Thursday, January 31, 2008

Ok Sam, but only because it's you...

I've been tagged. Once you've been 'tagged', you're supposed to write a blog of 10 weird/random facts/habits/goals about yourself. I will NOT be tagging anyone else, but if you're interested, go for it...

1 - I'm about to fulfill my first major fitness goal. I will be running an official 10k race in March. I hope to break an hour. I know I can run that long/fast indoors, but outdoors will be another thing entirely.

2 - My bedroom is a disaster, so I have a hard time telling my son to clean HIS room. One of these days, I'll get mine straightened up, but I know it won't be any time soon.

3 - I need to have my masters thesis defended in less than eleven months and I haven't even started it yet. I should be defending the proposal in about two weeks. I guess I need to get started, huh?

4 - I'm seriously considering continuing on to earn a doctorate. Pretty crazy, considering what I wrote for #3.

5 - I'm really interested in personal finance lately. We have a pretty good plan to get out of debt in the relatively near future, and I'm excited about the concept of actually putting money into our future instead of our past.

6 - I am extremely annoyed by some people's lack of personal responsibility. Few things get me fired up like this does.

7 - I can't decide who to vote for. Heck, I can't even decide which PARTY I feel more comfortable with. If it's McCain vs Obama, I'm not at all sure which way to go. On that note, I suppose I should register to vote, eh?

8 - My dream car is an old VW Bug with each body panel painted a different color. Red trunk. Blue hood. Orange door. Yellow fender. You get the idea.

9 - I'm not at all worried about my family making it through this economic situation the country has found itself in. I'm still in school, but once I'm finished, I know I'll find a job (I'll be a science teacher). My husband is over halfway through an army career. We bring in plenty of money to live comfortably, although definitely not luxuriously. We don't have gobs of money in the stock market (although I wish I had a bunch to PUT in the stock market these days), nor do we own a home to worry about selling.

10 - My sports team preferences are all over the place. I'm a 49er and SF Giants fan (grew up in central California). I couldn't care less about professional basketball. I'm definitely a Philadelphia Flyers fan (went to high school outside of Philly). I love college hockey (Go RPI Engineers!) And I suppose I ought to root for my current university (who just beat the crap out of KU! Woo!) in men's and women's college basketball. I also love tennis and golf (if Tiger's involved), used to watch the Tour de France religiously when Lance was racing, enjoy the World's Strongest Man competition, and try to fit in some of the Olympics when they come around. Other than those teams mentioned, I root more for individual players and/or coaches. Brett Favre, Bill Cowher, Emmitt Smith (yes, I know he's retired), Mark Messier, and many more that I'm too tired to type out...

Ok, Sam. Done. :)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Our 'old' TV isn't going to make it

What happened to those 'good old days' where electronics actually lasted a while?? I remember the big floor television from my growing up years - that thing lasted forever!

Darrell bought a TV around the time we got married. I think it was even BEFORE we got married. *laugh* So, about nine years ago. It's a Zenith, if I recall correctly. It's 27", a standard no-frills model.

The colors are all wonky. Usually when things start looking funny, I assume Kaden's been messing with the controls again. I've always been able to get it back to normal. This time, though, it's not working. The screen flashes, there are lines (both horizontal and vertical) across the screen, and the colors are all wonky. It's time for a new one.

There are too many options out there. I'm overwhelmed. Here's what we want:

- something that will survive a couple of moves (or not, see last post *ha!*)
- something that won't be obsolete over the next few years with the rapid changing technology
- something I don't have to mount on the wall, but has that option in case we end up buying our own place again
- something under $1000, although we'll go a little higher for quality

Darrell would like something 40" or larger; I'm thinking 37" is more than plenty considering the 27" set we have now works just fine. We're not planning to do anything super fancy with it, but who knows what we might want to do in the future. Our basic TV usage is kid's shows, sports games, and DVDs. Our living room is on the small side (which is why I'm leaning towards a smaller than 40" size - would it overwhelm the space?)

