Scary Outfit

I don’t have a Facebook account, so this blog is my way of sharing photos and news with people I know. I apologize to those who have no interest in this specific story and these photos.

Here is the teacherly outfit I bought recently that scared N. half to death with its severity:


I totally dig the outfit and don’t mind it being scary because I’m a teacher. I’m supposed to terrify for a living.

Here is another view where you can see the neck-line and the pearls:

The posture in the 2nd photo is as typically Ukrainian as anything.


What Would People Not Do for Money?


A store in Germany started a promotional action where people can get a full set of clothing for free if they march into the store completely naked.

It’s always very sad to see people who would debase themselves for a small amount of money.

Can you get any more pathetic than these folks? Well, at least I’m glad that these aren’t my fellow Russian speakers making fools of themselves for money this time.

I Will Never Get Used to Living Here

This is the new decor at our university restaurant. Please note the styrofoam soup bowls and the weird receptacles for iced tea. In my country, we use such receptacles to give urine samples at the hospital.

Have you ever had a chance to drink from these glass jars? Is this some sort of a Southern tradition?

At the restaurant, I also encountered a strange food item called “hush puppies”. I hope it is named in the tradition of buffalo wings and doesn’t contain actual puppies. But to be on the safe side, I didn’t try these hush puppies.

The Worst Job Letter Ever

The worst job letter ever written:

My commitment to higher education extends to my service activities. I am very active in XXXXX National Organization, currently serving on its XXXXX and XXXXX Committees and as the elected XXXXX Representative for [Public Research University], where it is my job to encourage student involvement in the organization. I also served as the student representative to my department’s XXXXX and XXXXX
Committees and to the College of XXXXX’s XXXXX Committee. My service activities cover commitments as serious as my appointment to XXXXX National Organization’s XXXXX Committee and as fun as organizing and leading the XXXXX activity and hosting XXXXX at last year’s XXXXX Meeting.

[This long para on service is the last nail in the coffin of this candidate’s identity as insecure, overly humble, and excessively eager to serve.  Service does not get anyone a job.  National level service can be given one sentence and no more; campus level service none.  This much on service raises a major red flag that the candidate will be one of those young female hires who can’t say no, expends herself on service, doesn’t get publishing done, and gets turned down at tenure.   “as serious as…. as fun as….” is utterly inappropriate for a job letter, and juvenilizes and genders the candidate as a frivolous female.]

Of course, my job letter was about 1500 times worse, but this one is bad, too. The embarrassment I still experience over my job letter is intense. And it has been over 3 years since I used it. Why is it that one only understands why some letters suck after serving on a hiring committee and not while one desperately needs this knowledge?

Conference Couple

N. and I are both going to professional conferences on the same dates (November 7-10). I’m going to Michigan and he is traveling to San Francisco.

I love the idea of being this professional couple who goes to scholarly conferences at the same time. It is also really great that N.’s company encourages him to continue his research, go to conferences, and publish. People who leave the academia for the industry in his field almost always discover that their research activities end forever.

When I told this to my mother, she reminded me of this great song from the times of the Civil War. It goes something like the following:

He got to orders to march to the West

And she had to leave for the East

The young Communists were leaving

To fight in the Civil War.

“We are leaving each other for a long time,

So wish me something good, sweetheart.”

And the sweetheart responded,

“I wish you with all my heart

That if you encounter death,

It should be fast.

And if you get a wound,

That it should be light.”

Here is the song: