Monday, August 9, 2010

Missing Lab

Yep. You read that right. Missing lab. There. I said it again. But not for the reasons you probably think at first. Everyone who knows me knows I don't want to work in a lab anymore. Love science, love doing science, just tired of the laboratory bench work. Just not for me  right now.

But I now know, after being away from the lab for almost 2 year, that I was spoiled. Lab supplies are miraculous things. Kimwipes - gentle for cleaning lenses and mirrors, latex gloves - first aid and cleaning, cotton glove liners - great at keeping hands warm when working (just cut off the finger tips), parafilm - so many uses, and clean water - like distilled. Lately I have found myself wanting these things and irritated that I have to pay ridiculous prices at regular stores for it.

Two items I have needed in particular have been bothering me. I bitch and complain every time I have to take money out my purse to BUY distilled water. It's distilled water for goodness sakes and they're charging me almost 85 cents a gallon. OK, that doesn't sound like much but still, it's water!! And given that my doctor has prescribed those nasal washes twice a day for my VCD I'm using a lot of it. The other thing is latex gloves. I really needed them the other day and it was late so the only place open was Walmart. I couldn't find them so I asked somebody. I walked up to the first employee I saw, who just happened to be someone who I asked for help from about two weeks ago. I cringed inside, this wasn't going to be pretty.

Image Goddess: "Can you tell me where to find latex gloves?"

Employee: "Oh, I just started here. They stuck me in this section. I don't really know where things are."

IG: "Uh...." [Staring at employee, thinking that this was the exact same thing she told me two weeks ago, at the other side of the store in a different section.]

E: "You mean rubber gloves?"

IG: "Nooo, latex gloves. They come in a box. [me making a box shape with my hands] They're small. Not large rubber cleaning gloves."

E: "I'm sorry, I really don't know. They just stuck me here. They might be around here somewhere. Why don't you go ask pharmacy. It's right over there."

IG: [pausing, staring] "OK, thank you."

I resigned myself to the fact that I was going to walk up and down every single aisle until I found it. She was directing me to pharmacy which I already knew was closed. I couldn't handle the conversation that was a waste of my time that late at night. After 10 minutes of unsuccessful searching I went to another part of the store to find another employee who at least knew what latex gloves were and she had a general idea where they were so she helped me find them. At this point I'm tired, cranky, and irritated. Once I find the latex gloves my attitude gets worse and I miss lab even more. The cost is ridiculous for one box. One box! And what is this one size fits all crap for latex gloves. That is the most insane thing I've ever heard of. Fiance can't get these on his hands. I have short stubby fingers and they just fit me. One size fits all. Hmpf.

I guess the moral of this post is I learned my lesson. I'm going to have to order my lab supplies (for home) from somewhere off the Internet. Hopefully I will find a decent price with not-to-bad shipping. Does anybody have any websites they like to shop on for supplies like kimwipes, parafilm, gloves and stuff? For now, I'm just going to have to learn to deal with buying distilled water - but I don't have to like it. And I still might complain now and then, a little.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Virtual Faculty

I applied for a part-time faculty position today that's "virtual."  I've contemplated doing this for a very long time. I've always had my reservations about online universities - are they legit, will it look bad on my CV, is it really benefiting the students taking the online classes? So many questions. I used to think how could something be taught well if it's only taught online and only people who can't get real faculty positions take online faculty jobs. My eyes are opening though and I believe the world of virtual education might be changing. I think in the past most online degrees were hacks. They almost had to be because the technology just wasn't there to make the educational experience enriching enough for students or enable the kind of interaction between students and professor that there is today.  There are countless distance learning programs from legitimate, accredited universities and other learning institutions. I have friends that teach for online universities, or universities that are mostly online, and I see that now. And I'm excited about the prospects. I love my current job but it doesn't involve a lot of teaching which I also love. There's also the fact that Fiance and I are really in need of some extra cash right now. This would be perfect. I'm already on the computer a lot and it's something that I enjoy doing.

So I applied. I'm excited. I hope to get a call. Or email. Or however they do it. Wish me luck.