Friday, May 19, 2017

FMB: Jobs, Part 2

With respect to the previously mentioned diagram: I don't think one's job necessarily can or should fulfil all the desirable qualities at once - it's labelled 'a reason for being', after all.  Ideally, 'get paid' should be included: that's what jobs are for.  (Please don't start with parenting is a job because it is but no-one is paying me for this nonsense. For the purposes of this discussion, 'jobs' are 'things we do in exchange for money', as opposed to, say, 'work'.)

So... what is lacking in *my* job?  Change.  Opportunity to learn or do something different. 

And what do I love?  Gardening.  Explaining how science works in the real world (it's all chemicals! let me introduce you to... the liver!).  Sewing, canning, making things.  Having a tidy house, though not actually tidying it.

It is no coincidence that the things I love are the things I do the least: I am the primary caregiver for a two-year-old, and I only have childcare while I'm at work.  (For many complex reasons, starting with finances and ending with small-town-with-only-one-daycare and did we mention holy hell it's expensive, 'just pay for more childcare' is not going to work.) 

Next year, I will have twelve hours a week of child-free time when I'm also not teaching; this includes lunch.  Six hours go to class prep.  At least an hour goes to lunch.  The last block will be between classes - so gardening is probably out - and I expect medical appointments to take up much of it. So the main problem is I just don't have time to do anything I want to do.  (For health reasons, I also haven't been strong enough to do much, either.) 

Next up: how can I make room for these things in my life?

(It took me 30 minutes to write for five minutes due to children arguing, the phone ringing, and numerous requests.  Argh.)

Monday, May 15, 2017

FMB: Jobs, Eternally

This image (from here) floated through my life a few weeks ago:


























Aaaannd I suddenly realized exactly what's wrong with my job.  I'm good at it, I'm paid for it, and probably the world needs someone to teach intro undergraduate science, but I don't love it.  It is not challenging, I do not find it a wonderful or stimulating use of my intelligence and skills, and I do not (in the grand scheme of things) find it delightful.  So, yes, I'm comfortable, but not satisfied. 

(There are many worse problems to have.  I could have a job that is useless, hateful, and ill-compensated!  However, I have the luxury to not love my job, and I don't.  All the Misery Poker in the world won't make it so.) 

Still, eternally, working on an exit plan.  The expiration date is when Sweetpea goes to school, in three years - coincidentally, also when Dr. S goes up for tenure* - after which I will, so help me, be doing something else. 

*probably; he may go up a year early, For Reasons.

Saturday, May 06, 2017

Grant Me Strength

No, plastics do not leach plastic into your garden dirt.  Plasticizers maybe.  No, copper in the soil is not toxic, in those concentrations, unless you have a rare genetic disease.  No.... I'm pretty sure that the antibiotics in cow manure pretty much are gone by the time it's done composting.  Manure that you are putting in the dirt.  Not eating, right?  Right. 

No, I'm really not interested in your fear of 'contamination' and orthorexia, but here's a plant to enjoy.  Bye! 

(This post brought to you by my inability to be rude to a friend-of-a-friend in public.)

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Lack of Focus Time

Right now, I have a great many hours with nothing particular I have to do.  As most of these hours also contain small children, however, what mostly gets done is laundry, going to the park, and feeding everyone. 

On the other hand, I have extremely few (3) hours per week when it's during daylight hours and all three of my children are elsewhere and I do not have a roomful of undergrads who all want my attention, preferably at once.  (I work after bedtime a little, but not much, because yea verily, Those Who Want Full Time Hours Must Pay Full Time Wages.)

Next year, Sweetpea will go to daycare/'preschool' three days a week and both boys will go to Actual Real School and it will be glorious.

Until then, accept this as a placeholder for 'my life is full of all the things and all the scheduling and all the children and all the gardening'. 

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

How to Make a Train Wreck

Start with ten sections of a lecture course.  Add a dash of 'coordinator lost the test file' and stir well, then hold over the weekend.  Mix in two tests written by a sadist, a sinus infection, and a toddler who wants to 'play bubbles, mama'.  Let incubate two hours.  Taste and realize that the entire thing is made of salt tears. 

Throw out your test and start again.  When the timer goes off, realize that you have ten minutes to go pick up your children.  Print in great haste, then fold in blowing bubbles with your toddler instead of working.  Administer liberally with a number two pencil.

Makes one Multiple Choice From Hell and one Nobody Finished The Essays, per student.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Yet More Book Reviews

Miss Julia Delivers the Goods (Ross): D-, DNF. First 75 pages contain disparaging ethnic stereotyping, sex-shaming, and a degree of boundary-crossing meddling that gave me hives.  Plus it was boring.

Death in the Stocks (Heyer): Re-read.  Okay, largely inoffensive. I remembered halfway through who did it.

The entire Mrs. Pollifax series: Library. Soothing, not-too-violent series about a little old lady who decides to go work for the CIA in her spare time.  Marred by the occasional racism (stop saying that dude has slanted eyes!  Gah!) but otherwise good, and a refreshing change to have an older heroine who rescues herself. 

Locked Rooms (King): Re-read.  Entertaining, not too violent or bizarre or shark-jumpy (I'm looking at you, Pirate King).

Two for Sorrow (Upson): Again, D-, would not book again.  Takes an engaging premise (Josephine Tey, novelist and notable lady-lover, is a detective!) and butchers it under a heap of anachronisms, gory violence, dead babies, and - to top it off - weak, wandering, uninteresting writing.  Bah, humbug.

Attolia series (Turner): Trilogy about a fantasy world.  Quite good and interesting.  Main character is a dude but interesting women also feature prominently. 

Unquiet Land (Shinn): Okay but the plot is wander-y and full of feeeeeelings.  Series seems to be declining; the first one was great, now heading for meh. 

Sabriel/Lirael/Abhorsen (Nix): Re-read.  I forgot how much I like these badass young ladies rescuing everyone else.  (Clariel, the more recent, is a bit unsatisfying.)

Norse Mythology (Gaiman): Did you KNOW that none of the women in Norse mythology ever did anything interesting?  About 100 pages in, I was suddenly intensely glad I had not paid money for this book.  Seriously, so much sausage. 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Update: job was earmarked for someone *else's* trapped spouse.  I'm beginning to think my spouse will have to apply for jobs elsewhere, to force them to actually interview me for... anything. 

(I did decline to apply for an encore performance at the Religious Director position, on the grounds of not wanting to put myself in the middle of a huge academic-politics argument.  Also, I'm still pretty annoyed with the people who... are that person's bosses.)

Also, due to academic calendar shenanigans, there are three weeks at the end of the semester when I have, essentially, NO babysitting.  Aaaaarrggh.