Monday, May 28, 2007

Weekend update.

After spending an anxiety-ridden Friday as a chaperon on the first grade zoo trip (Isaac cried three times* and the only other child I was in charge of watching ran off a few times and gave me palpitations**), I started worrying about my paper. I decided I couldn't work at home and went to stay at the Domestic Nemesis's apartment in Madison. She was gone for the night, so I stayed up and worked until 2 a.m. The next morning I got up at 6:30 and worked until about 3:00, at which time I realized that I needed to celebrate my A/B in Stats.

I recruited the Domestic Nemesis and HobNob, and we, umm, behaved ourselves for a few hours all over downtown Madison. Yay for A/B's!! And I love the Piano Bar!

It's so awesome to have a friend that's cool with you just showing up and staying at their apartment even though they are not there! I could have robbed her blind! I did her dishes instead. Hope she didn't mind.

After eating some excellent palak paneer at a new Indian restaurant, and later attending an important meeting on Sunday, I went home to visit with my siblings. Rob and Lisa came from MN and Page was here for the local high school graduation. I got to hang out with them a bit (but I'm sorry to say I was crabby - blame it on the paper!)

Today I'm working on my paper again. I hate this paper and I wish I was done with it! Actually, since I'm very interested in the topic that I chose to write about, I am kind of enjoying writing this paper, but I would rather be hanging out with my sibs or reading some of the new comic books that hobnob gave me.

I gave myself a deadline of May 30, but mabye June 2 is better.

* It was only my fault once - we were looking in a tank that was labeled "scorpions" and we couldn't find any. I said, "I hope they didn't escape!" and then I shouted, "Oh my God Isaac don't move! It's on your shoulder!" I suck at parenting.

** I generally don't like watching other people's kids because if anything were to happen to them I would not be able to stand it.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Critter Mystery!

As you may know, my brother Rob and his fiance Lisa are getting married on June 23. The wedding will take place at our house, just to the east in a beautiful pasture under a perfect oak tree. Today I went for a walk to inspect the wedding site and enjoy the morning sunshine, and I found this strange edifice...

My first thought is that this must be a badger house. Has Bucky taken up residence here in order to eat my doggies because I refuse to care about Wisconsin football? If it is a badger, will he or she come out and try to eat the wedding guests on June 23rd?

Wendell, my critter sleuth, what do you think is living in my meadow? Maybe your dad, the PETA lover, will be able to help with some humane relocation of the beast?

Or maybe it's a sasquatch!!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Probability of Katie's Stats Grade

P(Katie's grade is an AB)= 1-P(Katie's grade is not an AB)
= 1-(7/8)
= .125

But I got an AB! I defied probability!!

A celebration will be had this weekend.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

My Awesome Dad.

My dad's hobby is community theater. Here he is on stage as Little John in the upcoming production of "The Legend of Robin Hood...Sort Of". The sheriff is searching for him, and he's pretending to be a tree. My dad is so funny.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Deshantori on Google Video

Link via Rezwan.

Deshantori is a documentary about Bangladeshi migration. It's over an hour long, and pretty intense, but it really made me think differently about those reports of people found smuggling themselves into countries.

Great Women in my Life

This week my mentor Dr. K. came to the Wilderness. She had a conference in Madison but stayed the week, helping me with assorted grad school tasks. She also cracked the whip a little and we worked on Nari Jibon stuff. She gave me some wonderful advice, bought me some new digital equipment, and generally encouraged me to keep slugging through grad school. Hooray for mentors!

Last night we drove to Chicago with my mom and the local librarian to this great bookstore called "Women and Children First" (Google it, i'm too tired to put in a link.) We had preordered copies of Barbara Kingsolver's new book (Animal, Vegetable, Miracle) and we got to see her read from the book.

While at the store, I found three other books that I simply Had To Have. HobNob has got me all excited about graphic novels. I'm reading Watchmen (heavy) but saw these Persepolis novels on the shelf and had to buy them. They are about a girl who grew up in Iran with Marxist parents...I'm not letting myself open them until I finish my paper!!

Kingsolver is always on my "favorite authors" list - the Poisonwood Bible definitely changed my life and got me started thinking about colonialism, development and the whole "US/THEM" construct. I then devoured every other book she's written. It was really great to meet her and I know this picture is sideways but again I'm too tired...see her autograph???

Here is photographic evidence of how tired I am. Today has been designated "Locate the source of the bad smell in my bathroom" day and "take gratuitous naps" day. I don't care that it's beautiful outside, I am going to recover a little bit of sleep/hygiene.

And last but not least, a sexy pic of Gina who was chair-dancing. Gina, thanks so much for freely letting me sleep on your couch, call you randomly and live vicariously!!! Hooray for girlfriends!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Kind of done.

