Saturday, February 18, 2006

One Down, a Swing and a Miss

I got my first rejection from a PhD program today. In all honesty, it was a place I really didn't think I would get an offer from - they don't have anyone really doing what I'm doing, and it is a very elite school, but still, a rejection is a rejection, and rejections hurt.
The next couple of weeks are going to be very frantic - I should be hearing back from seven more schools all about the same time.
I'm egotistical enough to think that I will get at least one offer, but I've been thinking about what I'll do if I don't. I don't really work in a field that has a commercial track. Pretty much the only things that I am qualified to do would be overseas and probably wouldn't earn me enough to pay back my student loans.


Who Are I?

Your #1 Match: INTP

The Thinker

You are analytical and logical - and on a quest to learn everything you can.
Smart and complex, you always love a new intellectual challenge.
Your biggest pet peeve is people who slow you down with trivial chit chat.
A quiet maverick, you tend to ignore rules and authority whenever you feel like it.

You would make an excellent mathematician, programmer, or professor.

Your #2 Match: ISTP

The Mechanic

You are calm and collected, even in the most difficult of situations.
A person of action and self-direction, you love being independent.
To outsiders yous eem impulsive, surprising, and unpredictable.
You are good at understanding how all things work, except for people.

You would make an excellent pilot, forensic pathologist, or athlete.

It's important that I, "eem impulsive"

Also, I agree with Scrivener, I really wanted to chose a 'not listed' answer for most of these questions.

Fire On High

When I was growing up, we had the coolest treehouse ever. My grandfather built it (although I imagine my dad and mom helped out, but I don't remember that). Actually, I'm sure it was built more for my brother and sister because I was too young to really enjoy it at first.

The main part of it was the girlie-part which was a little house, with a furnished dining room and kitchen with stove (wooden - handmade) and all sorts of gender-stereotype goodies :) BUT! if you climbed up the ladder onto the roof of the house, you would find a gapped-plank sky-bridge over to the treehouse proper. This was the guy's part of the thing. It was bare inside where you could lay out your sleeping bags and brave a night's terrifying thunderstorm in the wild.

Also crucial was that there were all sorts of places from which you could throw things off or even jump the dizzying height all the way to the ground - So many exciting ways to sprain an ankle. Another cool thing was that the house part had a tarpaper gravel kind of roof, so it was perfect for experiment with fireworks and other combustibles (For example, you can make wonderful patterns of fire with a candy tin and the cologne you got for Christmas). My brother and I were always keen on trying to cut open as many Black Cats as we could to make a big pile of black powder. Tie together a few fuses and woohoo! It's amazing neither of us blew the other up.

Anyway - the thing that got me going about the treehouse was this link. It's amazingly cool, but it's not as cool as ours was.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Well, Crap

I just decided to go home, and monsoon season just kicked up. Biking in cold cold rain does not appeal to my at the moment. Especially without my rain gear.

Than again being warm and cozy in my bed does sound nice. hmmm... how to reconcile the two?


Oh, yeah - today's schedule?

8-9 - TA class
9-10 - TA second section
10-11 - High level Gruub studies related class (w/ quiz and discussion - did you do all the readings?)
11-2 - meeting with advisor #3 to go over and completely rebuild section of thesis
1-2 - audit class given by advisor #1 on a topic that I really enjoy
2-3 - work with person from other department on unrelated stuff 'cause I'm a softy and I agree to do just about anything
2-5:30 - meeting with visiting scholar to tear apart and rebuild another part of my thesis
5:30 - ? - create from notes fair copy of thesis chunks that were rebuilt today (I should also get into the analysis too, but I don't think that's happening.

Oh, and I have that huge stack of exams to grade too. It's becoming frighteningly clear that my thesis needs to be gelling very quickly. The pieces are kind of there, but a lot of the analysis isn't. Not yet.

Did you notice that there was no break in there for lunch? I ate a couple slices of pizza while trotting across campus and I was late to the meeting with advisor #3 because of it. Oh yeah, I obviously missed the audit and had to push back the meeting with the visiting scholar.

And I'm hungry again. I may have to go Subway hunting. Or I could just go home and sleep. That sounds good too...

Those Who Can't...

Last night I was here in the office way too late getting my lesson plan together for today, and the cleaning folks came by. I'm embarrassed to admit it, but I'm here often enough late at night that they know me pretty well. Last night one of them asked me if I was a teacher. I fumbled for a bit. It seems very odd. I was going to say that I'm a graduate student, and so I'm not really a teacher, but ya know what? I am a teacher.

This morning in class, one of my students asked if I was the same Overread who is listed as the teacher who is teaching Intro to Gruub Studies in the summer. He found my name on the class schedule. I didn't even know it was out yet. It's the first real non-TA teaching gig I've ever had at a university. I am a teacher.

Maybe people who have known me a long time don't see this as surprising. I've always been a geek, so teaching should be a no-brainer for me right? The thing is that I never really thought that I would love doing this so much. I was going to be a football player. Then when I went to high school and uni the first time, I was going to be an actor, then at least a theatre techie.

Well, I won't be a teacher if I can't get this dag-blasted thesis together or get into a PhD, will I?

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Monopolistic Twits

The GRE score system is just horrible. I just got another notice that a school didn't get the official scores that I ordered in December or so. So I have to order them again. On their telephone ordering system. For those of you who haven't had to do this, what you get to do is call them up and listen to unending blather before you get the pleasure of typing in the school and department codes for each of the places you want to send the scores and of course, there's a charge for each school and each phone call you make.

