the good-bye's seem that difficult. I have made some good friends here and I will miss them, but I plan to return here for the holidays to visit. Hopefully some of my friends will come to visit me in new job city.

Thursday, July 27, 2006


As seen today at sciencewoman and PhdMe--listings of professional milestones which inspired me to consider where I have been just as I take one big leap forward. . .

  • Although the others have something from high school which hinted at where they are now...I can't say that anything in particular stands out for me. I have always liked math class and been pretty good at it--I guess that was sort of a start for statgirl (even though statistics were never part of my high school curriculum)
  • Getting a scholarship to go to college and then being the first person in my family to get a 4 year degree.
  • Taking my first research methods course and realizing that I was one of the few that actually enjoyed that class. I thought all those pieces coming together and thinking about threats to validity was kind of cool.
  • Entering data into SPSS the first time--yes, I thought it was cool. I know this is a little thing--but it is significant for me.
  • Seeing my name in print as 2nd author.
  • Earning a 3 year fellowship.
  • My first paper presentation at a conference.
  • Earning a dissertation fellowship.
  • Getting a tenure-track job.
  • Getting my first paper accepted as first author (with the added bonus of being a top journal).
  • Defending my dissertation.
  • Being hooded by DA.

I have been on a very productive path and I hope my pattern continues. It's good to take a look back sometimes.

Done grading!!!

woo hoo!! Happy dance!!!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Thermal Event. . .

is not a good error message to see on your computer screen. Bummer! :-(

Guess I should go home early today? :-)

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Summer school is O..v...e...r !!

Tonight was my last night of students at current Univ. They took their last exam as I frantically tried to finish grading their papers--usually I hand them back on the last exam night; however, with all the craze of packing and moving, I was behind and just couldn't motivate myself to get through them any faster. I ended up finishing all but 7..just did 2 more and am now left with 5 to finish tomorrow.

I plan to spend all day at the office tomorrow finishing up the grading--those 5 papers and the final exam. Then I'll just be left with conference proposal writing and working on my syllabus for the fall. Kind of glad I have a few days in the office for this purpose.

Last night at current school highlight---one of my male students cried about his grade when I told him there was no extra credit possible. I HATE it when that happens..what do you really say to a crying student??

Monday, July 24, 2006

Ticker Update

Notice that my ticker has gone from "3 days ..." to "7 days ..."--call from moving company today indicated that the delivery will be at the maximum days they quoted (go figure) --no sense sitting in an empty house for too many days. So, bad news is that I don't get to start getting settled in my new house which I am very excited about. Good news is that I have a few days to just relax a bit --read as "finally have time to do what I should be doing as in write a conference proposal that is due in one week". And thankfully, I have a place to stay.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

In transition

The movers took all my belongings on Friday morning. I am not sure where it is or when it will arrive in New Job City--hoping for an update tomorrow.

I am stuck in the middle of grading final papers and ready to give final exams tomorrow and Tuesday--it IS almost over--just the grading and the crying (my students, not me) to go. [How can the ones that cry actually be surprised by their grade ---not like they haven't been struggling all summer long. {Big sigh---I'll just never understand.}

I finished all the cleaning at the apartment today--took forever. Scary stuff was left behind where the washer and dryer were cohabitating. Eeewwww! Still have a few nails in the wall to pull out.

Not looking forward to the long drive to new job city....the 20 minutes in the car from old apartment to 'homeless shelter' (aka guest room chez DA and GB) was pure hell with the cat meowling hideously and depositing "a present" in the corner of her carrier. Any suggestions on how to calm a cat in the car??? She's old and hasn't done a road trip with me in at least 8 years???

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Can I just say?

that moving boxes when the heat index is 110+ is really awful!

heat index are awful without moving boxes.

it is really, really hot when you have to almost push the dog off the porch after she has been inside for over 12 hours (she has to have to go!)

you know it is bad when the first email of the day is from campus facilities announcing cooling system failures!

Summer sucks!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Plodding along

Another day done of running, running, running from one thing to the next--trying to pack a couple of boxes in my office between activities. The plague of high maintenence students continues--now that they have their rough drafts back they are filing in asking how to fix the errors. Hey, I have I idea! Why don't I just write their papers for them--that would save me a lot of time and them a lot of learning. I mean, really, would it kill them to look something up that was incorrect? And they look at me like I am the Wicked Witch of the West when I say "look it up" as a response--this is in response to questions like "You said my APA formatting of this reference is not correct. What's wrong with it?"

I have also managed to alienate completely a one time close friend today. And I am OK with that--it was just time to move on from this one. She had some unrealistic expectation of what friendship is and it was her way or the highway--so I'm on the road. Surprisingly I'm not upset about this---perhaps this had been fizzling all along and I just didn't see it. Other friends had commented that this person wasn't really being a good friend and I always stood up for her-really believing that I knew her better and was accepting of her ways. Now I see some patterns in the ups and downs of our friendship that are hard to ignore and I have now decided my best interests are not being served by trying to continually fix the friendship. I hereby declare it over and I'm good with that--although a bit disappointed.

