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shadowclaw last won the day on March 30 2015

shadowclaw had the most liked content!

About shadowclaw

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    Latte Macchiato
  • Birthday 04/24/1985

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  1. I haven't seen the new film yet (perhaps I will later today), so I don't know the context. However, there were outbreaks of the plague in Europe into the 19th century (and occasionally you still hear reports of cases in modern times). There was a large outbreak in Marseille in 1720, which is close to when I assume the story takes place (it was originally written in 1740). So I don't think it's too unreasonable to include a reference to it, depending on how it's done... I recall a line by Belle's father from the trailer saying little towns were safe. Perhaps they moved to the little town to escape the threat of plague in big cities like Marseille? What I'm curious about is why exactly there is a prince in a castle in the woods in 18th century France. This would have made sense if the story took place in the area of Germany and central Europe that was broken up into many small sovereign states. However, it doesn't really make sense for a French prince to be in some random castle in the forest, especially with nobody looking for him. Although I'm looking at Wikipedia right now to try to answer my own question, and I see that Prince is a title in the French nobility (and different from the concept of a prince as the son of the king), given to the eldest son of a duke, which makes a bit more sense.
  2. Thanks for all of your input! I just wanted to make sure I wasn't overreacting to this. I don't really need to have a talk with my assistant TA since the term is over and I will have a different person next term. However, if it happens again with someone else, I'll feel a lot better about saying something!
  3. @Pitangus I feel for you! That's incredibly rough that he has a good job and doesn't want to move... maybe an amazing opportunity will pop up somewhere else that he won't be able to resist? I feel like this is also a really crappy time to be graduating with any type of environmentally-related degree with budget cuts looming for federally agencies, and I imagine state agencies are going to start feeling the pain, too, as federal funding stops trickling down to them. Good luck to you, though! I hope when you've passed the defense hurdle that doors swing open. @Need Coffee in an IV My husband loves to vent, and he definitely sees the disappointment on my face! Sometimes he'll say something and I'll look a bit sad, and he'll be like, "We're still moving, right? You're not trying to stay here, right? You know I'll lose my mind, right?" I sometimes wonder if moving to a different apartment might brighten his mood. We're in the middle of a small city that quite frankly is ugly and we're less than a five minute drive from the mall and a bunch of stores and restaurants. He's lived in the country his entire life and the city is not jiving too well with him. I also spent most of my life in the country, but I did spend several years in the 'burbs, so I'm better acclimated to living with neighbors close by and businesses a short drive away. However, life would be way better if we could live in the rural area between this city and the city my school is in (it's about a 20 minute drive away). Even living in my school's city would be better, especially the areas furthest from the school which have a much better atmosphere. I occasionally browse Craigslist to see what's out there, and I happened to see a listing for the perfect place... two bedroom house with a fenced yard in the country and actually closer to school and with cheaper rent. Too bad I still have like 6 months left on my lease Hopefully there will be something decent available around that time. When it came time to renew my lease last fall, there was nothing suitable and we really couldn't afford to go month-to-month on the rent (it's $250 higher that way). We really should move for financial reasons... this apartment costs too much and has amenities we don't use, like the fireplace, community swimming pool, and garage (well, we do use the garage for some storage, so I guess it's not a total waste). Plus we're paying all of this money and the apartment is kind of crappy. The previous tenant put huge gouges in the wood floors and left weird red stains on the carpets, the garage floor has a massive crack, the stone wall around the yard is literally crumbling apart and rats come out of it when it rains, and there are no outdoor outlets. The rain gutters were also messed up and water just poured out the sides of them in front of the door and they looked like they might fall off the house, but a year and a half after moving in and requesting the fix, we finally got new ones last week.
  4. My husband is soooooo cranky about living in the PNW right now. This winter has been rainier than usual and I think we've seen the sun four times since October, so that may have something to do with it. However, he quite literally complains to me six out of seven days each week (sometimes all seven) about how much he hates our city, the weather, the state, his job, etc. Sometimes he just says that he can't wait for me to graduate so we can go back east, other times he goes into a long rant about why this place sucks. I feel bad for making him come out here, but at the same time, when I was applying to schools, this was the one place he said he was actually excited about and hoped I'd get into! The worst part is that I'm not sure I actually want to go back east. I like the west and people tend to be more aligned with my personal values than they were back home. Granted, there are some places in New England I wouldn't mind living in, but my husband's hope is to move back to the area we grew up in and honestly that's just not going to happen. The economy and job market there is terrible, and the likelihood of getting a decent-paying job (or any job) in my field is slim. He knows this, but he still talks about moving home all the time.
