Sunday, April 25, 2010

time keeps passing

The week has been. . . . interesting.  The job hunt continues-- I'm hoping to find something relevant to science, another teaching job or tutoring or working at CSU, maybe.  But if I don't hear back soon I'll be going to tower city to fill out applications for ::gasp:: RETAIL!!  That's not a beast I want to awaken, but a girl's got to survive!

I'm ready for the hikes to start.  Coming home muddy, drenched and exhausted and possibly with bug bites and poison ivy-- but life drenched in nature, life throughly integrated with life-- and the prospect of earning a degree while I'm doing it-- sends chills of excitement down my spine.  The anticipation is killing me.

My Minor Brush with the Law (Tuesday)

It was the end of an unbearably long day.  I had just spent the last hour toiling over minor points of technical writing in my review paper on parasitoid wasps and was ready to go home.  So I hopped on the bus to ride the six blocks to my apartment from the library.  Alas, I forgot my bus pass on my desk in my office . . . And the RTA cops caught me.  Blast.

Now, an RTA cop is a few notches above mall cops and rent-a-cops.  They can give tickets but can't take you to jail.  So I hop off the bus, apologize, explain that I left the ID in my office at school and will be heading back to retrieve it.  After they check out my license and ask where I live and why I have an office if I'm a student they let me go.  At least I didn't get a ticket.

Turns out my ID wasn't in the office at school, I had left it in the lab.  Which was locked.  So I walk home, past the RTA cops.  It was nice out, so I didn't mind too much.

Now, I fully appreciate the need for cops to enforce the rules of the RTA, but I realized when I was walking home that these guys had tasers, right next to their ticket books on their utility belts.  Given some of the horrifying things that can happen on a bus, this too is understandable.  But what happens when an RTA cop has a bad day?  Is he quick to use his taser?  Are RTA cops required to have a mental-health evaluation before they get their taser? Are they trained to use them?

The remainder of my week was typical, Thursday night after stream ecology I taught my environmental survey class.  This group is all women, and much more talkative than the previous groups.  I prefer an interactive, curious class than one with half of the students sleeping or texting or staring out the window.

This weekend I spent at the homestead, cooking and making music with my family and playing with the dogs (bullmastiffs.)   It's been long overdue, and I'm loving every second of it.

Off to bake a cake!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

What a beautiful day. . . .

I've put aside my stress.  It's not productive.  

Today was beautiful--- I spent the day reading Dry Storeroom No. 1 -- since I've spent some time in the natural history museum here I thought it might give some insight into how museums work, from the perspective of a museum curator.  So far it's been informative and entertaining.  

I attended a composition recital at CSU that Carol was playing in.  The music was really interesting, a combination of various percussion pieces, some done on percussion instruments and others created digitally--after the concert there was a nice reception, I helped Carol put away instruments, got to play with the vibraphone (sort of like a xylophone, but with resonating chambers underneath.
Tomorrow starts a new week-- here's to hoping its better than the last.


Saturday, April 17, 2010

Game day in Cleveland

I love Cleveland.  I live downtown and can see into progressive field from my apartment.  During baseball season now have a front seat to free fireworks every Friday night and every time the team wins.  I love the sound to the city, especially on game day.  Guys hawking tickets yelling all day, drunk fans shouting and cheering as the walk down the street in giant mobs, the fearless traffic cops, standing in the middle of the street, unflinchingly staring down city buses.  Even the out-of-towners, who don't know which streets are one way or how to respond to the homeless out collecting change, are endearing to a true city dweller.  

Game day--- brings everyone out to interact and mix-- the homeless, the street musician, the fans--all combining to celebrate America's greatest pastime.  Today couldn't be more of a Cleveland day, either-- the sky is gray, the clouds are hinting at rain with a greyish-purple warning, the wind blowing southeast of the great big lake Erie.  

Sure, I'm stuck in my apartment reading research papers on every aspect of parasitoid wasp ecology, but I can crack the window a bit and glance out at the filling stadium, smiling everytime someone crosses home plate. . . . .and the crowd goes wild.. . . . .

