Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Planet re-alignment

Coming out of the funk to do a little writing today. Well, more than a little, hopefully, as chapter 3 is due to Advisor tomorrow. I may play with that date a bit, since Advisor isn't on campus on Wednesdays, so what would it matter to her if I turn it in on Thursday morning???

It sits at 20 very jumbled pages right now. It's been like pulling teeth. My own teeth (credit to Emily for that, a favorite phrase).

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Saturday, January 28, 2006

A Minor Setback

The writing has not been going well these last few days. And Friday's miserable attempt to accomplish anything failed. That might have been the impetus for a bit of an anxiety attack that I'm currently working through. Friday, I was miserable. Today, I'm slightly less miserable but still severely hampered in my work and my ability to cope with the world as a whole.

Silver lining: last night, my daughter asked me, "Mommy, are you a little sad?" "Yes, honey, I'm a little sad." "Come hold my hand, and it will make you less sad." It did.

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Thursday, January 26, 2006


I'm anxiously awaiting the results of my MASH game on dollarshort (tip of my stylish black beret to Angry Pregnant Lawyer)... and here it is:


Your husband's name is Jon Stewart and you have 4 children. You're a actress who drives to work every day in a green volkswagen beetle.

It's truly a wonderful life when you consider the countless romantic nights you have spent with Jon Stewart in your shack in portland, oregon.

Jon (or maybe old pal Steve Carell) must have put in a good word for me, since my acting career has been dead since third grade. But at least I have my green beetle! (How do I schlepp four kids around in one of those??)

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Wednesday, January 25, 2006


If you read too much history, like I do, you know this means "Southern Tenant Farmers Union."

If you read too much on the internet, like I do, you know this means "Shut the F*** Up."

Do not mistake one for the other. It's all about context clues.

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On this day in History

Julie was born! A.K.A. Audiochick, and the only only only one I know who truly understands the importance of Janice to the Electric Mayhem.

So congratulations, WOMAN!!!

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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

My Day

[K-wait: Whenever my delightful daughter (let's call her the Drama Queen or DQ) pretends to read a new book or tell me a story, she entitles it, "My Day."]

What I did today:

  • edited CV and cover letter for dream job.
  • researched dream job faculty a bit further. Cool!
  • set up tutorial with VC on WebCT so's I can put it on my CV (VC for CV, excellent.)
  • re-read what exists of my third chapter. Lots to do here.
  • sent off title and abstract to my contact for the April conference.
  • put in a good couple of hours on my second (money) job.

    To quote Helen, talk about an efficient use of quality time!

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  • Monday, January 23, 2006

    A few words on being Quinn

    You may be asking, who is this new me? For those of you new to me, you may not initially note the recycling of an old family name, a play on a classic episode of a classic (well, defunct) MTV cartoon, or why black is not just existential, but slenderizing.

    Back in the day, MTV showed a highly-intelligent spin-off of -- wait for it -- Beavis and Butthead, entitled "Daria." This show was based on the smart girl who used to laugh at B&B's moronic antics. Well, that girl, Daria, moves to Lawndale with her parents and fashionista sister, Quinn. In one memorable episode, Quinn is under threat of flunking if she doesn't get an A on her next English paper. After unsuccessfully attempting to bribe Daria to write it for her, she produces an angry manifesto on the evils of school, and gets an A. She thus is deemed a "brain," and changes her wardrobe to reflect her new, deep persona, all the while feeling incredibly uncomfortable with her new identity.

    While I don't share Quinn's fashion sense or bouncy hair -- truth be told, I have more in common with Daria -- there's something to the concept of being labeled a brain, for better or for worse.

    This reflects a very real trend I've noticed among my fellow graduate students: fighting against the belief that somehow you're faking it. Despite the advanced degrees and educational frippery (hoodies?), you're not a brain. Maybe, like Quinn, you wrote one "good" paper somewhere along the way and now people expect you to do great things. Quinn feels your pain. Maybe you're terrified that somehow this fraud you're perpetuating will be discovered -- typically, the nightmare goes that it will be discovered at your dissertation defense, when all of a sudden your advisor and committee point at you and say, "You don't know what you're talking about! You've wasted your time and ours on this crap and you'll never amount to anything." This is the brain's equivalent of showing up to the final exam naked. Only it's far worse. And that's from someone with body image issues!!!

    Let me assure you, we've all been there. The truth is, like Quinn, we're not as stupid as we think we are. We're getting degrees for a reason. And -- unlike Quinn -- we're intellectually curious and willing (usually) to do the work. Doesn't that count for something? Hopefully, it counts for more than bouncy hair.

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    You know, for kids!

    Just so you don't think I've completely given up on this whole dissertation concept, here's a tidbit from today's research.

    I'm reading the early scouting handbooks, including Ernest Thompson Seton's 1906 "Birchbark Roll" guidelines. It gives suggestions for setting up your own scouting troop: by-laws, organization, merit badges, etc. I skimmed the merit badge section until something caught my eye: mountain-climbing. Suggestions: Mt. St. Helens.

    Nothing like climbing an active volcano to make a man outta ya!

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    Sunday, January 22, 2006

    Going pseudonymous

    Well, the big news is that I'm going on the job market, so I'm going pseudonymous. Welcome to the official blog of Quinn the Brain, or so I am now known in the blogger world.

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