Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I lied

OMG did I ever lie. Either that or I just am really unlucky in sorting out papers. When I first received the reports, I separated them (randomly) into piles of 5 as that were the number I was originally supposed to do per night. Hahaha that didn't happen, procrastination queen that I am. Anyway, I digress. The point is that on Sunday after marking 15 of the papers, I was impressed with how non-horrible they were. Most students were averaging >70% and I was impressed by the lack of nonsensical English.

Oh how I was wrong. So wrong. I just get the joy of marking all the bad assignments in the last batch. URG.

Killing. me. slowly.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Media direction of Research Dollars.

I'm not a vascular person or an MS person, but this story in the Globe and Mail irks me. I read the original news article on Saturday, thought it was interesting and was looking forward to how the MS treatments would eventually change. I will note, that as I read the original newspaper article, I noticed there was no mention of the studying being published. I thought this was odd as normally news stories will make a big splash and state which science/medical journal would be publishing the study. I was impressed with the caution and restraint that the not-for-profit MS Societies were showing.

Now it appears that the MS research focus may change and significant dollars will go into what may or may not be a valid research avenue. I say may or may not because I have no experience with MS research, I know nothing of about the validity of the original paper. I have not read it. I do not know what is the basis of the methodology was, what are the peer reviews saying? How was the recovery defined? How long were patients followed?

What I find interesting is that the MS Society is putting money into this avenue, not because it can answer those questions or because a push by the MS research community but because of hype from a investigate news journal and a newspaper.

I'm all for open access to research; a researcher must be able to example to the lay public what is going on. However, I do believe that science policy needs to remain above public opinion. There is a reason why good policy does not make good politics. Good policy can be a bitter pill to swallow. Which is not to say this guy might not be on to something. He may, but the treatment needs to be well studied, repeated etc.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

In Marking Purgatory Again

Though its not as bad this time around, only 31 reports and not many horribly written ones. I'm half way through my first batch and am taking break for some nice chai and to read some blogs. Must go back now.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Thank you Mr.Bus Driver

Really, thank you so much. You are awesome!

Remember those beautiful shoes I purchased back in February? Well I needed to take them back to the store I purchased them from as the heal has already cracked in the boots and the ballerina slippers are falling apart. I don't know about you, but I do not believe Franco Sarto boots should have a cracked heel less ten months after purchasing them. Especially since I did not wear them during the 4 months of summer.

Anyways, monkey and I took transit to get to the particular store I purchased them from as I felt they should be thhe $55 to have the heel repaired on the boots. On the way back from the store, I left the bag with both pairs of shoes on the bus. I realized this within a minute of getting off, but it was too late to flag the bus down. I ran inside the house in a panic. Was the bag even in the bus? Did I leave at the bus station before getting on the bus? What if I left in the Gas Station when monkey went pee? I knew I had then. Frantically I called the gas station, the bag wasn't there. What do I do??? The lost and found for the company was bus company is closed.

OMG those are $300 shoes!!! I was panicking and not focusing on the solutions (which is uncharacteristic of me). I was so not thinking clearly when I grabbed the keys to our uninsured vehicle to try and catch the bus along its route, which I don't know. I drove the uninsured vehicle for about 7 minutes before realizing that I was being an utter and complete moron. $300 shoes were not worth the risking what could be lost if anything happened while I was driving uninsured. 15 minutes after leaving the house, I was home and focused on the solution. The bus stop is across the street from my house and comes every 30 min. There were 15 minutes until bus that dropped me off maybe returning in the opposite direction. If its not the same bus, we can ask the driver to radio the other buses. What to do while I wait? Look up transit company online to see if there are any 24-7 numbers. Yep, okay lets call that number and file a report. Find out that the next bus will be the exact bus that I was on. Run outside to wait for bus. The driver has my bag. Whew. Thank you sir! I knew there was a reason why I always let the buses in when I drive.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

What would you say?

I do love my mother. Really I do. She was the first feminist I knew. Always told me to stand up for myself, never to depend on anyone etc. I just don't really like my mother. She is selfish, unforgiving and unempathetic. She can only see things through her lens and I don't know if I should just give up on her, or keep trying to see things from other perspectives.

Or maybe I get upset for no reason.

Imagine, if you will, an isosceles triangle. A three sided shape, with all points an equal distant from one another. Now imagine that my parents, myself and my inlaws all live on one of the points, all of which are a 45 minutes from each other.

The other night I was supposed to go with Mr.SM to my parents house for dinner. I was under the impression it was just my siblings and I going.

Mr. SM's grandfather has been in the hospital for X number of days due to illness P a consequence of event B. Mr.SM had recently gone to see his grandfather and we were under the impression that everything was OK. Illness P was mild and expected, grandpapa should be going home shortly. The day of the dinner, Mr.SM received a call from his dad, whose was worried because according to him, grandpa had taken a turn for the worse . My FIL did not understand what the doctors were doing and was confused as to why the family doctor wasn't going to the hospital. Mr.SM told me what the symptoms were that led my FIL to believe that Grandpa was getting worse. With the limited information I had, I couldn't determine whether it was serious or not.

Words can not describe what Grandpa means to my husband and his brothers. This man raised them, taught them about compassion, forgiveness, charity, love, respect. Every good trait that my husband has, can be traced back to the influence of his grandfather.

