> chat > Sat 2003-11-22

Chat for Sat 2003-11-22 15:05:26

rich-c: hi rich
rich-c: sorry I'm late
Dr.D.: Hello Richard!
Dr.D.: I was hanging about in another window with this one minimized.
rich-c: yep, the old bad penny is back
Dr.D.: New hip, though :-)
rich-c: I'd jus5t about given up and started a game of Free Cell
Dr.D.: I hope the painkillers aren't still messing with your mind.
rich-c: yeah, left rear suspension totally renewed
Dr.D.: Gack, I hope I'm more interesting than FreeCell :-)
Dr.D.: I'm also surprised more folks aren't here now.
rich-c: haven't had any last two days and for three days before took one Percocet befoe physio and that was it
Dr.D.: Frances did tell everyone that you were to be back Friday, and that your appearance here today was a given.
rich-c: sometimes some folks are slow to get the message - others just never noticethe clock
Dr.D.: I hope you're able to rest comfortably.
Dr.D.: And that the physiotherapy isn't too onerous.
rich-c: no sweat; took me a bit to settle in but I had a fine sleep last night
rich-c: problem is, I can only sleep in one position and that's bad for my bed sores
Dr.D.: Bed sores?!?
rich-c: sure - I've spent almost 3 weeks on my back with a pillow between my knees
rich-c: got a fine little erosion site on my butt
Dr.D.: But hospital staff are supposed to move people regularly enough to prevent that, sigh.
Dr.D.: That was impossible due to the surgery?
rich-c: true, but it's a positional thing, and they can't move you away from the one position
Dr.D.: Did they give you a gel-filled matress pad to sit on?
rich-c: yes, there are and will be restrictions on my movement
Dr.D.: That's what we used when I worked as an orderly, this nifty gel stuff that was much softer than a matress.
rich-c: haven't heard anything about gel-filled mattress pads - have to investigate
Dr.D.: It was this block, about 2 feet square, maybe 3 inches thick.
rich-c: hope fairlt soon to be able to roll to my right
Dr.D.: Laid on the mattress, then you laid on it.
rich-c: never seen or heard of it - but I'll investigate, bet on it
Dr.D.: It really allowed force to distribute out, so it didn't get concentrated on sharp bony points, where most ulcers develop.
rich-c: these seem to be almost dead centre of my pelvis - which figures
Dr.D.: Would sleeping sitting up every once in a while help relieve the pressure?
rich-c: also means that when I'm up and sitting the weight still gets concentrated in the same place
Dr.D.: Is a recliner-type chair (if you have one) contra-indicated?
rich-c: officially yes, but there's a reason for that
rich-c: the restriction is that my knees must be lower than my hips
Dr.D.: Not being an orthopaedist...the reason for this is?
rich-c: so I plunked three thick pillows into the recliner then parked myself in
rich-c: I must not cross my legs, or move either across the centreline of my body
rich-c: I also may not twist my body
rich-c: nor may I reach my arms below the level of my knees
Dr.D.: I guess this is all to insure proper healing.
Dr.D.: I hope not permantently!
Dr.D.: Ooops, permanently
rich-c: yes - I gather that the artificial hip is very slightly smaller than the original
rich-c: and that under stresses it dislocates more easily, especially in the early stages
Dr.D.: But walking and stairs are not verboten, are they?
rich-c: oh no. I'm hiking all around the house and had to show the therapists that I could go up and down stairs before the hospital would spring me
Dr.D.: Eventually you'll be allowed to drive, too, I hope.
rich-c: in fact at some point I'll be giving you a brb while I go do a lap of the kitchen just to keep things flexible
Dr.D.: Sure, walk all you need to!
rich-c: driving is a question - neighbour Joseph did it at three weelks (though he says DONT tell the doctor)
rich-c: but others say anything from four to six to eight weeks
rich-c: of course once you're out from under the hospital's watchful eye you can do as you please
rich-c: you can also live with the consequences of your indiscreet pleasures
Dr.D.: Driving is contradicted for good? Or just until a longer-than-most-people-can-stand-to-wait interval?
rich-c: my review appointment with my surgeon is Dec. 18th
rich-c: well, no one is watching so you basically make your own call - caveat as above
rich-c: since the Safari is automatic and it was my left hip that was done, I can easily operate it
rich-c: also stepping up into the van is far easier than sinking into a low car
Dr.D.: Since you'll need to be driving again at some point...wait the extra bit just to be sure it's all healed up.
