Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Off on a aufregend adventure

For the first time I'm visiting a country alone that I have no chance of understanding the language - Germany! Everywhere else I've been with people who knew the language or I knew it enough to get by. I'm assuming the Frankfurt airport will have signs in English and I'll figure out how to get to the shuttle that will take me to see my best friend stationed there. But it might be a big adventure of not knowing what the heck to do. Exciting! I'll post an update when I get back.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Dear Abby

Happy birthday to a very generous, caring, humorous friend and cnidarian biologist! Thinking of you with a smile today!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Student answers that make you go "hmmmm"

SS's tales of student answers never fail to make me laugh. Given that the school where I'm teaching is supposedly populated with "high functioning" students selected for their intellectual prowess (or whatever), I was curious as to what types of answers I would see. Here's one from the stats exam I am currently grading:

"I don't have the formula on my notecard, so here's a picture of a mommy elephant and her baby." And yes, there's a picture of a mommy elephant and her baby.

The hubby says I should give this student an A+.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Reunions, Retreats, Conferences and Collaborations

'Tis the time to start thinking about next year (It's not too early, in fact, I may have already screwed up my two best conferences [see below]).

For many many reasons, I want to see more of you more often (I miss having in person friends. I figure the next best thing to having in person friends in town would be to be in the same town as dear friends).

Here are some potential opportunities [with my comments] (and my likelihood of being there).

Groundhog Party Weatherford, OK, early February (I will be there).

GBDK RETREAT (?) Weatherford, OK. Please come bake pies, knit and hang out. If we plan in advance, we could find cheap airfares here from Chicago, St. Louis, and Kansas City and probably Nebraska, Utah, Ohio and California (not so sure about PA, NY, TN and HI). I would love to have you. February? April?

GBDK Mini-Reunion Late March, Lawrence. (I'll be in Lawrence for the Society of Self Fellowship Meeting {ACK! I'll be President} SalSis might host something if we ask nicely).

Case Study Teaching Workshop May, Buffalo NY [I received an award from my previous institution to go this past May, but didn't as I was moving. Would like to go, don't know if I can get funding or time. There is also a shorter conference in September each year.]

Party Formerly Known as Wallystock North of Lawrence, KS Memorial Day Weekend [I'm in no way in charge, but this party has become a great tradition. K and T often come from Michigan and SalSis goes.] (I intend to be there.)

ABLE Conference New Mexico June {Association of Biology Laboratory Education} [my university is big into sending people to ABLE, which is apparently a small, very friendly conference of biology educators and is very useful. My dept. is sending a van loadful down to New Mexico] (I will probably be in Hawaii instead).

BOTANY 2011 St. Louis July 9-13 {Society for Economic Botany and Botanical Society of America} [Part of me is very excited to have all sorts of plant nerds together at once, part of me is sad that I can't go to my little SEB conference where I actually know people.] (I may be there, I may have just committed to doing high school teacher workshops in Weatherford then).

AP Bio Grading June 9-15 Kansas City [I've always wanted to do this with Beth and Jennifer. The pay is great for a week of intense work.] (I'll probably be in Hawaii and I've never applied).

ESA Austin, TX Aug. 7-12 (I did not like the ESA conference the one time I went, but good friends could change my mind) (We just missed the Ecology and Education summit. Drat.)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Gerber: A contest behind the contest!

So I entered Andrew in the Gerber baby cuteness contest. I did this because a woman here (out of the blue) said her neighbor's kid was a winner and Andrew was 'So cuuute,' and because a Friend in Kansas entered her adorable baby for August and I thought, 'Great! I enter for September and we're not competing against each other.'

I finally read the fine print today.

We're not competing for the MONTHLY prize (a HD video camera that WOULD be sweet to have!), but we ARE competing for the grand prize of a $25,000 college scholarship that would be stupendous to have and also a slot in a TV ad (of questionable value, though doubtless an interesting experience). Sorry Friend in Kansas.

The contest didn't really add up from the get-go, though. Whoever can rally the most votes from friends and family wins the prize. I never understood how this guaranteed Gerber the cutest little star for their ad. Nevertheless, I voted daily for the adorable baby of Friend in Kansas, hoping to win them a scholarship.

After reading the fine print, I feel scammed. Turns out my votes had nothing to do with the scholarship. Voting by friends and family only goes toward the (admittedly SWEET) monthly prize of a HD DVD camera. Buried in the fine print is a little bit about how a panel of Gerber personnel select the grand prize winner. I would be totally psyched if the winner were either my cute one or Friend in Kansas's adorable baby. With almost 15,000 submissions (and counting), though, I hardly feel like we're directly competing (even though our 2 are the cutest, of course!).

Anyway, if you're motivated to vote for us to receive the SWEET HD video camera, you can vote at: http://www.gerber.com/photo/#/login/
You will need to register once. Each time you vote, they email you a link to click on to complete the vote. You can vote once per day for a given email address and for a given computer.

(Those of you on FB know how much I would LOVE a better video camera!!)

Friday, October 1, 2010


A four day weekend to visit Beth in Chicago in the middle of the semester seemed like a good idea back in August. Now that I am here it still seems like a good idea :), though it is a bit stressful with school work.

Anyway - will post pictures, if Beth can find the camera.