One look at my husband after that phone call and I knew I had to go to the hospital, located at the other point on triangle. I refused to leave the hospital until I spoke to specialist that had been called, as the nurses could not/were not able to answer any of my questions. It took >3 hours for the dr to arrive. 1.5 hours in and my husband thought I was being pig headed. I probably was. To be fair his grandfather was looking a lot better, but I was getting all sorts of different assessments from the family. No one could answer basic questions about his treatment, I wanted to know what was really going onMr. SM worried about whether my parents would be upset about missing dinner, he thought we should just leave as the dr wasn't coming and it wasn't worth upsetting my parents. I. Did. Not. Care. This was his grandfather. The most important person in his life until he met me.

I spoke to the specialist, I got the answers. Grandpa has some complications due to illness P caused be event B. The turn for the worse was most likely due to a blood clot as he has been sedentary in the hospital bead. The Dr. is putting Grandpa on blood thinner and thinks as long as they are able to keep complications to a mininum, there is a good probability that they can, Grandpapa will be OK. It will take time. He will be in the hospital for awhile, but he should be OK. Mr.SM came to pick me up after I had spent >3 hours at the hospital, then we went to his parents house, gathered to the family and gave the laymans summary. I answered all their questions and the look of relief on everyones's face at understanding what was happening was evident. We were all very happy and relieved to know this was not the beginning of the end, as was feared. At the end of this, I was tired and did not feel like driving to the other point on the triangle. I just wanted to go home.

I should point out that only Mr.SM and one of his brothers have a post-secondary education. No one is familar with anything medical related. I am the only in that family who would know, for example, that cold feet could indicate a circulatory issue, therefore lets confirm the other treatments are not going to adversely affect our grandfathers blood pressure. The rest of the family would just listen to the Dr and would not be able to connect the dots to ask the follow-up questions. The would not be aware of the alternative procedures to ask about the pro/cons of the treatment route being taken. The only reason I can, is because I have studied physiology for so long. It is the same in my family (the difference being my inlaws recognize and respect me for this ability).

I had called my brother prior to leaving the hospital to say I'm going to straight home. This morning my mother called "to ask about my grandfather". Right after she asked about him, her next question was to ask when I got home. She then commented "We did not start eating until after time X, had you called after you left the hospital you would've known to come over"

Now I don't know about you, but since she knows how much my husbands grandfather means to him, maybe she would ask how he was doing. Or perhaps she would think I am TIRED after being at the hospital. She knew that I was at the hospital as I had texted both siblings to say I was going to be late. She knew I was waiting to speak to a specialist, which is why she called this morning. All she cared about was that I missed her fucking ass dinner. If I was being so fucking ass stubborn as to NOT leave the hospital until I spoke to someone, that would be a pretty high indication that I am concerned about something???

I don't really care anymore. I care that I know Grandpa is going to be OK. I care that my husband is able to be relaxed and isn't freaking out that his grandfather might die. Mr. SM was so happy that I was pig-headed and stayed. Annoyed as he was at the time, he was grateful for knowing what was really going on. If my mom doesn't understand that, its her loss.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Ramblings of a Scientist Mother

Okay, so its been God knows how long since I last posted. Well actually thats not true. I attempted to post last week from my iphone, but the app ate it. Its been a crazy semester so far, what with the 2 courses I'm TAing, the family wedding and the regular grad student committments. Thankfully the family wedding is over. It was full of the usual dramas and family politics (ie my MIL forgot to invite my sister to an important function), but overall it was fun. My awesome BIL is married to a most wonderful person and I am so happy to have her as part of our family. One of the courses I'm TAing is almost over and it wasn't as time-consuming as I thought it would. Yes it sucked having 2 of my 5 afternoons taken over, but the prep wasn't too hard taking only about 1-2 hours per week. The second course is half over, only one more assignment to mark but there are not alot of students.

Whats really been keeping me away from the blogosphere has been my science (other than the child). I am finally getting some cool and totally unexpected results. My images are publication quality and I finally feel like I can participate in scientific discussion as my knowledge base as expanded, mostly because my lab mates have been so awesome in helping me learn with journal club.

Life is good. I get hugely frustrated with Mr.SM, but its only because he's a workaholic. I think its a pretty good sign if the biggest problem we have in our marriage is my desire to spend more time with him. I would be a bit more worried if I didn't mind that he wasn't around. Too be honest my frustration probably is partly due to my workaholic tendencies. If he wasn't working so much, then I would be able to work more. I also find that when I am around my family to much, I get more frustrated because they have such regular lives, working 9-5 and weekends free. Yet when I spend time with my academic friends, people with spouses in academia who are also career driven I realize my life is not un-normal. We have chosen this life, both Mr.SM and I. My father thinks that if I wasn't doing my PhD, that if I was only working I wouldn't be this busy, but its not true. I would be trying to achieve and excel at my job, because that is what I am doing now. They just don't understand that I am ambitious. Eh, what can you do.

I apologize for the rambling, unfocused post, but I just needed to get random thoughts out. I've been keeping up with reading blog posts, just not commenting :(. Eventually I will get back to a more engaged level of participation. Right now I feel like one of the slacker journal club attendees, you know the ones that semi-read the paper but never participate in the conversation.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Freaking fruckin apps!

I just spent 15 mins writing a post on my iPhone with the blogger app and it got eaten. Sorry folks, you'll have to wait for an update:). Ooh but did any of you watch V. I saw bits, it's PVR'd and looks good!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

iPhone blogging