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Preview: Practice Effects

Practice Effects

by Nerdwina Brainiac the blog formerly known as "Maunderings from Dissertation Hell" and "Prattling in Postdoc Purgatory" Wind her up & watch her go! Random blather and nattering of a newly licensed clinical neuropsychologist juggling a budding priv

Updated: 2018-03-20T09:43:10.132-06:00


She Did It Again!


That Girl - I tell ya. We went to Austin for the All-State solo & ensemble competition Saturday and once again, she nailed her solo - Perilhou's Ballade - to rave reviews from the judge, Helen Blackburn, who is a pretty big name in flutes around here. After the performance, Helen clapped and said, "Brava! Excellent job! Do you take lessons?" The Girl said yes, and named her flute teacher, a friend of Helen's through their work with Texas Flute Society. Helen said, "Ohh! THAT explains it! Flute players from Fundietonfieldvilleview just don't get THAT good!" The feedback sheet was covered in lovely gushy praise as the icing on the cake. (That she has effectively written her own scholarship check to just about any music school she chooses is the candles on top.) Of course we're not proud of her at all...

This video is naturally not of The Girl's performance, because she never lets me into those performances with or without a camera, but it's the same music. The thing is our Girl performed it equally flawlessly and entirely from memory.
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Next year, she's taking on Prokofiev's Sonata for Flute and Piano in D - a piece smuggled out of Soviet Russia during the 1940's that is so hard and so famous that it's known only as "The Prokofiev" in flute circles. It's also so hard that there's no memory requirement for the competitions. Her flute teacher, who has a doctorate in flute, is excited that The Girl is taking it on. She's had the music a week and already has the first page down. Here's a clip of the greatest living flute player Sir James Galway playing it:
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Rock on, flutey girl, rock on...

Dr. Tinyoffice Will See You Now


I promised pictures of the new office some time back. In November, my business partner & I leased 200 square feet of office space (2 adjoining 10'x10' rooms). Before I show you where we are, I want to show you where we came from, which will hopefully shed a little light on why 200 fabulously quiet and drama-free square feet is better than an overcrowded, poorly renovated old Jehovah's Witness Hall with paper thin walls and not enough office space to accomodate the number of people working there. These pictures are of the lobby only. My partner & I had to conduct psychological testing in the "play therapy room" which looked like a garage sale threw up in it (and was impossible in which to test children). Oh wait, the whole place looked like that...We managed to slide out of that practice with no drama, unlike some of our predecessors. One of the owners had a penchant for drama and accusations of those trying to leave trying to put her out of business instead of being happy that the former supervisees in question were moving on to bigger and better opportunities than giving her half of what they earned (which was all she appeared to care about anyway). My partner was able to escape because she lives nearly an hour away and her internship was over, so due to the distance the owner didn't perceive her as a threat (although they tried to convince her to stick around so they'd have someone competent in pediatric assessment on staff). I managed to escape unscathed because at the time I was also working 3 other jobs, 2 in teaching and one for the neuropsychologist I'd been working for forever, so they didn't perceive me as a threat either.Even though during my internship the non-crazy partner at the other site had asked me to consider joining their practice, and I was flattered by his offer, my plan has always been to establish my own practice. Continuing to work there was really a conflict of interest, albeit mostly financial. It just didn't make sense to work for a paranoid and delusional person for half of state evaluation rates when I'd worked out a much more lucrative deal with the neuropsychologist, even if I did have to generate my own business. I was in sales in a former career iteration, so generating business is no big deal for me. In the end, the rent we pay is far less than what we were paying the crazy lady with the garage sale furniture, and we don't have to jockey for space. Sorry, I'm just not willing to do testing on the open-air covered back porch, unlike some of the therapists there. Is that a privacy violation, or is it just me?So without further ado, here are pictures of our two tiny 10 foot by 10 foot rooms...our 200 square feet of professional paradise...our own space to be the boss of ourselves...These are pardner's side of the suite (note the phrenology head print and the "lucky tennis shoes" original drawing):My side of the suite (btw, I'm there a lot more often so it's more homey, but she'd like to use it for storage of test equipment so I'm planning to move my stuff to a slightly larger space in the next office down the hall in the next few months):My space looks a lot warmer because although I sold fluorescent lighting enclosures for some time, I abhor fluorescent lighting and refuse to use anything but incandescent or natural lighting. Too bad there are no windows in the room.The little cabinet in the middle folds out to make the perfect sized table for testing.There's also a comfy sofa in my office, and a cabinet to store my most used testing materials.Yes it's small, but it's professional and not cluttered with nonessentials. The environment is quiet and soon I'll be able to spread out about 4 feet in each direction so it won't feel cramped even when assessing the largest patient driving a motorized scooter. Life is good and I'm proud to be where we are today.[...]

