Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Hobbies and the tenure-track

I'm thinking about taking on a big hobby/project that is tenuously related to my research. Of course, I know that I don't have much time for non-research stuff until I have tenure (and probably not even then). So the question is, how close does it have to be to be synergistic with my research? If it's interesting enough to me, should I do it even if it slightly hurts my (other) research? Does the fact that I am losing sleep thinking about it mean that I should take it on, or that I shouldn't?

Saturday, June 18, 2011

I'm not dead

First of all, the interview went great and I got the job!! I have over a year to start, which is good since there is no way I can finish up what I'm doing here soon--I've been sick since I got back from the interview. I'll be brief since it hurts a bit to type. My throat hurt when I got back from the interview but I thought it was from talking. Then it really hurt. Like 10 times worse than I've ever had strep before. I finally got in to see someone and got some antibiotics. A week after they were done, I had strep throat again. This time I got on broad-spectrum antibiotics and I really wish I hadn't. Then I had ELP and LP tested and apparently they had been carrying strep for a few weeks and it just wasn't bothering them much. So they got treated too. Then the broad-spectrum antibiotics likely helped me get sick with some enteric bacteria--Salmonella, Yersinia, something like that. When I thought that was getting better, we were just getting started. My immune system is pissed off about this whole thing. It's probably extra mad because ever since we moved here the kids have been getting a lot of illnesses from the new daycare and I've been sick relatively often as well. Apparently some pieces or molecules related to the enteric bacteria are still around and my immune system is freaking out. It's called reactive arthritis, but for me my spine is the only joint that's really affected. Otherwise it's tendons or the synovia around tendons or the place where they connect to bone. For about 2 weeks there I was getting a new sudden onset of pain in a totally different place every couple of days, and I couldn't get much medical help outside of urgent cares, who had no idea what it was, and then my abdomen started hurting and I thought I might die. I never thought it was likely, but it really seemed like a possibility. Anyway, this wonderful primary care doctor had an cancellation and I finally got in, and she didn't diagnose me quite right, but she was on the right path and she got me in really fast to a rheumatologist. At that point, I couldn't drive, I had to wear shorts because I couldn't pull my pants up, I couldn't type with my left hand due to a "sausage finger", and I couldn't chew regular food. TE was going insane trying to take care of me and the kids, and he did a great job considering, but the house was (is) overrun by ants. Finally I got some steroids and I am in pain but I can function. The sausage finger helped because several people at work noticed I was in really bad shape and started offering some help. (Why did I keep going to work? I guess it's just better than being home alone.) Hopefully this will all go away in a few months, after monotonically getting better.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

one interview

It looks like I got one interview, and maybe no others, but I won't need any others if I get the job that I want! I am not really surprised, as the other places I applied to (there were only a few) had more specific needs listed in their job ads and I wasn't able to completely tailor my application to them. I think the interview will be fun, but I am starting to get nervous about it. I have been reading posts from around the web, but most seem to be about biomedical or related fields. In particular I'm not sure what exactly to put into my research plan talk, the answer to which seems to be very field and department-type specific. (This is a great collection of TT job search/interview advice:

Meanwhile, ELP can put a lot of 2 word combinations together, and rarely will tie 3 words together. She has about 35 words total, I think, but she thinks she has much more. She is really into her doll. She likes to put a blanket on it and give it a bottle. It makes me feel bad that LP didn't have many dolls. We got tons of toys as presents so didn't buy him much else, but I wonder if he needed more dolls. Instead of dolls, he treats his dinosaurs, stuffed animals, or cars as babies. Sometimes he is the daddy and sometimes he is the mommy. So I suppose that's good for his imagination. He hasn't done it recently, but he was really interested in learning to wrap them the right way (as though swaddling them, but he didn't have the dexterity to get the blanket/towel tight). He also stopped nursing his 'babies'; I don't know if it's because ELP doesn't nurse much anymore or because he moved to preschool and some of the other kids tell him that there are some things girls do and others that boys do. The kids and I had snow days this week, and I had them alone most of the time because TE couldn't get back from his business trip. We had tons of fun, although it was frustrating given that I need to get a lot of work done before my job talk.

Other interesting things since last post: I've had a cough the majority of the time. It was pretty bad for a month and a half, but for the last couple of weeks I only cough after I exercise, and I think it'll be gone completely by my interview. I think I had pertussis, but I was never tested for it since after the first few weeks they can't do a whole lot for it anyway. We had a great Christmas despite my coughing and associated ear infection. We (mainly TE, I've been using weekend naptimes to prepare for my interview) finally finished the new seats on the tandem, and they are really nice and comfortable. He expanded the cargo rack, which is really helpful coming back with ridiculous sized groceries from Costco, and finally I can pedal a bit without coughing so hard that I might fall off. I am going to start riding to work again for the first time in 2 months on Monday--send good thoughts that I don't spend the whole day coughing afterwards! TE is obsessed with bike lights and has started wiring up his own LEDs with 555 timers and such to get them to flash how he likes it, which is neat. I have fun helping him with his wiring diagrams and soldering small pieces, but the level of lighting on his bike is getting silly, and he is brighter than a car now. People have told him to turn his lights down, but other people almost run into him still as though they don't see him.