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.