Re: Back to School

1

Girls approach math class like this, boys approach math class like this.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 9:40 AM
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It's like you get me!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 10:00 AM
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Boys get heebie, but girls don't.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 10:02 AM
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I give my first lecture of the semester in an hour.

Maybe I should tell the students that when filling out course evaluations at the end of the term it's important that they know how hard I tried.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 10:04 AM
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3: Boys show symptoms, while girls are carriers.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 10:09 AM
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School is starting up here too, and I'm a bit worried about how it will impact my workout schedule. What's going to happen to the pool time? Will I have to fight off hordes of small children? GACK.

(oh, the trials of the childless)


Posted by: parodie | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 10:11 AM
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I approach math class from behind, slowly, so that I can whack it over the head with a bat and render it unconscious.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 10:16 AM
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Why do I hear about all these places starting the last week of August but I have never lived in or near a district that starts before Labor Day? Our kindergarten orientation is Tuesday next week, first day Thursday. The other kids start full days Tuesday.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 10:30 AM
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I've never lived near anywhere that doesn't start in August. In conclusion, we have not lived near each other.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 10:33 AM
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9 is right.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 10:33 AM
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8: They get out for summer vacation earlier in the more southern states that start the school year earlier. It must have had something to do with agrarian calendars and when crops needed to be sown.

My uncle (who watched Fox News, so not blue at all) lives in west (slightly less posh) PDBS. He said once that the schools were planning to try to start before Labor Day, but the parents all said that they wouldn't bring their kids in.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 10:37 AM
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School here started August 11, especially crazy since August-early October are usually by far the hottest months here.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 10:37 AM
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That must explain higher teen pregnancy rates in Southern states.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 10:37 AM
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The fact that you and I have never lived near each other?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 10:38 AM
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It's like some kind of gravitational effect of people who have four kids.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 10:41 AM
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I remember being told in my youth that they had asked Ross Perot to recommend reforms for the Texas public schools, and one of them was starting a month earlier.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 10:47 AM
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Zardoz had her first day in the second infant room today. The two babies who are older than her skipped to the youngest toddler room. Both of these babies are less advanced that she is (one of them isn't walking yet). The babies she is left with are mostly not walking yet (she has been walking since late March). Zardoz is three days younger than the fairly arbitrary cutoff deadline the day care set for who goes in what room. We sent a very thoughtfully worded letter to the day care administrator and arranged a meeting with her over the summer -- before new families were sent acceptance letters -- to make the case that it would be better for everybody involved if Zardoz was in the toddler room along with the kids she spends every day playing with anyhow. (The toddler room, by the way, is like six hundred dollars a month cheaper.) The administrator assured us that she would put Zardoz in the toddler room, but her hands were tied, as the two new students were the siblings of existing students at the day care center, and policy was to always let them in. We arrived at day care today to find that, no, she lied to our faces. The two new students are not anybody's siblings. I would characterize our feelings about day care today as barely restrained fury. Zardoz's feelings about day care I would characterize as being bored as shit in a tiny room with a bunch of babies that can't walk yet, but hopefully I'm over-reacting about that.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 10:48 AM
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What if you offered to pay $300/month extra for six months if she went in the toddler room now?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 10:50 AM
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We did!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 10:51 AM
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We also offered to hold her out of daycare until she passed the age threshold.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 10:52 AM
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I have no other ideas.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 10:52 AM
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I'd be pissed!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 10:52 AM
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What the fuck? That's ridiculous! I'm glad she at least gets to spend time with the toddlers, but I would be livid about lying administrators too.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 10:54 AM
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but I would be livid about lying administrators too.

Yeah, that's super shitty.

Why do you think they let the other two go ahead. Is there a development office at the daycare? Are they expecting big donations or something?


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 10:58 AM
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Well, the other two are older than Zardoz, and they have an age cutoff that Zardoz in fact missed by three days. So as far as that goes, they're acting according to their own policy. They just have their heads up their asses about communicating with us about it in a coherent, honest way. Like, I'm sure they intuited that we were going to try and push them to put Zardoz in the older classroom (because it makes a hell of a lot of sense all around) and were trying to figure out whatever they could to head us off.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 11:02 AM
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Possibly also they had a waitlist for the toddler room, but not the baby room, so they're at a higher capacity if they accept more off the toddler list. Ie if there were a longer baby waiting list, I bet Zardoz would have fit right in at the older room.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 11:04 AM
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So they only move babies up once a year, according to school year-ish cohorts? That itself is weird - most places around here have basically a floating age cut-off - to move up, you must be at least 13 months old, be able to drink out of a cup and take naps on the floor, and be able to walk. Once you meet those criteria, you wait around until a spot opens up.

