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Datepalm

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About Datepalm

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    Barbarism and Decadence, Fuck Yeah.
  • Birthday 02/22/1987

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  1. Datepalm

    Careerchat III

    What field is it? In city planning a graduate degree is kind of odd, I guess, where its both the basic qualification and yet kind of a non-entry-position thing, as far as I can tell. So both in my program in Israel and in knowing the equivalent Master's students here in the US, a significant majority have been working in the field or in something related in some capacity for at least a bit, and often several years. Getting the degree seems to be a kind of decision point and professionalization towards more senior/technically oriented positions, not so much a foot in the door. (There are a lot of windy roads that lead to working in planning-adjacent stuff through, which may not be that common across professions.) So, yeah, I guess that supports more than contradicts the limitation of value of a grad degree as a singular CV entry in the labour market.
  2. Datepalm

    Exercise and Fitness: bro science debunked

    yay, went in for some lifting - very light 5*5 (its been like six months). I also forgot to bring tights and so was that person in the gym in jeans. Well, they're very stretchy jeans. Anyway, feels good though probably won't be able to move tomorrow.
  3. Datepalm

    Exercise and Fitness: bro science debunked

    Back at this seriously as well - somehow gained 10 lbs in like six weeks over the end of the semester stress+winter break at home. I knew I was going over, but 10 is way too much. Back to a regular routine of swimming, walking, and I'm going to try and mix lifting and maybe yoga in there a few times a week as well. And calorie counting, which when I'm in the groove, I actually kind of enjoy and don't have a problem sticking to. 'The groove' is a completely mysterious state that lands upon me like weather though - It will be virtually zero discipline required to lose 10lb per month for two or three, and then, poof, wake up one day and I can't for the life of me stop eating ice cream until I've gained 10 lbs all over again. I seem to have slipped back into it yesterday with being my first day properly back (tracked all calories yesterday, walked the 3km to campus this morning, went for a swim, had protein-y stuff for breakfast, had breakfast) but we'll see...
  4. Datepalm

    Dating - I love the way you swipe

    Is this a good idea? No, it is most clearly not. Do I want to go to a cold city in March? No, I clearly do not. What I may actually want to happen is to send in this abstract for this conference that dropped into my mailbox uninvited and, obvs, get it accepted and assigned to a panel and, whoa, oops, this clown who happens to be in this department in this institution is the moderator (or something) and then the schedule will get sent out and I'll see that, as one does, and then, when he knows I know he knows I might be there, quietly cancel, which of course he probably won't know for days or weeks, and then he will, and will be wondering, like, did she cancel because of me? Maybe she didn't. These things happen. Maybe she found a nicer conference, with blackjack and hookers and not ugly snow slush weather to go to. Maybe it was just someone with the same name? No, that's ridiculous, its a weird name. Or maybe it was because of me. We'll never, ever know, will we? Misery! Cold, slushy misery for everyone.
  5. Datepalm

    Careerchat III

    @S John - Congrats! Sounds like the right move...also, IIRC, you current employer is an academic institution of some size? I mean, academic culture vis a vis labour and employment generally leans towards the hypocritical and insane, so that all sounds par the course. I've kind of learned not to stress weird emotionality and simmering resentment turned ones way over seemingly straightforward things like trying to, say, run down a lost paycheck (fortunately back home, not yet here, but I imagine its just a matter of time.) Ignore them and move on.
  6. Datepalm

    Careerchat III

    @Inigima, @Tears of Lys - I think this is completely inappropriate, but a handful of people have chimed in immediately with what seems like unalloyed enthusiasm (bizarre, IDEK) and makes me think that somehow the fact this is a dog means it doesn't follow the usual rules. It seems to be treated (by some) as no more disruptive than someone getting a plant or hanging a poster at their desk... Though the words bullying and mobbing have guiltily occurred to me in the context of this person before, which makes this look increasingly like a pattern, yeah. (previously I'd left the benefit of the doubt that this was mostly just someone with a really bad ability to contextualize generic statements to actual individuals in front of them.)
  7. Datepalm

