30 March 2008


Miss Doodle is sick. She had a fever Friday & Saturday, plus some unpleasantness from either end around midnight last night. She seems to be feeling a little better this morning but is still really tired and needy. *sigh* My poor Doodlebug.

28 March 2008


Or, adventures in teaching human anatomy.

I'm a TA for Human Anatomy lab this semester. As you would expect, students run the range of experience, knowledge and comfort with the human body. Most of our classes are rather uneventful - we talk about bones, muscles, the digestive system, whatever it is that we're covering that week. Lots of blank looks from students who are overwhelmed with all the material, and the occasional question of "so, how much of the small intestine is the jejunum again?" Run of the mill stuff. Occasionally, I have an interesting experience teaching. And when it's Human Anatomy, with cadavers, the interesting experiences seem that much more interesting.

My favorite anecdote: Teaching the reproductive system. My students are mostly LDS, some married, some not. The reproductive system seems to make them a little more nervous or skittish than any of our previous examinations of the cadavers. I see students trying to pay attention and learn the structures while trying to not pay TOO close of attention, and looking around at each other while at the same time not making eye contact. Weird dynamics. I go through the male reproductive system with a small group of female students; no questions, some blushing. Move to the female reproductive system. I go over the external anatomy: "mons pubis, labia majora, labia minora, clitoris, urethra, vagina." Then the internal anatomy, showing the uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries. Everything is good. I turn to the students, "okay, does anyone have any questions?" A tentative girl, looking very closely at her notes asks "Umm, yeah. Can you tell me where the clitorius is again?"

It was all I could do to keep my jaw from hitting the floor. Yes, I know that many college-age women don't know much about their own bodies, especially those that are not sexually active. But darlin', really? Clitorius? The part of your female anatomy packed with THOUSANDS of nerve endings? Sigh. I only hope that I can help these students to know *where* these structures are, even if I can't teach them *why* they should care.

Let's see, what else? There was the time I held up a disembodied foot and a student passed out, hitting her head on the floor when she fell. That was bad. (Yes, she was okay, just shaken up afterwards.) I learned from that experience that disembodied anything, when unexpected, will freak or gross someone out. No more holding up feet, knees...though I do still hold up heads. And brains. Hmm. No one has passed out yet this semester, at least.

I'll spare you the gruesome anecdotes from TAing Human Dissection. Let's just say it mostly dealt with students making comments of how things in the body looked or smelled like food products. Ick. Oh, and many references to Silence of the Lambs, especially Anthony Hopkins' little slurpy tasting sound he made with his tongue. Ick ick ick. Besides that, it was a lot of fun.

Yes, I'm morbid. Now you know.

25 March 2008

Photos from our daily life

Just a few photos from our daily life. Re-enacting "Where The Wild Things Are." She loves it when the wild rumpus starts!

Playing in the blanket fort. Doesn't she look mischievous?

Happily nursing.

My little summer baseball fan, wearing a shirt from my favorite minor league team.

Little baby bookworm. I love watching them together. J is such a great papa.

19 March 2008


Believe it or not, there is a lot going on here in the next month. Here is a rundown of interesting (to me) activities:

Friday, 21 March: Polynesian Student Union Dinner and Luau. Dinner 5:30PM at the Toaster Church (650 N. 1200 E), Luau 8PM at the Kent Concert Hall. Tickets are available at the USU ticket office: 435-797-0305

Also, a screening of the film "A Soldier's Peace" at 7PM in the USU Eccles Science Learning Center 130 (the Emert Auditorium). Sponsored by Cache Valley Peaceworks. See www.soldierspeace.com for details on this movie.

Saturday, 22 March: Peace Walk at 1:30PM, starting and ending at grounds of the Historic County Courthouse, 199 N, Main Street. This is the fifth anniversary of the start of the Iraq War. Come rally in support of Peace. www.loganpeace.org
3PM Movie screening of “A Soldiers Peace”, Logan City Hall Council Chambers, 255 North Main Street.

