Saturday, May 3, 2008

Modern Physics Caturday

Quantum LOLcat from I Can Has Cheezburger?

I've got a bit of uncertainty in my life lately. It's partly related to the health of people I love - routine post-illness checkups that will probably provide reassurance in the end, but only after they raise everyone's anxiety through the roof. That's all I have to say about it because I feel like blogging about it could invade their privacy and maybe jinx them, too. (I'm superstitious that way.)

The other uncertainty is professional. I've applied for a job at my university that would be a notch up from my current marginal status. It's not a tenure-track position, but it'd be full time and it would include health insurance, which I'm not currently eligible even to purchase through my employer. I teach women's studies and I depend on my husband's health plan, by necessity, not choice. At least two deans have been untroubled by the irony of this, if indeed they notice it at all. Maybe being blind to irony is a job requirement for upper-level higher ed administrators.

Trouble is, there are at least three internal candidates, including me. We've all been slogging along without any real security, and we'd all be wonderful.

I'll be happy if any of us gets the job, since that would demonstrate a commitment to eventually doing right by all of us (budget permitting, of course). If an outside candidate gets the nod, I'll be deeply disappointed unless she's clearly better than the rest of us. Sometimes there's a "grass is greener" effect that weighs against the known knowns. Also a "get the milk for (nearly) free" effect, since we're all captive spouses (so to speak) who will likely soldier on in our current positions no matter what. Everyone on the search committee knows us all well, and I have a lot of sympathy for the impossible choice they'll have to make.

Anyway, there's been a recent spate of physics humor at I Can Has Cheezburger, and even though I'm no physics whiz, these LOLcats seemed to capture something true about my life right now.

Fractal LOLcats from I Can Has Cheezburger?


Sugarmag said...

Hi Sungold, Good luck!

Sungold said...

Thanks, Sugar Mag! I know I'll be okay no matter what. But it's wonderful to have people pulling for me.

J.B. Kochanie said...


I hope all is well with you and your family.

Or as well as can be expected when dealing with the situation which you described:

I teach women's studies and I depend on my husband's health plan, by necessity, not choice. At least two deans have been untroubled by the irony of this, if indeed they notice it at all.

Even if the aforementioned deans were women, they probably supported this example of male privilege with responses such as, "This is simply the reality of the marketplace caused by the exorbitant cost of healthcare."

The term captive spouse made me wince, but it is all too true.

Hang in there.

Sungold said...

Thanks so much for the kind words, Kochanie. Yes, one of those deans was a woman, as is our current provost. You totally nailed how they justify the status quo. There's also the utter dismissal of the idea that male privilege is a factor here; they can (and do) say that it's merely a matter of job classifications.

As for the health worries: we got one bit of good news yesterday. So thanks - the well wishes seems to be working. Oh, I'm pathetically superstitious, aren't I?

SunflowerP said...

Thirding the well-wishing on both the health and employment fronts. And, yeah, the downside of having privilege is that it can interfere with one's ability to recognize irony - at least, I consider that a downside; if it weren't for my sense of irony, my sense of humor would be a much smaller thing.

Speaking of irony, I very much enjoy your choices of LOLcats (not just for this post, though they're especially entertaining, but in general) - I prefer my LOLcat intake to be like my chocolate intake, small but regular doses of very high quality. You supply it well.


Sungold said...

Thanks so much, Sunflower. Half of the health news is now in, and it's reassuring.

As for the job, I just heard today that I'll get an interview. Yay! Of course now I'm half-petrified with nervousness.

My philosophy of chocolate is just like yours. And the darker, the better.