Sunday, May 21, 2006


So long goats
I sold the goats today. The two moms and their five babies and the two yearlings. I think they will be going to a good home. I will miss them, especially Clover and her babies. I will take them to their new home next weekend.

So long Elliott
American Idol is down to its final two contestants: Taylor Hicks and Katherine McPhee. I was disappointed, but not surprised that Elliott Yamin was eliminated. He was definitely my choice for American Idol. I think he has the best voice, and he seems like such as nice guy, though Katherine is really good when she's on. Her rendition of Somewhere Over the Rainbow truly was outstanding, and that's why she made it to the finals. Her stunning looks don't hurt matters either.

But, I still think Taylor will win. He's just plain popular with most people. His performances on Tuesday were very good. I was pleasantly surprised at the voting. I didn't imagine it would be that close. That should give Elliott some consolation. I congratulate Elliott. I think he was the best performer week in and week out. His mother should be very proud. Paula was in tears when the final vote was announced, resulting in Elliott's departure.

Salary woes
I made a big mistake last week. All of the salaries of University of Maryland employees are published in the university's newspaper, the Diamondback -- and I read them!. I now know what all my peers make. I've got a good memory, so every time I see a colleague I'm going to think about their salary and compare it to mine. I am very frustrated because I make less money than many who have just started or were hired much later than me. Some don't even have tenure! I've had 18 consecutive years of good evaluations, but what has it gotten me? Nothing! I've held two regional positions, but what has it gotten me? Nothing! I've worked hard for 18 years, but what has it gotten me? Nothing! Mediocre faculty make more money that I do. That's a helluva message the university is sending me.

At the same time, there are faculty members who are more underpaid than me. I feel bad for them, too. I understand how this happens, and I know that life isn't fair, but damn, these are the most important earning years of my life! I'm going to have to work until I'm 88, which by the way is how much my supervisor makes or I thought she made. According to the Diamondback, she makes 88K, but she really makes over 100K, a damn administrator! Administrators sure do take care of themselves, but nobody else! The dean makes 205K.

I spent yesterday in Washington County, Pennsylvania, teaching an Integrated Parasite Management (IPM) workshop. It was my 21st such workshop, and it seemed to be well received. It's amazing how long I can talk about worms! This week, I'm off to Missouri to do some goat meetings. It will be one of three trips to Missouri for me this year. Earlier in the year, I had done a meeting "in Missouri" via the polycom system. I go to Missouri so often, I think I'm going to have to buy a St. Louis Rams or Kansas City Royals sweatshirt.

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