Month: March 2011

Filtering my discussions

I’m hoping to find some time to talk more about teaching, writing, and other topics, partly just as a “notes to my future self” but maybe for use to others who stumble across them. However, I also know that most of the current readers are family who just likes to know what is happening with us.

Thankfully, you can use the categories to just see what you are interested in. Unfortunately, for the email alerts, I’m not sure how to filter those. But hopefully titles will help. Basically, I don’t expect you to necessarily be interested in my thoughts on writing academic material for mainstream audiences, or the combining of characters in adaptations… although maybe talking about my Lecture Fail that happened a few weeks back might be embarrassingly fun.

Anyway, the categories are (currently) linked at the top of the page, or you can bookmark the following links.

Life – – This is updates on Diana, the kids, and I on what we we’re doing. Mostly just applicable to my family. (RSS feed – )

School – – All the exciting news and ideas from my teaching and grad studenting. (RSS feed – )

Writing – – Here especially is a lot of “notes to my future self”, but I’ll probably ramble about some of the issues I have come across in my writing, what my current projects are, and so on. (RSS feed – )

Weight Loss – – Nothing really new to report there, and not a whole lot on the horizon. I suppose with the nicer weather I’ll be walking more and might start losing again. We’ll see. But there’s the link in case ya want it. Usually anything will also be in the category Life, so you can most likely ignore this one. (RSS feed – )


Going to Boston and Teaching News

I have been accepted to present at the Interdisciplinary Graduate Conference on Consciousness at Boston University at the end of April! Looks like I can get travel funding from the department, so it might actually work out. I filed that paperwork and hopefully should hear soon about that.

I have never been to Boston, and chances are I will mainly just see the inside of a lecture hall for 2 days. But still it will be fun!

Not sure if I mentioned this yet, but on the teaching front, MSU asked me to teach Medical Ethics this summer. IT will be the first half of the summer  semester (mid-May to end of June), but the assistantship is for the whole summer. Might be able to squeak out making it on that and not get real job for the summer, but we’ll see. Gotta run some numbers still.

Also, next Fall, Alma is unofficially interested in me teaching 2 classes, which would be great. Plus, it will be Business Ethics again, and Medical Ethics. So both classes will be ones I have already taught which will help IMMENSELY in effort. Every single class session, I walk away with plenty of ideas of how to make it better, but just getting the initial foundation takes up all the time I spare. It seems clear to me, and talking to other professors supports this, but the first time teaching a course is by far the biggest time involvement. I imagine it was similar for my mom whenever they introduced new units into her class.

However, it’s “unofficial” for now because the provost doesn’t make staffing decisions until late May or early June. Plus, they need a minimum enrollment in order to offer the course. Hopefully neither should be a problem, but I won’t know officially until June. Although, for now the department chair has said he would like me back and is scheduling the courses according to my schedule. Plus the current provost is a professor I worked with in the cognitive science program during my undergrad. (And said he recognized me when I ran into him.) So it’s looking good.

Just in case, I let MSU know that I am interested in assisting there again. I do certainly prefer my own classroom in Alma. It is amazing how much more I learn about teaching that way, and it is far more rewarding than being a grader for someone else’s class.

Day in the Life of a Professor/Student/Father/Husband/Son

So it’s been over a month since I posted. I have had stuff I thought to post, but never quite got around to it. To help show why, here’s a run down of yesterday. It was a bit busier, but not too far from a typical day. Also, don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a complaint. Even if it feels like a semester long marathon, it still beats sitting in an office in a career I really don’t like.

