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*sigh* Sure...I'll get right on that...

On the cat
So, the dean sees that I'm looking at FTE and term-to-term hires and sends me a spreadsheet- "can you fill in the numbers for my spreadsheet too?"  They are not remotely the same thing.  He's looking for the entire college, not just licensure programs. He wants to know costs and student credit hours.  I'll have to start all over again to add his request in. I'm trying very hard not to swear!

*sigh* If only they would listen to me!

We are due for our 7 year accreditation review.  Anyone who has been through this, knows it is a huge, Huge, HUGE, report with tons of data gathering required before the report can be written.  This isn't my first rodeo.  This is my second and during the first I was part of a three man team responsible for the entire thing.  This is to establish that I KNOW what I'm talking about.

Someone new is doing the report this year.  Someone who has told me that she "doesn't need my help."   Someone who should know better!  I started getting nervous two years ago.  18 months ago I suggested that we probably needed to start collating the data.  I was told there was plenty of time.  12 months ago, I nudged again and was ignored.  6 months ago, the same thing.  The report is now due in 6 weeks.  The coordinator is just now really looking at it.  AND she's just now realizing that it's MUCH bigger than she thought.

What she doesn't realize is that there isn't a simple way to pull up all of the data and hand it to her.  First of all, our licensure programs are spread across three campuses and 4 colleges.  I have access to the information from our college and campus.  I can estimate to some extent but I can't get accurate numbers from the other units.  Secondly, we had a major reorganization in the last 7 years and the data is spewed across the data systems in three different ways depending upon how the college was organized at the time.  Thirdly, the university isn't really organized to make licensure reporting easy.  Our licensure students aren't flagged in any way.  Licensure classes aren't noted in any way.  So to pull data on students or classes, I have to physically look at almost every class or student in our college to determine if they are in a licensure program.  I have some shortcuts due to some organizational strategies that I've implemented in my time here but it still takes me quite a bit of time.

For example:  She needs a report of the FTE of term-to-term faculty hired to work in licensure programs, by program.  My only way of procuring this information is to pull a list of all of the classes we've offered using the TCE prefix in the last 7 years.  Then I have to go through and mark each class according to the program and add the FTE amount that we use per credit hour.  I have to look up any faculty member that seems to have a fixed term appointment or that I know changed from term-to-term to fixed term sometime in the last few years to find out at which date they no longer count as term-to-term. Then I can sum up the FTE to get the FTE in each program...that we offer, not the other units.  Then I have to go back and figure out the numbers of faculty according to rank.  Something I can do because I know the faculty but I don't think I can just pull a report.  I might check though because there is a new reporting system that just came online at the beginning of Summer term.

That is addressing one or two questions of the dozens we are likely to have.  In fact I have a list of such questions already that is a full page long...and she doesn't need my help you know </sarcasm>.

Another question she had today was if she could get a list of scholarly activities that the faculty have been involved in for the last 7 years....nope, we don't have it.  You'll have to pull it from the faculty themselves- most of whom are on summer break.

Equally as frustrating is that these request come with no parameters... Ok you need to know how many faculty we have.  Over what time period?  Is this a snap shot or a cumulative collection of the last 7 years?  Every question she asks I'm having to send back a request for parameters.

Oye, my capacity for "stupid" is diminishing rapidly.

Feeling invisible....

I spent the greater part of An Tir West War feeling invisible.  I tried to assess why this was, and solicit input to see if it is something I am doing or if it's just coincidence.  The best feedback I got was "You are so quiet and still- even when you are knitting, it's very small movements- that you just blend into the background and we forget you are there."

Well, I'm not sure how to do differently.  I don't like being loud and in fact I would have said that I talk too much.  I learned from a young age in such a boisterous extended family that I couldn't really make my voice heard over all the other vibrant voices; so unless it was really important, I didn't bother to try.  I will make my voice heard if it is important, and people tend to listen when I do.

I am often still.  The things I enjoy doing require stillness and small movements- embroidery and knitting, for example.  I also have a back injury that, although I endeavor to try to be active and resilient, appreciates stillness.  I grew up in a house without a television and where quietness and stillness was valued.  I still value those things and find myself completely overwhelmed in a noisy crowd.   In a group, if I am still and quiet, I can observe a lot of things about a lot of people.  I read body language and hear important details.  I learn more about people by being quiet than I ever do by talking.

I'm not unhappy with the fact that I am quiet and still.  I like that about me but I am struggling with being invisible.  Being invisible means that people are indifferent to your presence.  Indifference, not hate, is the opposite of love.  Feeling unloved and unlovable, is devastating to me. No protests from you here- this isn't about making you feel guilty and I'm not really looking for validation that people love me.  Words to that effect, don't mean anything if there is no action to back them up.  The reality is that it's no one's JOB to make sure I'm included, but if no one cares if I'm there or not...why should I bother to be there.  I seem to leave every SCA event recently feeling unwanted and uncared for and since, right now, I can't pin down exactly how to pursue what I'm passionate about, (or even what that is sometimes) I go to events because I love the people.  If the people don't care that I'm there, what is the point?

