Archive for the Uncategorized Category

life is better wireless

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on May 20, 2009 by Cara Marie

And lo, there was again internet in the house! The new wireless modem/router is considerably more efficient than the old ADSL modem + wireless router system (the wireless part of the latter having broken). It is also not in my bedroom making high pitched noises. Yay! Although there was almost calamity when everyone hurridly catching up on their facebook quizzes meant no-one went to get the ice cream. Luckily I am a self-sacrificing human being.

Things I have been doing instead of playing on the interwebs:

  • Cross-stitch. I just need some robot sprites so I can complete my ‘robot apocolypse’ bookmark and get on to stitching something even geekier.
  • Making icons *points*
  • Working on my religious studies YEAH OK GETTING BACK TO THAT NOW.

this entry is not in chinese

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on April 16, 2009 by Cara Marie

Every so often, I will press some random key combination on my laptop, and my letters will suddenly go all fixed space and I won’t be able to ctrl- anything.

I have just figured out that what this is is my keyboard input switches to Chinese when I press ctrl-spacebar.  Only you need to do something else do-dady to get the characters.

…that is really so not convenient, particularly as on this little keyboard it’s easy to press the wrong keys.  Or, couldn’t it least be Japanese?  There are contexts where I want to be able to use Japanese!

Well, at least now I know what it is and how to fix it!  Just not how to use it.

Scientists with babies – they’re out there.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on March 26, 2009 by Cara Marie

Looking through the Scientiae carnivals, this post at My Middle Years piqued my attention.

If I wanted a role model for women having families and doing science, I didn’t have to look hard at Vic. One of the postgrads who came along on our second year fieldtrip I found out had a toddler, who’d been born in her second year at uni. Which hadn’t stopped her from completing two degrees, one with honours, getting really good marks, and going on to do masters.

It didn’t stop her partner from going on to do masters either! (Obviously they had good support elsewhere.)

She had another baby at the end of last year – we actually had two pregnant women in the department, with one of our lecturers getting steadily rounder over the course of the trimester. It was really nice.

I met both the babies at the conference last year. My lecturer wasn’t actually attending, but the postgrad had her baby in tow most of the conference. Which I guess is probably easier when they’re only a few months old – her daughter was along one afternoon too, and I think toddlers are definitely more trouble :) I remember my religious studies lecturer last trimester had to bring her little daughter along for one of the classes, and she was a bit of a show stealer.

It’s nice to be reminded that your lecturers have families too, and it’s nice to know that OMGBABIES doesn’t have to end your scientific career. Particularly when you’re always being told that the reason there aren’t as many women scientists is that women have babies.

To which I always just want to say, “But men have babies too!”

I am actually thinking it would be really interesting to do an article on being a scientist father for the women’s issue of Salient… if I had the guts to actually do a feature. Because I know there are men in the department with kids whose partners aren’t also in the department! And I think it would be a nice counter-point to the whole parenting-as-a-women’s-issue thing*. Because it’s everybody’s issue.

It would of course depend on me having the guts to do a feature that actually involved interviewing people.

*And I have used the word nice way too many times in this entry. Which is keeping me up past bedtime. Night night.

One Keke report slayed…

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on March 24, 2009 by Cara Marie

We have to write a maximum of three pages for our Keke report.  I have now written three pages.  I have played Over the Atlantic’s ‘Dimensions’ three times over the course of the day.  I shall no longer bother bullshitting like I understand the faults, and shall declare myself done.

Well, mostly done.  I may yet throw in some more figures.  My hands are covered in glitter because I couldn’t find a normal inky pen to ink in my faults with… had to use a sparkly pen.  If only we got extra points for sparkles!

So now at least I feel like I’ll actually pass the course, which is nice.  Because I couldn’t bear to do it again.

I like to write poems about my field trips.  Here is one I wrote about Keke:

Oh, Kekerengu…

Reading in 2008

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on September 1, 2008 by Cara Marie

Read more »

Most relaxed field trip ever

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on May 6, 2008 by Cara Marie

So, last weekend I was on a geology field trip up to the Central Plateau. Which, unlike every other field trip I’ve been on, was actually quite relaxing. We didn’t have to do work in the evenings! It makes an amazing difference to stress levels. Although the trip to the hot pools probably helped too.

On Saturday night then, most everyone was drinking. Some of them were still drunk in the morning. I, instead, had a very intense debate with one of the boys in my class, Ben. I’m not even entirely sure what we were debating most of the time, but the point that got me all worked up was when he told me women are more emotional than men, that this is scientific fact.

For context: I had been talking about my anthropology lecturer who told us that female anthropologists are all ethnocentric (more so than men). This is so because they are all studying gender. It annoyed me to no end (and one girl actually walked out).

