Sunday, January 31, 2010

This post belongs to two years ago

But I'm going to say it now anyway.  I've always half thought this, but just said it out loud for the first time last night.  It's not going to be nearly as profound as that previous sentence implies.  It's just that in the world of psychology, pretty much the only reason you get funded for a study is if you're attempting to demonstrate something new.  Maybe a new trend or topic or idea.  But maybe an old trend or topic or idea, applied to a new group of people ("population," we fancy psychologists call it).  The lamest thing to do in the world is to do exactly what some other schmo did.  But IRONICALLY, the validity of ANY schmo's paper is that it's replicable!  So circular!  So who's out there, getting grants and funding to literally recreate to the nose someone else's paper?  And what does that paper actually look like?  ("Yup.")  Oh, and for those of you keeping score at home, that whole research thing I did where I wrote that study and that paper, it only had 13 participants or something crazy like that, so Dr. Josh and co tried to continue, but to no avail!  The children's answers were suddenly more inconsistent than my .781 correlation.  Sigh!  They say it was because they were comfortable with me.  I say it was because I fudged all their answers.  KIDDING.  Kidding.  I didn't.

In other news, every day I am more and more grateful for my handwriting- and grammar-oriented family and Catholic elementary school (grammar school!).

ps, Can someone please tell me why people are still wearing Uggs?
pps, Working at my new school puts a whole new spin on life and death.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Seek and you shall find

Once, a long time ago, someone very important asked me how many examples of infinity I could find in everyday life.  It was late in my junior year of high school, I was doing very well in all my very high level classes, and I was very taken with this young gentleman, and so I looked.  And as soon as I looked, I found.  The circle of the clock, the divisibility of a second or an inch or any other measurement, the sky and the galaxy and the universe, the potential number of combinations of any musical notes, the possibilities of sentences. 

Once you start looking for infinity, you see it everywhere.  Once you start looking for faces, you see them everywhere.  Once you start looking for vanity license plates, you see them everywhere.  The crazy part is when you actively bend and fold things to be faces, or manipulate them into infinity, or make your own acronyms out of what license plates may or may not say.  John Nash, anyone?

Sunday, January 17, 2010


Blog audience!  Something fun to try at home!  And elsewhere!: After seeing this commercial, I have been actively looking for everyday objects to smile at me the way these do (yes, some frown too, but we have to look for more smiles!).  I die of love and joy every time this comes on, and seeking and finding these happy faces makes my life so much more complete.  :D

Revelations on cleaning my ring

So I just cleaned my ring.  Now, it was never not a diamond, and it was never not white gold.  But holy goodness, it might as well be a different ring.  The shine and sparkle are completely restored, and it's like he proposed an hour ago.  One of those funny turns in life where you can't always have it absolutely sparkling, then you forget its sparkle at all!  It gets dirty and cloudy and of course it still refracts and reflects, but you forget how much it used to sparkle.  Then you soak it and brush it and scrub it and soak it and rinse it and you have yourself the excitement of newness again.  Don't we all get so comfortable and forget?

Now maybe I've got this all backwards and one's ring should be squeaky clean always.  If it really does become a part of oneself (arguably, what with not taking it off and all), then maybe skipping cleaning it for even a day should be more like skipping a shower and your hair is a little greasy and you regret that decision deeply come 3 pm.  Maybe it's like keeping your house clean - both clutter- and dirt-wise - and it's just better for peace of mind and easy on the eyes.  But is it really so different from getting a manicure or a haircut?  They're always your hair and your nails, and they always look nice, but that refreshing update just gives you such a boost!  So many interpretations! 

I'm always so excited to turn things into a microcosm of life.  An analogy for something.  This little incident really speaks to this other circumstance of the human condition.  But then sometimes I end up comparing jobs to symphonic concerts, or cleaning a ring as a way of understanding one's possessions and newness, and I just come off as silly.  Oops.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Revelations tangentially related to teaching

1.  The writing in the children's Merry Christmas (surreptitiously goodbye) letters to me is the best I have ever seen them produce.
2.  It is outlandishly important to present opposing viewpoints as objectively and as equally supported as possible when you are in charge of a classroom.
3.  At turns I passionately defend the TFA/Fellows party line or completely trash it.
4.  Teaching:  What could be more important?  What could be more... ridiculous?