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 time...how terrible am I making them wait another week...no! 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....