If you see a whole thing - it seems that it's always beautiful. Planets, lives... But up close a world's all dirt and rocks. And day to day, life's a hard job, you get tired, you lose the pattern. - Ursula K. LeGuin

Friday, December 28, 2007


I've always found this to be a strange week. Christmas and all it's craziness is over but the holidays are still upon us. I don't understand the continued shopping that happens this week. Why would you want to step foot back in a store? This is the week everyone is planning for the new year (making goals, resolutions, themes, what-have-you) while assessing the past year. There's a lot of "remember when" in the media. Personally I find a year to be too short to get all sentimental. I'm more of a five-year person, myself.

What I like about this week is the complete shut-down of academia. It feels like when you were in elementary school and you were given "free-time" for an afternoon. I feel like I have intellectual free time. I can write what I want to write, work on my projects, and read anything. I've been told I'm supposed to be taking time off and relaxing. People generally don't understand that I find this relaxing. I find this invigorating. I love my work and have a hard time not thinking about it. What I don't like are committee meetings, grading, and responding to other people's agendas. My calendar is beautifully bare.

But it has not been all intellectual play all week. I do take time to indulge in hobbies. I spent two days obsessively baking (and eating) and I'm well into a fairly large crochet project. I also received a 2000-piece (my biggest one yet) jigsaw puzzle for Christmas and haven't even opened the box. So you see more fun awaits. I best get busy.

Thursday, December 27, 2007


Where to start? I suppose an introduction is in order. Something along the lines of "Welcome to my blog?" I've never been one for elaborate greetings or farewells. I'm the type of person who prefers to slip quietly into a room rather than make an entrance. A smile and nod of acknowledgment are more my style than a boisterous "Hello, how are you?" But never mind all of that, I'm here and hopefully one day you'll be here as well and when that day comes you might want to know a little bit about me and why I'm starting this blog (something, I have to admit, I said I'd never do).

I'm an Associate Professor (untenured) at a Large State University (LSU) in a Small City that feels like a Big Town (SCBT). I recently moved here from a Really Big City (RBC) and this is my first taste at an academic environment. Technically I've been in academia for my entire career however my previous position was in a medical center with a sole focus on research. I arrived here painfully naive of many things academic including: the tenure process, the delicate balance of the holy triad (teaching-research-service), committee work and politics. There has been and continues to be culture-shock on many fronts.

I started following blogs about 2 years ago when my SIL started one. This first foray into the blogworld was mostly filled with mommy-blogs and artistic/creative blogs, leaving me little to connect with. I am a mommy but have long ago left the part of that job that entails diaper-changing, sleep-deprivation, or many of the other concerns that I found on blogs committed to mommydom. Also, I am not, nor will ever be, artistic or creative. Then about six months ago it dawned upon me (ok I can be a little slow) that women in academia probably write blogs and I came upon a slew of excellent ones (that I will eventually create links for on this site). Reading these blogs has given me insight into a world for which I was totally unprepared. I am getting better, thanks in part to the blogworld and in part to some amazing colleagues at my new digs.

I also started a journal since making this major transition in my life. I've wanted to be a journal-keeper my entire life but never managed to get passed the first day or two. I've been fairly successful so far and decided I'd branch out a bit and see what happens with this blog. I've realized in my new position how important it is to join the conversation. Up until now I've been lurking and occasionally commenting in the blogworld and feel it's time to "woman-up" and join in the dialogue.

So who will you meet if you read this blog? My current life consists of a husband, a son, two cats (including the Brute) and a rather chubby dog. I've left behind 3 older sisters (and their families), my mother and my ex-husband by moving here. I also left my 2 research partners/emotional support/sounding board buddies. My husband, b, left his entire family and all of his friends. Boy, as we like to call him, turned 18 earlier this month and will be heading off to college this summer. That is something, assuming I continue to write and you continue to read, that should be discussed ad nauseam on this blog.