In packing news--I have 3 kitchen cabinets and my clothes to go. Also 2 file drawers in my office--seems managable before Friday. I really want to have a day to just sit and do nothing --but I don't see any of those in the near future.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Countdown begins tomorrow. . .

Last full week in current location--tomorrow begins the rocket ship countdown 10...9...8.... before you know it I will be in New Job City. Can't to spend my first night in my new house.

Meanwhile, Bastille Day was a success and even though I was completely tired I made it until almost 11 pm and managed to stay involved in conversation without drifting too much.

Sat. night I was social AGAIN at a friends new house for a BBQ. Spent today packing some more---disconnected all electronics and got a good start on the kitchen. Still have 4 days to finish before the movers show up to load on Friday.

Good news of the day: Booked a flight to Europe for conference this fall--looking forward to it!!!

Friday, July 14, 2006

Happy Bastille Day!

Looking forward to a fun evening with DA, GB and other friends that I will not see again before I leave town. Oh, and I will enjoy the French food and wine! Mmmm.....

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Real Wednesday Whining

I am having one of those moments where it just seems like everything is not going to get done. . .

Too many whining students. Why, oh why, did I have to get the most 'high maintenence' group of students I have ever had in my very last semester at PhD school? Why do I feel so obligated to help each and every one of them--it's not like if I get a bad evaluation I will be fired. They are just too needy and I don't have it to give right now. Ugh...

Too many things left to pack. Will it ever end? Progress is happening and home doesn't look like home anymore. I'm so glad I have a place to go to next week where I am comfortable and I don't have to wake up in this mess everyday. However, I will be making several trips back to finish the packing.

To many little things to do: call about utilities turn off in old home, find wardrobe boxes, get new tires on car for roadtrip, set up cable/internet in new house, find time to answer student emails, locate a quiet moment in my day to think about conference proposal, make time to see friends that are calling and wanting to have breakfast/dinner/drink before I go (where were all these people a month ago when I was dragging around bored out of my mind with no motivation to work?).. . . the list goes on and on......

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Not quite Wednesday Whining. . .

Reasons to whine:
  1. I have a headache which is a product of my dental visit this am. Well at least my ear and nose are no longer numb.
  2. Tues/Thurs class did come in first in the whine fest as expected. Here is a sample:

"Are you sure the numbers have to be in order to figure out the median? Why isn't it just the average of the two middle numbers on the list?"

"Can you use the exact textbook or lecture notes wording on the exam next time? I don't understand the question when it isn't the same words."

3. I'm still not finished packing.

4. It's really hot outside ....and humid.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Rainy days and Mondays

Yes, it was both today--rainy and Monday. But not a nice kind of rainy--a really heavy humidity muggy rain---YUCK! Is summer over yet? {I'm not a fan.}

Good things today:
  • My class went OK-no whining about exam scores (not that I expected it from this class--my T/R class takes the whining award everytime).
  • I finished grading exams (at 2:44 am this morning)
  • Glancing around my apartment and seeing all the boxes--I had a successful powerpack weekend. Still have to do clothes, kitchen and misc items strewn on top of desks and bookshelves.
  • I rewarded myself with a pint of Dove Brownie Bits ice cream (about 2/3 remaining for rest of the week).

Bad thing today:

  • Email from SWISCU asking about extra credit. Apparently doesn't understand the sentence written in bold on the syllabus that says "There is no extra credit available in this class." SWISCU also wants a meeting after class tomorrow to discuss how to do better. Not going to happen--have an appt. with a beer.

Plan for tomorrow:

  • Dentist at 8 am (got the appt. moved up from next week--just want it done and over with--with this last minute reschedule I don't really have much time to get all anxious about it)
  • Find shredder to deal with box of receipts.
  • Think about conference proposal that is due during my moving time--must submit early.
  • Prepare myself for whining students
  • Meet the girls for summer not quite midweek 'happiness'.
  • Go to bed early.

Wish me luck......

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Use #9 for Bubblewrap

This is what kitty thinks about packing....

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Power Packing Weekend: Day 1 Update

  • Poor Kitty! She was so excited this morning and really enjoyed that first box (we started with holiday decorations and she loves shiny tinsel!) but after getting stuck in a box and then accidentally locked out on the balcony (for only about 20 minutes), she had had enough. Now she is certain that something is on the horizon that will mess up her world and all those boxes sitting around are making her very nervous. And this goes without mentioning that there is no longer anything under the bed to hide behind....
  • Everything is cleaned out: under the bed, backs of the closets, cabinets in bookshelves. Now everything just needs a box to call home for a month or so.
  • How many old bills can one keep? I have the habit of marking them paid with the date and tossing them in a box. I have many, many boxes of said marked papers. Need to find a shredder this week....... hhhmmm??
  • Ran across many sentimental things--notes from my dad, high school & junior high yearbooks, pictures of old boyfriends, cards & letters from friends. Do I entrust these to a moving van--I think not. Need to figure out what will actually fit in my car and be saved from moving van space.
  • Received mid-day phone call from Princess who actually asked me why I was packing--"Are you taking a trip?" This is same Princess who will be found complaining that she never knows what is going on with anyone in the office. Yes, it is most defnitely our fault she rarely makes an appearance in the building and then wonders why she is out of touch.
  • Watched the movie "Crash" tonight--what a cheery film.