Gotta Get Me a Singin' Dawg...


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Bwaaahahahaahahaha! *gaasp!* *snort!*

I wonder if my sister needs a backup singer for her band...

Breakin' Up Is Hard To Do...Well, Not Really


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After the last class I taught for GCUO, I decided I wouldn't teach for them anymore. The experience is best summarized by a phrase The Man uses in describing why he doesn't like to eat Cornish hens: "Too much work for not enough meat." The GCUO students seemed to be functioning in the borderline intellectual range and hadn't clue one about the rules of grammar, spelling, scholarly discourse, et cetera, and were deeply offended when I had the gall to point out their errors. Such flaws would have been more acceptable if the class was a freshman level course, but I was teaching seniors who were theoretically ready to graduate. When I received the email to teach for them again, this is what I replied to the class scheduler:

Hi Faceless Corporate Drone,

I tried to access the GCUO website to decline this invitation to teach, but was unable to do so because once again the server is not functioning properly. This email serves to notify you that I will not be accepting any further contracts from GCUO. I teach 3 sections of undergraduate psychology at the local community college (2 live and 1 online). Those 3 classes combined don't require as much effort on my part as 1 GCUO course. The compensation is also better and I have fewer students, far fewer restrictions and no micromanagement regarding the way I run my classes.

I did the math for the last GCUO class of 20 students. With each student paying $1685 per course, that generated $33,700 for the university. It seems a little unfair that the hardest working person in the loop - the faculty member - received only $1,150, including the $100 bonus for having more than 18 students in the class. That's less than one student's tuition for the class, and what I make in one day in my private practice - which incidentally also requires less effort than one days' work at UOP. I didn't work myself nearly to death to earn a doctorate for the privilege of working for less than minimum wage and while being micromanaged in the process. It's no wonder the university is constantly searching for faculty. Once instructors figure out the hoax, the logical choice can only be to cut one's losses and move on.

Have a great life,
Dr. Brainiac

All the faceless drone at corporate had to say was this:

Hi Nerdwina,
Thank you for your email. I manually declined the class for you and forwarded your email to payroll to inactivate your faculty status.
Please let me know if you have any questions.
Have a great day,
Faceless Drone

Her response just affirms my decision to work for myself and serves as a reminder that I don't have to settle for anything less than what I deserve in any area of my life. I worked too hard for far too long to accept anything less than every good thing the universe has in store for me.

Narnia - Worst Band Trip Ever


I'm just not a cold-weather person. However, I agreed to chaperone The Girl's spring band trip to Winter Park Colorado. Everyone told me how much fun I'd have skiing and when I mentioned my complete distaste for the cold unless it involves a frozen cocktail they all said, "Oh, but it's a DRY cold. You won't even feel it!" What a load of overcooked horse shit! This poor tree was standing upright and looked like it belonged on a Christmas card when we arrived. By the time we left, it had snowed so much, the poor thing looked like it belonged in a Tim Burton movie.We aren't even going to talk about the 18-hour charter bus ride with the old lady passing the most noxious gas across the aisle from me the whole way, and the failure for the driver to remember to stop for meals. It snowed the whole time we were there, but let me mention that Winter Park is 12,060 feet above sea level. That's more than 2 miles up, folks. Guess what! There's no fucking AIR up there! The first day I couldn't walk more than 10 feet without stopping to gasp for breath. I felt like I was hungover from a 3-day bender and ready to pass out any minute. I knew I wasn't going to be able to even attempt to ski that day because I couldn't get my breath and felt cognitively impaired from the lack of oxygen. Nevertheless, I was fitted for the hundred pounds of ski accoutrements (60-pound boots, 40-pound skis and the ski poles that kept flying everywhere in part because they were astonishingly light in comparison to the other equipment and in part because I don't know how to handle them), and lugged them back to the condo - stopping to hyperventilate every 5 feet because now I was loaded down like a pack mule. We went to the ski village, but I just ate lunch and went right back to the condo so I could make some attempt at adjusting to the altitude, although I never really did all 5 days we were there - and yes, I drank water constantly and it didn't help. I can't tell you how many times I thanked myself for quitting smoking 12 years ago.While I was vainly attempting some semblance of recovery by wheezing on the condo sofa, and watching the snow fall, which left me even more out of breath, The Girl took the ski class and attempted the first bunny slope. It took her an hour to get down and she hated every minute of it. Immediately upon reaching the bottom, she went straight to the ski rental place and returned her equipment, telling the folks there, "Thanks, but this was NOT fun. I'm more of a margaritas on the beach kind of girl." That night, she got sick - as in riding the double-decker porcelain bus sick ([...]