    Careerchat III

    Pfft - sublimating and displacing feelings of anomie, disconnection and meaninglessness onto a time consuming and life-structuring responsibility that you have an overly anthropomorphosized relationship with is a PhD. Getting a dog as well is just being greedy at this point. I think that greed, however jokey i'm being, is one of the weird tensions I find in the culture here - there's a sort of public policy element to things that I (especially my kind of deep Soviet roots, unsurprisingly) feel are just personal, primarily various feelings of belonging, comfort, satisfaction, identity. Like, sometimes there's a semi-convincing argument that these feelings mirror (and impact) structural historical race/class/gender whatever, and then I can sort of shrug it off, but a lot of it is so deeply personalized It seems like its diluting the actual political dimension of this to meaninglessness and impacting real programs actually aimed at making the university more structurally accessible.* So, sure, yes, if you moved to a big fancy university from a small, working class college, you'll have feelings of strangeness some times, and some times you'll feel like you don't belong, and sometimes it will be intimidating to go into a big-shot professors office hours. Those are, like...part of life. Hell, it would be stripping something away from life to 'fix' those. They can't be fixed. And no, you can't have a dog to make you feel better either. Because it won't, and you just need to learn to process feelings and transitions like an adult. AT THE SAME TIME (hence the tension) - the actual realm of interpersonal contact, the sphere where these kinds of feeling can be usefully addressed - ie, sharing them with your friends, getting advice and social support, listening to and realizing others often feel the same with their own particular stories and issues - is some of the shallowest and most plasticky I've ever encountered in any group of people. The general point about pets does resonate with me as well - I generally find overly cuddly human-animal relationships creepy and I this articulates something of why. I brought it up with a friend who is a therapist once when she suggested I get a pet, and her argument was that this was not a replacement for human connection but practice towards it, which I don't know what to make of. The decline of american social life has been a thing-people-are-worried-about for decades though...the dog issue seems far more recent, and seems more driven to me by this, well, shamelessness about demanding a kind of smooth satisfactory feeling of inner well being at all times without any variations as a basic right. *This became its own rant...though back to workplace relate stuff, I guess. So, for example, my teaching assistant intake training informed me in passing that a quarter of my students will be housing-insecure over the course of their degree, and a third might skip meals, mentioned nothing more about any of this, and spent about 80% of its time and contents breaking down minutia of mildly awkward jokes that might read as sexist and setting you memorizing the exact phrasing required to respond to them to make sure everyone feels like they belong in class. My most complicated interactions with a student this semester was an older, non-traditional, parent, community college transfer - I had a lovely chats with her reassuring her and building up her confidence after a series of late and pretty bad assignments. I think it helped her feel a little better, but seemed to have a very marginal impact on her work, which appears to me to be more severely impacted by spending most of her time studying out of her car while driving around campus to avoid tickets, because she can't afford parking and obviously can't afford housing within reasonable transit distance. Another student, a first-gen immigrant with a full time job - incidentally the only two black students in a 60 person class? - missed assignments because her family were being evicted. But hey, I did a lecture on an African city in an otherwise US-oriented course she said resonated with her. Great.
  8. Datepalm

    Careerchat III

    I'm not so much baffled by the grift itself - you can get away with it, so you do - as by what the grift is for. Why the hell would you want to keep a dog around with you all day, every day? What is happening, societally speaking, that there's suddenly a non-trivial group of people around for whom this is such an appealing situation that you're bending and rearranging societal norms and actual rules to achieve it?
  9. Datepalm

    Careerchat III

    Yeah, that I would be fine with. But this person seems to be refusing to shift their own life around getting a dog, and externalizing it onto a bunch of people who did not sign up to have a dog in their life. Our higher-up is actually kind of tricky to figure out, and the space as such is very much our own. And since this is going to be registered as a service animal, I suppose the relevant body is whoever is in charge of those labels and conditions and what happens is someone has a conflict - what does happen when someone has a seeing eye dog and supposed to share an office with someone severely allergic to dogs? And then what happens when both relationships-to-dog are more subjective than that?
  10. Datepalm

    Careerchat III

    What's been bugging me here, is - can you imagine if someone announced their kid would now be spending all day in the office? Because what this really is about is treating pet-ownership like some sacred constitutional right. Why should a person with a busy schedule and little private space who can't conveniently or affordably fit the time-consuming and inflexible requirement of keeping a dog, not have a dog? They should have a dog! And if that means they have to bring it to the office every day to also have a life, well, that's everyone else's problem. Because its my right to have a dog my lifestyle makes absolutely no sense for. But imagine if it was a grad student who had just had a child, couldn't afford childcare (no hypothetical - no one can, by definition. It's literally more than our monthly salary) or leave, and proposed a solution of bringing a newborn in everyday. They would just keep a little cot by their desk. It would definitely take up less space than a dog. But that would be ridiculous, because no one has a right to have children. (In case its unclear, I would be vastly more sympathetic and flexible around someone needing to bring their kid in to work than this pet thing, even if it was fairly disruptive. Argh, why did it have to be a dog? Get some spiders, dog-person. Spiders are great. You'll be so special!)
  11. Datepalm

