Wednesday, May 7, 2014

About that frequent updating.

Well, the distance between posts is significantly less. I got wrapped up in the end of the semester and didn't have a spare moment. Some highlights: 

I went to Austin for the Society for American Archaeology annual conference, where I presented a paper (and chaired my session, American History).  It was a lot of fun: saw some friends (archies and non-archies), ate some tasty food, and in general had a whirlwind, fun time in Austin. I hope to go back when it's less of a work trip soon. 

I got back, and immediately had to finish an article for an editor's timeline (did I mention I'm getting published in an academic journal? My first one. Another post for another day).  Anyway, I then turned around and drove to Raleigh to visit my brother and see my best friend's band play (HABITS). Was a rollicking good time. Some photos:

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

I went to Maine in March. They had just a little bit of snow this year...

Then I baked some things, bought a ton of jadeite in Shenandoah Valley, VA, and hung out with my jerk-cat.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

30 is the new black

So I've had some personal changes in the last year. I feel like 30 hit me like a ton of bricks and I suddenly have a new mindset on a lot of things (not in a negative way, just that I feel like way more of a grown up now). One of the biggest evolutions I've had over the last year or two is a style evolution. It's sort of strange, having worn almost exclusively vintage, to suddenly have started to evolve.

I know Solanah over at Vixen Vintage talked about this a couple of months ago. I think there are a few reasons why it's happened. For me, a lot of it is a sudden shift into the professional world. Now that I have students, and spend the majority of my days at the university, I can't exactly wear vintage and feel like I look the part. I want to be taken seriously by my students, and the exclusively vintage look just doesn't cut it. Normally I'd march to the beat of my own drum, and as much as I am the first to say that you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, having 45 18/19 year olds staring at me every day, I know they judge a lot based upon looks. It's what 18/19 year olds do.

This doesn't mean that I don't wear vintage. I do. I am more apt to mix it with other non-vintage pieces these days. I also have days where I wear only modern clothes (though no one will ever stop me from rocking my Bakelite!) It's not a matter of not loving vintage (I'm still selling and buying vintage on my Etsy shop, though I don't have the time right now to babysit it. I'll be adding some pieces in the month of May, including a STUNNING 1930s buttercup yellow lace gown.) I'll also be going through my own closet once the semester is over and will be adding some of my own pieces (gasp!) to the shop, so curvy girls keep checking back! They'll be priced to sell for sure, despite the fact that I'll be keeping my favorites (obviously).

So what am I going to post on this blog anymore, anyway? As you can see, some of the style has changed (it'll be evolving more to come as well, I hope). I hope to start writing more (I always say that). I have gotten a real passion for the interior of my home. I have lots of vintage and other fun things going on. This is the first place I've lived where I felt like really taking the time to make it a home. I absolutely LOVE my apartment, my neighborhood, DC. I think it really shows. I also have been cooking up a storm, pushing myself to learn new, classic techniques and really trying to make classic Italian and French dishes (chicken bouillabaisse? YES!). There will be photos of that. And probably a good deal of my cat.

Anywho, I'll leave you with that. You can check out my website! and follow me on Instagram, @katerader

<3s Cooked some things recently: Thai red curry, homemade english muffins for homemade eggs benedict!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Radio silence

It seems every blog post I write starts with an apology for the time that has passed between blog posts. I have a pretty good excuse, as with the semester wrapping up I've been in full-on graduate school crazy mode. I've just submitted a paper for publication (now begins the months of waiting...)

Monday is my 30th birthday. That's pretty weird, right? 30 always seemed so... old. When I was younger, I hung around lots of boys in bands (shocker) and most of them were in their 30s (thinking back on the fact that I was 18 and most of these dudes were nearly 30 or over 30, I don't know how my parents made it through that period of my life without murdering anyone).

Anywho, my best friends are flying down from Maine and Boston, respectively. I am really excited to have them both here, since they've only visited once separately. We're planning on a fun but not too crazy weekend, since I don't drink. They get in Friday, and one leaves Monday, the other Tuesday. We're going to eat lots of delicious food and then drive out to Shenandoah on Sunday and probably go to ALL of the antique stores on the way, because OBVIOUSLY. I'm excited for my besties to meet my friend(s) in DC too (not that I really have more than two here... why is it so difficult to make friends when you get older?)

