Sunday, March 18, 2007

Spring break roundup:

Good things about the last week (or two):

Social stuff: Beth got back from Europe. This is good for me not only because she is good company, but because I like to eat tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch on Thursdays. Also this Thursday we had dinner with Dana and Craig (and Evie and Jonah, who charmed our socks off). Evie informed me that she is very brave, and I have to say that I agree. It is nice to occasionally escape the stupidity of academic life with people who don't give a damn about my academic progress. Catherine finally met Ayse on Friday, and although we were all tired and a couple of us were angry (see below), we had a nice talk.

Academic stuff: I was unofficially notified about a fellowship for both the summer and upcoming academic year earlier this week. If the award letter appears in hard copy, I'll say more. A bit of unofficial celebrating (and no, I don't mean that in the UIUC sense of the word "Unofficial") has been happening at our house. One side-effect of this is, even if this unofficial notification never turns into an official notification, one professor on the awards committee who didn't think much of me in the past has suddenly changed his opinion about me. Hopefully, this will work in my favor in the future.

I was officially notified that a paper I proposed for a conference was accepted. This doesn't sound like such a big deal, but it counts as an invited paper, which means more in my field. Also, it comes with round trip airfare and travel expenses attached. Now...I just have to write the paper. I should have paid more attention when I was writing the proposal.

Domestic stuff: The good news is prefaced by bad. The bad news was having our front yard hit by lightning a couple of weeks ago, frying our GFCI outlets along with our television. The good news is that I had just received a payment from an editing job I did for my advisor, so we could buy a new TV. That bad news about that is that I wanted to put it toward a new, more portable telescope. The good news about that is that Catherine got the kind of TV she really wanted but would never buy as long as our old TV worked. The goods news is that we bought and installed the TV with about 30 seconds to spare for second-round NCAA basketball. The bad news is that IU lost the game in large part due to two horrible in-bounds plays in the last few seconds of the game. Probably the other bad news is that we only buy TVs when our basketball vision is threatened. Priorities = scary.

Bad news about the last week (or two):

Social stuff: I can't think of any except that I suffered with my tomato soup for two weeks.

Academic stuff: See earlier posts about having a difficult time transitioning from instructor-of-record to T.A. Things came to a head about three hours before I was due to leave town for spring break. I've lost a lot of sleep over this problem, and I can't decide what to do at this point. Trying to just suffer silently through the semester doesn't seem to have worked.

Domestic stuff: I'd rather not talk about it. Life just seems hard sometimes.

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