Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Working from home

Today was an assessment testing day. (I don't know if other universities do this, or if it's something unique to who we are - the fact that we serve an "underserved" student body and have a lot of people coming from backgrounds who aren't quite as prepared as you might expect a student at a "big" state school to be, but we do this once a semester - select a group of students and have them take standardized tests to assess whether they're learning. (spoiler alert: they are, but they're still not "above average" yet))

So I worked from home. Read a few more mite-based articles. I also reworked my cv - a colleague of mine is writing a big grant and we are all at least nominally involved so he needs "biographical statements" from each one of us. (Oh, if we could write them creatively....)

I feel a little inadequate. I've published less than he has, I've done far, far less collaboration with undergrads, and I don't even know what I've done that counts as "synergistic activities") (However, this colleague is at least 10 years older than I am, judging by the dates when he earned his degrees, so maybe I shouldn't feel so bad. Also, he's in a more medically-oriented field, where there are dozens of small side projects you can easily put a student on). Also, before he came here, he was at research-oriented institutions, so that's part of it. (I usually peg my teaching as "I will devote 60% of my effort to this" leaving 30% for research and 10% for service - that's how we ask to be evaluated, we set up percentages. I think I am better at teaching than anything else (and you can't ask a high percentage of "service," anyway) and I know I put in more time on it than on other things)

On an upside, I was reminded I had a second article in the Journal of The Torrey Botanical society - related to stuff I was a research assistant for. (My first, well, not chronologically because it was in 2006 and this one was in 2001, but I think of it as my first, was my dissertation).


They closed the university at 2 pm. So I'm taking that as license to knock off the journal article reading for now. (And I can hear freezing rain. And if we get it as badly as they are saying, morning classes - all my classes tomorrow are morning classes - will be cancelled.)

I may go work on the current quilt top in a few minutes; it's close to done and then I can start a new one.


I also blew a lot of money (well, for me) on a silly thing: I saw this last night (trigger warning: stuffed toy version of a creepy-crawly). I immediately loved the idea, and anyway, I do research on cousins of these guys, so I NEEDED one, right?

Well, I wasn't going to send off to Japan for one.....but it turns out Amazon sells them. For more money, but the shipping is accounted for in the price, and since I have Amazon Prime, I will get it very soon. (I am not holding them to two-day delivery during the bad weather - they told me I should have it Friday, but I'm expecting it Monday)

It is big enough to use as a pillow. It almost makes me wish I were flying somewhere so I could take it as my 'travel pillow' - that would mean I'd be much less likely to have a seatmate chatting with me (well, unless they were a malacostrologist, but that would be a fun conversation). Then again, I'd probably get the hairy eyeball from the TSA, so maybe not.

I commented on Twitter last night that I needed to give it a ridiculous, My Little Pony-ish name. Well, I've tentatively settled on Captain Silver Scales unless when it actually arrives I decide it's a girl isopod instead.

Apparently giant isopods are very big in Japan; there's one in a zoo that has gone without eating for a very long time and apparently that fascinates people. (The website I linked gives a brief, almost Pokedex-like description of them:

Name: giant isopod
Scientific name: Bathynomus giganteus
Group: in the same group as woodlouses and sea slaters
Nickname: Gusoku-tan
Home: at 200-1000m deep sea around the Gulf of Mexico and the western Atlantic
Most attractive feature: long and narrow eyes
Specialty: Fasting

I also got to thinking: I could modify the Flapjack Frogs pattern VERY easily (changing the color, making eight i-cord legs) and make myself an oribatid mite stuffie. (Or even more than one). That pleases me and the next time I get to JoAnn's I'm going to see if they still sell the chestnut-colored Wool-Ease, because that would be the PERFECT oribatid mite color. Or maybe get a fatter yarn (bulky or superbulky) and make a BIG mite. (the frogs are fairly small as stuffies go).

Oribatid mites are really fascinating. Some species are parthenogenic and that makes me wonder if the mites I saw that looked like they had "eggs" inside them were actually females making littler baby females inside them? Now I want to learn about the common species in my area....They also apparently are un-drown-able.

This weekend is going to be My Birthday (Observed) seeing as last weekend we were snowed in, today we are iced in.....I'm going to go shopping in Sherman (probably hitting the JoAnn's among other places), maybe going out for lunch, and just generally getting out of town, because it's been a few weeks and I'm getting a little stir crazy.

1 comment:

Lynn said...

While reading this post it suddenly occurred to me that someone needs to make a toy stuffed water bear. I've been sort of fascinated with those little creatures ever since I learned that they exist and they are sort of cute in a strange, creepy kind of way.