Updates

Oct. 13th, 2014 02:38 pm
brdgt: (Mrs. Robinson Closer)
The Move: We've booked a moving truck (even with gas for the truck and the car this was still the cheapest option and at least we'll have our stuff right away), are about to sign a lease on a 3 bedroom apartment in Albany (wood floors, pantry, dishwasher, front porch, built ins, good neighborhood, previous tenant was there 9 years), and have started packing things up here.

Work: Sent my latest chapter off to my advisor and it was returned with reasonable edits (I'm very happy with this one, it's a turning point in the dissertation's argument) and my boss is very sad to see me go at Ancestry. One of the things I've enjoyed about that job is the performance monitoring they do - you can check your productivity daily and compare it to your squad, team, shift, and other shifts. Unlike grad school, which leaves you constantly wondering how you are doing, I know that I am one of their top performing workers (images per hour, QC disagreements, amount of time actively working in programs), even after only 90 days on the job.

Utah: Last weekend we went down to Arches again and did a backcountry trip in Canyonlands. Nick's old roommate had flown out to go with us and it was a little bit of an adjustment for him to do desert hiking (no peak to conquer or even trail to stick to - just explore!) but I think he ended up really enjoying it and appreciating nature more than he usually does camping. (It was also sort of funny to realize I am now in better shape than Jason, when he kept trailing behind us. Back in Yellowstone a few years back I was always the last person up the hill)

Jason imitating Edward Abbey:
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Taking our packs off for a few minutes - about to descend into the Canyonlands - our destination is that bend in the river behind us, about a 21 miles round trip. It was nice to have a third person around to take photos of the two of us!
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The descent mostly occurred here, at this rock slide (looking back up it). We descended 995' in .95 miles over dozens of switchbacks. Gorgeous views.
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Looking back at where we had descended.
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Taking a break on the way back up, with a view of Airport Tower and our hiking buddy. <3 Utah.
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brdgt: (Mrs. Robinson Closer)
Dissertation: Trying to finish a draft of this rheumatic fever chapter by the Fourth of July. Not sure if I'll make it, but I'm enjoying writing it and getting in a good productivity groove around it. It makes me hopeful for finishing the whole dissertation this fall. I can write a chapter a month, I really can. The chapter combines some old favorites (The Welfare State!) with some topics that I'm discovering are very understudied and would be great material for future articles (especially the history of convalescent homes and the field of occupational therapy). I also have some meta thoughts in my head right now about the privileging of fiction writing over non-fiction writing....

Finances: I have an interview with Ancestry.com next week for a part time historical digital specialist, so send some "good luck" my way. I have about one hundred dollars to my name, although some careful planning from earlier this year means I can survive a little longer (combined with Nick's salary), but I need something soon, especially with fall tuition coming due in September. Chatting with a fellow historian girlfriend of mine about the realities of this job market, the two-body problem, quality of life, and altered expectations cheered me up some. We both struggle but also count our blessings that we are with our partners, live in a part of the country we like, and can practice our profession even if it's not the way we expected to. I struggle with the bitterness sometimes, but playing the victim about the status of academia right now is naive and disingenuous - there are lots of things I could have and can do, while still seeing being righteously angry about the status of our profession.

I mean, apparently, we live in the least stressful city in the United States!

Fun: We got out to a minor league baseball game on Monday, which was really fun.

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We have two apricot trees in the back yard (one hanging over the fence from the neighbor that is ripe now and the one just outside my window that will be ripe soon) so I am looking into canning, drying, and fermenting them. The first two I've done before but I've only ever made kombucha, so it will be a fun new endeavour to try making mead. I need a few supplies (a carboy and an airlock) but I can get the books from the library and have a perfect home set up for it (our wine cellar has seen more use from aging beer and kombucha than wine...).

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We are planning a trip to Glacier National Park over the holiday weekend. It's a ten hour drive, which we'll probably do overnight. It's Nick's favorite park and he's been there twice - once car camping and once backpacking. The Glacier NPS website is ridiculously helpful - they have trail updates, historical fill times of campgrounds, and daily updates on plowing (the main road through the park is still impassable due to snow - welcome to the Rockies!). We will consult with rangers when we get there about what we can access and have equipment for (we aren't as hardcore as ice picks and crampons... yet), but the Three Passes hike looks perfect.

