Friday, January 31, 2014

January 31: Thank You!

I finished many of my thank you notes while still in Texas, but I had some I still need to write.  Thus, I finished them tonight and will mail them back to San Marcos, TX tomorrow.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

January 30: Traveling

Since there were so many of us flying back into Atlanta at the same time, we were trying to coordinate rides.  Kara's husband Clayton was flying back in from a business conference in Florida about the same time I was, so instead of him having to wait hours for Kara's plane, we rode back to Athens together.  When I got to my car, there was still a good amount of snow on it.  Unfortunately, I took this picture too late and Clayton had already scrapped off all the snow on the window.  Anyway, the roads were much better than anticipated.  However, I am really glad I flew in Thursday afternoon as it was the first time the temps had reached above freezing (so the ice was finally melting).  I am sad, however, that I missed the snow in Athens.  I hope it happens again this year.  I do love snow.  Do you wanna build a snowman?  I do.
Back in Athens there was still some snow on the ground :)

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

January 29: Altanta Snow Storm 2014

Today was the third and final interview day.  I got to meet with the interim chair (who is fantastic) and the dean of the college who is a Georgia bulldawg (from the same program, many, many years ago).   After lunch, I was suppose to fly out to Atlanta, however, with the weather being what it was in ALT my flight kept being delayed.  Finally, when I was suppose to arrive back in Atlanta at 11pm at night, I asked to be moved to a morning flight.  Texas State was great in that they offered to house me another night if needed.  Luckily, some UGA friends were out in Austin for a conference and also stuck for the night.  Thus, I was able to bunk with them.  After taking a cab to meet up with them, we went to sushi for dinner.  It was delicious.  I'd love to live in Austin.  Only time will tell if that's a possibility.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

January 28: TX State Interview Day (day 2)

Today is the actually formal, interview day...well today and tomorrow.  This morning, however, a huge storm has hit Austin and San Marcos and I know it affected some people coming into work as many of the faculty live in south Austin.  Although the days are busy, it was nice that they worked in some time for me to rest (ie. before dinner).  Today I have both my research presentation and teaching demonstration back to back.  Long, albeit exciting days.

Monday, January 27, 2014

January 27: TX State Interview (day 1)

After flying into to Austin, Greg (the guy who picked me up) took me to my hotel to check in.  They put me up in the Embassy Suites in a room with a living area, two really comfy beds (although I only slept on one), free breakfast, and a free happy hour.  Yep, they have a free cocktail hour, however, I wasn't at the hotel during that time.  Anyway, it was a nice place.  After the first dinner and tour, I got back to the room before 9pm, and was definitely asleep before 9...I was tired, and I knew I had a very long couple of days ahead of me.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

January 26: Anti-Theft

When my car battery is removed from my car, an anti-theft precaution is that the radio shuts down.  This is done so that if someone tries to disconnect the battery in order to steal the radio, it will be useless.  You then must enter the code and then your radio (and all other forms of audio) will be restored.  Since I don't drive my car all that often, I realized I had put in the code since my battery had  been replaced.  This needed to change as I was about to drive to Atlanta and would want some tunes to accompany the drive.  It's a nice feature, but when you have to dig out the manual to find the code, it can become problematic.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

January 25: Outfit Planning

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain, or the disaster behind the cute outfit (now that I pointed it out, you're going to look, aren't you).  As I prepare for going to Texas State for an interview, I began planning out my outfits (and cleaning my bedroom).  This with a black sweater will be the third day of the interview outfit.  Don't you just love the skirt?!  I do.  Getting excited and nervous.

