Wednesday, March 23, 2011


I hate to keep changing the background and layout of my blog, but I am still not completely satisfied with it. I would like it to be fancy and eye-catching, but not so busy. Sort of like how I'd like my own life to be. ((Rudely laughing at my own joke))

So, um, yeah! Here we are in spring. Work-wise, I need to be reviewing abstracts for a conference and what I'd really rather do (besides writing constructive comments) is just to turn in my short assessments to the conference organizers:

1) Hell No
2) Yes, great job
3) Yes, but as a poster or interactive session
3) Nope.

That should be enough. It's relevant for conference organizers, but, alas, does not have enough specific feedback for the authors. (Really? Ya, think)

In mother news, Bridget was given an "incident report" this week for biting another child. The good news is that it is fully clear in the report that she was defending herself from the tooth-y onslaught of the other child. That is, she wasn't the aggressor--someone was trying to bite her, she knew someone was trying to bite her, and she got the first bite in, probably right after she said "Listen, fool." (She can channel Mr T when she is defending herself)

In working mother news, I have a much better internet connection, we have a printer that works, and the cat is still alive. Let me back up a moment. A month. Ummm, two months.

Two months ago, in that I took a work-life balance class for mid-level women academics at our university: How the heck are we supposed to do this thing called A Career that allows us to have A Life, too. I honestly don't know if that is possible, but one thing we worked on was our "tolerations." Tolerations are those annoyances you have in your life that if you took 10 minutes or $10 (or maybe a bit more investment of time/money), you could solve the problem and your life wouldn't have those niggling "tolerations" any more.

For me, besides exercise, some of the big tolerances we've been putting up with around the house is crappy internet service (from AT&T U-verse) and no working printer. As someone who works A LOT from home, these are problems. The night of the workshop, Dave read my list of tolerations and within 3 days, had fixed them. Or at least, these two. The Messy House toleration is ongoing. Let's just stop for a second and talk about how wonderful my husband is, shall we? Yes, he's wonderful. Ok, moving on...

What bothered me about ME is that I had also included on my list of tolerations: Cat Won't Die.

Really? Really, Anita????? It is a daily annoyance to you that your Cat Won't Die. What kind of heartless bitch am I? A pretty big one, apparently.

In my defense, the cat is 18 years old. If she were a child, we would be exploring college opportunities right now. It would be time for her to move on. She also howls at night. LOUDLY. Right by the bed. That is annoying. Especially since sleep is so precious right now, an 18 year old cat howling by the bed is a toleration, that could be solved. By, ummm. Well, a shoe would be a less extreme solution than death.

Of course, feeling very guilty, I started paying a bit more attention to the cat. And that's when we realized that she is completely deaf. I have no idea how long she's been deaf. But she is completely and utterly deaf. That's why she's howling. In the middle of the night she has no idea what anyone is doing and would kind of like the world to know she's still alive. (Fortunately, she cannot read and did not know of her place on my list of daily annoyances/tolerations).

So she is still alive and she is not on my list of tolerations any more. We are also paying her more attention and she is not howling as much.

Finally, a funny professor story. After I give lectures, I will often write notes to myself on the syllabus or on the PowerPoint slides if there was a problem and if I should revise the lecture. This week, I gave my lecture on Stress in the workplace and I had written on the opening slide (so as to catch my attention) "This is a BORING lecture!! FIX!" So, I did. I added more exercises and more places for the students to contribute their own feedback and experiences.

Then, yesterday when I was reviewing my notes before class, I realized: I had uploaded the PowerPoint slides on the web....and had not taken off my note: "This is a BORING lecture!! FIX!" Yes! On the first slide!! The first thing the students saw when they looked at the slides was how awful class was going to be this week!! And yes, they did notice it!


What I appreciated was during the class, I kept asking: Are you bored? how am I doing? I absolutely LOVE the student who said, "I'm not bored, but I am less enthused than I was."

We stopped and did an exercise.

1 comment:

Karen said...

I'm glad your cat can't read. And very glad you are paying more attention to her now. That way, when she finally does kick the bucket, you won't feel guilty. It is kind of annoying her not to up and die already, though. Inconsiderate, actually.