The rest of the stories

i-9dc84d4d9156dccb30d5f62466b4219a-swblocks.jpgIt's the end of the year, and I'm feeling a bit reflective. (I'm also avoiding a daunting between-semesters to-do list. When will I manage to take a break?) In a recent comment thread, Female Engineering Professor commented:

I often find myself wondering about various random threads on these blogs. Just the other day I was wondering if ScienceWoman ever got blinds or curtains in her office.

So instead of doing the year in review meme that's gone around, I'll now try to tidy up the nursery by sharing the rest of the story from a few past posts.

First to answer FEP, I did get blinds in my office. It took until the end of the year, in my review with the departmental chair. I pitched it as a safety issue, preventing me from working nights or weekends in our unlocked building. Two weeks later, I had blinds. Of course, by then I was done pumping. Still the blinds have proven really handy now that I've rearranged my office and have morning sun on computer screen.

More stories below the fold...

In January I set a theme for the year, so how did I do this year? Well, my theme was "Seeking Strategies for Survival, Sanity, and Success." Since I'm still here blogging, you know that I'm still seeking and I survived. As for success, I would not count 2008 a success, as defined in my theme post, and I'm not sure I did so hot on sanity either. Stay tuned for a 2009 theme.

In March, I wondered whether I could take a summer break from daycare, since Minnow and I were going to be out of town for five out of eight weeks in June and July. The internets counseled me not to try for fear of tenure and of not getting back in to the same place. I obeyed. It peeved me to no end to fork out the money and not use the time, and only in late August did I discover that I could have reduced her care to 2 days a week for the summer and probably guarantee myself a full-time spot for the fall. That would have saved me about $1200. Stupid unhelpful daycare people (this is only one example). One thing on my to-do list for the break is to investigate other care options for when Minnow turns two.

In April, I wondered whether to publish in the journal that was slow to accept or the one that was slow to publish once accepted. It took me until July to get the paper submitted, and in the end, I submitted to a third journal, and in a few days, I'll return a majorly revised paper to them. They may still reject, so I may be back to square one and deciding between the slow journals.

In August, I 'fessed up about troubles on the homefront. Today, however, I am pleased to report that Spouse recently got a part-time retail job. In this economy, that's really something to celebrate. I also recently accompanied Spouse back to his doctor and now we've got a referral to a specialist to see if there's something we can do about Spouse's continued sluggishness.

And just last week, I told you that my AGU trip was partially an effort to wean Minnow. It seems to have worked. I pumped to relieve pressure the first few days, but didn't pump after Wednesday morning. I got home Friday night at midnight, and Minnow slept until 8 the next morning. We hugged, she asked for "mo" and I told her that "mo is all gone." She's asked for mo a couple more time, but seems resigned. Today at nap time she looked at my bosom and said "mo all gone" in a sad voice. We're learning how to cuddle in different configurations, and I'm struck by how long she is. Last night, we slept next to each other all night and she didn't try to get up my shirt at all. I'm glad for the freedom and for having my body back, but I miss the closeness terribly. It is still bittersweet.

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Wow, 8 hours of sleep from Minnow? Uninterrupted? Yay!

Also yay for Fish's improvement. I hope he likes the job and that the upswing continues.

Good luck with your resubmit. I think I can relate a little to your journal selection problems. I recently learned how being interdisciplinary means you have a lot of choices (too many) and your paper might not fit perfectly anywhere. We have agonized about where to submit my first one. I won the battle and we're aiming high, but I'm not holding my breath that it will be accepted.

BTW, I liked the Mary Poppins reference. I sometimes make the same one but no one ever seems to get it.

Oh I'm glad to hear the update on the home front, both for fish and weaning minnow. Good luck with the resubmission (I just resubmitted a manuscript on Friday so I'm with you on the hoping not to face re-writing/re-submission elsewhere) and finding an alternative child care arrangement for Minnow
Happy Holidays!

I'm glad that things on the home front are going better. My dad (who was an amateur pilot-- he doesn't fly any more) had a saying: Any landing you can walk away from is a success. I try to think of life the same way.

EGF: I'm glad you caught the reference. MP is one of my favorite movies.

Amanda: I like that saying, but I'm a little concerned about the wreckage that might occur along the way.

Back to grading jail.

I'm glad to hear the weaning went well, and can totally relate to the bittersweet aspect. (It's about a month now since I weaned Baby Jane, and I still miss it a little.) And I'm glad to hear things are cautiously optimistic on the home front. Happy holidays!

I wondered whether to publish in the journal that was slow to accept or the one that was slow to publish once accepted. It took me until July to get the paper submitted, and in the end, I submitted to a third journal, and in a few days, I'll return a majorly revised paper to them. They may still reject, so I may be back to square one and deciding between the slow journals.

I would favor slow-to-publish over slow-to-accept, as an accepted paper "in press" on your CV is as good as a published paper.

I'm glad to hear that the homefront situation is improving, if only slightly. I've been following ScienceWomen for about 6 months, and I have a lot of respect for you and your ability to juggle all the issues while not going completely insane.

Good thoughts are coming your way from a quiet reader.

I'm glad to hear that your husband is doing better, I was alarmed by that particular post. It is so difficult to be holding down the TT job, doing all the mommy AND daddy stuff, and watching someone you love just suffering.

I'm glad things are better.