Afarensis on Hiatus and Other Miscellany

As many of you know I lost my job a while back. After a long agonizing search I have finally found another. I’m still in the job market because this job just barely pays the bills – but at least I don’t have to worry about being homeless. It is pretty much manual labor and has me somewhat exhausted, so I am going to take a week off. When I return, hopefully refreshed, I hope to finish up some lingering business such as my series on semicircular canals.


In the meantime, I have to confess to feeling some sympathy for Orac. Us Sciencebloggers tend to pick on Orac whenever some M.D. makes the news spouting creationist nonsense. Lately, however, a couple of stories have popped up that hit kind of close to home. You see, I went to the University of Tennessee and spent about 7 years living in Tennessee. So when I found out the Discovery Institute was hosting a gathering of nincompoops in Knoxville, I was pretty embarrassed. I really enjoyed my time there and thought the public schools in Knoxville were quite good (I have two daughters that went to school in Knoxville). Then PZ had to mention Raynond Finney, Tennessee State Senator and his ludicrous request to the Tennessee Department of Education. Sigh! Thanks for embarrassing me Raymond.

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8 Responses

  1. Hey, sorry to hear about your job woes but congrats on finding another one. What kind of jobs are you looking for, ideally?

  2. I have been focusing on a couple of different types of jobs. I have noticed some – anthropology related – jobs with the MO Dept. of Natural Resources that only require a BA so I applied for them. Unfortunately on two of them I received a polite email saying they decided not to fill the positions. I am also trying to use my experience from my last job (I was the supervisor of the document imaging dept, which I created from scratch, installed the software, wrote most of the processes for, was sys admin for that software, revamped the mail/UPS system, etc.) into something. Finally, I have just been trying to find something that would pay the bills while I try to find something better. The job I have now falls in that category. It’s not really a bad job – other than sometimes it can be quite physically demanding and I am currently out of shape and smoke too much. Probably the biggest drawback, though, is that I am considered an independent contractor so they don’t take taxes or social security out.

  3. One benefit of growing up in Utah is that I am wholly immune to being embarassed by the weird antics of other people who just happen to be from the same place.

    Beyond the well-known odd religion, Utah was also home to a peculiar low temperature ‘fusion’ which curiously failed to produce neutrons …and couldn’t be reproduced at other fusion research depts.

  4. Sympathies on your plight. Just remember the advice given to Scrooge McDuck back in the day, “Don’t work harder, work smarter.”
    For long term job security, go back to school and get your Masters. More and better job offers for one thing. Check out financial aid opportunities, housing assistance, and other such stuff. With your BA and prior experience you may be able to obtain a position as an assisstant professor, which would help with the bills. It’s what my mom did when she went for her Masters back in 1960.

  5. Sorry to hear you lost your job, but glad to hear you found another one that at least pays the bills. I’ve been there and done that. It’s not fun. YOu have my complete sympathy, though I’ll miss your comments for the next week!
    Anne G

  6. afarensis, from what you describe of your old job, you might want to look into the US postal system – document imaging pretty well describes what they do (basicly they take pictures of all letters, and uses software to read the letters to sort them correctly – with some manual typing where necessary). I don’t know if they are still working on the system, but it might be worth checking, if you can’t find anything.

  7. I hadn’t read about the job loss, but I’m glad you found something to pay the bills until you find the good job. Good luck. Rest up and recharge.

  8. Offtopic, but I found this neat description of afarensis on this site . It focuses mostly on the features of various teeth and bones, and also on the Laetoli footprints.

    thanks to ANF who linked to the site from Pharyngula.

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