Spots tend to open up in May/August, since everyone's parent's are on a school calendar, but if someone moves away in October, they'd move kids up appropriately.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 11:07 AM
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You could come to our new daycare (we start next week) where the promote as soon as you hit the cutoff. Includes diapers and food in the cost! Probably bad location for you though.
I wouldn't worry about the being bored with those stupid slug babies though. They find appropriate ways to interact with other kids or teachers regardless of age.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 11:08 AM
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11: The details of that controversy illuminate the contours of the class conflict lurking just beneath the surface in PDBS. I'm surprised that BG's Fox News-viewing uncle didn't mention the role of the teachers union. They're the ones who resisted the proposal to start the school year before Labor Day. It was the parents (or a vocal faction thereof) who wanted the earlier start date to enable an earlier end to the school year, so they can get young Connor and MacKenzie off to cello camp or well-digging in Bolivia or whatever. Another faction of parents said fine, let's end the school year earlier, but keep the same start date and get the mandatory 180 days of instruction by ending the traditional week of vacation in February, which is a nuisance for families with two working parents, anyway. But that proposal ran afoul of the widely held belief that a week off of school for skiiing or to go to the Caribbean is part of our god-given birthright as 99 percenters. Watching the whole thing play out left me with less respect for just about everyone involved.



Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 11:09 AM
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What SP means is that messing with infants is super fun for toddlers.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 11:10 AM
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Here it's pretty strictly age-based because a 2-year-old legally cannot be in a class with a 1-year-old, but they're pretty flexible on when they choose to move the 1-year-olds. Selah stayed in the first Transitions class until a later age than usual because they thought she'd had enough turmoil in her recent life and could just stay where she knew the routine.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 11:10 AM
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I felt slightly bad dropping Hawaii off in a room where she knew exactly nobody, and the teacher isn't particularly warm-fuzzy. Which I think is totally fine in general, but Hawaii looked petrified. She'll do great! It's good to be petrified once in a while and have it all turn out fine. I still felt a little bad for her.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 11:13 AM
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The elementary school where my mom works already started two weeks ago. But because of snow days, they didn't start their summer break until something like mid-June.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 11:21 AM
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34

I knew this theory sounded familiar!

My theory is that some people make an effort to look good, thinking, "at least it looks like I tried."

Other people don't make this effort, thinking, "at least it looks like I don't care."

Stereotypically, the first group is primarily female, and the second group primarily male.

http://www.unfogged.com/archives/comments_12721.html#1546364



Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 11:26 AM
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29: My uncle is weird. I don't think he would hate the teacher's union in that town, because he thinks the schools there are good. He sort of a Congregationalist when it comes to government. (And he is a loose Congregationalist now, having long ago abandoned the Roman Catholic church of his childhood) He's not somebody who prefers private homeowners associations; he just wants to be able to show up at Town Meeting and have control of what the government does (and not give away too much money to people who aren't like him).

The way he told it, it was more like people wanted their last weekend at the beach over Labor Day.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 11:31 AM
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34: smartypants.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 11:37 AM
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36: is that a confession?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 11:39 AM
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peep is trying so hard.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 11:41 AM
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38: Am not! I could care less!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 11:42 AM
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39: Clearly that means that you do care some.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 11:47 AM
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40: You're right. Who am I fooling?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 11:49 AM
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heebie-- how is your sabbatical schedule going? I sometimes wonder whether an online private blog for people with projects --dissertations, job searches, etc.--wouldn't be helpful in promoting accountability.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 11:49 AM
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So they only move babies up once a year, according to school year-ish cohorts?

Right. It is, in fact, sort of weird.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 11:57 AM
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I got in touch with a colleague on sabbatical, and we made a plan to be sabbatical-buddies - just weekly updates over email, nothing too fancy. Then I had kids home with me in some form for the past two weeks, so today is the first meaningful day of sabbatical.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 11:58 AM
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For about half a year I managed to use a Livejournal account as a private journal for all of my research projects, and it was pretty useful but then I inexplicably stopped doing it and returned to writing things in paper notebooks that I put on top of other paper notebooks that I put in stacks that I never return to.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 11:59 AM
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An academic researcher using paper notebooks? You are one of my sworn enemies. (We have a longstanding project to get all our research groups to switch to a centralized ELN.)


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 12:06 PM
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I use paper notebooks.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 12:07 PM
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1. Is there a Piketty summary for today?

2. Am I supposed to be writing it?

|>


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 12:07 PM
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46: But I don't do experiments and I don't produce data. I just make things up. So it's okay.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 12:10 PM
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I looked into trying to switch to some tablet system last year, and there just didn't seem to be anything that was anywhere near as good as paper for actually sitting down and doing some calculations. What workable alternatives have people found? I'd love to have electronic records instead of old hard to find notebooks.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 12:10 PM
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I would characterize our feelings about day care today as barely restrained fury. Zardoz's feelings about day care I would characterize as being bored as shit

Operational details are somewhat different, but I nevertheless sympathize deeply. As applied to kindergarten, last year, for our oldest. She's in a new school now and we're hoping that things will be better.


