Thursday, January 26, 2012

Tweet tweet, Ph.D. style

Perhaps one of the scariest things in the world is having a professor request to follow you on Twitter.

No, I take that back. The scariest thing is having a student request to follow you on a social media site. However, the professor one is right up on second.

A few years ago, when I first started teaching, I allowed my students to “friend” me on Facebook. After a few months, I started squirming uncomfortably, not really enjoying how much my students suddenly knew about me. Not really appreciating their comments that they hoped I had a good time grading papers or that they hoped I would give them an A on the next paper. No, no, no. I’m not for that. Thanks to an unfortunate situation with one of the students, however, I was given a reason to defriend them all. Whew. Wipe the sweat from my brow, it was over. Now, I do tell them that they can friend me after they graduate…but by that time, most of them forget. That’s a win if I ever saw one.

On the other hand, I have friended my professors.

A running partner asked me one day why I friended my professors on Facebook. To which I responded, “It’s harder to be mean to a student who you know well.” And Facebook gives you that superficial knowledge that you need to be closer with your professors. Heck, that’s why my students friended me. That’s why I friend my professors. Granted, it’s a bit different at the Ph.D. level, as you are significantly closer with your professors than in during your undergraduate degree, but the bottom-line reasoning is the same. 

Also, nothing gets me more excited on Facebook than seeing that one of my professors have commented or “liked” something on my profile. Eeek!!! They’re proud of me for becoming ABD!!! They “liked” that I ran eight miles today!! Hooray!

However, Twitter is a different story.

I don’t use Twitter that often, but, when I do, it’s a bit more sarcastic. Fewer people follow me on Twitter, and I’m a bit more sardonic on Twitter. In fact, during my “Summer of Hades” where I took 12 hours of IT, I wrote a smart-aleck Twitter comment each. day. about how awful the classes were. That’s not the worst of it! This past summer, when I had He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named as a joke of a professor (granted, not at the university where I will receive my diploma – it was a transfer class), I ranted about him on a regular basis. I still rant about him on a regular basis. And he knows it, I’m sure. My boss told me recently, in fact, that when that professor asked me, “What did you learn in this class?” I probably shouldn’t have said, “Absolutely nothing.” Whatever. I passed with a B, and while it still irks me that it wasn’t an A, I am done with that professor.

See? Still ranting.

A couple of days ago, I noticed that my adviser had an “official” Twitter account. What I mean is, he has a Twitter account with his name, but he posts about Super Duper University activities. AND, what made it 10 times cooler, he had posted a picture with four of his doctoral students – and one of them was me!!!


I did start following him on Twitter, mainly due to the picture. It psyched me up. And, therefore, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that he requested to follow me. It actually flattered me. But, with that came something else: fear.

I don’t think he’s actually going to go through every single Twitter post I’ve written, but I did check the last few months’ worth to make sure none of them were…ahem, snarky. After that check, I clicked “yes” on approve follower.

Now, I’ve just got to remember that he’s there…  

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

This morning, I sent Misti, who I suspected would be up with her adorable baby or husband, and my mom, who I knew to be up getting ready for work, a picture of my would-be hairstyle for the day. It was a little out there, but as I am the professor with a Chihuahua calendar on her desk, I felt that a little out there actually suited my personality.

Here is the “surprising” hairdo.

I was actually more surprised by the good comments I received than the bad. My husband, who keeps me fairly grounded on my eclectic fashion, liked it. One of my male students asked if I could do my hair like this every day (to which I wonder if he was being sarcastic, but who knows?). A female student told me I looked “sexy.” But then, of course, there are the ones who just can’t keep their mouths shut.

This poor child. This poor, sweet child who cannot figure out what to say. Or not to say. She looked at me and asked, “So…is that how you meant for your hair to look today?”

The student next to her looked at her like, “Did you really just say that??” but I grinned. I have a pretty high self-esteem level thanks to supportive parents and friends and a husband who daily tells me I’m hot stuff. Call it pride, call it confidence, but I’ve got it. It’s probably why pride is a huge issue of mine. ;) And not because I don’t have it.

Anyway, so the girl starts turning red, and she said, “No, what I mean is, did you not have time to do your hair this morning? Or was that intentional?”

I can’t help it. I did laugh. Maybe it was how she worded it or how red she was turning in embarrassment, but it was just funny. Plus, though I do have a high self-esteem, I also know when to laugh at myself. Life is too serious in general to get ticked at little things.

