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.