Archive for: October, 2010

Imposter Syndrome While Doing Good

Oct 25 2010 Published by under [Education&Careers], [Science in Society]

I must confess to you, my friends. When I was asked, along with my fellow Scientopians, to participate in this year's Donors Choose challenge, I wasn't sure if I wanted to do it. Not because I'm not interested in Donors Choose- in fact, I've enjoyed contributing to it for years- but because I was afraid I wouldn't be able to raise a respectable number of donations compared to my blogging peers.

Yes, I have imposter syndrome even while trying to do good. Makes me want to slap myself, really.

But, I decided that I didn't want to leave it entirely to my colleagues to harass the shit out of you and your wallets during this month of giving. Actually, I was just excited to set up a donation page in which I could select projects that touch upon subjects near and dear to my heart.

In particular, I like to drum up chemistry, engineering, genetics, and energy. And I like to choose high poverty schools in red states- why? Perhaps it is a little ridiculous, but for me, the most feared variety of Republican is the one that is not educated in math and science. Therefore, I am trying to catalyze political change in the red states through frog dissection and climate change textbooks. LOL, makes sense, no?

Now, I am no PalMD or Drug Monkey, but my giving page has thus far drawn an impressive number of donations, which is totes exciting. As of right now, 16 of you, my readers, have donated $341 to support an estimated 666 school children. It is interesting to note that, although I am not near the top of the Scientopia leader board for total donations, my giving page has the second most # of donors. There is power in numbers, my friends! Donate $10 a piece to your heart's content, and I will love you forever.

Last week, I asked you to donate in honor of my cat's castrated balls. For those of you who expressed concern, his ball-less pouch is healing quite nicely, thank you, and his antics have not been dampened in the least. He is currently chasing his rainbow mouse around the house with a fervor that I'd consider abnormal for having just lost his reproductive unit. But whatevs.

My husband has been quite impressed by the cash that has been donated in our cat's balls' honor. If you were willing to donate ~$300 for The Candid Kitten's Balls, my husband has astutely wondered how much you'd be willing to donate in honor of his (much larger and still-attached) balls.

Let me wrap up this bizarre post by thanking Beaker Half Full, Cana Ross, Kirsten Tracy, Julia Shelton, Kate Medicus, Rose Szabady, Melinda Hale, Sarah Nichols, Jennifer Greenwood, and several anonymous donors for their contributions to Donors Choose during this past week. As per football tradition, I'd give you a reverberating slap on the ass if I met you in person.

And my giving page is here if you're in the mood.

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The Squeaky Clean Wheel Gets the Grease

Oct 17 2010 Published by under [Etc], [LifeTrajectories]

I am neat. My husband is clean.

The converse is also true- I am not clean. My husband is not neat.

I have no problem going 2-3 months without cleaning my shower. My husband has no problem throwing pillows and clothes and whatever else on the floor and letting it lie.

The optimist would conclude that our house would be immaculate- best of both worlds, no? But the realist that lives in my house knows that our natural tendencies lead to nothing but friction.

I estimate that 90% of all arguments with my husband are about cleaning. And they can get vicious.

When I started taking anti-anxiety medication two years ago, I realized that I was a lot happier when I wasn't harping on my husband to close the hamper lid properly and just chose to do those things for him, myself. This has actually resulted in a lot of peace, I would think on both of our ends.

The problem is that my husband cannot come to terms with my reluctance to and extended delays in cleaning. Due to personal preference and pervasive allergies, he wants the house cleaned much more often than I do. Also, things that don't bother me around the house (or that I don't even notice) are a big bother to him.

Even though I don't care about cleaning to the extent that he does, he expects me to clean my share of stuff when he feels that things need a cleaning. I have attempted to be sympathetic to this over the years, and I swear, I make efforts to clean, I really do. It's just that these efforts fall far short of what he wants.

Our weekends often devolve into this hell where he is constantly pissed off that the house is not as clean as he wants and/or I haven't cleaned what he wants. And where I am distressed / feeling guilty/ feeling hurt that he continues to expect me to do the things that are important to him while not acknowledging all of the things that I do that are important to me.

I cook dinner 90% of the time. I pick up around the house. I do most of the laundry. And why does it have to be a pissing contest, anyway? Why can't we just fucking get along?

I have suggested hiring a cleaning service to come in once a month. I think this is a great solution. Although I can't hire someone to exercise, sleep, or write my manuscripts for me, I can hire someone to clean my house. The problem is that my husband thinks it's fucking absurd that we/I cannot manage to keep our house clean and that we would even consider spending money on such a ridiculous thing.

I think that given how frequent and hurtful our fights are about cleaning, it would be money very well spent.

The point of this post is to poll my fellow dual-careered coupled friends out there. How do you and your partner handle cleaning duties? Do any of your have any suggestions as to how to remedy/soften this problem?

p.s. Please don't suggest that I just suck it up and do more cleaning. I have tried this, and it does not work/is not adequate. I would simply rather lick the bathroom floor clean with my own tongue than fill up a bucket with water and cleaning solution, get down on my hands and knees and rub the floor with a  wet rag.

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2010 Donors Choose: I Need Your Help!

Oct 10 2010 Published by under Uncategorized

I'm really excited this month to be a part of a science-blogger challenge taking place through a do-good organization called Donors Choose. provides a mechanism for public school teachers in poverty-ridden areas of the U.S. to ask for help in acquiring classroom resources. So many of our children in the U.S. are at a learning disadvantage because they live in a school district and come from homes that cannot afford to provide educational supplies. Imagine trying to do advanced math without a calculator or learning about temperature without a thermometer. Due to a lack of supplies, many disadvantaged children grow up without knowing the joys of science, the discovery of engineering, and the power of mathematics.

Through Donors Choose, we can help.

I have created a giving page at where I have selected multiple projects that teachers have submitted for funding by philantropists like you. Together- you, my readers, and any other donors who take an interest in these projects- can bring science, math, and engineering alive in classrooms across the U.S.

For example, Mrs. D, from a high poverty area of Oakland, CA, is requesting funds for a "Learning with Frogs" classroom project for her 7th grade students. She tells us,

My students do not have many chances to engage in scientific investigation and experimentation. The students enjoy learning science but often ask how and when they are going to get a chance to engage on hands-on science.

Mrs. D. would "love the opportunity to promote the importance and excitement of science education through dissections". As such, she is requesting donations for 60 preserved frogs, which will help her students discover the wonder of anatomy- specifically, the digestive and circulatory systems. This project is currently partially funded, with $234 needed to fully fund the frogs. Together, let's make it happen!

Many science bloggers will be participating in the Donors Choose challenge in the coming month (Oct 10-Nov 10). We are engaging in a friendly competition to see whose readers can support the most classroom projects. So I am asking for your help! Please consider donating something today to support our school children. Every denomination helps- do not worry if you only have $5 to spare. I congratulate you all the more for your generosity.

To sweeten the deal, I will be offering an original CE oil painting for a randomly-selected reader who donates through my giving page. W00t!!! Alternatively, I can send you some of my ahh-mazing ginger cookies. Whichever you prefer! Feel free to leave your real name or a pseudonym on my giving page when you donate, and we will work out details at the end of the challenge.

Thanks in advance for supporting a wonderful organization and the many children who deserve an opportunity to fall in love with science.

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