Not as Bright as I Used to Be Thursday December 17, 2009
I guess what they say about age and fluid intelligence is true. At least I have wisdom to look forward to. Wisdom is more compelling than cognitive ability anyway.
The good news is that the hurdle has been cleared. In spite of a significant score drop from 2000, my combined score is sufficient to allow me to be considered for the program I’m interested in. That’s the important thing.
Who needs to be able to add anyway?
Yesterday was National Cupcake Day! Wednesday December 16, 2009
How did I miss this? I am very receptive to any opportunity for celebration and I can certainly appreciate a cupcake. National Cupcake Day 2010 will not go unnoticed, that’s for sure.
I am thinking about cupcakes because tmw morning I will be taking the GRE. It’s an avoidance strategy. I can’t look at another math problem and I’m fairly certain I don’t have time to get myself much smarter before 9am. Might as well think about baked goods. Here at the end I’m starting to question my strategy. I haven’t spent a second considering the verbal section and if what they are looking for is a combined score, maybe it would have make sense to spend a little time on that. The last time I took this test, my Quant score was the one that really mattered and I guess I’m stuck in that mode.
Breathing in, breathing out. This time tmw all of this will be over.
One Small Gadget for Sale Tuesday December 15, 2009
Toad has created quite a ruckus by putting Gadget up for sale on Face Book. This is what seems to me to be one of the flaws of FB. It simplifies things that are not simple. Although I’m going with the silliness of the idea by using it in my own title, Gadget is not exactly for sale. It seems to me that Gadget is exploring other options. Seeing what’s out there. There are a number of reasons for this, but it probably makes the most sense to rewind the tape and start from the beginning.
The picture above shows the Professor with baby Gadget. This picture was taken on the back porch of my apartment days after I brought him home from the humane society. During Gadget’s kittenhood, I was a single lady and Gadget was my sidekick. Most of the time, if I was out and about, the little man was with me. He was a terrific car passenger and we made many extended trips together. He was at the front door waiting on the couch for his kiss on the nose every day when I got home from work. You get the picture. We were close.
Enter Toad. While Toad is an animal person, she is not so much of a cat person and I knew this from the beginning. However, during the year that we did long distance Gadget traveled with me each time I came to her house for the weekend and she was truly happy to have him. Well, she was happy to have me and if being with me meant putting up with Gadget, so be it. You do what you have to do.
But what about Gadget’s view of the new Toad situation, right? Well, Gadget’s life pre-Toad was much different than it has been post-Toad. Gadget was the center of my world, and when I met Toad he wasn’t. I certainly didn’t ignore him, but I guess he started to be treated more like an actual cat. That’s not easy. It was a significant fall and if his behavior is any indication, he holds Toad entirely responsible.
Gadget on a good day is a feisty young man. He is high-spirited and more than a few people have used the word “bad” as a descriptor. I’m sure I contributed to the development of his naughtiness as a kitten, because well…. it entertains me. I mean, he’s barely 10 pounds. How much trouble is he really going to get into?
Gadget with Toad in the house is often a terror. He swats her papers and pens off the desk while she works. He snuggles up beside her on the arm of the (leather) couch and just when the purring begins he starts to claw. He swats (with claws) at her each time she walks by him when he’s on the bed/back of the couch/desk. After the months he spent in the basement when Baker arrived, he now OWNS the dog and everyone knows it. The two of them have a swatting, barking, whining altercation EVERY NIGHT that always ends with 70 lb Baker shaking and whimpering in the small space behind the closet door. We have tried every possible intervention (short of locking Gadget in the basement) to end this ritual, but nothing works. It’s just part of what we do now. We spend no less than 30 minutes after the lights go out each night listening to Gadget kick Baker’s ass. It’s not the best way to end a day.
So, Gadget is currently looking for other options. The whole thing is heartbreaking, but I don’t know what else to do. Toad isn’t happy, Baker isn’t happy, Gadget can’t be all that happy and I am exhausted. The four of us are not compatible. I don’t know how else you could see the situation. This is just where we are. After a ridiculous number of hours in discussions, we have arrived at the following conditions for the Gadget Relocation Initiative.
- Loving, cat-friendly home that does not require declawing
- Family who will provide me with updates and (crossing my fingers) pictures
- Family with a high tolerance for mischief
The Daybook Thursday December 10, 2009
FOR TODAY… December 10, 2009
Outside my window… the sun is shining brightly and holiday decorations are everywhere.
I am thinking… that there are lots of shows about therapy. Suddenly I am interested in all of them. I cannot handle Intervention though. That one is just too much for me. The twenty-something who huffs computer keyboard cleaner was the end of it for me. Entirely too much. My favorites are Sex Rehab with Dr. Drew and In Treatment. I have loved Dr. Drew from his Loveline days on MTV. I watched that show most nights I was in college and as a psych major I thought Dr. Drew was a genius. Now, he has a show about sex addiction and I’m hooked. Wasn’t even trying to make a joke there. It’s just a good show. In Treatment is my latest Netflix find. Toad won’t watch it, but Baker is in. This is an HBO series that follows a fictional therapist though his work and home life. Each episode is centered around a session with a patient. It’s a cool idea.
