Times and Sorensens

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Friday, January 19, 2007

now that's scary...

Joshua was having a hard time the other night and we subsequently had a little talk about feelings. We were just talking about some of the feelings people have, and when we got to "scared" Joshua's antenna perked up. The following exchange ensued;

"Why do people get scared?" asked Joshua

"Well, maybe people get scared when they see something they've never seen before,"I responded.

"Yeah, maybe like if they see an old wig,"

"Hmmm, yes, maybe like that..."

"Yes, and especially if the old wig is blowing hot air."

I have absolutely no idea where this obscure fear came from, but I appreciated the insight into Joshua's thinking. Maybe I'll dig up my college notes on Freudian analysis...

Monday, January 15, 2007

I'm qualified!

I passed my qualifying exam today! This is the last official hurdle until my final defense, at which point I'll have my PhD. Apparently I actually do get a degree for passing my qualifying exam, which is also called the advancement to candidacy. The degree is referred to as "cPhil", which I'm guessing means I'm a "candidate of Philosophy". I'm suspicious the real point of this "degree" is the candidacy fee they charge to get it.

Actually, getting the qualifying exam done is a bit of a feat. First you have to get five professors from multiple departments together, and rumor has it that scheduling the exam is more difficult than passing it. As one fellow student told me, "If you actually manage to get five professors into the same room at the same time, you automatically pass the exam."

So how did I do it? I held my exam on a holiday. Amazingly enough, the schedules of all the professors on my committee were relatively clear on a university holiday. The trick was convincing them to come to campus -- they were actually quite nice about it, and I am very grateful they were willing to do so.

After the exam, I was so happy it was done that I went straight home. I started to realize my relief may have made me a bit absent minded when I noticed it was cold outside and remembered I'd left my jacket at the lab. A bit later I noticed the sun's glare was bothering me more than it normally does on my way home and realized I'd also forgotten my sunglasses. Once I arrived home, I remembered I'd also left our lab laptop in the conference room, still plugged into the projector and displaying my presentation. Fortunately a lab mate was at the lab and had gone and collected the laptop for me. Now all I've got to collect are my sunglasses, my jacket, and my thoughts.

Monday, January 08, 2007

One last Christmas post

Here are just a couple of pictures taken during the Christmas holiday while we were staying with family that I think show pretty well how the boys felt about our trip:

The boys'Aunt Erin told us that they didn't look so much different and more grown up from the last time we had been together (6 months ago) because she had seen pictures of them fairly regularly since then on our blog. That was really nice to hear and to know that our blog is fulfilling its purpose! (Jake saw this and said, "Great, now we're meta-blogging!).

Friday, January 05, 2007

feeding the ducks

While we were staying with my parents over the holidays one of the activities we did together was feeding the ducks at Los Medanos Lake. But silly us, we forgot the bread at home. While my dad was going back for the bread, Joshua decided to throw small sticks and leaves to the ducks (to tease or to appease, I couldn't tell). Either way, they were not amused. Fortunately my dad made it back in record time and there was plenty of bread for all the various types of fowl that make Los Medanos their home. Although it was too cold and windy for us to stay very long, it makes for a warm memory. Thanks Mom and Dad!

bad hair day...

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Christmas 2006

We're back after a holiday hiatus! We enjoyed Christmas at both mine and Jake's parents this year and got to spend time with lots and lots of family. We were greeted with 2 earthquakes as we arrived in the Bay Area, and had just missed a prior one by less than 24 hours. Ah, home sweet home...

The boys awoke Christmas morning to find scooters beside the tree. This provided Jake with the opportunity to go through an important rite of passage as a father on Christmas Eve -- assembling presents so they would be ready for the big morning! He made it to bed well before midnight and came through like a champ.

Daniel took to his new t-ball set right away. He's a natural!

Suffice it to say Joshua has girl cousins...

Our eco-friendly son playing with his new recycling truck:

Joshua's new remote-control crane is awesome! Jake's dad teased him that he would play with it while we were visiting my parents. Joshua took him seriously and would periodically ask, "Do you think Grandpa is playing with my crane? Do you think he is being very careful with it?" Actually, Grandpa may not have been teasing after all; Jake and I play with it after the boys have gone to bed...it really is quite fun!

Sorensen boys, girls-in-law and grandboys. (Back row, l-r) Erin, Adam, Leslie, Jake, Alec (front row, l-r) Joshua and Daniel:

Thank you to all of you who shared this Christmas with us. We love you!