Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
I don’t know if I can do this today. I said yesterday that I was feeling a little down. Well, that’s gotten significantly worse today. I feel awful. I’m sure it’s almost entirely hormonal, but I really can’t seem to convince myself to perk up today. Usually, I can come up with something to get myself going, and once I do get going, whatever little momentum I build up will usually at least carry me through the day.
But today I just feel paralyzed. I can’t get myself out of my chair. I really just want to go home and curl up. But I’m here. Sitting at my desk. And I can’t get out of my chair. This isn’t my normal I’m lazy and don’t feel like doing anything stuck in my chair. No, this is different, and I don’t like it.
I did manage to get up and make some calming tea. I think that has helped a little. I’m trying to do little things. I ordered some supplies. I’m trying to convince myself to take some stuff down to the autoclave, but I haven’t managed to commit myself to that yet. I haven’t even managed to move stuff around on my desk so that I could make a list on my notepad.
It’s a down day, and I can’t seem to shake it. It’s supposed to storm this afternoon. I wish it would start now. It just feels like a day that needs rain.
Okay, I finished my tea and I’m going to get up, wash out my mug, and pop stuff into the autoclave. Then I’m going to plan my experiments for the afternoon. Then I’m going to eat lunch. Then I’m going to do said experiments, like it or not. I will not get stuck here. I will not.
The 42 men and 14 women named Hughes investigators todayObviously, there's lots of things that could explain those numbers, but GEEZ! If that's not indicative of a problem somewhere along the line, then I don't know what is.
Monday, May 26, 2008
Friday, May 23, 2008
Common Virus Blamed for 5 Infant Deaths, CDC Says
Better laboratory tests reveal a common illness can be deadly to newbornsBy MIKE STOBBE AP Medical Writer
ATLANTA May 22, 2008 (AP)A common virus traditionally viewed as mild killed at least five U.S. infants last year, government health officials said Thursday.The five deaths mark the first time an infection was found to be fatal, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
And now back to the lab work previously in progress.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
I’ve been reading and thinking about education a bit today. My sister (my little baby sister sniffle) is graduating from high school this month! She goes to a public high school in rural Georgia, which is the same school system I was in from first grade on.
For those of you that aren’t aware, public education in Georgia is, well, a disaster. It was okay when I was in school, and obviously varied greatly by school system. However, things have gone downhill superfast. Scary super fast.
A number of issues have plagued public education in Georgia:
- That whole evolution thing (for my most recent amusement, see here)
- Curriculum issues—implementation of a new math system that seems to be dicey at best, instituting new standards at the middle school level before the elementary level, etc. My favorite, however, is requiring four years of high school science for all students. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for awesome science education. However, it appears that no one took into consideration the number of new teachers this would require or where the money for those new hires is coming from. It’s going to be very, very, very ugly in a few years.
- Leadership issues—in particular, the Clayton County school system is going to lose their accreditation in the fall. (Check out articles here and here for more information.) The decision hasn’t been finalized, but I don’t see it turning out any other way. (The really sad part is, this is an entirely administrative and non-academic issue. Morons!!!) This whole thing really makes me sick.
All of this just makes me very sad. Younger BIL will graduate next year, and we will be out of the Georgia public school system for good, other than my MIL, who teaches 5th grade. I really wish there was something I could do to at least help a little, but I’m all out of ideas.
The other thing I was thinking about today was this article from The Juggle on WSJ. The question it posed was “College: Time to Accept it’s Not for Everyone?” I can’t even express how much I agree with that. Some students are not good at academics. Period. Which makes me extra angry that Georgia now only offers a high school college preparatory track. Some people are not good at “book learnin”. GET OVER IT!!! The thing is, those people are typically good at something, sometimes really, really good at something non-academic.
Why do we punish those students???
Why should we discourage some students from becoming skilled laborers? Why do we deny them the opportunity to learn a trade in high school? Why do we expect all students to excel at academics?
I can think of kids I went to high school with that were damn good mechanics, electricians, etc. Those people didn’t need to take four years of science. They don’t need to take Math 4, whatever that entails. I don’t care if my mechanic knows trig, heck, algebra. I want him/her to FIX MY CAR!!!
I believe education is important, and the everyone should have the opportunity to follow whatever path it is that they choose. I just don’t have a problem with a kid working really hard at learning to be an electrician rather than studying chemistry.
Monday, May 19, 2008
The top 100 or so books most often marked as “unread” by LibraryThing’s users. Bold the books you have read, underline the ones you read for school, italicize the ones you started but didn’t finish.