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 12:15 PM
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Oh, shit. Was this my week for Piketty? If so I completely forgot, sorry.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 12:23 PM
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Yep.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 12:23 PM
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Perfect time for Walt to step up, but noooo.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 12:24 PM
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I have some obligations tonight, but can get my summary Wednesday if that works.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 12:25 PM
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When they find an alternative to paper that can take being dropped from 10 ft onto a concrete floor, is resistant to machining fluids, pump fluids, and solvents, is as easy to use as a notebook, and which can be guaranteed not to keel over dead at the most inopportune times then maybe, just maybe, I'll take a look at it. Most attempts I have seen to digitize lab notebooks have sucked really badly. I admit that I'd really like the ability to take a picture, voice annotate it, and have it appear inline with my notes. The downside of any such system is that it'd be obsolete inside 5 years and would no doubt require paying somebody to access my own data.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 12:33 PM
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"is resistant to machining fluids, pump fluids, and solvents"
That's some high quality paper you're using in your notebooks.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 12:38 PM
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57: Not at all. But you can just continue reading through the stains of spills that would brick ordinary electronics. Or in the case of solvents you just lose the bit that got wet.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 12:45 PM
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I want to take notes on a tablet if I'm responsible for producing meeting minutes or lecture notes. I think that there are programs where you can record a talk, and then go back to the part that was being recorded when you jotted down a particular note.

Mostly, I was just thinking about keeping up on tasks.

For example, I am procrastinating on putting together my FSA parking receipts, and there are things I should be doing for a job search that I'm not.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 12:46 PM
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Argh -- I'm still on vacation, and forgot to do Piketty management. If someone sends me a summary (Minivet or anyone else (coughWaltcough)) I'll post it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 12:47 PM
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Just take your time Walt, sheesh. No hurry or anything.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 12:48 PM
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xelA's nursery move them up at 2. So he's got 7 months or so to go. He does occasionally play with the older kids in their garden, though [the nursery has two gardens, one of which is reserved for the under 2s].

They don't have a cut-off date, though, where cohorts of kids get moved. It's not like a school. Once the kids are 2, they move up, assuming there's a slot.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 12:49 PM
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You could come to our new daycare (we start next week) where the promote as soon as you hit the cutoff. Includes diapers and food in the cost!

Obviously the promotion as soon as you hit the cutoff is particularly attractive to us right now, but the inclusion of food is also pretty rad. As it is, Zardoz gets a lot of Trader Joe's crap in her lunches, and even that feels hard to pull off sometimes. (I say to the person with four kids. I'll stop complaining now.)


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 12:50 PM
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From what I've seen of xelA's class, though, it seems quite good fun. Lots of singing and running about, a LOT of outdoor time. When the weather is nice they are outside more or less all day except for naps and meal times.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 12:51 PM
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Oh, and food is included [and nappies are being included as of next week].


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 12:52 PM
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The older kids' room just seems so fun compared with the stupid babies. I want to swoop in with my fun helicopter and whisk Zardoz to fun island.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 12:52 PM
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NYC is starting the Thursday after Labor Day -- so, really, two setup days and then starting for real the Monday after Labor Day. Which seems right to me.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 12:53 PM
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xelA's nursery move them up at 2.

I was just talking online to another parent whose kid is in a center that does it that way. That seems okay, because at least you'd have the other older kids in the class until they hit that point. As it is, Zardoz will be the oldest in her class this entire year. The kids who moved up have birthdays in February and April.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 12:53 PM
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She'll be the oldest in her class and the youngest is more than six months younger than she is.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 12:58 PM
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That just seems crazy. If the cut off is age related, rather than being a particular age by a particular date, the the class would always have a decent mix of ages. And 6 months younger, when she's only, what, 15 or 16 months? That's nuts.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 1:03 PM
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12,33: Yikes. That's crazy early for starting the school year.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 1:04 PM
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63: Having food included is the best thing ever. We've solved that problem by sending the kids to programs that cater to poor people and get USDA grants (and ours count toward that "needy" count while in foster care, so it's not like we're JUST takers) and it makes my life a billion times easier than it would be if I had to send food all the time.

Two weeks ago seems to have been the standard start time here, though my older two went back in the middle of last week. Apparently some Indiana schools started in July, and they're not year-round schools so I have no idea what they do to their calendar to make it work.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 1:12 PM
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It sounds like Zardoz's day care has the same "inability to communicate proactively and truthfully" problem that we had with ours. We exacted our revenge by glaring impotently at the manager's office every time we dropped them off.

(They start Kindergarten in a week. I cannot believe this is happening.)