Stay tuned for more packing updates. . .

Friday night . . .

vegging on my couch in front of mindless tv with the cat on my lap. Last one in this apartment. Next week is an outing with friends and the following Friday all my furniture will be gone. Yes, I am really moving!

Tomorrow begins the power packing weekend. . . .

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Guess who.....

  • was 15 minutes late to their appointment today? --Yes, SWISCU
  • only has to deal with this student and class for 5 more class meetings? --MOI!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Student Dillusions

A series of emails has bombarded my email today--all from "Student Who IS the Center of the Universe (SWISCU):

Background info: SWISCU emails to request appoint on Monday. Request is denied because it is a holiday weekend and I am not in the office on Monday. SWISCU is also reminded that before whining about a course grade there are several homework assignments and test prep opportunities available that have not been recieved from SWISCU. SWISCU ignores these assignments and continues to whine. . .

this am (approximately 2 hours before the class I teach) :

Dear Statgirl,

I need to meet with you today either before or after your class to talk about my grade. If I do not get a response to this email before class time, I will just drive to campus and wait for you after class.



I am unable to meet with you today--all my appointment times are full. I do have times available tomorrow at 1pm and 2:30 pm. Would either of those work for you?


1 hour later:


I don't understand. When I emailed you last time you said you couldn't meet Monday but that you would be available on Wednesday.



Your last email was 1 week ago, at that time appointments were still available. However, now they have been filled. Sorry.

--Statgirl (not really believing that student thinks same day appointments are reasonable)

10 minutes later:


You should not state that times are available and then not save them for a student. I needed to see you because this class is extremely important to me. I must pass this class in order to finish my degree. Can you find time in your schedule?



There are more than 40 students enrolled in XXXX class. Other students have filled those appointment spots since your inquiry 8 days ago. I do not save an appointment time with just an inquiry about available times. You cannot expect to get an appointment on the same day as your email request--especially not the week of an exam. You need to plan ahead. You also need to complete the assignments provided to assist you in test prep. I reply to all emails within 24 hours and am happy to review your work before tomorrow.

-Statgirl (Who does this Stu Dent think s/he is??)

30 minutes later:

So can I still email you the exam practice and will you respond before the exam?


[Well.....DUH....does this Stu Dent even read my reply???]

SWISCU proceeds to email me the practice work from the previous exam (not the current unit); even so, I correct SWISCU's work and comment that the current practice should also be completed. Finally (4 hours later) it arrives, I comment and return work. Meanwhile I have also responded to approximately 18 other students emails--when 45 minutes ago this email arrives:


In regards to your last comment, what details am I missing?



You did not include the original text in your email--I do not know to which comments you are refering. Please reply to the original email and include the text.

--Statgirl (who apparently has photographic memory of all 45- 60 emails which come in each day)

10 mintues later:


I am just going to call you and explain my question since it is not clear.


Wonder how long it will take genius SWISCU to realize I am not in my office at 10 pm ???? Any takers for how long the message on my voice mail is?? Bets on how many emails I will receive from SWISCU tomorrow??

Would it kill a student to THINK????

New Key on my keyring!

I am a homeowner! I have been for almost 6 whole!

I love my house--especially the hardwood floors in their lovely light bamboo color! I'm just sad that I have to wait 22 more days to move into my beautiful new home. (I am copying PhDme's moving ticker--it's too cute!)

I had a lovely visit with Dr. Dice and the BryGuy while visiting my new city. I also spent some time with The LoveDoctor (a friend from the past and also future colleague) who is looking lovely in her 8th month of pregnancy. It's good to have friends in my new city--so glad that this is the location of my new job. :-)

I'm very glad that the only tasks (and large tasks they are) remaining are packing up the stuff and the actual moving process--the end of the anxiety filled summer is in sight. I'm easily stressed by all the minutia that buying a home and moving has required. I just want to get back to the big picture stuff of teaching and thinking about research--so much more comfortable there. [Insecurity in my work is a stress with which I am much more familiar. Sad, but true.]

Meanwhile, I am being driven crazy with student emails--this may even require it's own blog posting later this week.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

1:30 am --grilled cheese sandwich there anything else that doesn't involve a drive-through that would taste better after 2 martinis, 2 beers and 2 shots involving the word "nipple" (not necessarily in that order)???

