October 30, 2007

And since I’m on the subject of bitching…

Posted in The musings of Erin at 1:47 pm by Erin

More student annoyances!  Today has been one of those days where everything is going fine personally (the ILs are gone, J and I went to lunch and had Middle Eastern food–yum, P woke up in a good mood and was perfectly happy to be at school, we’re carving our pumpkin tonight) but in my professional life, it sucks.  My first reaction to "stupid" questions/complaints is to want to be sarcastic; thankfully, I’ve learned to think before I speak in most cases.

First situation: my class this morning had a test.  The class is difficult and it’s a lot of material for them to cover.  A couple of students complained that they’re afraid that I’m making things too difficult on them because the national board exam last year only had 16 questions on this subject in it; they don’t understand why they need to learn all of this now when they could just pick up a reference book and figure it out when they need it.

This is what I said: first, the patients will have a whole lot more confidence in them if they at least look like they have an idea of what they’re talking about.  Second, when their practice has them seeing a million patients a day, they don’t have time to look up the info for every single patient.  Third, they can’t pick up a reference book on the national board exam.

This is what I wanted to say: you’re right, it is too hard.  You don’t really need to know this much even though the people who write the exam whose guidelines I use to develop the class seem to think you do.  When you come back after failing the exam, I’d love to be able to say "Gee, sorry you failed it but at least you got an A in my class because it was so easy!"

Second situation: I just had a couple of students show up from my anatomy class.  They’re learning the skeletal muscles right now and, quite frankly, it’s the most boring part of the entire semester.  They have to memorize over 100 of them–function and location.  I made up a lovely list for them with all of the information on it and put it online on Saturday.  I told them that it’s rote memorization to get through this–start now and they’ll have it done by the test a week from tomorrow.  We’ll be finishing the chapter on Monday and their test is Wednesday.  The students who came by want to know why they only have 9 days to memorize so much information.  Why can’t we have the test the following Monday and just start new material next Wednesday?  (And one has a field trip that will take most of the weekend–it’s not fair that she won’t have that time to study.)

This is what I said: how much time do you really want?  Because presenting new material on Monday and having a test on Wednesday happens in every college class*.  You don’t have to wait until Monday to start memorizing the muscles that we learn on Monday–everything we’re going to talk about then is on the list that I put up over the weekend.  If we move the test to the following Monday and start new material on Wednesday, I can guarantee than 2/3 of the class won’t be there on Wednesday.  So we won’t be moving the test again.

What I wanted to say (knowing that one student’s goal is med school and the other’s is dental hygiene): do you really think that you’re going to make it through medical programs without being able to learn material at this pace?  This is slow compared to some of those programs.  Quit complaining and deal with it–this is not high school any more!  9 days to memorize 100+ muscles is 12-13/day–that’s hardly undoable.


*Case in point, the students in my non-majors’ class have a test tomorrow and learned the last of the material yesterday.  Not ONE of them has complained that it’s not fair.

October 29, 2007

I just keep repeating “They live 2000 miles away…they live 2000 miles away”

Posted in The musings of Erin at 12:00 pm by Erin

J and my ILs took P to the zoo late Sunday morning and early afternoon.  I stayed home to get some work done (and blog).  I met them at a restaurant for a late lunch, at which point I was informed that P had run away from them at the zoo and had only been returned when a police officer found him.

Apparently it was NOT okay for me to unthinkingly blurt out "But there were three of you!" when first told this story.  Somehow, it was highly insulting that I was shocked that three grown adults let a 3-year old walk so far ahead of them that they couldn’t catch up to him when he decided that he’d like to run away.  I especially couldn’t understand why they let him walk way ahead when P has been actively testing every single limit he’s been given since my ILs got here.  It didn’t remotely surprise me that he’d tried to run away given his behavior lately.  It surprised me that they let him get so far ahead that a 3-year-old could outrun his 30-year-old father and grandparents. 