“No, this was intentional,” I told her. “I did mean to have this hairstyle.”

She literally held her face behind a book before she finally decided to escape on the premise of getting a snack. She has yet to return.

So what do you think? A little too much or am I on target? I actually do like the hair, but I may not do it often to work, as it seemed to take too many people by surprise, ha! These students need to focus on my lecture and not so much on what I decided to wear my hair!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Sleeping habits

Everything that sleeps has its own sleeping habits. My dog, for instance, when she’s sleeping for the night and not just napping, will lie on her side and, if she’s dreaming, will start running on her side – just barely. You’ll feel her back legs quiver, then her front. Then her back, then her front. It’s quite cute. Sometimes she’ll even give a faint bark.

I, on the other hand, snore. Yep, I’ll admit, I’m a self-proclaimed snorer…in certain situations. The more comfortable I am around you, the more likely I am to snore. That’s right, that means that my sweet husband gets an orchestra of noise on some nights. If I’m staying with a colleague in a hotel room, though…I somehow have trained myself not to snore. I sleep lighter and don’t sleep as well…but I don’t snore.

I had a roommate in college, however, who had to deal with my snoring – and I had to deal with her talking in her sleep. She’d say in a very normal, awake voice all sorts of words that didn’t make sense together, but she’s say them in a tone that, apparently to her, made sense. For example, she might say, “The raft go monsoon far Thursday voices contest press more confirm” with inflection – but it'd make no sense. So I’d yell something out at her until she quit talking. Same with me. I’d snore and she’d yell at me until I stopped. It was a good arrangement.

However, my husband may have the funniest sleep habits. While he has talked once or twice in his sleep, he also plays the piano…in his sleep. On me. Last night, he had already fallen asleep, and his leg was touching mine and one of his hands was on my shoulder. And he was playing the piano in his sleep. His fingers would move around for a couple of seconds and then stop for a few seconds, then pick back up again. His leg even was pushing a pedal in his dream. It also didn’t help that the dog was dream running again, curled up on the other side of my leg. About five minutes of this – though it was quite cute – I was done.

“Hey…Hey, Kyle. Hey, are you awake?”


“Hey. You’re playing the piano on me. You gotta stop that. I can’t sleep.”

“Ok…” He rolled over and went straight back to sleep.

His main question this morning, after I reminded him of his night playing, was what he was playing last night in his dreams. I'm not sure what it was, but he certainly was rocking out. 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Thoughts on heels

Embedding was disabled for this video for some reason, but check it out.  It’s quite funny and fits nicely with this blog.


One inch.

Two inch.

Three inch – four??

Ladies, if I tell you I’m wearing kitten heels, you’ll probably think my shoes are cute, comfortable, and maybe a little safe. If I tell you I’m wearing a pair of four-inch heels, you will automatically feel my pain. It’ll probably begin with your toes, which, in four-inch heels, are crunched up at the front of the shoe, scoot down to your heel, which aches with every step you’ve taken in aforementioned heels, encompass your entire stuffy, scrunched-in foot, and travel up to your calf muscle, which also experiences a work out to keep you stabilized in these beautiful heels.

See, that’s the problem, isn’t it? Heels are hot, as Amy Farrah Fowler so adequately said, just not in quite those words. First, there’s the mere pain of heels. Granted, some aren’t uncomfortable, but for some reason I’ve noticed the prettier a heel, the more pain that will come with it – which is why women usually put on heels and say to themselves, “No pain, no gain.” I’m not sure what we’re trying to gain with heels – men, maybe, but married women wear heels, too. Still, the answer is probably men – our husbands in this case (hopefully).

Then, for me, at least, there’s the problem of walking in heels. I’m fairly good at walking on flat surfaces in any size of heel. However, as I noticed when we went to a friend’s wedding last October, when you’re not prepared for gravel or steep declines and inclines and holes in bridges where your heels can catch, heels are the devil. As I learned from sad, sad experience. But even on flat surfaces, I still have to walk aware. Why? Because of the sound. You all know the sound; there’s a resonance heels make when the individual who is wearing them is walking properly. Click, click, click, click. Steady, sophisticated, sexy. Here’s how I usually sound wearing heels: click, slomp, click, click, splat. The splat, by the way, is from hitting something on the ground that makes that sound, not me falling. I don’t walk properly to begin with. I don’t know why; maybe it’s the same reason why I can’t walk in a straight line. But when I wear heels, I have to make care that in a quiet hall with people around, they sound perfect. Because I’m crazy like that…am I the only one?


