Persuing Domestic Goddessness
Sunday, March 28, 2004
Happy Spring!!
Hello to my adoring fans! A thousand apologies for my non-blogging of the past week and a half. I have had many things occupying my time (some good, some bad). I will tell of these things.
Last Friday I went home for a DAR meeting, which was Friday/Saturday (went well- the President General came, so that was a big to-do. I was the state regent's personal page, which is also something cool. And then I was asked to be the state chair for the page committee- basically, I am now the head page for the next three years. Which isn't all that big a deal, but I get recognition for my bitch-work (choir nazi skills will come in handy) and I am the youngest person to do it in a very long time- I'd say the youngest since the raised the age limit of pages (from 30 to 40years old) back in the early 80s.)
Then on Saturday (this was my first main reason to stay away from my blog), I went up to Boston for Ann's surprise birthday party! Yay Ann. See pictures-
This was fun- except for when I got hopelessly lost in Allston because I screwed up getting off the highway- as in, I didn't get off the highway, i went right bythe exit for I-95, which is the easiest way to get to the Riverside T stop, where I leave my car overnight. I made excellent time getting to Boston from Hartford, 110ish miles in 70 minutes (heh) but then getting lost added an hour. Luckily Michelle stalled Ann for a while before they went back to the apartment (where we were all hiding) to "freshen up before going out for drinks". We surprised Ann, chilled in the apt, and then went to Cheers and a couple other bars. Yay Ann, happy bday!
Sunday I stayed there for a bit, then went to Peet's where I saw the fabled Peet's Coffee Boy (hot as ever, woo!). I haven't seen him since I graduated college, I thought he had moved on. Although the September after I graduated, I went back to W to visit Dana and Co. and Peet's Boy (I think his real name is Matt) was in the background of the "Customer of the Month/Week/Whatever" picture (dudes, why did they not have C.o.t.M/W when I was still livign there?? You know it SO would have been me as CotM/W)
Then I headed home and did dinner with mom and dad and cats.
Monday I had a dr appt, and get this- I am now officially 5'6. Um, I grew an inch and a half...? Well, hey I'm not complaining!! i am very excited, yeah 5'6!! (Incidentally, I mentioned that to someone and they suggested it's my bed- could be, since my bed at my parents' house has an old mattress, adn my bed in NH has a new mattress that was slept on about 15 times before I moved, and it's only been slept on by me, it was in our house inGranby, and my parents and I are the only ones that spend the night there. Which is why taking that bed was ok, I had already claimed it with no arguments anyway).
Then Mom and I had some quality time at the mall, I got 2 new tops, she bought one for me and I bought one. Yay I really like them!! Also got new slippers and socks and Kiehl's lip balm.
Then I came back into lab, did hard core molecular work (ugh) and checked grades and found out that i high passed TAing- woohoo! That's like an A+. Very excited about that.
And then last night I had a big wine&cheese party, which I think went well. I mixed choir and grad school friends, so I invited 25 people and had 13 (although 5 other people had said they would come/come late, but did not show, and then one person said he was bringing someone but he came alone). It was good, I wore a skirt I bought at BR a while ago, and one of the tops I'd bought with Mom on Monday (that was why I had to mall), and sandals (I wore sandals all day yesterday, and all day today! Yay spring! It's like 55 degrees out, so nice! Driving with the windows open, no coat... it's great). So we had wine, we had cheese, everyone chatted. I think it went really well, but people, if you were there, give me feedback. I am striving to be thehostess with the mostest here, and I'm worried it was boring. I dont' have much in the way of entertainment at my place, unless we're talking poker night- which just won't work with 13 people.
So that brings us up to today, and today I went to church, then came to lab, then called my mom, then did some lab work and headed over to the grandopening of LLBean at the Powerhouse mall (I hada coupon for 10% off your purchase- so I looked around,and they dont' really have much. Lots of coats and bags, but even $35 for a wool peacoat is just too much for me right now, I have to wait for hte next credit card month to start. And I am apparently an XS in their clothing. Which is weird- and they didn't have anything good inmy size, except sweaters, and I am done with sweaters.
So then I went to Panera and got some good qual thought-work done over a "cobblestone" (which is like monkey bread with apples and raisins, I highly recommend it) and lots of coffee (free refills).
Now I am in lab, and will be for a while, becuase yet again I have poor planning- it took 6 hours for my cells to grow, and I need to transform them with some DNA, but now, while my cells are all ready to be transformed, I am just starting to purify the DNA. You'd think I would have purified while the cells were growing, then I would be home now. Although home doing what... Oh well. Knitting with my doors and windows open, I suppose.
That's all. It was a lot, though.
Love, nice weather, and yummy food
ps. I have a great cheese recipe that I served last night- I will revive my recipe-posting thing and put that up later.
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Thursday, March 18, 2004
The end of an era
Today we had our last duties as TAs- to finalize the grades.
This was an interesting process, actually. I thought it was pretty much cut&dry, 93+ is A, 90-93 is A-, 87-89 is B+, etc. But actually, no.
