Friday, April 28, 2006

End of the school year...

Well, I have survived another crazy busy school year! Finals week was especially interesting in that Richard and his stuff started moving in at about the same time I started prepping for finals. This was surprisingly not traumatic -- even with painting the living room the night after giving the first final! He dealt amazingly well with my finals mode -- "Pardon me, sweetie, but I'm locking myself in this room for a while to grade more papers, okay?" He'll adapt pretty well to marriage with a faculty member.

The highlights of this school year: mentoring three new faculty members and enjoying that feeling of being an associate professor; getting a few more students interested in research; finally writing that research grant I have been threatening to write for three years; realizing that winning awards is not as important as living a balanced life. The low points: watching my Korean colleague Jang-Ae get harassed by students.

Now it's the summer season, which is somewhat more relaxed but still busy. I will teach an online summer class, meet periodically with two students doing research projects, and supervise about 12 interns in Child and Family Studies. I will also finish planting the veggie and herb garden, design a kitty garden and a small rock garden, weed ALL the gardens periodically, put edging in the front border and perhaps around the side and back, and finish fixing up the pond with new water course that was added this spring. Yes, that's LESS BUSY for me.


Meow! I'm Stinky, aka Stinkerbelle, or what my humans call the "evil cat". They are busy moving things around the house, and playing with some very smelly white liquid-y white stuff. I sniff the air. It's not milk. I wish it was milk. I'd love to play in it, but I can't, because they have me in the bedroom, with the DOOR SHUT. So I thought I'd type on the laptop (my owner calls it "sitting on the keyboard", but I know better). I can't type very fast yet (you wouldn't be able to either, if you were using your butt and tail), but between that and my nose, I should get faster.

All of this noise ... furniture being moved, items being put here and there (more things to crawl over and under, too!)

Ah ... there goes the big guy ... the new one with the hair the same color as my fur. I'm going to see if I can run between his legs and get out into the living room ... DARN. Not fast enough. The door shuts again.

Meanwhile, my other two pals, Kitty and Opie, lounge, like moving was just another day for them. I bat Kitty, hoping to get a rise out of her; predictably, she rolls over and lies there. Opie, meanwhile, just ignores me.

Oops! Here comes my owner. She loves me, even though I bite her toes.

Friday, April 21, 2006


Funny thing, packing. You find things you had thought lost, revisit the past ... a playbill and parking stub from the first time I watched Phantom (the musical, not the movie); books from your undergrad days. You also find things that make you wonder why you kept them for so long (of course, those go to the dumpster).

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Bowing to the Inevitable

After a couple of weeks of job hunting in Des Moines (without much luck), Lauren and I have decided that it's time for me to move. Toward that, I'll be moving to Maryville, MO, and moving in with Lauren.

I've given my apartment office my 30 day written notice, and I've started packing (and taking the opportunity to sort and pitch). My last day in Des Moines (for now) is going to be somewhere around May 12th.

In a way, it was inevitable. Sooner or later, at least one of us was going to have to move so we could be together. With Lauren having the better job situation at her college, and me being out of work, I've got the flexibility to move. It's a little sooner than I'd planned (I'd hoped to move in September or as soon as a better job developed in KC), but apart from that, it's probably the best circumstances for me to move, with no current financial or job ties (i.e., no house to sell).

Despite that, it's a little bit daunting because of the trade-offs. I don't have a job lined up there yet, and there's the challenge of trying to fit two household's worth of furniture and belongings together (and for me, the additional challenge of moving my belongings down there as efficiently as possible). And there will be some adjustments: I'm going to be giving up a lot that's familiar to me: friends, activities, places, entertainment venues.

In its place, I'll have a smaller town, and I'll have to look for new opportunities. But I'll be with Lauren.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


Spent this morning filling out resumes online and submitting for three more positions, one in KC, one here, and one in St. Joe, Missouri. I don't doubt my skills or abilities. However, after talking to a few of my peers in my profession and sounding out the state of the profession, it's become clear that I need to diversify, or consider openings in academia, because the number of technical writing openings in the financial services/IT industry has dropped considerably in the last few months; jobs that were there aren't there any longer, or are on very short-term contracts.

Now the question becomes: "what else am I good at?" I've already got two Masters degrees and I'm carrying student loan debt. What can I do to extend/expand my skillsets? Where should I go next?