RBOC

  • Whoever is doing these special requests at daycare for things like “funny hat day” or “funny socks day” etc.  needs to stop.  Seriously.  And daycare, what is up with saying, “we have a special request for funny hat day so wear funny hats tomorrow”  TOMORROW?  We are working parents.  Our children go to daycare so we can WORK.  Not spending time finding or creating a funny hat.
  • DC2 has two rocket shirts.  One is red and one is blue.  Ze says, “One rocket, two rocket, red rocket, blue rocket.”  DH notes, “this one has a little star.”  My family is adorable.
  • DH recently did a road trip and saw lots of doughnut shops and churches next to each other.  He said they should be combined so they could have The Church of the Hol(e)y Doughnut.  I didn’t have anything to say in response to that.
  • I gave up on writing my NSF grant like an NSF grant and just wrote it like an NIH grant.  (I may not have used the words, “specific aims” but they were there, oh, they were there.)  That made it much easier.  The weird thing is that before I started writing NIH grants, getting into that specific aims mindset was really hard.  Now I apparently can’t write a grant without them.  I hope it’s ok– I’ve never sat on an NSF panel, but the funded NSF grant examples I have from colleagues don’t have specific aims.  [Update:  didn’t get it in to the deadline because of mess-ups.  We decided to collect some pilot data and aim for the next deadline.  At least it’s almost finished.]
  • I love my husband because when he called to ask if the plumber was coming, he asked for “him or her” without a thought.  (Similar props to David Laibson using “her” in his generic examples during talks, though my love for him is purely academic.)
  • I have now hit the point in my career in which editors send me personal emails asking if I’m willing to do a referee report and apologizing rather than sending them and assuming I’ll be happy about it.  I still got three new referee reports this week… not sure if it’s better or worse with the personal request.  Certainly harder to decline.
  • I had above average publication/service/teaching but got a below average merit raise this past year.  On the one hand, it’s nice getting a raise, but on the other hand, wtf?  This doesn’t even match inflation!
Posted in Uncategorized. Tags: . 55 Comments »

55 Responses to “RBOC”

  1. gwinne Says:

    Yes, especially to the first and the last!!!

  2. becca Says:

    +1 to first bullet. even “wear your pajamas day”. Which *sounds* so much like less work, but *remembering* it never made it so. Plus, babies should be in onesies night and day, and they get changed when they get a yuck on them (which is always more than twice a day anyway), so what do pjs even mean? I would support “make a funny hat at school day”.
    Your family is totes adorable.

  3. Liz Says:

    On “him or her”: it was strange to hear a (white, male) professor use the term “her” to qualify “king,” as I assumed that the terms king and queen are gendered intentionally, and the term to describe a female head of state should be “queen.”

    I tend to alternate gendered qualifiers for generic examples spoken out loud, rather than use “him or her.” “Him or her” if it is in formal writing.

  4. hollyatclubthrifty Says:

    My kid’s daycare does that sometimes. One day was tie-dye T-shirt day and my husband forgot to tell me until the day before. So I had to go find white t-shirts in their sizes at the last minute with two crying kids. Good times!

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      I have been in that situation before (not DH’s fault, I think), but with only one kid, BUT they were sold out of t-shirts in hir size at Target and I ended up getting a mostly-white more expensive shirt. And then in the end they used an extra shirt they had at daycare anyway!

      Thankfully for DC1’s current school they ask for a pack of t-shirts for tie-dying with the school supplies at the beginning of the year so it’s not a surprise.

    • Rosa Says:

      when I used to work at the kids department of the one department store in a smallish town we were always getting that type of emergency shoppers. Worst is “child has a performance and we must have a certain color shirt by tomorrow” when the one store in town doesn’t have it.

  5. Comradde PhysioProffe Says:

    You are obviously a terrible parent if you don’t keep a collection of funny hats in stock and ready to go.

  6. xykademiqz Says:

    My younger two have been going to a daycare that is full-time enrollment only, so it’s really all working parents. I love it! First, there’s something heartwarming when you see the same frazzled faces, resembling your own, every day at drop off and pickup because they have the exact same crazy schedule as you. Secondly, there is a marked difference in this type of funny-hat BS with respect to the daycare centers where my eldest went, where a number of kids were dropped off for 2 hrs/day enrichment but actually had a stay-at-home parent.

    Re NSF proposals — I don’t have specific aims, but I definitely have tasks in mine. 3-5 tasks is optimal, and they are thus probably smaller than an NIH specific aim, but the idea is the same near as I can tell — the tasks are reasonably independent but interrelated, within the same big theme umbrella.

  7. bogart Says:

    I know of a church that runs a coffee shop, called “Holy Grounds.”

      • Contingent Cassandra Says:

        I think there are several of those (which doesn’t make it any less cool).

