Sunday, December 21, 2008

Happy Holidays!

Merry Christmas!
Happy Solstice!
Happy Hanukkah!

Happy anything else!

Tomorrow (when it is very cold and very early) R and I are departing for our annual tour of the midwest. As we now live in driving distance, we've cut it down to 2 states: Iowa and Missouri. Sweet! Unfortunately we have to go to parts of Iowa and Missouri that are quite far from one another.

Anyway, I will most likely not post again until after the 29th, or maybe not even until after the New Year, which we are spending with the lovely Melinda and her family. I am taking a vacation until January 3 -- no dissertating, no prepping of classes, NOTHING to do with work. I hope to come back recharged and ready to teach awesomely and dissertate awesomely in 2009.

In the meantime, my holiday gift to you is a baby polar bear chewing on someone's leg.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Over the disseration

I am sure I have said this before, but I am so over my dissertation. It bores me. I wish it were done. I have a draft of the 4th chapter, but it really needs the discussion expanding and I am stuck stuck stuck. Blah. I am debating what to do, as I really wanted to send it to my advisor today, just so she sees how I am working AND so I could stop thinking about it for awhile. I am not good at working on one thing for a long time, and I feel I am that point with this chapter. My ideal plan was to send it to her today, spend the weekend grading, then take a real break from it all over Christmas/New Years. I want to start chapter 5 in January, then come back to 4 again and bounce between the two for a bit until going back to 1, 2, 3 and fiddling with them a little more. Argh. I think I will send it is as it is complete, there are just parts that need to be expanded on and I really don't have the energy for that. Also, I have 40 final exams to grade. I think I have convinced myself to send it.

Here is a deeper philosophical question that lurks behind it all. When do you send drafts of writing to an advisor/collaborator? I feel like I can send stuff when the logical flow is intact, but some of the details may be missing. Then they can comment on the big picture of it, and help me fill in the details. Someone else I was talking to, though, said they thought something should be in final draft form before sending it. I don't feel it needs to be that filled out, but what do you guys do?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

before my battery dies

I did not die of my cold. I have promised my mom, however, that if I do die, I will post it here so she does not worry. :) I somehow think she will still worry.

I have spend the morning working in my new favorite spot -- the cafe of an art museum. It is very well lit, and quiet, and I think the art makes me smarter. However there are no outlets, so I have to use up my battery. So sad. I have actually not written anything this morning, but have read much on tourist satisfaction, which should hopefully help me write more later. Did you know that tourist satisfaction is based on multiple variables? It is! I would like to know more about what tourists look for in wildlife encounters, but so far I have read about white-water rafting and trips to the Boundary Waters with all woman groups.

I am now off to do some errands and then eat lunch and start the crock pot. After lunch I shall learn all about what tourists want from wildlife encounters and then hopefully write a brilliant conclusion to my fourth chapter. Maybe I will even make some tables for that chapter. Or I will clean the bathroom.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Just droppin' in

I don't really have anything to say. I have submitted grades for one of my classes and the other class merely awaits some exam takin'. Aw yeah. I am hoping to dedicate the rest of my time to crazy dissertatin'. I wanted to have Chapter 4 done (by which I mean have it in a state for R to read) by Sunday, but I have been felled by a sickness. It was really bad yesterday -- a cold PLUS nausea (not cool, people. Not cool.) But today I feel better with each hour that does by. Maybe I can get some crazy work done over the weekend.

Other to-dos before Christmas are go to the Lincoln Park Zoo and go to an allegedly authentic German Christmas Market. We shall see.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Fake Scientiae

I am sooooo sad I missed this month's Scientiae as the theme was "My Science is Hotter Than Dr. Isis's Naughty Monkeys". For Dr. Isis, these Naughty Monkeys are shoes, but... my science is hot because it is ABOUT Naughty Monkeys! Here is a photographic representation about the hotness of my science:

(First two photos from cliff1066 on flickr, the rest by me.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Woo! Party!

Tomorrow I am getting on a train to visit the fabulous Melinda! Although we lived together in a small apartment in DC, many years ago, geography has cruelly kept us separated since. Now she is in reach of a very reasonably priced train trip so we may proceed to the having of awesome times. woo!

So that I can leave here with a clean conscience, I must now go do dishes and read a little for my anthro class.


So I had a hold on my university record. They make it really hard to find out why one has holds, but they did tell me it was financial services, so I called them. I gave the not-friendly woman my id number and she muttered "exiti'lltransfer" and I got to listen to some really really bad hold music. I really think it is not a whole song, just like 4 bars repeated over and over. Anyway, it turns out that yet again, they think I have graduated. It is sad that at an institution granting many PhDs, the computer doesn't seem to understand that it takes a freakin' long time. Each of the last two semesters I have had a hold because they thought I graduated, and then some voice on the phone asked if I was "graduating late"! There is no late graduation possible! No matter when I graduate, it will be on time.

I would like to convince them to just give me the diploma, but they have not fallen for that yet. Maybe soon.

In other news, look how I beat my goal this week! Yay me!