However, let’s go back to the main point: heels are hot. As I was dressing for work this morning, I had the option: black flats…or four-inch eggplant purple heels. I weighed my options. I teach class today, which means walking across campus, teaching for two hours, and walking back to my office. Lots of standing, lots of walking. My feet were going to ache today.

But those purple heels were oh, so cute…

But the flats were oh, so practical…

So which did I choose?

I got to work this morning fairly early, and, as I was walking to my office building, I spotted her: the individual who is, quite frankly, the bane of my existence. If I must have a mortal enemy, it is her. We all have those individuals who just grate on our nerves, but she takes the cake in my life. She spotted me. And I (for once, ha!) just ignored her.

But as soon as we passed, I grinned. I was dressed quite cute, my hair looked fantastic, and I was wearing my four-inch purple heels.

Heels are hot.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Coffee cause

I enjoy a lost cause much more than a regular cause.

Case and Point: The historical downtown area of my hometown ebbs and flows like the ocean. Sometimes, you’ll have really good shops, and then sometimes you’ll have the way-overly-priced boutiques that I could never afford. So when this one particular store, Design Co., moved in downtown, many of us were thrilled. Here was somewhat reasonably-priced, adorable clothing and accessories. Two of my favorite summer shirts came from there.

That was all I purchased.


Due to lack of sales, Design Co. had to shut its doors. When they did, they had a huge blow-out sale, and I racked up on shoes, dresses, etc. I purchased what I have deemed my “Elvis shoes” (blue suede ballet flats) for about $14. They were regularly about $60. Yeah, I call that a deal.

I do like a good deal, and maybe that has something to do with it. But here’s Case and Point No. 2: Our university had an outstanding dairy. Quality meat, addictive cheese (seriously, I had a problem), mouthwatering ice cream, fresh milk – it was fabulous. However, I didn’t go there too often because of two reasons: 1) They closed at 5 p.m. on weekdays and weren’t open on the weekends and 2) To get there, I would have to drive AWAY from my house. Frankly, if I manage to get off of work a few minutes before 5 p.m., I am going HOME. I did pick up a few things, but a lot of my meat came from the supermarket just for convenience's sake. Eventually, word leaked out that the dairy would soon shut its doors forever. The student paper ran huge stories calling for the administration and the public to save the dairy, but in the end, the administration had to make a tough call. Though it breaks my heart, they made the right decision; it’s hard to have a dairy department when you don’t have a single dairy major.

And now we have my favorite coffee shop: FM 2.0. Okay, that’s not its official name, but it’s what I call it. They opened back in the fall just a few months after FM 1.0 closed down, much to my chagrin. I haunted FM.  It had my favorite coffee bean (Red Sea Blend) and went there on a daily basis when I worked at the newspaper. They closed last summer, and I mourned their loss, though not as much as others – college students literally held a vigil outside its doors one night. When FM 2.0 opened, I was thrilled to see it was the same(ish) management and same menu. I didn’t go as often (thanks to the Keurig), but if I purchased coffee, it was from 2.0.

And Friday the 13th was their last day open. Fitting, right? I made my last coffee purchase when I heard they were shutting their doors and drank in the sweet aroma and flavor that only really good coffee can epitomize. Alas, poor FM 2.0., I knew him sort of well.

That’s the problem, it seems. Though the dairy wasn’t downtown, it’s less than a mile from the downtown area – why don’t people support downtown? Why don’t I support downtown?

A friend of mine owns a cute clothing store downtown, and, when possible, I do try to shop there. Granted, I just don’t shop that much for clothing. I know something I need to purchase, and then I go find it. I don’t often just go peruse clothing (much to my husband’s happiness, I’m sure, haha!).

But I do want to support our town’s downtown area. We have some fantastic restaurants and cute clothing and hobby stores. Yeah, it’s slightly more pricey, but everything downtown is a good product.

A few weeks ago, American Express had this big push to shop local. That’s a fantastic idea. Eat produce from a farmer’s market. Buy at least some of your clothing from a downtown merchant. Eat at local restaurants – you KNOW the locals have better food than chains. Seriously.