All 103 students (5 dropped) were listed in order of highest points earned (300 for the 3 exams and 100 for lab). Then we went down the list and looked for gaps of at least 2 points, and that wouldbe the break point, like A vs A-, B+ vs A-, etc. So it's actually quite arbritrary-- like, an 87.5 ended up being an A-. The profs were a little mad, they said there were too many Bs and B+s, but that's just how the breakpoints worked out. The only established thing was that the median, 278.5, was a B-. That ended up being the highest B-. We also negotiated the breakpoints, like if there was another nearby breakpoint we could use, in case one person who wouldbe bumped lower deserved the better grade. I thought one of my students deserved an A-, but they ended up with a B+. Only 2 of my students got A-s... Oh well, the super smarties were not mine, apparently.
Only one person failed (but that person also got 18% on the final, so... they kind of deserved that.), and 8 got Ds.
We discussed one of my students, whether they should get a C- or a D. I thought a D, this student was very obvious about not wanting to be there, they had a serious chip on their shoulder throughout the whole time, and was fairly obnoxious. But one of the profs had had this student as an advisee their first year (although this was a freshman, so maybe Bob was still their advisor...?)and had a completely different view of this person, he thought the student was just taking on too much this term. I didn't want to contradict the prof. Plus if this student got a D, the person below them would also get a D, and maybe that person deserved a C-. I am also totally not qualified to judge this stuff, not having years of experience like Bob does.
Then we got our comments from the course evaluation back. A secretary in the bio dept types them all up so we don't read the originals (which are hand-written-- although we have the option of going to look at the exact words ourselves, so then we'd know exactly who wrote what. That seems kind of dumb, but I guess we get typed versions so we can keep them). These summarized versions do not have any of the bad comments- but does that mean no constructive bad ones or no pointless bad ones like "she has stupid hair" or something pointless? Well my worst comment was that my lectures just repeated what the lab manual said.
To which I reply, um, duh yeah, that's the point. I mean some things i did overemphasize, but I'm quite sure from being a lab student myself that if they were not overemphasized, the students would just gloss over it. So, whatever. Overall my comments were good, 6 people marked the "excellent" box and 6 marked the "good" box- 2 marked "fair" and no one said "poor".
So... no more TAing. I'm going home for a long weekend tomorrow, but I'mnot really resting- I have a DAR meeting Friday and Saturday, and then a Dr appt on Monday. But Monday afternoon I must go to Westfarms to find a top to go with my blue skirt from BR so I can look nice for my Wine&Cheese party next Saturday.
I cat-sat on Tuesday night- that was fun. Yesterday I stayed there (at Eileen's) til noon and graded exams with the help of Clancy, the fat male black andwhite who is prone to depression when he doesn't get much attention. Holliday, his sister, is quite amusing (she gets up on her hind legs and puts her front paws together like she's praying when she wants to be petted) so I petted her more. So then Clancy went and peed on Eileen's sheets that I put on the floor when I put her extra sheets on. Thanks, Clancy... well at least he peed on his owner's washable stuff and not like my coat or exams or something.
It snowed again but didn't stick- so it was just very pretty and peaceful to watch.
Going home tomorrow bright and early, so I have to read so that I can find more papers to print out to do qual reading while I'm home, adn ack I have to pack all tonight. Lots to pack, with this meeting and all.
Love, cats and no more TAing... although it was fun! (if I said I like TAing 5 months ago, I would have thought I was nuts)
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Friday, March 12, 2004
So today at 12:30, I had to run home to set my VCR to record Joan of Arcadia (since I will be in lab til around 10 tonight), adn then to KAF for my fougasse. So, when I left, it was just starting to get cloudy, and I had just received an email from my mom detailing the crazy windy/precipitating weather in WH. I walked outside and looked up, and ooh the front, there it goes, cool. I drove the 5.2 miles from school to home, and walked from my car to my door (about 20 feet) adn by the time I got to the door, it was starting to snow. I hung out at home for about 15 minutes, and I came outside to a blizzard! It blizzarded forawhile- blizzard as in zero visitbility on I-91 (so I got off at exit 12 instead of 13 and just drove on the 30mph rt 5 from Wilder to Norwich to KAF). And then at 2:30, suddenyl it's all blue sky! Now it's cloudy. Lol this is very entertaining.
Not much going on here. My life is boring... but I have my routine, I like routines. I work til around 8ish, (eat dinner at school) and then go home, do 40 or 45 min onthe elliptical exerciser, then watch Roseanne on Nick at Nite, and go to bed. Very boring, but very easy.
Lab work is going ok. I am mostly doing qual stuff now- I'd like to get my aims done and submitted to Charlie in a couple weeks. Ideally I would finish all this before my RIP, which is July 1, sicne that will have a large amount of stress required for it, and I don't want the 2 stresses to overlap.
I don't have anything funny or interesting to say. I am boring today.
Although I did bake chocolate chip cookies last night, and this is boastful, but omg am I a good baker!! I'm not saying it to brag, I'm saying it becuase, omg I am good, Imake such good food!
I am in awe of myself.
Love, cookies and piles of papers to read (accompanied by my Maroon 5 cd- my new sidekick)
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Friday, March 05, 2004
So, I have some funny quotes. They are collected over a few days.