As I am thinking on this, I decided to re look at my Love Languages.  They have changed a bit as I get older and perhaps more practical.  My results, aren't all that surprising, (although I do love giving and receiving gifts):

9 Acts of Service
8 Quality Time
8 Words of Affirmation
4 Physical Touch
1 Receiving Gifts
Read about the first threeCollapse )

So, where does that leave me.  I guess, I'll experiment.  Maybe I need to hang out with different people.  Maybe I need to work harder to find a way to do the things that make me excited.  I'll try immersing myself in a project.  I'll try putting myself out there more.  Someone suggested that I see if the Princess needs help with retinue since I know that's something I'm good at and enjoy. My choice right now is to see if I can do something to improve my own feelings.  If it doesn't work, then maybe down the road, the SCA won't be my choice any more but I want to do everything I can first to see if I can make it work for me.

My 40th birthday!

Last Saturday was my 40th birthday.  To celebrate, my parents and I went to the coast.
We spent about 4.5 hours at the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport.  I have lots of pictures but haven't downloaded the camera.  However, the octopus put on a good show after my camera battery died and I was shooting on my iPhone.

After the aquarium, we travelled south down the coast to Cape Perpetua where mom and I hiked down the St. Perpetua trail.  It would have been more of a challenge to go up but we got confused about where the trail started and went to the top instead.  It was a beautiful day.

There were flowers too...maybe in another post.  I had lots of pictures.


This is Simon and when he wants his cuddles, he wants them NOW.  He has been known to hurl himself up my body with the expectation that I will catch him and give him love.  He also has the slight disgusting but totally sweet habit of grooming me- my face and neck mostly, sometimes ears (EWW).
These pictures were taken on my birthday and he didn't want to let me get dressed until he had his snuggles.


Last week in my garden: June 21, 2014


Sickly pepper plants, I'm not sure what the problem is.  I may need to amend the soil but I don't know what with.

I've just about denuded the lettuce plants!

Broccoli, Cauliflower and Cabbage are all growing very slowly, as are the tomatoes.  Is it the weather?  That hole is where I pulled the volunteer parsnips.  I'll replant those.

As you can see, the root vegetables were poorly planted.  I need to thin them and replant.  The onions are growing alright though.

Volunteer lemon balm.  It's growing in a couple of places now.

Green beans seem to be doing well now.

But, as dad said, it's too bad you can't eat squash leaves- they are growing gangbusters!

Basil and dill, neither of which are growing well.

I needed to make a salad for 21 people.  That's how my lettuce got denuded but it was good salad.

These are the volunteers and they tasted wonderful roasted.

Cheese oddities....

I purchased a tiny piece of  Molltaler Alumkase Austrian Cheese at Market of Choice last week.  It's not my favorite cheese but it tastes ok.  However, if you take a sip of water after eating the cheese it creates a horrible aftertaste.  It's bizarre!   Does anyone know why that might happen?



Grandpa Kinman passed away at 7:30 this morning. He'd been on hospice care for about two weeks and of ever diminishing mental acuity for the last few years. He had delusions often related to his time in the war. (paratroopers landing on the front lawn, etc.)

When I was younger, grandpa was a master finish carpenter making decorative alder items for tole painters. They loved his work because his pieces were always as smooth as glass and they never got splinters- ever! I loved to pet his finished pieces because they were so soft and smooth. I have wonderful memories of sitting next to the wood stove in the shop happily sanding on a block of wood, or when I was older one of the pieces that needed finish sanding, while grandpa worked on cutting out or assembling other pieces.

Before that, grandpa and Dad owned a commercial Salmon/ tuna boat and we spent summers at the coast. I also spent many hours in the woods with dad and grandpa cutting and stacking firewood. I have seen them cut down a tree twice as large as their largest chainsaw bar and using a springboard to work on trees over large banks.

He was an amazing man who taught us all the value of hard work and making an honest living against all odds. My dad is the man he is because of the example grandpa set and that has been passed down, I hope, to my brother and me.

In some ways, this is a relief. The man I so admired has been lost to dementia for many years. He is no longer confused and suffering or wondering where grandma is or why he's in this strange place.

We have been missing him for years and today, although we have the sorrow of loss, we also have the blessing of completion and victory for a life well lived.


I earned my keep

Yesterday I saved the College $18,264.75 today on a misaligned contract.  I think I earned my keep!

This week in my garden: June 5, 2014

More things are growing than not.  I was able to harvest lettuce this week and the replanted beans are coming up.


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July 2014


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