Hi friends, I hope that you are having a wonderful holiday season! I am looking for book suggestions-- I recently finished reading the Harry Potter books to my grandmother and she really loved them. Now I am looking for a new book or book series to read to her. She really seems to enjoy mysteries, detective stories, and history, but I'm open to most anything so long as it isn't too violent or R-rated. Any suggestions?
Saturday, December 17, 2011
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Once again, it is the week (basically) when Irene, Jennifer and Jenny all age one year. As usual, it is also the week of Thanksgiving and a week that I will forget them if I don't post all at once.
Happy Birthday ladies! May you have (or I hope you had) a fantastic day followed by a fabulous year.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
This clip combines three of my favorite things - Kingdom Animalia, Betty White, and the song Africa.
(How does one make a youtube video show in a post?)
I'm off to Haiti on Sunday. I'll post an update from there.
PS - Check this out about a prof here
Monday, October 24, 2011
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Monday, October 17, 2011
. arrived Friday (Oct. 14) at a healthy size (7 lb. 10 oz. and 19.5 inches). She and Beth are still in the hospital (c-section because Sophie was breach) but should be returning home very soon.
Obviously, she's a beautiful young thing and hoping for early admission to the Starfleet Academy.
Monday, October 10, 2011
This semester, I'm being very nice to my class and giving them a few 'attendance quizzes'. As the course proceeds, I thought that these quizzes could be a good opportunity to get some feedback about the class if the student chose to do so. If so, the student would need to feel comfortable giving me feedback because their names would be on the paper.
Posted by Cheryl at 6:46 AM
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Several GBKs moved over the summer and I'm not sure where everyone is, geographically or otherwise.
Please tell us where your at (and if I don't have your current e-mail or physical address [Cathy, I know this is you, I'm not sure who else] write me at my plant nerd account so that I have it).
Where are you?
Posted by Sparkling Squirrel at 8:55 PM
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Once in a while I get an invitation to review a manuscript. Not sure how I got on the list, or if they are even legit (and I haven't paid attention to if it's always the same journal, this one is an env. mon. journal). Why would someone want me to review a paper about critters on a coast? Am I in their database now and they randomly choose a name, or do they truly try to match papers with expertise? I once received an invite to review a paper pertinent to my work, but I knew someone even ore knowledgeable so I recommended him. Insights anyone?
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
The newest addition to our family arrived last Wednesday (August 17) at 9:19 pm. She weighed 7 lbs 1 oz and was 20 inches long. All are well, but very tired and sore - thank goodness the grandparents arrive tomorrow :) Stelios and I are very happy (he is such a doting father).
Posted by Cheryl at 5:56 PM
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
UPDATE - Trail 1 - Non-waterproof diorama. I can point out watershed details on this.
Anyone have ideas of where to buy or how to make a small plastic model of a watershed? Something like what's on this page. I'm looking for one to use in Haiti for teaching (I'm planning a fall trip). It has to be small enough to fit in my backpack (<12in x 12in), and already in one assembled piece since I may not have time to set something up. I could try making one, like the one in that webpage, then melt a sheet of plastic over it, maybe a piece of lamination plastic or something from a craft store. Anyone have experience with craft store melty plastic (if such a thing exists)? Or modeling clay that holds shape and water, and won't crack when my backpack gets tossed around? Thanks! (PS I'm taking the intro to Creole class here this fall!)
Posted by salsis at 7:24 PM
Saturday, August 6, 2011
Saturday, July 23, 2011
Friday, July 15, 2011
I really don't think of myself as a particularly sentimental person, but somehow I find myself teary and nostalgic about lots of different things.
This week, the end of the space shuttle program and the last Harry Potter movie both have me weepy (not to mention things associated with the Women's World Cup).
Anybody else get choked up over the "ending of an era"?
