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

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Survived Another Thursday

Thursdays are my killer days this semester. Today started with a 9 am meeting with a consultant (paid by the training grant that is funding me this year--which is a godsend in many ways) to give me feedback on my grant application. This was my first meeting with this woman. Several people have told me how wonderful she is and I'm happy to say they were absolutely right. In half an hour she gave me more concrete and helpful suggestions (along with an edited hardcopy) on the application than anyone else has given me in the past 6 months I've been working on it. What she suggested made perfect sense and completely solved a problem I've been struggling with for a while now. She wants another draft by December, which is totally doable. Due to changes in NIH guidelines I have to cut the grant in half. She told me to only cut what I think is absolutely necessary (about a third she said) and she will tell me where to cut from there.

She also confirmed that the grant is going to hinge upon me and my partner getting several papers out and accepted. She feels this needs to be a push in the next month (along with the grant edits and you know, my normal work). I have two that are pretty close and my partner has another that is also almost ready, so its doable but we're going to be busy. The good news is that this woman also edits papers and encouraged me to send her a draft.

I was supposed to meet with my student research team directly after the first meeting. However I cancelled it the day before because I wasn't prepared for them (which makes me feel awful since they did all their work and were totally prepared for me). Worse yet I was supposed to use the meeting time to get ready for them but had to use it organizing the papers I graded last night and getting back-up for all of the plagiarism.

I then taught my doctoral class at noon. This class has been going well. I have a really enthusiastic and bright bunch of students. Luckily I had prepped a class with a lot of individual and small group work, so I did some of the work for my student research team while they were doing in-class assignments. The bad part was that this was also the day their papers were due, so now I have another stack of grading.

I teach my undergraduate class immediately following my doctoral class. We actually had a fairly interesting discussion that ended with Roman Polansky. Believe me when I say it was relevant to the topic. However only 2 of them were aware of the case and I believe only 3 or 4 even knew he was. Undergraduates have a way of making you feel old right quick. At the end of the class I had to read them the riot act about the state of the papers in general and the plagiarism. They all looked generally shocked and, even my A students looked nervous until I actually handed them out. I told them I would be posting mid-term grades this weekend and that more than a handful will have to decide if it is in their best interest to stay in the class. Needless to say I had a line of students waiting to talk to me at the end of class. I think I may have busy office hours next week.

Dealing with the line of students and the fact that I had no cash to pay for parking (I don't normally drive to work so often forget about the need to pay when I do), made me late for my childbirth class. Fortunately/unfortunately this turned out not to be a problem because for the second week in a row it started approximately 1/2 an hour late. I have to say I love the idea of being a doula but the training has mostly been painful. It makes me really sad that this is a model program for teen moms but even so it is not the program they deserve. To get through it I put on my researcher's cap and take mental notes.

I'm finally home, waiting for b who is working late, drinking a beer and ignoring the fact that I have no dinner plan.


Amanda@Lady Scientist said...

Your Thursdays sound packed! Congrats on surviving!

Julie said...

I echo Amanda's comment...what a jam packed day your Thursdays are! I am glad you had such good help with the consultant, though. Good, concrete advice is priceless.

Annie K said...

Hi Brigindo, I hope this Thursday felt less hectic than last Thursday!