It's now a year since I started this series of miscellaneous ramblings. At such times the mind reflects, and may or may not like what it sees in the mirror. Since I'm often of two minds, mine tends to do both.
I continue today to be educated in new ways to freeze to death in a Victorian house. Though the thermostat maintains its adequate setting, subtle but powerful air currents strip the body of vital heat. I don a stocking cap, decide it’s not enough, add a blanket, then two—one under and one over—in order to work on my laptop. An hour later I feel warm, but unbundled I discover too late that I’ve sweated just enough to dampen my cotton clothing, and I’m hypothermic in minutes.
A few days ago we got word of the latest round of state funding cuts. I've literally lost track of the number of cuts we've taken this year, but the cumulative impact is drastic. Worse, we got the first inkling of the likely cut for next fiscal year, which starts July 1, and it will make this year's cuts look minor.
Several weeks ago, an article ran in Inside Higher Ed about the interest of many graduate students in jobs that don’t include a lot of pressure to publish. Instead many were interested in jobs that helped them to balance work and family life more effectively While I don’t want to resurrect the heated discussion that followed the article, I do want to take a minute to discuss how this decision would be viewed by economists.
When I do a sustainability audit for departments on campus, one of the things I look for is "converters" or "chargers" or external power supplies. You know, those big bulky boxy plugs that go into the wall socket and are then connected to the electronic whatever by a thin electrical cord. The cord is thin because what comes out of the converter isn't 120 volt alternating current any more, it's direct current at a much lower voltage. All electronic equipment -- computers, monitors, telephones, etc. -- runs on low-voltage DC.
Is it just me, or has there been a spate of publications suggesting that your child’s intelligence, personality, and future life will be determined more by her genes than by careful parenting? In his analysis of his own genome, psychologist Stephen Pinker cites evidence that suggests that genes, more than family environment, shape who we are.
A few days ago, we did a post-dinner Home Depot run. It wasn't terribly successful, and it was cold, and late, and we were all a little cranky.
In the car on the way back, we were uncharacteristically silent for some time. Then,
The Boy (in perfect 'Yoda' voice): Farted, I did.
And that was that. TW and I laughed the rest of the way home. Comic relief goes a long way.
Each week, he has ten spelling words for which he has to write sentences. Last week, one of the words was antonym. He wrote:
This season, the biology doctorate program in which I work had a wonderfully diverse, interesting and impressive pool of applicants (not more applicants than our batch last year, as one might expect in a year of economic downturn, but perhaps more of high quality). Our admissions committee had a hard time coming to a consensus in picking the cream of the crop to invite for our two-day recruitment event, but once they did, I, along with the graduate student who works with me, started intense planning efforts.