I am thankful for… the fact that classes are over.
I am remembering… that I have many letters of recommendation to write.
I am going… to SantaLand Diaries tonight! This is my kind of holiday celebration.
I am currently reading… American Wife. This is a LONG book, but I’m going to miss this character when it ends. Curtis Sittenfeld has got to be a cool girl.
I am hoping… that Baker stops acting weird soon. I don’t think he’s sick because his appetite seems fine, but he gets scared and clingy at night and in the mornings. It’s almost like he’s spooked. Last night I was in bed reading and he was huddled beside me shaking. Literally shaking. Toad thinks Gadget is terrorizing him when we’re at work. Who knows. It’s getting harder and harder to defend that little man.
On my mind… babies and Christmas and animal behavior and elves named Crumpet.
Noticing that… No is not a word my department head understands.
Pondering these words… “We look for 1000 on the GRE”
On the agenda this week… I am masquerading as a social butterfly. It’s Thursday and my wings are getting heavy, but it’s been fun. On Monday I had a yummy Latin dinner with a new friend. I’ll call her J. She is the femme half of the lesbian couple we met a few months ago. I really had fun hanging out just with her. Quality girl time. On Tuesday my small group met at church. I think the whole small group thing is really cool. I’m into it. It’s a bit too “group therapy-esque” for Toad, but it’s right up my alley. You can never have too much emotional sharing I say. Especially with people who aren’t a central part of my life. Last night was book club and we discussed Strange Piece of Paradise. We don’t always talk that much about the books, but last night we did and it was great. I’ve been a bit reserved about these girls, but we had a good conversation. Very cool. Tonight is a performance of SantaLand Diaries. We’re going with the Grabs with dinner before the show. This should be lots of fun. I can’t picture this story being performed and not read. I’m eager for it though, for Crumpet primarily. Toad says we can’t name our baby Crumpet. That’s too bad :(. Once again, Toad will be working for much of the weekend so we don’t have plans. We WILL be getting a tree/shrub/decorative something this weekend and there is a college basketball game on Sunday, so perhaps.
Around the house… Christmas is coming. Not yet here, but coming.
One of my favorite things… my new winter pjs. Toad calls me “The Gund” when I wear them bc I look a little too much like a stuffed animal (think warm, fuzzy, etc), but comfort is a good thing.
From my picture journal…
One More Semester Down Wednesday December 9, 2009
Monday was the last day of classes and exams start tomorrow. This means that I am smack dab in the center of the “What’s my grade?” “Do you do extra credit?” “What’s going to be on the final?” vortex. It never matters that the students have all of their grades and the other two questions have been answered repeatedly throughout the semester. It just doesn’t matter. This is my ninth year of teaching and you would think I might have learned this lesson. Not so. It’s irritating every single time.
My focus for the moment is on the fact that I’ve gotten one more semester at this university behind me and I’ve only got one more to go. I can do this. Next Thursday I am scheduled to take the GRE. The program I am applying to is looking for 1000 and I’m hoping I can do that. When I took the GRE last time I cleared that hurdle, but that was 10 years ago. Ten primarily math-less years. I’m doing what I can on the preparation front and I guess we’ll just have to see next Thursday. At least you don’t have to wait for your scores to be mailed anymore. That’s something.
Although exams and grading and the graduation ceremony loom, the end of classes means that I will have more time to focus on this getting into graduate school mission. The program deadline is December 31. Here’s what I need to do btw now and then:
- Request transcripts from college and graduate school
- Secure three-letter writers (two down, one to go)
- CV tune up
- 1000 on the GRE
- Write statement of purpose/interest
Tuesday Daybook on Sunday 12/06/09 Sunday December 6, 2009
Outside my window…. winter has arrived. Brrr. The day is bright and cold. The ground was crackly on our morning walk. Frost under Baker’s feet.
I am thinking… that I REALLY want to pursue this counseling thing. I want to take the classes and read the books and learn everything I can. I can’t imagine actually doing it, but I’ll get there.
I am thankful for… my wife. It was a hard week around here with lots of hard conversations about family and relationships and all of the tough stuff and we got through all of it. I don’t how it is that she makes me feel so safe, but she always does. Always. It amazes me.
I am wearing… soft, stripy pajama pants, an old sweatshirt from my high school flag corps days and maroon socks with snowflakes.
I am reading…American Wife again. Glad to be back. I finished the book club book for next Tuesday, so now I’ve got time again. I also finished the audio version of Stephen King’s The Colorado Kid yesterday. It wasn’t great, but it was fun to listen as the narrator was quite good. I’m pretty sure I would have put it down if I had been reading it.
I am hoping… that my math skills are improving.
Around the house… it’s almost Christmas. We will be getting the decorations out soon.
One of my favorite things… is cream of wheat with raisins. It’s been a long time.
A few plans for the rest of the week…. involves looking backwards as the week has ended. It has been a quiet week around here. Lots of rain and darkness. We finally got Toad’s work schedule for the holidays and that was both a positive and a negative.
A “picture thought I’m sharing… Toad and the Professor by a waterfall at Chimney Rocks State Park.