Saturday, 29 March: Gender Blender. Sponsored by USU L.I.F.E. (Love is for Everyone) G.S.A. (Gay Straight Alliance). 8:00p.m. - 11:00p.m. at Utah State University's Lundstrom Center, 1295 E 1000 N, Logan. Here's a description:
It's an event where there are no gender boundaries! Its going to be held on our campus in a very safe environment. This may be the only time or place where students can attend a dance without worrying about discrimination based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, or expression. There will be a dance and a drag show. Come dressed to impress as there will be awards given out at the event. Even if you don't dress up, come and enjoy the festivities.
I've gone before and had a wonderful time!

Thursday, April 10 through Saturday, April 12: Baby Animal Days at American West Heritage Center. 10AM-6PM daily. Come see cute baby animals. Bring the kids - they love it! I'll be out there with the EntClub showing some really cool insects, so stop by and say hi.

Saturday, April 12: Bellydance Improv Night at the Indian Oven. Early and late seatings available (6 or 8:30PM). I'll be dancing in the late bunch. Make reservations early!

Friday, April 18: USUMED Spring Hafla with Shems! 7:30PM, TSC Auditorium. Tickets are $7 before April 1st, or $10 after that. (I have tickets, so if you want some let me know!)

Saturday, April 19: Bellydance Workshop with Shems. 1:00PM at the Whittier Center. See the above USUMED links for more info.

Hope to see you out and about town!

17 March 2008

On gender

A pet peeve of mine: use of gender versus sex. Gender seems to have replaced sex in many peoples' everyday speech. Is it because people are uncomfortable saying the word 'sex'? Maybe. But these two words mean different things. Here's an example. When asking a pregnant person about their baby, it is appropriate to ask, "do you know the sex?" The person can then answer yes, no, boy, girl... you get the idea. In contrast, if you ask "do you know the gender?" the person doesn't really know the answer. The baby being spoken about may not even know that answer for years. And the answer may change. This is because gender and sex are not always linked. Many people born biologically female (sex) identify as female (gender). Ditto many males. However, some people do not identify (gender) with their biological sex. Some people don't identify with either sex. Just something to think about.

On a related note, the New York Times had a great article recently about transgendered individuals, particularly transmen (biological females who identify as male or other) attending women's colleges. Take a look at it here: "When Girls Will Be Boys".

11 March 2008

Spring Hafla!

The USUMED Spring Hafla is a little over a month away! Click here for more info.

10 March 2008

Spring break Logan '08

Woohoo! It's spring break! Time to party it up...Logan style?

Yes, being the lame grad students we are, J and I are are excitedly working up on campus during spring break. We are taking advantage of our open schedules this week and hoping to make some progress on our respective writing projects. Blech.

Ok, yes, we do have a little fun planned. We're getting together with some friends on Wednesday to grill some lamb. We hope to head up to Maple Grove Hotsprings sometime this week to relax. J will do yoga and go climbing, and I'll go to bellydance practice as usual. Other than that, we work.

It is sunny outside, but this certainly is no Cabo.
(Not that I'm in a drunken limbo mood. I'd prefer this.)

07 March 2008

Photog neighbor

Our neighbor is a photographer. She would say she's an aspiring photographer, but I say she's there. A couple days ago she took a bunch of pics of C and A (her little guy) playing, and just posted them on her blog. I stole a few of my faves to share. Here they are:

06 March 2008

Hair clips

My mom sent these little girly hair clips to us months ago. I rolled my eyes, thinking "when are we ever going to put these in C's hair. It'll be a really long time before her hair is even long enough." Well, I found them in the drawer this week and thought we'd play with them. And what do you know - she looks darn cute wearing them! Me, I look silly. But it's easier to convince Miss Doodle to leave one in her hair if I have one in mine. Now if only she would leave them in.

05 March 2008

...and so it begins

It's official. I've joined the land of the bloggers. I will make no predictions on how reliably I will blog, or how this slice of my life will evolve. Let's just take it as it goes, shall we?