As far as feeling old, when Kate and William married back in April, I was going to write about things one drags oneself out of bed to witness-- I remember the excitement of watching Charles and Dianna's wedding fresh (although I probably did not stay up for it) and that same year I was up at 3 am several times to view the first shuttle launch on television. First shuttle launch and royal wedding were a big part of my third grade year. In April I was going to ask how many of the rest of you were up for either when it struck me that we're not actually all the same age. Somehow Jenny and Irene watching shuttle launches at Dianthus's age probably didn't make the same impression.
Posted by Sparkling Squirrel at 9:49 AM
Monday, July 11, 2011
Since it happens so rarely, I had to post it. We're having knitting group at my house Wed. night since Tuscon Trekker is in town. Email me for details! And a Chinese friend is moving in with me. She's excited to take Sally for walks. I'm excited for her cooking and pet sitting.
Saturday, July 2, 2011
Because it is so funny, in that absurdest horrible kind of way, and because I want to make you all laugh as well as evoke your sympathy, I'm going to post on both blogs (more details on Sp Sq) that I recently returned from being hospitalized with a black widow bite.
Having lived in a hotbed of brown recluses in Lawrence, I was fairly blase about spider bites. Thursday afternoon being what perhaps the most physically uncomfortable afternoon of my life (ankle break and labor included, although both were more acutely painful), I may now turn into an arachniphobe.
Avoid black widow bites, and if you cannot avoid them, avoid getting them when you are 36 weeks pregnant and antivenom, muscle relaxants and serious pain drugs are all out of the question. You surely needed me to tell you that.
Don't miss TTs message below.
Posted by Sparkling Squirrel at 4:10 PM
Friday, July 1, 2011
I do still exist and as proof (well, for some of you) I am coming to Lawrence. I sure hope I can hook up with those of you there -- perhaps even for a baby group or knitting or knitting with babies. Wow knitting needles and babies, what a combo! Anyway, I will be in Lawrence starting tomorrow evening (July 2) until about the 19th or so and then again for the last few days.
Hope to see you!
Posted by Tucson Trekker at 1:08 PM
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
I'm teaching Economically Important Plants this fall, and, needless to say, I want to make it the coolest class ever. Suggestions are welcome for activities, content, and readings that could help make it so.
I'm thinking of having one day (generally during the agriculture section) on soil and symbioses. I'll have them review nutrient cycles in advance (I think students really need to understand nitrogen in order to get fertilizer in order to understand any ag. issues) and we'll talk about nitrogen fixation (probably using either soybeans or peanuts for case study, possibly the cool bacteria (Anabaena?) that fixes nitrogen with the waterferns (azolla?) in rice paddies). I also want to talk about mycorrhizal associations and pollination.
At the moment, the very cool pollination associations I can think of (yucca and yucca moth, monarchs and milkweeds, bats and saguaros aren't heavy on economic importance. Honey bees are plenty important, but not as useful for cool co-evolution discussions.
Ideas? Vanilla orchids couldn't be cultivated elsewhere for lack of a very specific bee: buzz pollination and the solanaceae?
Any specific mycorrhizal associations that are interesting?
Other soil symbioses?
Saturday, June 11, 2011
I've done it again -- I've gone months without checking the blog! Horrible, I know, since I really do enjoy reading the updates from everyone, which I'm looking forward to doing again now. My excuse, if there is one, is that I post lots of photos and the occasional inane update on Facebook and figure that's enough of a mass dissemination; my relatives really enjoy being able to keep up with their Nebraska crew that way.
But anyway, everything's good here. Little Z is 20 months old already and is a big chatterbox. She's getting long and lean and is generally a blast to hang out with. W and I are doing fine. He continues to tinker with honeybees as a hobby, with 4 hives in our backyard. He's also just about to start an MBA program, a little bit at a time. I have the summer free to spend with Z-toddler and O-dog, but as I got a decent state-funded grant to do 1 year of research with some students, I do that twice a week this summer, too, and will have 1 course release in the spring as well as 3 weeks in Costa Rica during our J-term. A requirement of this state funding is that I submit a full NSF Career proposal; that July deadline is looming. In the fall, I'll be teaching comparative (supposedly vertebrate) anatomy, which is freaking me out a little. I've never had anatomy and have had ornithology and mammalogy but no other vertebrate-ologies. I'd frankly rather (and be more qualified to) teach botany or entomology. But I digress. Any ideas you guys have got would be welcome! I've assigned a typical textbook as well as "Your Inner Fish" by Shubin.