Big Drift, 6-25-2014

Carry on

Jun. 14th, 2013 04:05 pm
brdgt: (Audrey Reading by iconomicon)
In positive news, I met with my advisor about the second draft of my chapter and she loved it. She had some grammatical, formatting, and technical term issues, one historiographic point, and one narrative suggestion, but doesn't want me to spend more than two weeks on that so I can move on to the next chapter.
brdgt: (Grad Student by iconomicon)
Just sent another draft of this chapter to my advisor. I don't think there is any more simultaneously nerve wracking and satisfying feeling than this.

Do you know how many hours of work just this figure took?

Milwaukee Cases
brdgt: (Mrs. Robinson Closer)
Y'all - I finally got a writing fellowship! A full year stipend with no requirements (no report at the end, no attachment to an institute, etc.). The chair told me it was because I had demonstrated some real progress, my description of my work was very interesting (and much improved from last year's application), and that the department wanted to reward the many ways I have been a part of our academic community. I would have taken "because you were next in line," but that answer was something I really needed to hear.

This is a completion fellowship so I have to be done - but that's the plan anyway. This chapter will be finished by the end of February, my next chapter is based on my MA paper, so that will take less time and be done by the end of the semester, then take the summer to write the rheumatic fever chapter, then the fall and spring to write the polio and ear infection chapters, while also being on the job market.

The openness of the fellowship means that if Nick gets a job elsewhere I can move with him. If he stays here, well, that works for us too.

The chair also said I should really get something published soon - which is different than our department usually pushes students, but I think they are finally adapting to the new job climate. I told him the idea for an article that my advisor and I had and he thought it was great (and manageable).

So, I'm taking my boyfriend out for a fancy dinner tonight and hopefully my Modcloth order arrives in time for me to wear one of the sexy new dresses I ordered as motivation for weight loss (which has plateaued weight-wise, but measurement wise and performance wise - for rock climbing in particular - I continue to see improvement).

New Year

Jan. 17th, 2013 04:08 pm
brdgt: (Mrs. Robinson Closer)
Despite always and perpetually struggling with work, I feel like the past few months have been really transformative in feeling more present and happy.

I've mentioned to a few of you who have posted about diets that I decided to try to lose a few pounds last month (too cheap to buy new clothes and I like the ones I have!) and that has gone really well (I've lost 9 pounds thus far, despite traveling and being sick making exercise difficult). Mostly I've been using the MyFitnessPal app to track food and exercise (if you are on there feel free to friend me!). It's amazing how not wanting to bother looking up how many calories 4 chips are can be motivation to just not eat the damn chips.

[livejournal.com profile] antarcticlust suggested I join Fitocracy, but I am not finding it useful or fun. The points earned seem arbitrary and you are rewarded for doing certain types of social interactions and certain types of exercises, rather than encouraging you to do the activities you love. Are any of you on there? Am I missing something?

All of this coincided with trying to get on a better sleep and self care regimen and drinking less (counting the calories of alcohol certainly helped in that regard!). I've invested some research and money into some nice skin care products, my teeth are getting whiter, and I'm sure my doctor will be happy with my vitamin taking.

So far these changes have definitely left me feeling happier overall and grounded. I would like to also translate them into being productive, both in my hobbies and work, so that is the next step. How convenient it is New Years Resolution time!

Hobbies:
-Get back to knitting and, in particular, use up stash and make Holiday gifts for next year - now, not in November.
-Get back to reading the Modern Library Top 100 novels. Last year I only read Angle of Repose and that was by accident (although it was wonderful). So, this year I'm going to devote my Kindle reading to Modern Library books (I usually keep one book by the side of the bed and keep another on the Kindle for commute/travel reading). Right now I'm enjoying Sister Carrie (I've read 32 of the 100 and all of the top 10!)

Work:
-I *need* to have three chapters done by Fall. No ifs, ands, or buts.

