Friday, September 14, 2007

Drives cats wild!

I recently started teaching at a local university because sooner or later (but probably later) I will actually be done with this whole PhD thing and be totally ill-equipped to handle life in the real world. So I figure now is the time to figure out what I want to do after 7+ years of grad school, since I think the one thing I've learned is that the life of a research professor is not for me. I'd rather stick pins in my eyeballs and eat at Red Lobster than be a research professor. A regular professor though? One who actually teaches because they enjoy imparting wisdom upon young impressionable students? That *may* be the life for me. Hence the teaching.

I had no idea how exhausting it is to teach. It's not that I have classes full of unruly students - on the contrary, they are quite well-behaved. I think part of it stems from the fact that I am five feet tall, and the projection screen is out of my reach, and I don't have a laser pointer. And so the first three weeks, I would grab a stool, awkwardly climb up on top, and attempt to point at things so that the students in the back of the classroom would be able to see that I am brilliantly explaining the difference between dense irregular connective tissue and fibrocartilage. See how they both have collagen fibers? But see how the dense irregular connective tissue has fibroblast nuclei scattered about, but the fibrocartilage has chondrocytes in lacunae? No? Here, let me get down from the stool, move it over a couple inches, climb back up, and try to point out this nice lacuna right over here....

I've been pretty busy at lab (I had to get here at 5:30am this morning, which was scary) so I didn't have time to go buy a laser pointer until last night. I bought the cheapest one I could get, but it was well worth the $9 investment. Not only does it point at things, and is "great for professional presentations and teachers!", but it also "drives cats wild!" Apparently, there are many uses for a laser pointer. Not only can I drive small animals wild, I will be able to "find a mate across the room! Amuse friends at parties! Find a car keyhole in the dark!" Perhaps I should have sprung for the $20 laser pointer - maybe it will help me graduate by next year, win the lottery, and end world hunger.

After a particularly tasty meal at Burgermeister (my first hamburger in about three years, ever since I found out exactly how much saturated fat is in a 1/4 lb patty; I of course ate a half-pound burger last night, yergh) we walked over to Eos to investigate the to-go pints of ice cream they are selling. The flavor that caught my eye was Thai Peanut. Ah, but here is the dilemna - I'm poor. I'm not going to shell out $7 for a pint of ice cream without tasting it first. So mustering up our courage, we asked if we could taste it before we bought it. A phone call later, the pastry chef was dishing out a small scoop to us grubby grad students in the middle of the restaurant. After all that, *of course* we were going to buy a pint. But it was worth it - peanutty, coconutty, and with just the right amount of kick that hits you at the back of the throat, not on your tongue. Yum...

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