Saturday, March 31, 2012

i love my job

The office. Still need to add art to the walls to spruce it up a bit.
And I need a name for the little bunny that runs around the garden below my window. 
It has come to my attention that a few of you would like to know how the new job is going.

Well. let's just say that I've said. "I love my job," so many times in the last 4 weeks that I'm worried it's starting to annoy people.

Let me just say it one more time: I love my job.

Now let's not assume that loving my new job means that my old job was bad. That's not the case. I worked (correction: work--I'm still there half time) with great people, I enjoy interacting with the medical students, my job was flexible, and Stanford is just a great place to work in general. I even loved learning about the field of medicine and how to navigate medical school. Trust me. I have a lot of knowledge stored in this head of mine. Ask me about it sometime. Leaving is bitter sweet. I have been working half time at my "old" job for the last 4 weeks and will continue for another 4. Splitting my time between the two jobs is keeping me on my toes. I thrive on being busy. April 27th should be my last day at the medical school. Considering I have been there just over 7 years, it will be sad to leave.

On the other hand, Latin American studies and Spanish (and, as of recent years, Portuguese) are where my passions lie. I can't even begin to describe how enlightening it is to go back to my field of study. I feel like an entire section of my brain has woken up that I didn't even know had gone to sleep.

The job: I work at Stanford's Center for Latin American Studies, which is one of 14 area studies centers under the Division of International, Comparative, and Area Studies. I am the Public Engagement Coordinator, which means that I'll be the outreach guru. Outreach means serving and working with the local and national community so that our Center serves more than just Stanford students and faculty. We are working with California community college instructors, local high school students, local K-12 teachers, and the general public through regular lecture series. Right now I'm helping organize a symposium on teaching human rights in community college courses, and I'm working on a Latin American regional perspectives curriculum piece to be shared at the symposium. Fascinating.

The people: If you want, you can check out the bios of our staff here, so I'll just say that they are great. Hard working. Organized. Fun. All of them. And that's just the immediate staff. Add in the 13 graduate students, the visiting scholars, and the other area studies staff, and it's shaping up to be a great place to work. Of the staff and faculty housed in BoHo (Bolivar House), I am the only one whose first language is English. So while they all speak English fluently, much of the conversation happens in Spanish and Portuguese. I love it.

To say I'm happy is an understatement. It feels good.

Monday, March 26, 2012

killing fruit flies

I used to be really good at killing fruit flies. I was fast. In reality, fruit flies are just kind of slow. I'm not actually fast at anything. But killing fruit flies made me feel fast. Then one day I wasn't very good at it anymore.

I think that was about the same time I realized the bags under my eyes don't go away even when I'm well rested.

Not to mention my eye sight is getting worse. I finally need glasses.

Bring it on, age. Bring it on.

(Just flicked a fruit fly off my water bottle.) 

Friday, March 23, 2012

word verification ridiculousness

Is "ridiculousness" even a real word? I guess it is, but it seems like it shouldn't be.

Anyway, back to what I was really going to say.

Have I mentioned that I despise word verifications on blogs and Facebook and stuff like that? You know, the words you have to type in to prove you're a human and not a computer sending out automatically generated spam? Well, as automatically-generated-spam-generators (ha, how do you like that?) are getting more sophisticated and capable, word verifications are getting more complicated. I swear I can't figure out what the letters are. Am I the only one?

This one, however, really takes the cake. I may or may not have laughed out loud. This was on my friends Kerri and Cheri's blog (Five Real Moms--I've been meaning to post about their blog for a while).

But really. What does that second word say? I swear it's written in Arabic.

Knowing I had no shot at getting that right, I refreshed the word verification in order to get one I could decipher. And it looked super simple. No dice. I suck at this.

Got it on the third try, though. Word verifications are the bain of my online existence.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

on parenting

My goals as a mom this year:

  1. Rush less. Prepare in advance so we can take our time doing things. Let the boys play a bit on their way to the car. Remove "hurry, hurry, hurry" from my vocabulary (while managing to still get places on time--I can dream, right?).
  2. Learn the art of waiting and teach my boys the same. We're in the age of instant gratification, but we can all learn patience--including me.
  3. Play with them. Teach them. Spend time with them. (But without giving up my "ignore them" time, since I LOVE that my boys are good at playing on their own when we don't pay attention to them.)
  4. Continue not caring about not parenting perfectly. Really. I'm not that worried about it. You're welcome to be the perfect parent. I'm not going to stress about it.
  5. Make cupcakes more often. With Graham and Liam's help, of course. And lick the batter.

Friday, March 2, 2012

you love me. just admit it.

Since you were dying to hear from me today...

1. Today is my last day of my full weeks at my current job. Does that make any sense? Even though I start my new job on Monday, I'm continuing here 2 1/2 days a week until a successor is hired so I can train them. People keep asking me "When's your last day?," and I have to say, "I have no idea, but I start my new job on Monday. So kind of today but kind of not?"
Soooo... Happy Last-Day-of-my-Full-Weeks-at-This-Job to me! 

This is where I spent the last 7 years. (Did you know that that's almost 1/4 of my life??)

2. This post by my sister, Ashley, makes me want to buy a house ASAP so that I can get my due mom-and-dad home help before my sisters wear them out completely. (Oh wait. My mom comes to my house once a week and watches my boys -- and does my dishes, even though that's not in the job description. I guess I'm getting my share.)

My dad working hard at Amy's house (via Amy)

3. In the past week, Oh Joy posted this romper and Blog Milk posted this high chair. Stop it, ladies. Stop it. You're making me want to buy those and stuff a baby in them, and we all know that I'm not planning on any of those for a while (babies, that is). 

4. This is my favorite new (to me) blog right now: Kitchen Corners. Which is funny, because I don't cook. So it may or may not have to do with the fact that she lives in Brazil right now. Okay, the real reason I love following her is that her posts are fun to read and she responds. She's a real person, meaning she interacts with people who comment on her blog. I love that. Aren't you more apt to follow a blog if the writer actually cares that you're there? I am.

Speaking of not cooking, we taught Graham to drink baby food with a straw. It's awesome. Liam does it, too. But they're too smart to fall for it with anything non-fruity.

5. And I follow her on Facebook and Instagram. And I feel the need to follow up every comment I leave with, "I swear I'm not a stalker! I just sit at the computer all day long and you happen to write interesting stuff, so I happen to comment. All. Day. Long. I swear I'm not a stalker." Would it be weird if I wrote that after all my comments? Yeah, probably. I'll just stick with looking like a stalker. That's less weird.

Liam is a stuffed animal kind of guy. They make him so happy.

6. I'm feeling this crazy urge to go buy new work clothes for my new job. Which doesn't really make sense, since I'll technically be working less than I am now, which means needing less work clothes.

Speaking of less work, I am looking forward to more of this.

7. What are you doing this weekend? I'm going running. And going to a family housewarming party for Amy and Ivan (see #2 above). And having friends over for dinner. And maybe skipping part of church to go to the Alameda Flea Market? No judging, people. No judging.