W and I just got back from a week in Alaska. My parents insisted we leave Z with them for a while, so it was our first time away from her. Everything was great on both ends, although the packaged tour was a little too packaged-tour-y for me. We got to see great views of McKinley and plenty of critters, too. My favorite part of the trip was an air tour of McKinley that turned into a glacier landing at the climbers' base camp.
Otherwise, we're just rolling along here. I'm looking forward to going through the last few months of posts and hoping that everyone's well.
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Hi from Haiti. Having a good time here, and seeing what the rainy season is like. Just found out the capital is flooding. No flooding here, just impassible roads that occasionally change our plans. I've been helping with women's church conferences and start teaching ecology tomorrow. I'll post pictures and updates on my blog.
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
I have a new nephew! Anyone have suggestions for gifts for a second baby? First one was a girl who is over 2 yrs now, but I think they still have a lot of her baby stuff. I am looking for something to buy, not knit, since I haven't been knitting since I became a mom. This is on my list of things to change about my life :)
Posted by Erin at 6:15 PM
Friday, May 20, 2011
Life's trajectory has pointed us toward magnetic north, apparently. From S. Carolina, to New York, to Maine, we've been on the move. Yup, we're about to be Mainers, lured by a tenure-track job at a SLAC in a small town one hour from the beach, one hour from Acadia National Park, two hours from the end of the Appalachian trail. After being ridiculously transient for the last 20 years, I can't say that I'm not just a little scared, but I'm trying to embrace it: we bought a house, we might even buy some "grown up furniture" (and discard the 'perfectly good' futon couch we've had since our college years?!), and we're becoming a one-car, 5-bike family. I call it maturity (finally), my students, I realize, just see me as old.** We are making the most of NYC while we have it (broadway version of Priscilla Queen of the Desert is well-worth the zillion dollars it costs) and eating all the goat cheese the Hudson Valley will spare. Then onward to Vacation land (seriously, that's what the license plates say). We have spare rooms--feel free to use them if you want to escape the summer heat!
**I just spent a fair amount of time at the hospital with a student who looks somewhat like me. I was frequently asked if I was her mother, not her sister. I've crossed some threshold, apparently.
Posted by Cathy at 1:56 PM
Thursday, May 19, 2011
Sunday, May 15, 2011
Monday, May 9, 2011
If you did not earn over a 50% on any one of the 5 exams in class, you probably shouldn't expect to pass the class.
Your performance in other classes has no bearing on your grade in my class.*
If the state requires a life science class with lab for a degree, and you have demonstrated neither passing knowledge of non-majors biology, nor passing effort in lab and homework, you probably don't deserve to graduate, despite being a senior with only this class between you and your diploma.
*Whether you are a self-described "straight-A student" indignant that you could be performing at less than an A level, or a poor student about to lose financial aid, your grade in my class is based on points earned in my class (and, as it turns out, I've done the math and I know that it is not just my class that is killing your GPA. The low grades in the other classes, be they current or past classes, also contribute to your GPA). For that matter, I don't take into account how upset your parents will be or how bothered that your wife will be that you have to commute another semester to re-take lab, BUT, YOU should probably take these things into account BEFORE you decide not to study or seek help in the class you are failing.
Thursday, May 5, 2011
Sunday, May 1, 2011
Just wanted to let you know that we're headed to San Diego on May 14th. My postdoc here ended a week ago, so we're on to new things. (Well, kind of-- I'm still going to be working on getting my project finished and published while we're in San Diego). My hubby's job is still in the Bay Area, so he will continue telecommuting from home. I'm not sure how long we will remain in SD-- I suspect we will eventually wind up in the Bay Area somewhere. In the meanwhile we are moving in with an aunt to save money. We are both looking forward to being near family again!