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 1:14 PM
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74

If you glared at the manger's office with a visible erection, they'd probably call the cops.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 1:16 PM
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75

I have a back-to-school question: should faculty members display their degrees and awards on the walls of their offices? I tend to think definitely not, but I was just told that the custom here is to do so.


Posted by: Prof. Impostor | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 1:16 PM
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75: My first reaction is "oh god no" but I guess it might depend on where "here" is.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 1:18 PM
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I'm sure there are plenty of other faculty there with doctorates from the University of Phoenix.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 1:20 PM
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Or wait, maybe 75 is VW wanting to know if we think it's okay for him to show off his Fancypants Historian Award. Go for it, VW!


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 1:20 PM
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I was thinking when I get my PhD Blume and I should put all our degrees up in our guest room.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 1:23 PM
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76 is all the answer I need. Confirmation bias ftw!


Posted by: Prof. Impostor | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 1:24 PM
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How many degrees ya got? Three seems to be the median amongst academics, though I know two people with two PhDs each.


Posted by: W. Breeze | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 1:26 PM
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"Ph. DDs" would be a very bad stripper name.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 1:27 PM
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We exacted our revenge by glaring impotently at the manager's office every time we dropped them off.

Oooh. Maybe we should add this to our aresenal, along with the strongly worded email we were planning.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 1:38 PM
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I've been making passive-aggressive comments for a while now, in case that works eventually.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 1:39 PM
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75: That sounds like a really abnormal custom. If the other faculty are doing it, though, you probably should.

Of course, I doubt anyone is going to look really closely at them so a "Licensed Bikini Inspector" certificate or a doctorate in the field of "Awesome Cheesiness" from Domino's University could probably sit up there on the wall for long enough that if someone did eventually notice they'd be too embarrassed to bring it up.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 1:58 PM
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Public health masters from McDonalds Hamburger University.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 2:02 PM
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Print out, frame, and hang the certificate of completion from your sexual harassment training.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 2:02 PM
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||

What was that about Paul Ryan at least critiquing imperialism again?

|>


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 2:06 PM
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You kid, but I know people who have hung up their completion certificate from lab safety training (which you have to complete your first day at work.)


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 2:06 PM
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"Stucky's Employee of the Month, August 2006"


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 2:08 PM
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89: Safety first.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 2:09 PM
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Speaking of sexual harassment, I believe they call this the Texas XXL.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 2:12 PM
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91 to 92.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 2:13 PM
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I always thought it would be nice to frame my phd with big blinky broadway style bare bulbs. Maybe a red light up arrow pointing to it. But somehow I never did and actually I have no idea where it is, although I found my undergrad diploma at some point. Jammies' undergrad diploma is framed over the beer fridge.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 2:21 PM
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Arizona State diplomas come with a beer fridge.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 2:26 PM
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Aw, he was close.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 3:09 PM
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Lawyers generally have an "I Love Me" wall, with any rectangular piece of paper with their names on it they can find. I always feel a little out of step not having my diplomas up, but it just seems so pointless, and I've never gotten around to having them framed.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 3:38 PM
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Some medical doctors hang all of their degrees up. The ENT I saw recently had certificates from all kinds of places. He seemed to be sort of a nose sub specialist. And there were diploma- like certificates proclaiming his membership in various professional organizations.

An old school dental surgeon who started out in the military had his degree on the wall.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 3:44 PM
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It'd be odd to hang degrees up here. I do use Dr nattarGcM in my email sig which isn't that common, either. My boss does it , too. I think she does it for the same reason I do. So senior academics don't assume we are idiots. I learned this from bitter experience. I don't put the full string of letters, though, as that'd be a step too far.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 3:51 PM
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To be clear, it is pretty weird here except for clinicians and I guess lawyers.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 3:59 PM
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My walls have whiteboards, a bulletin board, a painting of a Chinese vista executed on rice paper, and some impressionist print that I inherited.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 3:59 PM
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The ENT I saw recently had certificates from all kinds of places.

I got an associates degree in agriculture at Lothlórien Community College. I was trying to please Fimbrethil, but it didn't work.


Posted by: Opinionated Treebeard | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 4:04 PM
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nose sub specialist
Are we talking Fantastic Voyage here? You'd better believe I'd have that hanging on my wall.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 4:21 PM
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We do put firstname lastname, Ph.D. on our office door signs and email sigs. But no one calls anyone doctor. But no one shows any degrees. Mine are on a bookshelf at home I think. I did hand up a lot of awards on my wall in middle and high school- science olympiad metals, etc.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 4:39 PM
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97: I felt the same disinclination to display my Law Diploma and Bar membership, but it was explained to me that I'd being seeing clients who'd never talked to a lawyer before, didn't know what to expect and would be hesitant and trepidatious about it, and needed the assurance I really was a lawyer. "Watch them look up at the diplomas." And I would see that.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 4:41 PM
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I kinda think hanging up H&S stuff is kinda defensible: culture of safety, accountability that you've actually done the training, if it's time limited then at least there's some evidence when you have to redo etc.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 4:42 PM
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a painting of a Chinese vista executed on rice paper

China's such a rough place. When I was a Vista I got a relocation allowance and a transit pass.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 4:50 PM
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In my grad department, profs usually put up their diplomas.