It's All Happening!


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Wow. Talk about goals coming to fruition... A few weeks ago I mentioned to The Man (who is still not formally employed in case you were wondering) that my ultimate goal - as in a couple of years from now - is to make a grand a day. Working 4 days a week that translates to a figure that's nothing to sneeze at. Granted, it's a little shy of what he was making when we got together, but not by much and I could surpass that if I wanted a 5 day work week - which I don't.

Tuesday morning I called the folks at the state agency where I've been getting referrals to let them know I'm ready to start doing work for them independently. They love my work and have been asking me when I'll be solo for over a year. The worker took my updated information and said she would be in touch in a couple of weeks. Friday she called to tell me that not only do I have a provider number but she scheduled 4 regular evals and 3 neuropsychological evals within a 4-day span. Even at state rates, that translates to astonishingly close to my goal.

It looks like I might actually be able to make a living at this gig. Now, I realize that this level of activity could be anomalous, especially in the beginning, but I didn't think I'd be coming close my goal so soon after hanging my shingle for all to see. Nevertheless, I'm so excited I could just pee.

Prove Yourself Brave, Truthful and Unselfish, and Someday...


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After twelve years of concerted effort, slave labor, seemingly endless waiting and more money than I want to think about, my license for the independent practice of psychology, issued by The Great State of Texas arrived in the mail today. So the training wheels are off and now I'm finally a real boy.

More to come.

Don't Tell the Italians


Boy, are the Italians going to be pissed off when they find out they're actually being ruled by the French! Well, not really but apparently a lot of people, particularly young people, think the capital of Italy is France. How do I know this? Aside from teaching psychology, I also do psychological testing - a lot of psychological testing. One of the major IQ tests I use has a section that asks questions regarding general stuff about which people should have at least some vague idea. One of the "easier" questions deals with the capital of Italy. I can't count how many people say, without hesitation, that it's France, then appear to be proud of themselves for their vast knowledge of European systems of government.

I'm not sure what's worse though - the Franco/Italian fuckups or the no less than 75% of African Americans I've tested who have absolutely no clue who Martin Luther King or Abraham Lincoln were. I just want to smack them and yell at them, "SERIOUSLY!? You've got to be shitting me! You don't who know two of the most influential figures in the modern history of your people were? You know - the one who freed you from slavery and the one who made it possible for you to be integrated into American society? Really? Pull your head out of your ass so you can see the world, dipshit! - And while you're at it, pull up your pants. You look like a dumbass."

Please be proud of me for maintaining my poker face and not smacking them upside the head and telling them what idiots they are. Maybe a more fitting punishment would be for me to call their grandmas for the administration a proper and much-needed ass-whoopin'.

They Still Make Slush Mugs!


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We had Slush Mugs when I was a kid, so when I saw they are still being made and are marketed at, I couldn't resist buying some for our lazy poolside summer afternoons. So far it seems that they work great with soft drinks - DrPepper slushie - mmmmm --and beer - beeeeeeer slushie MMMMMMM! I tried to make margaritas in one, and it appears that the non-alcoholic part has to be slushed up before adding the liquor, or the liquid won't freeze. When the liquor is added, it melts much of the slush. That's okay though, because it works really well on beer! Woot!



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Looking back to when I started this blog in late 2006, its original focus was to give me a place to vent my frustrations about the dissertation process in the last leg of graduate school. At the time, this space was called, "Maunderings from Dissertation Hell," and the posts were composed of much wailing and gnashing of teeth, reflective of one under constant torture. Just the act of sitting down to write something - anything - helped grease the wheels of the writer within me, so I often used blogging as a cognitive warm up to the more intensive writing of dissertating.

