Wednesday, September 26, 2007


When the students ask me what would happen to somebody without a spacesuit on the surface of the Moon, I always blame them for the grim discussion that follows while I smile maniacally. Students seem to find my proclivities for impacts and other cosmic catastrophes to be somewhat unseemly.

After class today, I was paid a high compliment: "This is my only class where all the students pay attention." Think there's a correlation? ;)

Friday, September 21, 2007

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Sighs Fits All

I woke up with morning with a horrible neckache and migraine. I only had a 13-hour workday ahead of me, so no problem, right? Greg was very nice to me, rubbing my neck and driving me to and from work, but it was still not how I wanted to start my day. Sigh.

My physics exam seemed to promote more frustration than work. I can't seem to break some of their bad habits, no matter how hard I reinforce some of the concepts. Don't plug in numbers right away. If you have two unknowns, you need two equations (an idea they can recite, but do not comprehend). Sigh..

After my astronomy class tonight, two students came up to me to complain about another student who asks somewhat, um, well, ...let's just say she annoys them with the questions she asks in class. This is actually my least favorite problem to deal with; how do I tend to an individual student's needs without alienating the rest of the class? It's a fine line, and I need to figure out how to deal with this student in a positive way. Sigh.

Tonight Greg picked me up from work and took me to walk along the beach on the way home. D'aww... We saw a seal on the beach. First we noticed that a man was taking photos of something and then we realized it was a seal. We kept our distance, but we a bit alarmed how close the man was to the seal. Then he started bothering the seal, getting too close, making the seal move away. When we realized that we were rooting for the seal and carnage, we decided it was time to leave. Sigh.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

My calculator is dying

I've purchased new batteries. Didn't help. I've tried resetting the calculator. Nope. The bottom row of buttons are only functioning some of the time. I'm sure you're thinking that I should just get a new calculator, but you don't understand. This calculator and I have been together a long time. How long? I'll be turning 37 in December, and this calculator was a gift from my sister for my 18th birthday. Yup. Half my life. A B.S in astrophysics... a Ph.D. in physics... all with my trusty little HP 20S. :(

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Is that the neighbors?

My streak of fourteen years without an earthquake came to an end this morning. I must admit, I enjoyed the earthquake-free aspect of living in Phoenix. I guess it's balanced out by the natural disaster known as the months of May-October there, though.

Monday, September 03, 2007

A Few Musings

  • San Diego has two alternative radio stations. They both play a lot of Nine Inch Nails. Happy, happy...
  • The NPR station, however, sucks.
  • I've heard criticism of San Diego's food scene, but we're dining quite well.
  • I miss Four Peaks, though - at the end of my first week of work, I really wanted to celebrate there.
  • I should have done more work the past few days, but I'm a member of a union... working on Labor Day would have violated its spirit, right? Sigh.
  • This weekend makes me glad we picked an apartment with an A/C.
  • I just finished reading The Thief, The Queen of Attolia, andThe King of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner. Read them. They were excellent.
  • It's bizarre living in such a touristy area. We peeked out at the beach this morning after breakfast (yummy Belgian waffles) and decided to not brave the hordes, but rather return later. We have the option to return later! Every day is a day at the beach. ;)
  • As a corollary, despite judicious usage of suncreen, I have the worst farmer tan ever.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

First Month

We've now spent a full month in our new home. I've started my new job. I still feel somewhat out of place - not quite settled in the apartment, not quite settled in the office. The new students are good, though - eager, respectful, hard-working, responsive... I like them quite a bit so far. I don't know that they'll see the best of me this semester, as I figure out all the ins and outs of the new workplace. I'll try my best, though.

I continue to enjoy the beachy vibe. We've spent part of every day by the water. I guess that's what happens when you spend over a decade in the desert - you learn to treasure water. I especially like wading in the ocean. During my time at UCLA I was too busy to spend much time at the beach; I can only recall a handful of visits. I think I'm making up for it now. Not that I'm not busy, but I am scheduling in beach time. Very important.

I hope y'all are having a great holiday weekend!