Friday, January 24, 2014

January 24: Budgeting

It's hard to not budget on a grad school salary, however, it's also virtually impossible to save under those circumstances as well.  Yesterday I went to a budgeting workshop hosted by the training and development center and today I took a good long look at my budget.  I looked at loans, income, retirement, all in an effort to be prepared for what is to come...hopefully a job.  One can only plan so much when they don't know what their income will be in the future.  But it was good to take stock of the money I have and where that money is going.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

January 23: Traveling Woes

Traveling is both fun and frustrating many times.  Tonight I got a call from my sister and somewhere during her travels from Pdx to Houston to Dallas she lost her purse.  She had retraced her steps, gone to security, and her purse was nowhere to be found.  Needless to say, she was in a bit of a panic and rightly so.  How do you get to your hotel without money or a credit card?  You can't rent the car you have on hold, you can't check into the hotel you have on reserve.  You can't do much of anything except panic and pray.  However awful this situation was, she was safe, and it did happen in a city where thankfully I know quite a few people.  I sent a text message to Kalie, Gretchen, and Allison, three former students who live in the Dallas area and asked if my sister could stay with them for the night.  I figured CJ and I could figure out something, but she needed to not be sleeping in the airport.  

All three of them volunteered.  Yes, all three.  I teared up reading the group text messages back and forth about their availability and willingness to help out my sister.  Gretchen seemed to have the best set of circumstances as her roommate was out of the country and had a spare car.  Blessing after blessing.  My sister was able to borrow Gretchen's car to get to work the next morning.  Moreover, I was able to electronically transfer money to Gretchen that she gave to my sister.  Gretchen fed my sister, took her out with her friends, and provided a place of rest and peace during this crazy stressful time.  I am so grateful for each of these women and their willingness to help my sister.  

January 22: New Battery

With the cold weather we've been having, my car has been difficult to start.  This has been happening since before the winter break.  So I finally took my car to auto zone and when they tested the battery, they couldn't even get a charge.  The guy asked when I purchased the battery last.  A good indication that you need a new battery is when you cannot remember when you last purchased one.  Yay for a new battery and a car that starts up easy.  However, when did the price of batteries rise from $50 to $90?! ... and I got the lower end as I don't believe I'll be keeping this car too much longer due to transmission issues.  That's another day.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

January 21: Heat Wave

My office has been getting warmer and warmer as the temperature outside has been getting colder.  This is not a bad thing, however, when your office becomes a little oven over the weekend and it starts to feel closer to 80, then it becomes problematic both  for working and for my chocolate.  Little did I know this wouldn't be the worst of the heat wave through the office!

Monday, January 20, 2014

January 20: Gold Level

It's official.  I've renewed my gold level status at Starbucks for another year.  In order to keep gold status, one must purchase 30 drinks (or items) over the course of the year.  My gold level expires August 29th, 2014.  Thus, I needed to make 30 purchases by then to keep the reward level.  Clearly, I made it with time to spare.  The disadvantage of making it to gold level early, is that the drinks I get between now and then don't count for gold level status for the next year.  But, I will still get my free drink ever 12, and the other perks.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

January 19: Starbucks 78@Loop 10

Spent the day working at Starbucks, this time so friends joined me!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

January 18: Sarah & Shopping

I met up with Sarah this evening at the outlets.  She drove down (in her new Rav!) from South Carolina to shop...and hang out :)  It was a nice chance to visit and catch up.  We both ended up purchasing polka dot items (are you surprised?!).  We shopped and had dinner.  We are planning to do that at least once more before graduation!  I'm so glad she lives close (ish).

Friday, January 17, 2014

January 17: Goodbye Facebook

...the app, that is.  I've been thinking about this for awhile.  Facebook is an easy way to keep up with people's lives, however, it is also a time consumer.  It's become habit to wake up and check facebook.  I also find myself checking fb while I wait (in line, or other times).  Since the app is on my phone, it makes it too easy to spend way too much time on the site.  So today, I deleted the app from my phone.  Although there are many reasons I like fb, I also don't like the amount of time I give it in my life.  With this dissertation looming, I am trying to eliminate other procrastination techniques.  Hopefully this will help.  If it doesn't, who knows, maybe I'll take another FB hiatus.  