So, LCD or plasma? Or any of the other options out there? What brand? How big? *dizzy* Help a girl out here!!

Some crazy stuff going on

I wrote an email to my department head late last week. Essentially, I asked him for a job. Not now, as I won't be available until May 2009. The department has a plan to hire four new faculty members within the next couple years. If I'd waited until then to make my wishes known, the slim chance I have of getting a position at all would likely be long gone. So, I told him now that I'd love to work for the department as an instructor.

I also sent a copy of it to my major professor. I'd spoken with her about it briefly beforehand, of course.

The response was not what I expected. They're both urging me to get my PhD. Now, this is not something I've really wanted or planned to do, for the following reasons:

- I just want to teach
- I don't care about tenure (or do I? read below)
- I don't particularly like research, at least enough to devote MORE time to it on top of my thesis and dissertation
- Publishing is not important to me
- I just want to teach
- If I earned the doctorate, finding basic instructor positions would be next to impossible - why would they hire me? It's the classic overqualified business

By the time I'm done with what I'm doing, I'll be certified to teach middle and high school science (earth science and physics, definitely... might pick up biology as well). With the masters, I can also teach at the college/university level, at least the introductory classes which is what I love to teach. With these goals in mind, the doctorate isn't helpful. In fact, it's more of a hindrance. Why spend that much time and effort to earn something that doesn't get me any further in my plans?


It is very possible that we could retire where we are. Darrell is not that far from retiring, and by the time he's done with this deployment and transfers to a permanent position here, he'll have just enough time left to MAYBE have one more PCS, and even that would only be for a year or eighteen months. So, we could just stay here while he finished up somewhere else, if that's what happens. Now, that's if he only stays in for 20. We've discussed staying in for longer. I'm thinking by that point, he'll be at a rank where he can have more control over his assignments. (Not complete control, we are realists after all and know how the Army works...) Perhaps he could finagle another assignment here rather than PCS somewhere else.

Ok, so then should I work towards the PhD here? Or at least get the coursework done and work on the dissertation later? (Although that's definitely the harder way to do it, but it's been done many a time before.) My department head told me that it'd be easier to hire me on as an instructor if I had the intention to complete the PhD. Then they could complete whatever hiring paperwork is necessary to move me from the instructor position into a tenure-track position. If we end up staying here, I'd absolutely go after tenure. It'd be silly not to.

But do I WANT all that? Hard to say. And for now, it's a moot point anyway. I haven't even started the thesis yet!

I will probably make an appointment to speak with the man who I'd work with if I do it. I'm one of those people that like to know all the options. Maybe it'd make more sense, if I chose to pursue the PhD, to skip the masters and go straight for the doctorate. I'm not sure if this field allows that, although I know geology does. The geology department does not offer a doctorate, although they do have a joint partnership with another school that does. I have no idea how long it's been since someone went that route, but it hasn't happened since I got here in 2002. So, it'd have to be a PhD in education. Do they LET you do that without any classroom experience? Of course I've taught for four years at the college level, and since that's where I intend to stay if all goes well, I'm hoping my experience teaching the labs will count.

Ahh, so much to think about. So, step one:

1) Make an appointment - learn the options
2) Talk it over with Darrell
3) Think about it
4) Think about it
5) Think about it
6) ... at some point, make a decision

Any advice for me? I'm open to just about anything you have to say. All three of you regular readers. :)

I hope I remember this one...

I read something cool today. I hope I remember this one when it'll come in handy. I do quite a bit of copy/pasting between Office programs.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Serious things to think about...

It's been quite awhile since Katrina. But this brings up points that are valid in any situation. Good reading. Lots to think about.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Way before Christ. Way.

A slightly older take on it...



Watch this. It'll cure what ails ya.

Proudly introducing the newest member of our family, Mo! ('Cause she's desert colored, see. Mo(jave)). :)

Thursday, January 03, 2008

People just walked by!

Joshua Bell, an amazingly talented violinist, sets up shop in a Washington D.C. metro station and plays for about 45 minutes. And people just walked by!