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A Day In the Life of a Professor

1. Sat down to begin reading my email at 8 AM when the phone rang. Someone wanted to know about the air conditioners my wife had advertised in the classifieds. (We now have central air so we are selling 4 individual units.) I was totally unprepared to answer her questions - how many BTUs, what brands, etc.

2. Had to extract, as quietly as possible, four air conditioners from the closets of bedrooms in which people were still sleeping. Not easy. I think I avoided pulling any muscles, but scraped up my thumb on one. At least now I know what brands we have and what the BTU rating is on each one.

3. Spent the morning screwing around with the creation of a CD from Liz Phair's Internet site, because I couldn't concentrate on serious work with the phone ringing all the time. (This is my excuse, anyway. I just don't feel like working.) Capitol Records finally activated the 96K Hertz version of the file containing the 5 extra songs you get for buying Liz's latest album. It is one big .asf file, so after downloading it I had MS Media Player burn it onto a CD to create a big .cda file. I then converted the .cda file to a .wav file with HyCD. I opened the .wav file with GoldWave and searched visually for the silences between songs. I highlighted each individual song and saved both .mp3 and .wav files for later use. Then I burned an audio CD from the 5 .wav files. I had already created a jewel case last night with the art from Capitol's web site and had screwed around for quite a while to create a label from the background image they use at that site. (In fact I had already created a CD last night from the 32K Hz file at Capitol's site because it was the only functioning file at the time. So I was well-practiced to do this again today.)

3. Time for lunch. Turkey sandwich and coffee yogurt.

4. Write the goddamn review of a paper on using Item Response Theory to test the equivalence of paper & pencil and Internet versions of a personality test that was due yesterday. Forced myself to do it and emailed it off to Psychological Methods.

5. It is 1:30 by now. I continue to be interrupted by phone calls about the air conditioner. One guy who had already bought two had to return one because it didn't fit into a strangely shaped window. That's okay. Someone else will buy it. My wife suggests we get the authorized signatures we need from the bank for a fund transfer. So we do that and we stop at Hollywood Video on the way back to get some movies.

6. By the time we get back and I assemble the paperwork to send back to Vanguard the mailman has already come and gone. I have been trying to make this transfer for two months so I prepare to drive to the post office. The phone rings again and I have to wait for someone who wants an air conditioner.

7. After I make the sale I drive to the post office and mail my package to Vanguard.

8. I actually do some statistical analyses and writing for a couple of hours. Bona fide professor work.

9. We have dinner. Italian sausage, shrimp salad, cold baked beans, white shoestring corn.

10. While washing the dishes I decide that this meal needs a Long Island iced tea to make it complete. But I have no cola and I am too lazy to make my own sweet and sour mix. So I drive to the grocery store and end up buying root beer and root-beer-float ice cream in addition to the cola. At the state store I pick up a cheap bottle of Merlot and an expensive (but economical) large bottle of Makers Mark, which is on sale ($4 off). Oh, yes, also a bottle of sweet and sour mix, which was supposed to be the reason for that trip.

11. At home I struggle to replace a reinforcement bar in the middle of the huge screen in the brand new storm door I installed last week. The kids have been pushing on the bar and bending it. My wife bought a steel bar to reinforce it, but we couldn't get it to stay in place. I finally figure the only way to make it work was to put the screen in backward. I went to college.

12. Finally have that Iced Tea. Yum. Looked at some interesting artistic photography web sites.

13. Added kent1 as a friend. Sent a couple of posts to the libertarianism community. (I wonder if I'm doing these links right? First time.)

14. Am updating this journal.

15. Am about to have a beer with my wife on the deck.

This is what professors do during the summer.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 23rd, 2003 11:00 am (UTC)
is liz phair's new work good enough to pay for?
I did not even know when it was released. How have audiences reaction been including yours?
Sep. 24th, 2003 01:44 pm (UTC)
Re: is liz phair's new work good enough to pay for?
Judging from the posts in one of the major Phair mailing lists, SupportSystem, many fans are hugely disappointed by both the CD and by her recent concerts. Her new material that was produced by the Matrix has a completely different sound, nothing like her earlier lo-fi, occasionally quirky stuff. The new sound is highly polished pop, and has been compared to Avril Lavigne. But Liz's voice is more mature, stronger, smoother, and shows greater range and confidence. Not every cut has the new sound, though, and the Internet EP numbers that you can access if you buy the CD are classic Liz.

So, is the new CD worth the money? Well, if you are looking for classic Liz you might not think so. But if you love her as a person (as I do, even though I know this sounds corny) you'll be willing to accept the branching out in her style, all of which is still recognizably Liz Phair, and plunk down the money for the CD.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )