Monday, July 09, 2007

RBoC: Midsummer Edition

I have been reading blogs and leaving comments around, but haven't managed to write my own post for a while. Because I have so many different thoughts floating around, here are a few bullets:
  • the grant The initial excitement has worn off, but I am still quite happy about the grant and the research that I will be doing over the next few years. The thing I'm not so pleased with is the reaction from my colleagues. I am about to go up for tenure, but only one person mentioned that this will help me. An announcement went out by email to the other faculty (as we always do when someone gets published, gets an award, etc.). I received congratulations from a few people, but haven't heard a peep from others- including someone who I thought was sort of a mentor. My department does not have a history of getting grants- especially bigs ones, like the one I got- so maybe that explains the silence. One colleague also commented that I must be pleased. Of course, I am , but is s/he forgetting that this is also good for the whole department? I have funding for a grad assistant for the duration of the project, so you'd think that people would be happy about that. I have been enjoying spending other people's money on things like a new computer, so it's all good. The sour grapes crowd can just go away.
  • shopping We are enjoying our new car and it seems to have put us in a spending mood. For instance, why would I rather browse the handbags at than do some work this morning?
  • my mother-in-law is back on Very Distant Country. We have a vague plan to visit her next summer (my first trip there), but we have to be sure that things are on track for tenure first. Of course, we probably should have waited to buy a car, too, but it's too late now!
  • cars Since the new car is so shiny and nice, we had the old car detailed and it's going for it's 60K mile service today. It will be sitting in the garage more, now that our new car is the main transportation. I love the gas mileage on the new car, but the A/C is dragging it down. We've averaged about 43 mpg with the current tank of gas (we've driven over 350 miles and it's still above 1/4 tank). It's rated better than that and when H drove it alone and with no A/C the other day, he averaged 56 mpg on a 50-mile trip! I can't wait to see how it does our road trip in a couple of weeks!
  • kids I've been really intrigued by the conversation going around the blogosphere about kids and having or not having them. I'm sure I could fill up a post on the subject, but I will just reiterate what I left in a comment over at Seeking Solace's blog. I do not consider myself a baby/kid person, yet I have a child. I love her dearly and don't feel that I lack mothering instincts, but I am still not terribly interested in most other people's kids. I'm not into hanging out with the other moms, either. I often wonder if I would be parent at all if D hadn't decided to show up herself (and she was quite determined to be here- as those who know me in real life are quite aware!). It's always interesting to hear perspectives of those who do and don't have kids. I don't know if I'm more or less understanding of people with small children than I was before I had a daughter. Sometimes, I think I'm MORE annoyed my bratty kids, because mine isn't like that!
  • summer research I have tons to do and as usually happens in the summer, I'm having trouble focusing. There are so many things to do in the summer (like take cars for service and buying new kitchen faucets) that seem impossible during the semester. In May I was focused and wrote quite a bit, but since D got out of school, I've been distracted- and it isn't her fault- she's been playing at the neighbor's house very morning, so I have no excuse! This is probably why I haven't been blogging lately- I don't feel like I am allowed to spend time writing a blog post when I have other things that need to get finished (including my revised final dossier).
  • teaching evaluations I just got my spring evaluations back and they were atrocious (for my freshmen class). My first reaction was "those little fuckers!" I hated them all semester- maybe they could tell! I'm sure my traveling didn't help- I was gone the two weeks before the last week, plus the earlier interview trip in February. BUT- I used a new textbook and completely re-vamped the course from the last time I had taught it. One asshole even had the nerve to say that I am "an embarrassment to Small College Town U"- as if he's in any position to make that assessment. I don't take those remarks personally, but they piss me off. The students were pissed because I didn't spoon-feed the content to them (as I've done in the past). I have to wonder if it's also because they heard from friends that it was easy and they had note-taking guides, then they didn't them this time. It just makes me want to put very little effort into the class, because I knocked myself out and got nothing for it.
OK- I just read over this post and I'm not even going to fix the typos- you guys know what I'm saying! I really need to do something useful this morning. btw- it's so hot and gross outside- I hate summer- except for the no-teaching part!


Seeking Solace said...

That sucks that there are colleagues who have not given you the props you deserve. Given that your department does not receive much funding, they should be throwing you a party! (I would!)

Sarah said...

Maybe I went to school in another world. I def. had a Professor or two that I didn't learn much from but that was more teaching style I suppose.

Whomever it was that had their head so far up their behind as to say that you were an embarassment will get a rude awakening some day!

Congrats on the grant.. and I say pfffffttt to the sour puses!