Happy Halloween! Today Dan and I went for our Sunday hike to the Palisades along the Kentucky River. It was beautiful as these photos tell. The 2.6 mile hike was a gradual decline for the first half down to the river bottom, but then a steep mile hike straight up 200 feet in elevation coming back. The views were beautiful, both from the bottom of the river and the top of the bluff. We even found a cave entrance covered over with a lattice of logs to keep people out. Now I need to spend the rest of the day:
1) making pumpkin pie and chicken stew for dinner
2) cleaning up all the stuff from yesterday's Middle School Mania
3) getting prepared for a neighborhood full of trick-or-treaters

This month has been an enjoyable break from teaching BUT I have worked every Saturday on the research project I'm doing with those very active and talkative boys, every week preparing for said Saturday, and countless hours recording data and charging cameras and worrying about managing 30 mentor volunteers and 50 adolescent boys. The results do not look good at this point. It does not appear that all this work has resulted in any learning or attitude changes. I will have to analyze the video next, and then consider conducting individual interviews, but I'm feeling very deflated right now about how this project went. Where did my month go? On a positive note, my article in the November issue of Science Scope is now in print, and I received the publisher's proof for my article that is going to be published in the International Journal of Science Eduction. Academia is a strange beast. Grant writing, IRBs, writing up research, conducting research, reviewing for journals and conferences, attending conferences and giving papers, attending meetings, serving on committees and boards, oh, and teaching. Can't forget teaching. And on all this hard work I get evaluated each January.

Sometimes I wonder where my life went.



I was up at school today getting ready for MORE fun with middle school boys when I found out our new department headquarters has furniture! CJ and I went to check it out- beautiful furniture, beautiful walls, just missing some artwork and people and their stuff. It will be SO nice to have the rest of my colleagues around the corner instead of in another building. And will I start getting my mail here? That would be so nice. I hope it all works out. Mags is going to have a hard time fitting all her stuff in her new office! And what will Miss March do with her fluffy carpet and white chairs? Ah, decisions I will not have to make. But I would like to contribute a painting. Something science and mathish.



It has been a nice week so far. No classes, just a few meetings, no observations out in schools, and a day at home today to write and prepare for Saturday's 50-middle-school-boys extravaganza. So I even had time to go to the grocery store with Dan. All was well until we got to the frozen food section and guess what was on sale??? So, he picked out TWO! Either he wants me to gain back the 10 pounds I've lost or he wants to torture me. Or he's addicted too. Hmmm....
Plus, look at all that candy and chips. What is the man thinking?


The most addictive food I have ever had. I polished it off today to stop it from calling my name from the freezer.






Dan and I went for a 4 mile hike today at Raven's Run. The views of the Kentucky River were really wonderful. After the hike we came home, showered, and went to a pumpkin carving party next door. After that we went out to dinner at Olive Garden to get waited on by Aza. Here's a photo of her waiting on a table!



Second Saturday working with 50 middle school boys on Save the Penguins. It went much better today and I could tell by my level of exhaustion afterwards. Here are the houses they designed this week.



My shoulder has been hurting for over a month now. Last week I had an MRI on it but still no results. Here is one of the many images they took. It interferes with my work, puts me in a bad mood, and just cramps my day. I'm so tired of it hurting. I wish the doctor would call me with the results.





After working for two days straight without a break, Dan lured me off into the woods for a strenuous 3 mile hike. We went to the top of Pilot Knob the round-about way. Man, am I ever out of shape. The view was stunning and I want to hike it again each season to see the changes in the scenery. The forest life was really interesting, as were the rocks and outcroppings.


Today was one of the hardest days this year. I had 33 middle school boys and 18 college student mentors to put together at a church facility for the beginning of a research study. Things did not go as planned, and I ended up with a major migraine, but in reviewing the data from the day it looks like it was something of a success. We do this again for two more Saturdays. Oh boy. Oh BOYS. There may be 50 of them this coming Saturday!


My nephew dyed his hair blue. And his hands. He tried to get Aza to do it for him but she refused. Then I refused. He didn't want Squirt doing it, and I told him his parents did not want him to either, but he did it himself anyway. He's been staying with us for three weeks now and goes home in a few days.



There is just so much grading to do. I sit in this chair with piles of papers and journals to grade and never seem to get done. As soon as I turn one stack of papers back, some other class gives me another stack to grade. It's overwhelming. I stayed up till almost 1am tonight grading and have class tomorrow morning.


Waited around for an hour to finally hear Bill Clinton speak today across the street from my office. Had to leave as soon as he started to go teach a class.If you look really really closely you can see his head.


So. Burnt dinner. Well, it all started with two boys making bratwurst on the grill every night for a week. That led to a build-up of grease in the gas grill. So tonight I prepared chicken and vegetables and put them on the grill and a minute later went out to check on things--- the whole gas grill was in flames. I shut off the gas, pulled it away from the house, and then Dan came outside with the fire extinguisher and sprayed it until the fire went out. Needless to say, we went out to dinner tonight. Sav's Grill!



Evidence of nephew visiting. OK, we have to do something about this! Dan needs his office back. We have to create a room for my nephew. But where? Am I going to have to give up my art loft in order for him to have a separate bedroom? Hmmm....




Our nephew is visiting and we took him downtown today to check out the events for the World Equestrian Games. There was a terrible singer on stage, and all the eating spots were closing down. It was very cold and windy and not very much fun. We had dinner at 3rd Street Cafe which I always enjoy. Best lattes in town!


Tonight we were invited down the street to our neighborhood's annual pot luck dinner. There must have been 30 adults and15 children there even though it was very cold and somewhat rainy. Aza came with us for a while but eventually got too cold and went home. Here you see Dan and our neighbor playing with some of the kids. Can you tell what they are doing? Also you can see from the way the plants in the foreground look that we have had a terrible drought for several months.

I had another massage on my shoulder today and it's not getting better.