Brain Overload

I have not been doing too well at stuff recently.

Last weekend when I left town, I asked M to do a whole bunch of stuff for me.
This weekend, I had forgotten a whole thing and again asked M to do something (though fairly minor).

Today I forgot to grade all the papers that had to be sent back today. (I did get them graded this evening.)

And I’m looking into getting online jobs to make a difference in my income this year. However, right now I am so busy I can’t do the two-week training, so I don’t think that’s a good plan. Maybe in July, when my schedule slows down significantly.

I still have grading to do, but I am tired. Maybe I’ll go to bed and set my alarm for the morning.

My desk has turned into a mountain of papers again. I need a couple of filing cabinets. Maybe I should look at used furniture places.

The World’s Poor

And I don’t think it’s different in the US, although our kids can go to school for free, if you don’t count money for clothes.

A NYTimes Op-Ed says:

Two M.I.T. economists, Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo, found that the world’s poor typically spend about 2 percent of their income educating their children, and often larger percentages on alcohol and tobacco: 4 percent in rural Papua New Guinea, 6 percent in Indonesia, 8 percent in Mexico. The indigent also spend significant sums on soft drinks, prostitution and extravagant festivals.

Look, I don’t want to be an unctuous party-pooper. But I’ve seen too many children dying of malaria for want of a bed net that the father tells me is unaffordable, even as he spends larger sums on liquor.

Homeschooling and Play

The Common Room’s “Homeschooling the Little Ones” refers to a British study which found:

Far from getting cleverer, our 11-year-olds are, in fact, less “intelligent” than their counterparts of 30 years ago. Or so say a team who are among Britain’s most respected education researchers.

After studying 25,000 children across both state and private schools Philip Adey, a professor of education at King’s College London confidently declares: “The intelligence of 11-year-olds has fallen by three years’ worth in the past two decades.”

I will say that it isn’t true of my boys. But they had a lot of time to play, which is The Common Room’s note.

Remember the Failing School with the Obstreperous Faculty?

Here are two views on the same situation by respected academic writers. (Well, I respect them. They’re on my personal blogroll.)

Threatened with the mass lay-off — and knowing 800 applications have come in for the school’s 93 jobs – the union agreed to “Gallo’s initial requests, including two weeks (rather than one) of summer professional development at her preferred rate,” Hess writes.

from Joanne Jacobs

What’s lacking here is any indication or evidence that the proposed changes will elicit the desired results. Let’s look at the proposals.

from Right on the Left Coast

Bones: Beginning of the End

Caroline says they won’t make it. That if they run from each other, they won’t come back together.

Bones is going to be investigating these I believe. The writers tend to use real life situations.

Lance gives up Daisy. He tells her not to wait for him either.

And yet next year there is another season.

What I would like… For Bones to realize that people change and that life is dangerous. Perhaps she is bitten and uses Hodgins’ insect guide to survive. Perhaps someone is murdered and she uses the experiences with Booth to not only survive the experience but to save lives AND science.

But I don’t think that will happen. I think she will lose her worries, because she will be involved in work that she enjoys and that requires no hurry, no rushing. I think that she will take this break as a sign that she is not supposed to be with Booth. Of course, she thinks that already, so it’s not a big stretch.

Perhaps Booth, who has gone to Afghanistan, will find someone new. It’s hard to imagine that. Rebecca, Tempe, and ? But he is a good man and he knows that Temperance is afraid of loving him. Maybe, in the fog of war, he finds someone whom he can love who is willing to love him.

I wish, I wish they could get together. They could be friends. They could be partners. They could be lovers. I wish the show could survive with a love affair of the century. Surely in life there are other dramatic moments. Brennan might think she would be a terrible mother and is too old. Angela might get pregnant. The juxtaposition might be hard for Booth and Brennan. Brennan might suggest to Booth that he find someone else who can give him a child. He says children are gifts, but he has a son. He had one when he met Brennan. She says he’s a great father and should have more. They argue. They fight. Tempe finally admits she is afraid that he will leave as well….

The two of them could grow and change TOGETHER instead of having to grow apart.

That would be a smashing series ending.

Instead I fully expect something else.

Emotionally Frazzled

I did not realize how hard it is to look for work, full-time reasonably remunerated work, and not find any.

Jobs not gotten:
M 3
K 3
SJ 2
CF 3
T 1
N 2
Hb 2
Hc 1

I’m emotionally invested in having a full-time job and it is just not happening.

Now I’m thinking I should have taken the Hb job. But it would be the second year in a row they paid me part time for a full-time position AND I’d have had to drive through downtown during rush hour 5 days a week. There’s not a lot that is worth that.

Now, though, I am thinking I should have taken it, because at least I would have had a VAP and not just be an adjunct.

I just started applying for non-teaching jobs. We’ll see how that goes.

It made me feel better because for both jobs I could relevantly fill up an entire page of information. But I did go ahead and put my PhD on there, so who knows if they will even consider me?

I feel like I have been busy every second of the day for this whole week.

And, of course, I was an idiot and read my evals. The online course said, “She doesn’t answer her emails.” I did answer them from my school email a lot, but it doesn’t get to them. I didn’t realize till about halfway through the semester that it didn’t. Oops.