Dr.D.: If we get a bad winter this year, you won't be wanting to be out in it anyhow.
rich-c: yes, among other things I still cant raise my leg up off the bed more than an inch
rich-c: I can flex the knee joint and kick behind me like a mule
Dr.D.: That's good, Frances had noted to us some reduced knee-joint flexibility.
rich-c: right after the operation I couldn't even flex the knee one inch
rich-c: but at the rehab hospital I was happily doing laps of the floor
Dr.D.: Just took some time.
Dr.D.: Keep doing the laps.
rich-c: in fact, caught hell a couple of times when I wandered out having forgotten my cane!
Dr.D.: Are you using a cane still, or are you completely stand-alone?
rich-c: funnily enough, if I'm without the cane I have a very pronounced limp, but with the cane can already hold a near-normal gait
rich-c: oh, I expect that I'll likely use the cane for some few more weeks - canes are handy at times
Dr.D.: Got some people you want to whack? :-)
rich-c: let's say that properly (and very subtly) placed they can discouragee the inconsiderate from jostling you
rich-c: also great for pressing handicap-door buttons and stuff
Dr.D.: Hehe
Dr.D.: Carry it anyway, just for show.
rich-c: in fact I used the cane to turn the computer on just now - it's lower than I-m allowed to rash
rich-c: reach
Dr.D.: Get yourself a nice wooden one with a gold ferule or something :-)
rich-c: oh, for home I have a nice stout wooden one, with a splashy adjutable aluminum one for outings
rich-c: though at this season I may want to get an ice-pick end for it (yes, they exist)
Dr.D.: I wonder how much trouble you'll get in airport security, though.
rich-c: yeah, likely drive their metal detectors nuts
Dr.D.: The ice-pick end would make them made I think.
rich-c: though I guess new hips are so common now they're used to it
Dr.D.: I wonder if they will start making people carry some kind of official document that says "I have the following prosthetic implants: blah blah".
rich-c: anyway there are no airplane flights in my immediate future projections
Dr.D.: Hope you're able to come to ADAMcon 16, currently slated for El Paso, TX. That would be a long drive.
rich-c: we are very much planning to come and hoping we can do it as a driving trip
rich-c: brb - want a drink of water
Dr.D.: Given that it's to be in September, I may end up being able to attend only for the weekend part; my teaching duties may be changing soon.
Dr.D.: [drink of water acknowledged]
rich-c: why, what's in the wind for you?
Dr.D.: Possibly a job shift from Senior Research Associate to a full-time Instructor.
Dr.D.: And on track to become the Department's new Executive Officer when the current EO retires in 2 years.
rich-c: well, considering the success you've had with your robotics teaching sideline, I'm not surprised
Dr.D.: Well, one casualty of the change would likely be the existing robot course.
rich-c: and I gather that suggests your research publications have been well received, too
Dr.D.: My teaching would be back to mainline biology stuff.
Dr.D.: I would still be working with my current boss in a consulting or other small capacity, but his grants would not be underwriting my salary.
rich-c: so a good teeacher gets plunked right into his specialty - that's fair
rich-c: I assume this would be an effective promotion, perhaps with tenure implications?
Dr.D.: The advantage (should this come to pass, the Chairman is working on it) would be me finally being off soft money.
Dr.D.: No "tenure" (that's for research faculty running their own labs and writing research grants).
Dr.D.: But it would be a de facto permanent position.
rich-c: do not most regular teaching faculty have tenure there?
Dr.D.: There are no "teaching faculty" at CWRU, only tenure track is research.
Dr.D.: However, reality is that there are not enough tenured faculty to do the undergrad teaching well.
rich-c: I gather that is rather different from the situation around here, then
Dr.D.: And right now, only me and the EO who is planning to retire can teach any anatomy courses.
Dr.D.: So I would have the comparative anatomy and human anatomy courses as part of my teaching load.
rich-c: yes, that does tend to make you somewhat indispensible
Dr.D.: It's all very tentative at this time, a fair chance it can't happen, but the Chairman would like to see it happen.
rich-c: Lord knows you've been on the bubble for too many years- time they showed some appreciation of your contribution
Dr.D.: Since it also looks like the NSF has bought my grant to develop a web-based robot course, that could become the replacement for the current LEGO-based one.
rich-c: it's common here for high school teachers to look down on university instructors
Dr.D.: Though ideally I'd like it to be a separate, complementary course, not a zero-sum game.
Dr.D.: Your HS teachers are better-trained? Good if they are.
rich-c: concede they may be experts in their subjects, but no one ever taught them how to teach
Dr.D.: Not the case here, I am afraid.