        It was now several decades ago, but older members of my church still recall the day we celebrated communion with donuts, because there was a mix-up about who was going to make the communion bread, and the selection of breadstuffs available to be bought in near proximity to the church on Sunday morning was limited (the area was suburban-recently-emerged-from rural at the time, and I think there may have still been blue laws in force as well).

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        HAHAHAHA! AWESOME. I will have to tell DH.

  8. Tragic Sandwich Says:

    Recently we had “Wear a shirt from your favorite sports team this Friday.” We got the email on Monday night. Baguette has had a few team shirts in the past, but she’s outgrown them. There was not enough time to order something (even with Amazon Prime, there was nothing in a price range I considered reasonable) Mr. Sandwich and I both work at a major university, but the typical course of our days doesn’t permit mid-day shopping at the student store, because, you know, WORK. But since I actually had a meeting on campus (I work off-campus), and it was actually near the store, I was able to get her a shirt so that she didn’t feel left out. Not that I’d know if she did, mind you, but still.

    What I neglected to factor in is that at least half of the parents at her day care seem to have had it up to here with the director. When I dropped Baguette off, there were about eight other children in the room. Only she and the teacher were wearing team shirts.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      They send pictures for things like “muffins with mom” or “doughnuts with dad” and it’s always fewer than half the parents there. I always tell myself that if one of us showed up, we might make the other parents who couldn’t show up feel guilty since we might tip it over half!

      They didn’t send any pictures from “funny hat day” which makes me suspect that there weren’t a whole lot of funny hats. Usually the preschool teachers have extras of whatever it is so kids don’t feel left out, but they can’t do that if they don’t get any advance notice.

      • Tragic Sandwich Says:

        They do those things at Baguette’s school, too. I never can make Muffins with Mommy, because (a) I work, and (b) she would get way too upset if I was there for that and then left. Bestie’s mom has always been awesome about subbing for me.

        This year, they scheduled Doughnuts with Daddy for the end of the day, because–they just figured this out–the kids get upset if their dads leave.

  9. Kellen Says:

    What is the educational/enrichment benefit of funny hat day or favorite sports teams day? Are they succeeding so well on regular kid activities that they just have to make up new ones that require the children to own certain types of clothing? (I also feel annoyed when people throw “80’s parties,” even though that doesn’t seem like a big deal to find clothes for, I really only keep clothes in my wardrobe that I would wear on a regular basis, and not anything that would pass for 80’s-fashion.)

  10. nicoleandmaggie Says:

    ARGH! Just got an email from daycare:
    Now that the school year has started and DC2 is in the toddler room instead of the baby room, every Wednesday is “show and tell” and the child is asked to bring in something to show and tell. HOWEVER, you are not allowed to bring in toys for Show and tell, and instead must bring in “something with educational value,” except for the FOURTH Wednesday of every month which is reserved for toys. COME ON. I barely remember to pay my first of the month bills. There’s no way I’m going to remember the “fourth Wednesday” of every month. They’re just lucky I pay them the first week of every month. (And how are toys not educational for a 2 year old?)

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Don’t do itte! That’s ridonkulous.

    • Steph Says:

      there’s show and tell in preschool/daycare? We had it sometimes in Kindergarten and 1st grade, but I don’t remember having it at all before that. Also, those are silly rules.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        In our previous preschool it happened in the 3-6 year room and without any limitations and DC1 loved it. I’m not exactly sure what it looks like in a 2 year old room. (DH and I were discussing… how about an eraser? An eraser is not a toy, and maybe it’s educational… we can see it now. DC1, “MY ‘RASER. No. WALK AWAY. MY ‘racer. NOT your racer.” And then the biting.)

    • Cloud Says:

      We have share day at day care. The kids love it. There were no restrictions on what they could bring, though.

      Our solution for the random special days and “send X” in requests has been a calendar on the fridge, where we write what has to happen on each day. That way my husband and I can both be responsible for remembering. Also, my kids are now old enough to help us remember.

      That said, I just bought a San Diego Charger shirt for the 7 year old, because her school has “Charger spirit days” which is probably the one that annoys me the most since no one in my family gives a flying rat’s ass about football. But she doesn’t want to be left out, and so we buy a Charger’s shirt every year.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        I don’t think DC2 owns anything “of educational value” that isn’t a toy. Just trying to think something up that fits those categories (since DC2 is just recently turned 2 and doesn’t know what “of educational value” and “not a toy” means, since to hir everything is a toy of educational value, of course in this context we don’t know what that means either…) is taking too much of my mental bandwidth.

        DC1 has hir own checklists, which makes life a lot easier for us!

    • becca Says:

      Send an email with the subject : “Fourth Wednesday on Odd Days in August is disgruntled parent email day” that says “All of *OUR* toys have educational value, and I question the research base of your pedagogy that you would even hint otherwise. Also: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/119/1/182.full“.

