Watching the development of my inner grinch

i-f875c0b07d9b3cb6229668554781b35a-alice.jpgI’m sitting at my desk at home, feeling the cold air blowing through the window, and watching the birds eat at the bird-feeder. I submitted the last of our grades yesterday, including one for a student who hasn’t attended class since October and who I am worried about. I am now dreading the release of my course evaluations. I am working on the interim report for our ADVANCE project, officially due to NSF on New Year’s Day but I’m desperately trying to get out the door before Christmas. I have just started the wheels in motion to hire another student on the ADVANCE project, and am waiting for some references for a post-doc applicant to get back to me. I’m trying to display a bunch of goals and comments from an ad-hoc research interest group last week into a coherent diagram, and send it to the attendees before the end of the day. I should also draft the rest of my two group abstracts and send those out. I’m watching the weather reports get increasingly dire, and worrying that we might not make it to Madison tomorrow. In fact, becoming resigned to not making it to Madison tomorrow. And it’s cold in front of the window, a constant reminder of our HORRENDOUS power bill last month (even though we have a geothermal furnace) and our EQUALLY HORRENDOUS insulation and air circulation.

I would SO rather be hanging with my family, all (except me and Steve) gathered together and engaged in Christmas preparations. They got the tree up on the weekend, my sister is making mincemeat and boiling the Christmas pud, and tomorrow they’ll all listen to the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols together on the radio.

And I have to submit this damn report, in this cold house, and watch the snow fall.


  1. #1 Tuff Cookie
    December 23, 2008

    I’m with you on the grading and course evaluations. (I’m still amazed at the system that throws grad students into teaching without giving them any substantial training in how to not screw it up.)

    May I suggest one of those insulation shrink-wrap kits for the drafty window? They’re pretty cheap (about $8 for three windows), work fairly well and you get to make your neighbors think you’re nuts by “blowdrying” your window.

  2. #2 Alex
    December 23, 2008

    Regarding the student that you’re worried about, I’ll give you the same advice that everyone gives me:


    Trust me, you’ll stay sane that way. And the F’s those students get make it much easier for you to go lenient on students who actually worked without changing the average GPA for the course and raising red flags with people who look at those sorts of things.

  3. #3 ecogeofemme
    December 23, 2008

    That sounds sucky. I hope you get everything done and make it to Madison — the weather should be better than today, right?

    I concur with Tuff Cookie about the plastic on the windows. My parents put it up every year and it makes such a difference.

  4. #4 Angel
    December 23, 2008

    The plastic window stuff works, lived in many student/gradstudent hovels where I would have frozen to death without it. I agree with the F student advice. Feed the eager students, work hard for the ones trying but hanging on by a thread, throw a line over from time to time to see if you can catch one that’s marking time but the ones that are totally checked out just aren’t going to change their stripes. I’ve tried a time or two and it’s just heart break and a black hole time suck.

New comments have been disabled.