Saturday, February 28, 2009

Rättslig Igen

JoeThe end of January was also the end of of our first year in Sweden, a fact which carried a significance beyond the purely personal: Swedish Residence Permits are only issued for one year at a time, so we had to apply for another year. The application process had the sorts of ups and downs we've come to expect from the Swedish bureaucracy. You can apply online, so there's no need to wait in line; on the other hand, to get help with the online forms you have to send an e-mail, and getting a reply takes a little while (four weeks, to be precise). There are customized instructions for each kind of application; this would be helpful if we could figure out what kind of application we needed to make, as Jennifer is sort of an employee, sort of a visiting researcher, and sort of a student.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Fear of Falling

Joe While my first try at Nordic skating had kind of a rocky ending, it was nevertheless a lot of fun. So when word came down that Jennifer's coworkers were planning a Saturday afternoon skating excursion I joined up right away. I was especially glad to hear that this time there would be a number of beginners in the group.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Teaching Part 1

Jennifer One of the nice things about being a post-doc is that one doesn't have to teach. One of the downsides is that it's easy to underestimate how much research can get done in a given time, and it seems like there is always too much to do. So when my boss asked me at lunch last last week, "Do you think that part of your project would be suitable for a class project, for students of evolutionary genomics class?" I thought about it for a second, then said "Sure! They could test these new primers I made, that would be useful," and I went on to enthusiastically describe various parts of my project that could be easily accomplished by a student in two weeks. See, I had thought that this would be a class with a laboratory already in place, and that I could just turn over the ingredients, maybe check in on them once or twice, and then get back the data they had gathered for me. What a deal!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Language notes part 4

Jennifer I am enrolled in Swedish classes again, this time not from Folksuniveristet, but from SFI, the official bureaucracy in charge of teaching immigrants how to speak and be Swedish. The advantage of SFI is that it's free. The disadvantage of SFI is that you have no idea what you are going to get.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Groundhog Day

JenniferLast year Groundhog Day passed more or less unnoticed by me; this year, I had thought to describe the peculiar custom. It turned out to be a busy day, though, and I didn't get a chance to bring it up. But I watched the ceremony on my computer live via a webcast, and recorded part of it. As my officemate S. was on his way out, I stopped him.

"You know, it's Groundhog Day," I said.
"Oh?" he said.
"Yes," I said.
"It's real?" he said.