Once the dissertation was finally complete and I was PHinisheD, I began the most unusual postdoctoral fellowship in the world. Since I was no longer dissertating, but treading water in postdoc, the blog was retitled, "Prattling in Postdoc Purgatory." I didn't blog much during that time because honestly I didn't want to bore my beloved readers with more whining, so there was precious little actual prattling done. I've also been juggling anywhere from 1 to 3 additional jobs during that time, so there's been precious little actual time for prattling to actually happen.

I finally passed the final hurdle in January. It's been a little over two weeks since I sent off the last pile of money and paperwork to the Great State of Texas for the license to practice what I've trained to do for over a decade without training wheels. Once the postman brings that precious piece of paper via certified mail in a couple of weeks, I'll have visible proof that I have been "brave, truthful and unselfish," and can finally be a "real" boy.

Since I'll finally be in private practice as a neuropsychologist, and will no longer have to keep proving myself worthy, the topics I blog about will also change with that very significant change in my life. In addition to my usual stuff - bragging about The Girl, discussing our famous gatherings, sharing recipes, I'm thinking of discussing neuropsychology-specific information & cases and sharing what's working/not working as I grow my practice.

The problem is, I don't know what to rename my little slice of blogdom. Here are a couple of ideas I've been mulling over, but nothing really "snaps" for me:

Nerdwina Brainiac's Practice Effects

Confessions of a NeuroNerd

...and the trees looked like neurons...

From the Backal Lobes

What do you think, dear readers? Do you have any ideas or suggestions? I'm open...

DonateWise Works! Here's how...


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This just in from my sister Kate. Gotta love her ingenuity. Who would have thought of a matchmaking site for donors and charities!? Sign up. Charitable giving feels good.

I Heard the News Today, Oh Boy...


Well, I heard last week anyway. The letter read something like, "Dear APPLICANT, The Great State of Texas is pleased to inform you that you have received a passing score on the oral examination for independent practice in psychology." After the ordeal I've been through, I made quite the ruckus screaming and crying and swearing and dancing and swearing down the driveway from the mailbox toward the house - until I read further:

"Now, if you will kindly fill out another 36-page pile of paperwork and send us yet another ridiculous pile of money we'll be happy to get that final piece of paper you need to work independently to you in - oh, say another six weeks or so."

*sigh* Talk about bittersweet. It's a neverending fuck-with situation, isn't it? Seriously the story of my life since 1997 has been "Hurry up and wait." Fuckers.

So that's what I've been doing - tracking down signatures and getting all my proverbial shit in one sock so I can send said piles to Austin - so I can wait some more.

oh joy.



Last Saturday I re-took the oral exam for licensure. Texas is one of only a handful of states, including Georgia, Louisiana, Oklahoma, West Virginia, New Jersey, Colorado & California, that still engages in this outdated, highly subjective final hoop to private practice. I passed the national written exam (EPPP) and the state jurisprudence (ethics) exam over four years ago at the Doctoral level within a few months of receiving my Master's degree. Then I finished my internship, and that pesky dissertation thingy to earn my PhD (the highest possible degree) and the last year I've been in postdoc. In most states that would be sufficient. Instead, I got to sit in front of the Inquisition and give answers to questions about an imaginary case off the top of my head instead of being able to consider all the aspects of the case beforehand - like I do every other day of my professional existence, during which I typically have a minimum of a week to mentally prepare for the the person who will spend time under my care. Neuropsychology a specialization that usually requires a referral. It's not 7-11. We just don't get walk-in traffic.This time, I was able to manage my anxiety up front a lot better. Knowing what to expect going in went a long way toward not elevating that anxiety to the point where I was having panic attacks or feeling like I was going to vomit on the examiners (okay there were a few minutes at the beginning that I thought I might release the contents of my stomach onto the examination table but once we got underway, it wasn't so bad). I was able to conceptualize the case and articulate my considerations in a cogent manner and nailed the diagnosis (multiple sclerosis) right off the bat even though I'd been studying TBI (traumatic brain injury) because it comprises well over half of all neuropsychological issues. Then they started asking me about psychotherapy, which I don't do and I told them I would refer the patient and her boyfriend to someone else if they wanted couples' counseling. Still they insisted that I assume I had agreed to see them - together - for counseling - which I don't do. Ever. Psychoeducation...maybe a little crisis management with an appropriate referral, yes - but ongoing psychotherapy? Fuggedaboutit. Ain't happenin', pal. So I did the best I could to talk about an area that does not lie within my area of expertise. yippee.I was able to tell them what I've done to enhance my professional skills without any trouble. In addition to telling them about keeping up with my continuing education as required, I talked about all the major assessment standardizations I worked on (WAIS-IV, WMS-IV, NEPSY-2, WNV, et cetera - my name's even in the manuals), talked about the continuing education module I wrote for NAPPP on cognitive care of the elderly, and about the presentation I did at our state psych association's convention on cognition and affect in the elderly. The older of the two nodded his head and got a look of "aha" recognition on his face. I think "Aha" guy was there - and I did seriously kick ass on that talk.So I have to say that, also unlike last time, the two examiners were genuinely nice, friendly guys. There wasn't a Blackberry in sight. Nobody checked the two-way mirror for stray hairs or boogers and they appeared to be interested in what I had to say. When I got stuck, they tried to guide without giving the answer away. There were even several times when they said, "Good." I appreciated the positive feedback. Once when my answer was very succinct but to the point, they were looking at me kind of weird so I asked if they wanted further elaboration, "Aha" guy said, "No. Actually, that was exactly what we were looking for." I could see his score sheet and noticed severa[...]