I finished my stats exam. That's all I'm going to say about that.

Now the only thing I have left to do is write a term paper. Once it's turned in, I will have officially survived my first year of graduate school.

In other news, here is photographic evidence that I've turned my child into an obsessive compuslive list maker:

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Lambda nightmare.

Here is a particularly scary image of the Greek letter lambda, which is the parameter for the Poisson distribution.

I've been studying a LOT for this stats exam for the past few days. Last night I had a minor panic attack while trying to figure out how to find the expected values for a chi square (you have to exponentiate the lambda, multiply it by Y to the lambda, and then divide by y factorial. Duh. HobNob helped me figure it out. Thanks buddy.) I went to sleep soon after, but had a horrible dream.

In my dream, I was taking my stats exam. Suddenly one of the lambdas started to get bigger and began walking around my page, pushing the numbers around and messing up the questions. I tried to erase it but it escaped. It got mad and started eating the numbers. I tried to finish it quick before everything was gone but it was hopeless. It was such a freaky dream that I woke up all sweaty.

And now it's 10:40 p.m. and I've got a lot to memorize, so I'm ending this post. Think of me at noon tomorrow and pray that I wont be devoured by ravenous lambdas.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Status update.

My stats final is on Wednesday, and my 20-30 page paper is due on May 20th. I've been studying all day. Here is the rundown by the numbers.

4: number of articles that I read for my development paper

1: number of books that I read for my development paper

2: number of pages of the 14 page stats review sheet that I've gotten through

4: number of times I had to look at the answer key for the practice exam to figure out what the hell I'm doing

75: number of times I've checked my email and/or facebook

3: number of phone calls from Isaac saying he misses me

2: number of times I fell asleep on the couch while reading development literature

6: number of books I have left to read

1 ream: approximate size of the pile of articles that I still need to go through

.027: probability that I'll get everything done by the deadline (especially if I keep blogging!!!)

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Monday, May 07, 2007


My weekend was awesome - I will post pictures soon. Summary: Karaoke, sake bombs, and a strange movie called "Shaun of the Dead".

Oh yeah, and also I did a lot of homework.

Finals week is upon me, mania ensues. Posting becomes sporadic and quality is poor. Please come back when I'm sane, I promise, it'll get better.

Friday, May 04, 2007

The Dalai Lama likes cookies.

I took Isaac out of school today and we drove to Madison to see his holiness the 14th Dalai Lama speak. Here are some of the main points.

1. The key to happiness is compassion for all living things (including yourself).

2. Compassion is NOT the same as pity. It is not a superior person feeling bad for an inferior person. It is one human being recognizing the human rights of another human being.

3. World peace begins with compassion. Compassion is a form of internal disarmament. When it manifests, it is as external disarmament.

Someone from the audience asked him what his hobbies are. He told us what he does each day (gets up at 2:30 a.m., prays, meditates, then has breakfast, prays and meditates some more, has lunch, and then has meetings.) He noted that as a Buddhist monk, he is not supposed to have solid food after lunch. No dinner. But, he said, sometimes he has cookies because they are tasty, and he figures the Buddha wouldn't mind if he had some cookies once in a while. I loved that.

Although Isaac slept through the second half of the talk, I think he got a lot out of it, and I hope he remembers later on in life that he got to see the real Dalai Lama (and that it was important enough that he got out of school for a day!)

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The Verdict

Isaac's teacher would rather Isaac NOT wear his shirt right now, because the kids have been crazy.

Yes, my teacher friends, you were right. And I'd not want to add to the Mayhem that is First Grade.

Wahhh. Why can't we all just take a moment and laugh about bodily functions? It should be a mandatory part of everyone's day.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Tickular evidence.

I just picked these off my of nine in 10 minutes. They are all bunched up in a ball because I picked them off and squeezed them between my fingers while I searched for more, and they got all tangled up in dog hair. If I was not so lazy, I would have made a movie - it was kind of pulsating while I took the picture.

For an informative tick discussion, see Wendell's Critter Corner.

Word of the Day:

Puince [POONTZ] n. Slang. A non-gendered slur that indicates ineptitude, stupidity, and general dumb-ass-ness without referring to gendered stereotypes (i.e. "wuss", "pussy", "gay").

My friend Benito and his kid made this term up as an alternative to using gendered slang. I like.

Advice taken.

Look how happy he is!

(Isaac is trying to "strike the Cheese pose" in this photo.)

Well, here's what I decided to do. First, I asked Isaac if he thought he'd get in trouble for wearing the shirt to school. He said, "Probably." Then I asked him what his teacher would do. He said, "She'd probably laugh."

Then I decided to just email his teacher and see what she thought about it. I'm awaiting her reply and I'll let you know how it goes down.

Thanks for the advice!!!