Thursday, January 16, 2014

January 16: Practice Presentation

In a week and a half I will be interviewing at Texas State University for an Assistant Professor (tenure-track) position.  I'm still swivel between shock, excitement, and nervousness.  As part of the interview, I have to give a research presentation and a teaching demonstration.  Today I practiced my research presentation for two of my faculty.  They both offered good feedback for improvement.  It was even kind of funny to see them offer feedback and disagree with one another.  My dissertation research is such a strange beast, I really have to make it accessible to a general audience.  Next week I'm practicing my teaching demonstration in front of students.  

In other job search stuff, I have a phone interview for a Michigan State faculty position (2-year fixed term).  Frankly, I'm surprised I have an interview (but super excited).  Oh, and it will be the morning I fly out to Texas State.  Yep, fun times.  Aside from those two, I haven't heard a peep from anywhere else I've applied.  

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

January 15: Stress(ful) Release

I don't like days with back to back meetings.  It doesn't leave much time to get things done.  Nor does it allow much time for interaction with students.  Today was one of those days.  It also doesn't help when meetings run over.  It wasn't a bad day, just busy.  Two highlights, however, were my deep tissue massage (25 minutes) and coming home to January and February's issues of real simple.  My back has been bugging me for awhile.  The knots and headaches at the base of my skull are not pleasant.  I know this dang PhD is doing a number on my body.  Anyway, I found a 30 minute block to get in and have them rub the left side of my back and neck.  I am so grateful for the health center.  Ohh it helped so much.  And...the lady told me I may qualify for medical massages (under my graduate student insurance).  Definitely something to talk with my doctor about (especially since I have to go see him for my annual thyroid appointment anyway).

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

January 14: Annual Report

I spent most of the work day compiling the annual report.  No, it's not due until July 1st.  However, I want to make sure that the transition to the new director is smooth, thus I'm doing all I can to help.  

The other thing I did throughout the day was hound Hank in the registrars office.  Last week I found out that they were waiting to pull my names and email addresses until I got IRB approval.  However, if they had read my request carefully, they would have known it was approved.  I even included the IRB approval number.  Grr.  Between this goof up, and them not allowing graduate students to request, I'm on my last bit of patience with them.  Hank told me he'd work to get me the sample.  At least he's followed through with emailing me about details.  This is a step in the right direction.  Thanks Hank.

Monday, January 13, 2014

January 13: Starbucks Goofed

I waited and watched as the barista called name after name, drink after drink.  I stopped listening after awhile and got caught up writing.  A few minutes later, a guy came up with my drink, apologized about forgetting to make it, and then offered me this... a free drink next time.  Woohoo.  Thanks Starbucks.  I wasn't mad about it, it totally happens, but so nice of them to go above and beyond.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

January 12: 5&10

I learned something new.  The famous 5&10 has a bar (Hugh Acheson from Top Chef owns/cooks there).  Mallory is moving next weekend, and I'm going to miss her being so close.  She has been such a dear friend these last three and a half years.  Wow, I can't believe it's been that long.  Her friendship has been a God-send.  From sharing life through breakups, classes, writing retreats, snowpocolyspe, surgery, and so many other memories, I am incredibly grateful for Mallory!

We went to the 5&10 bar for drinks.  It was a wonderful time catching up and talking about the next stages of life.  Ohh, and the drinks were great too.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

January 11: iSL Leadership Summit

A rainy, rainy Saturday.  I wanted to be in my PJs, on the couch, with a book.  Instead, we had our iSL leadership summit for our 30 student organizations leadership.  It was pouring as we carted all our papers, food, etc across campus (other duties as assigned).  Frankly, I wondered how many would show on such a nasty day.  I was shocked almost everyone came, and they had wonderful attitudes about being there.  These students make my job so enjoyable!  

Oh, and these crazy grads (the third isn't in the picture) are almost reason alone to take the job fulltime.  I am going to miss working with these great grads!