Relationships:
-Lots of friends have moved away, are similarly busy, or also hibernating this winter, but I want to try to plan some sort of social activity at least once a month - a girl's night out, a movie with friends, or some outdoor activity.
-One thing I have really come a long way on is stressing about the future and what I can't control. Nick and I have no idea where we will be this Fall, but there is nothing we can do about that right now. We secure in knowing we will be together and that really is all we need.
-At some point we *will* be planning a move, a wedding, and all that fun stuff, which I do allow myself to daydream over, but not take over my brain.

Speaking of which, one of our friends, Kaja, just uploaded a ton of pictures from her camera from the past few years and she posted this great picture of Nick and I at our friends Greg and Ila's wedding two and half years ago - that couple is in the hospital right now having their first baby!!

Greg and Ilas wedding

AAHM 2013

Dec. 13th, 2012 08:47 am
brdgt: (Grad Student by iconomicon)
My abstract submission to the American Association for the History of Medicine conference in Atlanta in May 2013 was accepted! It will be based off of my first chapter:

“Young Children Here March Happily Back to School”: Germ Theory, Scarlet Fever, and Domestic Medicine in Depression-Era America

By the first half of the twentieth century in America scarlet fever was a common, but rarely deadly disease. Mothers still routinely dealt with it and epidemics could disrupt households and communities. Despite the fact that germ theory offered an explanation for how the disease spread and the expansion of hospitals suggested a growth in professional medicine, little had changed for mothers of children with the disease. What had changed was the growing power of public health departments to enact quarantines, close schools, and send public health nurses into homes, placing a greater burden on mothers to carry out quarantines, deal with well children forced to stay at home for weeks, and put into practice stringent hygienic measures to prevent the spread of the disease to other households. Despite new disease theories and new hygienic technologies, the responsibility of putting these ideas into practice still fell to mothers, who sought out, understood, and wove together workable solutions to the immediate problem of a sick child. If anything, new ideas about disease transmission put more of a burden on mothers, not less.
brdgt: (Audrey Reading by iconomicon)
Hopefully this will be my last long distance research trip. On the one hand I love them - being totally immersed in my work and sometimes being able to site-see (depending on archive hours - this trip - not so much, since the archives are open 9-9) - on the other they are isolating and stressful (what if I don't get everything done! I must see all the things!). One thing though, I'm getting really good at packing for them:







- Carry-on bag that can fit the narrow way into an overhead bin (with detachable satchel for carrying my research supplies once I get to my destination, which holds my netbook, power supply, wallet, mp3 player, phone, earplugs*, and kindle)
- Clothing: research clothes (interchangeable, layered, and adorbs), workout clothes (yoga and running), and comfortable but compact shoes.
- Yoga mat (yes, believe it or not, there is a travel yoga mat in there)
- Toiletries (I never stress about these - I can always buy stuff when I get there and leave it behind - much better than worrying about ounces and baggies)
- Jewelry (one set that works with all outfits)
- Bag of electronics (the red and black striped one): camera, batteries, battery charger, memory cards, card reader, laptop lock, headphones, mic. (next to my netbook, the most essential part of research)
- Water Bottle
- Reusable coffee mug
- Not pictured: running shoes and heavy sweatshirt - largest items worn for actual flight rather than taking up room in suitcase.

This archives (Sallie Bingham - Look, it's me!) has a great locker room and reading room, so I can easily access my things without bringing too much into the reading room and having a place to store them when I take breaks (really great food options on the Duke campus, by the way). Like most archives, you are only allowed your computer, camera, pencil, and paper in the actual reading room.


*I cannot stress enough how important ear plugs are - especially on take off and landing when you are not allowed to use electronic devices to block out the noise of screaming children, chatty teenagers, or lonely old women.
brdgt: (Default)
Running: Running has been going well - this is my first repeat week. I realized this week that my appetite hasn't changed at all, which is weird, but my sleeping habits have - I need a lot more sleep than I used to, which makes 6AM yoga very hard. On the other hand, I am so glad I am training with a plan - I haven't skipped a run once and no injuries!

Wearing: It's a rainy day here in Madison, which means I will cheer myself up with my new dress!



