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In case you were wondering...

Why exactly would April, of sound body and mind, willingly enroll in yet another degree program? A PhD one no less? Is she masochistic or something? Well, at this point, I would say it is somewhat of a compulsion. Case and point: So, I was watching this documentary last night. Yes, I watch documentaries for fun - and entertainment - and fun. I especially like documentaries about food/diet/exercise etc, which is what I would like to focus on in school. The documentary was a critique of yet another documentary that I watched and enjoyed: "Supersize Me." Entitled "Fat Head," this documentary attempted to refute the idea that elimination of fast food is the major contributor to the so-called obesity epidemic. I was actually really hesitant about the accuracy of this film based on the description, but nontheless intrigued. The documentary followed a man that committed to eating nothing but fast food to lose weight, and, surprisingly, by the end he did actually lose about 12 pounds. Additionally, his overall health, as measured by blood tests, actually improved. Although the documentarian seemed to oversimplify the obesity epidemic in the beginning of the movie, the rest of the film actually had a lot of interesting scientific data refuting the Lipid hypothesis, which is basically the idea that saturated fats increase cholesterol, and that cholesterol causes heart disease. Evolutionarily, the lipid hypothesis makes absolutely no sense (in my opinion) since human beings really do need a LOT of animal fats (and consequently saturated fats) to develop and maintain the brain. Then again, early man also did not live particularly long past the age of 40 on average (average is very important, because it indicates there were people who lived past the age of 40: Heck, even neandertals took care of their elders!), so there is little archaeological evidence about heart disease earlier than 10,000 years ago. To make a long story short, I was really floored by this documentary, which seemed to give a biological backing to many of the things I learned during my MA about nutrition and diet (which has mainly led me to the philosophy that the more natural something is, the better it is for you, unless its natural state is poisonous (duh!). No margarine in our house!) Of course, no documentary is without its pitfalls, so I was really eager today to figure out if the science-y stuff that was discussed in the movie was actually fact, or hocus pocus. So far, I haven't really found any articles that refute the scientific claims in the movie, though I've mainly looked over the bad reviews on Amazon and IMDB, which, as well all know, are known for their science-based peer critique! Anyways, I have found an article about cholesterol from nbc that seems to corroborate the movie:
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And it is generally a good sign when you type in google "Lipid Hypothesis" and this is what it looks like:


I need to start using some of my new UGA resources to look up academic journals -- Possibly a future paper? Well, maybe.....

And now you know why I'm going to get my PhD ---zomg this stuff is SOOOO interesting! Now if only I could get to reading some of my theory books....


Tonight's goals:
- grade any paperwork that needs to be graded (easy!)
- start working on the first exam and study guide (not so easy, but doable!)

- work on questions for the video I'll be showing
- continue to work on study guide and test

I have a lot to do, but I do think my anxiety is getting a little better -- now I just have to figure out what I want to do with my life -- easier said than done!


my nerves are much better...

So, this is day two for teaching, and I'm feeling much less nervous. I knew that there would be a strong contrast between my work-life here and at AT&T -- mostly that no one really bothers me with much and they let me decide what is best, instead of the exact opposite of what I just said. As for lecturing, the only things I really need to work on are my nerves, and speaking louder and slower. Which is not too bad. Oh, and I need to have more material to talk about, though since week 1 is usually just intro stuff, this shouldn't be much of a problem once we get into the meat-and-bones of the class. Next class I talk about archaeological methods/ethics and the human skeleton, so that will surely take up the entire class because 1 class on the human skeleton seems rather insane to me. Then we dive into evolution and genetics-- also, courses I have take semesters on, so more than enough info to spread around!


Amazingly calm

I am amazingly calm for starting my first gig teaching tomorrow! Though, since I cannot log into the system yet, the plan is mostly to just go over the syllabus...yay!


Today's Agenda

1. Finish going through Graduate programs and possibly decide where to apply.
2. Finish up the first lecture and syllabus (mostly, until I have more info). Start on second lecture
3. Laundry -- It's gotta get done before I start "working" again.
4. Pay bills - oh fun.
5. Relax a bit - Can't work all the time, right? :-)


I've been thinking about this all month, so here we go:
1. Career: No more retail -- this has seriously got to change. I will NOT have a job at AT&T by the end of 2012. I will apply to at least 3 jobs per week until said job is obtained. Managed to keep this resolution last week, gotta work on it for this week. Also, I will definitely get in contact with some folks that I know can help me with fixing up my resume, writing a better teaching philosophy letter, etc. Networking.. gotta love it!
2. Home: Downsizing my life - this means finishing up my crafting projects that I've been working on for years and reducing the number of crafts that I focus on in general-- No more scrapbooking or cross-stitch (since i never work on these anyways), much more knitting (clothes!--finally) and sewing. I would like to have a lot more focus in my life, so gaming may also be reduced greatly (with the new puppy, it already is-- he requires a lot of attention). I already created a crafting blog to keep me focused on this goal, will link when there's something more interesting to see ;-).
3. Finances: Switch to LG credit union (under way as we speak.. just waiting on them and the direct deposit change to go through) and bring my lunch to work at least 3 times a week.. this will save me theoretically a lot of $$. Also, get our little home ready for selling (at an undetermined future date) --- this will be a worthy investment. (nothing crazy, just fill in holes in wall, plant some hedges outside, maybe paint a few walls a more beige tone, etc -- inexpensive things that will be good for selling the home).
4. Diet: more water, less refined carbs, much less sugar -- also, try to walk the dog more. I've been trying to wake up at around 7am to take the puppy out walking, but thus far haven't succeeded... I need to go to bed earlier ;-).

