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Optimal / Suboptimal

It was one of those big days today.  Got up early.  Took sister to airport.  Got home just in time to put books in bag and bike to school.

Eventful school-happenings du jour.  Fire alarm during Quechua, thus allowing Michiq and I to do our dialogue outside on the grass instead of inside where everyone is watching.  This is much preferable, but sadly won’t happen again.  Also sadly, we have a dialogue due Monday and it’s much harder than today’s.  This class sometimes kills me.

Had meeting for the rest of the afternoon.  Spent my lunch hour gathering library call numbers for all the semantics reading I need to copy tomorrow afternoon.  Had my second meeting with the professor I’m TAing for, who bears this incredibly uncanny resemblance in both looks and manner to Damien Jurado.  This pleases me greatly.  He’s also much too nice to me, which is breeding a mutual appreciative work situation.  He straightens and staples papers before he gives them to me, makes me an answer key, and posts it online so I don’t have to hand correct anything.  In exchange, I expertly and expediently grade all his papers.  I feel as though this is how TAs are supposed to be used, but I probably shouldn’t get used to it.  Something tells me last quarter is probably a better indicator of TA workload and appreciation than this one.  Odd thing to note: professor mentioned that he had heard good things about me around the department, particularly that I was a good student and worker.  My reputation proceeds me?  Graduate advisor is at it again!

Second meeting with professor I think I’ll dub QP Advisor, for this ought to be his role in best possible of worlds (as in, the world in which this research turns into my first QP).  Advisory was impressed with the bones of the paper (had given me an A, “Excellent!” on it in first grading round) and thought that with the right amount of work we could make it into “the perfect QP”.  This is a good note to start on.  Unfortunatley I seem to have lost the short-lived grasp of Halle’s arguement for morphonemic analysis that I had last quarter and based said paper on, so I’ve got some brushing up to do.  Other than that, advisor gave me a hundred other trees to start barking up, which pretty much cuts my work out for me this week.  Odd things to note number two: QP advisor had heard that graduate advisor wanted me to turn my other essay from last quarter into another QP.  My reputation proceeds me?  Graduate advisor strikes again!

Came home and for the first time this quarter put more than three things on my Tasque list for next week.  House seems a little lonely and quiet without the sister around today.  I guess it’s back to business.  I did get four whole days off (and subsequently had too much fun to blog regularly…) so I suppose I can trade a mini-vacation for a few weeks (8 weeks?) of hump-busting.  It’s really only fair.  Anyway, got everything I put on my list for today back off, which was a fair load.  I’ve got a lot of things lined up for the upcoming weekend, but managed to for the most part avoid putting anything on Saturday when I’m sure to be busy.  I am looking forward to LA.  Been a while since I’ve seen that town!

And now, I really must go to bed.  It’s not very late, but I’ve been nodding off since about 6:30 this afternoon, and I’ve got another few days of early wake-age to get through before my weekend starts (and is filled with more early wake-age).  All in all, a solid way to start the first day of my life under Obama.

Blink Blank Blunk

This whole week has been ones of those where at the end of my day my whole body just shuts down.  I sit down to blog, knowing I have lots of stories to share, and my eyes slowly close, I sink in my seat, and my brain starts to run, run….

The last several nights I’ve had a hard time getting to sleep despite being as tired as I am now.  At some point work tapers off and exhaustion sets in, but my brain never stops worrying about what I’m doing, or need to do, or should do, or might forget to do.  There are so many tiny pieces of input into my day I really need a better way to organize them.  I like to think I’ve got a good short term memory, but with as much reading and learning and the all-exhausting taing I’m doing, there just aren’t any neurons left to fill that purpose.  Things just fall right our of my head, like a sieve.  It reminds me of laundry day, where at the end of the day you’ve folded so many socks you can’t carry them all at once, but you try to anyway.  No matter how big of a handfull or armload you think you can carry, you inevitably drop a bunch of socks on the way to the drawer.  Those socks are my thoughts.  And they keep spilling on the floor.

Wednesday has to be my worst day.  I know Fridays I teach more, but they have this added bonus, a character of flippancy almost, because they’re Fridays.  I know that all I have to do is make it through that two hours of teaching, and I’m really off free for almost three whole days.  Nevermind that I do more work in those three days than the remaining four, but there are no social obligations which takes the pressure off quite a bit.  Except, of course, this weekend.  But sociolinguistics just wouldn’t be what it is if I didn’t have to do something as partially terrifying as asking pointed questions about strangers’ lives.  And this is the one and only time I have to do this.  In the forseeable future.  Ish.

I don’t really feel like talking about class today.  I did a lot today.  I’m now two-thirds done grading essays.  I remembered (whoo!  remembering anything!) to print out a bunch of papers I need for my 260 project.  I even read half of one.  I got my section done, and it went pretty well, despite my total lack of semantics knowledge.  I did a million tiny tasks this morning… tried to set up an email list, sent some emails I needed to do, and this evening I got my schedule for next week up. My schedule for next week looks, if at all possible, scarier than this weeks.  But I think after this, it levels out.  I present in 260 on Tuesday, and that’s the only thing I need to do (officially..) besides the final project in any of my classes.  Phew.

But really the only major happening of my day was that my tire was again (arg!) flat when I got out of section.  And I put new tires (actual tires, not tubes) on my bike just two days ago!  Anyway, it did make it obvious that my 5-times-patched tube was inadequate, and I was meaning to get new tubes anyway.  So I took it to the bike shop (by which I mean Davis has about nine..) and they had just enough time to change my tube before they closed.  Yay.  My bike always rides so well with properly inflated tires, and it turns out I was way under inflating the new tires.  My old ones were 65 psi, but the new ones go up to 100, which is way firmer than I’m used to.  Rode home like a dream.

Came home to my wonderful Lewis, who hugged my stressful day away.  And then made me delicious dinner.  The ol’ quinoa stuffed baked squash bit of heaven.  So tasty.  And I am so ready for bed.  Here’s to tomorrow, an easier day than today.