Also they want to know a bunch of stuff that I think I already said and they would know if they had opened the assignment page.

I think I am going to have to set up an online office hours thing to help with that. Maybe if I am online one hour a week where they know they can get me, that will help.

Also, I guess I’ll just answer any and all emails, even if they don’t ask questions.

What you tell your children matters.

Dweck and her collaborators have demonstrated that praising children for their intelligence can backfire. When young people’s sense of self-worth is bound up in the idea that they are smart—a quality they come to understand as a genetic blessing from the sky—at least three bad things can happen. Some students become lazy, figuring that their smarts will bail them out in a pinch. Others conclude that the people who praise their intelligence are simply wrong, and decide that it isn’t worth investing effort in homework. Still others might care intensely about school but withdraw from difficult tasks or tie themselves in knots of perfectionism. (To understand this third group, think of the Puritans: They did not believe they had any control over whether they were among God’s elect, but they nonetheless searched endlessly for ways to display that they had been chosen, and they were terrified of any evidence that they were not.)

It is much wiser, Dweck says, to praise children for work and persistence. People nearly always perform better if they focus on things they can control, such as their effort, rather than things they cannot.

from The Chronicle

Magic Cures

When I was in first grade, no one would hold my hand when we were supposed to grab hands because both my thumbs were covered in warts.

I cried.

My folks took me to a doctor and the warts on my right thumb, the lesser covered thumb, with only 23 warts, were burnt off.

A week or two later they were back.

We went to another doctor. He recommended several options.

One was to sleep with an oily rag under my pillow. Not doable. We couldn’t ruin linens like that. We didn’t have the money for more.

Another was to rub the warts with a cut potato. You were supposed to say, “Potato, potato, take these warts away.” Then you buried the potato.

Worked a treat. All 67 warts gone and I have never gotten another.

My dad wrote the Old Man of the Hills in Oklahoma for a wart cure when he was young. That worked too.

And at church last Thursday night we were discussing the fact that if you put a bar of soap under the sheets in your bed, you wouldn’t get leg cramps. When I started to get a leg cramp, I went and got a bar of soap out of the bathroom and stuck it between the sheets. (We were at a hotel. I wonder what the maids thought of that.)

So, serendipitously, I saw “The Magic Cure” in The Boston Globe.

You’re not likely to hear about this from your doctor, but fake medical treatment can work amazingly well. For a range of ailments, from pain and nausea to depression and Parkinson’s disease, placebos–whether sugar pills, saline injections, or sham surgery–have often produced results that rival those of standard therapies.

I believe that.


Unless I get the call today…

I was not chosen for the second interview at one of my earlier adjunct schools. I am very disappointed.

I enjoyed the students and the administration there. I thought I did well in the interview.

But I didn’t get the second interview… Dang it.

Wait! Maybe when they said they would be calling for on-campus interviews next week they meant they would call next week for on-campus interviews, not that they would call for interviews that would be held next week on campus. Oh, I hope so.

Job interview

I had a job interview today. I think I did fairly well on the questions. I think I am what they need. Now we’ll see if I am the best of the folks they interviewed.

They did two days of phone interviews and will choose 5 or 6 to come to campus and interview. NEXT WEEK!

Pray that
1. I get asked to do an on-campus interview and
2. They ask me to interview on Monday or Tuesday.

I have a flight out on Wednesday. I really need the interview to be Monday or Tuesday.

So pray I get called early and that whoever schedules me has Monday and Tuesday for scheduling.


I really like this school. I think I would enjoy the job. I think I did fairly well on the interview and I know that my resume rocks.

Interesting Article

I found an interesting article about an interesting book. Being a fan of WWII spy strategies, both The New Yorker article and the book it is about, Operation Mincemeat, seem fascinating.

The story of Major William Martin is the subject of the British journalist Ben Macintyre’s brilliant and almost absurdly entertaining “Operation Mincemeat” (Harmony; $25.99). The cast of characters involved in Mincemeat, as the caper was called, was extraordinary, and Macintyre tells their stories with gusto. The ringleader was Ewen Montagu, the son of a wealthy Jewish banker and the brother of Ivor Montagu, a pioneer of table tennis and also, in one of the many strange footnotes to the Mincemeat case, a Soviet spy. Ewen Montagu served on the so-called Twenty Committee of the British intelligence services, and carried a briefcase full of classified documents on his bicycle as he rode to work each morning.


Read more: at The New Yorker.

What am I doing wrong?

I have another interview coming up soon and I am not sure what to do about it. I would really like this job and the job search has not gone too well to date. So…

I didn’t get one job because I was too old.
I didn’t get one because I told them the non-PC truth in answer to a question.
I didn’t get two because I did not give the right answer for the job that was being advertised.
I didn’t get one because I had no publications.

I’ve reviewed the job ad and I definitely have everything they want. I’ve done a lot more than they are asking for as a minimum. Of course there are probably tons of other people who have also.

I need to be thinking about what I bring to this school specifically and how I can show that I can serve the students there well.

Praying would be good too.