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2009-11-09 - 11:06 a.m.

...a little bit of everything...

I've had an insane schedule for someone who is supposedly enjoying a research semester. So much has been going on.

Last week, I gave two different research seminars that had me working non-stop in preparations. I always get so nervous before these talks. In this case, I was especially nervous before the seminar that I had prepared for my department. Fortunately, there was a fantastic turnout, and the talk went extremely well. I received lots of compliments, even from faculty members whose opinions I highly HIGHLY regard. So I had a day of floating high, before the adrenaline rush left me and I was dragging my feet - thinking about the NEXT talk that I will give at an international conference in February. What in the WORLD am I going to say??


I think my sense of being overwhelmed comes from supervising 8 students - the largest number I've ever had to handle - but on top of that, my back issues have become chronic. I'm pretty much in pain all the time, which doesn't do much for my mood. In addition to the massage therapist, I'm going to start seeing a physiotherapist tomorrow.

I'm hopeful - at least then I will be doing something to try to fix the problem. I'm not that old, and I still have too much to do in life. I'm not ready for chronic pain.


I have a colleague who just sent me an email asking long involved detailed questions about my field of study. I don't even know this guy very well, and replying would require several hours of work on the email. Ugh. I understand now why people stop replying to emails. I need to buy the domain name:


Susi and I went for flu shots last week. Susi was quite the trouper. She cried during the injections themselves, but was over it rather quickly. Her mother, however, was a colossal wimp. I didn't cry during the shots, but spent the next 2-3 days feeling like my arms were going to fall off. (Incidentally, although shots have been rationed in this country, I qualified for the shots because of a pre-existing respiratory condition - asthma). And so we enter flu season, supposedly armed with immunity.


I sat on the train this morning and read a newspaper article about the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall, and found myself full of tears. November 9th is one of those "where were you when it happened?" days. I remember sitting in my dorm, huddled with four other people around a New York Times, reading about the collapse of the wall. I'm still astounded that I was eventually able to live in a place that was off-limits to me for my entire life before November 9, 1989, and that I was so lucky to meet people I never would have met, had this day NOT occurred.

Part of me also remembers that November 9th has another "where were you when it happened?" connotation: Kristallnacht, 9-10 November, 1938. What kind of crazy fluke of history allows a joyous date of reunification to coincide with the destruction of over 800 synagogues, and the arrest (and ultimate murder) of over more than 25,000 Jews.

November is a month for remembering.


This weekend I received the saddest news and I cannot stop thinking about it. My first boyfriend's 13-year-old daughter died from an E. coli infection this week. She was sick for all of one week before she passed away on Thursday. Rose had Down Syndrome, and she was extremely close to her dad. I cannot imagine how empty this must make him feel. I found myself hugging Susi especially tightly this weekend.

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...they are just words, Suzi... - 2011-08-29
...the nature of doing science... - 2011-07-22
....what is your place knowledge? - 2011-07-21's Friday... - 2011-07-15
...a small ripple on the big wave... - 2011-02-04

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