I’m not sure which of us was happiest when they left an hour after we got home from the restaurant.

October 28, 2007

I missed my blogiversary

Posted in The musings of Erin at 10:01 am by Erin

Let’s just say that missing my 2nd blogiversary wasn’t exactly the thing that has been most stressing me out lately.  Remember all those posts I wrote last week?  Well, I also wrote another one on Thursday night.  Luckily, I copied and pasted it into Word as my internet died.  It’s below:

From last Thursday: "Clearly, the world decided I was not nearly bitter and disillusioned and angry enough today.  Because at some point while I was in the dental hygiene clinic from 2-3 this afternoon, someone came into my cubicle and stole my backpack.

Thankfully, a colleague found it in the conference room on the floor and the only thing that had been removed was my flash drive–none of my books or the pile of ungraded tests (so I feel pretty sure it wasn’t a bitter and disillusioned anatomy student).  They can have my $20 flash drive.  I don’t care.  But we’ve been begging them to put permanent locks the outer doors to the floor with our cubicles on it since last year, and they’ve not yet gotten around to it.  And when I went to public safety to tell them what happened and to again ask that they keep the door locked, they didn’t even bother to make a record that a theft had happened.

They talk about trying to combat crime problems on campus.  Bullshit.  This is a simple solution–put on door locks that can’t be unlocked permanently.  They would lock behind us.  We all have keys.  Or key-card access.  We all have ID cards.  Then students would have to call our desks to be let up, and we would have to get up and let them in.  If we weren’t there, they couldn’t come in.  It means there would not be anyone on the floor who wasn’t a faculty member or directly escorted by a faculty member at all times.  And unless it was a faculty member who stole my backpack, things like this wouldn’t happen.

No, I wasn’t nearly angry or bitter enough earlier.  But now I am."


As if that wasn’t enough, I brought a frozen lunch on Tuesday (Kashi black bean and mango–mmmmmmmmmmmmmm).  J and I ended up going to lunch instead, so I figured that I would just eat it on Wednesday.  You’ll never guess whose lunch had been taken by Wednesday at 12:30.

On Monday night, I left messages on my IL’s cell phones to ask what time they would be here on Thursday.  They flew into Ohio and were driving down here and, as of the last time we’d spoken to them, they were planning on being here on Thursday.  Imagine my surprise when, as J and I were at lunch on Tuesday, he explained that they’d called him that morning to say that they thought they were coming that day–they were about to leave Ohio.  Thankfully, he said that wasn’t possible.  They agreed to take an extra day on the way down and come in on Wednesday instead.  Great.  Wednesday is only my busiest day, and I was only running the longest lab that we run all semester that afternoon, thereby ensuring that I wouldn’t be able to get home before 6 p.m. at the earliest.

And that was especially great because I didn’t have any plans to do any work or grading on Tuesday night.  I enjoyed staying up until 3 a.m. (most of it with J’s help) to get all of the cleaning, menu planning, grocery shopping, ironing, laundry, and grading done before they came in; then I really enjoyed getting up by 6 a.m. so that I could get the stew into the crockpot and ingredients into the bread machine (along with showering and all normal morning activities) so that P and I could leave by 7:15 for school and work.  It was especially fun to get home at nearly 6:30 p.m. after 10 hours at work (with no lunch, since it had been stolen), 3 hours of sleep, and have to entertain people for the rest of the evening.  People who didn’t seem to care that we hadn’t gotten any sleep the night before and had to work the next day. 