      Things Montessori schools think 2 year olds find educational: 1) Color wheels with corresponding color pegs that match 2) extremely pretty decorative socks that have matches 3) silverware WITH the ridiculous little Chinese made silverware organization rack that goes in the drawer 4) jumbo beads on strings 5) a “sensory tub” containing pom poms, feathers, felt, foam, string, yarn 6) a specially designed set of fabrics on blocks that enable one to practice buttoning, snapping, tying and zippering 7) a specially designed set of keys with locks

      Things 2 year olds find educational (all the stuff on the list above, but even more so): 1) markers 2) their own feet, other’s feet, any feet they can apply markers to 3) poking people with forks, throwing spoons 4) dumping small objects of any description/noise makers 5) a sponge 6) a shoe with laces to mess up 7) Mom’s keys, particularly car keys with panic buttons

      This really gets to the core of why I’ve always found Montessori to be a bit silly. They are good people, who have good ideas about the basic desires of children to learn, but they get a little hung up on the material supplies.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        Our previous montessori was different… I don’t think they can all be painted with the same brush.

        What is actually going to happen is I’m going to ask for clarification from the teachers (not the assistant director) about what kinds of stuff they’re looking for.

  11. Cardinal Says:

    Seriously, just ignore all such requests. Our daycare (university-affiliated) was very low-key with these things but I found kindergarten way more annoying. But it’s only now at age 6 that my kids even notice or care what special day it is. As for show-and-tell, what are the teachers going to do if your toddler brings in a favourite stuffed frog every week for show and tell? Or ninja turtle/plastic tiara/batman cape/ whatever. There’s no consequence for breaking that “rule”.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      The nasty assistant director will send us nasty notes home! (She doesn’t send nasty notes home for not participating but “breaking the rules” results in irritating passive-aggressive emails. We may have noticed teachers rolling their eyes at her back, and occasionally they apologize for her emails even though it’s not their faults. She comes in and “checks on things” like a police officer. She reminds me of the head of IT in our department.)

      • Cardinal Says:

        That is seriously annoying. Some days I would decide to tolerate the nasty e-mail and other days I suppose I would choose to play along. Coincidentally, just last night I got home and learned that today is tie-dye day at Nature Camp. Fortunately, the t-shirts from last week’s Science Camp are white and are ripe for tie-dying.

      • Kellen Says:

        You’re paying these people right? I would just say what you’ve told us–you pay for your kid to go to day care so you can work, not so you can have extra work. You do your own enrichment activities at home, but you would feel that the classroom activities are requiring excessive participation on your part.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        Or we can just not participate (along with 60% of the parents), which is easier and doesn’t generate ill-will.

  12. Astra Says:

    Specific aims is fine but for goodness’ sake don’t forget the broader impacts.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      You’re not allowed to. There’s a box and everything.

      • Astra Says:

        Yes, but it’s supposed to be 50% of the evaluation and I don’t think it was really treated that way until recently. You still see a lot of proposals from old-timers whose broader impacts are a) I will generate all this great data for the community (non-compliant) and b) I will mentor some random student or other. I was recently on a panel where it specifically stated that if you were proposing to build an instrument you had to have student involvement and still got proposals that completely blew that off.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        We definitely have student involvement! And we hit some of the broader goals of the NSF itself.

  13. Sandyl FirstgenAmerican Says:

    As long as we’re talking about annoying daycare activities, I hate the lame and poorly executed fundraising activities. Like doing a mother’s day dance…where they charge a $20 entrance fee and then withhold the homemade card your kid made and only give it out at the dance so your kid doesn’t have anything to give you on mother’s day …or an art show where you have to pay for your kid’s art. and your kid walks you over to the donation box and says ‘will you buy my stuff? is it good enough to pay for?

    Seriously, I’ll just write a check Don’t suck my kid into soliciting money out of me for your benefit. That’s just lame. Once he knew he was being used, he didn’t feel the peer pressure to do/go to these things anymore which was good.

    My son likes his pre-school show and tell days and we always have some random thing lying around that he can bring (shark teeth, chicken eggs, etc).

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Wow, those are pretty awful fundraisers.

      I’m not sure a just turned 2 year old could handle bringing shark teeth or chicken eggs (especially one who still sticks things in hir mouth on occasion). DH says that the daycare is plastered with “Don’t bring toys to school” flyers on every door. Except, isn’t tomorrow the fourth Wednesday of the month, meaning toys are ok? I feel like we’re getting mixed signals here. DH is of the opinion we shouldn’t have hir bring anything.

  14. MutantSupermodel Says:

    Our school does the silly themed things but we keep it down to a minimum. There is one dress down day a month and we keep the wacky things to special events like red ribbon week or Christmas. We know with enough time I think. But that might be because I’m part of the homeroom parents association so these things are drilled into my brain.


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