In class a few weeks ago-
a girl knocked her cup of coffee off the arm desk thingy in the lecture hall.
Molly: "Did she just spill all her coffee?"
Me: "Yeah, I think so."
In unison (by accident): "...precious coffee...."

Yesterday in lab-
John took off his sweatshirt, so Stefan said, "Oh, so now you are stripping."
John: "Yeah, haven't you heard of the stripping scientist?"
Stefan: "John when are you going to take your shirt off?"
John: "As soon as Catherine gets out her dollar bills."
Me: "Can I just pelt silver dollars at you instead?"
John: "...well, that would kind of hurt."
Matt: "Oh no, John only strips for volatile chemicals. Get a squirt bottle of HCl [a very strong acid]"

We have....interesting conversations in lab. I should write more down.

Also, yesterday at lunch, Neil decided on the cast list for who will play who when he makes a movie about his life.
Young Neil: Jason Biggs
Older Neil: Ben Stiller
Amity: Natalie Portman
John: Michael J. Fox
Catherine: Angelina Jolie
Niles: the guy who plays Niles on "Fraser"
Duane: Rick Moranis
Charlie: Ron Howard (Opie from Andy Griffith)
Wickner: the guy who played Kramer on "Seinfeld"
Susie: the girl who recently played Annie (as in "Little Orphan Annie")
Gavin: Dustin Diamond
Dhana: Salma Hayek
Viji: Jessica Alba (just so he can have Jessica Alba in his movie)
Neil's mom: Judge Judy
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Thursday, March 04, 2004
Nobody puts BUE in the corner
So TAing is just about done. I had my last lab on Tuesday. It actually was not all that fun, but mostly because my morning did not go all that well (tired, lots of stuff to do so it was hectic, then my advisor confronted me about how I haven't gotten this one thing done. Well, I'm sorry, but it's kind of tough to do a 2 day experiment when I'mTAing! I'm doing it today, he seems better now. Oh and then the very beautiful looking but evil and spiteful iMac G4 ate the cd that I have all of my data from June-August 2002 when Iw as at UCONN. I have some nice fluorescent micrographs on that disc, and the lab was all about light microscopy, so I wanted to show the studetns some examples. Well, I had to run around the building looking for someone to show me how to get a cd out of a computer that didn't think it had a cd (F12 is the eject button thingy).
Over the weekend Eileen and I did some quality shopping. I got some clearance sale pjs at VS, new underwear, new rubber duckies and an extra pair of sunglasses. Eileen got 2 really pretty Asian-inspired dresses and 2 pairs of shoes.
Tonight is quiz night at 5 Olde, so I'm going to that with Eileen and Stacey, and other people might join us, I just sent out a reminder email. Then Sunday is our choir concert, and until then I have no plans...
My students had all sorts of nice things to say to me- one student called me beautiful adn then later said that he really enjoyed lab this term,and some other people said lab was good. I think my favorite comment came via email:

thank you again for making lab not hell this term catherine.

Now that's a warm adn fuzzy...

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