AND it’s been extra fun to have two extra people in the house when the tile cutter we bought was a piece of crap and we couldn’t cut any of the tiles, the guest bathroom looks like this Bathroom5 Bathroom6 , and we’ve got one shower for 5 people.  My FIL was insistent that we finish it while he was here, and we were equally insistent that we wanted to rent a wet saw just once when we can cut the tiles for both bathrooms, and that we want the practice before we do the kitchen floor.  So he was insulted because we didn’t want him to do our bathroom floor for us.  My MIL was insulted because I didn’t go with them to the zoo today so that I could get some work done.  P’s mad at me because the only time I’ve really had any interaction with him over the last 5 days has been for disciplinary purposes.  I haven’t gotten to read a single bedtime story or any other books, haven’t gotten to play with him but for 5 minutes this morning, and he’s been pushing every single limit that exists because his grandparents don’t hold him to those when they’re around.  At their house, that’s fine.  At my house, my rules still exist.  And he knows that they disapprove of much of it, so he tests them constantly.

It’s just been a great visit. 

I have three classes who are behind in their material, two of which have tests this week (and thus students are panicked) and one of which has one next week.  I’m sick (allergies or a cold, I can’t tell), I am WAY behind in my work, and I’m pissed-off at the world and frustrated about everything.  I’m short-tempered, exhausted, and am counting the days until Thanksgiving so that maybe I can catch up a little.  Then again, I’m now also getting pressure from my family to come up there for Thanksgiving.  We can’t do it, either time-wise or financially (not even close), but they’re still making us feel guilty about it.

Any my grandmother just called.  I didn’t take the call but will have to call her back sometime soon.  I just couldn’t handle it today.

Tell me it’s going to get better. 

October 19, 2007

More grandmotherly annoyances

Posted in All ahead to adoption at 3:22 pm by Erin

Because there weren’t enough of them, right?  This is one of the things that is contributing to my mood.

My parents went to visit my mom’s mother a couple of weeks ago.  According to my mom, my grandmother wants to know what’s taking so long with this adoption.  After all, aren’t there millions of orphans in Ethiopia simply waiting to be plucked from the streets and thrust into the arms of strangers from another country?  (Sorry, that’s my interpretation on her thoughts.  I’m in a bitter mood–bear with me.)  Is there something wrong?  Shouldn’t we have brought home a child by now? 

Mind you, she can’t bring herself to think of him as another grandson–he’s a child, not even our child.  We won’t be seeing her very often after he comes home.  Thankfully, we don’t see her often now.

P and I drove down to her house this summer to visit for a couple of days, and I mentioned to my dad that we might try to do it again next summer so that they can meet.  He suggested that, if we could stand it (Dad’s got a pretty accurate view of what’s going on), we fly her up here for a couple of days so I don’t have to make the 12-hour each way drive to her house with two kids.

No.  Absolutely not.  Couldn’t stand it.  I would rather drive 24 hours round-trip by myself for 3 days at her house than have her at my house for 3 days.  At her house, we can escape if we need to.  Her balance isn’t great and she’s not a fan of the beach, so I can easily take the boys and say "We’re going to the beach–I promised them we would."  And we can be gone for a few hours.  Since we’ll be driving, we could even leave if things were to get bad.  And frankly, I think we need the potential escape route until I see how she is with our new son.  If she treats him differently than P, or makes terrible comments, that’ll be the end of the visit.  If she’s staying at our house, there’s no escape until her flight home.

Anyway, that was completely aside from her original comments.  I’m bitter and my thoughts are disjointed–bear with me a bit longer. 

My mom told her that if she had questions, she should ask me; however, my own mother phrased it in a way that meant she suspected the same thing as my grandmother–there must be something wrong.  I can’t describe it with words; you would have had to have heard the way she said it and her tone to get that.  I said "Mom, if she asks you again, just tell her that the 3-6 month wait we told her about didn’t start until after our dossier was approved.  That was less than 6 weeks ago."  I explained again that our agency would not have approved our dossier if they thought we wouldn’t make it through courts–our agency has been working in Ethiopia for many years and they know what’s going to be acceptable and what isn’t.  Nothing’s wrong.  She reiterated that she won’t tell my grandmother that, that my grandmother will have to call me.  Call me a horribly evil granddaughter, but I just can’t be enthusiastic about this woman, grandmother or not.

