Monday, December 30, 2013

Insulation and Offices

Maybe I'll turn this into a blog on house renovations after all? I dunno yet. 

Tomorrow morning we're having insulation blown into our attic. Said Attic currently has the original 1965 insulation that is now only 5" thick. We need 14-15" total to be up to the proper magical R-value of 38 which apparently will keep us warm in the winter and cool in the summer. This makes sense, seeing that it in the winter it's about 2-3 degrees colder on the second floor as compared with the first. Heat rises, so yes, we've been heating Said Attic for the last six years. Sigh. Time to get that under control. 

And now back to the long-disputed issue of my Office-Prison. It's no longer really a prison unless I'm burning the midnight oil on a work-related project, seeing that I never do any research or writing of my own (and that's a whole other blog post, or five), but I do still struggle with keeping it uncluttered. I really do prefer things to be neat and orderly, but I've had a few years of work priorities and have lost the habit in the office. Well, one thing I will say I've gotten under control in 2013 is filing paperwork. The problem is filing (or tossing) the paperwork from several years prior to 2013 that now sits in piles in the Office-Prison's Closet Floor or in several boxes stored in Said Closet. 

Problem for tomorrow's renovation: The only access to Said Attic is through a trap door in the ceiling of, you guessed it, Said Closet. So I need to pull out the contents of Said Closet this evening and completely screw up any sense of organization I've had in the Office-Prison.

I should set a goal of purging all the crap instead of shoving it back into Said Closet after the insulation installation (say that five times) is complete. Call it a New Year's Resolution, if you will. 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Closing Out 2013

Here I am about six months after the last post, preparing to close out the year 2013. Tough to believe it was almost nine years ago that I started this blog. I find myself in a writing mood today for the first time in a long time. 

This semester was one of the craziest for me in a long time. The faculty fellowship has gone slowly for me - wish I had more time to spend on it. The teaching experience was great fun - again, wish I had more time to spend on it. 

The job situation is identical, albeit probably a bit more tolerable than it's been in the past. Maybe I'm just getting accustomed to the new environment in spite of the same old, same old. I can't really complain - I have a job where I enjoy the work, most of the people, and the salary isn't bad. Well, I guess my viewpoint on salary has changed quite a bit this semester given I've had three jobs. Money isn't as much a worry, though I now have absolutely no time. Not sure which is money or no time? If I could earn the same amount in just one job, that'd be ideal. Fat chance, Rob. Yeah, I know. 

But seriously folks, I do have to focus on the fact that I enjoy the work and I'm employed in my field. That, in itself, seems like a fairly major feat these days, so I'm pleased about that much. For now. 

Well, Merry Christmas to one and all, especially to the 2-3 people who may actually read this in the next three years. haha

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Where things stand

Life post-dissertation has been interesting to say the least. I'm not using the word "interesting" as a code word for "bad." I do find things fascinating these days. 

I'm ready to move on from my current position, that's for certain. I do enjoy the work itself, but I'm ready either to do this sort of work in a different venue or PERHAPS make a major switch. I'm not really leaning toward the major-switch thing, I must admit. The thought of starting over in my early 40s isn't something I would choose to do at this point in my career/life. I think I am looking for an opportunity in which the venue where I work is more Important. The current venue, as is, isn't really cutting it for me. 

In the past couple of years I have applied for three jobs and been a finalist for two. The third was a big stretch for me into a different area, and I wasn't really expecting to progress very far, so that was no surprise. One of the jobs for which I was a finalist is similar to what I'm doing now, and the other would have been quite different. Neither ended up panning out, and for various reasons that's been OK. Both would have been major increases in pay, and not getting those has been UNGOOD. I hate to be focused on money, but it seems odd still to be struggling financially after having all this education and experience. Right? Tell me I'm right, please! 

Anyway, the funny thing is that the longer I stay in this job, the more opportunities seem to be opening up that I can do on the side that really interest me. First, teaching: I have been teaching one course per year in the higher ed program at LMUU for the past four years or so, and they have "promoted" me to official adjunct assistant professor status. I don't think it means much other than an acknowledgement that they will re-hire me as long as I'm available and as long as their situation with professors doesn't change. That's pretty cool. I'm picking up a second course this fall. Both classes are required classes for the master's program, so that's a really neat experience. 

I also picked up a faculty fellowship for the academic year to do a qualitative data analysis project with some really great colleagues. I'm excited for this opportunity. Could lead to something else here or there, like an article or perhaps another position with these folks. Ya never know. 

So yes, this fall I will have two additional jobs aside from my full-time one. They will help pay the bills, but more important the experiences should be quite rich. Funny how sometimes staying where you are brings about other opportunities on the side, at times. 

And maybe these are just clues of where my career will lead next...