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Sunday, November 8, 2015

Life Update: I'm Still Alive, Just Busy

Just your typical "I'm Still Alive, Just Busy" life update blog post. My last post was on September 1st and there have been many things that have happened in my life since, including a potential MAJOR life change coming soon... I think I'll try to keep it brief though.

After the horror that was my $6,000 mistake, I began my new job as a university prof trying to get students interested in palaeontology! It is loads of work, but it honestly hasn't felt too overwhelming because I've been genuinely enjoying preparing and giving lectures. Teaching can be frustrating if the students are unwilling to be taught, but very rewarding with enthusiastic participants!

My (empty) view of my lecture room from the podium

I've also been diligently working on my thesis and am hoping to defend at the beginning of December. In mid-October, I presented the research that comprises the third chapter of my thesis at a palaeontology conference in Dallas. I think my presentation went pretty well! It's pretty crazy how far I've come with public speaking to large audiences... from utterly terrified to nearly comfortable!

Conference room where I gave my talk
X marks the spot: my hotel was only a brief walk from the site where JFK was assassinated, noted by an "X" on the road

In between my work, I've had some inkling of a social life: going out to dinner with friends, attending a Paint Nite meeting with Ambur (which was fun!), and even having my dad come visit so that he could attend one of my lectures (which was nice!).

Paint Nite with Ambur: fun times! Just don't look at our "birds" too closely...

As for reading, well that's unfortunately fallen by the wayside quite a bit. I have been trying to keep up with my reading goal for the year by listening to more audiobooks whilst doing other tasks, but the reading of physical books has been lacking for some time. I keep telling myself that I just need to push for a few weeks longer, get my thesis and teaching work done, then hopefully I'll have much more free time to read to my heart's content!

During my morning commute, I've been catching up on everyone's blog posts with my feed reader, but I admit it's not quite the same as getting to really interact with you guys. I hope I can get back to a regular blogging schedule soon. After all, I need to fangirl over the new Fantastic Beasts set pics and my thoughts on the new Cormoran Strike novel (which was excellent, btw!).

Anyways, that's me. I'd love to know what you guys have been up to lately!


29 comments :

  1. Ooo, what is this major life change?!

    Wow, that conference room is big! Was it packed? I guess teaching adults has probably also made you a more confident speaker.

    Your paintings came out pretty good. I like the colours of the background.

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    1. Heh, well it's a bit too soon to say yet... but it may involve removing back to AB in the near future. Which is why I hope we can find a time to meet up soonish! I think we have a lot to catch up on.

      It was definitely not packed. Seats for talks are usually half-filled at most. Which is a better ratio than the seats that are taken up for my morning lectures!

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  2. I just checked your blog last night before I went to bed, it's like I knew you were going to post! :)

    I'm so glad that you've been loving your classes and I really do think you've found something that fits you!!! And I didn't know you were in Dallas presenting research from your thesis! That's fantastic!!!! I'm glad it went well, Eilidh! Also, super neat that you got to see such an important part of US history!

    I had a blast at Paint Nite!!! We did pretty amazing! :) I've even started to like my birds for the most part. :P Haha

    That's too bad that you haven't had a lot of time to read lately, but audiobooks are good, too. ;)

    Psst! The stills for Fantasic Beasts look amazing!!! And have you heard about how Wizards in the film from the US call niggles "No-Maj"??

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    1. Hee :) Thanks, Ambur! And yup, last year at the conference in Berlin, I presented research from the second chapter of my thesis, and this year I was able to present research from the third chapter of my thesis.

      You know, I should stop shaming my poor birds and embrace them! They're really not so bad...

      Heh, and it's funny that your "muggles" was autocorrected to "niggles"!!

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    2. You're welcome!! :) Oh that's so neat!!! And super exciting!! :D

      You should! They're actually really great!!! :D

      haha I didn't even notice!!! "Dang that autocorrect!" :P haha At least it was pretty obvious that I was talking about muggles! :P

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  3. I'm impressed that you can speak to such a large audience. I'm intimidated by 2+ people lol

    Have a wonderful November Aylee!

    Karen @For What It's Worth

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  4. I'm so glad that teaching and finishing up your thesis is going smoothly, Aylee! When I teach I still get a tad bit nervous, but it goes away. I can't imagine giving a lecture in a lecture hall though. Wow!

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    1. Heh, it's probably not a whole lot different from giving a lecture in a small room. Thanks, Rummanah!