I guess it seems long to them because now we’ve been talking openly about adopting from Ethiopia for well over a year.  (Which kind of makes a mockery out of their opinions that we don’t know what we’re doing and haven’t looked into it enough…sorry, sorry.  The bitterness is overwhelming today.)  It is a long time since we first mentioned it but we started the application process just under 8 months ago.  We could have done it faster.  We might have shaved a couple of months off the application process and yes, if we’d done that, we might already have a referral.  But we didn’t.  We were thoughtful and deliberate, and sometimes we were a little overwhelmed and had to put it aside for a bit.  So it took 6 months to do our initial application, our homestudy, our complete dossier, and get immigration approval.  That’s not particularly long.

If I’d gotten pregnant, they wouldn’t be looking at it 8 months later and saying "Why is this taking so long?  Is something wrong?"  But apparently, even watching us go through the process, they think you only have to say "I’d like a child, please" and someone pops one into your arms.

Next time, I’m not telling them we’re pursuing another adoption until our dossier is approved.  Maybe not until referral.  But almost definitely before travel.  Probably.

October 18, 2007

Feeling small and petty

Posted in TTC woes at 5:00 pm by Erin

Three of the five couples from my first class series as a Bradley natural childbirth teacher have not only had their first baby, but a second in the past few months.  The other two couples were having a second child (the first was by birth in one family and by adoption in the other).  I only had one couple in my second series, and they’re expecting a second baby in two months. 

I started teaching in May 2005.  We had been TTC#2 for 6 months.  It was no time at all, but I remember starting that first series and thinking "It’s a 3 month class–I’ll probably be pregnant before the end of it."  I was back on Metformin, and I’d gotten pregnant with P very quickly after starting Metformin the first time, so why shouldn’t I have expected it to work again?

Now, 2 1/2 years later, we have an-almost 4 year old son who wants to know when his little brother is coming home.  It is tearing me up.  My heart breaks for all of us.  We’ve been trying to make him a big brother for almost 3 years now. 

P asks about his little brother every day.  We include him in our prayers.  And P will say "My little brother might be little like Jessie or Micah" (children of friends, 8 months and 22 months, respectively).  And it brings home to me that he’s got to be prepared not only for having a little brother whose age we don’t yet know, but for the emotional issues that go along with adoption of a toddler.  It’s a lot for a 3-year old to understand.  I get resentful that we can’t just get out books about the baby in Mama’s tummy and how it will come out. 

These days, I dread it when someone says "Do you have any news about the adoption?"  I want to be snarky and say "Why yes, we brought home three children two weeks ago–did we forget to mention it?"  But I can’t because I know that everyone is asking out of love and excitement for us, and I can’t bring myself to be rude when they absolutely don’t deserve it.  It does bring back my reasons for not sharing that we were TTC with practically anyone IRL–I didn’t want to have to deal with these same kinds of questions.  Well-meaning or not, they still serve to remind me that nothing is happening.  Nothing.  And that’s something I try to forget as often as possible.

I get resentful that we didn’t have to share that information when we were TTC–if we’d gotten pregnant, that would have been that.  But we had to start talking about adoption extremely early in the process so that people could "get used to the idea".  No one needs to "get used to the idea" that a married couple with a child is pregnant again, but everyone needs time to "get used to the idea" that a married couple with a biological child is adopting a child of another race from another country. 

I resent the fact that we have to not only put our lives on the lines for various governments and agencies to be judged as parents, but also for those who are supposed to love and support us no matter what.  And then we’re supposed to meekly listen when they tell us that we’re doing the wrong thing.  No one would have dared say that if we’d gotten pregnant, but it’s OK to say it when we’re adopting.

