Monday, November 13, 2006

You lose some.

I have a very nice, bright graduate student who has a lot of trouble trying to do "research". The student has a number of strengths that are quite suitable and valuable for this student's chosen profession, but the student also has some weaknesses that make traditional graduate study difficult, particularly when it comes to some of the details of pulling together a masters thesis.

I am gridlocked with the rest of the student's graduate thesis committee. I won't go in to details about all the points of disagreement, but . . . they're significant.

AND I AM BEYOND STRESSED. While I know I should not feel like this student is my personal responsibility or completely a reflection of my research skills and my mentoring skills . . . I feel that way anyway. And, I feel bad for the student because I know the student feels somewhat brutalized by this whole process.

I am trying to remain positive, and do my best to ensure an equitable outcome for all parties. But it's not easy! Perhaps I should just have a good long cry and then force myself to snap into detached problem-solver mode, right? Or something. :(

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Stylish shoes or cowbell?

A while ago, at the behest of my husband, I decided to start trying to dress a little nicer for work. I'm not sure why, because my department is really casual, and it's not like I have people to impress. What can I say? My husband has a lot of influence over me.

Part of this effort involved an investment of two new pairs of shoes, one black and one brown, both with heels. I admit they are nice looking, but, compared to my loafers or sneakers, they are really LOUD when I walk. And, as I am the only woman on my floor, everybody knows where I am going any time I am going anywhere. Colleagues shout hello at me before I walk by their door. Students prepare themselves for my arrival before I get to the classroom. And I get teased a lot - at first for just the loud shoes, and now for both the loud shoes AND, on days when I regress and wear loafers, for "trying to sneak up on everybody."

Such is the price of fashion, maybe?