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  5. Ack, I did wonder where you had gone off to sweet girl :) Missed you. <3 Sounds like you have been super busy :D Yay for teaching. Sounds awesome :) And that painting looks stunning. But aw, I'm sorry you haven't been able to read much. But hope you are doing good :) Hope you are having a great November so far. <3 Stunning post, as always, Aylee :)

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  6. Were they able to fix your computer? My husband had his hard drive crash on him last month. He took it to a place and asked them to give him a new hard drive and import his data from his old hard drive (which was recoverable). Instead, they shredded his hard drive leaving him with nothing!!! He was understandably very angry. He has an external hard drive but unfortunately his back up version was corrupted.

    I'm glad that things are going well even though you're so busy.

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    1. They were not able to fix my computer, but they at least rescued the hard-drive! My goodness though, that is absolutely horrible to hear that about your husband's hard drive!

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  7. I'm deeply impressed!
    I hate talking to large audiences, it's so scary!!! Also, I'm really super pumped for Fantastic Beasts!! I wasn't at first but the closer the date gets and the more info comes out I like all over it.

    Also, JKR did a short interview with NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour, you should listen to it, it was great, she talked about her crime/mystery books.

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    1. It is at first very scary, and it's something that I never thought I could come to like... Somehow with practice it becomes a whole lot easier!

      Pretty sure I've read some quotes from that interview, but I haven't listened to the whole thing - I will now though!

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  8. *Lightning* *Thunder Clap* SHE'S ALIIIIIVE!!!! Muahahahaha!!
    LOL, sorry about that^^ I couldn't resist XD I was hoping that when I got a few comments on my blog from you that it'd mean that a blog post would be coming up from you soon and I'm happy I was right. I've missed you! But clearly, you haven't been idle what with work, life and all that impressive stuff about talking in front of huge audiences! Way to go :D

    I'm BEYOND pumped for Fantastic Beasts (obviously!) and I love yours and Ambur's paintings <3 Take care lady xxxx

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    1. Bhahaha! :D:D I miss you too. I hope to be back to my regular schedule soon!!

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  9. Major life change... you've got me curious. Maybe a move home?! You've been busy busy girl! Sounds like life has been very full for you. But in an exciting way. I was glad to see that we got to see a little update from you. I think it's really exciting that you get to present your research to others and have developed the skill that is public speaking. I also love that you get to share you passion for palaeontology littles.

    Good luck in this next month and in your thesis defense! The end is near and it's all going to be worth it!!

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    1. You got it! Close-ish to home anyways. You're right in saying that life has been full in a good way. Still, it'll be good to have some relaxing time off from the craziness, hopefully in a few weeks.

      Thanks, Sara!

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  10. That's so exciting about your teaching and doing presentations! I've been doing a few presentations this semester for one of my jobs (at an academic library) and I'm getting a bit better. It's still nerve-wracking. I can't imagine presenting to a really big audience though!

    Aw, your paintings are too cute. And I think you birds look good. I went to a couple of these in the past few months with a friend. We had a Harry Potter and a Doctor Who painting. haha It's a lot of fun!

    Career of Evil was FANTASTIC! I'm so in love with that series. I really can't wait for the next one, even though the third just came out. haha I'm going to review it but probably not until December. :)

    -Lauren

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    1. It took me quite a while until I got better at it... and I still have a long way to go I think! But you do eventually get better at it the more you do it :) A Harry Potter and Doctor Who painting??! omg, that's amazing! I wish we had more HP and DW themed nights around here... And I'm so glad you loved Career of Evil too!!

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  11. I look up to you. After years of doing presentations, I'm still terrified when it comes to talking in front of a crowd. It's a good thing I've never had any ambitions on becoming a teacher ;)

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    1. I bet you would be surprised at what you could accomplish if pressed - because I never thought I would be okay with it either!

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  12. Big life event? AAH, Aylee, this sounds so, so exciting! I hope you'll keep us updated as soon as you can. Sounds so, so exciting, and if it's something really fantastic then I'm extremely happy for you! All your confrencing sounds intense and terrifying (to me) and fabulous. It's just amazing what you're doing, I think it's so fantastic. You are, clearly, made of awesome.

    Your paintings are so good! It sounds like that was a really fun thing you went to!

    Hope you've been doing well generally! I've really missed seeing you around. xx

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    1. I will! I'm still working everything out, but once all the details are in place... gah, it still hasn't really sunk in! Awww, but thank you Romi - made of awesome is high praise and I am honoured you think so highly of me!! And it looks like I might be returning to blogging around the same time as you're leaving, which is too bad. I will miss you too!

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  13. Being a teacher myself, I can totally understand how difficult, frustrating yet absolute fun teaching can be! Good to know that your thesis is going well now, and I wish you all the very best for the same. And yay for the HP love in this post: :*

    Sarika @ The Readdicts

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  14. Check this funny and interesting book:
    http://www.amazon.com/Reindeer-like-bananas-illustrated-children-ebook/dp/B016QWVADG/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1448727785&sr=1-103

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