Sunday, October 07, 2007

What I've Been Doing

So I have been deliberately avoiding blogging for several months now, due mostly to my dissertation and partly to looking for a job. Whenever I sit down at a computer and feel the urge to blog I tell myself that I can't justify doing any writing that is not for my dissertation. So a few weeks ago I got sick of feeling like my hands were tied and I sat down and wrote 60 pages in a week, and about 10-15 pages since then. The rough draft is finally finished, and I'm just waiting on my professor to finish reading the last chapter so I can make some more changes before I declare it done. And then, after that... its Doctor Nick! Hi Everybody!

But I have been doing other stuff besides the dissertation and job hunting (another thing that has not gone according to plan). The garden was amazing this year. We had nearly as many tomatoes as our first year that we planted a garden in Provo- the garden that gave birth (a pulpy, tomatoey birth) to salsa night. We harvested hundreds of tomatoes, and more sweet and hot peppers than we could use. So after making several batches of the fresh salsa, which seems to disappear within hours of making it, we made some cooked salsa and canned it. Along the way we also canned chopped tomatoes, peaches, peach jam, spaghetti sauce, cilantro lime salsa, super hot salsa (like 100 jalapenos distributes among 7 quarts of salsa), applesauce, and hand picked and pressed grape juice.

We have enough salsa to give us over a quart a month for the next year. The grape juice (5 quarts) will be our celebration beverage for thanksgiving, Easter, and maybe christmas. We're so domesticated it makes me sick.

On the employment front, I thought I'd have a job in Seattle by now, but when you have a PhD its like the company doing the hiring wants you to have specialized in the exact project the company is working on. So I'm looking into some of the national labs that like to hire physicists with broader backgrounds. In the meantime, I'm a substitute teacher for the local high schools in the southern half of the salt lake valley. Last thursday was my first day- I "taught" AP european history, and by teach I mean I showed a movie for all three periods. Substitute teaching has taught me several things in the one time I have done it so far:

1. Movies get boring after watching just 85 minutes of them, then starting over and watching the same 85 minutes, then starting over and watching the same 85 minutes...

2. Especially if the movie is "A man for all Seasons" (which was great the first time, but not after the process described in 1.)

3. I don't like most teenagers.

4. I especially don't like teenage girls. If Lucy turns out like some of these girls that were in my class, she will go to a military school.

5. I'm glad I'm not in high school anymore.

6. High school bathrooms are worse than old, run-down gas station bathrooms. I already knew that, but it was sobering to see it again after 10 years.

7. Teenagers are for the most part evil little plotting liars who despise doing anything that resembles learning or acting like an adult. This might be responsible for numbers 3 and 4 above. 4 is there because for some reason the girls were just really *itchy about it.

8. This experience has only strengthened my resolve to get a job, even if its in Iraq, or Mississippi.

That is all.


randy said...

Or Texas.

Nick said...

Texas. Yeah, I guess that's in the same grouping as Iraq.

Julie C said...

Focusing on the positive (meaning the part away from obnoxious teenagers) - congrats on getting so much done on the thesis nick! Poor Lucy - military school will be so rough on your budding drama queen. :)

Jenny said...

I just have to say those are the prettiest peaches I've ever canned :)

Jenny said...

Oh, and I'm much more open about the idea of Texas than I am, say, an embattled war zone.

Nick said...

Are you talking about Mississippi?

Cabeza said...

The peaches are indeed pretty. I'm jealous of your domesticity, actually. The place I'm moving into has a small yard, but I don't think I can dig it up. I'm thinking of planting a boxed vegetable garden in the Spring, though. It looks like I'll be in this place for a while (a year at least, anyway) so I'll be able to harvest all summer long and in the autumn next year.

As far as high school subbing goes: I agree. Substitutes get no respect from high schoolers. I much preferred substituting for elementary school kids and seventh graders. They worship you, and teachers leave actual lesson plans, so it's much more engaging.

And elementary schools have teacher bathrooms.

Good work on the thesis progress. Make sure you don't discount Northern Virginia/Washington D.C>/Southern Maryland in your job search. The soil is moist and fertile, the history is thick and delicious, and Warren and I have introduced Salsa Night to the natives.

The Shark said...

And the Shark is here.

Jenny said...

I think the Shark makes a good point.

Julie said...

Congratulations on the thesis. We were hoping that you'd have a job in Seattle by now too. I was hoping that you could teach us your domestic ways.

Good luck with the subing. I think that my students were typically awful for subs. The students always hated the strictest subs, but as a teacher I loved them. Keep those nasty teenagers in line.

Warren said...

You should definitely consider DC. I can hook you up with a spot on our DC city league frisbee team, so that can be crossed off of your to do list when you move to a new place.

sandi said...

nick, nick NICK.... did you already forget about me? Your loving cuz who does now live in Texas? C'mon it's not that bad. Tarantula migrating season is almost over and it is now in the 80's. Not to shabby. Move here there is no traffic either! Well at least here in the town of 15,000 that I live in.