My how things have changed in my eating patterns... I now run out of forks before I run out of spoons.
You'll be seeing me here more often this semester, I think... Though mostly as an accountability device. Anyone who wants to be an accountability buddy, speak up; we'll work something out to keep ourselves honest on productivity and accomplishments. I'll filter everyone else out.
Today was a take-it-easy day, while simultaneously being a run-around-doing-errands day.
1. I finally got off my duff and started the process of changing over my car and insurance to my current state. Did the insurance and inspection today, but heard from multiple sources that the MVA is an absolute zoo on Fridays, so I deferred that until Tuesday.
2. I did some more cleaning and some more baking today. The apt is looking like a grownup lives here now - no piles of crap everywhere, no messes on the tables and couches, etc. This is probably a good thing, because...
3. My parents and grandma and parents' puppy are coming down to visit next weekend. Time to come up with a plan to entertain them... I need to find one of the local museums that will keep Dad entertained but not tax Gram's walking endurance (which is quite low), and figure out where I want us to go for dinner on Saturday.
4. I gave in today and ordered Pizza Hut for dinner. Yum. I hadn't eaten breakfast or a real lunch, so I probably ate more pizza than I should have, but it was very, very good.
5. The doc adjusted my meds on Wednesday and added something else. I've only been on it a couple days, but I can feel some effect already. Thank heavens. The old way of feeling had already become significantly un-fun.
Some days, you just need a day off from the brain-draining academic work. Wednesday was a household-and-errands day too, and I still need to go to the grocery store, so it's not totally done, but I'm moving along well on all fronts on the To Do list.
1. I had a really nice lunch with a mentor from my undergrad days. I'm thinking about leaving academia (or at least leaving the classroom) [and no, I don't want to discuss it], and he had some very good suggestions for options and strategies. And besides, he's just a lot of fun to talk to.
2. The grad course in my area of specialty finally came up online, and it's got something like 12-13 people already. It needs like 16 to run, so it's looking pretty good right now for only being up a day or so. I guess I need to start thinking about readings and a course outline for it...
3. Thinking about that, I got on the email and contacted the bookstore about course packs and the program director about some general stuff re: the course.
4. I spent 45 min on the phone tonight coaching one of my more anxious MA quant students through the process of assembling a dataset for his paper. I was very patient. I was proud of myself. lol
5. I had a couple good conversations today with students about their research, and about grad school options.
6. My sister came up with a Christmas gift idea for Mom, we researched it, and figured out who's going to buy it. (Nearest store is 20+ miles away for me, stupid cities; 2 miles or so for her, so she's doing it.)
Things I did today that I didn't really want to do/was afraid to do (Thanks, towdah, for the inspiration1)
1. Called the Career Center to make an appt to convert my CV to a resume
2. Did the necessary research to transfer my car and license to my new state. It is, as I feared, going to be horribly expensive. ($300+, probably closer to $350, plus the new insurance policy until the old one gets canceled and refunded)
The afternoon was a bit slow, but I've made up for it somewhat.
1. Last night I signed up for match.com. I did it mostly on a whim; an ad came up and I figured, what the heck, I'll go through and try it, can't hurt. I liked what I saw enough to do a 6 month subscription; I'll keep it up enough to qualify for a free six-month extension if I don't find someone before April. So far, I've been pleasantly surprised. I'm meeting one guy for coffee on Friday. He's a grad student at one of the local universities. Not sure that it will go much further, but hey, it's coffee and a chance to practice my social/small-talk skills.
2. I got some stuff cleared off the to-do list today. I really am avoiding the job packets, which is really bad. I need to stop avoiding them. Tomorrow I'm grading three undergrad lit reviews, two questions of the graduate problem set, and doing at least 5 cover letters. Someone needs to call me tomorrow around this time and make sure I've done it.
... Oh. Maybe not. I need to read three things for Monday's undergrad class and write some plans. Oy. I'm going to need to rethink this plan.
3. I had a scrambled egg sandwich for lunch. It was very satisfying.
4. I like warm blankets, especially ones I made myself. It's chilly and damp here, especially in my 'garden level' apartment, so I've spent the day curled up under a blanket.
5. I like chai tea. I made a cup this morning, and it was so good that I made a whole pot of it. I think I've got about one cup left.
EDIT: BEST line of the night: "dashing their [Ohio State's] hopes of a national title" !!!! :-) Any time that Ohio State loses is a day for Michigan fans to rejoice.