In my current position, we all jokingly call each other Dr. "Dr Jones, may I have a minute of your time?" "Why of course, Dr. Smith." It's funny until it intimidates new undergrads, who don't quite understand that we're kidding and that they do NOT need to refer to everyone with their proper title.

106: It's also funny. Completing an online course where the questions are like, "Is it safe to drink lab chemicals? Should you pour bacterial cultures on open wounds?" gets you a silly certificate with italics and a border. Records are kept, but the actual certificates are kind of ridiculous when compared to the degree of difficulty.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 4:50 PM
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I've often thought it would be amusing to put up my framed HS diploma -- I have the little presentation folder, but never quite managed to pick up the diploma. And my 20th reunion was a year ago now, so I'm kinda doubtful they still have it sitting around over there.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 4:53 PM
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Yeah I also like it for the vague sense of goofiness.

I remember the university library used to hand out certificates for completing a quiz about how to use online databases. It was snazzier than the actual degree certificate.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 4:53 PM
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I put up all my mom's various plaques and awards for her, in her office. It's a little weird, but they aren't diplomas exactly, and it's possible some of the people who gave her the awards will be in her office and will be glad to see them. Also, among the plaques is her award for being the best crossing guard as a 2nd grader, which is pretty great.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 4:56 PM
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In my current position, we all jokingly call each other Dr. "Dr Jones, may I have a minute of your time?" "Why of course, Dr. Smith."

We do this too! Undergrads can feel free to be intimidated.

I feel a very strong disinclination ever to put my diplomas on the wall. I think my undergrad one is stuffed on a bookshelf somewhere and my PhD one is... boy, I really don't know where. A very nice guy I know who clearly feels paternal toward me insisted on buying me a frame for the latter as a graduation present and since he works at this university is actually in a position to notice that I sure don't use it here. Whoops! I hope (I guess) that he assumes it's been put to use at my house.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 4:59 PM
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Also, among the plaques is her award for being the best crossing guard as a 2nd grader

xoxox!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 5:00 PM
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My girlfriend always calls me "Professor" when she thinks I just said or did something stupid. I don't seem to find as many opportunities to do likewise.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 5:03 PM
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The way I found out I've had a patent issued is a company sends me a brochure offering various plaques for sale to commemorate it.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 5:05 PM
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My parents still seem a little concerned that I never got my diploma when I finished grad school. Last time I was in Ith/aca my mom called me to suggest that I try to get a copy while I was there. I guess they think one day my employer is going to decide I didn't really get a degree after all and fire me.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 5:08 PM
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My father put his federal bureaucrat commendation awards up in our bathroom. The prose was really something other than else.

Whereas, ABU NATILO, currently a BUREAUCRAT THIRD CLASS in the MPLS office of Important Bureaucracy Department, on 23 MARCH, 1987, submitted a IMPORTANT SUGGESTION BOX SUGGESTION to create a form I-971, for the purpose of collating form R-386 prior to the filing of Schedule UH-176, thus saving the LESS IMPORTANT DIVISION over 324 person-hours of processing time per annum, has demonstrated excellent judgement and reflecting the highest ideals of this agency, therefore, MR. NATILO is awarded a special bonus of ONE-HUNDRED SEVENTY-FOUR DOLLARS AND FIFTY-SIX CENTS and this certificate as of 14 JULY, 1988.

Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 5:11 PM
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I have some but not all of my certificates on the wall. DC and DC Cir are the best looking. Ninth Cir is the weakest, but D Mont. the least well done. COFC is interesting, but not enough to have it on the wall; D Md. also has some color (and isn't on the wall either). I've meant to get Idaho framed. USSC gives my pre-law school residence as my home town; I should probably get a new certificate from them.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 5:13 PM
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Natilo, that's excellent. That language (bureaucratese?) reminds me of my much-missed grandfather. He wrote and spoke just like that.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 5:17 PM
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I'm glad you liked it. Have you read Snowcrash? Stephenson's joke about a memo about toilet-paper buying pools in the mom's federal office is one of the best things he ever wrote.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 5:38 PM
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115: ooh I can get a plaque if I get a patent?!?! I am on this.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 5:50 PM
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88: Wait, do people say that about Paul Ryan? I thought it was Rand Paul that people said that about?


