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. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014


Instead of moving, now I am painting.  Somehow this seemed like a good idea.  Actually, scratch that: it seemed like something that would NEVER EVER happen if I, personally, had to move all the furniture, which I physically can't do, whereas now, we have basically no furniture.  Also, flat paint + children = instantly grubby hallways. I just can't.

The number of people who have freaked out over Pregnant Lady Painting is astonishing.  For one, I am using a zero-VOC latex; for two, I am standing on a four-legged kitchen chair and painting eight-foot ceilings.  I don't even have to reach up very far.  I am not going to fall.  I am also not getting up 15 feet in the air to edge the entryway.  That would be crazy.  For three, I have a PhD in biochemistry and have worked with radiation, phenol, and volatile solvents (safely) while pregnant.  Don't drink the P-32, that's all.

Bug is insane.  Tatoe is getting his two-year molars.  I am buying All The Things despite the fact that, as Dr. S puts it, I have an allergy to spending money.  This causes FEELINGS.  However, I am too busy looking at literally two hundred rugs online to think about FEELINGS.

During the past week, I also thought maybe I was feeling the baby less.  Although it's completely irrational -low-risk third pregnancy, first two delivered at 40-week full term, no preterm labor ever- I was a little freaked out.  No, actually, I was a lot freaked out.  Eventually I poked the baby so much that she did a hard somersault around (ow) and has been kicking me a great deal.  Phew.  (Right before I broke down and called the midwives.)  I think she was just rolled around backwards or something.  A little learning is a dangerous thing.

Sunday, August 03, 2014

We are moving.  All is chaos.  I must pack, but I am more-easily-exhausted-than-usual on account of being 19 weeks pregnant.  It's amazing how much energy it takes to metabolize for two/ be woken up twice a night to go pee/ feel faintly nauseous all the time.*  An unspecified number of people are showing up Sunday to move stuff (do I take the offer from the friend's husband with a three-week-old?  I feel like he gets a pass even though he offered twice, but on the other hand, I can't lift heavy things because I can't hold them in to my body because there's a tiny baby in the way and therefore I'm not strong enough) and... well... I hope it all gets there.  I still haven't made childcare arrangements for Tatoe and I start work in three weeks.  BUT!  It must all happen, so it will.

* This is a VAST improvement over really, really nauseous all the time, but still, not so great.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Be More Specific

Today we were at a friend's house, and the boys were both trying to grab the same backhoe toy.  So, naturally, I tried to redirect them ("I see you both grabbing this toy.  You need to find another solution.") and then I took it away when they kept grabbing and hitting.

(Then they tried to grab and hit me.)

"Use your words," I said.

And they both screamed in unison, "I WANT IT!!!!"