Monday, June 26, 2006

On Avoidance

Avoiding what? --Everything. . .

Yes, I have been avoiding my blog--10 days since last posting. I have been lurking around reading other's blogs and occasionally commenting, but completeing avoiding posting comments on my current state of existence.

Here is the update--random bullets of crap style:
  • All signs of academic work are completely gone from my daily lack of routine. I have been writing a results section now for a good 3 + weeks at the rate of about 4 sentences per week. Pathetic. I have given the analysis considerable thought and played around extensively running the computer program (always good for wasting a few hours of my day)--yet very few keystrokes have placed words on paper.
  • House stuff is moving along -inspection, repairs, setting up utilities, etc. Will be MY house in just 4 days. Certainly looking forward to visiting with Dr. Dice during my trip to close the deal.
  • Students won't go away--geez, this teaching gig would be easier without them. In the well chosen words of Seeking Solace "Students will just be students. Some are good, some are bad, and some are just plain dumb." It is this last group that really gets my undies in a bundle. One student actually complained last week that his problem was that I explained things too well and because I made it so clear in class he didn't feel the need to study because he thought he really "got it"; however when faced with the exam, he wasn't able to make the logical connections that he thought were so obvious when I talked him through it. ---Well, duh--- hence why one should review class notes, texts etc BEFORE an exam. It's your job to put it together without me there prompting you through each step.
  • Packing progress--NONE. I have now mapped out July 8 & 9 as "Power packing days" --the bulk of it must be completed that weekend as soon after that time I will be busy with end of summer semester and settled into my temporary housing until final move.
  • Money seems to be a on a steady stream out of my bank account--scary!
  • I have lost 6 lbs without even trying--one upside to being anxious. I am amazed by this feat, especially since I have eaten through 3 pints of Dove Chocolate & Brownie Affair (with the chocolate granache topping) in the last 10 days.

One thing I am not currently avoiding is social occasions. Although I tend to be a stay at home person; I have made a point to accept every social invitation--citing my need to spend some time with people before I move away. Many of my friends and co-workers are also making moves for sabbatical, internships, etc. and in some ways it is good that we are all sharing similar anxieties but also very difficult because no one is a steady calm to keep us grounded. Thank goodness for the office dog. All heed her calming force.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Too tired for a real post.

You Are Emerald Green
Deep and mysterious, it often seems like no one truly gets you.Inside, you are very emotional and moody - though you don't let it show.People usually have a strong reaction to you... profound love or deep hate.But you can even get those who hate you to come around. There's something naturally harmonious about you.
What Color Green Are You?

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Not that shocking....

As seen chez Abbey and phd_me :

You are a Brainy Girl!
Whether you're an official student or a casual learner, you enjoy hitting the books.You know a little bit about everything, and you're always dying to know more.For a guy to win your heart, he's got to share some of your intellectual interests.A awesome book collection of his own doesn't hurt either!
What Kind of Girl Are You?

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Summer Weekends!

I have successfully spent this entire weekend at home. Now for some people that might not be a good thing but after spending all my weekends this past winter and spring at the office working on my dissertation or some other project that had to get done; I really relished a weekend of not having to be there in my chair in front of the computer working on some project.

What did I do? I cleaned out stuff--I'm beginning the cleaning and purging that is necessary before a big move. I'm trying to get a few things together for a friend's garage sale next weekend. Any leftovers will go to goodwill and hopefully my packing project will be simplified. Still have a few more closets and boxes to sort through but the progress is encouraging and since I plan on working at home 2 days this week, there is more time to finish before sale time.

Each evening this week I watched a movie and went to bed early. I did not set an alarm and got up when I felt like it--8 am on Sat and 10:30 am today. Woo hoo..summer weekends. I need something to look forward too in the midst of all the stressful changes that are happening.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Back from the beach

4 days since I'm back from the beach and it's finally time to get a summer routine going. Summer school starts next week and I am suddenly very aware of how little time I have left in Midwest city. Rarely do I start anticipating the end even before the beginning; however, this time the clock is ticking for me. After 8 years in the same place, I'm leaving. New town, new job, new faces, new routines, and new house.
On the house front all is well, inspection scheduled for next week, mortgage approved, and I only panic about finances once or twice a day (down from the 10 or 20 times a day right after I made the offer). Still need to find insurance and hire a moving company but the list of tasks is managable at the moment.
The real question of the moment is why does change cause me so much stress? I realize that changing jobs and moving are on the top 5 stressors of all time for most people, but I seem to get stuck on the details more than most and get anxious at the wrong times. I have dreams about things that are so NOT likely to happen --like finding out my new job suddenly just isn't there or losing my cat during the move. Stress does weird things to my brain.
The beach was good, relaxing for me in general; althought not quite the same with my friends. We are growing apart in some ways and taking different paths. I am concerned about one friend and was so close to talking to her about it at about 4 different points during the trip but could never bring myself to open my mouth. So now I feel like a terrible friend because I think the real reason I didn't say anything is that I don't want to add anything more to my plate to deal with at the moment. I know it would be a big can of worms. So now am I a terrible and selfish friend?