Now don't imagine for a moment that there's a better way to do this - say an online form or something, because there ain't. Now I'm usually very happy with automated phone services, because they're generally designed better, and it's easy to get done what you want done.

Of course, there's no need for the GRE folks to say, innovate, because there's no reason to! What are you going to do? Not take the GRE? [insert evil laughter here]

Notes to self:
1 - Short term - invest in GRE folks
2 - Long Term - become hugely powerful and discontinue use of the GRE among universities.

I guess I should be happy that the schools haven't canned my applications outright. At least they want me to prove that I'm legitimate :)

Mad as a February Hare

I really dislike getting my hair cut. It just seems such a waste, so I go to the cheapest places, end up with a bad barber and because I have a bad experience, I like getting my hair cut even less. Today, I decided it had to be done now, or else I'd never have time to get it done until some time in June. Unfortunately, the one dude there at the cheap-o-and-in-biking-distance barber shop was the freaky drug-addled gentlemen. I really don't like him much, but hey, I had hair that needed cutting and there he was, so there I went.

Odd things about the man:

He grunts and breathes heavily all the time. He would make a great spooky caller.

He reeks of cigarette smoke.

He's very twitchy and talkative, but talkative in a "are you stable?" kind of way. Today he couldn't stop talking about one dollar bills. They were short of one dollar bills and man they needed to get more because they only had a few left and I didn't get nearly enough sleep last night I mean I didn't even get to sleep until four in the morning and I've been working all day I'm going to have to take a break soon and we still don't have any ones. (or words to that effect)

He demands that I slouch way way down in the chair - and I'm not a tall man. I can't imagine what he does to tall folks.

ick... Oh, well. It's done now. I have less hair than I did. That's success, I guess.

Still Running - Against the Wind

8.36km - 40'25"

Cah-razy windy today. I was blown all over the place. My favorite running trail has a lot of sand, too, so I got a free sand-blast treatment. ick.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

A Rose Is a Rose Is a What?!

I know it's been said before and better, but with all the emailing I've been doing lately, I'm learning a bit more about my students than I cared to know.

Lesson to all the kiddies out there:

People can read your email address and what may seem cute and maybe risque to your friends is just nasty to others.



Valentine's day was predictably a bit sad for me - It's my first in 4 years without my ex-girlfriend. It feels a bit odd to not be shopping for spa gift cards or flowers or something. On the plus side, I did get a lovely valentine from my wonderful niece-who-wants-to-be-a-monster-when-she-grows-up. Also, the office-dwellers put out a big spread of chocolates and other wonderful "If Overread eats this he'll blow his diet" type snackies. So I snacked, and it was good. Homemade brownies are a wonderful thing :)

Fly Little Papers! Be Free!

Whelp, I've just emailed all the graded papers back to their owners. Now there's nothing to do but wait for the tears. and angry emails.

I should probably dig into the pile of exams to grade now, too...

Overheard at the Counter

Customer: So, what are the meatballs made of?
Counter Intelligence: Umm.... Meat?
C: You don't know?
CI: Well, I.... [Yelling to the back room] What's in the meatballs?

Nobody could figure it out.

Monday, February 13, 2006

It's a Growl-th Industry

A certain someone I know has decided on her future employment.

I provide proof that I received negative amounts of artistic ability from the family gene pool:

Better Than a Sharp Quiz in the Eye

See? I haven't abandoned them altogether! :)
(There's some odd ones down there - Be careful)

So, so you think you can tell Heaven from Hell,
blue skies from pain.
Can you tell a green field from a cold steel rail?
A smile from a veil?

Thunder only happens when it’s raining
Players only love you when they’re playing

Forward he cried from the rear
and the front rank died
And the General sat, as the lines on the map
moved from side to side

Should have taken warning
It's just, people mourning, running, hiding, lost
You can't find, find a place to go

We’ve got Richard Pryor on the video
We got time to think of the ones we love
While the miles roll away
But the only time that seems too short
Is the time that we get to play

you can brush my hair,
undress me everywhere
Imagination, life is your creation

They shook and lurched all over the church floor
He couldn't quite explain it

It’s savage and it’s cruel
And it shines like destruction
Comes in like the flood
And it seems like religion

Sometimes if I shout,
it's not what's intended.
These words just come out,
with no cross to bear.

Now with a holy host of others standing round me
still I'm on the dark side of the moon

No Bugs Were Harmed In The Making Of This Post

8.27km - 40'06"

Very nearly under 40 minutes for my favorite run!

Average pace time down to 4'51/km and heart rate at a acceptable 179.

Yea me!

Perhaps I'll Die

I very nearly swallowed a bug while bicycling to school today. I was able to hack and cough it out though. Otherwise I would have to send in a spider to get it, and I've herd that they wriggle and wiggle and tickle. I wouldn't want that.

Just thought you guys would want to know.

Sunday, February 12, 2006


I'm done! No more papers to grade! Now... I've only got ~40 exams to grade. Well crap. That's not nearly as exciting as I had hoped. There's got to be time in here somewhere for my stuff, right? Thesis? Readings? Class Prep? Well, maybe not today...


Five more papers to grade... Eyes... Bleeding... The horror... the horror.

Cheney - Not Only Dangerous To Iraqis and Civil Liberties

Cheney Accidentally Shoots Fellow Hunter - Yahoo! News