    Careerchat III

    My roommate was at least caught up in this dog situation somewhat unwillingly - dog was abandoned by a someone else, it was supposed to be a very temporary arrangement, he went to great length and expense to try and train him, worked to run things by me as much as possible, and essentially left the apartment after a while (and was functionally homeless for a bit...fortunately it was summer and he basically went semi-nomadic camping) in part because of this. So while the situation was bad for me, I had a lot of sympathy for what was going on and there wasn't a sense of someone basically regarding everyone around them as non-player characters to their own current affectation. I agree that in a sane universe, this would be conditional... No, hang on, in a sane universe, this would not be happening, because this is college and not kindergarden and routine adult life shouldn't involve a no-choice petting corner. But this is Well Known For This Sort of Thing California College Town, so, y'know, here we are. In the slightly less insane universe than the one we are in, this would be a thing you need to do (like my roomate, inherited dog and have no choice or something, or even a real service need) would first cautiously ask about - ascertaining that no one has any, for example, allergies or phobias (much less, you know, a basic preference for not turning their office into a kennel) and then propose some sort of solution that may involve dog-presence, with a helpful menu of adjustments and accommodations for those for whom this change to a supposedly equitably shared space may be disruptive. None of this happened. All that happened was an email saying, hey y'all, I got a dog. The dog will now be in the office with me and all of you. Yay! That's it. Pronouncement. Not even a 'please let me know if this is ok'. The email is titled "Pure cuteness coming." I now genuinely hate this person. This isn't, as far as I can tell, an actual service animal, even within the context of the phenomenon of emotional support animals. There are a fair amount of dogs in the building - I usually run into them in the elevator and frankly often find that weird and aggravating, but I can handle an elevator ride's worth of dog time - but to the best of my knowledge, they share much smaller, more individual space with their owners. (Or, for all I know, every office across campus - nay, across America - is hashing this out as we speak.) Dog-person has announced that her dog would carry this classification as well, but there is no detailing of why or what or even any direct phrasing that this is actually a service animal, just that that's why he'd be allowed in the building. The email announcing this is brief and cheerful, and seems to be about the fun (???) of having the dog with her rather than answering any need. BTW it's been a day and a half since I responded with being not-OK with this announcement, and have heard absolutely nothing from her, publicly or privately. My email was in the form of 'can someone switch aisles (or rooms, ha ha.) with me, because I can't be around dogs for reasons', rather than a hard no, so maybe she considers it addressed. Or just doesn't give a fuck. Maybe I should have written a hard no and be willing to fight it out, but I feel like it will definitely be a fight - I imagine some poor committee somewhere in the bowels of the university will be tasked with judging the merits and magnitudes of our respective emotional traumas as being helped vs. harmed by presence of dog. The thing is I now want to switch desks anyway even if we don't get the dog, because I don't want to sit next to this person anymore.
  12. Datepalm

    Careerchat III

    So far the dog has about 4 people in support and me and another person against (me publically, the other privately - also with a bad dog biting incident in her past). And lots of silence from everyone else. Yes, the cheery 'this is happening' tone, and not so much as running it past me (I'm one of the 2 people who sit closest to this person) gets a serious 'fuck you' vibe going for me. More practically, I both assume this will be anti-productive to at least some extent, and on a more personal level have a bad backstory with a dog - my roommate from 2 years ago who kept a large, untrained dog in our small apartment, who attacked me a lot, wouldn't let me leave the room, etc. It was an alltogether bad time and basically being unable to function in my own home did not help, so the whole thing is - and I used this word in my email - 'triggering'. Said dog also attacked someone in the park when let off the leash once - my roommate was actually sued by this guy (who, yes, was an American tourist) - even though this absloutely seemed like the place, but the dog just wasn't trained. Anyway, since dog-person is going to claim this as a service animal - there's no argument in the email that this is true, just that they can get away with it so why not? - I figure I can chime in with my issues. At the very least, I asked and someone offered, to switch desks to be further away, but I find that a pretty unsatisfying solution.
  13. Datepalm

    Careerchat III

    Meeting with advisor went great. I'm right where I'm supposed to be. Even some of these stress/anxiety issues were touched on and usefully addressed in professional, light, undramatic ways. All's good. ...until someone unilaterally declared that they're getting a dog which will hang out every day in our shared, crowded, 60-year-old brutalist architectural masterpiece but impossible to keep even vaguely clean and has smelled weird since the 80s, theoretically 40-person capacity office. It's a cute dog and so and its done and we're all supposed to like it. I cannot fathom the train of thought that leads to such a declaration or presupposes a collective cheery tolerance for this in the context of a space that is already often cautiously and stressfully negotiated by only its human inhabitants and has presently arrived at a fairly strict working silence, no trash cans they bring insects (dog persons insistence), no guests without prior notice of the entire 40 person mailing list, if you bring in baked goods, they must be labelled for vegans, policy. But dog is fine. It is an office.
  14. Datepalm