I’m not a businessperson, but those who own small businesses don’t have an easy job. Maybe small businesses can thrive, even in this economy and even fighting big corporations. The best we can do for them is to walk in their shop and make a purchase – even a small one like a cup of coffee.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Letter to the cat

Dear Apollo,

Well, you’re officially about eight months old. Somewhere around that. I think we’ll keep your birthday in August, however, as you came to us in August.

It’s been a wild eight months, from you getting fixed to your sister going missing to you growing into this beautiful, fuzzball who loves being held and petted. You’re such a beautiful cat. Feisty and beautiful. However, we need to have a little discussion about two of your bad habits.

One. Stop sneaking in the house. I get it that you’re super talented at sneaking by us when we come inside or are outside watching the dog do her bizness. I get that apparently you’re proud of these accomplishments. And this is perfectly fine if we see you sneak in, and have to chase you down. You like being chased, and while I’m not super happy to do so, it’s not really a problem.

HOWEVER. It is a problem when you sneak by when no one notices and you stay inside with us unaware. Believe it or not, it’s a little unnerving to be reading on the couch and see you slink up the stairs like a black ghost. It’s even more unnerving to come home after a run and have you greet me inside my house. You’re crafty, little cat, but you don’t need to be.

I know you don’t want to stay indoors. Every time you come in, you’re always a little nervous, making sure the door is open so you can make a quick getaway. So why are you allowing yourself to get trapped inside?

Also, let’s talk about your buddies Frank and Garfield. Sure, we probably shouldn’t have named the possum or the orange cat, but they seem to come around so much that it seemed appropriate that they have names. And, yes, I might have spray painted Frank brown, practically signaling to everyone that he is my possum. And he can come around and look around – but why is he eating your food? I was more than a little stunned when I went outside last night to turn your heating pad in your house on and leaned down in the darkness to pet you – and realized I almost petted Frank!!! (By the way, I don’t think he wants to be petted.) Garfield is just as bad. Yes, I know the lady across the street tried to make me adopt him as a replacement for your sister, but I don’t want him. You fight with him on occasion, and that makes me not like him. But when I held you in the doorway and Garfield came RIGHT UP to me and meowed…that’s when I realized that he thinks he’s my cat, too. And it doesn’t help that Vicki doesn’t chase him anymore, but I’ll deal with her later.

Vicki. You two seem to have a love-hate relationship. She really does love you…as long as you’re not hiding in the leaves waiting to pounce her. But it’s so hard to discipline you for that, especially when your daddy and I are dying out laughing. You know what? I’m okay with that. She runs faster than you, and it’s not like you’re jumping out to hurt her anyway. You’re just playing.

At any rate, let’s work on not sneaking inside and not letting the neighborhood riffraff eat all your food. I have one outdoor pet, and it’s you. Love you, sweet Apollo!

Love, your human mom 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Lately, I've been learning...

Grace, grace, God’s grace.
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within.
Grace, grace, God’s grace.
Grace that is greater than all our sin.

I’ve been giving a lot of thought to grace, mercy, and passion lately. It has probably helped that our church has started a new series focusing on spiritual awakening that has gone along quite nicely with a prayer I made a few weeks ago: “Let me know You more. Let me have a passion to learn about You and a desire to read more of Your word.”

I do my daily Bible study most mornings. I’ve done this for quite some time, but, I’ve noticed, it had become more of a routine – not something so much that I want to do as much as a habit. I want my Bible study to be a joy each day, something to look forward to, something I don’t want to stop.

So bring that longing with our church’s study with the Daniel Fast (I’ll get to that in a later post), and I realized this week…the fire is burning. It started as a little flicker of a flame that is slowly growing, something I hope that will never stop. At any rate, I just wanted to share with you some of the things God has taught me in the last week:

1. God loves EVERYONE. (Acts 10:34-35)
This one is really easy for me…when thinking about people who I don’t know. But it’s a lot harder to swallow – and act on – when I think about individuals who have harmed or maligned me or my loved ones. But when I think about it with those individuals’ names in the blank: God loves ________ -- it becomes potent. And I need to take responsibility in possibly pushing them away from God. I hope that has not been the case, but I’m sure it has been. It’s very easy for me to respond the way the world would respond – with anger and sarcasm – than with love and mercy. But that gets me to Point No. 2.