Posted by Molly at 9:55 PM
Thursday, April 28, 2011
Well, we survived yesterday relatively unscathed. Lost power yesterday morning with the first round (out of three) of storms. Luckily, campus still had power, so I worked in Stelios' office for the day. It was a good place to be, as we had power to monitor the storms and it's underground. After 11:00 last nigh the front finally went by and we went home - luckily the only things we have had to deal with is lack of power and some water in the basement - lots of grilling in our future. We are both feeling very lucky as there is a lot of damage throughout the area and several people have died. Hopefully we won't have to experience something like that again, or at least for a long time! Whew!
Posted by Cheryl at 10:51 AM
Saturday, April 23, 2011
So I wanted to let everyone here know before FB tells the world.
We just finished an egg coloring, egg hunt, and pinata filled birthday bash here. I wish you all lived closer. I'll post more pictures on that later since they're not on my phone.
On other news, I'll be on sabbatical this fall working on barnacles again. So life is going well.
((hugs)) to all
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Once again I ask students to look at a map of the world's biomes, pick 2, name them, tell me two characteristics of them and name an organism that lives there.
While this batch is not as funny as the frosted biome or the zebras of the tundra, we do have some new biomes this year, in addition to the ever popular desserts:
Forest, Africa, Terrestrial, Tropical, Temperate, North America (located on the tropical rain forest), South Africa, Egypt, Coniferous, Brazil, Temperate Broadleaf and my new favorite: "Freshwater" which is located on the savanna and has the characteristic of, "it has salty water".
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
I've been cranky, moody and wanna-be-uber-weepy this semester. At least once a week I have a day when I really just want to curl up in my office and cry. Not cry about anything, just cry.
Actually, moody isn't the word for it either, since I haven't been in a bad mood and these spells overtake me without much of a change in my mood. I don't know. There have been some blue or down times, so very tired times, some rationally irritated, some irrationally irritated, some worried times (see my blog when I eventually post about ventriculomegaly, which I just looked up again for the spelling and am re-concerned about) but those are mostly just normal emotions. This season I've also had spells of feeling emotionally really bad that felt like a physical symptom, rather than an emotion.
Anyway, this is fairly new territory for me. I think I have a fine grasp on the long-term- this certainly doesn't feel like it is inescapable or permanent. I can definitely envision that my hormones will change and that I will feel better. It's the short term that I'm having trouble with.
I don't want to explode at/cry at/nag my wonderful Mister any more than he actually deserves. I don't want to feel any fatter or lazier from sitting around eating and doing nothing than I already do. I don't want to be any farther behind in work or life projects than I already am AND I REALLY WANT to explode/cry/nag/eat/sit and do nothing.
Any advice for how you deal with ickiness you know will pass in ways that will make your loved ones still want to deal with you after it has passed?
Beth will celebrate a double digit birthday on Sunday and Irene and her Mister celebrate six years of married life (Saturday, I believe). Meanwhile, Max will be turning 13 months soon, Cheryl and her Mister have been married 5 years and Annika turned 3. 3! That's crazy big-girlness.
Happy spring to all.
Monday, April 11, 2011
Thursday, March 24, 2011
-update - which of the color ones do you like better?-
Designing a bright yellow t-shirt for the ecotour guide in Haiti so his clients don't loose track of him inspired me to create a logo for his tours, and my educational program in Haiti. Though it's really about the ecotours. Which do you like better? Here's the parrot: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hispaniolan_Amazon On the front will be the guides name
(PS SpSq will be in town - email me if you'll be around and can come to our gathering).
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Friday, March 11, 2011
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
I am fortunate to work in a department where all of my collegues are professional and competent (this is a rarity in academia as elsewhere). That doesn't stop me from wanting to change some of their behaviors/notes/questions/policies.
