Wednesday, January 31, 2007


So, I am working on this collaboration with some industry folks, and they recently decided to toss some dollars at one of our projects, enough for me to bring on an MS student to work on it.

I have had an undergrad working on this project for the last 8 months or so, and would love to have him continue, but he's not leaning towards graduate school. Also, though energetic, he is not particularly detail oriented.

So I have been considering this, how shall I recruit, etc., and one of my former students comes by to ask if he could put me down as a reference on his resume, and also he's having some career questions, and should he be considering graduate school, and that sort of thing.

If I were a cartoon character, my eyes would have turned to dollar signs or hearts at that moment. I really like this student - he's a good guy, very scholarly, diligent, thoughtful, critical, etc. OF COURSE HE SHOULD CONSIDER GRADUATE SCHOOL.

And, he should - but, I find myself a little bit blinded by my desire to have him as MY graduate student.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Out of the toolshed.

Remember when I mentioned about how weird it is to run into complete tools around campus? Several weeks ago, I was at some university event, and ran into the woman that had set up that particular meeting. She said, "Oh, and by the way, I want to apologize for that meeting you attended. Somebody there was a real problem. We had to have [somebody in a position of authority] have a talk with that person, and let them know that sort of behavior was not appropriate in that kind of meeting."

Huh. Well, then it wasn't just me, with my cloistered little rose-hued view on academia. That person really WAS a tool.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Look here.

I am on my department's faculty bowling league. I do this because I enjoy the other bowlers, and I like the opportunity to get out of the house/office and do something different every now and then. (I do not do it because I enjoy bowling or am any good at it - actually, I am the worst bowler in the league, a fact I know because everybody's scores are posted on the internet for the hard-core bowlers - or people who wonder, "Am I indeed the worst bowler in the league?" - to scrutinize.)

So, the other day, a member of another team struck up a conversation with me, and then asked what team I was on, and I said, "_____ [name of my department]". He said, "That's funny! You don't look like a ____ist!"

My internal response: "Wake up, dude."
My external response: "Ha, right, well, they clearly asked me to be on the team because of my excellent bowling skills, haha."

Several days later, my husband and I went to a concert of a group we'd seen before. I thought about that time; we'd bought a CD and gotten it autographed. When I approached one of the group members, he signed my CD and said, "Are you a violinist? You look like a violinist." (In case you were wondering: I am not a violinist.)

Personally, I think I look like exactly what I am. Nothing surprising or anything.

Have you ever seen that program where the contestant has to guess which person in this group in front of them is the EMT, CPA, kidney donor, or whatever? I think this show is not interesting. Aside from the one or two "gimme" matches, like the guy in the giant buffalo hide, horns and all, when one of the list members is "Medicine Man," there's no reason to suspect that you'd be able to identify a kidney donor or a knitting expert just by looking at them.

Friday, January 05, 2007

But sometimes you can't even get students to come to class when they are PAYING for it.

I think this is interesting. I also do not have enough confidence in my teaching to say that I think this would encourage anybody to attend my university if we did the same thing. I suspect the reaction would be more like, "Zzzzzzzzzzz."

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

I wish we had 4 weeks between semesters.

But we have 3. It's not enough. The week immediately after finals, you're kind of doing cleanup from the carnage of the weeks before, including attending all the meetings scheduled for after finals because everybody was too busy prior to that. Then if you're me, you travel to family for 5 or 6 days over Christmas. Then you really only have one week before the circus rolls into town again.