Planning: Another side effect of the running program - it takes a lot of time. You have to set aside, between the run and the shower after, at least 90 minutes twice a week and two hours once a week. Combined with working two jobs, writing a dissertation, traveling for research, rock climbing, yoga, and some standing commitments it is very hard to schedule anything with friends. For example, I owe a friend dinner - but finding time to do all of this, plus *make* a home cooked meal before 9PM at night? We've settled for 5:30 on Sunday before my house is descended upon by Game of Thrones fans (apparently we're the only people in our friends group with cable - Kendra has a key to our place and just stops by to set the dvr for random sporting events... but at least she buys me mani-pedis).

Dissertation: Yesterday was spent writing about The Velveteen Rabbit - there is surprisingly little written about children's literature and illness... I see an article in my future.

SCOBY....

Mar. 5th, 2012 09:48 am
brdgt: (Default)
Finished week four of marathon training! 8 more to go...

Nick talked to his grandmother yesterday. She is home from the hospital (at his mom's) and he said she sounded much better, if tired. Also, his chickenpox is pretty much gone and he'll probably just have one scar from it.

Setting new boundaries on my time proved successful last week - I was able to get some good work done even on the days I work other jobs.

I realized that some of my crankypants-ness is probably due to growing pains from various changes I've made since New Years. Change is hard.

The Department nominated me for the College of Letters and Sciences Teaching Fellow Award. That doesn't mean I'll get it, but I think I put together a strong application (including some helpful advice from [livejournal.com profile] purplemb13, who won last year!)

I won the Sallie Bingham Center Research Travel Grant I applied for! I was going to wait until after the semester was over to go, but I think I'm going to go next month. Work can't tell me not to go on a research trip and it might help me a little with my wanderlust and annoyance with work. All of that and, you know, the research is important to the dissertation, even though I've already started writing!

Yesterday I went to a lovely vegan brunch at my (and [livejournal.com profile] astronautical's!) friend Stacey's place (right across the street) and she sent me home with a Kombucha starter! I will, of course, let you know how it goes, but I'm finding it amazingly fascinating just learning about the process - from Wikipedia:

The culture mainly contains a symbiosis of Acetobacter (acetic acid bacteria) and one or more yeasts. The culture itself looks somewhat like a large pancake, and though often called a mushroom, a mother of vinegar or by the acronym SCOBY (for "Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast"), it is scientifically classified as a zoogleal mat. It takes on the shape of its container, but varies in thickness depending on how long it has been allowed to develop and the acidity of the tea medium during the development period. The culture is leathery and inelastic, similar to a thick calamari.


brdgt: (Default)
Workouts:
  • Monday: Ran in the AM at the University Gym - 6k in 37:31 (6'15'/km).
  • Tuesday: Skipped yoga - it was our anniversary the night before so Nick requested we sleep in. Did go rock climbing at the climbing gym with Dianna for a little over an hour. First time in a while for both of us, so we took it a little easy.
  • Wednesday: Ran in the AM at the University Gym - 5K in 31:52 (6'21"/km). Running late that morning so I didn't get to run as long as I wanted.
  • Thursday: See Tuesday :) Played Ultimate that night for 90 minutes.
  • Friday: Ran in the AM at gym near my house. 6k in 35:57 (5'59"/km). First time using their treadmills - usually I'm faster on the track than the treadmill, but this was a personal best for the mile according to my Nike App!


Dissertation:
This week I have been going through the Children's Bureau records for the state of Wisconsin, specifically looking for narrative reports by the public health nurses about their interactions with women. It is some disturbing material, mostly because it is uncomfortably familiar to current events. Nurses write passionately about families living in poverty, through no fault of their own (this is Great Depression era), and having to sacrifice health care for food or lodging. One 36 year old mother of 10, expecting her 11th, with a husband employed for 85/month by the railroad was sacrificing her prenatal care for her living children, and no other agency would help them because her husband was lucky enough to even have a job. Meanwhile the nurses are trying to get them services from government agencies opposed to "socialized medicine" who think people's lives are "cost benefit analyses."


