Saturday, June 30, 2007

Joining the Tagging Game

Tagged for Meme.

Twice has tagged me for her meme. So here I hurry along the cascade.


I have to post these rules before I give you the facts.

Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.

People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.

At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.

Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

Random Facts

1. I wear Swatch watches only.
2. I have had 13 casts to mend my bones in my life time.
3. Candles rock!
4. Beer snob.
5. There is a target drawn on the back of my lab coat. Hmmm....
6. Own 6 different colored Birkenstock.
7. I have owned 10 parakeets named Rocky I - X(consecutively) and accidentally (I swear!) killed them.
8. Won the "Top-Scan" Award as fastest cashier at Winn-Dixie (the low-price leader, where quality is high and prices are low) during my college years.

Now I have to tag eight bloggers: Gentleman's C, Astrodyke, Lesboprof, A Delicate Boy, Female Science Professor, Professing Mama, See Jane Compute
Ok. There are only 7, but oh well.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Settling In - or Not

Long time no write. Sorry. I have spent the past few weeks transitioning. A new apartment, new faces, a brand new college ID with a hideous mug-shot, and fortunately a brand new hair dresser who understands my short-hair needs. Shortly after my arrival, one of the brand new faces extracted my sexual preferences - which are not necessarily obvious. I was in shock when she told me that being out in the city as well as in my department would be an unwise move. What a scam! During my interview I was made to believe that I had scored a diversity sanctuary. Naturally before I accepted the offer I had searched any online information, which must be somewhat exaggerated. Needless to say that for the past few days my initial enthusiasm has faded, and I feel terribly isolated. I miss the past...
In any case, here are some images from my journey to the now not so perfect liberal arts college:

Friday, June 15, 2007


Sitting amidst a sea of boxes,
Sinking quietly, losing air, losing ground.
Adventures soon to be memories
Will not fade but vanish abruptly
With sudden muted sound.

Life is composed of episodes.
Episodic friends, episodic familiarity
Are making history.
The anti-climax of yet another episode -
Open ending requested not only for sweet sanity.

History is necessary, for perhaps finally, finally
I know what I need, and I need what I know.


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Thursday, June 7, 2007

The G-8

What a bunch of trollops and casanovas at this summit in Heiligendamm. The globally anticipated agenda was supposed to be climate control. After the debate German Chancellor Angela Merkel is eager to announce to the press the oh-so-wonderful accomplishments of the summit. And what are they? A bunch of wishy-washy feel-good concessions that present idealistic goals without numbers. Yes, we will reduce emissions, but since there are no set values, no efforts are truly necessary. This summitt seems to simply be a big party. And George W. is having a blast. First he gropes Angie at last year's summit (left photo), now he is cozying up with her in a beach basket (right photo, source: Der Spiegel).

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Teaching Charades

Three weeks until I move to what could be the place called home for the rest of my life. I am currently taking some time off, visiting with family and friends. There has not been a single day when department members from pleasant Small Liberal Arts College which I am about to join have not sent me an email concerning computers, textbooks, course proposals, new instruments, etc. Maybe they are a little nervous about my arrival, too. Surely not as nervous as I am.

Teaching, Service and Scholarship – the title of my blog. During my interview, the dean stressed excellence in teaching, excellence in service, and excellence in scholarship. Note to self: Replace “very good” with “excellent” in personal vocabulary. Scholarship entails 4 research publications in peer reviewed journals – with undergraduate researchers only. I have a vision of long and lonely nights in the lab. Excellence in teaching is as usual measured by the infamous student evaluations. High marks could either be accomplished by brainwashing your students or simply by captivating them with the material and making them like you. Personality plays an important role here.

My current colleague and good friend once told me that a study has shown that high marks on student evaluations can be correlated to the students being able to assign a certain role or personality to the instructor. This holds especially true for women. And which other role would a woman play best than the role of a mother. For example freshman in particular prefer the motherly instructor. I am neither a mother nor the motherly type, so I pondered how the students would see me. On my last day of class at my visiting position I decided to just ask the question at the end of my lecture. I was ready to face personalities like Cruella De Vil. What would have been worse was no identification whatsoever. But their answer, which I cannot gage if it was honest, was that they saw me as their big sister. I was surprised and relieved that I have a role assignment, and it’s an easy one to play! Perhaps before beginning a tenure track position, every faculty should undergo a personlity test, so that they would have an idea who the students think they are, then perfect that role to become very good - wait, no - to become excellent in developing their classroom character.