Friday, September 28, 2007


76. Lifting a Ton of Feathers: A Woman's Guide to Surviving in the Academic World by Paula J. Caplan

This book gets a post all of its own, as it has been a real eye opener to me. I mean, of course women are discriminated against and all that, but I had never seen it written out in black and white how this would specifically affect me in academia. A lot of the book is about the "maleness" of academia, and how women are socialized differently and therefore unable to fit in easily. The parts that most spoke to me were about women generally being harder on themselves, and assuming that if they are not a perfect teacher, they are a bad one. When in actuality they are most likely a good teacher who is not perfect. There is also a lot about the way academia isolates women, making them feel like they are crazy if they notice any of these problems. I have totally been made to feel like I am crazy many times, and this book really helped me see I am more normal than I thought. Seriously, if you are a woman in academia, or know a woman in academia, or probably even if you are a man in academia, you should read this book. If I ever get to have grad students I am going to give this to them. It has really helped me look at how I think about myself and my work, and to feel better about it.

Thursday, September 27, 2007


73. Dragonsblood by Todd McCaffrey
This book involves some of the original settlers of Pern, and I don't like them as much as the characters I first met, so this book was a little less enjoyable than Dragon's Kin. BUT it was still great! I am tempted to re-read all the Pern books, but maybe I will put that on my long long list of things to do when I am finished with my dissertation. :)

74. Shopaholic Takes Manhattan by Sophie Kinsella
The second in this series. I think these are well-written, fun books. I'm glad Becky learns lessons, but never completely overcomes her shopping weakness. :)

75. The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus
I just got this book because of the movie coming out and I was curious about it. It was way better than I expected. Very interesting, and I just felt terrible for a lot of the people in it. It was actually quite painful in a way, but a good book. I think it will be hard to translate a lot of it to the screen though.


People! Here I am writing from my new YELLOW computer which is actually connected to our actual wireless connection. woo! I got the computer on Monday, but a mere 3 hours after turning it on, it decided to break. Yesterday a Dell tech came out and replaced the screen and motherboard, so now it works. But last night we had a hard time getting it to connect to the wireless. I still don't know what made it decide to work, but it does and that is all that matters. The new computer is so fast, and thin and light. And did I mention, YELLOW!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Sick, but better

Now I am felled by a terrible stomach flu. It is not fun. I have been bed ridden for two days. BUT it cannot get me down as I talked to someone helpful who helped me decipher my academic problem, and realize it is not as much of a problem as I had thought. However, it did indicate to me, yet again, the many failings of academia and its crappy treatment of graduate students. Oh well. My character grows every day. Soon I'll have so much character I won't fit in the apartment.

Also, my new computer finally shipped! I ordered it 3 weeks ago, thinking it would ship Sept 6. Then I got an email saying it was delayed and it would not ship until Oct 8 BUT then I got another email, and it shipped yesterday! woo!

Anyway, posting may be slight until it is up and running, as my current computer refuses to work with our internet. I am using other wireless right now, but I am not sure it will always be available.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

blogging struggle

Here I am again, apologizing for my lack of blogging. The Monday Poem is going on hiatus. I just can't keep up with it. I am having some issues with academia that I can't really write about, but they are making me very tired. Like so tired I feel I have lived 70 years instead of my mere 30.

In good news, the weather is cooling off, I went to Pilates last night, and my second chapter is shaping up awesomely. woo, second chapter! Now I have to go read the articles I am teaching this afternoon.

Friday, September 14, 2007

topics for discussion

Today you get subheadings with comments:

I am really enjoying my class so far. I only have 10 students and am teaching my specialty. It is like a whole different world. So fun! It gives me more motivation to graduate and get a job where I can hopefully do something kind of like this more often.

It is possible this is not a real word, but some people in R's program use it and I love it. It sounds so cool: "what are you doing today?" "Why, I'm dissertating, of course." :)
I did some awesome data analysis yesterday, and my confidence with statistics grows by leaps and bounds every day. It may all work out for me in the end. Also, my results mean things!

Job Search
It is still early days for this, but I am slowly working on a draft cover letter for my first deadline. I am also going to make a sample syllabus for a course I have dreamed of teaching for many years. I am really excited about making this syllabus! Is that weird?

The weather has finally started to be cooler, so R and I took a picnic to the park yesterday. It was very fun. We need to get out more. This weekend people are coming over on Saturday, and Maggie and I are volunteering to walk dogs on Sunday. I also signed up to read to kids one night next week. I had some disgruntled-ness earlier in the week, which I think was brought on by my lack of social time. Long ago, I thought I was shy, but I am more and more realizing my extrovertedness and that I need to be around people to recharge. So maybe the volunteering will help with that.


