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Friday, August 31, 2007

Brand New Hairstyle

I did it. I totally got bangs.
I love them.
The cats love them.
The husband (who's comment when I mentioned the idea of bangs was- what it this 1983?) loves them.
Yay bangs!

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Monday, August 27, 2007

Wha huh?

As if my first class weren't exciting enough.... we were all stuck in our offices for a few minutes in the afternoon at the request of police.

We were let out. No one has a clue why or what happened but it appears as of now that everything and everyone is fine.

UPDATE: There was a medical emergency. The involved parties are being treated and expected to be fine. Sorry to worry you, Mom!

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It is over! It went well! Well enough at least! Thanks for the good lucks and encouragements! I've even already had a student email me asking for a reference from an example I used that is related to what she wants to study in grad school someday. How cool.

Oh, and the shoes ARE green (but are not the wedding shoes).


Sunday, August 26, 2007

Listen to what you've got

In 12 short hours, I will be just about finishing up going over my syllabus in class and starting in on the topic of the semester. Now that I think about it- it is the actual FIRST class of the semester. 8am on Monday morning!
Grad students full on teaching classes doesn't happen every day around my department so I am very very thankful for the opportunity I have been given (and for the new faculty who negotiated a semester off to set up his lab).
The one condition was that my advisor must sit in on classes. He didn't mind because sitting in saves him the work of actually teaching it which seems to have been the other option. His presence makes me more nervous than the 30-or-so students though! And the chair of the department said he was planning on stopping by in the morning as well. Grrreeeeaaatttt!
The weirdest thing about the whole arrangement is that I have to explain why the advisor is there without having it undermine any confidence the students might have in me. That and I have to tell them to call me Ms. Fish. Which is weird. I am not Professor or Dr. and if it were a lab I would have them call me Dancing. It just doesn't seem best for this situation though and all parties queried agree that Ms. Fish is best so Ms. Fish it is.

Just now as I have been working on lectures for the entire weekend am I understanding why everyone keeps asking why I agreed to this. I mean, I knew it was a big time investment but damn, it is a BIG time investment. Hopefully as I get rolling with lectures, the learning curve will kick in and time per lecture will decrease. hehe he.

Today my break was to go shopping. I needed at least one pair of jeans that fit and more non-t-shirt tops. I think I picked out my first day outfit- grey slacks and either a button down or a nice v-neck knit shirt (ok, technically it is a t-shirt but not in the band t-shirt sort of way. No words or anything!). Don't want to go too overboard on the formal even if it is the first day. Totally wearing the awesome-est shoes I own though.

While I can distract myself with shoes and try to ignore my nerves, I just keep coming back to the thought that I really hope I do a good job and the students learn a lot.


Saturday, August 25, 2007

What comes next?

Apparently, I am supposed to be arranging a postdoc. My doing a postdoc has never been much of a question. Just an assumed part of the plan. I am within two years of graduating though and this little nugget of information opens the door for 'What's next?' questions. Unfortunately, I have no answers. My MS advisor told me that I should be starting to look at people to work with and talking to possible postdoc advisors now. Actually she said I should have done this at the meeting in July...This was re-iterated by my current advisor and a postdoc at my 2nd seminar school who started arranging for a writing funding grants 2 years before he started his current position.
It just seems so early!

But it seeming too early isn't reason enough to not take action. So I have started looking at people I would work with. There is one major issue with this- V and I have not yet decided on a geographic range in which I am looking. Driving distance would be nice but does that mean 3 hours? 8 hours? Forget driving and try for close proximity to airports (DO was 4 hours from the nearest airport and that didn't work out well for us seeing each other)?

Besides that, I am not sure what exactly I want to do. I know I need to take this opportunity to branch out- new systems, new questions, it is all so exciting! Some people have suggested finding a lab that needs what I do added to it so I will continue working in my expertise while others have said to go for a lab that is totally different to learn new things and get away from what I usually do. I am sure there is a compromise in there somewhere but I am not too sure how to find it yet.