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Crime and Punishment
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Life of Pi: a novel
The Name of the Rose
Pride and Prejudice
The Tale of Two Cities
The Brothers Karamazov
Guns, Germs, and Steel
War and Peace
The Time Traveler’s Wife
The Blind Assassin
The Kite Runner
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
Reading Lolita in Tehran : a memoir in books
Memoirs of a Geisha
Wicked: the life and times of the wicked witch of the West
The Canterbury Tales
The Historian: a novel (in progress)
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Love in the Time of Cholera
Brave New World
The Count of Monte Cristo
A Clockwork Orange
The Once and Future King
The Grapes of Wrath
The Poisonwood Bible
Angels & Demons
The Satanic Verses
Sense and Sensibility
The Picture of Dorian Gray
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
To the Lighthouse
Tess of the D’Urbervilles
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
The Sound and the Fury
Angela’s Ashes: a memoir
The God of Small Things
A People’s History of the United States : 1492-present
A Confederacy of Dunces
A Short History of Nearly Everything
The Unbearable Lightness of Being
The Scarlet Letter
Eats, Shoots & Leaves
The Mists of Avalon
Oryx and Crake
Collapse: how societies choose to fail or succeed
The Catcher in the Rye
On the Road
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Freakonomics: a rogue economist explores the hidden side of everything
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance : an inquiry into values
In Cold Blood: a true account of a multiple murder and its consequences
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Saturday, May 10, 2008
Friday, May 9, 2008
Thursday, May 8, 2008
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
One of my high school English teachers made us do this exercise he called a brain vomit. The premise was that you just got all your thoughts out. You were supposed to just keep writing for whatever set period of time. There seem to be lots of things just running wild in my poor little brain, so I think it’s time to set them free on the blogosphere!
- I have babies on the brain!!! While we were visiting my mom this past weekend, we kept my cousin's two little boys who are 2 months and almost 2 years old. Needless to say it was quite an adventure. Despite not getting any sleep, I want so very badly to kidnap them! Or have one of my own. And that seems to be all I can think about today. Fortunately, it’s a happy afterglow kind of thinking about it, not the painful, frustrated, longing kind of thinking about it. I’m sure that will return shortly.
- My father got married again this weekend, bringing his total number of marriages to three. It was the most ridiculous thing I have ever suffered through. I am the black sheep on this side of the family because I have very little to do with my father (and because I’m getting a PhD and haven’t popped out any babies yet). The reason I have very little to do with him is because he was verbally and physically abusive to my mom when I was a child. He’s mellowed a lot with age, and I appreciate that, but I still have no use for him.
Back to the wedding, it was a super duper hardcore religious Southern Baptist young earth kind of ceremony. Which is bad enough. But this is his third marriage, and I don’t know how many times his lovely bride has been married, but she has two children that I would guess have two different fathers. And he has at least one bastard child that was conceived while he was married. So it was kind of disgusting to sit through all the be faithful forever, I’ll love you until I die crap.
Everything was super tacky too. It was an early afternoon wedding. The bride wore a dress with a cathedral length train. A dress that was “hemmed” in the front with duct tape. I can’t make this up. The groom’s cake was on a table covered with camo and the cake had a deer head on it. I guess it’s better than a red velvet armadillo. The reception consisted of punch, peanuts, dinner mints and the cake. I didn’t expect a full meal, but some pretzels would have been nice. Maybe some cheese and crackers?
Okay, tacky wedding rant complete (and with no mention of the cankles or their arm/wrist equivalent. Ew.)
- Crazy Man ticked me off again last week. We had joint lab meeting with our collaborators across town. These are always painful occasions because our collaborator (Jabba the Hut) is outrageously obnoxious, but we’ll save that for another day. Crazy Man had ordered pizza for us, and he was running late, so he called to tell us to sign for it and take it down to the conference room. I answered the phone when he called, and he said, “Could one of you girls sign for the pizza and take it down to the room?” I was seriously speechless. And what do you know, us two girls were doing experiments while the boys were sitting at their computers. Grrrrr!!!
I think that’s it for now. I’m taking off a little early again today. TM demands groceries so that he can concoct me some gourmet meals. Who am I to stand between TM and groceries??? J Crazy Man will probably be ticked at me by the end of the week, but whatever. I got a lot of work done today, and by the end of the week I should actually (hopefully) have some data to show for it. That should appease him. I hope.