Friday, April 27, 2012

Actual email sent from our son's Physics teacher:

Mr. Follis,
Yesterday Fred came to class and told me "I was going to do my homework... but then I made pancakes". I understand the importance of a delicious and nutritious breakfast, but next time I ask that he please share!... and do the homework.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

On a lighter note....

So, I work in a public library that is HEAVILY used.  On a typical day every available table and study room is full to bursting with people using our electricity and free wi-fi.  We average 500-800 people visiting a day and considering how small our building is, well, it always feels full.

Right now, (not quite 3 p.m.) all of our public PCs are full and there is a waiting list.  A middle aged man just came in and powered up his laptop and while he was in the process of plugging in the power chord, before he even signed on, the DVD or streaming video he must have been most recently watching, started to play.

As I said, he hadn't unlocked the computer, so there was nothing was running on his screen, but the sounds of orgasm filled the air at high volume. 

When I approached the man and told him that this was not an acceptable noise level for the library he did the usual song and dance..."I have no idea what that was."

Uh, right.


Some sad news

(Retro blogging)
Yes, I know.  I passed.  Everything is supposed to be easy now right?
On the day I drove to drop off my final (at the time) copy of my paper to the graduate school, I got a text message that a friend had passed away.
I think I mentioned Donna in my blog before.  As a matter of fact, click here
Donna was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer nearly 10 years ago and at that time was given a year to live.  She had two small children at the time, 7 and 10.  Her goal was always to stick around to see them grow into young men and create memories along the way.
A photo slide show was part of her service and in photo after photo after photo we saw Donna with her friends and family with her ever present smile. 
I know not everything in life is about me, but this is my blog, so I will tell you what I am thinking.  How often do I shy away from the camera?  How often am I grumpy and distracted by things that I need to do and don't live in the moment. 
I need to be more in the moment.  I need to make more memories. I need to smile more.
Donna did these things.
Drew and Hunter are sweet boys and will grow into men who had this strong, smiling brave woman as their mother.  That is going to leave a mark.
So hug your kids, make memories and smile.

Monday, April 23, 2012

This is the song that doesn't end

Do you know this song?  It is one of the most annoying children's songs EVER.

This is the song that doesn't end, it just goes on and on my friend.  Someone started singing it not knowing what it was, and they'll be singing it forever just because...this is the song that doesn't end...(repeat)


I passed. 

End of story right?


There are conditions to passing.

One is that you make the recommended changes to your paper.

The changes they wanted?

1) Some editorial things.  A typo, a missed comma, etc.

2) Further explanation of a method...I had to add a paragraph explaining why the summative results of a decade can be different than the results of individual years.

3) Removing two tables.  I was fine with this because they were confusing data that my statistician threw in. They even confused me and my advisor had talked about removing these before the defense.

4) Creating ten new tables.  I created a screen shot in my defense that showed two tables that were on separate pages on the same ppt.  They liked those and wanted 10 of for each year. 

5) Create a new appendix with some additional information.

Wow. Writing it out like that sounds like a lot.  It really wasn't all that bad.

So, I made all of these changes.

All totalled it was 207 pages.

I needed two copies on resume paper and one copy on plain paper.  Too much for my poor little printer to handle, so I sent them off to Office Depot for printing.

Thankfully I had a 40% off coupon.  It still cost $72.00!!!

As soon as I transferred the files to OD, I called Fred and burst out into tears. 

He laughed a little at me. 

But it was the strangest thing.

It was the reaction I would have thought I had after the Defense, but here it was.


What am I going to do with all my time?

What was I thinking? 

I actually did it.

I actually finished it.

It was over.


I went to Office Depot to pick up the print outs and put them in order to turn in to the graduate school.

A little background here: There are so many rules and regulations about writing and printing your dissertation. 

Example: Margins.  1 1/2 margins on the left and top. 1 inch on the right and bottom.

EXCEPT...the first page of each chapter has to be 2 inches from the top, which can be done by adding three single spaced returns after the normal bizarre margins. numbers need to be 1 inch from the, very little text actually goes onto a page.

Even after I turn in my paper to the graduate school they can (and usually do) KICK IT BACK to the student for formatting revisions.'s not done.


As soon as I turned it in the Graduate School Advisor looked at one of the pages, the signature pager that my committee signed off on and said "That needs to be two inches from the top and it isn't, you are going to have to reprint this with correct margins and have them sign it again."

So...figuring that there would be further issues with format, I held off, waiting to see what else she found wrong with the paper.

She contacted me on Thursday.  I didn't add dots on my Table of Contents

Chapter 1..............................................................

and there were times when my subheading had longer names and took up two lines. In those cases I needed to put the page number on the second line of text. 

After the dots of course.

I now have to make those revisions.

Get the signature page resigned.

Then maybe it will be done.





Here's how it works. 

You give your committee your paper. 

They get to read it for two weeks.

Your defense date is posted and open to the public.

You convene before your committee and anyone else who is interested, where you present your paper. I did a Power Point that I will gladly send you if you have any interest.

The public is asked to leave.

Your committee grills you.

You leave the room.

They talk about you.

You come back in and

they tell you if you have passed or not.


For the record...I asked Fred not to attend.  It's just that your spouse knows you as a different person. 

You know Fred.  He doesn't listen.

Not only did he stay for my presentation, BUT, they didn't ask him to leave when the rest of the audience left. (Actually there were only two others present aside from Fred and the committee and they both left because they had classes to take or teach).

He got to watch them question me and then waited with me while the deliberated.

Presentation: 30 mins.

Questioning: Another 30

Waiting in the hallway: 5

Wrap up, including the edits they wanted: 25.

90 minutes.


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

24 hours to go.

Video - Breaking News Videos from
Here's what some of our neighbors endured yesterday. We were right in the middle of it all, but are all fine. Some of Fred's planes got hail damage and were grounded, but house, cars, kids and pets are all ok.