I'm guessing you can tell a lot about someone by what inhabits the back of their car. At the moment I have the following in my trunk:
2 pairs of rubber boots
1 pair of gloves
4 reusable grocery bags that haven't seen the inside of a store in some time
makeshift first aid kit
emergency diaper and change of clothes for a toddler
I'm guessing that others might have a similarly mixed bag of goodies. What objects do you drive around town?
This morning my daughter busted into the bathroom wearing 3D glasses. Breathless, she yelled "Daddy, these glasses make my voice louder! I"m whispering right now!!"
Every daycare has its own unique balance of individuals. The kids all take their roles: leader, follower, quiet, attention whore, crier, etc. Where your child fits into the room dynamics says little about them in the long term and can change as other kids come and go from the population. But there are certainly niches that are more or less desirable as a parent. This is particularly true WRT the predator / prey relationships.
If you have ever gone to pick up your child and been confronted with the dreaded "incident sheet" you immediately think "Fuck, please let my kid be the one who got bitten." Whereas that may be counterintuitive, you have to bear in mind the alternative. If you have the class biter, you basically feel like you are raising this:
Our first child was the preferred prey of the class biter. As much as it sucked to pick up our daughter looking like she lost a battle with a lamprey, we were also sympathetic to the parents who had to sign the "yes, we realize our child is a bath salts incident away from being Florida Man" sheet. You can't reason with a toddler and explain why it's bad to cannibalize your friends. They don't get it. You can discipline them after an incident, but it takes time for them to change their behavior. As a parent all you can do is wait and avoid eye contact with the other parents of kids in the room, because some get it and some think you spend your every waking moment teaching your child to devour the competition.
This is all relevant this week as the tables have turned and we were faced with signing our first incident sheet from the predator's side. It sucks as much as we imagined.
There's not many posts that I repost more than once, but this one rings true at this time of year for me every. Single. Year. So here it is. Again. Original here.
1) Immobilization: "I can't believe how many tests I have to grade. Why did I do essays? Am I a masochist? I can't wait a few days before dealing with those."
2) Denial: "Do I have a thick accent or speak in another language during class? The students don't seem to have understood anything I have said. Am I in the right country? Where am I?"
3) Anger: "Why are my students trying to kill me? We went over this concept for 20 minutes, had a lab on it, and 40% of the class gets the answer right?"
4) Bargaining: "Maybe if I grade a few, then reward myself with something, it won't be so bad. Three exams, then ice cream. Mmmm, ice cream."
5) Depression: "Why am I even doing this? Am I horrible teacher? Do they tune me out? And why did I eat so much ice cream?"
6) Testing: "Maybe if I curve juuuuust slightly, I'll avoid a riot."
7) Acceptance: "Whatever, it's one test. Where's the scotch?"
It's a convenient spot to post all of someone's crazy.
Cath is cracking me up today with her post about her mental anthropomorphism of her journal RSS feeds.
While browsing journal TOCs in my RSS reader earlier today, I realised that I seem to have subconsciously assigned human personalities to some of the journals I read most frequently.
Current Biology is an extrovert who enthusiastically dives into any ongoing topic of conversation, and talks with their hands a lot. Fun at parties;
Nucleic Acids Research is an older man in a tweed jacket who quietly talks with great authority about the arcane technical details of his obscure hobby over a cup of Earl Grey;
Genome Research is that one friend who always has the most recent smart phone and tablet;
Oncogene is an old friend from my grad school days. They don’t seem to have moved on much in the intervening years, and I don’t see them very often, but when I do it’s always nice to catch up and reminisce.
Is this normal, or have I developed a very specific form of synesthesia?
I weighed in on those hipsters, C/N/S, but what are the journals in your particular field like? Go Play.
Several students have asked me why I don't post slides before the lectures. While I have several valid reasons for not doing so, the secret is they're not usually done until <1 hour before. Shhhhhh
To become a parent is to abdicate an absurd number of decisions about your daily life to the actions and health of a human or humans who have little capacity to consider consequences. Much of your life is spent attempting to encourage them to use this power for good, rather than evil, but often you will be powerless to do so.
There are many wonderful things about being a parent and any number of Facebook friends and acquaintances will convince you of that via ascertainment bias. The good is on full display. The cute, the hilarious, the cuddly - it's all out there. The rest? Well, it's more complex and mostly hidden due to societal pressures and our need not to admit we don't know what the fuck we are doing. The minute you think you found the key, the lock changes.
On our best days we can't imagine anything better than spending time with these curious little beasts. On our worst we struggle with the challenges of taming them to the point where we can spend time with them without constantly wishing we were anywhere else. We are thankful for their general good health while cursing the days daycare refuses them and the schedule juggle begins.
During those prolonged times where behavior and health compound the pressures of parenthood to the point of a crushing weight, its hard to imagine a better time ahead. When you're lost in the trees, who cares what the forest looks like? But it always comes around. The trick is to remember it is possible.