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2005-02-11 - 10:35 a.m.

loose ends

Today is a national holiday, and so I have enjoyed the luxury of sleeping in until 9:30am. Since then I've been able to breathe in my morning coffee and do a little bit of overdue cleaning.

Yesterday I had the unique experience of being interviewed for our university faculty magazine, who wanted to write an article on a scientist doing climate change research. The interview was over email, so not too taxing.

Last week I also had a long-needed discussion with NY colleague. The situation reached a critical point on Sunday night when I was still waiting on her portion of the proposal. I received an email at about 10pm saying that her baby still wouldn't go to sleep so she couldn't work. I wrote a quick reply advising her to WAKE UP HER HUSBAND TO GET SOME HELP (he had been away on a business trip for over a week, while she in the meantime worked her full-time job and cared for their sick baby). I had finally lost my patience, knowing that I would then have to stay awake for another two hours afterwards, in order to fix up and edit the text.

Well, by some act of god, she did not get my irritated email until Wednesday, after we had already spoken about this. Probably all for the best, because she didn't need any additional anger at this stressful moment, and she got her text to me the following day, and things appear to be moving smoothly forward now. I wrote her second email on Wednesday, in which I explained how imbalanced her situation currently looks to an outside viewer (she does baby, all household cleaning, and her job. he does his job.). I carefully qualified my statements by stating that I am indeed an outside viewer, and I don't know what arrangements they have made to make their marriage work. But in terms of our work relationship, her valuing his work above hers ultimately implicates me and Oregon Annie in the process. And things have got to change - she will simply have to contribute more than 2 hours per week to this project. The situation is not resolved, but the discussion is opened in a constructive way.

Anyway, I am so thankful for this one-day holiday and a brief reprieve from lectures. At last I can attend to household details - such as the long-involved argument with my phone company. Soon I will return to the final stages of proposal preparation, and then attack a list of items needed before next Monday, including the grading of 100 homeworks!

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