  5. Hi everyone, I'm curious what everyone thinks about this. I TA science labs, and they are set up so that every TA has two sections - one in which they are the lead and are responsible for delivering lectures, grading, etc. and one in which they are the assist and mainly just help answering questions and checking in-class work for completion/understanding. Last week, my assistant TA had his fiance come meet him in my lead lab partway through the class period. I initially noticed her when she was talking to a student, so I thought maybe she was a student's friend who walked by and popped into the classroom to say hi. However, she didn't leave and my assist noticed that I caught onto her presence and came up to me to tell me who she was and asked if I minded that she stopped by. I said I didn't, even though I was a little annoyed that he didn't ask me beforehand. This week, she came again, this time at the beginning of lab (and again, no one asked me if I was ok with this). We spent a big chunk of the lab time doing student presentations, and almost the entire time students were presenting, those two were cuddled up in the corner (although they were paying attention to the presentations). Bringing your significant other to lab feels a bit unprofessional to me, and snuggling during lab feels extremely unprofessional to me. I haven't said anything about it since the term is now over, but I feel like it was really rude to bring her without asking and that students should not have seen them cuddling (not sure if any actually did, but still). What's everyone's opinion on this?
  6. Good advice, but not entirely practical in a small college town. I already park in one of the least desirable locations on campus because it is far from academic buildings. Everything is permitted, so I can't park in a more expensive lot without first purchasing a daily permit for it and printing it at home. There is also no valet parking anywhere for probably a 30 mile radius. Now, there are a few metered placed around the perimeter of campus, plus free two hour parking extending about half a mile into the residential part of town. However, these spots are always filled because they either offer quick access to buildings or they're free. The gravel lot is my only real alternative, and to be quite honest, I usually forget it's there because it's new.
  7. @angesradieux I totally understand your disappointment with family members who like to take but don't give too often. My parents and I have experienced a lot of this from my sister and niece. My sister separated from her husband within a year of having her daughter. My parents and I played a big role raising my niece when my sister moved back home for a little while and also for the 8 years she spent in college. My niece was at our house all the time for probably the first 12 years of her life. I even drove her to school half an hour away in the morning during my first two years of college, which was extraordinarily inconvenient (at least gas was cheap then) and meant I couldn't schedule morning classes because that would make me a jerk because my sister's morning clinicals were apparently more important than my education. You'd think that because of those many years of free child care and sacrifices, they'd be happy to do things for my parents now and then. My mom is eternally asking my niece to visit and she only lives 15 minutes away, but she will only show up on holidays and only if dinner time doesn't conflict with her boyfriend's family's schedule. She didn't even come to Christmas dinner this year. My mom also asked my sister if she could host Christmas eve dinner since my mom is getting old and cooking two dinners back to back is hard. My sister did it once and said it was too much for her to do. So now I just cook one of the meals. My parents also love to decorate for the holidays but it's a lot of work for them now. I'm 3000 miles away and can't help, and neither my niece or sister will help them, even if my parents offer them money. Smh.
  8. @Skyride Season and @Sleam Oregon (and Corvallis) is a great place to live. It IS quite rainy in the winter, though! The upside is that there's rarely any snow on the valley floor (making getting around in winter easier) yet snow is a relatively short drive away. Summers are full of sunshine and are very rain-free (I think it rained twice last summer). The coast is about an hour away from Corvallis, forest hiking is just a few minutes away, and you can even get to the desert in about 3 hours. Finding housing in town can be challenging at times. There are always lots of places for rent, but if you have any specific requirements (e.g., garage, pet-friendly, washer/dryer hookups), it can get expensive and difficult to get. I don't know what Michigan prices are like, but you can find 1 and 2 bedroom apartments (no pets) for $500-$600. Once you add pets to the equation, that price range changes to closer to $1000, although there are definitely pet-friendly apartments around $800, but they aren't always available. A solution to this is to live outside of Corvallis. Philomath is a good choice because there's regular bus service into Corvallis and it's right next door. All Corvallis Transit buses are free, by the way. The lowest prices I've seen are in Albany and Lebanon, but they are each about 10 miles from Corvallis. This wouldn't work well for you, Skyride, although there is a bus between Albany and Corvallis. However, it only runs until 6 pm and depending on where you are in Albany, you'll have to take an Albany bus to either the Amtrak station or community college to catch the bus to Corvallis (Albany buses are also free to OSU students). Sleam, this might be a good option for you if you're willing to drive. There are a number of pet-friendly 2 bedroom apartments in both Albany and Lebanon between $700-800, and you might be able to find cheaper ones if you search Craigslist daily. I live in Albany, and it takes me about 20 minutes to leave my apartment and get into a parking spot at OSU, so it's not a long drive at all. However, I'd also like to point out that Albany isn't nearly as nice as Corvallis, but it is next to I-5, which is great for trips to Portland and elsewhere. Personally, I would use Craigslist to find an apartment over something like Realtor.com or Zillow. They mostly only give you the big apartment complexes (which are fine) and you miss out on the little guys who only have a few units. Something else about finding an apartment in this area... many landlords are wary of renting to someone not already living in this region. I came from the east coast, and was turned down by several people because they "felt uncomfortable renting to someone who currently lives so far away." I assume they were concerned that I wouldn't actually come. Also, one of the rental companies that manage a lot of the properties in Corvallis will not let you apply for an apartment until you've gone to see it first. That works if you come for a visit and can tour several apartments (or just show up and stay in a hotel until you find something).