Friday, January 10, 2014

January 10: Shnizhana

One of our iSL interns (last three summers) passed away last Tuesday.  She had liver cancer, but rarely told people because she wanted to live her life.  She didn't want pitty.  During coffee hour today we had a table dedicated to honor her. She was so involved in iSL her death hit the staff and students really hard.  Both of her parents had passed, so iSL was her family.  Friday night there was also a Greek Orthodox service (what she wanted). It was a beautiful way to say goodbye.  

Life is fleeting.  An Irish proverb was spoken at her funeral.  Death shall find me living.  This was true for her, let it be true of us. 

Thursday, January 9, 2014

January 9: Advisor Mtg

The first (of many) advising meeting of the semester happened today.  We talked about the class I'm teaching, the job search, and of course...the dissertation.  Thus far, it still looks like I'm in a good place to graduate in May. :)

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

January 8: Deadlines for Graduation

I was back at Starbucks working and writing, surprise, surprise.  Part of what I did was add all the deadlines for graduation forms to my planner.  This one, however, was the most exciting to add!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

January 7: Toothcase

Yesterday I went to my dentist (LOVE him) for a cleaning and x-rays.  No cavities! Additionally, they also gave me this handy tote for my toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss.  Yes, it's pink and sparkly.  It also has a handy pocket to put your next appointment card.  Anyway, today I got to use it!

I'm strange. I love brushing my teeth.  I love flossing.  I also love coffee.  So in order to keep the stain on my teeth to a minimum I am going to try and brush after I drink coffee.  Thus, this handy tote will travel with me in my purse or bag.  :)  They say that those with good oral hygiene are healthier overall.  It's probably because those of us who are crazy about this are also crazy about other things in our life too…like not eating partially hydrogenated oils.  Yep, guilty.

Also, the hygienist used a new form of fluoride this time, a varnish.  This crazy stuff is suppose to be really good and strengthen your teeth from the outside, however, it also stayed on my teeth a crazy long time.  I brushed for four minutes last night and again this morning to try and get all the stuff off.  Definitely felt like I had sweaters on my teeth.  Ewww.

Monday, January 6, 2014

January 6: Applied for Graduation

This is the first of many, many, forms and such I have to fill out in order to graduate in Spring.  Ohh, and I have to finish and defend my dissertation.  No big deal.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

January 5: Free Starbucks

Spent most of today working at Starbucks.  I am much more productive when I have few distractions.  Also, it helps when you get a free drink (let's not talk about how much coffee you have to drink in order to get a free reward ;).

Saturday, January 4, 2014

January 4: Young Adult Literature

I LOVE reading.  I read all the time, and lots of stuff.  Blogs, articles, books, you name it.  Although I did some productive (i.e., work & school) things, I spent many hours reading this new book, Legend.  Actually, I finished it in the wee hours of the morning.  It was a recommendation because I liked the Divergent series.  I got sucked into the novel and started (and finished) it today.  It's part of a trilogy…which could be dangerous, only, I don't own the second one yet (phew).  If only I was getting my PhD in young adult literature.

Friday, January 3, 2014

January 3: Brrr

This morning on the way to work, I was freezing.  In part because I wasn't adequately dressed (maybe that had a lot to do with it).  The temps for the upcoming days are suppose to be colder.  Time to pull out the peacoat!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

January 2: iSL Spring Orientation

Today was a long, tired, but good day.  We had our international spring orientation.  This orientation is much smaller than the fall week long orientation, yet still an important way to welcome our new international students.  I crashed when I got home.  Jet lag, and a day of running around will do that to a person.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

January 1: New Year, New Toy

For Christmas my dad got me a new lens for my camera.  Unfortunately, the Best Buy in Oregon didn't have it in stock (even though it looked like they did).  Moreover, there weren't any Best Buy's close that had it.  Instead, I had to pick it up in the Athens store when I got home.  This wouldn't have been a big deal other than 1. I wanted to play with it while in OR and 2. my dad then had to pay tax.
So even after an extremely long travel day back to Athens, I went to the store and picked up my new lens! AND, I played around with it a bit.  I'm going to enjoy this lens.  More pictures to come later (I'm sure of it).