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Airport Blogging

Well, I survived house hunting and I'm sitting in the airport being very happy that I am not looking at any more houses. I found one!!! No picture to post as it is not yet finished but will be in plenty of time before my move at the end of the summer. After seeing somewhere between 27 and 30 homes (lost count in the middle of day 2), I am just extremely relieved to have found one I love. Of course, it was the very last house I saw but I knew it was perfect almost from the moment we stopped across the street. It's a 2 story. I have never lived in 2 story home before but have always wanted to. It has a great backyard for the dog I plan to have someday in the very near future.

Time to board...more house stories later.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Thing number 1009 that stresses me out

I am house hunting and I hate it! Why am I more able to handle job and/or school stress better than personal life stress.? [OK, so sometimes I really suck at that stress too; but it is familar stress and this is a whole new stressful country with scary words like mortgage, inspection, escrow, and realtor.] I am spoiled after living in the same place for many years and always being a renter. I like coming home to my couch and curling up with the cat and my blanket and forgetting about school or work; however when the home is the source of your stress, where am I supposed to go to curl up??

I want to be a genie and blink my eyes and have the perfect house with all my furniture moved in and all I have to do is beam myself there. [Did I mention I hate driving too? ] I don't want to have to look at houses and arrange for movers or pack my stuff up.

How can other people seem to have so much fun looking at houses and imagining how their furniture will be arranged? I don't get it. I just want this all to be done so I can sleep at night and quit worrying about this and go back to my more familar stressful worry zone related to writing, research, and teaching. I like that worryworld better.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Today I celebrate. . .

  1. Surviving a super graduation weekend. The party was marvelous. I think my friends had a good time and I most defnitely did.
  2. The success of DA's surgery, once again she is an overachiever and came through with flying colors and looks wonderful!!
  3. Finding the top of my was under all that @#$%.
  4. The glory of an afternoon nap. Why don't I do this more often?
  5. Regrouping and making new 'to do' lists. I have always loved the beginning of semesters for their newness and the sense of starting over. Now after a successful defense and graduation, I am at another kind of "newness" in my life.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Random Bullets of Crap: End of Semester Edition

  • It is finally time to take the defense ticker off my page--coming up on 2 weeks since officially getting the PhD. However, I am leaving the exclamation point [Ph.D.!] on my email signature until after graduation this weekend.
  • House hunting is very overwhelming. #1 a new task for statgirl and #2 not as easy when shopping from out of state. Will be traveling to new city soon to look at actual properties.
  • Graduation is this weekend. Family arrives on Friday--oh dear, please save me from any potential family explosion or embarassing moment. P.S. This is probably a ridiculous expectation but I'm asking for it anyway.
  • I have 2 papers left to grade. Why don't I just finish them up and be done? No!--I'm updating my blog.
  • No F's this semester (as in grades earned by my students).
  • I haven't seen the top of my desk in weeks and I have no motivation to clear it off.
  • I have nothing to wear under my robes for graduation. Need a new outfit for the party after the hooding.
  • I finally have a gift for DA for graduation; but am worried she won't like it. I want her to have a "keepsake" type gift and those are hard to come up with. She is a difficult one to figure out what she would like.
  • Still need to write the 'thank you's' for the people who wrote letters of rec. for my during the job hunt. Yes, I am horribly behind in this dept.
  • I never sent out graduation announcements--used the e-vite thing for party invites but couldn't bring myself to actually get real addresses and send the cute little printed announcements with my name and degree in them. I should feel bad about this but I do not.
  • I am spending an entire week on the beach to celebrate being done. Hey! That may require a new countdown ticker!!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

ABC Meme

Everyone else is doing it...

Accent: I'm from the Midwest where television journalists are born.
Booze: Of course! Dirty martini or a good red wine
Chore I Hate: Changing the kitty litter-yuck!
Dog or Cat: Cat
Essential Electronics: Laptop, iPod, PS2
Favorite Cologne: Poison
Gold or Silver: Platinum.
Hometown: Small town, USA
Insomnia: Only when stressed.
Job Title: very soon it will be Assistant Professor!
Kids: No thanks.
Living arrangements: 2br/2bath rental--looking to make my first home purchase
Most admirable trait: I've got some memorable traits but I'm not sure they are really admirable.
Number of sexual partners: A single digit
Overnight hospital stays: Never
Phobia: Hights make me a bit nervous, but I'm not afraid to look down.
Quote: On ne voit bien qu'avec le coeur. L'essential est invisible pour les yeux. -St. Exupery
Religion: Church of sleeping in on Sunday.
Siblings: 1 sister
Time I wake up: Wake up? 6:30 or 7. Actually get out of bed? 8 or 9.
Unusual talent or skill: Hmmmm...I can roll my tongue and also turn it over.
Vegetable I refuse to eat: Green peppers
Worst habit: Procrastination.
X-rays: Just teeth
Yummy foods I make: Desserts (cakes and cookies)
Zodiac sign: Sagitarrius

Friday, April 21, 2006

It is official. . .