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 6:06 PM
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My college diploma showed up in the mail, out of the blue a few years back. Which put to rest the vague sinking feeling I had that maybe I hadn't properly graduated and I've have to go to back to college to finish one more class, like in a bad sitcom. But it turns out I graduated with honors, which was news to me.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 6:08 PM
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Oh, right. Damned four-letterers.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 6:09 PM
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Because, you know, I don't want you guys thinking I tried too hard to graduate college, or anything.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 6:09 PM
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I post my honors in internet comment threads.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 6:24 PM
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Be honest, Stormcrow, second-best crossing guard in second grade?


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 6:25 PM
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121- you could buy a plaque right now commemorating one of my patents.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 6:31 PM
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Best headline ever.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 6:35 PM
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127: Ha! Third best crossing guard* in sixth. But I got to go on the trip to DC because one of the top two (two went from each school) got caught breaking into the cafeteria.

*Patrol Boy, actually.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 6:37 PM
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You know Kid Rock mounted that on his wall.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 6:37 PM
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120: that bit made me wince


Posted by: turgid jacobian | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 6:59 PM
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Kid Rock didn't even got to my grade school, silly.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 7:03 PM
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My institution is Quaker-affiliated, so we never use titles and everyone uses first names, but everyone has their degree on the wall (perhaps these things are related; some faculty have a hard time getting over not being called "professor"). Mine is in Latin (super affected, I know) and half the time students can't figure out where it is from (Princetonius Universitas--where's that?)


Posted by: Miranda | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 7:09 PM
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New Jersey State.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 7:11 PM
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it was explained to me that I'd being seeing clients who'd never talked to a lawyer before, didn't know what to expect and would be hesitant and trepidatious about it, and needed the assurance I really was a lawyer.

Depending on the client and the field, it's also quite possible that they had been previously scammed by a fake lawyer.

It's most prevalent in the immigration field, where con artists take advantage of a linguistic confusion between "notary public" in the US and "notario publico" in Latin America (the latter of which actually IS empowered to do some lawyer-ish things). But it exists in other fields too. Legal "helpers" who will complete paperwork for you, and file it.

Except that they don't know what they're doing, and sometimes they file it wrong and sometimes they just don't file at all. And bar associations are loath to go after even the most egregious offenders. I have no idea who they think they are protecting but it's disgusting. Can you tell I am bitter? I am bitter.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 7:15 PM
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God to Grover: no playa for you.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 7:16 PM
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There is one crazy goddamned party at the Grand Sierra in Reno tonight, sounds like.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 7:19 PM
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I like to translate east coast university names into their middle America equivalents. Rutgers is New Jersey Tech. Maybe Penn should be New Jersey State.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 7:20 PM
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Free, even.

It sounds like most of my friends either made it in or are in Reno. Some people I camp with stuck out on the road, though.

It'll be dry by tomorrow. Rain out there is a damned mess in any circumstances, though. Maybe you can tell me why alkali mud is so sticky, SP?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 7:21 PM
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It's a dry lake, right? So imagine what the bottom of a lake feels like, tiny particles all silty and slimy. Add water to alkalai mud and you're back to a lake bottom.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 7:30 PM
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Well, no, I mean, I get that it turns back into a lake -- in the event it is quite obvious that is happening -- but why is it so much stickier than regular mud? It's the size of the particles, that's all?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 7:34 PM
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Accumulated hippie poop?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 7:36 PM
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Yes I think it's mostly particle size. I don't think it's anything about the chemical composition.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 7:38 PM
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Hippies have very tiny poop. All that natural fiber.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 7:38 PM
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Huh. Neat!

2000, which is the last time I was there when it rained a lot (maybe not as much as this time?) as you walked across the playa your shoes would rapidly accumulate foot-tall plus platform soles of mud.

We had rugs as a floor in their dance camp, and I vividly remember smacking them as hard as I could with a sledgehammer to try and dislodge enough mud to roll (fold, really) the carpets enough to pack them out. As I recall we were not entirely successful, and had to abandon some rugs to the none-too-kind graces of the DPW.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 7:47 PM
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I would love to see a definitive answer to the "sliding rocks" of Racetrack Playa before I die. Someone get on that.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 8:32 PM
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Racetrack Playa earwormed Flagpole Sitta.
Now I'm an amputee, God damn me.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 8:48 PM
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It sounds like most of my friends either made it in or are in Reno.

If you can make it in Reno, you can make it anywhere in the greater Reno metropolitan area.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 9:43 PM
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Even Sparks?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 9:43 PM
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Definitely Sparks. Reno's big time now. I mean, Amazon is reportedly going to be moving their fulfillment center there from nearby Fernley. Those places are giant wish-fulfilling machines!