That's it in a nutshell! LOTS of things to do!

Inspired to create!

SOoo.. this year for halloween, I was looking through the numerous generic costumes that there are to choose from since (yes!) I will actually have something to do this halloween, so a costume is a must! None of the costumes, besides the pretty awesome Sucker Punch! costumes, really struck my fancy, but when I really thought about what I wanted, I got really, really excited. So, this year, I'm going to work on making my first cosplay-esque costume (which, in case David and I happen to purchase tickets for Dragon*con next year, this will definitely come in handy). Only a select few will probably know who this is, but here's my idea (squee!!):

This is Codex, from the webseries "The Guild", who is played by Felicia Day (from Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along, Buffy, etc, etc). "The Guild" is a webseries about a group of mmorpg players that meet up IRL (in real life). The last season was pretty awesome because the series featured literally TONS of celebrities from the sci-fi genera (Kevin Sorbo, Stan Lee, basically half the cast of Battlestar Galatica). Here's a link to the website:

I really like the series because, as an mmorpg player for several years now, it really pokes fun at the stereotypes of people that play games like this-- and it's just plain funny :-)

In regards to costume making, I'll probably put up some more stuff about how I decided to make all this. Right now, I've already bought a Simplicity pattern (on sale for $1, yeah!) for the corset, and I"ll probably just "wing" the rest of the outfit. I have red corduroy for the corset, white satin and a sheer overlay for the dress and top. I need to get something to make the leg wraps and to cover my shoes (I have a pair of really, really old navy shoes that would work, but they gotta be brown right?) I'll need to buy some craft foam for the shoulders and maybe the gauntlets, hmmm.

I'm pretty excited! (I have to be, its going to be a lot of work!)


Interesting article...

The mandible appears to be more square-shaped and robust compared to modern human mandibles to me, but that may be within the realm of normal human variation. Hmmm....

Writer's Block: Extraordinary Inspirations

What inspires you in life? What makes you want to reach for the stars and do something truly extraordinary?

The extraordinary people in my life, of course! All of my family members have had to work hard for what they want, with often times little choice in what they had to do to get what they needed done. Luckily for me, I have more options than they did when they were young, and was able to go to college and really find out what interests me. The people that I work with at school are also  a great source of inspiration, considering my field is all about people, studying, understanding, and helping people is a great motivator for those students and teachers that I work with. I've met many, many extraordinary people in my lifetime, and I plan to keep reaching for the stars until I've gotten where I want to be!

Summer fun...

Now that my 3rd semester is over and done with, I have a laundry list of things to do for both wedding and school (and part-time work?).

Yesterday, I went with my mom to pretty much every store looking for a dress for her for the wedding. We finally found something awesome at David's bridal which looks great on her. Its a long, dark purple dress, which doesn't match perfectly, but that's the way I like it :-). We also spent an hour or so at the MAC store having someone show me how to put on professional makeup for the wedding, and yes, I spent  a LOT of money there, but considering how good it looked (and how much it would have cost to have someone do it on the day of) its definitely worth it! 

Now, I have to work on a LOT of things this week:
1. Finish up Katherine's orange blanket (Her b-day is May 22, so that's the deadline even though this was suppose to be her CHRISTMAS gift lol)
2. Shopping with Laurie for her bridesmaid shoes.
3. Meeting with Dr. Turner to discuss PhD options.
4. Updating RSVPs and starting on Thank You Notes
5. Finding a nice pair of undies for the  wedding  (I don't care WHAT David says, its NOT appropriate to wear old cotton underwear with a freakin wedding dress!)
6. Buy a garter
7. Help mom and Katherine buy shoes for said wedding
8. Make sure everyone whose getting a tux has given them their measurements (NICK!! I"M COMING FOR YOUUUU!)
9. Start studying for the GRE --- hey, setting up a date to take that would be a good idea too...ugh
10. Convert comps to thesis format and edit!
11. Find a hotel for my DC/UTENN trip in August
12. Find a swimsuit for the honeymoon..ugh!

and that's just what I can think of... oh, and I have to get ready for my next semester of school. I'm taking Public Archaeology and Religion and Sexuality (I had to take another class to get funding, so I thought I'd take the one that 1. sounded most interesting, 2. fit PERFECTLY with my schedule so i only have to go to school two days a week, 3. Had someone I knew already in it (Yay, Lauren!))
So much to do, and I know this summer is definitely not going to be long enough!

Fall is going to be awesome.. and I mean AWESOME.. because I am TAing for Forensic Anthropology....AWESOME!