Thursday, June 29, 2006

Why people don't understand me

I loves me some good biomechanical experimentation. I've equipped desert tortoises from hatchlings to ancient ships of the desert with radiotransmitters, affixed spools of thread to gravid tortoises, and put earrings in mice. But never have I tried to put stilts on an ant.

Cool. Well, except for the part about stumping the legs. That's just a bit too much, even for someone who has cut off thousands of micey toes... "Snip the wicked scissors sing, Snap! The tiny toeses fling, Squeek! the little PEFO squeals for her other digits dear...." (although I did apologize for each and every one. Even the eartags, and even the eartags on those nasty viscious grasshopper mice... smelly little toebiters...)

Whenever I tell people that I'm a field biologist (well..... was... now I'm behind a desk. Still, field biologist sounds so much more exciting than GIS specialist), I get one of three reactions. Incredible excitement, wary animosity, or a dumb look. Usually it's the latter because they never saw me on television wrassling gators, and that's all field biologists do, isn't it? The first is most often from other field biologists, because we're a rare bunch and pounce on any chance to talk about stilt-legged ants until the cows come home and still be excited about the Student T-test used to analyze any parametric data. The middle is where the rest fit, because they read blogs about people like me doing crazy things to ants. They wonder why anyone would think up such a study, who would actually design, conduct analyze and even peer-review the article for such a study, and most of all, who would pay for such a study. "Are my taxpayer dahllrrrs goin' to pay for some nut gluing sticks to an ant's leg?" Answer? umm, maybe, I don't know, I never went into the grant side of biology. Which explains a lot about why I'm now a GIS specialist.

But, really, this study is wicked cool. First, they TRAINED ants to walk in a straight line. HOW do they do that? I can't train my six-year-old human daughter to walk in a straight line, and she has significantly more brain matter than some nerve-ring-for-a-brain hymenopteran. Then they fit stilts to their legs. I'd love to see the America's Funniest Home Movies clip on the ensuing mayhem as they learned to walk on them. I wonder what went through the ants' minds while stilted up, "Whoa! The ants look like.... smaller ants.... from up here!" We'll skip the bit about the stump-legged ants. Nothing is funny about amputation.

Oh, yah, I bet there were some good pizza and beer parties after a hard day's work on this study.


Wednesday, June 28, 2006

And the walls came tumbling down...

Hi! It's been awhile. June is nearly over, and I haven't posted ONE thing yet, except for an unintentionally anonymous response saying I'm busy.

Not anymore. Oh, I'm busy, just not busy with daydreaming of a new place.... water... trees.... snow.... progressive.... that I have been for the past month or so.

See, I put in for a job back East. Way East. Way NorthEast in the land of maple trees and snow. It was a downgrade, I'd be making less, putting away less for retirement, but I'd be in a place with excellent schools, a nice blue state where I wouldn't have to fear for my daughters' safety as much, snow, cheap land, perhaps a few ponies..... I'd also have a job where I'd be making a difference, not just being a beaurocrat. AND, probably best of all, I wouldn't have to leave my family for two weeks every two or three months.

I made it past 34 qualified candidates to reference checks, and then to an interview.

But, today, I found out I didn't get the job. I didn't even come in second. I am really very very VERY disappointed. See, not only does it mean I can't get out of this... this... PLACE I'm at, but I, with all of my experience, skills, and education can't even get demoted into a job.

That, friends, is the feeling of being trapped.

That's all for now. Were I to continue, it would just get ugly.

Progressive Women's Blog Ring
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