2. God loves me. (Matthew 7:11)
I know not everyone grew up with awesome parents like I did. Seriously – I’ve got the best parents ever. When I think about how I was raised, how my mom and dad made sure I was active in church, how they continually love me and are overly gracious to me, how they have adopted my husband as their son and love him equally…it’s amazing. There’s just no other word for it. But if our earthly parents (which, granted, I realize not all parents are that great – TRUST ME, I realize this) know to give us good things…how much more does our God know and want to give us good things? Good things like grace, mercy, forgiveness, joy. Flipping mind-boggling.

Then, take it a step further. If God loves me and has shown me all of these good things and God loves everyone else…shouldn’t I love everyone else, too? We’ve heard it all the time – it’s easy to love your friends, but it’s really hard to love your enemies. REALLY HARD. And sometimes there needs to be separation for safety’s sake. Abusive relationships, for instance. Anger is fine – anger can be righteous – but we cannot let it advance to hate and bitterness.

3. People want to hear about God’s love more than His judgment.
This came to me this morning in preparation for next Sunday’s lesson. People want love. They want to feel love. That’s why we have so many social networks in attempts to connect with others, why people get into wrong relationships, why individuals divorce after they feel their spouse isn’t loving them enough. People want to be loved. And what better way to show them love than through the Gospels? Through God, who loves them more than we ever could? Yes, there’s a time to discuss judgment, and yes, I do think at times our culture takes the aspect of God’s love out of context and presents it without consequence to our actions, but I think Christians focus on hellfire and brimstone more than this story of redeeming grace and love.

There are consequences to our actions, and, at times, when we stray, God will discipline us to bring us closer to Him. People don’t want to hear that. People want to hear a karma Bible story – do good things and good things will come to you. Really? The Bible is full of examples of people who did good and had mounds of trials come their way: Job. Stephen. Jesus.

Going back to the end of the first graf in this point, God does discipline those He loves. Trials are meant to bring us closer to Him – and while I have prayed during trials of the past year, I don’t feel like I used those issues to grow closer. I just prayed because I could do nothing else. But I want to study more, I want to grow more – and I want to share that God loves you.

God loves YOU. Who wouldn’t want to be loved by God, the creator of the universe? Well, guess what – you’ve got His love.

Now it’s just a matter of loving Him in return.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Welcome to the new year

Note: This blog was written Jan. 3.
I love sitting at my house watching the light slowly fade from multiple windows in my living room. My husband is by my side reading, and my sweet pup is curled up next to me. I’m sure my cat is…somewhere. ;)

2012 has been fantastic these first three days…so I’m hoping the next 362 will be as equally wonderful. At any rate, we welcomed in 2012 sleeping. That’s right, conked out in the bed and a bit annoyed when we were awakened by fireworks. Old people, I know, ha!

I actually made a list of how Kyle and I have spent NYEs since we’ve been married. Nerd much?

2005: Headed to Natchitoches, La., and stayed in one heck of a creep B&B. No locks on the doors. I swear someone came in our room in the middle of the night. Eeek!!
2006: Natchitoches again…this time in a hotel. With locks.
2007: Ahem…Natchitoches with a group of friends. At a B&B. That may or may not have been haunted. That we played hide and seek in. Yes, it was a good night.
2008: Kyle was away with work for two weeks after Christmas, so I went to Chicago. Also, some time after I got back, I got food poisoning something awful. So, yes, I did ring in 2009…while puking my guts up.
2009: Very similar to this year – in New Orleans…doing laundry, watching TV, and complaining about neighbors blowing fireworks, lol. Old!!
2010: Party at a friend’s house – very awesome!
2011: back in New Orleans watching the Auburn football game and heading to bed at 10 p.m. Had to be ready to get up to go see my Saints play the next day!!

Speaking of the Saints game…It. Was. Awesome. Despite the thousands, we saw a few people from our church and met up with some friends we hadn’t seen in a while. Oh, and the Saints won. Can’t beat that!!

Kyle and his aunt
Me and my honey
Kyle's sweet aunt and uncle
Kyle and our friend Sean, from Ohio! So glad we got to see them at the game!!
Me and Tinabean!! Love that girl!
Oh, when the Saints...go marching in...
Me, Kyle, and our friends Crystal and Dain
Kyle's cousin and his beautiful girlfriend
2012…I have a feeling it’s going to be a great year.

My love and me =)