Tuesday, April 20, 2010


The news is: I have one.

I'm very excited. I'm not going to put the name of the school here in case someone stumbles across it and I get fired before I even start for having some alcohol related posts here somewhere. But it's a liberal arts college and a HBCU. If that's not enough information, email me and I'll tell you about it. I start at the beginning of August, and I've been looking at houses to rent today instead of doing work.

Now I need advice - how do you do this sort of thing? They sent me a letter with a salary on it. Am I supposed to negotiate? Also, should I try to get things like moving expenses? I asked if they had start up funds for labs and they said no. I mean, most of the advice I've gotten before seems to pertain to much bigger, public universities. What's the standard in this case?

In the meantime, let's all be excited that I'll have a source of income and health insurance next year. And since the job is tenure track, possibly forever.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

In Which I Justify My Unenthusiastic Blogging

I know that you've all noticed the deteriorating quality of this blog recently. I just can't seem to work up the energy to comment on anything really. For example, just the other day the New York Times printed (by which I mean posted, of course) and article called "Unshaven Women: Free Spirits or Just Unkempt?" and I started working on my rant in my head about beauty standards and policing gender roles (learned that phrase from my sister - can you tell?), but I just couldn't motivate myself to finish it.

And then, yesterday I found the NPR game where you have to match world leaders' names to their pictures. It turns out that it took me 14 tries to get the 12 names in the first game. After that I got everyone. I blame my mistakes on NPR, actually, since radio doesn't help you figure out what people look like. But this is all you get by way of a post about it.

Of course, my favorite topic is the weather, and I've skipped such fascinating topics as "Why the H*** is it still so F***ing Cold Here?" and "The Trees are Blooming Outside My Lab Window: I Think That's Nice."

The reason that I can't bring myself to get motivated to write about stuff is that I'm being crushed by uncertainty. See, Jenny has this friend who seems to be bumming around Thailand studying yoga and posting lots of pictures of herself (wearing face glitter, mostly) on facebook. This sort of thing inspires Jenny to wonder why her life doesn't have more adventure. Not me. This sort of thing inspires me to wonder whether glitter girl has health insurance.

Fundamentally, the issue is that I'm risk-averse. I'm not spontaneous, and I'm only fun in very controlled circumstances. And (just like 2 years ago) I'm in a situation where I don't know what's going to happen in the next couple of months. I think it'll be okay - I have 2 phone interviews next week. Both, as it turns out, are for temporary positions, making it likely that I'll be in this same situation in a couple more years.

There are other issues of course. I'll almost certainly be far away from Ko. Last night I dreamed that I had an interview in Chicago (where he's had a post-doc lined up for months) and I was so excited. In reality, I got two rejections (sent by different people) from the same Chicago college. I guess the really wanted me to know. It's still slightly possible that I could end up there, but only slightly. So we'll have to do the long distance thing (an unpleasant option) or break up (more unpleasant).

And then there's the general issue of making friends and leaving them. Actually, I'm rather tired of this. I come to a new place, start to know people, hang out, become friends - and then I have to leave again. I'll try to stay in touch, really, but I'm not going to get a facebook page so it's going to be difficult. I'm worried that I might be using up my friendliness.

I'm trying to think of a way to end this post, but these same thoughts have been going around in my head, and there's no way to end them either. Well, alcohol or sleeping pills, but that doesn't make sense for a blog. I guess I'll go with the traditional approach.

And they all lived happily ever after.


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Easter Weekend: Berlin

In Germany, both Good Friday and the Monday after Easter are holidays. Ko and I decided to go to Berlin. And, as a very early birthday present, he bought me tickets to the opera. Here are some pictures from our trip. This is me out in front of one of Berlin's most famous landmarks, the Brandenburg Gate (or Tor, in German).

Click on it for other pictures, including some of Ko and me dressed up for the opera.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

It's time you knew...

Also, you have a spider on your face.