70. The Valley of the Horses by Jean M Auel
Another sort of trashy book about prehistoric people. This one was also fun, although there was one major plot leap that bothered me some. I liked the animals Ayla tamed alot. Still a fun series and I will continue on with it.

71. Winds of Fate by Mercedes Lackey
The first book of a trilogy continuing the Arrows of the Queen series. This heroine is a little less vulnerable, and I will never love these as much as the other series, but still very good.

72. Dragon's Kin by Anne McCaffrey and Todd McCaffrey
OK, in my high school days the Dragonriders of Pern series was right up there with the Heralds of Valdemar as books I totally lost myself in. I just found out that McCaffrey wrote this one recently with her son, and then he wrote one all by himself. I was disappointed in some of the later Pern books written by Anne, but this one was just as good as the ones from her heyday. Very very good. I can't wait to read the one Todd wrote alone.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

On hold with Sony

Did you know that Sony has come up with a "revolutionary new screen technology that rivals paper"? Who knew someone could come up with something equal to the technology of paper!


A day late and a dollar short......


Naturally it is night.
Under the overturned lute with its
One string I am going my way
Which has a strange sound.

This way the dust, that way the dust.
I listen to both sides
But I keep right on.
I remember the leaves sitting in judgment
And then winter.

I remember the rain with its bundle of roads.
The rain taking all its roads.

Young as I am, old as I am,

I forget tomorrow, the blind man.
I forget the life among the buried windows.
The eyes in the curtains.
The wall
Growing through the immortelles.
I forget silence
The owner of the smile.

This must be what I wanted to be doing,
Walking at night between the two deserts,

W.S. Merwin

Monday, September 10, 2007


Just wanted to share this post from Dean Dad. It speaks to a lot of what I have been going through regarding the job market, looking to the future, etc. Anyway, I found the last two paragraphs very heartening, and they made me feel less crazy. :)

In other news, data analysis continues! I did it all wrong twice already, so I should be getting close to the correct solution. Now I am off to learn more stats.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

me me me

Recently I went back to the town of my University and had a hard core 3 days working with my advisor on my first 2 diss chapters and another paper. It was good to get so much work done. It was also good because we decided I should be able to graduate in May. Woo! To this end I am bucking down more than ever as I want a complete draft of the whole shebang by Christmas. Also, if I will be graduating in May I will need a job in August 2008. Thus, I am a going on the job market. I have a lovely excel sheet of places to apply and will be churning out applications this fall.

Things are going really well in the school/career department, but I am afraid the blog may suffer. I feel guilty for just doing the poetry and books, but I really can't make this too much of a priority right now. We'll see, though, sometimes when I am working hardest I post a lot. But this is fair warning that I am diving hard core into dissertation/job app land so don't know how much you'll see from me. Maybe one day I can give the poor blog the attention it deserves.


65. Arrows of the Queen
66. Arrow in Flight
67. Arrow's Fall all by Mercedes Lackey
These are a fantasy series that was really important to me in high school. They've got it all and I still love to re-read them: strong yet vulnerable main female character, self-sacrificing heroes and magical horses! Awesome.

68. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
A blurb on the front says this is a "moving portrait of modern Afghanistan" which is pretty true. It is the story of a boy in Afghanistan who ends up moving to the US but then returns to fulfill a task. It is a pretty good book, but I think I am at my quota of serious, deep books for awhile because I couldn't really get into it. It is a good book, though, and it was interesting to read about Afghanistan, as it is a place I do not really know much about.

69. In Her Shoes by Jennifer Weiner
Another alleged "chick lit" book. Again, I liked this one a lot. Weiner is a seriously good writer with a gift for characters. This was recently a movie, so you may have heard the basic plot -- two sisters, one skinny and with a messed up life, one overweight and with a seemingly together life. They kind of learn and grow together, and a retirement community in Florida is involved. The addition of the old people characters in this book is great. Good book.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Poem for you!

Eating Poetry

Ink runs from the corners of my mouth.
There is no happiness like mine.
I have been eating poetry.

The librarian does not believe what she sees.
Her eyes are sad
and she walks with her hands in her dress.

The poems are gone.
The light is dim.
The dogs are on the basement stairs and coming up.

Their eyeballs roll,
their blond legs burn like brush.
The poor librarian begins to stamp her feet and weep.

She does not understand.
When I get on my knees and lick her hand,
she screams.

I am a new man.
I snarl at her and bark.
I romp with joy in the bookish dark.

Mark Strand