Archive for the ‘news’ Category

Heartbroken

I’m still shocked and heartbroken about yesterday’s events in Connecticut. I just weep for those children who were so scared, for the families who lost young innocent children – either to the gunman or because they had to witness something so frightening – and for the entire community who will never live life the same way again.
I think about the parents who had to go home last night to half-opened advent calendars, to Christmas presents unopened, to the cereal bowl left on the counter, to the toys left on the floor in the living room. How can they move anything, change anything, and get on with their lives?
It’s unimaginable, what those families are going through. It was a senseless act that will terrorize hundreds or thousands of people for the rest of their lives. I feel like I can hear the screams of the children and the sobbing of the friends and families every time I think about it. I just don’t understand how our world can be so horrible.
I feel strange about going back to normal life – like it’s minimizing the tragedy and the grief of the families. No wonder we all put our heads in the sand when something like this happens. We can’t internalize the grief of everything bad in the world, or we would just be paralyzed.
One thing I’ll be doing is sending a sympathy card to the school. It may sound trite, but I figure the least I can do is let them know I’m thinking of them, as millions of us are. I urge you to do the same.
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Safe (For Now)

A few weeks back, I wrote about how my job may be in jeopardy because of federal budget cuts in Canada. A couple days after that, we heard through the grapevine that our grant was not going to be paid out for its final year (we still haven’t received an official letter, to which they are contractually obligated to provide – but that whole side of things will be the subject of a future post).
My bosses assured me that they would do all they could to keep me on board and, in the meantime, they would be able to guarantee me a job until the end of the summer in some capacity. They lobbied various uppers at the university for weeks, but I also began to look at job postings and put together a couple applications for teaching positions. 
Finally, after weeks of living in the unknown, we got word from the Faculty of Science that they are willing to pay my salary through the end of the contract we had with the CSA (March 31, 2013). My role may change slightly, and it still leaves us with the problem of finding funding for after that date, but I’m happy to still have the job I love and it gives us time to seek out other funding options.

Grant Success!!

We got news yesterday that a grant that my supervisor and I applied for got funded!!

The money will be used for a new outreach initiative that we came up with last summer. It will include developing new workshops and creating a web-based activity for grade 6, 9, and 12 students (primarily, as those are the grades where space science is part of the curriculum).

I’m so excited! This is the first grant application that I’ve submitted that has been successful. Plus, the group had applied for this grant twice in the past, but hasn’t been successful until now. That makes me feel like I’ve been making an important contribution to the program.

Question, though: only my supervisor’s name is on the grant. Can I still put it on my CV?

Finally – Job Post!

I’ve mentioned it a few times in the past few months, but things are finally close enough to being finalized* that I can talk about my new job!!

I will be working as the coordinator for a space science education and outreach program at the university! I am so very excited!

Mostly, I will be in charge of developing activities and workshops to take into primary and secondary school classrooms. There will be a team of graduate TAs that will be doing most of the outreach, so my role will be more on the development, organizational, and promotional side of things. However, I’m sure I’ll get out into the classrooms at least a few times a year. I’ll also get to run workshops for teachers, and attend conferences to get the word out about our programs.

I start June 1st! I’ll work from mostly from home in June. In July, Evan will start daycare (sigh) part-time and work his way up to being full-time by August 1st. At that point, we can decide how much I’ll be working at the office and how much I can work from home.

It’s an exciting time to become a part of this program, as it has been in existence for a couple of years but is now starting to grow quickly. I really think it will be a lot of fun, but will also be a challenge, and it will be a great fit for me.

So, for those of you sick of Evan-centered posts (though, come on, how could you be? LOL!), I will be writing about more of a variety of topics soon!

*Because of a bit of university red-tape, the actual job has not been posted yet. I will be working temporarily as a post-doc until that gets sorted out.

Results

Well – we got the results back from all of Evan’s tests, and everything is NORMAL!! We were discharged today and are at home with the little guy now. We’re still not sure what really happened, but we’re happy to know it wasn’t anything serious.

The poor boy had to undergo a barrage of tests – from blood and urine tests, to a spinal tap, to an X-ray, CT scan, MRI, short and long EEG, and an ultrasound. That’s more tests than I have had done in my entire life.

I am feeling a bit nervous to have him home because I don’t want the same thing to happen again. But, I guess that’s one of the things you have to get used to as a parent. The worrying never ends!

Thank you to everyone for your support. I really really hope this is the last time Evan sees the inside of a hospital for a long, long time.

Randoms

There are a bunch of things I want to write about, but don’t really warrant their own post!

1. After a hiatus of a few months, I’ve decided to shut down my Nature Network blog. You can read my reasons in my last post here.

2. PhD paper #3 was accepted!! Woohoo!! That means I only have MSc paper #2 to deal with before I’m caught up on all my academic obligations (and I’ve given my MSc supervisor a deadline of Baby G’s arrival to get it submitted).

3. Related to #2, I had a very brief moment of Nature glory. They contacted my PhD supervisor and wanted to talk to both of us about PhD paper #3. However, by the time he returned their message, they had decided not to run the story. Oh well – it’s still something, right?

4. I have had a few moments of glory related to the open house hosted on the weekend. My name has appeared in the newspaper twice (once in an article, another in a letter-to-the-editor that I wrote), and I had a TV interview. If you want to keep up on all the goings-on at the observatory, I created a Facebook group. Check it out, and join! We need the support!

5. I’ll be putting together the August Scientiae Carnival over the weekend, so make sure to get your post submitted soon if you want to be included (official deadline is 11:59pm GMT today, but I’ll accept them over the weekend too).

12 Weeks

I have been absolutely dying to share the news since March 13th — I am pregnant!!! I am 12 weeks along today!!!

After the miscarriage in December, DH and I were hesitant about sharing the news that we were pregnant again when we found out just a few days before my birthday. So, we’ve been keeping it under wraps as best we can. Of course, our parents and some close family and friends know, as well as some others that were on a need-to-know basis (like my supervisor, for instance, since I was having to work from home quite a bit in the first weeks).

We had an ultrasound done rather early – at about eight weeks – to make sure everything was going well. We saw the little blob that will be our child, and saw the heart beat too! We will have another done at about 18 weeks, where we’ll find out the gender if Baby G cooperates.

My symptoms have been much stronger than last time as well. I was extremely nauseous up until about 9 weeks, and more tired than I have ever been in my life! Sometimes I could barely get to 8pm without zonking right out, and even feel asleep at my desk a couple times. Food aversions have been the strangest to deal with, as they seem to change on a daily basis. Even though these symptoms aren’t particularly pleasant, they are comforting because I know the baby is doing just fine.

I am feeling much better these days, and my belly is starting to get round(er). I’m quite happy about it though, and feel like I want to show it off to the world!!

The due date is November 23rd!! Perhaps I’ll do polls – one for the baby’s gender and the other for the baby’s actual arrival date – so stay tuned!

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