So Long Suck Ass Year


2008 Sucked great big fat green donkey dicks. So much went wrong (hence the lack of blogging - I didn't want to bore you with the whining), yet somehow we managed to keep our home and family together. I'm so happy it's over and am looking forward to a brighter 2009. I'll re-take the oral licensing exam Saturday in Austin. Hopefully by Valentine's Day I'll be able to remove my training wheels, fly solo, and not worry about having to work under someone else's license - particularly those someones who forget to pay me for months on end.

Don't get me wrong. 2008 wasn't all bad. There are a number of things for which I am grateful. We have been blessed with good health and it's pretty clear by looking at us that we aren't missing any meals. I can finally tell the Grandtwins apart by looking at them. The Girl kicked ass as drum major, made All-Area band again and will try out Saturday to get into the All-State gig (yes the same day I do my orals - just 1 hour south of home instead of 3). The Man has decided that since he can't get a job anywhere he and our son in law (super-awesome guy, BTW) are going to start their own business repairing Ford vehicles in our barn. I have my own office in the next town over and have already seen 2 patients there in the 2 months since we took possession. My business partner is about to finish her PhD but already has her LSSP so we'll be able to do whatever we want pretty soon.

Things are happening and I can see wonderful opportunities on the horizon. This time next year I'll be in a whole different place financially and emotionally and maybe by then our business will be doing so well that we can afford at least a part-time clerical person.

Remind me to post pictures of the new place...

I May Be In Trouble...


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The Man & I aren't much for New Years' resolutions. We just try to live the best way we can each day and move on without guilt if we don't live up to our own standards. So far that approach has worked for us for a long time. Well, that is until yesterday.

We hold dear the superstition that says whatever you are doing New Year's Day is what you'll find yourself doing all year long, so among other luxuries and indulgences of the day, we make it a point to start the new year off with a "bang," so to speak. Now we're not one of those couples who reserve nookie for birthdays, anniversaries and high holidays. No, any old time is fine. I don't make him beg for sex, don't use it as a weapon, and we are still as active as we were 14 years ago when we decided we liked each other well enough to spend time together naked. Actually we're more active now because we didn't live together until 3 years later, to the tune of anywhere from 3-7 consistently mutually satisfactory copulations a week after living under the same roof for over a decade. Nothing to sneeze at by any standards.

So yesterday right after our annual tradition of starting the new year off right, he says, something like, "My resolution is more sex this year." Seriously? More? For his age bracket he already gets tenfold more than any of his friends and cronies, and for people together and married as long as we have been we're ahead of the curve. Honestly, I'm not sure where we'll fit it in.

Don't get me wrong: I'm not complaining. I just might need to call in reinforcements. What's your sister's number?

...And The Ones That Mother Gives You Don't Do Anything At All


I haven't been sick in a long time - maybe two years. Until Tuesday, that is - whereupon I was hit by a Mack truck of a head cold and have been pretty much bedridden ever since. My sinuses feel as if I've sucked up a bucket of water through a straw and I have no strength to do much of anything besides lay around and watch TV. Seriously. TV. Me.

