Sunday, December 31, 2006

What I learned on my Christmas Vacation, by Nic.

I like to talk. I learned this after losing my voice. It's very hard to be rendered mute when you are a story teller and a joke-cracker. And it's hard to lose your voice anyway, when every little interaction requires voice. Especially when those "little" interactions are 4 job interviews in two days. Thankfully I didn't fully lose my voice until after the last one, but gracious, that last one was a struggle!

The Continuous Glucose Monitor is a mixed blessing. I knew this already, but the mixed-ness became more apparent as my journey to Philadelphia for interview drew near. I love, love, love knowing my blood sugar all of the time. It is addicting, and as I prepped to leave I was faced with this debate: "Do I really want to test my blood sugar 10 times a day when interviewing" versus "Do I want my roomates to hate me because the CGM goes off constantly in the middle of the night"? I decided that roomate hate was a bad thing and left the GGM at home. This turned out to be a good decision, becuase between the stress and the illness (a quasi-cold that has lasted 10 days!) my average was 280, with some exciting 45s and 489s thrown in.

Things are not always as they appear. When I approached my interviews I had a ranking of what school I wanted to end up at. The one in dust-bowl, Tornado-alley state was near the bottom, while the one in a city-that-is-300-miles-from-anywhere was near the top. But the interview experience changed all of that. The Dust Bowl school had interviewers who were so nice and human; we had a comfortable conversation and they showed me that they really care about their faculty (and faculty families) as people. This certainly was not the case with the 300-miles-from-anywhere school, which was an unsettingly interview for several reasons. I haven't discounted it totally--for on thing, the poor people probably had interviewed 20 people by the time they got to me--but it certainly shifted my career priorities.

Reading non-school books is fun! This I also knew, but it had been a long time. But between being sick and being fried from course and interview prep, I got to read a lot of books this break that have absolutely nothing to do with my dissertation! I enjoyed my first exposure to David Sedaris's Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim--funny and sad and true and twisted all at the same time. Definitley my type of humor. Joanne Dobson's academic mystery novels took a little guilt out of the fun reading since her heroine, Karen Pelletier, is a nineteenth-century American scholar. Dobson gives such a wry and truthful glance at the warped world in which I've chosen to build a career. And I finally read The Kite Runner, a beautiful novel by Khaled Husseini that I continue to think about. And now, the fun reading is over. I only have 4 months to finish my diss!

I love my husband and my family. They are such blessings. Handsome hubby tricked me with my Christmas gift and gave me Love Actually (an all-time favorite) instead of the very pracitcial and un-Christmassy box of glasses that he had wrapped up (with Love Actually inside). He takes great care of me all of the time, but especially when I wiped out with a migraine (Monday); a blood sugar (Tuesday); a cold/larynigitis (now). And he is patient. And my mom and dad are the most supportive parents in the world, calling me in Phildelphia and checking in and emailing me daily. It's a good time to count blessings.

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