Reading: “There are certain queer times and occasions in this strange mixed affair we call life when a man takes this whole universe for a vast practical joke, though the wit thereof he but dimly discerns, and more than suspects that the joke is at nobody's expense but his own.”
― Herman Melville, Moby-Dick, or, The Whale
Wearing: Cowboy boots, dark wash skinny jeans, white sequined tank, blue blazer. Smart casual Friday.
Planning: We've been invited to four birthday parties tonight and are going to attempt to attend two, after having a nice quiet dinner at home. Tomorrow is another birthday party and I really hope to get some pictures hung in the new apartment. The gift I got Nick for our anniversary (canvas prints of pictures we took in Yellowstone and Joshua Tree) made me realize how much that will help me feel moved in.
brdgt: (Default)
The beginning of the school year with no classes or teaching is weird. I *LOVE* back to school time. I roam the aisles at Target, lust after stationary, and consider getting a new planner even though I use my phone for everything now. In lieu of these joys I spent yesterday planning my semester on my google calender. Some of these are goals and some are definites, but I thrive with activity and schedules so I'm shooting high and see where I land!

Work:
I work Tues-Thurs at WTS from 9-1. Nice extra money and keep my profile there to up my hours again next summer. I've advanced quickly there and they are going to have me do in-office work for the Fall.

Dissertation:
I have a fellowship and feel really great about the research I've done this summer. I still need to figure out how to get funding to get to the National Archives, but those grants aren't up until early next year, so I'm hoping Judy will let me start writing without that data yet. The Scarlet Fever, TB, and Rheumatic Fever chapters are well rounded in material and I have some nice leads in Chicago for Polio stuff. The department is paying for me to go to both HSS and AAHM this year, but I won't be presenting. Clark wants to start a dissertator group, meeting in the library one afternoon a week, which even if I'm not writing will be helpful for citation maintenance.

Exercise:
Now that we are moved and I have a set schedule, this was where I went to town with plans. I now live right around the corner from a really nice gym, so I signed up with the new member student discount yesterday. I can go to the UW gym as part of my fees as well. So, my plan is:

Mondays: Run in the AM (either on treadmill at new gym where they have individual tv's! or the track on campus, which I prefer to treadmill running if I can't run outside)

Tuesdays: Either strength training class on campus or yoga at new gym depending on how I feel when I wake up. The proximity of the gym is tempting for cold mornings or when I have to bring a lot to campus because I can return home and shower there instead of bringing in my street clothes. Tuesday evenings I rock climb with Dianna.

Wednesdays: Run

Thursdays: Strength Training or Yoga in AM (they have 6AM yoga classes at the new gym!) and ultimate frisbee at night.

Fridays: Run (maybe an occasional core crunch class at the campus gym with Nick in the afternoon - he is not the early riser).

Saturdays: Yoga at Perfect Knot

Sunday: Rest.


My goals aren't weight or clothing sizes, but feeling good and sticking to a productive schedule. I do want to run Crazy Legs (8k) in the spring (I can run 8k already, but as a perfectionist I want to also have a good time) and work toward running a half marathon next year. All of this means being at the gym longer, since running twice as far means running twice as long! I really felt my best physically when I was doing yoga three times a week so that is a big goal too. I was also running regularly then, so I know all of this is doable - the summer just throws off my schedule with so much ultimate frisbee and traveling.

But mostly it is the mind-body connection - when I am on an exercise schedule I am more productive in other areas of my life - I have more energy, I even feel like I have more time, and I feel good. This is the beginning of the end of my graduate career and Nick and I are trying to coordinate our graduation, so we are trying to help each other and support each other in our respective needs. Now that we live together we feel less stressed with finding free time for each other so we feel like we are ready for this stage :)


This morning's yoga class? I got to watch the sun rise out the 4th floor window :)
brdgt: (Audrey Reading by iconomicon)








brdgt: (Default)
Dear Ms. Collins:

It is my pleasure to inform you that you have been selected to receive a 2010-2011 Charles Donald O’Malley Short-Term Research Fellowship from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and History & Special Collections for the Sciences, Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library, UCLA. You have been awarded a stipend of $1500 (one thousand and five hundred dollars)....


Yah! This is my first funding outside the department, which is a wonderful feeling and a nice line on my CV. I'm going to look at their baby book collection - the funding should allow for two weeks of research (airfare, hostel, food and transportation).

Universe, you are funny.

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