Finals for my community college class were over Monday, so that was already out of the way. I did go in and test patient #2 in my tiny shiny new office Thursday morning (pictures soon), and I did let The Girl host movie night at our house again Friday night, but one was for the money and the other was to know where The Girl and her friends were and what they were doing with their time now that the neverending football season is finally over after the Fundietonfieldvilleview Weirdmascosts lost the 4th playoff game - they're usually only good for one or two.

Now, I know the only cure for a cold is seven days - essentially just letting it run its course. I'm not sure what's the wort part about having a cold, though: the sickness itself (for which there is still no cure because people never catch the same variant twice) or the medications available to "alleviate" the symptoms. None of the medicines really seem to "do" anything. The "__-Quil" meds just make me sleep - even the daytime variety. Warm bourbon, honey and lemon makes a great cough syrup if you can stomach bourbon and don't plan to drive anywhere. I also like a good homemade chicken or potato soup when I'm sick or the Lipton noodle soup in the packet - just toss out half of the yellow salt powder before trying to cook it or it's too salty. Ginger ale and Sprite or 7Up are good, too because my mom always gave me those when I was a little kid. So what do you reach for when you're suffering from a cold?

H.M. Passes



H.M., a very famous neuropsychology patient, who had most of his temporal lobe and hippocampus (the purple bit in the picture) removed from both sides of his brain to control intractable seizures, passed away Tuesday at a nursing home in in Connecticut at the age of 82. He had been the subject of study for over 50 years and brought much new knowledge of the brain and memory to the field. His obituary can be found at the New York Times here.

In the interest of protecting his privacy, Mr. Henry Gustav Molaison was known to the world only as HM. I learned of him in my very first undergraduate introduction to psychology course (yes, the same course I teach at the local juco) back in 1986. I bet if you still have your intro psych text lying around somewhere, you can look up the chapter on memory and find him there. If he doesn't show up in the index under H.M. (which he usually doesn't), look under amnesia, hippocampus or memory, then flip to that section of the text. Go look - I'll wait. Then leave me a comment with the title, author and text where you found him.

A few books from my library that reference HM include:

Darby & Walsh (2005) Walsh's Neuropsychology: A Clinical Approach 5th ed. Elsevier; New York.

Kolb & Whishaw (2003) Fundamentals of Human Neuropsychology. Worth Publishers; New York.

Rosensweig, Leiman & Breedlove (1996) Biological Psychology. Sinauer; Sunderland, MA.

Wood, Wood & Boyd (2008) Mastering the World of Psychology 3rd ed. Allyn & Bacon; Boston. (this is the current intro psych text I use at the juco)

Prop 8 - The Musical


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See more Jack Black videos at Funny or Die

Anticlimactic Acceptance


Okay, so yesterday I received an email from Giant Corporate University Online that I've finally passed muster and have been accepted into the loving arms of the faculty body. The process, beginning with the request for my resume May 16, has been ridiculously long. I have participated in nearly six months of "training," including several ever-smaller classes and finally teaching my first undergraduate class with someone watching over my shoulder. The last part was a good thing because I had an experienced faculty member to mentor me through the process.Don't get me wrong. In this economy I'm happy to have another dribble of income. Every little bit helps and I'd really like to keep my car and keep The Girl's tuition current. The Man still isn't working, hay season is over, and we're living off of savings and 401K. We're not starving but that pool of money isn't unlimited. I'm working the community college gig again - 2 Psych 101 classes early MWF, leaving me the rest of the day to see patients or whatever. It's a fun job and I've done it enough now that the class basically runs itself. I have full autonomy to run my classes and my policies as I see fit and can be as hard ass as I please. Interestingly enough, the students meet every challenge I set for them and all of them say I'm their favorite instructor. The GCUO job pays a little more and I can do it in my jammies, but I have to do things in such a politically correct manner and have to worry about the faculty development team snooping around looking for things to hold against me. It's not paranoia if they really are out to get you... The thing is, I'm just not excited about GCUO. The students didn't seem to have a clue about academic rigor, the importance of using APA format when writing papers (in pursuit of a psychology degree!? -SERIOUSLY??), or even what constitutes a scholarly reference. A couple of the students were adequate but most of them needed to go back to junior high to learn how to write - and use spell check - and follow instructions. They got mad when I insisted that they learn to use the library system, maintain a high level of academic integrity, and do their own work without the expectation that I hold their hands or do the work for them. Then they whined about what a big fat meany I was when they were surveyed. --Yes, GCUO sends out customer satisfaction surveys to the students - and oddly enough their survey responses held a very strong positive correlation to their grades - go figure. The experience reminded me of a phrase I heard once, "Never try to teach a pig to dance. It wastes your time and annoys the pig." The next few months are going to find me launching my private practice and I may be scraping for patients at first. So I think what I may do is just teach a GCUO class here and there when I need extra cash and wean myself off the corporate teat as my business picks up. At least I'll know up front the challenges that I'll face in dealing with students in a university with an open enrollment policy and no placement tests to sort them by academic level. Send positive energy my way. I'll need it.[...]