  9. I am really, really pissed off right now. There are a number of fellowships offered by the graduate school in which each program eligible for it can nominate one student for it. There is one fellowship in particular that I was interested in that is for STEM graduate students, and while it isn't the most lucrative fellowship, I would be set for next year if I received it. Most departments sent out an email about this fellowship and others back in December asking faculty to nominate students. My advisor got this email through her home department (I'm in an interdisciplinary program and don't have a true home department) and asked me if I met the requirements, etc. and I said yes. However, the head of my program hadn't sent out the nomination requests yet. I sent the head an email inquiring about it, and she replied back that she didn't send out an email yet because she was expecting more applications over the holiday and wanted to give those students an opportunity to compete for fellowships. However, she would be sending out the request and if more than one student was nominated by the faculty, she would put together a committee to review each student's fellowship application package (statement, CV, letters of recommendation, transcript) and decide who ranked the highest. Fast forward to now. I had been thinking about the fellowship and knew the due date was approaching sometime in February, but I wasn't sure exactly when nominations were due to the graduate school. I wrote my statement, spruced up my CV, and had my co-advisors write me letters. Everything was ready and we were just waited for that email request so we could send my materials along. The day before the deadline (and technically less than 24 hours before the deadline), I get an email from the head saying that an incoming student was nominated by their advisor and she was going to submit that student as the nomination for the fellowship, but if I was interested in a specific other fellowship, she would nominate me for that (the other fellowship wasn't even a true fellowship - it was more like a cash bonus and you would have to have another source of funding because it was so small). To top that off, I got a second email that was a group email saying that multiple students were interested in this other fellowship, so if we want to be considered, let her know before the end of the day so she could decide who among us would be nominated. While I am pissed that I'm missing out on a potential fellowship, what I'm really pissed off about is that my program head basically lied to me in the original email. There was no committee to review the nomination packages like she claimed there'd be. There was no objectivity of any sort. I know exactly what happened. She's obsessed with growing our program and has been focusing the program's financial resources towards new students. So since a new applicant was nominated by a faculty member, she probably decided just to nominate them for the fellowship so that if they won, they would almost certainly decide to come here. Plus since she waits until the last minute for everything, she probably didn't have time for a committee to review everything. It's also not the first time that she's gone back on her word. The graduate school offers travel awards and every term one student per program can receive funding. There's a window each term for requests to come in, and my program head has promised to notify us every term when requests are due to her and that she'll objectively decide on who gets funding. The one time I requested funding, she told me that the week before someone sent her a request and she didn't think anyone else wanted money, so she already submitted their request to the graduate school (even though the request window was still open). It really makes me wish I could move into a different program... I probably could, but seeing as I'm almost halfway through...
  10. Today was another reminder that social anxiety never really goes away. I came to school at the usual time for my morning class, but instead of there being lots of open parking spots in the lot I'm permitted for (like there usually is), every single spot was filled. About 12 other vehicles were searching the lot like vultures. I get so annoyed when this happens. The school hosts various conferences and meetings, and they always let the public park in my lot, including buses which will take up 4+ parking spaces because they park sideways. In my year and a half here, they have only made an announcement about one of these events once. Today was not that day. Anyway, after driving around the lot for 5 - 10 minutes, I decided to head over to the crappy gravel parking lot which anyone with any permit can park in. It's far away from everything, but there were spots. There's a bus stop right by the lot, but the bus went by as I was parking. So I walk to my usual parking lot to catch a bus there, but I just miss it. So eventually a bus comes and it's exactly when class starts. I'm hoping the bus will get up to my building quickly, but no. There were people at every stop along the way and it took forever. So when I finally get to the building, I'm already 10 minutes late. Up until this point, I was fine with walking in late. But then I thought about the layout of the room and how everyone sits towards the back and close to the door. If I went in, I'd essentially have to ask everyone in one of the rows to move their chairs in so I can get to the other side of the room. It would be a huge distraction. After thinking about this, I suddenly felt a wave of anxiety wash over me. I resisted the urge to vomit, but I just stood there outside the building staring at it, trying to reason with my brain that being late is better than not being there at all, that a few seconds of making people move wasn't so horrible, that other people are often late to class and no one says anything to them. But no, my brain was having none of it. So after about 5 minutes of standing there like a weirdo, I turned and headed for the library. Sigh. I feel quite bad about myself now. I'm supposed to have this under control. Granted, I didn't vomit or cry and I don't have the shakes, but I still let it get the best of me.