One martini, two martini, three martini ..... floor.

The Dr. has left the building and gone to happy hour. Goal attained.

ABD for a few more hours...

T minus 4 hours 42 minutes until defense.

I'm not nervous. I'm done.

Next post will be from Statgirl, Ph.D.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Graduation Stress

Not that student stress was driving me bonkers anyway....can you believe the place I am having my graduation party at double booked and I am getting the shaft!!!!

It has taken me almost a full 24 hours to calm down enough to come to a compromise with the manager and I'm still cranky!!!

Trying to remind myself that the important thing about the party is that all my friends and family are there---location details are not the important thing, location details are not the important thing.....

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Student Stress

Here are my student stressor highlights of the week (so far):
  • Email from Stu Dent on Monday


I am attaching my rough draft and although I am still working on the paper and making changes I would like some feedback. I did notice that the rough draft was due yesterday but I'm looking forward to your comments to help me now.

Stu Dent

Most interesting thing about this email is that this student is so @#$$% clueless that he/she can't even read the syllabus and notice that the rough draft was due over a week ago.

My response: none

  • Email from Tuesday

Dear Dr. Statgirl-

I am very much interested in enrolling in your XXXX class this summer. I have a few questions: 1) When does the class start? 2) When and where does the class meet? 3) When does the class end? 4) Can I do part of this class independently?

I should tell you that I will not be able to attend class at all until the end of June due to work conflicts.

Looking forward to your XXX class,

Dr. Future Stu Dent

Is this Stu Dent for real? " I'm completely clueless, apparently already have a PhD and can't use the internet AND , by the way, I would like to enroll in a class in which I will miss at least half of the class sessions"

My response:

Stu Dent,

All course information is on the university website. If you cannot attend class until the end of June , you should not enroll in a summer school course.


  • After exam in class today:

I get back to my office and notice that there is an error on my exam. I asked a question which was impossible to answer from the materials provided. NO ONE asked about this question during the exam...... oh geez, this is not a good sign about their comprehension of the material.

And I really want to be a professor and I'm so excited about my new tenure-track job. (Repeat 3 times.)

Monday, April 17, 2006

Acid Free Paper and Taxes

On my way to the post office today to mail my taxes (yes, I am a procrastinator --that is the first step of my 12 step program), I stopped at the bookstore to get acid free paper. I got the last box but it only has 250 sheets. I need to print 2 copies of my 200 page dissertation. I asked them when the next order would be in. However, the bookstore powers don't see the need to reorder anytime soon--"after all, it is the end of the semester".
When do they think we theses/dissertation writers will print our archival copies that are due on the last Friday in May???
I finally ended up at the 'help desk' defending my need for more acid free paper before July. Possibly convinced them to order, but I was not hopeful. However, as I was checking out....a guy walked in, saw my purchase and asked me where the paper was located---I sent him to the help desk to tell them that they need to reorder!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Easter Slug

The Easter Slug paid me a visit today. I am completely unable to get off of my couch; it was a major effort to move from my bed to the couch--however, the lure of multiple cable channels finally pulled me free of the pillows.

5:30 pm seems like a reasonable time to take a shower and get out of my PJ's finally, doesn't it?

Friday, April 14, 2006

On checking email...

Why do I check my work email account before I go to bed?

I am pretty certain that I did not see that email from a student sending a rough draft 3 days late. It is very clear on the syllabus that it was due on Tuesday and that should the student not have the draft to me by Tuesday, then the final copy would be the only copy I would read. I think email makes submitting things late way too simple--would the student have bothered to make a trek to campus to submit the draft to my mailbox in hopes that I would forget about the passed deadline? I think not.

Sleeping and Dreaming

So now that I am not so focused on cranking out written pages, I have returned to regular sleeping and dreaming patterns. I am very happy that I was able to sleep in until 9 am today. However, the dreams have been a bit "over the edge"--random people in odd places showing up saying obsure things. I'm really hoping that that bizarro land dreams stop soon.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Random Bullets of Crap: Life Update Edition

Since my blogging has been severely limited in recent weeks due to placing every last word I could squeeze out of my tiny little brain onto paper in required chapters, articles, presentations, etc.; it is now time for a real blogging routine to resume.