For example: 1) Our majors intro class has several lecture sections and many lab sections. My lecture is a week behind where we should be based on my syllabus (which is based upon the official course outline). Another professor is at least 2 weeks behind me. This bothers me because it does affect lab (I teach 3 of the 5 sections and they are scheduled to correspond with lecture) and it means that there is NO WAY she will cover evolution effectively and we will have students leaving our majors class without hitting Hardy-Weinberg.
2) I just received my fall reviews saying how hard I am (typical) in my non-majors class. Just as I was thinking that I wasn't any harder than anyone else, I learned of a section that is receiving points for doing a WORD SEARCH in college biology (and, sadly, one of our student aides had to correct said word searches).
3) I'm guest lecturing tomorrow and the mitosis powerpoint from the instructor (which the students already have) includes the sentence "Eukaryotic organisms do not rely on cell division for reproduction." (HUH?)
I know that I should just shut up and be thankful that I work in such a generally good environment, but I would be delighted to hear of tactful strategies for dealing with peers in such situations.
Posted by Sparkling Squirrel at 12:58 PM
Monday, March 7, 2011
A friend of mine needs some botany assistance - let me know if you can assist.
"My work is large scale paintings of tress. I need to know more about endangered trees or habitats or human behaviors and practices that is causing undue stress on trees. Specifically, what species of trees and were are they located. I'm looking for someone in the field of botany or ecology that has that expertise.
If you could recommend someone or a place, an organization where I could look for information, that would be very helpful to my work.
If you have any questions or if I need to get more specific let me know."
Friday, March 4, 2011
Hi all--remember me? It's been a while, been busy with the PhD'ing stuff but I figured it was high time to stop over and say "Hello" and let you all know what we've been up to.
The old man has got to be the most hardworking person I know. He's currently got three jobs: Post-Doc, TA for intro bio lab and still killing bugs on the side two times a week. He's nuts, which is probably why I like him so much. He's also still been brewing lots of tasty beer to keep us and our Larryville friends happy.
PhD for me has been going very well. I've gotten to know our Raman spectroscopy lab "the cave, or the closet" as we like to call it, very well. I'm swimming in data. I've given a couple of talks on my stuff at the Goldschmidt conference (geochemists) and the Geological Society of America in the past year or so, which was an interesting experience. Always interesting when you end of telling people something some of them really, really don't want to hear.
And, gonna toot our horn a bit here, (not too much though, lest it be annoying) we got our first paper out of my PhD work recently published in the geoscience division of Nature (Nature Geoscience). Kinda exciting. Better yet, one paper done for the PhD.
I'm glad this blog is here, it always lets me keep up with the going's on of the diaspora and even if I don't comment frequently, know I'm probably lurking around not too infrequently. The old man and I do miss you all, and hope everything is going well in your lives!
Posted by Pooka at 3:09 PM
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Friday, February 25, 2011
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
So no big news here but I wanted to say hi to everyone and share some fun pictures of the big snow. J & I decided that we needed Katie from Katie and the Big Snow. Gavin had no idea what to do with snow that was very tall on him. I had to join him in the yard just after I took the picture so he wasn't scared.
The other picture is of drifting by our garage. It was up to over 6 feet in a few spots and is still there. So I lost last week to snow and just finished my teaching for this week. It was odd to lose a week during the second week of class.
Irene came to visit over New Years and we had a great visit. I miss my knitting group. I really want a teleporter so we could all visit more often. So please let me know if you'll be in the Chicago area or if you want to come visit. Gavin gives kisses and snuggles and can be easily kept out of the guest room.
Sending happy wintery thoughts to all. :-)
Monday, February 7, 2011
Hello Everyone! I hope the year has gone well for you thus far. It has been an interesting one for us here in TN, and we are at the point where we are spreading the word as to why. (Drum roll please) I will be joining the motherhood club in mid-August! We found out right before we started traveling to NE for Christmas and things are going well, all-in-all. So if any of you experienced mothers out there have any advice, I would be happy to hear it!
