It's been a while since I did a 7 Quick Takes post! There's a lot I want to talk about, so this seemed the best format to share it in. Thankfully, this has been a fairly restful week, as Mike and I took advantage of the school's spring break to head to a bed and breakfast for a few days. It's the second time we've done this (the first was while we were living in Chicago) and I think this may be our preferred form of vacation, with a combination of time spent walking outdoors and time spent relaxing with games and movies. Now we're back on campus and it's fairly quiet as most students went elsewhere for break, which is a nice change, but I am looking forward to having everyone back.
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— 2 —I have (tentatively) good news on the job front. An office on campus that I'd applied to literally all the way back in January -- several weeks before I quit my job and before the provost said he was interested in creating a position for me -- said they'll be interviewing in April and want to interview me for the position. I'm fairly certain I would enjoy the job very much, but this also gives me the leverage to push for a decision on the new assessment position I want created. The provost said he'd know if there would be the budget for it in 30 days, which is Monday, so I'll be able to follow up about that, share the draft position description I've created, and let him know I have another opportunity on campus that I'm interested in. With two opportunities in the works, it's looking more possible that I could land a job on campus, which would be fantastic.
— 3 —Mike and I are poised to start the adoption process in the next few months, which I'm very excited about, but we're holding off on taking any concrete steps until the dust settles on my job search and I have a new position I feel confident in. Whether I get a job on campus or end up doing something else will affect what our childcare plans look like, and we'll also need to provide an agency information on both of our jobs, our annual household salary, and related things that are contingent on where I end up. Although both of us are confident that we'll figure out a schedule and a budget that works well for our whole family, we can't just tell an agency what we keep telling each other, which is, "We'll make it work... I'm sure we'll be fine."
— 4 —In news outside of my personal family, the Catholic Church has a new pope as of yesterday. I have mixed feelings about this pope based on what I've learned so far, knowing full well that what I think of the pope doesn't have much bearing on anything. I think it's great that we have the first Jesuit pope; having ties to multiple schools founded by religious orders, I have somewhat of a bias for those priests over diocesan priests. I was excited to finally have a pope from somewhere other than Europe (in this case, Argentina), but since his ancestry is fully Italian, it's hard not to feel like it was a token gesture on the part of the cardinals to pick a "foreign" pope who's not actually that foreign. I'm not thrilled that he has alleged ties to the 1976 kidnappings of two priests (a more detailed story here), though it's possible that this experience will push him to be more transparent and less likely to cover up scandal than the papacy has been previously. He's anti-gay marriage and anti-gay adoption, though that's not terribly surprising. He's being primarily touted as a humble, quiet man, so we'll see what that means for his role as pope.
(via Catholic Memes)
— 5 —The other thing blowing up my Twitter feed yesterday besides the new pope was the impending retirement of Google Reader. I am really unhappy about this. It is not an exaggeration to say that my life was improved when I started using Google Reader. Most recently, it's been a vital part of my job search because I can use Page2RSS to create RSS feeds for the job pages on organizations I'm interested in, plus RSS feeds from my Indeed searches and elsewhere to mean that I don't have to spend any time chasing postings because anything relevant pops up in my Reader. I have over 120 subscriptions organized by topic, and I regularly use the search function to find old posts I remember reading about particular topics.
The Internet consensus seems to be that there's no product that matches the functionality and ease of use of Google Reader. And before you say, "You can't complain about losing something you got for free anyway" -- I would gladly pay to keep using Google Reader. That's how integral it is to my daily workflow. As of my writing this, there are over 88,000 signatures on this Change.org petition to keep Google Reader going, and I'm hoping it might just make a difference.
— 6 —I have a long list of blog post ideas that I've never gotten to, and two of these are posts I wanted to do about movies, Bruce Almighty and Courageous. Although neither of these are exactly timely, it occurred to me that I could do something more encompassing, like a weeklong series or weekly series about films dealing with faith. I'm not a seasoned film critic, and I'm not that interested in delving into the theology explored in each movie, but I would like to talk about how well I think each movie does at communicating messages about faith to the general public (e.g., I think Bruce Almighty does a nice job handling the question, "Why doesn't God answer all our prayers?" whereas Courageous shoots itself in the foot trying to stick in bonus messages about purity rings and gender roles).
So my questions to you are 1) Does this sound interesting to you? 2) What other movies would you like to see analyzed in this way? 3) Should I open this up as a guest post series?
— 7 —One nice way to end my week will (knock on wood) be getting a replacement phone activated today. I have an old-style flip phone that's over four years old, and the screen went completely blank a few weeks ago, meaning I can send and receive calls but can't view texts or see who's calling me. I took it to the only non-iPhone phone repair place in town, who ordered a new screen for it, which took a week to come in, and then that didn't fix the problem. I don't want to switch to a smartphone for a variety of reasons, but the flip phones are no longer being subsidized so they're much more expensive, plus I'm hesitant about buying a new phone unless absolutely necessary after learning about the ethical issues surrounding coltan mining (h/t to Cathi for that guilt-inducing information). Mike called his parents and found out that his dad had switched providers and still had his old Verizon-compatible flip phone, which he was happy to mail me. As I mentioned, we've been out of town this week, but I should be able to pick up my new/old phone today and take it to get activated. I am looking forward to being to text Mike again!
Those are my 7 Quick Takes for the week! To join the linkup or see other links, visit Conversion Diary.