I still don't own a jersey. . . .

Friday, April 16, 2010

The week from hell

It's been a tough week.  

At work:
1.  The medical ethics course I was supposed to teach was given to another teacher because the program director "forgot" about telling me to teach it. 
2. How I found out:  I went in to teach the new class and another teacher was setting up.  
3. I spent the previous two weeks writing all the lectures for the course.  All of them. 
4. Lesson learned: Insist on a contract before doing anything.  (Looking back, this seems obvious, I'll chalk it up to being young.)
5.  My new environmental survey class has 1 that doesn't believe in evolution and 2 that are conspiracy theorists.  

At school:  Can't complain too much here, just have alot of work to do. 

So.  I'm looking for another job, I've renewed my online tutoring accounts. 

Know anyone who needs help with science? 

I'm worried though, rent and bills are enough alone, but I still haven't gotten my textbooks for my stream ecology class either.  Oy. 

Life usually ends up working out though.  Hopefully soon.  

Friday, April 9, 2010


Ahhhh Friday!  Nothing like sitting down at the end of a killer long week, sipping tea and thinking about the precious few days you have off before it all begins again!

It was an odd week-- sunny and beautiful on Monday and snowing today, but that's Cleveland for you.  Hoping it warms up again soon, I'm working on fixing up my bicycle (need This!) and eagerly anticipate a good ride.  Until then I'm happy to lace up my hiking boots and get good'n muddy!

In the world of research I'm getting ever closer to getting my data--- the real work will start in June, but I'm looking forward to it after so many months of planning.  I'm working on getting my advisory committee together now, tracking down signatures to make spoken agreements official and what not.

Employment-wise I'm going to be teaching at the ACRT again-- this time one course on Medical Law and another Environmental Survey.  I'm still surprised at how much I enjoy teaching--but I suppose if it's teaching something I care about than it works.

I'm hoping to put the finishing touches on some poetry this weekend-- haven't posted anything substantial Here in a while.

I'm growing a single, solitary tomato plant named Greg.  One of my students gave me a pack of seeds, so I thought I'd try and grow one in the sunshine-filled apartment I now live.  Greg is about four inches tall right now.  I see an excellent future from him.

I'm trying to convince my land-lady to let me up on the roof so I can garden up there, but she's convinced I'll jump or something.  It could just be a matter of liability, not sure how to argue against that.  Maybe I'll throw my science at her and see if that works.

Kyle is playing solo at the Beck Cafe in Lakewood tomorrow night, acoustic originals and possibly some classical.  (He's pretty awesome)

Some books I've been reading lately:

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Moving, living, music!

I recently moved into a much larger two bedroom apartment with my best friend Carol.  The place is HUGE compared to the tiny efficiency I was in before.  Our cats have learned to tolerate each other in the month we've been living there-- although recently they've been getting all static-y from the carpet and shocking each other.

I love it.

I love living with someone, especially, because I can cook, have there be leftovers and have someone else to help me eat them!  Plus having someone to talk to at three a.m. is really nice too!

I'm getting everything together to start my research project for this summer.  I'll include all the juicy details of that in a future post.

Carol is the drummer and percussionist extraordinaire in my younger brother's band (The Kyle DeForrest Band.)   The band often practices in the basement of my parents house, so she usually sees my family more than I do.  The band plays a a mix of rock, blues, alternative and soul. The music is authentic and new, at times gritty but never vulgar, music meant to capture the many facets of life from a Clevelander’s perspective. 

The Kyle DeForrest Band is playing tonight at the Barking Spider Tavern (

I've been teaching environmental survey at a two year career school. . . .

So a student asked what I do in my spare time. When I stopped laughing I realized that I absolutely love everything I'm doing. Sure -life is nonstop- but teaching isn't work, classes aren't a burden and research isn't boring. I'm privileged. Teaching is an opportunity to spread eco-propaganda. I eagerly anticipate classes. Research is just a good excuse to hike and soak up the sun! Life is grand! :-)