Monday, August 27, 2007

Back to School

It's never a good sign when your alarm goes off and you suddenly find yourself staring at the clock and wondering why it's making that beeping noise. Being forced to remember what an alarm is is a definite sign that summer is over.

And for me, it is. The school year begins on Wednesday, and this time, I'll be a teacher instead of a student. This all happened rather suddenly, a week ago. The department found that it had more teaching positions than teachers, so I am now the instructor of a course. I'm quite excited - it will be fun to immerse myself in the teaching instead of research for a change. It has, however, required a reshuffling of my schedule, because I think the class will take up most of my time this semester. This means minimal research and giving up the philosophy of science course I was planning to take. But in return, I get to grade forty essays a week! What a trade...

In other news, I have been hit be the desire to do some back-to- school shopping. So far I have resisted the urge to purchase the Crayola 64 crayon set (Can I just mention here that I hungered for that when I was a kid, but it was always deemed too expensive, and I always had to make do with the 24 pack. All the cool kids had the 64. How can you be creative with only 24 colors? You know, we can probably trace my lack of fine arts skills directly back to the lack of crayon diversity I had to endure as a kid.) But I did manage to pick up a suit and a few shirts last weekend. Oh, and I also bought a snazzy maroon leather coat that hits just below the hip. I'd model it for a photo but I can't bear to put it on again unless the temperature goes below 90.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Bar Harbor

Because I'm too lazy to write a proper post, but am overwhelmed by guilt because I really owe you a post, here are some photos from my trip to Maine. My thanks to the organizers, both for the conference itself, and for these photos, which I stole from them.

I am unconvinced by my colleague's argument:

Yes, even in twenty-fourth grade, we still sit around in a circle on the floor when we have discussions:

Maine is incredibly, insanely beautiful in the summer:

No, we're not reenacting a sacrificial scene to the gods of tenure, we're gazing at the stars:

Thursday, August 16, 2007


I am flush with a good thrifting find today. We needed a DSL modem, and being too cheap to pay $50 to the phone company and also unable to scam an old one off my brother, Andrew had the brillant idea to head to the thrift store. They had a selection of half a dozen appropriate models, so even if the one we chose (for a mere $7.50, thank you very much) doesn't work, we can go buy another one and try again.

In other news, the eggplant and summer squash season is in full swing. Anybody have any great summer squash recipes? So far, the winners this month are a saute with garlic and mint, served at room temperature and a marinara sauce with lots of summer squash and garlic, which was sweet and spicy. But I've got enough squash for any other recipes you feel like tossing my way.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Conferenced out

I'm back! And those two conferences: Wiped. Me. Out. The first, four days in North Carolina, were a jam-packed overview of everything that's happening in the field. We left our sleeping quarters at 7am and returned each night around 11pm. (Boy, sleeping in a dorm room again sure makes you appreciate the finer qualities of apartment living: Your own bedroom! A bathroom shared by only two people! No one walking by your door at two in the morning, their conversation amplified by their beer consumption.)

The second, a week in Bar Harbor, Maine was more fun. The conference was, as conferences go, tiny, with only 53 participants. While the days were long, there was lots of unscheduled time to eat good dinners, enjoy hanging out at the dock watching the Perseid meteors, and spend a lot of time hearing about people's work. It was the kind of schedule designed to give you time to really hash out ideas, as well as just better understand how all the different research fits together.

Now it's back to real life. Andrew organized our move and spent many long hours cleaning, so I've focused my efforts on finding homes for all of our belongings. As soon as the last box is gone, I'll be posting pictures, because this house comes with a whole host of new decorating challenges, and I'll be looking for ideas.