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The real reason parents want to kick their teenagers out June 3, 2012

Posted by mareserinitatis in older son.
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Or at least the reason this one does.

I have mentioned before that I am a morning person.  The older son is most definitely not.

Things went fairly well when the older boy was working on his CLEP exam: he’d get up at 7 so that he could catch a ride to the library, where he usually studied until about 11 or 12.  There were two or three days where he had ‘relapses’ and didn’t get up, but overall, he did very well.  It led me to wonder if he was a morning person who was, unfortunately, jacking his schedule around so badly that he didn’t realize it.

Whether or not this is the case, I don’t know.  However, since he took the CLEP exam, he’s fallen into some bad habits again, such as not getting out of bed until almost noon.  This means he’s also up very, very late.  And I’m a light sleeper.  This is a very, very bad combination.

Since he’s done with high school and looking at college, it has occurred to me that maybe he should start looking to go to college a year early.  Not only would he get done with college a bit earlier, I might be able to start getting some sleep, too.


Let me drop everything and work on YOUR problem March 23, 2012

Posted by mareserinitatis in career, engineering, family, grad school, work.
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I appreciate the fact that I have very respectful and polite colleagues.  I particularly appreciate it when it comes to my schedule.  I only work half-time, and most of them have been very good about making sure to schedule things for when I am there.  On those occasions where things had to be scheduled when I was supposed to be gone, my supervisor has usually asked me first to make sure there’s no conflict.  My hours are pretty flexible, as well, so if I have to stay late one day, I can take time off the following day or something similar.

Still, I hate having things change around too much.  Changes in schedule seriously seem to affect my concentration, and changes in routine just don’t sit well with me.  I can certainly deal, but it always seems to throw me off.

In the past month and a half, things have gotten much worse, schedule-wise.  I’ve had to do a lot of changing schedules because of some PR that the university has been doing both on my research at work as well as my dissertation project.  I have gotten to the point that I now am dressing up half the time when I go to work because, more than once, I’ve gotten a call in the morning that they’d like me to talk to a reporter or in the afternoon.  Half the time, I wasn’t even dressed like a nerdy engineer – t-shirt and jeans was it.  It’s a good thing I live close to campus because I’ve had to make emergency wardrobe trips.  However, despite all of the rearrangements, if I’ve said I had a conflict, no one has ever asked me to change anything.  People have been willing to work around my schedule, which has been awesome.

The only real problem I hit is when deadlines show up.  If the deadline is looming but not close enough that I can adjust a schedule for the week, that sometimes sucks time out of dissertation work (although I am getting more and more protective of that as time goes on, simply because it’s so easy to let it slide).  What’s worse is when there are deadlines at work and the kids suddenly have a million and one extra activities as well.  And I really hate it when someone gives me ‘vague’ deadlines, like “as soon as humanly possible”.  I usually tell them what is humanly possible for me, but I suspect that on a couple of occasions, they felt as though they could do the same thing faster.  It’s possible they could…but it’s also possible that, if they had the same schedule constraints I do, they might not.  As cliche as it is, I go back to Stephen Covey’s 7 habits book.  In it, he says he schedules everything out, and if someone drops something in your lap, you ask them what other thing you should get rid of to fit in this deadline.  (Maybe it’s surprising, but my supervisor is very open to shifting priorities when it’s necessary.  Other people…not so much.)

How do you deal with shifts in schedule and sudden deadlines?

Working through the pain December 5, 2011

Posted by mareserinitatis in work.
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Late last week, I got a flu shot.  I’m one of those unlucky ones that always seems to get the flu from  having the shot, but I do it anyway because I have a family member who is on an immunosuppressant.  Unfortunately, this meant that most of my weekend was shot as I was fighting a mild case of chills and body aches.

I am, unfortunately, one of those people who also has great difficulty working when I feel ill.  I know some people can do it (like certain members of my family).  I know people who say they like working when sick because it takes their mind off feeling bad.  However, I find that working when I’m sick actually makes it worse.  If I want to feel better, doing something somewhat mindless actually works better.  In my case, playing simple video games or crocheting seem to be things that are helpful.  If absolutely must work, grading seems to be the easiest thing to handle.

What about you?  What do you find helps in these situations?  Are you able to work through it or do you have to take a break from things that require concentration?

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