I resent my Bradley classes and students.  I even resent having to move the fucking furniture out of my living room twice a week.  I’ve never felt this kind of resentment about teaching before–even when I was right in the midst of failed cycles, it never lasted this long.  Every class I hold right now, I think "Only five more weeks of these people.  Only two more weeks of these people."  I hate that I think of my students more as a $325 check than people who I genuinely want to teach.  I hope it’s not coming across, but I don’t know if it is or not.  And quite frankly, I can’t find the energy to care a whole lot about it.

I’m resentful and depressed and angry at myself.  I hate that I get resentful over people being excited and happy for us, and wanting to know if there’s any news, and then I also get resentful over people being unenthusiastic and questioning our decisions as being the right ones. 

The act of actually bringing home a child seems so far removed from the whole process of adoption to this point that I can’t connect the two.  All I can see is the piles of paperwork and staggering amounts of money that have gone out the door, and the days and weeks and months of nothing that loom ahead.  They seem endless, impenetrable.  The idea that they will end with a son in my arms seems almost laughable–how could we possibly be so gullible as to believe that could actually happen?

This is mostly why I haven’t been posting lately.  I just can’t see anything hopeful at all.

October 17, 2007

And to think, this is just practice for the kitchen floor

Posted in The musings of Erin at 8:00 pm by Erin

P will either be a very handy man to have around someday, or he’ll be one who insists that everything get hired out to be done by other people.  I’m betting on the former based on how much he enjoys helping us.  Then again, he also gets an awful lot of pleasure by just watching us do all of the work while he just lounges around, lining up dinosaurs to help with the watching.  Maybe he’s destined for upper management–he’s very good at supervising.  "Mama, you didn’t scrape over there!"  "Daddy, move the potty in the other room now!"

I was e-mailing my friend Christy the other day (and yes, we definitely have to get together) and saying something blithely smug like "Oh, it probably won’t be more than $50 and a few hours to do the floor in there, since it’s so tiny."  And tiny it is–the guest bathroom only has about 32 square feet of flooring.  Eensy.  Weensy.

We bought, first and foremost, a book about tiling floors–henceforth to be known as The Tile Bible.  Since we’d never done anything like this before, we decided that might be a good thing to buy.  On The Tile Bible’s suggestion, we also bought the tiles (12" x 12"), the mortar, a bucket to mix the mortar, backerboard, a tile cutter, a scraper to remove the linoleum glue from the subfloor, tile spacers, a mortar mixer, grout, cheesecloth to clean the grout off the tiles, a grout spreader, and a million other little things that were inexpensive independently but added up to just under $300.  Gulp. 

The only redeeming part of that is that half of it will be reused.  We’re planning on doing our bathroom floor next (only 29 square feet of flooring space), followed by the kitchen this winter.  The kitchen frightens us.  It’s 244 square feet.  And there are two layers of linoleum on top of the subflooring.  But we need to do it before we try to sell the house–its absolutely hideous.  I’ll post pictures when we get to that.

For now, though–the tale of the guest bathroom!  After 90 minutes at Ho.me Despot, we returned home to the bathroom.  I removed the floor edging, which was water damaged and needs to be replaced (unexpected expense #1–after all of the unexpected expenses at the store).  After that, The Tile Bible recommended that we remove the toilet, as we would likely need to tile right up to it and it would make the cuts easier.  We attempted to do so, only to find that the nuts were rusted to the bolts and couldn’t be separated.  We oiled it and rocked it, hoping to loosen them.  Unfortunately, all we did was to crack a large piece off the base of it (replacing the toilet–unexpected expense #2)…but it was still attached to the floor.  So we gave up for a while and scraped off the floor.

Peel-and-stick tile is evil to remove.  Very, very evil. 

We followed the recommendations of The Tile Bible to a T.  Actually, the tile itself scraped off easily.  The glue underneath is horrendous.  J’s been working on it now since Sunday with a razor scraper tool.  It’s coming, but slowly.