  • Midnight – still up reading articles out of my business ethics textbooks finalizing what to lecture on
  • 1:30am – unwind by reading a couple chapters in a fun novel to help settle before bed
  • 2:00 am – sleep
  • 7:15 am – alarm goes off
  • 7:20 am – get out of bed, and start waking up kids. Samantha chastises me for not waking her up earlier. 😉
  • 7:30-8:20 am – help get kids ready for school, make lunches, and get them out the door more or less on time
  • 8:30 am – get clothes in the dryer so I have something to wear
  • 8:40 am – eat breakfast, check email, play a silly Facebook game
  • 9:00 am – continue business ethics reading
  • 11:00 am – little more silly Facebook game, shower
  • 11:30 am – wash a couple pots and pans, get some lunch, download Jane Austen’s Emma on audiobook to listen to on the drive (although I like Jane Austen, it’s not my top pick for driving, but I need to read it for one of my classes)
  • noon – drop off confidentiality form with my advisor for a ethics debriefing at a local hospital this evening, chat for a few minutes
  • 12:10 pm – start heading to the highway to drive up to Alma
  • 12:20 pm – realize I forgot all my books, turn around
  • 12:30 pm – get my books, make a couple Law & Order jokes since Diana is watching Svu (pronounced svoo)
  • 12:40 pm – drive to Alma, remember that I haven’t talked to my family in weeks and decide I really need to call them soon
  • 1:40 pm – get to office hours a little late, but no one shows anyway, which is alright since I still need to type my PowerPoint presentation (Keynote on iPad actually, simple but very effective)
  • 2:30 pm – Business Ethics. Talk about Relativism, discuss some international business issues.
  • 3:30 pm – end class a little early since discussion was winding down and I need to get back to Lansing for the Ethics Debrief (ended a little earlier than I wanted to, which I don’t like, but I’ll try to pack Thursday’s class more to make up for it, and I really don’t want to be late.)
  • 4:40 pm – Get down to the hospital, start looking around for the 8S conference room. When I ask at the Information desk, they reply “Uh… I guess that is 8th floor in the South Wing, I suppose.” and points me to the proper elevators. I’m not reassured.
  • 4:55 pm – After being unsure of just walking onto one of the hospital floors among the patient rooms I ask where this conference room is and find out I’m standing 5 feet from it. (It is labeled “The Conference Room” on a whiteboard that is half erased.)
  • 5:10 pm – The nurses  arrive and my advisor leads an interesting ethics debrief about pain management stemming from an issue they had recently with a patient. Ends with coming up with some recommendations that my advisor will pass along to their Ethics Board and the nursing supervisor will start pushing with her superiors.
  • 6:20 pm – Get home. Check on Diana (who is feeling sick and is lying in bed).
  • 6:30 pm – Heat up some leftovers for myself and a make a quesadilla for Samantha (her favorite make-it-real-quick meal)
  • 6:50 pm – Take Samantha and her friend to girl scouts. Break the news to the other troop co-leader that Diana is sick in bed. Find out no other parents look like they are staying, so I might need to skip class to help out (which I’m not sure I mind since I haven’t finished the reading for tonight anyway)
  • 7:00 pm – Another mom shows up and plans on staying, so I am told to go to class.
  • 7:15 pm – Get to class right behind my professor who is thankfully running late (he let us know earlier, so I knew I had some extra time tonight)
  • 8:55 pm – Have a break and call home to see how everyone is feeling and make sure Samantha got home from girl scouts ok, see an email from my Dad and feel bad that I still haven’t called them for weeks
  • 10:00 pm – Get out of class and head home
  • 10:30 pm – Get settled in and decide to read for fun and leave school reading for tomorrow
  • Midnight – After reading the same page 5 times and still having no idea what it says, decide to get to bed early.

Tuesdays and Thursdays are my long days since I have both Alma teaching and seminars at night, but Mondays and Wednesdays are usually pretty full with reading as well. It was also a bit busier because Diana was sick.

She had a long night last night since she was up until 2am working on Owen’s costume for “dress like your favorite book character” day, and then slept on the couch* until 5am when Ella came downstairs and started puking. So she hasn’t had it easy either.

Ah the joys of trying to balance all the roles in life. Still haven’t balanced it out very well, but we’re managing. And I really will call my family soon.

* Note: Diana was just sleeping on the couch to not wake me up coming to bed. But I was sleeping so deep, I didn’t even know she wasn’t there.