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 10:01 PM
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my kids started school a week ago monday. we got back on a wednesday morning at like 7, I guess, dawn, and then they started monday. way not enough time to re-adjust to a 12-hour time change, but they are some bad-ass traveling troupers. they might need help cutting steak (to be fair they eat it like 5 times a year) and combing their hair and stuff, but they can do exchange rates in their heads, and take all their electronics out wicked fast, and accurately rate airports for terribleness. #1 LAX. #2 JFK, though the narnian airlines people are so much better staffed and trained that they managed to make JFK terminal 4 surprisingly not awful.

I can't believe it's still august after all that bullshit running around and buying and ironing school uniforms and stuff. it caint be summer! our helper came back late for the third of four times we've sent her back for a long holiday. nbd except the exact time you really want help the most is when your spouse has a full teaching load, a male college student has been your cat-sitter prior to husband's arrival, and he has been going along assuming someone else would do a massive clean-up before you returned, but they didn't, and now you have to get everything ready for school, and get up early to braid that rope-thick, nearly waist-length plait you were so sanguine about just the other day. and you need to lie down in bed now and die. also she burned our ticket and the trip insurance we bought by not getting a doctor's note even though she was sick! I mean, I perfectly well believe she was sick, she's prone to ear infections.

but last night she told me that her mother's brother had committed suicide by drinking a mixture of bleach, gasoline, and super-strength farm insecticide. he lived long enough to get to the hospital and have the doctors be able to try to clean out his insides before he died, although his abdomen began to inflate with a horrible chemical reaction even as they rushed him, in a moto trishaw, to the hospital, through the shitty traffic. GOD FUCK NO I REMEMBER WHY I LOVE THE SECOND AMENDMENT. his wife and family had just left him, for the second time. his kids are all grown by malou's standards, the oldest of 7 is 25 and the youngest 16 (!) but the youngest is developmentally disabled. I guess I'll start partially supporting another branch of her family. what's it going to cost but money after all? what is money for? fuck, those poor kids. fucking fuck what an awful way to die. but she--malou--said she felt it was divinely provident that she was there when it happened and could emotionally support her mother. ok, good, I'm glad for her mother, divinely provident things are good, we didn't die of having to iron our own school uniforms. I can't stop thinking about it though. a lot of suicides in third-world-countries are like that, drinking poisons, even lye. it would be better to walk out into the sea with stones in your pockets, or a paddy runoff pond, like the mom of one of my grandmother's friends did in greenwich in the winter one year. I don't know if there was a scum of ice or not, but it was bitterly cold, and she had big round stones in the pockets of a wool overcoat. still better.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 10:10 PM
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I'll pay for the hospital and funeral costs, anyway, and then see how the daughter is doing. if the older sons and daughters are supporting the mom and she's caring for the 16-year-old at home then I guess they're ok. BLEACH NO WHY


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 10:13 PM
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Ugh, that sounds awful.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 10:34 PM
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That is really horrifying.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 10:56 PM
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Mine is in Latin (super affected, I know) and half the time students can't figure out where it is from (Princetonius Universitas--where's that?)

Heh, at the concept of Latin being super-affected. Although, come to think of it, I can't remember if my D.Phil certificate is in Latin. Not sure if I remember looking at it. My Glasgow one is definitely Latin, and a quite ornate scroll.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 11:15 PM
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latin is just tradish. my second-fave doctor is a very elderly man who has a degree from the no-longer-extant university of malaya on the wall. it's awesome.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 11:27 PM
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Are UK degrees on parchment?


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 11:52 PM
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Re: 158

Actual parchment? As in made from goat or calf skin? No. Although acts of parliament are stored on vellum.

Or just fancy heavy paper? In which case, yes.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 12:49 AM
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My degrees are in latin as well (fancy!), but they are also on obnoxiously-large non-standard-sized paper. Meaning it is hard to find a frame to fit them besides the (unreasonably expensive) ones sold by the school bookstore. Nothing fishy about that...

alameida - how awful!


Posted by: parodie | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 1:55 AM
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My Glasgow one is big. Maybe 2ft long? More, even. The Oxford one, judging by the envelope, is standard A4 sized.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 2:29 AM
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120: I haven't read it, but I will now, thanks!


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 5:03 AM
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Oh, alameida, that sounds horrible. The poison concoction sounds gruesome, and you wonder if the people around him weren't at risk too from all of those chemicals.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 5:31 AM
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I don't have a degree certificate because I never bothered going to a graduation ceremony. (I suppose you can get one anyway somehow? I think I would need to graduate in absentia.) I finally needed proof of my degree this last year, so I just ordered a letter online.

Back to school is next week for my lot. Kid D starts school for the first time ever - she is alternating excited and terrified. We will have one year of them all at secondary school. Kid A is into the final year and has to do university applications pretty much as soon as she gets back. I need to do a lot of shopping this week.

And I am back to school the week after. Not *as* excited or terrified as Kid D, but at the moment I'm more preoccupied with getting the kids sorted. At least I don't need new shoes. (Yet.)


