Dec 08 2010

A few things…

have happened since I last posted.  And, in the interest of time, (both mine and yours) let’s make this brief, and call it:

The Top Five Things that Happened to Me in 2009/2010.

1.  We bought a house.

View from said house.

2.  We went to China.

If you dont recognize this landmark...  well I dont know what to say.

3.  I got pregnant.

Living Large.

4.  I had a baby.

Sad, newborn, wrinkly Preston

5.  I got a new job.

Hm.  No photo for that last one.

Yep.  I think those are the big ones.  So, consider yourselves all caught up in the Life of Hayley in less than five minutes.  Yay!  (Hey, gotta streamline my life now that I have a rug rat.)

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Jun 01 2009

Take that Larry Summers!

Published by Hayley under Uncategorized

A new review article in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) analyzes recent math testing data and concludes that the gender performance gap in mathematics is non-existent in the aggregate level from K-12 in the US (thanks No Child Left Behind for all the wealth of testing data we have for low cognitive level math!).  Summers’ now oft-quoted statement poses that the men have higher variability in intrinsic math ability, therefore there are more ‘high performing’ (and also ‘low performing’) men than women in math, and this difference is not a result of cultural/socialization issues: Directly addressing Summers’ hypothesis, the authors’ compare the high performing (99th percentile) population of students for a Minnesota state exam, showing some interesting differences by ethnicity. The ‘expected’ male:female ratio according to this hypothesis is 2.15, which actually correlates well with the White subgroup of this population (2.06).  However, the ratio is 0.91 for Asians: ie girls were actually more likely to score higher than boys, albeit by a small margin.  Girls score equally and in some cases better than boys from UK, Iceland, and Thailand for an international exam in 2003.  Variability analysis of various exams from various countries conclude that the variability in scores for girls and boys is… wait for it… variable.  (Some countries had negigible difference in score variability of girls vs boys, others had differences one way or the other, etc…)

Definitely some flaws in the article but interesting nonetheless.

Easily digestible summary on Science Daily.

Review article on PNAS (if you can’t see the full article and would like to read it shoot me an email)

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Mar 06 2009


Published by Hayley under Uncategorized

I seriously thought that I’d have *more* time after I finished my dissertation to do fun things like crafting and blogging…  What was I THINKING???!!   In reality, I’ve been *crazy* busy with what feels like 4 jobs:  my real one that actually pays me something, finishing papers for my graduate work (yes, still), starting a food pantry, house hunting (stay tuned, I hope we will have exciting news in the near future), and oh, yeah, being a wife/daughter/friend/mentor…


I feel like I need to CONSTANTLY remind myself of a quote that Bruce often uses:

“Peace it does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.”

Don’t get me wrong, life is GOOD… but man, sometimes it’s HARD to make time to get myself to that peaceful place.

Whew.  I feel better just getting that out.

3 responses so far

Mar 06 2009

I can’t wait for Monday 11am…

Published by Hayley under Uncategorized

Just got hold of the news that Obama is going to make a stem cell announcement on Monday via the Washington Post!!!!


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Jan 20 2009

It sounds so good to hear the words: “President Obama”

Published by Hayley under election, science, stem cells, yay!

And why am I so excited about our new President, you ask? Not because of what he will hopefully do to improve the economy, our healthcare, and foreign relations… really, what a nightmare the man has to deal with! I am excited because there will finally be a shift in the stance on science - ie. science is not an adversary or a tool to manipulate for your own purposes, but the opposite - Obama said it best himself:

“… the truth is that promoting science isn’t just about providing resources—it’s about protecting free and open inquiry. It’s about ensuring that facts and evidence are never twisted or obscured by politics or ideology. It’s about listening to what our scientists have to say, even when it’s inconvenient—especially when it’s inconvenient. Because the highest purpose of science is the search for knowledge, truth and a greater understanding of the world around us.”

Then President-elect Obama, on the introduction of the scientists who will be leading his science and technology team. (December 20, 2008)

In related news, folks in SF thought it would be fun to change Bush St. to Obama St. for the day:

More here.

And, if you need more inspiration, Obamicon yourself here. My fav so far:

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Jan 18 2009

“Phinally Done”

Published by Hayley under berkeley, lab, work, yay!

Well, I’m just a *little* late on posting this but I suppose since I’ve done an inordinate amount of whining about it on this blog, I better announce that as of Friday, 12/12/08 (yay.. an easy to remember date!) I am ‘Phinally Done’ - according to the sticker on the See’s candy lollipop that I got from the Graduate Division office.  Dissertation submitted without a hitch!!  Wahoo!!!  I can officially call myself a Ph.D…  not that I haven’t been ‘pretending’ for the last 6 mo. at my new job… ha!

2 responses so far

Nov 23 2008

What to say?

