Saturday, February 07, 2015

Catching Up

As you know, I haven't been keeping up with the blog. I haven't been reading blogs either- mostly because I'm not reading content through the blog reading apps these days. I'm more likely to read tumblr or see something Twitter, so I've missed out on happenings on the blogs. I realized it's been almost two years since I posted something over here! Let me catch up with some random bullets:

  • D is in high school now(!) and I drive her to a performing arts school almost an hour away (two rounds trips every day). It is worth it for her to go this school, but also to get out of the local high school here which is 99% white. She loves her new school, but still has the same teen struggles. Her eating disorder never got too serious, but she's still coping with body dysmorphia issues. She's in therapy and it definitely helps.
  • I've been advising students in our major, minor, etc for the past three semesters. I enjoy it, since students stop by to see me and talk about class scheduling, etc. It's a good fit for me since I like talking to people. 
  • I still haven't gone up for promotion. In theory, I could have gone up this year, but I just need some more research productivity to strengthen my record before I can do that. And with my current commuting schedule that is going to be even more challenging than before (I'm in the car 20+ hours a week). I really need to get another grant funded, but I'm sure you know how hard it is to get those things written and submitted- and then they're usually not funded, either. To be honest, I don't even care that much about promotion- other than the salary increase. I'm not a star researcher and never will be and that's fine. I like to have some leisure time in my life. Wow, I am a slacker.
Otherwise, things haven't changed a whole lot around here. We still live in the same house, our newer kitty is hilarious to have around- H even likes her. D is growing up (she'll be 16 this year!) and I'm already thinking about how my schedule will be freed up when she goes to college (without the commuting). Time flies.  I won't make any promises about posting over here, so if I do it can be a little surprise for everyone. 

Student Death

It's been a sad week here in Small College Town.  One of our students was killed last weekend.  She was one of the best students I've had and just a genuinely nice person.  I've been trying to figure out how I wanted to blog about this, and think I don't want to say too much.  Just that this is so tragic and sad. And hit a lot of us at Small College Town U pretty hard.  H, D, and I went to the funeral together, along with several other faculty from my department. The family seemed appreciative that we came.  I just wanted to show support and let them know that we cared about their daughter and will miss her too. I can't imagine what pain they're trying to cope with, losing a child. Something that should really never happen.

I want to catch up a bit about other things in my life, but I'll write a separate post for that. Hope everyone's doing well out in blog land.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

How life is pretty sucky at the moment

Hey, remember me? Well, I think I know a lot of you on Twitter and Facebook these days, so it's not  like I've really been out of touch, right? Well, my semester leave is officially over, but of course it's summer now, so still no teaching for me. I had a fairly productive semester, submitting a big collaborative grant proposal, attending some conferences and meetings, working with grad students- I'm advising four plus serving on other committees, so I was on campus most weeks to meet with students. I still have a PhD exam tomorrow, then that should be all wrapped up. I have a lot more I hope to accomplish this summer- especially since we're not headed to Very Distant Country this year. H will go for his grant, but D and I will stay here. I have a work trip in late July which will be welcome after all that time alone with D (H will be back by then).

However, I'm quite miserable right now. D is being treated for an eating disorder. She had been starving herself during the day, overexercising (which she is still doing), and also does some binging (exercise is her form of purging). Life in our house has been hellish. We have the same conservations/arguments/discussions about food and exercise on a daily basis. D doesn't seem to believe us- she also thinks the counselor, dietitian, and doctors are all in cahoots with me, and everyone in the world is delusional about her appearance and weight but her. Everyone who meets her tells her how beautiful she is, but she thinks she is fat, ugly, and disgusting. I can't tell you how heartbreaking this is as mother. I'm so lucky to have a smart, talented, gorgeous child, but she thinks she is totally worthless. We have never made a big thing about appearance or weight in our family, so she must have headed down this road because of kids at school or media or who knows what. It doesn't help that she is one of the only non-100%-white kids at her school, so she looks different and has a different body type, but she is not overweight and never has been.

I've been told it takes a long time to get over an eating disorder, but I am feeling so hopeless about it right now. She doesn't care about ANYTHING else any more- not her friends, not reading (which she used to LOVE), not school (her grades have dropped this year). I've been trying to get her into some fun summer activities, but she only worries how that will cut into her exercise schedule. And I don't know how I'll keep her from exercising all day long once she's out of school. I have an overwhelming feeling of dread, like there is nothing to look forward to now. Things I love to do- like cooking and baking- make me worry that I'll encourage her binging. Going places or going out to eat are a struggle because she wants to know how many calories are in things and how soon we'll be home so can exercise.

Being away from campus this semester also reminded me that I don't have any close friends any more. I don't know anyone who calls me or that I call or share things with. One of D's friend's moms contacted me recently about the eating disorder since her daughter told her about it. I ran into her at the grocery store and we had a nice talk, but I can't imagine actually calling her just to talk. She's busy with two kids and her work and friends, so who am I to impose on her time? I used to think I had some good friends at work, but I haven't heard a peep from them since I'm not on campus this semester. It's fine really, since I think I shouldn't get so close to people at work who are involved in all the political crap there, anyway. The time that having no close friends becomes a problem is a day like tomorrow. H and I are on a committee together and the exam goes until after it's time to pick up D from school. I don't have anyone I can ask! I've tried arranging rides with a friend but it never seems to work out and we're not on anyone's way home either. I was going to have D ride the bus home, but with her fragile mental state, I don't want her getting off the bus alone. The plan now is for her to stay and wait and school and we'll get there as soon as we can. Sucks.
So comfy on the couch.

The only bright side is that we recently got a new cat after 15 months of being a catless home! She's almost 8 and was at a shelter near here. She's very sweet and much more friendly and outgoing than Green Eyes was. I even think H likes her better- he really didn't want another cat! I need a good blog name for her instead of her actual name.

Anyway, I'll try to blog more this summer. I'll have a research student in again this year and hope to get some research and teaching planning done. March and April were crazy with proposal writing, traveling, and grad students, but now I can't seem to do anything. I need to get organized, make a plan, set goals, and get my shit together. Summer has never been a productive time for me, but every year I try to do better.

Hope everyone out there in blogland is doing well!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

I got nothin'

Manuscript reviews, thesis defense(s), grading, teaching, service, meetings, & my addiction to political news means I have nothing much to say this morning. Defense #1 is this morning, then I'll stay on campus all day for another meeting and labs (I usually work at home Tuesday mornings). D has a band concert tonight. H has had a cold, then hurt his back on Saturday and won't go to the doctor- or even my deep tissue massage therapist even though he is still having trouble bending over. Don't worry- I'll do everything around the house because you're too stubborn to get your back fixed! Tomorrow is a very scheduled day (8-5) that includes two phone conferences. At least Thanksgiving is next week- maybe I can catch up!