26 August 2008

Amen, sister!

"Because we want our children — and all children in this nation — to know that the only limit to the height of your achievements is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work for them."

~Michelle Obama, Democratic National Convention, Monday, Aug. 25, 2008

21 August 2008

Sniff. Sniff. Not ready. At all.

We just dropped our baby off at preschool this morning. She took her Dora "packpack" and her Tinkerbell lunchbox in hand, tugged my husband across the parking lot, and happily marched off to Mrs. McE's room.

Just like her brother, she practically shoved us out the door. High fives, hugs, kisses, then see ya.

Four years ago to the day, I was bemoaning the aches and pains of pregnancy; I was wishing she'd pop out and spare me misery. How on earth did she grow so fast? It's been a blur.

Her brother ran into his first grade room, hugged his teacher, and then went to hang up his backpack. I might as well not have showed up. I was a pack horse to carry school supplies, that's it.

Our eldest, all long and lanky and beautiful, raced up the steps to the level where the junior high is. She's a 7th grader. So not ready for this. It seems like just yesterday I was fighting with school administrators to have her skip a year. I wouldn't wish that back, because she's smart and witty and needs to be challenged academically. But she's so mature. So old.

They are still my babies, but they are so not my babies any more.

18 August 2008

Nine down, three to go

Straight As.

I rock!

(Oh, and said paper that needed to be revised for a conference submission? Still haven't done it. Will do it tomorrow. Freelance work got in the way.)

I have three courses to go over the next two semesters. Two seated, one dissertation (I get three hours for writing it.) I'm really trying to crank up the energy to get through this, but I'm wiped. Summer session took a lot more out of me than I expected. Somehow, in the next 10 days, I have to get mentally back in the game.

08 August 2008

I *heart* Google Scholar

I'm in the process of revising a paper to submit to the Midwest Communication Conference. I needed to find some very specific, on-point research. Research on a trend that is fairly new and hasn't been studied much yet, because it is so new.

I looked through the university database system and found a little, but not enough.

On a whim, I put the search terms in Google Scholar.

Ding. Everything I needed and more. Newly published research that hadn't hit the databases yet. I could search on terms within texts, have it highlighted right on the page, skim, determine if it would work or not, and then move on.

What would have taken me days in the old (or weeks in the old, old microfiche, Dewey Decimal System) way took me a matter of hours. Now I can block out time to revise the paper this weekend and be done with it.


04 August 2008

What the hey?

When I was a reporter, we all dreaded heat waves. It was like everyone went insane when the temps topped 95. Woe to the poor schmucks working GA shifts during a heat wave. You might as well live at the cop shop, because the crime rate would spike with freaky stuff.

My cousin who used to be an ER nurse reported the same thing.

It is miserable hot right now where we live. In the past few days, it's been 90+ with humidity to steam you as you walk outside.

As a result, it seems like there's more crime stories than normal; all seem odd:

  • Tied-up victim

  • Tiger attack

  • Shooting

  • And then, to prove that even politics goes nuts:

  • Blunt and ice cream