Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Five Minute Blogging: Just Write


  • House projects are driving me crazy, because they are all piled up behind Fix That Big Thing.  I hate coordinating this all, and in consequence I'm worse at it than I would otherwise be.  (Spouse is more or less hopeless; I accept this, and he gets the things I'm hopeless at, like balancing checkbooks.)  
  • So naturally I started painting Tatoe's room.  It looks better already and it's 15% done.
  • And I have a baby present I need to assemble LAST WEEK because that baby is coming any day now. 
  • So naturally I'm refinishing some end tables.
  • And doing things with pears.  This is not entirely my fault; my dad showed up with a cedar chest and two bushels of pears for me.  I had only asked for one of these.
  • The correct response to free fruit is always "Thank you!  How delightful."
  • On the bright side, my children are still alive, everyone gets fed offered a healthy and balanced meal every night for dinner, I am keeping up with the (endlessly boring) grading, and nobody's caught fire in lab yet.  And we've only broken a combined total of $400 of glassware!  (That's peanuts.  And $200 of it was just due to material fatigue.  Last year they did in $6000 just of crucibles.)
  • I had mercy on three of my students and gave them half off instead of a zero.  Dr. S thinks I should have made them suffer.  
  • I can always make them suffer next time they screw up.  Which they will.  
  • I'm eating too much chocolate and gaining too much weight (now a net total of 10 lbs at 30 weeks but still the velocity matters too) and I just can't be bothered to care.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Nope nope nope nope nope.

(In which I discuss Food Problems yet again.)

Dear Readers, you will remember that I am allergic to so many foods that I keep a spreadsheet.

The one good thing about being unexpectedly pregnant - aside from a cute baby who may eventually turn into a darling child, of course - is that some of the allergic nonsense has turned itself down a bit. For example, I ate some canned apricots and was okay!  (Then I ate the rest of the can of apricots and I was less okay, but I feel that was my own failure in judgment.)

However, this weekend I ate a small serving of something with tapioca starch in it (one of the things to which I'd had less-severe reactions - not the ones that make me wheeze and have trouble breathing; that seemed ill-advised.)  And I was very much NOT OKAY.  My hope that this will all disappear is apparently premature.

(House work is boring.  Getting trees taken out is boring.  Talking about jobs is inadvisable.  I am still pregnant.  The end.)

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Dear My Spouse's School's Students,

Leggings are STILL not pants.

Love,

The Professor's Wife



Dear My Chemistry Students,

The next time I squirt you in the face for not wearing your safety glasses- and I'm sure there will be a next time! - I'm going to put something in the bottle that stings.

Love,

I'm Not A Tape Recorder

Monday, October 06, 2014

On Adjuncting as Optional Work

My mother was asking me how I feel about being an adjunct (in brief: kind of weird!  but it pays me lots of money every two weeks!).  In general, I feel squidgy about adjuncting.  I mean, I don't think anyone gets an advanced degree and thinks 'Yes!  I would love to be a semester-to-semester employee with no benefits, no stability, and no power!  That sounds great!'

However, in my particular case, I love adjuncting.  I don't think I'll love it forever. but for now, it pays ridiculously well for the amount of work I do (very little) and, since this is a small town, involves a five-minute commute.  It's not like there's a better part-time job (or any job!) on offer.  I'm not thrilled about supporting the university in having 25% of their faculty be part-time, but it's also not my problem.  I can be as sarcastic to my students as I want, which is occasionally quite a lot; it's more fun and less work than lecturing.

On the other hand, I am still a little twitchy about being 'the professor's wife who adjuncts'.

Monday, September 29, 2014

A Little Immunology, Self As Trial, etc.

(Boring medical detail ahead.)

Dear readers, it will not surprise you to hear that having suppressed my cell-mediated immunity with pregnancy and then knocked down my innate immunity with asthma drugs, when I get a cold... I feel very, very ill.  Also, my immune system was a piece of junk to start with.

(Side note: Sometimes I hear people saying they want to take X - echinacea, elderberry, ginger, whatever - to 'strengthen' their immune system. It finally dawned on me why this thought gives me hives: how the hell do you know it won't just turn the whole shebang up a notch, rather than boosting your specific cell-based response to rhinovirus?  Oh, that's right, you don't.  Even fancy pharmaceuticals have a lot of off-target effects.  Now imagine it's a plant..... I spend a lot of time and effort trying to turn down my immune system so it will stop, say, giving me eaten-by-ants feelings all over my body, so no, I don't want to try elderberry.)

I asked about told the midwives I wasn't taking the asthma drugs any more: less allergies = less immune system = why am I taking another immune suppressant.  Unless then I can't breathe, in which case, just kidding!  Their response was mostly "Um... okay.  Let us know how that goes."

I also stopped taking long-acting antihistamines because they cause lower blood pressure and mine was 96/59 this week.  Plus, additional hit to immune system.

Sometimes I wish I knew less.  Then I would feel less responsible for paying attention to what's going on, what the relative risks are, and what choice to make.  "Oh, the doctor told me to!" I could exclaim cheerfully.  Instead, well, at least nothing too weird has happened yet.




Thursday, September 18, 2014

A Student:

"Ma'am, I'm sorry I'm late. I thought it was Friday."

If only, honey.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Cat Juggling

Oh, Internets.  Working!  It's like someone expects me to show up somewhere else on time and pay attention!  My students are hilarious in so very many ways, not least that their response to everything including 'You just got an F on this assignment' is 'Yes, ma'am.'  Sometimes I can't tell if I'm awful at teaching, or they're awful at lab science; probably mostly option B, but it's hard for me to know in advance in what ways they will spectacularly screw up this week's lab.  But some of them are good!  On the other hand the density of water is never THREE g/mL!  THINK, CHILDREN!!!  It's a little like one big Far Side cartoon.

Plus, now I have to drag a kindergartener out the door - on time - every morning.  Although I think my spouse is actually doing a fair share of the household work, I still feel put-upon, overburdened, and annoyed at all of it.  (The fact that the spouse went to the vet last week probably didn't help much. No, seriously, this is the LAST child.  Really.  Really, it is.)

I get extremely frustrated with having such small physical limits.  If I overdo it, I get exhausted and nauseous.  The house is a mess from a combination of moving and three people's semesters starting, but I only have so much energy... so it's not all going to get done.  And we still need to have six kinds of tradespeople come fix things (trees, chimney, sump pump, french drain, basement wall, AC!!) which is a pain in the rear.  I think I have Arranging Things Fatigue, on top of Not Sleeping Because I'm Pregnant Fatigue and Two Small Children Fatigue.

And while I am a big fan of public schools in general, NO I do not have time to (fill in the blank).  Anything.  Anything else.

Also, Tatoe is Almost Three and he literally spent seven hours whining so far today.  I want to lock myself in the closet with a bottle of bourbon.