Finally, there is the dreaded funding issue. In my field, as I understand it, most postdocs are for projects that you and a potential advisor write. If it gets funded, Yay! If not, hello book store job! Already funded positions do exist but they are rare and hard to get. The third option (which I just learned about recently) is to find a new faculty who, by position of being new faculty should be highly motivated and have start up funds (!) for a postdoc.

So far, I am not too worried about this whole thing. There are people I need to talk to and more folks to look up but overall- I am pretty excited about this. Probably because it gives me something else to do while procrastinating and not finishing next weeks lectures. hee

I am sure I will get into all these issues in more depth but if anyone has any thoughts on my -pre-postdoc search stage, please let me know!!!!


Love the cute!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Ugly Mouse

There is no way I could be more obsessed with Modest Mouse or Isaac Brocks' side project Ugly Cassanova right now. I heard one song once (in about 1999) that I didn't care for and never even gave them a real chance. And now, well...better late than never, right?

Here is one of my favorite lines....

'Opinions were like kittens, I was giving them away...'


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

It's got 3 legs, 2 hearts and a headless chicken for a pet

Ahhhhh, the subject of this post is what V just said to me. It is good to be home.

On my drive I stopped and did 2 research seminars. The first was informal- we had it in super-awesome-guy-who-invited-me's office. Although his office has about as much furniture as my house so it was alright. It was a small lab group of 7 people. The second was a full on research seminar with 20+ people from 3 different colleges of the university. They said that was even some sort of record. Not bad for a late summer afternoon! It was cool, I had people to meet with, drinks, dinner- the whole deal. Great comments on my talk AND great contacts. I still have to post about postdoc stuff that has been swimming around my brain but possibly some good connections there and definitely good advice about it all.

The drive back to PA was loooooooong and boring. I got to see my mom and some family I rarely see so that was very nice. Last week there was also a lot of unbloggable, work related drama that I really hope is now over. Moving on....

I teach a class starting on MONDAY. In LESS THAN A WEEK. Holy cow. Currently, I am working my way through 3 textbooks putting together powerpoints. I am more excited than nervous. The biggest concern thus far is that I really don't know if I am giving too much or not enough time to certain topics in the syllabus. I guess if I don't stick to it exactly and provide updated versions to the students it should still be fine...

In domestic news, I am totally ready to make cappuccinos and homemade bread this weekend while I clean the house and prep for class. Yay for wedding presents!
And being in the right state to use them!
My sewing machine also got its first use last night. Of course, I was making tree cozys for V's research (which he isn't even going to use probably), but it was easy and I am ready to sew stuff. Don't know what yet but stuff. will. be. sewn.
Woo Hoo!

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Saturday, August 11, 2007

See ya later DO!

A quick update before I get back to work. I am packing up the office/house and hitting the road today. I have a crazy week ahead of me (meetings with my outside committee member and super awesome scientist at major university, a research seminar with cool research group at a different university, and the whole thousands of miles driving thing).

I will be home a week from today. I have nothing poingant to say about my experiances here. It might be because they are not over- I will be back next summer. It also might be because I really just want to go home.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Glamour Moose and a FO

A few thoughts I had last night as I was doing my mind-numbingly tedious work stuff…

That Fergie song ‘Glamorous’? I like to sing it in my head as Glamour Moose.
I haven’t watched it in a while (months?) but it still bothers me that ‘What Not to Wear’ makes me seriously consider doing things like…..get bangs. Such a bad idea, yet they make it seem like such a viable option.
I wish I had less work to do so I could Photoshop together what I really mean by Glamour Moose.
I thought there was a really bad storm moving through because it was so dark outside the lab. Turns out, it was just nighttime.
I am a horrible knit blogger. I apologize. Here is the Pinwheel blanket v2. In purple. I have ends to weave in and no address to send it to! And bad pics due to it, again, being nighttime. Only 1 more week of experiments left...
I should say something about how I have been reading lots of blogs but not commenting too much. I’m still reading though and will be back to commenting soon!

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