Friday, September 12, 2014

Cat Juggling

Oh, Internets.  Working!  It's like someone expects me to show up somewhere else on time and pay attention!  My students are hilarious in so very many ways, not least that their response to everything including 'You just got an F on this assignment' is 'Yes, ma'am.'  Sometimes I can't tell if I'm awful at teaching, or they're awful at lab science; probably mostly option B, but it's hard for me to know in advance in what ways they will spectacularly screw up this week's lab.  But some of them are good!  On the other hand the density of water is never THREE g/mL!  THINK, CHILDREN!!!  It's a little like one big Far Side cartoon.

Plus, now I have to drag a kindergartener out the door - on time - every morning.  Although I think my spouse is actually doing a fair share of the household work, I still feel put-upon, overburdened, and annoyed at all of it.  (The fact that the spouse went to the vet last week probably didn't help much. No, seriously, this is the LAST child.  Really.  Really, it is.)

I get extremely frustrated with having such small physical limits.  If I overdo it, I get exhausted and nauseous.  The house is a mess from a combination of moving and three people's semesters starting, but I only have so much energy... so it's not all going to get done.  And we still need to have six kinds of tradespeople come fix things (trees, chimney, sump pump, french drain, basement wall, AC!!) which is a pain in the rear.  I think I have Arranging Things Fatigue, on top of Not Sleeping Because I'm Pregnant Fatigue and Two Small Children Fatigue.

And while I am a big fan of public schools in general, NO I do not have time to (fill in the blank).  Anything.  Anything else.

Also, Tatoe is Almost Three and he literally spent seven hours whining so far today.  I want to lock myself in the closet with a bottle of bourbon.

Friday, September 05, 2014

Five Minute Blogging: Feelings on Professional Work, and on Breastfeeding

1)  I can't quite articulate why, but it's like a giant weight has lifted, simply because I have work for which I receive both respect and money.  My education is actually useful for something!  I can stop worrying that I'll never work again!  (I still worry that I may end up adjuncting for almost-forever.  Still.)

2) Someone asked if I was planning on going to the local LLL meeting, like, ever.  Errrrrrgh.  I tried to tactfully explain that, in fact, I had some serious medical problems last time, and treating them led to permanent serious medical problems.  And that a doctor/lactation consultant, whose specialty is serious medical problems in breastfeeding, told me that I both could and should stop.  Also that I don't want well-meaning people running through "Did you try heat?  How about probiotics?  Pumping?  Fenugreek?  ECHINACEA?"  I tried all of those for which there was any evidence whatsoever, I ended up really, really sick as a result of not weaning my child, which in retrospect was the correct choice; too late now - and I have NO INTENTION of going through that again.  When I say that if I get mastitis even once, I'm done, this is based on years of painful experiences and consultation with three specialist MDs and every piece of scientific literature ever published on the subject.  And I don't want to try echinacea/ acupuncture/ traditional Chinese medicine/ homeopathy/ whatever.  NO.

(Yes, I get a little annoyed about this one.)


Tuesday, September 02, 2014

No, I Didn't Think To Mention That

Why yes, on the first day of a LAB class - which only meets once a week! - you should bring your LAB MANUAL.

Lesson learned.

Monday, September 01, 2014

More on Adjuncting, Again in Very Brief

1) Per the excellent advice of my predecessor in the lab-instructor job (she now works with my spouse) I made sure to be very nice and respectful to the department secretary.  In return for me treating her like a human being, she offered to print out all 145 pieces of paper that I a) need for Tuesday and b) cannot print out because I cannot LOG IN to anything yet.

2) The second day of orientation, I got to see the department chair's eyes bug out as he realized I'm pregnant.  (State school + none of their damn business + I'm due after the semester ends and have two 40-week children = I didn't say a word.)  It was like a little cartoon thought bubble of "I can't say anything.  Oh, ye gods, is she pregnant?  I think she's pregnant.  I can't ask.  Fuuuuuuck."  (I did tell all the other faculty members that yes, I am pregnant, but no, I am not due until the end of December, so don't freak out.  My favorite response was, "So... I guess you won't be back next semester."  By which dude meant, now we have to find someone else to teach all those labs, fuuuuuuuck.)

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Revelations From the World of Adjuncting

It turns out that being addressed as "Mrs. Scientist" in a professional setting - even by HR - causes me to fill with a red, red rage.  Read the !@$% five thousand forms you made me fill out.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Snippets From Faculty Orientation

Stereotypically* jerky male engineer:  "And I say to my students, 'Well, if the CEO of the company were speaking, would you get up and leave the room to go to the bathroom?'  And none of them ever leave after that."
Me to female faculty next to me, in an undertone: "If the CEO were a jerk who had failed to account for my personal health and comfort, HELL YES I would get up and leave.  Jackass."
Middle-aged African-American registrar staff member, to everyone:  "That's nice but you should also remember that in a three-hour lab, with female students in your classes, sometimes they do need to go the bathroom.  Or people are sometimes ill.  So... no."

Head of the college: "And we had to modify some of our physical requirements because the female students just couldn't keep up."
Me: < envisions stone gargoyle falling on his head > 

(By the way, people, 2.5 hours is too long for the pregnant lady to sit still without a bathroom break, and she WILL get up and wander off for her health and comfort whether you're on schedule or not, and NO, not drinking water will NOT work.  Look here, old white dudes: I.  Don't.  Care.)

*Note I do not say typically.  Though that may also be, on average, accurate.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Items In Extremely Brief


  • I have been faculty oriented.  It was weird, not least because what I really want to know is, who has my office key?  None of those people, for sure.  The head of the university is a prize horse's rear end and I hope he gets his horse's rear end fired SOOOOOON.
  • But!  Very many of their new TT faculty hires are female!  So, progress.
  • Also, when did I turn into someone who makes sure to chat with all the other new hires and ask about their pets/ houses/ children/ spouses?  I still have this image of myself as weird, nerdy, and shy.  Possibly... not entirely accurate.  
  • We have moved into our new house.  Dr. S has taken the children away for the weekend so I can paint (and paint, and paint).
  • It has ANTS.  THE SOUTH.
  • Fortunately we have tubes of this doubtless horrible stuff, and now they are crawling out of the walls to die, twitching, in the middle of all the floors.  This is only a lot disturbing.  But!  Better than alive!
  • (Yes, I know about all the ways to kill ants that don't involve Better Things From DuPont.  They don't really work when you have three colonies of giant black ants in your walls.  In the South.  Trust me on this one.  Boric acid: not gonna cut it.)
  • Speaking of DuPont, let me not miss this opportunity to, once again, remind you of their cellophane ads.  
  • Er... I need to go to bed so I can do this all again tomorrow.