Thursday, April 27, 2006

some thoughts on gas prices

Gas prices are high. We are not happy with this. We want gas prices to be lower, because we want to keep driving our huge trucks and SUVs that get 15 miles to the gallon.

However, the government subsidizes the oil and gas industries. That is, the government gives oil companies numerous tax breaks that enable the price of gas to seem a lot lower in the eyes of the consumers. According to the International Center for Technology Assessment (CTA), gas should actually cost anywhere from $5.60 to $15.15 per gallon. We actually do pay the remainder of this money through taxes, insurance premiums, and higher prices of other goods.

The CTA says it best when it states, "When the price of gasoline is so drastically underestimated in the minds of drivers, it becomes difficult if not impossible to convince them to change their driving habits, accept alternative fuel vehicles, support mass transit, or consider progressive residential and urban development strategies."

Therefore, I say let's get rid of these subsidies! Let the price of gas be its true value = $6/a gallon. That way people who choose to change their driving habits don't have to pay taxes that provide gas subsidies, and those who refuse to change their habits can fully support these habits on their own. Perhaps, doing this will really encourage us to actively seek new alternative fuels and more effective transit systems.

This article is a pretty good read:

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

our first wedding present!

tonight I went to Mr. G.'s for the very last session of my Bible study group. There they presented me with my and Adrian's 1st present! They painted a bowl from Upaint It with our names in it and 1 Cor 13:4-7 all around the perimeter. Then they all signed their names on the back. It is so cool! :) They also all chipped in and gave us some money that we can put towards something, perhaps a mattress. :)

also, I have been patiently waiting for the Austin City Limits lineup, but it is still not up! Well, we are going regardless, and I hope that Nickel Creek will be there. I have already decided that my attendants will walk to the Smoothie Song. :)

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

petrology labs

As petrology lab comes to a close, I feel slightly sad. I also taught many of these students in mineralogy last semester, and I feel that I know all of my students really well. I enjoy working with those students who think! It is so much fun. If only teachers only had to deal with those kinds of students, it would be so fabulous!

amazing aquifers...

For some reason, I agreed to direct the Amazing Aquifers event for the Science Olympiad this Saturday. It has been somewhat of a headache to schedule all 23 teams, because the director of the whole Olympiad only alotted me 4 hours. The teams have to complete 4 stations: 2 written exams, a station where they build an aquifer based on surprise specifications that we tell them at that moment, and one station where they use their model aquifer to explain and demonstrate concepts to a judge.

The whole problem was scheduling the event so that it would be fair for each team involved. This is after all the state competition and we are sending a team to nationals, so I want the event to be fair, but sometimes I don't think the Olympiad director cares as much as I do. To be honest, I am not that familiar with the Olympiad and am not really sure how big a deal it is. Perhaps, I am being too anal in my assessments.

But I really do think we have come up with a solution! And I have already made the two written portions of the test, so I think I am now done with this until Saturday! hurrah. I am making Adrian help me judge the aquifers, because I think it is best to have two judges, plus he has a geology degree and there will be free pizza...

Thursday, April 20, 2006

our wedding plans thus far...

well, we haven't really done too much planning, yet. I don't even have a dress yet, but I do know three things for sure! When I walk down the aisle, I want to walk down to Nickle Creek's "Ode to a Butterfly" or "the House of Tom Bombadil"; after we're married, we will walk back down together to the Indiana Jones Theme Song; and finally, our first dance will be either Jack Johnson's "Better Together" or Watermark's "More Than You'll Ever Know." :)

Shakespeare recitation contest

Tonight I judged a homeschool Shakespeare recitation contest. They had three levels: K-2; 3-5; and 6-8. The 5 year olds were so cute! They were all very impressive actually.

hee hee, I went with Sharon (she leads my Bible study) and her three kids. Daniel, the son, did not win (though he was also very good). He was somewhat bitter about it on the way home. Sharon told him, "If you don't know how to lose gracefully, then I hope you keep losing until you can learn." She also told him that bitter losers are often proud winners and if he is going to be that way, then she hopes he never wins. And she made him quote some Bible versus on rejoicing for others and what not. I thought it was all very good.

One of the other judges was this man who was a speech communications major at A&M. He took his judging responsibilities very seriously. I tried to make some small talk with him afterwards, and he tried to sell me a house! (He's a realtor for Century 21.) It was kind of weird.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

yikes :(

I can't find my keys (my work keys - that includes keys to ALL my labs AND to Norman)! They've been missing for days, it seems. And I feel like I can't function and be truly productive until they are found. Oh, where can they be??

One positive note, I finally successfully made two chocolate pies today! (One is for my neighbors for watching Lucy Saturday). Previously, my pies have been way too runny. But with more cornstarch and extra patience over the stove, my pie is now the proper consistency.

Monday, April 10, 2006

rummaging through the hay stack...

In one of my all-time favorite Breakaways, Gregg Matte says the following, "God's specific will for your life is not the needle in the haystack - it's the hay in the haystack."

This statement has often struck me. I suppose it is a good thing that God gives us this ability to choose how we spend our time here on earth, but even so, I often find myself wishing that we each had a specific path in mind that we should pursue. As Adrian and I are now engaged (insert smiley), occupational choices become even more difficult. Throughout our 3 years of dating, Adrian and I have both pursued our own goals, and as such, approximately half of our 3 years together has been long distance. I am glad that we had the opportunity to do that, but now we have made the commitment to be together and to put our relationship ahead of other worldly pursuits. Since we have both of us to think about, rather than just ourselves, it makes some decisions more complicated.

This definitely isn't a bad problem to have - it is a blessing to have another person to share my life with. But I always have been a person who frets over the next step in life, and I also like to have things figured out. We still have quite a bit of time, though, before we really need to come to any conclusions. Plus, I really just need to get through this semester first!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Lawrence, KS

I am actually here in Lawrence, KS after a FULL day of interviewing. Here was my day's schedule:
8:30 Intro to the KGS
9:00 My (30 minute!) presentation to KGS Staff
9:30 Questions and Informal Discussions with KGS Staff
10:00 Interview with Search Committee
11:30 Lunch with Search Committee
1:15 Meet with Annette Delaney, Human Resources
1:30 Meet with Barb McClain, Associate Director for Administration
1:45 Meet with Bill Harrison, Director
2:00 Meet with Rex Buchanan, Associate Director for Public Outreach
2:30 Meet with Public Outreach Section
3:00 Candidate’s Questions
6:00 Dinner with 2-3 KGS Staff

It actually wasn't too bad. Many people (mostly the non-technical people) told me that they enjoyed my talk and were able to understand it. I was also treated very well. I'm staying in the Marriot on the Kansas River in a very nice room and was treated to two very nice meals. For dinner, there were only 4 of us and the bill was $145!

The cool thing about the job is that even though there are still some things that are required, there is a LOT of room to really take the position in whatever direction I am most interested in. There is a lot of flexibility to do whatever I consider most important. Another cool thing is that they are really great about continuing education, and if I were to ever want to pursue a Ph.D at KU then I would be able to do that.

Now, do I think I'm going to get the job? I am not really expecting to. I think I am pretty inexperienced compared to the others. Bob Sawin told me that even though I was pretty young compared to other applicants, that my cover letter was really good and convinced them to interview me. :) so, all in all, it was a good experience for me - I have never been in a whole-day interview situation like this.

Also, to be honest, I am not particularly drawn to Lawrence (or at least from the little that I have seen).

Sunday, April 02, 2006

caterpillars everywhere!

eating my roses, on my clothes, in my house...they better turn into beautiful butterflies...