Later on Saturday, J returned to Ho.me Despot to buy a new hacksaw blade that would be suitable for removing metal screws.  He spoke to the person there and returned home empty handed, determined to use our Dremmel tool to do it.  And it worked!  Hurrah!  We moved the toilet out of the way…only to find more water damage than we’d realized on that piece of the subflooring.  It will need to be replaced (unexpected expense #3).  On the bright side, that means we don’t have to scrape that piece.  8 square feet done, 24 to go.

Here’s what it looked like on Sunday after we’d gotten the toilet off and started scraping (I apologize for the quality of the pictures–our camera died and we haven’t bought a new one yet, so I’m using my phone):


Here’s what it looks like today, three days later.  The toilet has been moved again so that more scraping could be done:


And here are a few of the tiles laid out in there, to give a general idea of what it will look like when it’s actually done:


The color’s really bad in this picture, so here’s another link to the tile itself.  It’s called Verona Beige.  It’s porcelain tile with a slight texture to it, which will be a good thing in the bathroom.

Normally, taking longer on this project wouldn’t be such a big deal.  We’ve got another full bathroom upstairs and a half-bathroom downstairs, so it’s not like the 3 of us are sponge-bathing at the kitchen sink.  But my ILs are coming next Thursday and the grout will require 3 days of "misting" (according to The Tile Bible) before it is really used a lot.  Before we get to grouting, we need a layer of mortar, the backerboard, another layer of mortar, the tiles, and then finally, the grout.  Before we can do any of that, the scraping needs to be done.  And once the grout is "cured", we need to install an as-yet-unbought new toilet and seal it to the floor.

I must stop watching these design shows, though!  I saw a beautiful vanity that would be perfect in that bathroom and desperately want to buy it.  It wouldn’t be too hard to switch around the plumbing to install a new sink–I’ve watched it on TV a million times!  (Seriously, that wouldn’t be hard.)  But then we’d have to tile under the new vanity since the one we have comes down to the floor and the new one is on legs.  J has reserved judgement until after he sees how the floor looks.  He concedes that renovations to the bathroom will likely pay off pretty well when we sell the house, and that bathroom is by far the most boring one we have.  The vanity would make it a bit nicer.

And The Tile Bible, while wonderfully useful and very simple, has also made me feel like I could do just about any flooring project that I wanted.  Like installing radiant heating under the floor (that we would have to put down) in our basement.  It’s the same problem as the design shows.  J and I are reasonably handy.  Not amazingly so, but we did manage to build my greenhouse.  And rebuilt our front steps.  We can do simple projects pretty well.  But these shows, and now this book, make me feel like even a klutz such as myself can do anything we darned well please

I just have a bit too much confidence in us sometimes.  Perhaps I should wait until the 244-square-foot kitchen is done before I contemplate any more projects.  Did I mention that it has not one but two layers of peel-and-stick tile on it?  And that there are also a number of squeaks that we need to repair?

Don’t worry.  We have The Tile Bible.

October 14, 2007

Things I should never say

Posted in The musings of Erin at 12:14 pm by Erin

"J, I think I’ve got too much work to do this weekend to go camping.  But as long as we’re going to be here, we can retile the guest bathroom floor–that won’t take too much time."

(Update, complete with pictures, to follow.)

October 10, 2007

The day that wouldn’t end

Posted in The musings of Erin at 10:38 am by Erin

First, thank you so much for the lovely comments and nice things you all said.  It made me feel all warm and gooshy to read them.

Perhaps I shouldn’t have asked for luck in giving the talk, though.  Perhaps I should have asked for luck in actually MAKING it to the talk.

I was scheduled to speak at 2:30.  It was supposed to be a 1 hour 45 minute drive (the talk wasn’t at Emory, it was elsewhere), and I got out of class at 12:15.  Should have had plenty of time, right?  Except that it took me 15 minutes to set up the midterm for my students for that afternoon (a colleague proctored it for me).  So I’ve still got a few minutes, right?  Then I got stuck in traffic in downtown Atlanta from 1 p.m until after 1:30.  Then I got lost on my way to the actual conference center.  Then I went to the wrong conference center on the grounds–they have two, they’re several miles apart.