Posted by Cheryl at 7:13 PM
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
but this just made my blood boil. I have already written my representative. Just an FYI - hope you are all doing well in the snow or not snow, wherever you are.
Posted by Jennifer at 4:24 PM
Surely it's a holiday* where you are, isn't it? Everyone in Oklahoma is getting the day off this year, and lots of friends in Texas, Kansas, and Missouri seem to be home celebrating. Whether or not you are home with the wind howling or having a normal day at work, I hope you are safe and warm and starting a new a happy new month.
Happy Groundhog Day and thanks for being my friend.
Oh, Jennifer and I both have new photos on our respective blogs-- be sure to check them out.
*I was talking to my parents last night, who are in Denver where it was already below zero and blowing hard with a few inches of snow on the ground, but nobody talking about anything closing. I told them we wouldn't have school today and, knowing that we didn't yet have any snow, they had to ask why. The Mister replied, "Doesn't everybody get the day off for Groundhog Eve?"
Posted by Sparkling Squirrel at 9:16 AM
Friday, January 28, 2011
Last semester, my classes and students on average pretty much sucked the life out of me, and definitely reduced my enthusiasm for teaching.
But this semester, my upper level Ecology class - they are AWESOME! All of them. Even the weakest student in there is good. They are infusing me with new enthusiasm. It's a nice change. I hope that I am up to the challenge!
Posted by Jennifer at 10:16 AM
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Do you have any role models 0n workday style?
Who are they?
What do they look like?
What do you wear to work?
I realize that I have lots of ideas of what I don't want to look like as I develop professionally, but I'm not sure I have any ideas of who I do want to look like.
At my last job I worked with a woman who has the sense of style I always thought I would acquire when I grew up and bought new clothes-- she wears unstructured jackets and raw silk jumpers and loose clothes of purple or green patches purchased from fair trade booths. She wears no make-up, her hair is still long in her forties, and her comfortable shoes rarely coordinate with her outfits (her style somewhat like JD at KBS). It works, but it's not me at work.
In my department here, I've got two short foreign women who end up looking like they don't care, even though I think that both do, a woman who looks great at fifty but wears nylons and sensible heels every day and lots of coordinating synthetic skirt outfits, none of which I am about to do. There's a professor who dresses more like I do, but to the point that I can't tell if she has any style either.
Thinking of the women at KU, well, Maria has distinct style, but it is nothing that I am going to emulate. HA sometimes has a look that I want to avoid-- the little practical scientist lady. Actually, my size (and my smile and my penchant for large necklaces and my unwillingness to cut my hair) make me unable to pull of a "very basic clean and well groomed science lady" look.
So who do I look to?
(Barbara McClintock, pictured, seemed to always be photographed in a blue sweater with a white collar. I don't have the personality to so limit myself. Perhaps that is one reason why I will never win a Nobel Prize.)
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
I've been receiving invitations to conferences that I suspected were fake. Wonder if the professional women attend them?
This website explains the conferences. Wonder if an 'attendee' will post here and say how wonderful it was.
Brief version of the announcement. Find details at: http://www.fhsu.edu/faculty-and-staff/employment-and-benefits/
PLANT TAXONOMIST - Department of Biological Sciences at Fort Hays State UniversityPosition Description: Full time 9-month tenure-track biologist with specialization in plant or fungal taxonomy. Appointment date: August 2011.
Responsibilities: This position will require teaching Plant Taxonomy to Biology majors, and other related courses (potentially Mycology), based on qualifications of the successful applicant and departmental needs. The successful applicant also will teach introductory biology courses for majors or nonmajors, General Education courses, and introductory biology labs for majors.... Experience with herbarium curation is desirable; the successful applicant is expected to curate plant teaching collections and has the potential to curate the Elam Bartholomew Herbarium at the Sternberg Museum of Natural History.
Qualifications: Minimal qualifications include an earned Ph.D. in biology, botany, or an appropriate subdiscipline (ABD will be considered for well-qualified applicants)....
PS love the lab video.