So when Ben says to me, bitter sexist anthropology lecturer is right, I am immediately on the defensive. First, he is telling me that my work is never going to be as good as a man’s, because I am a woman, and I am too emotional. (I am quite sensitive about this because I do tend to be an emotional person, and I am not comfortable with it. I don’t see how it affects my work though). Second, he is telling me that my feelings towards the lecturer’s statement are not justified; I am over-reacting. He is not saying either of these things, but that is how it reads.

Being on the defensive, I wasn’t arguing as well as I could. I wanted to know how they could have really proven such a thing, how you can take socialisation out of it. Rather than saying, even if they have proven this, I bet it’s on bell curves that overlap very closely – the average might be different, but you can’t say anything about any one person based on such statistics. Rather than saying, which emotions are you talking about?

He might’ve felt confident telling me he wasn’t particularly emotional, but see, it sure sounded that way when he’d been describing to me how he liked riding his motorbike. There are stereotypically male emotions as much as stereotypically female ones: you get the anger and ambition associated with testosterone, while us ladies get the sympathy and sadness and love. Maybe each sex is more susceptible to different chemicals, but I will not accept that women are more emotional than men. More emotionally expressive, yes. But that’s a socialisation thing.

(Oh, for Heian Japan, where men were supposed to be sensitive and cry a lot, and it was bad manners not to cry when someone told you something sad. I would’ve done awesome.)

It was actually fun, though I do wish I had used my better points. Scaring people by debating really intensely with them is great. I don’t know if he thinks he upset me or not? ( I more couldn’t stop thinking about it from an intellectual perspective, an is my position justified perspective.) But I’d already astounded him that night, with the revelation that I don’t see pictures in my head. I am just a total freak, really.

Every district plan needs a council seal.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on April 4, 2008 by Cara Marie

Working at the Ministry for the Environment requires being able to make conversation with people who clearly remember you, even if you don’t know who they are. I think one of them might be a second cousin once removed.

Here is a poem for you:

The council seal bobs up and down,
Up and down, as he travels the town.
The townspeople cheer to see him go by:
The council seal, with a wink in his eye.

Victoria University fails again

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on March 30, 2008 by Cara Marie

Last Friday, submissions closed on Victoria University’s proposal for the restructuring of the College of Education. It’s the day after that Vic’s Women’s Rights Officer discovers that, you know, aside from screwing over Education, this restructuring is also going to effectively get rid of Gender and Woman’s Studies.

Sneakily, of course. The proposal involves:

  • requiring a minimum of 16 students for 300 and honours level papers (because that’s such a realistic number for any honours course)
  • having GWS lecturers teach courses in Education (you know, that subject they’re not trained in)
  • moving GWS lectures up to the Karori campus (bye bye, interest papers)

Not that it makes much sense to have Gender and Women’s Studies aligned with Education in the first place. Why not the social sciences? God knows some of those anthropology lecturers could do with being exposed to gender studies.

I’ve never taken any GWS papers. I’m not even doing a BA. A department with only two full and one part-time staff member seems ridiculously tiny to me – and the fact they’re supervising 12 PhD students between them is quite impressive. This theme of Vic trying to cut humanities papers is no threat to me.

But what is university for, if not the study of the humanities? Universities weren’t invented to teach commerce. I believe having people studying gender is vital – we do not live in a postfeminist world, and gender matters. It would be quite depressing if the only Women’s Studies department left was in Hamilton.

And even more depressing if the Victoria University bureaucracy manages to disappear a thriving subject, without listening to what the students or the staff have to say.

There’s a protest being organised when the Academic Board meets next Thursday – 9am in the Hunter carpark, people! If you’re on Facebook, the GWS support group is here, and Georgina’s posted a good summary of the situation here.

I’m not wordy, I’m loquacious?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on February 29, 2008 by Cara Marie

Today, I have been hard at work on my report for the Te Muna fieldtrip. I have now finished my Lithostratigraphy. It is almost three pages long, in a 10pt font. It is supposed to be 1-2 pages.

Oh, god. I suppose I can blame the imprecision of page counts? It all fits if I only make the font tiny!

See, I got the comment in my field notebook that I was too wordy. Which is true. I thought, hey, at least I’ll write an ace report. Now I feel like I should be warning Cliff, “You ain’t seen nothing yet.”

So much for ‘a very BRIEF summary report’.

How to make rice bubble cake and have everyone love you.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on January 25, 2008 by Cara Marie

Because otherwise I will forget it again and I am very bad at finding things in Edmonds, here is my mother’s rice bubble cake recipe:

Rice bubbly goodness!