Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The life of a writing woman

I've been writing, writing, writing the past few weeks. Sometimes I write about students, and then for a break, I write about teachers. Since writing is a big part of research (what's the point of having all these brilliant ideas if you don't tell anybody about them?), I'm lucky I don't dislike writing as much as some grad students I know. But I have to admit that I like having the finished project a bit more than the actual writing.

This week I've been creating presentations and posters, which is just a different kind of writing, as far as I'm concerned. (For those of not in academia, when you attend a conference, two of the most common ways to present new findings are either with talks, accompanied by Powerpoint slides, of course, or on a poster, a great vinyl sheet on which you print all your deep thoughts, then stand in front of it at prescribed times. You accost anyone foolish enough to wander by while looking vaguely interested. It's like a science fair without judges and afterwards you go out for beer instead of ice cream. )

Tomorrow night I leave for a week's vacation in tropical Ohio. I know that's not everybody's idea of paradise, but I'm hoping for lots of garage saleing combined with a week's respite from washing dishes (my mother spoils me). Bliss!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Garage Saling

There comes a point each day when I want to cut off my own hands in frustration, because they just can't get the words that I want to say up on the screen. There is some progress it my battle with the Dvorak keyboard - I'm very fast at typing 'the' and my name. But I continue to mix up the positions of the 'c' and 'r' keys. (They are right next to each other.) And I'm rather dismayed at how often I need either 'c' or 'r'.

My town (which is really just a big neighborhood) had it's annual town-wide garage sale last Saturday. Andrew and I snagged some great deals: a still-in-its-original-packaging split keyboard for my new computer at school ($3), a single-speed bicycle ($6!) that I'm going to try riding to school, and some decorations for my dad's upcoming birthday party. I look forward to this sale every year because it's rare; it seems that fewer people have garage sales in the DC area compared to Ohio. It's a good chance to get out and meet the neighbors, too, and it reminds me again why I'm glad I live in a neighborhood full of families instead of an apartment full of undergraduates.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The struggle with my fingers continues

Five days of typing on Dvorak and I'm up to 8 words per minute. Don't expect any chatty posts until I can raise that painful number a bit. For now it's, "Just the facts, ma'am, just the facts."

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Coded Message

If you recently received a piece of paper from my mother asking you to do something, please try to do it soon. Time is running out.

This message will self-destruct in thirty seconds.

Friday, June 08, 2007


I... am... typing... this... so... slowly... that... I'll... forgive... you... if... you... want... to... leave... and... find... a... peppier... blog... today.

So I had this great idea to teach myself the Dvorak keyboard. It's supposed to be faster (because a large number of your keystrokes are in home position) and reduce the likelihood of carpal tunnel syndrome (because a large number of your keystrokes are in home position). As others who have done this have promised, the transition is excruciating. I've gone from something like 70 wpm to something like 4 wpm. I literally find in easier to cut and paste a word that I have already typed than to try and type it again. So blog posts may be shorter for a bit while I struggle to remember where the 'k' is located.

The visit with my brother and his family: we saw monuments, memorials, and museums. Kyla and sis-in-law rode the carousel on the Mall. (I think s-i-l enjoyed it the most. In all the pictures - and my brother took one every time they came around - there's a big grin plastered on s-i-l's face, while Kyla wore the same expression as she does when she's in her stroller. She just couldn't quite see what all the fuss was about.) We ate good Indian and good sushi and good bubble teas accompanied by a terrible steamed bun. We had chocolate cake every day.

I must stop now. This post took me all morning and at some point I need to do the work they pay me for.

Monday, June 04, 2007

A picture book

Fun times were held by all this weekend. More soon, I promise. But in the meantime, a short illustrated story to read to your wee ones before bed.

Kyla asks her father to play one - two- three - Wheeeeee!

Not receiving an affirmative answer quickly enough, Kyla stands up and demands to play one -two - three - Wheeee!

One... Two...



Friday, June 01, 2007

Visitors from another dimension - children

My brother and his family are coming for the weekend! I am so excited. Expect many, many pictures of my incredibly cute niece next week.

We're ready: we've purchased everyone's favorite drinks, cleaned the house from top to bottom, and I'm baking a cake tonight. I think the best way to show someone that you love them is with buttercream frosting.

I have never had a toddler spend more than an hour in my house. I've tried to pack up everything that she could either eat or bang her head on, but I'm sure I'll have misjudged what I should have done. I'll just have to count on her parents to keep her alive for the weekend, in spite of the (probable) death trap that my house is.

Have a nice weekend!