However, in order to undertake this task, a 'bullets of random crap post' is in order to get things rolling again. . .
  • Dissertation is back from the format check---only 4 tiny things to fix in the reference section. Yea! It was well worth paying someone to deal with all that triple space, double indent crap.
  • Hotel rooms are booked for visiting family for graduation weekend
  • Defense presentation is in pretty good shape-practice run through soon to polish
  • Article is back with the editor (anticipating small changes only next go around [fingers and toes crossed])
  • Party list is made, appointment made with manager to detail food, beverage, money issues (will print invitations this weekend)
  • Still waiting for graduation announcements to arrive--not high on my list, but sure makes the family happy to get one of those double enveloped things.
  • Personal life is a 0 ...... whoa, wait! I now have time to have a personal life again--must let my friends know that I am alive.
  • Plan to go to coffee/dinner/drink/something with boy from past --why do I do this to myself? I am over least I always think so until I see him again. I'm thinking I should wait until after the defense to schedule this outing.
  • On the homefront--serious cleaning is in order.
  • Need to go to the grocery store--how is it possible that a girl that loves to eat as much as me can harbor such deep hatred for the grocery store trip.
  • Still have a stack of my students' rough drafts to read....hhhmmm? Did I mention that I needed to clean?

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Home Sweet Home

Back home from the conference. Weather here is a good 25 degrees warmer than conference city (which is unusual)--pulled out the flip flops today for my first day back in the office. Conference was good--I didn't fall down (yes, that has happened to me before) or say anything too stupid in my presentation. Met some of my new colleagues and fellow bloggers (message to blogger meet-up persons: had a great chat, thanks for taking time to have a drink with me!)

Speaking of the office--I'm back in it. My dissertation is done. My defense presentation is pretty much ready to go (just modified the job talk). I spent hours in airports and on the plane yesterday working on a manuscript that I think will make it out the door this week after another conference with other authors.

The only REAL task in front of me is grading my students' rough drafts (ugh). How will I function without 9 things that are all due yesterday??

Time to get into full graduation party planning and house hunting mode. What a nice change from recent weeks.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Dissertation Dump: Part II

Today I delivered the Big D to my committee members. It only took about 2 hours last night to print the beast. All this extra hoopla with sending pages through the printer twice in order to get the tables with horizontal orientation on the page correctly. Then, of course, I made a mistake in the title (geez, of all places!) and had to reprint the 5 title pages this morning before I made deliveries.

It hasn't quite hit me yet. I'm done. I wrote a dissertation and I will be a Ph.D. in a few short weeks. It could be the fact that in the midst of this dissertation culmination I also got the last round of revisions on a book chapter out and a revise and resubmit finished on a journal article. Could it actually be that I am on my way to becoming a professor? Might I actually be getting the hang of this gig??

Stay tuned......I need to go pack my bags. I have an early flight out tomorrow morning for a conference.

Friday, March 31, 2006

Dissertation Dump: Part I

The big D has been delivered to graduate studies for the format check!!!

Some other editing and minor changes to make over the weekend before my committee receives the D early next week. Then I'm out of town to a conference (one conference presentation finished, a second to tidy up) for a week!!!

Secret reward to myself for finishing: I'm going to do a nerd workshop at the conference (statgirl loves her stats!). Yes, I know that is totally nerdy. Can't wait!!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

itunes Oracle

Everyone else has already done this one. I need a break from writing.

You're supposed to set your music player of choice to "shuffle" and then answer the following questions:

How does the world see me?
Walking on Water --Melissa Etheridge / hmmmm? Is this a good thing?

Will I have a happy life?
Plenty-Sarah McLachlan / gotta love this one!

What do my friends think of me?
Hand in my Pocket-Alanis Morissette / Again....I'm confused, who's hand is in my pocket--not sure I want it there.

Do people secretly lust after me?
Little Earthquakes-Tori Amos / Well..I guess that

How can I make myself happy?
Blood and Fire--Indigo Girls / OK...I'm not a vampire.....what am I supposed to do with this??

What should I do with my life?
Eden-10,000 Maniacs / ???

Will I ever have children?
Elsewhere-Sarah McLachlan / Phew....wasn't planning on it anytime soon.

What is some good advice for me?
Possession-Sarah McLachlan / As in...get some? I am planning on buying a home this summer.

How will I be remembered?
Taking over Me-Evanescence / Again...confused???

What is my signature dancing song?
Come to my Window-Melissa Etheridge / Certainly not a dance song......

What do I think is my current theme song?
Bring me to Life-Evanescence / As soon as my dissertation is done...I plan on getting a life.

What does everyone think my theme song is?
Ice-Sarah McLachlan / OK...this one made me laugh out loud. I used to be known as the "ice queen" among my college friends. (long story)

What song will play at my funeral?
Heavan is a Place on Earth-Belinda Carlisle / OK...I guess this works.

What type of people do I like?
Men: Don't make me come to Vegas-Tori Amos / As in..."I ain't gonna marry anyone that quick"
Women: Independent Love Song-Scarlett O' / Yes! All my friends are very strong independent women!

What is my day going to be like?
My Lover-Melissa Etheridge / Hmmmm? Will I meet my lover today??

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Fun! (OK..avoidance)

Yes, I'm supposed to be writing, but I just had to take this one quiz . . .