1. Going camping tomorrow, for the weekend. Hooray for a bit of Girl Scout fun time! It's cabin camping with a kitchen facility, so it's not exactly roughing it, but it will still be a lot of fun time away from work. I'll feel a lot better when I get back (provided that being out in the wet for 2.5 days doesn't make me sick, lol).
2. Cranking through crap on the to do list. 12 things off for today, plus another 5-6 things delegated to my faculty assistant. I can't be here to grade/work this weekend, and it forced me to think ahead and delegate stuff to him that I otherwise would have tried to do this weekend. I spent today getting stuff together so he could work this weekend instead of me. I still have to do some stuff, but the workload is a LOT more manageable for me. I get 10 hrs a week of his time, and having him sitting in my classroom is good, at least occasionally, but it shouldn't be half of his hours.
3. I sent in two proposals to a spring conference, Midwest in Chicago in April. One substantive, and one on the teaching strategy I'm using this term (coauthored with the person who got me started on it in the first place).
4. Ate out tonight at a place that I've been craving a bit for for the last couple weeks. Yum, Potbelly's.
5. Bought some pink ribbon supplies that I needed for my office anyway. Succeeded in not getting too pissed at the staff when the 'site to store quick pickup' took over half an hour. Left them to look while I went across the lot to the drug store to get some things for the camping trip. I don't own a flashlight larger than my little finger - or at least, I didn't before this afternoon. Now I own two of them. :-)
Ok, it's 11:15 and I still need to pack... Gotta be out of here at 8 AM tomorrow, so I better get moving! Don't expect to hear from me for the next few days.
You all know that I'm not the type to forward all sorts of things around without very good reason. Well, this counts as a good reason. A Republican senator has filed an amendment to cut all funding for political science (or political "science," as he calls it) research from the National Science Foundation's budget. He thinks it's a waste of taxpayer money because it doesn't produce "real" life-changing information. That's not what the social sciences do, and it's not evenwhat all of the NSF "hard science" money funds. The social sciences try to understand human behavior - why some people vote, and others don't. Why some extremist groups turn into violent terrorists, and others - in the same exact contexts and with the same goals - turn into peaceful civil society groups that collaborate with the government to achieve change. Why peacekeeping helps settle some civil wars but seems to make others worse. These are all valuable contributions to understanding the world around us, and NSF-funded work is done at the highest level of careful public scrutiny by peers in the field. The NSF budget for political science is a measly $9 million a year. If it helps one peacekeeping mission to end sooner or happen more safely than otherwise, or helps to keep one extremist group from becoming terrorists, we're already in the black.
Please take a moment to sign the petition (link below) to your senators and representatives. This is not a waste of taxpayer money.
The senator's justification/explanation:
1. Had a nice lunch yesterday with a couple of my other new, non-TT faculty colleagues at the University Club. Very nice buffet lunch.
2. Got a couple backed-up things off the to-do list between yesterday and today. It's still incredibly immense, and I don't know how I'm going to get it all done in time (even just looking at the Must-Do things that I need for class), but I did get a few old things off.
3. I read another article for my research this morning. I think I'm going to add a research task to the To Do list every couple days. I don't know how long I'll be able to keep it up, but I can try!
4. Reached out to a friend who, I suspect, is suffering from significant clinical depression. He's had a lot happening in his life lately, and he's said some things recently that made me concerned. I'm thinking about him and hoping he'll get some help.
Hm, apparently fewer things than I thought to post. Oh well.
1. Gloomy weather led to good productivity. 7.5 things off the list. (Yesterday = 4.5) Possibly even another before bed.
2. Among the productivity was one of the two big documents for the job market packet that have kept me from getting more of the packets out. The other is up for first thing tomorrow morning.
3. Michigan managed a win. It was a crazy game - it seems that all their games are that way, lately - but it's a win.
Gloomy weather tomorrow and the Steelers have the late game. This bodes well for productivity as well.
1. I took the time to read an article for my own research this morning. First time since school started.
2. I got accepted to a conference in the spring with two new papers - one of my own work, and one coauthored with a former student from last year (based on his senior thesis work). [Thus the need to get some research time in!]
3. It's only 1:30, but I've managed to tick 3 things off the list for today already.
4. We have a nice, crisp fall day here. Thankfully, the two days of "August Resurgent" have passed and we're now back to something seasonable in both temperature and humidity.
5. My students are lining up in droves to consult with the reference librarians. (It's an option to earn points for their research paper.) The librarians have asked me to have them stop, or at least reconsider. This is a mixed blessing at best, but still worth noting.
6. I took the evening off and watched Mamma Mia. Nothing like a good evening of laughing and singing along to feel good.