  11. Some short-term goals: Get out into the field in the next few weeks to get a good grasp of what my future field sites are going to look like Get my PhD project details nailed down and have a study design completed by mid-March Identify and get permission/permits for field sites by mid-May Find the last member of my committee Buy new tires and get some other services done on my vehicle ASAP Write up an abstract to submit for the upcoming ESA meeting by mid-February Apply for some fellowships and grants Some long-term goals Do more real cooking (less crap like fishsticks in oven, more creating meals from scratch) Eat better Get into shape/Lose some weight (more focused on the fitness) Drink more water Clean the apartment more often More camping I know everyone makes resolutions about losing weight, eating well, etc. and then falls off the wagon after a month or so. However, most of my long-term goals revolve around this theme. I gained a hefty amount of weight in undergrad, but I was able to lose a lot of it towards the end because I ended up being pretty active. Grad school has made finding time for fitness a challenge and my husband's love of fast food and other garbage has had a terrible influence on me, so I've porked up. It's rather disgraceful since I'm a field biologist... I should be lean! My hiking ability has gone down the tubes as well. A few years ago I could do a 12 mile hike on a moderate trail with an overnight pack no problem. Now hiking half a mile up an incline with nothing on my back is like "oh my god! Can't breathe!" and I'm ready to crumple into a ball. I really need to get into shape for the summer field season, and I need to stop eating trash.
  12. This happens even to extremely seasoned professors. I took a math class in undergrad that had some very specific policies regarding takehome exams and dropping the lowest exam score. It was a spring semester course and we were in a region that typically had several snow days or at least delays. So that we could actually finish everything in the course but still leave room for questions and whatnot during class (as well as provide flexibility for snow days), she gave us two or three takehome exams and our lowest in-class exam score would be dropped (since we should do well on the takehomes due to it being open book and having access to the internet). This was in the syllabus. However, in the event that we got a lot of snow, she would substitute more takehome exams for our in-class exams and if we had more than X number of takehome exams, no exams scores would be dropped. This was also in the syllabus, and all of it was explained to us on the first day. Wouldn't you know, it snowed a lot that semester and we had a lot of takehome exams, and we got past that magic number. When the professor reminded everyone when passing back the last takehome (which was also the last exam since we had a freak ice storm at the end of the term) that no scores would be dropped, the class freaked out. Like students were actually yelling at the professor angrily. She relented and said she'd still drop the lowest in-class exam, but that wasn't good enough. Students actually yelled at her even more saying that they didn't even try on this last exam because the lowest score was supposed to be dropped. The professor didn't yield, and probably 90% of the students went to the Dean to complain.
  13. I'm feeling both annoyed and grateful right now about a lab meeting I can't attend this upcoming term. One of the labs in my research area decided to have an open invitation to lab meetings for anyone interested in our area of research. I went last term. Each week we'd read a background paper and then someone would present proposed research, preliminary results, etc. and ask us questions as well as take questions from us. It was basically so everyone could get feedback and help with research from a diverse group of people. It wasn't a lot of work, but it did eat up a few hours of my time each week. When it came time to present my stuff, half the people didn't show up, nobody answered any of the questions I had for them, and they hardly had anything to say. It was a pretty useless session for me. We did a poll for everyone's availability to schedule the meeting for next term, and it came down to either excluding me or the wife of one of the lab's postdocs (and she wasn't a student... she was enrolled elsewhere and was finishing her degree remotely). As you can guess, the professor chose to pick a time that was good for his postdoc's wife. So I'm feeling really annoyed that the professor isn't putting enrolled students first, especially since our school has an annoying policy for the summer term that if you use any of the faculty's time or resources during the summer, you have to register for credits, which for many students would mean paying out of pocket (not that it's really enforced). On the other hand, I didn't really want to put in the effort of reading all those papers and giving other people feedback only to have them slack off when it was my turn.
  14. This reminds me of a manager I had back in the day. It was when tiny phones were the big thing (flip phone era). Even with a ridiculously small phone, it still popped out of her pocket and into the toilet... and she flushed it. She didn't realize it had fallen in until it was being sucked down the hole.
  15. Arg! Pockets! I've been thinking of sewing in bigger pockets. It would be nice if my cell phone wouldn't pop out every time I stood up.