Published by Hayley under argh!, berkeley, food for thought, work

In case you didn’t know, the amount of detail required to fully submit your dissertation is a little overwhelming.  It’s as if they know that you’re at the end of your rope, about to annihilate everyone around you, and just when you think you’ve saved yourself from complete insanity, you get that final test…  on whether you know how to read (and follow) directions.

Did you ever do an exercise in grade school, where you’re given a piece of paper with all these designs with numbers on it (sort of a color-by-number type thing), and the teacher says,

“Alright.  This is a lesson in listening.  I will read ALL of the steps FIRST.  Then I will read them AGAIN and follow them.  The first time through, you are JUST LISTENING and NOT DOING ANYTHING.”

And then, the teacher reads through 30+ steps of instructions…

“1.  Color #5 blue.  2.  Color #17 green.  etc….”  the VERY LAST ONE of which says:

“Do not color anything with any color, starting from Step 1.”

And, of course, most of us zone out by the time the teacher reads to the end the first time around, and we  miss the all important last step…

The ONLY student in the entire class who got it right was the blind girl.

ANYWAY.  It’s sort of how I’m feeling about the ridiculous red tape of forms, surveys, formatting, and hoop jumping…  I’m trying to do all the right things and I just know at the end they’ll probably send me back to reprint my whole dissertation because I forgot to double space my abstract or some other ridiculous thing.  The Berkeley document for “Instructions for Preparing and Filing Your Thesis or Dissertation” is 34 pages long.  That’s almost exactly 1/3 the length of my dissertation.  Thanks for making me feel inadequate about the last six years of my life, Berkeley!

One of the more interesting (read: not mind-blowingly irritating, like making sure all of the page numbers on your dissertation are at least 3/4 of a inch away from the edge of the page) things we are required to do is complete an exit survey (called “Survey of Doctoral Students’ Opinion” which, I don’t know, just sounds ridiculously pompous for some reason)  Besides the usual demographics, they ask for some actual feedback.  One is to list the worst and best course you took, which I wish they asked as a undergrad.  I guess they really don’t want to know your opinion as an undergrad…  haha!

In any case, the set of questions that caught my attention were the following, under the category of “General University Experience”

“What was your best academic experience at UC Berkeley?”

“What was your worst academic experience at UC Berkeley?”


“If you could change one thing at Berkeley, what would it be?”

And I was blown away.  One multiple levels.  First, they have a lot of guts to ask such questions of tired and jaded grad students.  Second, they actually might care to know this sh*t?  For real?!   Third, what does it mean (or not mean) that I could not immediately formulate an answer for any of them?  And Fourth, it really blows that I had to answer each question in less than 75 words.

What to say?

4 responses so far

Nov 06 2008

It is weirdly satisfying to watch my piece-of-crap-dying-laptop defragment…

Published by Hayley under Uncategorized

all of the horrible red ‘fragmented files’ slowly turning into pretty blue ‘contiguous files’…

Last night at some point after Obama was clearly in the lead, or had been declared the winner, or something, Ryan started complaining how cold he was…  except he was only wearing a t-shirt.  I handed him a white sweatshirt… but instead he defiantly reached for his red sweater and put it on.  After that I decided to wear my blue cal hoodie.


Although, I must say, getting the dreaded ‘blue screen’ three times on the laptop you need to use for dissertation editing for the next 10 days…  not a good blue.

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Nov 04 2008

Woot!! We have elected a ‘Black/White’ President!

Published by Hayley under Uncategorized

I have to admit it is more a feeling of relief than anything else.  Even though all the polls were predicting an Obama win, I still had that little nagging worry in my mind…

Bonnie summed up my feelings quite well:  “You mean, you’re glad that Americans aren’t as racist as you thought?”

Me:  “Um, yes.”

Ryan and I got into this discussion tonight about race - re: Why are folks still identified by their minority ’side’?  ie. why is Obama ‘Black’ as opposed to ‘White’, when arguably he is ‘equally’ both?  What is the role of racial identity in our lives?  A few of my friends are ‘mixed’.  Are you supposed to ‘pick’ one?  How much does the perception of your race affect the way others treat you?  What if you look ‘white’ when you are not ‘white’?  What if Obama looked ‘white’ and not ‘black’?

Anyhoo, I digress.  Congrats to Obama!!!!!!

2 responses so far

Oct 26 2008

I wish I was 5 years old and could wear this dress for Halloween!!!

Published by Hayley under art, yay!

handmade by Kathleen of Grosgrain fame…  and GIVEN AWAY FOR FREE!!!!  O_O  The internet is an amazing place, with some amazing people.

I have to say though, that my mom made me some pretty great halloween costumes when I was little.  I was Rainbow Brite one year.  I think that was the most involved costume she ever made for me… it was pretty awesome.  I’ll have to dig up a picture sometime and post it.

One response so far

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