A Bit Of Both

You are 50% Calvin and 50% Hobbes
Calvin & Hobbes, like a scruffy yin and yang, are in perfect balance within you. Like Calvin, you're weird, a bit insecure, and can be a trouble-maker. But like Hobbes, you're down to earth and sensitive. It's a risk to say it here, after just a ten question test, but I'll bet you're smarter than most. Both Calvin and Hobbes are crafty, clever characters, and any one made from equal parts of each is a force to be reckoned with.

Take the Calvin & Hobbes test.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

My student profile

This is profgirrrl's meme from some time ago. I've been intending to do it forever, but just now finally getting around to caring about my blog again.

Kindergarten: I went to town to go to school. I lived in a very rural community and the local rural school did not have a kindergarten class, so my dad drove me 20 minutes to town everyday for afternoon kindergarten. I was a pro at this kindergarten stuff after 2 years of preschool. However, I did run into a bit of mess when my teacher suggested that perhaps I was 'special ed' because I was extremely withdrawn and refused to participate in "reading circle". After a one on one with the school counselor, it was then discovered that I was just bored as hell and could care less about Tip and Jane. While the class was pointing out letters and the teacher read the book and talked about how the alphabet we were studying made up the words she was reading to us, I was lost in my own world thinking about what I would do with my imaginary friend when I got out of school and got home. I had already read the entire book cover to cover during playtime, it was a stupid story. I had better books at home.

Elementary School: I attended classes in a two room country school house. I had the same teacher for grades 1 -3 and the principal was my teacher in grades 4-6. There were 6 people in my class. Pretty uneventful, really. My only distinct memories are of being only the person in grade 5 band (therefore getting private music lessons from the school district) and loving the days when the art teacher came to school. We always did some pretty interesting projects that kept me occupied.

Junior High: Whoa! Going from a class size of 6 to 100 was a big change. I got a locker and thought it was pretty cool to decorate it. Best memory: 8th grade English reading A Tale of Two Cities by Dickens, I love that book and I had the best English teacher ever. I was a reader and she always had great book suggestions. I was tracked into advanced math and did well there. I was also a band geek.

High School: Band geekiness continued and there were more nerd activites as well: my most favorite--> DEBATE! I loved it and spent all my time with friends from the debate team. I discovered that homework is really overrated and didn't see much need for completing anything that wasn't interesting. I was able to get at least B's in most classes using this method of homework selection and completion. Senior year, I really started slacking...2 art classes, band, debate, and teacher's assistant--had to take English and my teacher hated me. Geez, she was boring....and the only papers that got A's were ones that were a regurgitation of exactly what she said. So, I stopped reading the assigned book and just wrote my paper from her notes (A's all the way); I got into trouble if I read the book and wrote down my thoughts (nothing better than a B-). I could not wait to get out of mom thought I should go to the junior college but I applied for every scholorship possible and got money to go to a big state U.

College: Social world opened up for me. I found out that boys thought I was cute. I made the full circle of frat parties, weekend keggers, and football games. Can't say that I went to class much and I sure didn't know how to study. My GPA reflects this, although it's remarkably OK for someone who did as little as I did. I spent a summer abroad and fell in love with learning languages. I am good standardized test taker, so grad school was the obvious choice to avoid the real world.

Grad School (Round 1): After 2 different grad programs, I ended up with an MA in a language and literature. what does one do with that??? No I applied for fellowships to spend a year abroad and think about it. That year abroad was in so many ways the best experience I have ever had (someone who knows me IRL is laughing out loud as she reads that statement). I learned a lot about who I am and what my needs and wants are. I ignored those needs and wants, however, and came back to the US and got a teaching certificate.

Grad School Interlude: I was a teacher.....what was I thinking??? (I am a good teacher, however, K-12 setting is not for me).

Grad School (Round 2): Back for the PhD......and eventually through some twists and turns, *Statgirl* emerged.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Bracketology time!!

Wow...has there been some great basketball games today!! BC v Duke and Texas v Kansas...... can't wait for the selection show coming up soon....let the dance begin!!!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Bothered. . .

Did anyone else see this article in Inside Higher Ed? It bothers me.

Now, I'm not opposed to the idea that we need generate interest in higher ed among students who wouldn't normally consider going to college; however, I'm troubled that this might be making it too easy. Come on, bringing the admissions test to the student? Tax advisors to help with financial aid forms? Does this community college continue to provide this much personalized support to these students after they start attending classes--do they get personal shoppers for their books and school supplies? How about Homework helpline? Do the faculty come to the students home and pick them up to be sure they get to class?? These things are not realistic. Does this program potentially set these students up for failure when the hand holding is no longer there?

What I really be interested in knowing is how many of the accepted students actually enroll? Of those, how many actually complete coursework? Of those, how many complete a degree program? If these things are not happening are they really doing anything about the disparity between whites and hispanics in college?