By the time I got there, it was just after 3 and they’d broken for the afternoon until 6.  I had to leave by 5:30 to make it back for choir rehearsal that night.  So I spoke with some of my former professors, which was nice*.  Then I spoke to my advisor, who’d given an impromptu "This is how Erin ended up where she did, since she’s not here to tell you herself."  In the 5 minutes he spoke, he apparently referenced how after I had P, my priorities changed (true) and I no longer wanted to work at Hopkins or Cornell or someplace like that (true).  But the way he said it…(in his own words) "It was a little bumpy when her priorities changed after having her son, but she made it through.  Even though the previous graduate students in the lab did go onto high-powered, top-end post-docs at Harvard and St. Jude’s and Duke, Erin decided to go a different route."

Mind you, I worked just as many hours in the lab after having P.  But since 3 or 4 of them were done before he got there each day, those didn’t count.  And weekends, they also didn’t count.  The only hours that counted were the 2 hours I left before he did every afternoon. 

So I drove for almost 5 hours round-trip to spend an hour there, during which time I was made to feel smaller than small by my jackass former advisor.  I knew there was a reason I couldn’t wait to get out of his lab.

I got back to Atlanta at about 5:30 and could have gone home, but figured it would take another 20 minutes to get there, P and J wouldn’t be home yet, and I had to leave by 7 to drive the 20 minutes back to where I already was for choir rehearsal.  So I stayed near the rehearsal hall and had a lovely dinner while reading a book.  Then I went into rehearsal.  Boy, it was awfully dark in there…  Oh wait, it’s Columbus Day.  There’s no rehearsal.  But I missed last week’s rehearsal, having only gotten 3 hours of sleep the night before, and missed the reminder.  So I’d wasted another 2 hours that I could have been sleeping at home.  I walked in the door and J asks "How was your singing?"  I had already told him what happened during the afternoon.  When I explained that there wasn’t a rehearsal, he asked, "Should you have even gotten out of bed this morning?"

No.  No I shouldn’t have.


DD, talking to you on the drive home was the highlight of the day.  Thank you so much for taking that time out of the middle of your day!

And I’ve declined the honorarium that I was going to be paid.  I can’t in good conscience accept it since I didn’t actually do what I was supposed to do.


*That part was nice–the vast majority of my professors were nothing like my advisor.  They were wonderful and intelligent people who wanted nothing more than to make a successful student out of each of us.  And they said they’d still like to have me give my talk on Emory’s campus at a symposium in the spring.  So at least the weekend that I spent putting it together wasn’t wasted.

October 7, 2007

So very nervous

Posted in The musings of Erin at 8:09 pm by Erin

I have been invited by my graduate program at Emory to give an alumni lecture at their annual retreat.  It’s only a 30 minute talk about what I’ve been doing since I graduated.  Not very many students from my program go on to teach at community colleges–we’re supposed to go on and be faculty members at research one institutions, work at big pharmaceutical companies, or work in intellectual property and patent law firms.  All after years of post-doctoral work, of course.

Not me.  I graduated, stayed home with my son for 6 months, and then started teaching.  Not a minute of cutting-edge science research have I done since the day I finished my dissertation, and I love it.  I think that’s why I’m such a puzzle to most of the faculty at Emory.

So I’m nervous in two ways: one, because I’m giving a talk as a professional to many faculty members of my graduate school, who were my mentors in the recent past–and I want them to know that I’m using what they’ve shown me in the classroom, if not in the lab; and two, because I really want to convey how great this kind of job is and that it’s not letting anyone down to not do science research at a huge school.

Except my mother and grandmother, of course.

October 4, 2007

How to break a mother’s heart

Posted in All ahead to adoption at 6:54 am by Erin

P, in the car yesterday afternoon:

"Mama, why are we leaving my little brother in Ethiopia for so long?"