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2007-04-03 - 5:46 p.m.

...and life goes on...

I've just come back from a full afternoon, following the end of my class. After lunch, I spent about 1 1/2 hours going over candidate applications for the position that our department is trying to fill (vacated by our former department chair).

I figured that I had to put together an assessment of the candidates as quickly as possible before the chair of the search committee has a coronary. Relaxed, he ain't. He is the kind of person who tells you Friday afternoon that he wants all of your input by Monday (which is what happened). And not surprisingly, I didn't have a chance to peruse the 15 application packages before our meeting originally scheduled DURING MY CLASS on Monday (yes, we should detect a theme here).

But you know, when I was asked at the meeting if I had done my homework, there was absolutely no way I was going to provide any excuses. It was ridiculous.

I can already tell that this search committee is going to be as much fun as chewing on tinfoil. All of the applicants are middle aged white men. All of the current faculty are middle-aged white men. All of the students are female. What's WRONG with this picture? Not that I have anything against white men (I'm married to one in fact)...but it just so depresses me to see that I am the only one who seems to be distressed by this. It suggests that there is something very wrong with the field. Considering a pool of men is not in the least distressing to them.

I am debating whether or not to say something to the chair of the search committee. I really think that I should. But if I do, then how do I do it? Sigh. I'm not happy unless I'm a shit-disturber I guess.


And then the rest of my afternoon was spent happily assembling equipment in my lab, including balances, microscopes, microbalances, spectrophotometers, pipetters - the whole kit-n-kaboodle. Terribly, terribly exciting!

The lab is beginning to look like a real lab. If only I could get security measures on the doors, and then I would feel somewhat safe in bringing in computing equipment as well...

I have this endless list of startup questions that I am beginning to be able to address now that I'm not stressing over teaching. which is just wonderful, indeed.


I realize that in all of the excitement of finishing this term, I forgot to mention that K and I celebrated our first anniversary this weekend (who could forget April Fool's Day?). We didn't do a whole lot to celebrate, actually...apart from just be happy together. I bought a new grill. K bought lawn furniture that didn't fit in the car (which led to a long involved and comical logistics operation spanning two days). We also bought pansies, marigolds, impatiens, tomatoes, alpine strawberries, camomille, basil, oregano, thyme, chives...among other things. I was a planting maniac. Our back porch looks like a lovely little garden now. But I want more....Somebody stop me!!!

Blighty was the first person to congratulate us on surviving a year. I did mention it to my mother as well - and she still seems distant about the whole thing. Never underestimate how much you can hurt someone by not inviting them to your wedding. Let me rephrase that - it isn't that we didn't invite her to the wedding. We didn't invite ANYONE to the wedding. And when I did find out that my mother was really hurt about it, I said, "if it is that important to you, then come on up and be here." I think I even said, "you know we always love to have you here." But the damage had already been done. In fact, the lack-of-invite even warranted a not-so-subtle mention in my mother's Christmas letter. And now it's been a year, and her manner suggests that it's still a sore topic.

Sad to say, I do think that the whole lack-of-wedding thing put a wedge in our relationship. It marked a definite change in my mother's behavior to me, I think. She is still a wonderful person, but we don't really converse like we used to. My mother doesn't seem to be able to stick to one topic when I call. Her thoughts just scatter in and out. We talk about nothing deep, or if we begin to get more engaged, it's just as likely that she will switch gears entirely and tell me what they are eating for dinner, or ask me for a crossword puzzle clue. It's kind of weird.

And as I think about it, I start to feel resentful. K was in the country for two weeks, his life in boxes, our lives sandwiched neatly between two international moves, my dealing with a job from hell. We managed, in that first week, to join in a week-long vacation with my family in North Carolina, WHILE I was teaching. Our lives were upside down and inside out with immigration issues, job stress, and the stress of living together for the first time. We had a short time window in which to get this whole marriage thing official, and we just wanted it done.

But I'm guessing that this may be a wedge for a long time, unless I just agree to do a post-wedding wedding for my family. sigh. I just can't even think about it, though. Because the logistics of getting MY family, K's family and our friends on three continents together? It's insane.

It's possible that I'm making more of a problem out of this than it actually is. Because my mother is on the whole extremely happy. I guess I'm a little sad because I feel like there used to be more. But well, I could just continue with my current strategy which is being happy and enthusiastic whenever we talk. Yeah, maybe I'm just imagining things. Or maybe just remembering my guilt and projecting it. (err, no, because the comment in the Christmas letter was pretty THERE.) But maybe if I'm just nice to her, it will go away with time....

ho-hum - this is NOT what I intended to talk about. But well, there you have it (as my mother always says).

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