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.

10444011_10203009622973904_9175835865999442926_n

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...).

10458347_10203034958087266_3932116430748196468_n

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
brdgt: (Loved by _delovely_icons)
So much celebrating lately - no time to take pictures! Luckily, other people do :)

Dr. Nick and his proud Fiance:

Proud Fiance

And from our engagement party this weekend - Nick's father threw us a wonderful pool party with both sides of his family, tons of food, thoughtful games and decorations (Nick's step-sister Tina is seriously my long lost twin in the party planning department), and generous gifts and messages of love...

Engagement Party


I also forgot to mention that Judy found me some extra money this summer, which helps out tremendously, even if it is just a little. Faculty really don't understand how little we live on and therefore a little bit of help can go a long way.

So... good things.
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).

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)
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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