Here are some photos. I'm thinking about growing out my bangs. I've had them for five years but it feels like maybe I need a change. Maybe just longer bangs? Meh, it'll take nearly a year for them to grow out so I've got some time to change my mind. Ha.

New goat skull and taxidermy butterflies. They're dead buddies and they hang out above my TV.

My life, as of late.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

So, grad school.

I'm in grad school right now. I'm in my second year of a doctoral program in history, to be exact. As I'm sure most of you know (well, of the few of you that patiently follow my sporadic posts), I already have my master'sdegree.

While my PhD will be in history, I will be doing archaeology (I hope) when I graduate. Most people who become professional archaeologists get their PhD in anthropology; it is possible, however, to be a registered professional archaeologist with a degree in history provided one works a fieldwork component into your dissertation and research. Because I go to school in DC, I can take anthro/archaeology classes at any of the schools in the greater DC area through my program (read: free). I'll be taking several classes at other campuses over the next couple of semesters in order to prepare myself for fieldwork.

Anywho, grad school has proved to be interesting. It is sometimes the most rewarding thing I've ever done. Other times, I feel like my brain can't possibly process any more information and it will literally explode if I read anything else. Here are some things to remember before you start grad school.

1. It is a job. Treat it that way. Despite what a lot of people think about grad school, it isn't just a good way to avoid getting a "real job." It is work... like, a ton of work. You will work at least 5 days a week, if not all 7. Depending upon the type of program you're in, you probably will have no energy/time to have a real job.

2. PhD program? With a job? Ha! Seriously dudes, though I can't speak for all PhD programs, having a normal job outside of the university while school is in session is going to be next to impossible. Your work will suffer, and it will be very evident that your energy is elsewhere... which brings me to my next point.

3. No matter what program you're in, GRAD SCHOOL IS COMPETITIVE. Programs like law or medicine can be downright competitive via your ranking in your class, and while smaller programs or departments may not rank you and your colleagues, you will be competing against them. Given the financial situation of most universities (unless you're going to an ivy league with a huge endowment), funding is tenuous. My department lost an entire assistantship this year due to the financial situation of the country, from 8 to 7 assistantships. Guess what? There are more than 8 grad students. Know what this means? You had better work to make yourself the most desirable candidate and work hard to make everyone think you're worth $60-80k per year.

4. Go to all of the things. This works off of number 3. Department celebration? Go to it. Ask if you can help set up. This is in your best interest for a number of reasons. First, you want to make sure the chair and anyone else in a position of authority remembers who you are and that you're nice/personable/motivated come time to decide who gets that assistantship or fellowship. Second, you never know who you'll meet at one. Due to our location in metro DC, my university often has professors from a number of universities. You never know who will be an external reviewer, or who could offer you a job. Three, free food. Remember that part about fiscal problems? If there's any free food, do it. If there's any left at the end, they might let you take it home. FREE GROCERIES! (I've gotten a lot of cheese this way. Mmmm.)

5. Do the reading. If your writing needs work, ask a professor to help critique something you've written. This is sort of self-explanatory, but you'd be surprised how many people in my year or so at this university that I've seen completely bomb (and thus, not get funded) because they didn't do the reading or their writing isn't the best. Now, it's not possible to read every.single.word of most of your assignments. One professor for our required introductory historiography course intentionally assigns 900 pages of reading a week to see if you can figure out how to get the gist of the piece. It would be physically impossible to do all of the reading in those circumstances. However, here are some protips from a pro: read the introduction. ALL OF IT. Generally, it will have the thesis statement, and often nice authors will outline all of the chapters! Read book reviews if you can find em. JSTOR is your friend. It's like someone has done all the work for you! Also, read the first and last pages of all of the chapters, and the epilogue if there is one.

So that's that. Grad school is pretty rewarding, if you can handle the stress. I wouldn't recommend it if you're the type not to go to class or if you're the type to get overwhelmed easily. I love it, but it isn't for everyone. <3

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

This summer

Instead of doing much writing, I'll let my pictures do the talking. I spent most of my summer in Maine doing archaeology and personal research and writing (doing my PhD, don't you know). I did a bit of traveling around New England and spent a LOT of time outdoors.