    Careerchat III

    Brief rant - here because this is what I've got as far as employment goes and I suppose 'colleagues' is the best term to describe the people around me. I feel like the Germans have a better one, but there you go. (Have I ever mentioned that the longer I actually speak English in my daily life the more it feels like a weird toy language? This tactile, plastic thing I can stack up and break down like a bunch of legos, but that doesn't really hold any meaning. Beats me why. I like English, and purely qualitatively, its the probably the language I'm most fluent in at this point. Its just apparently not who I am.) I've finally got a meeting with my supervisor/advisor this afternoon and I feel like if I get some of this out, it won't come out towards him. Honestly, I really like my supervisor, I like his approach and level of criticism towards my work - there's not much of it at this point, I've just been doing really big-picture stuff of gradually trying to work out the boundaries of what will be my qual exam (It's not for another year, at the soonest) and I haven't really felt like I'm supposed to see him more than I have - I mean, he's also officially on sabbatical, so it all makes sense to me. HOWEVER, argh, this place. I've been, well, in school for like 8 years now, and I've never encountered the level of obsequiousness towards, and competitiveness over professors' time, attention, etc. I mean, I get it - structurally, they hold a ton of power over grad students in allocating resources, both immediately and long term in terms of recommending and providing contacts and whatever for job-hunting, but still! I mean, this is - to me - comical, satirical skit, levels of flattery in chance hallways meeting or in classes, competitiveness over getting in office hours (good god you've all already got two degrees, none of us needs advice on how to write a class paper at this point. Or shouldn't need), etc, etc. So I don't mind my relationship with my advisor, but I'm annoyed and baffled that I feel like it would show weakness (or something) to admit I've met him like 4 times since I got here. Or be whiny. Neither of which is what I feel. I guess this is really about feeling like I'm getting some weird pushback from a lot of the people in my department ('colleagues') who are weirdly territorial about their various sub-sub-fields, theories and regions, and feeling excluded from the theory people telling me to stick to my little buses and watch it with using 'their' concepts - meanwhile the bus people, who do seem to get me more, are all holed up elsewhere...and I feel like I'm starting to see this division, and have to pick a side?? But what the hell. These concepts are used intensively in both my major research areas. Yes, they're loaded. We all know that. Half the work IN those research areas is about conceptualizing and deliniating these concepts in complex ways. Do not bloody tell me 'I'm sure this isn't really useful for you'. OK, yes, I'm specifically irritated with one particular person who works in the same very, very broad geographic region (like, as broad as you can imagine while still on this planet), whose engagement with my work is always both extremely perfunctory - even on the level of basic, that word again, collegiate, decency of like feedback in a writing group - and yet, oddly, I dunno, dismissive? And yet contradictory about specific points (As in, the two times its been brought up, once my central concept was 'really interesting, original, bye' and abouot six weeks later 'well, I mean, that's been done so much and so thoroughly') . Some of it may be in my head, but some of it definitely isn't and there's a weird tension and hostility there. (This person is a font of self assurance I find kind of obnoxious...like, we're all here to learn. Declare yourself an expert on it all if you want, but why do you assume I would take you seriously if there's no possibility of actually engaging in any kind of learning process or challenge to thought with you? And also over the top, profession-wide, global-level name dropping. I don't get it.) Anyway, yeah, I'm stressed and irritated because theoretical academic concepts and approaches are becoming weirdly embodied and starting to gain emotional heft and mild triggers of feeling and anxiety and exclusion tied to like interpersonal dynamics with individual colleagues….I probably need to figure out how to let that go and take throwaway self-important comments by likely insecure (or insanely secure, which is even worse), similarly neurotic oddballs I'm surrounded with less seriously, and just get on with my work.
  15. Datepalm

    Dating - I love the way you swipe

    Probably eventually, but this would be over the next few years, not months, and I want to get out of town somewhere before that, generally speaking. I mean, I'd try for a meeting or something anyway, but I guess it feels oddly risky going into it with some inclination to the date-y just in my own head, especially as its someone who is a node in my wider professional network (in a really small sub-field), if not a direct colleague, not to mention living across the country and having evidenced no interest, so maybe I should kill that inclination dead. In case it has not been established, I am not good at these things and not good at just thinking about these things.
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