Friday, July 12, 2013

Weekly Balance Sheet


1) Successfully performed a skyfall for the first time.  (Essentially a midair flip from a standing position, landing on your back in a breakfall position on the floor.  Not a technique for the timid or unskilled...I'd never mustered the courage to try it before.)

2) Learned the last of my self-defenses for this belt level.  All of them are defenses against knife attacks, which is enough to get your blood going even knowing that the practice knives are plastic!

3) Learned half a dozen more moves of my form--the end is finally in sight.

4) Found six geocaches.  (I think I have a new hobby/obsession...)

5) Spent a solid week with three small children who neither nap nor have 'quiet time' anymore without completely losing my gourd at any of them.


1) Aggravated my 'good' knee practicing &%$& tornado kicks on Tuesday, causing me to skip class today out of a sense of self-preservation.  I need at least one functional knee.

2) Had something of a tiff with my primary TKD instructor.  It happens every so often: not sure if the issue is cultural or if it's because we're both female (maybe some of both.)  I can say without hesitation that one of the best decisions I've ever made in my life was to choose a male PI for my graduate mentor--and NO, there was nothing inappropriate going on!!

3) Currently desperate for peace and quiet: two of my three kids never stop talking and all three never stop bickering.  Would rather weed my entire garden in 100 degree heat than referee for one more second!

On balance, I'd say the Pros have it.  But tomorrow morning, after Himself gets back from his long run, I am leaving all three kids and the dog with him for several hours and going out BY MYSELF!!


  1. That's interesting about you thinking the problem may be because you both are women. I never have experienced that. I find men are often intimidated by me, but if women don't like or respond negatively, it's just me personally and not that I'm a woman.

  2. I've never had trouble with men. I tend to intimidate women, if anything: maybe because I'm so tall. In science, as in medicine, women are notorious for 'eating their own young.' It's very much an attitude of "I did It the hard way back when the old boys ruled, so I'm going to make a point of making your life miserable while you get through it too." Saw that over and over: wondering if I'm running into a bit of the same issue with TKD.

    1. Really? I have many women friends in science and medicine who've said without the women mentors and others to help them along they couldn't have made it. I almost studied biochem at the grad level because my prof in that (an older woman) was so wonderful and supportive. I've heard that said about law and other professions as well and definitely haven't found it to be the case. My PhD advisor was a man because my first choice - a woman who was incredible - couldn't take on any more students. I mean, I'm sure there are people like you describe, but they're rare enough to not register with me.

      All strange too because I never had any good relationship with my mother. And I'm a bit older than you, I believe, so it's not a generational thing.

      And like the professional sabotage that I encountered the other month when my former boss spread the rumor that I was unprofessionally romantically involved - he was jealous that I was more successful than him, so that was his response. I definitely see that kind of behavior more from men than women in the professional world. (Note too that the person telling me about it was a man, who got the info from another man - boys are such gossippers!)

      I am a little concerned about going into the new work environment since they haven't had a woman there in so long. Some men are great to work with, but I find women as a general trend are better at teamwork, and I really appreciate that in a work environment. Liberia was wholly liveable because of my supervisor, a woman who even today offered me her support in work things. That's my typical woman boss, and sadly too many men are like the liar above. He wants to keep his job so he'll sabotage my prospects so they don't hire me instead. Thanks, dude. Enjoy your karma. (He's on medical leave now, and I don't know why. Maybe karma's already struck.)

  3. Very glad your experience has been different than mine!! Hope it stays that way. I'm not anti-women by any means, I've just always found it easier to work with (and be friends with) men. No parent issues here, and we're about the same age (I think we figured out once that you are only a year or two older.) Maybe it's because my grad school and the attached med school are of the hypercompetitive, to-be-successful-as-a-woman-you-can't-have-any-life-off-campus variety. A great degree, but seriously...not a good place to work as a woman if you want to be married with kids and actually see them.

    1. Maybe that is a good piece of it - I've never found hypercompetitive very appealing and I think all of my degree programs have been of a very different ilk. Still very good, but a more "we're in this together" - at least in comparison to others. I've heard in most law schools, sabotaging each other is par for the course, including slicing important pages out of texts. Not our thing at all. There may be frozen daiquiri spilled on those important pages, but not deliberate sabotage! :)

  4. Love the mental image of daiquiri spilled on textbook pages! Our med students used to steal each other's class notes. Ugly.

    1. That's awful. Our law students used to offer daily notes to anybody who missed class. We shared outlines with each other. I guess I didn't fully appreciate what a sense of community it was, even as I considered myself an outsider (oldest person in the class, about 16 years above the average). We had our hard workers who made themselves crazy in the library all the time, but the rest of us firmly believed in work-life balance. Most of my classmates considered it the best years of their life. Not sure most law schools can claim that! (OF course, the awful job market upon our graduation may also have an influence on that.)

  5. As a Biology major, I took most of my undergrad classes with premeds. I also TA'd for some of their classes as an upperclassman. As a group (of course, there were exceptions) they made me NUTS. These were the ones who would argue with me--at length--that the 19/20 I had given them on a lab report would keep them out of med school. In fairness to them, I think the system made them crazy and they were just trying to keep in the game. It was definitely one of the things that skewed me toward the Ph.D. rather than an M.D.! My grad school was insane, I grant you, but we did actually have something of an out-of-school life, unlike the med students from either our school or the school next door. I've never heard of a law school with work-life were either lucky or chose very, very well! :)


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