Dr.D.: Here many HS teachers know all the education gobbledygook but are poor in the subject matter.
Dr.D.: Also, teaching no longer has the monopoly on smart women for careers.
rich-c: point is, university faculty have no formal teaching qualifications, is the thought
Dr.D.: Teaching and nursing have suffered the most from the expansion of horizons for working women, 'cause the pay is non-competitive.
Dr.D.: That point is true. I've just been through a semester-long teaching fellows series to try to correct that.
rich-c: and I think you've encountered more than one professor who, however outstanding in his field, just couldn't get his lessons across
Dr.D.: There was never any selection pressure at the university level for craft of teaching.
Dr.D.: Bring in the research $$$, that's all you need to get tenure. And not molest the students, but that's about all else.
rich-c: here to teach you must have a university undergraduate degree plus teacher's college or equivalent
rich-c: that applies even at elemenatery level now
Dr.D.: So then you must have research-only faculty tracks.
rich-c: if you have additional subject expertise (honous - masters - graduate degree) your pay is higher
Dr.D.: Haha, here advanced degree will prevent you getting hired.
Dr.D.: You can get a M.S. after you've been working for a few years and tenured by your union/school system...but me as a Ph.D., would never get hired at the entry level.
rich-c: don't know how strong the publish or perish pressure is in our universities
Dr.D.: Our university system is now so taken over by business models that learning and education are only secondary issues. Short-term economic gain to the Board of Trustees and endowment is all that counts now.
rich-c: high school teachers with doctorates are uncommon here, but I have had some and met others
Dr.D.: This has become abundantly clear around here with the crew changing CWRU to Case.
Dr.D.: Pointless new logo, marketroid salesspeak, stuff that's crafted to look pretty to Joe-Bob...sigh.
rich-c: Toronto now has a new president but what direction he will take is not totally clear
Dr.D.: Has Ms. Rin managed to get herself a job in the new administration? She's missed the last few Wednesday chats and nobody seems to know.
rich-c: he talks a lot about excellence though and has been very successful in fundraiing from teh alumni
Dr.D.: Oh, duh, University of Toronto, my bad.
rich-c: Erin? don't know quite how things tand
Dr.D.: Stupid me.
rich-c: she was here for the Liberal convention Nov. 10 and didn't have a job then
Dr.D.: Our alumni fundraising....haha
rich-c: Toronto now has quite a massive endowment fund
Dr.D.: After the name change to remove "Western Reserve" from everything, every sign, every building, etc., all the Reservie alumni have voted with their feet.
rich-c: oh dear - that is no help at all
Dr.D.: There is nothing left on campus that says "Western Reserve" anything except one gymnasium which has a sandstone block over the door that says "WRV" (V=Latin U).
rich-c: as I recall, Toronto has had nine Nobel laureates on faculty so far, and does not consider that nearly enough
Dr.D.: No Nobel laureates on faculty...but a pathetic "brag display" in the glass atrium attached to our Biology Building with plaques noting all the people who got Nobels who worked here at some point.
rich-c: every once in a while the Alumi magazine notes graduates who [icked up Nobels later in life
Dr.D.: I think only one of them was ever still here when he did his prize-winning work, or did a significant amount of his work here.
Dr.D.: It's a sad testament to all the good ones who got away from this place.
Dr.D.: But they try to spin it otherwise.
rich-c: of course there are others who don't have Nobels (yet?) but are growing reputations
Dr.D.: Perhaps physicist Lawrence Krauss (the "Physics of Star Trek" guy) has enough cachet to snare a Nobel prize, but he is more of a "popular" celebrity than any whiz-bang researcher, as far as I can tell.
Dr.D.: He was buddy enough with Stephen Hawking to get Hawking to come visit last month, though.
Dr.D.: That might have made international news.
rich-c: that sounds pretty promising
Dr.D.: Richard, I hate to stop talking to you...but I have to go get supper in the oven...
rich-c: and just because someone has used his expertise for fun as well doesnt mean he isn't a giant in his field
rich-c: understnad completely, Rich - I have to go take a walk anyway
Dr.D.: Joan is working tonight and we have to be on the road by 6:15 PM tonight.
rich-c: see you on chat Wednesday?
Dr.D.: It's just that I've missed talking to you :-)
Dr.D.: Glad to have the chance again.
rich-c: my pleasure, as ever
Dr.D.: Go take your walk, say hi to Frances.
Dr.D.: And I'm off to the galley...
rich-c: and you go eat and enjoy bye now
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changed username to rich-c > chat > Sat 2003-11-22
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