Doc's Soap Store Is No More



Well kids, it's the end of an era. After several months with zero sales in my eBay store and eBay arbitrarily dropping most of my listings with no warning or explanation, I've closed it. I'm undecided whether I want to open an Etsy shop or some other online store, but I'm definitely not going back to eBay. If you're one of my regulars, don't panic. I'll still make your favorites and will still make custom bath & body lovelies to your specifications. Just contact me backchannel and we'll work something out.

A Little Advice


So here's the deal. The Girl is an absolutely amazing young woman. She's strong, smart and has very clear and firm boundaries. Having the last six years free of the constant trauma, drama and chaos you brought to our lives has been refreshing. Given the years of hell you put us through, I remain skeptical, but she's nearly a grown woman and she's always had a mind of her own. It's up to her to decide the nature of her relationships. If you're less than genuine, she'll see right through the facade and shut you out again. You have no clue how fortunate you are that she's decided to allow you back into her life. Don't fuck it up this time.

The Last Lecture


Okay guys, I'm really not dead, just infinitely busy digging out from under 3 cubic fuckloads of work. I promise a nice juicy post soon. In the interim, please entertain yourself with the following. It moved me deeply.

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Friday Night Lights - Fundietonfieldvilleview Edition


Friday night the Fundietonfieldvilleview Weirdmascots slaughtered yet another team. You'd think that a team all the way from Dallas would fare better against our little farm kids - especially when they're outsized the way our boys were. Nevertheless, take a look at their fans and remember that Dallas isn't that far away - an hour or so at the most. This picture was taken well into the game not long before halftime...

(image) Now take a look at our fans. The stands were packed and there were people standing all around in the concession stand, along the fences et cetera. Clearly the good folks in Fundietonfieldvilleview Texas have nothing better to do on a Friday night, but at least we show up to support our kids.

(image) With the kind of support folks around here give our kids, it's no wonder they kick ass at everything they do.

From my iPod


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Perhaps one of the most interesting words in the english language today, is the word fuck. Out of all the english words that begin with the letter 'f' ...fuck is the only word refered to as 'the f word... It's the one magical word. Just by its sound can describe pain, pleasure, hate and love. Fuck, as most words in the english language is derived from german ...the word fuieken, which means to strike.
In english, fuck falls into many grammatical categories:

As a transitive verb for intance ...John fucked Shirley.
As an intransitive verb...Shirley fucks.

Its meaning is not always sexual, it can be used as...

An adjective such as ...John's doing all the fucking work.
As part of an adverb ...Shirley talks too fucking much.
As an adverb enhancing an adjective ...Shirley is fucking beautiful.
As a noun ...I don't give a fuck.
As part of a word ...absofuckinglutely -or- infuckingcredible.
And as almost every word in a sentence ...Fuck the fucking fuckers.

As you must realize, there aren't too many words with the versatility of fuck...such as these examples describing situations such as:

Fraud ...I got fucked at the used car lot.
Dismay ...ahhh fuck it.
Trouble ...I guess I'm really fucked now.
Agression ...Don't fuck with me buddy.
Difficulty ...I don't understand this fucking question.
Inquiry ...Who the fuck was that?
Dissatisfaction ...I don't like what the fuck is going on here.
Incompetance ...He's a fuck-off.
Dismissal ...Why don't you go outside and play hide and go fuck yourself...

I'm sure you can think of many more examples.
With all these multi-purpose applications, how can anyone be offended when you use the word. We say use this unique, flexible word more often in your daily speech.
It will identify the quality of your character immediately.
Say it loudly and proudly...

Tina Fey Is My Hero



I think I just peed a little bit.