Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Cost of Wisdom

I recently received my first paycheck after my 40th birthday. I am thankful a) to have a full-time job and b) to have little perks like supplemental life insurance and long-term disability coverage, each for which I pay a nominal monthly fee.

What surprised me was that my monthly rates for these things both increased by $5 and $12 respectively in this last paycheck. When I checked LMUU's human resources website for any changes to the coverage starting May 1, I soon realized that the only change to my coverage was my advancement to age 40 in the middle of said month. It is now officially more expensive to insure me.

Wisdom comes with a price, I guess.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Dissertation Compression

I am applying for a Dissertation of the Year award through a professional association of which I am a member. It was DC's idea, which in itself was pretty flattering.

It's due June 1, and DC technically needs to submit it on my behalf. That means I need to get it to her this week. "It" is a 15-page abstract of my over-200-page dissertation. Yes folks, that means that over 185 pages of my dissertation was just a bunch of hogwash. It will only take 15 to apply for a prestigious award I probably won't win. Isn't that funny?

I'm not in the least bit stressed about it. OK, let me rephrase that. I'm not in the least bit stressed about whether or not I win the award (I'm just a tad bit stressed about getting the application done on time). If I do, it will be a wonderful, and completely unexpected occurrence. If I don't, no big whoop. I will come out of this process with a condensed version of the dissertation out of which I can hopefully spin off a couple of articles or at least a decent conference presentation. I'll spend the next few days working on it, but no more, and out of it should come something usable.

I'm glad to be back into that academic side of my brain again. This semester at work has pretty much kicked my ass, but it's not been academic ass. It's been administrative ass. Administrative ass is not nearly as fun.

OK, back to getting my academic ass in gear.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Full Moon on my 40th B-day

I am not into astrology, but I did just flip over my wall calendar to the new month and realized that there will be a full moon on my 40th birthday. Is there any significance to this?

A few years ago, Wife and I attended a conference on autism disorder. It was not long after Moose's diagnosis. We were in a session on biomedical interventions, some of which seemed spot-on and some of which seemed a bit mystical. While I do think there are other forces "out there" that influence our lives, our bodies, and the rest of the world, I don't tend to believe in those forces to the extent that I let them guide our lives. I guess it's a balance. Anyhow, back to my point: this was a session run by three nurse practitioners who seemed very well-versed in handling a wide variety of autism symptoms and behaviors. It was a good session, and they clearly knew their stuff. However, toward the end of the session one of the presenters threw in a curve ball when discussing a certain symptom by saying something like, "...but of course all of this can change when there's something else going on, like when there's a full moon." I started laughing, thinking it was a good joke. I think I was the only one laughing in this very full meeting room. So I asked, "Can you please describe the significance of the full moon in this conversation?" All heads turned my way and started talking at once about just how many things go haywire for autistic kiddos when there's a full if I should have known this. Wow, sorry I asked!

Otherwise, I think it's pretty swell to have a 40th birthday on a full moon. We shall see.