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 5:36 AM
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I don't have a degree certificate because I never bothered going to a graduation ceremony.

I didn't go to either of my Oxford ones. I got it done by post.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 5:43 AM
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Likewise - they just sent it to me in the post a year or two after Finals.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 5:49 AM
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If it doesn't come by Royal Mail, that means the diploma is fake.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 5:51 AM
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How did Hawaii's first day go? Was she ok with going again?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 7:07 AM
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How did Hawaii's first day go? Was she ok with going again?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 7:07 AM
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Jeez, I wasn't really that curious.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 7:08 AM
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She LOVED the afterschool program, and really really wants us to know that they sell corn dogs and spaghetti in the cafeteria at lunchtime, so we didn't have to make her a lunch. She seemed super indifferent to actual kindergarten - "we did some coloring". Mostly lunch and after-school are hugely important.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 7:10 AM
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So, you know, as a parent we're really excited by her vibrant curiosity about learning.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 7:13 AM
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Corndogs are a kind of learning.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 7:14 AM
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She must be one of those autodidacts. Obviously her class is too slow and is boring her. Sign her up for Coursera.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 7:16 AM
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Mostly lunch and after-school are hugely important.

She's precocious. I don't think I really understood that until high school.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 7:17 AM
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It's true that she's surprisingly good at staying within the lines when she colors.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 7:17 AM
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Sounds like Hawaii has her priorities straight! And she's saving you work!

God, was I pissed when I found out my stepdaughter was throwing out the sandwiches I hand-crafted for her each day.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 7:20 AM
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Kid A is into the final year and has to do university applications pretty much as soon as she gets back.

I just recently returned from taking Keegan on his first tour of college campuses, and we even got to stay with Tweety, Blume, and Zardoz for a couple of nights (thanks guys!) in the process. It's hard to wrap your head around your kids steadily marching toward adulthood.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 7:26 AM
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Keegan is sure a lot more mature than the rest of us.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 7:28 AM
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He's got some time left to get over that.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 7:29 AM
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||

Our contractor and our wallpaper guy just got into a big, exciting fight, and the wallpaper guy stormed out in anger. So you know, this bodes well for getting everything wrapped up quickly.

|>


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 7:51 AM
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I didn't even know people still got wallpaper.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 7:55 AM
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There's some crazy expensive new-school fancy wallpaper. I'm not sure if that's what heebie's getting, though. Hers might be little ducks dressed like sailors.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 7:58 AM
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Sailors usually wear pants.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 7:59 AM
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Corndogs are a kind of learning.

I believe you mean:

Corndogs are a kind of knowing


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 8:00 AM
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181: What were they fighting about? Do they also disagree about Judith Butler's theories about gender as performance?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 8:03 AM
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Some of it is fancy wallpaper, and some of it is cheap, paintable wallpaper. It's all going to look amazing, someday maybe if we ever move back into the front of the house.

I kind of sympathized with the contractor. The wallpaper guy is a perfectionist diva (which is good!) and he was mad that the walls weren't floated sufficiently well. The contractor kept saying "I kept asking you how well it needed to be done, since I'm not familiar with wallpaper, and all you would say is 'It doesn't need to be perfect.' " (Then the wallpaper guy showed up today with a bright light and was pointing out all these imperfections, and then stormed out.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 8:04 AM
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When I was back in Chicago recently, I hung out with my badass 79-year-old grandfather, who's currently remodeling the basement. He'd be hanging and taping drywall and was explaining the process, and why he usually pays a contractor to do the taping because it's hard to get right, but this time he'd done it himself. I came away thinking, boy, hanging and taping drywall sure is a huge pain in the ass.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 8:16 AM
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I really suck at drywall, even patching. I just recently discovered that my wife is actually very good at the patching, so I'm going to see if she can finish the basement.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 8:18 AM
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Sailors usually wear pants.

Depends on what kind of parties you frequent.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 8:29 AM
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165, 166 - I checked again on the website and it says "Once your degree has been conferred at a degree ceremony either in person or in absentia, you will automatically receive a degree certificate." and "If you have passed your examinations and have not had your degree conferred at a degree ceremony [...] you can request a degree confirmation letter free of charge." so I think I would have to do something to get a certificate? And there was a link to click to get a letter, and not an obvious thing to do to get a certificate. (And I couldn't give a shit about having a certificate, but that's probably obvious seeing as I left university 22 years ago!)

178 - I am completely at ease with having an almost-adult child. I have one friend whose daughter is about 6 weeks younger than Kid A, who seems to be really struggling, and I am failing miserably to be sympathetic.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 8:31 AM
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Since you all are on tenterhooks, the contractor got a second opinion, who opined that the rough patches in the texture could just be hand-sanded, and he will start wallpapering tomorrow. The contractor, who is finishing out some trim, is singing to himself which is kind of charming.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 12:23 PM
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