Monday, March 13, 2006

I got nothing done today

How frustrating to come back from vacation and be eager to work and then have the day eaten up by a series of meetings and trying to regain some organization and momentum from the distractions of the past two weeks.

Random observations/events (i.e. random bullets o' crap [note: credit due to the person who coined that phrase - I just can't remember who])
  • Got reviews back on my submitted paper. (thinking about writing more about this one)
  • Got a phone interview for friday with a teaching-intensive university (very different than Big School in just about every respect)
  • After snowfall (!) last week, this weekend was sunny and gorgeous and I got three good walks in with the Princess Pup. (saw a great blue heron in our stream)
  • And I made progress on the next baby quilt.
  • Hardest interview question: "What would you consider the #1 school in your subdiscipline?" I don't pay attention to rankings!
  • I really really need to get writing on the next paper. Where's the fire under my butt when I need it? That's one thing I dislike about academia, so much of your success depends on self-imposed deadlines for pieces of projects.
  • We're making portobello burgers tonight. I'm gonna give up now and head to the grocery store and get the mushrooms. (that last sentence is interesting standing on its own.)
Blogging neither quantity or quality right now, promise to improve.


Dr J. said...

I have a question I´ve been pondering for a while but thought I´d wait till the interview was over: You seem to be applying for group leader type positions straight from a PhD - is this normal in your discipline? It´s just that I´ve only seen that work once (and she was sleeping with the head of the institute). Everyone else has to go through the postdoc grind first. Is it something unique to your position/field that you could skip that?

ScienceWoman said...

Hi Dr. J.

I'm not sure whether your question is also getting a differences in US vs German academic cultures (I've heard that it is much harder to get a faculty position in Europe), but leaving that aside...It is somewhat unusual in my field to go directly from PhD student to faculty at a major research uni. Most PhD grads end up doing one-three years of post-doc before taking a research uni job or they go into a teaching-heavy job (local/state uni, liberal arts school). However, there are no rules (either formally or informally) about the right time to apply for research uni jobs. There happened to be a lot of openings in my field this year, my husband would appreciate one less move, and for some reason people seem to think that I am smart and have a really great research ability (their words, not mine). To make a long story short, I'll probably end up in a post-doc for at least a year, but it would be nice to shoot the moon. All that said, my field is a lot less competitive and post-doc heavy than biomedical fields.

Writer Chica said...

You may not think you are blogging quality or quantity, but you made me laugh several times with this one. I'm dying to hear about the phone interview! Congrats! If you would prefer not having self-imposed deadlines, I'll impose them for you! hehehe

One last thing...mushrooms..ewwww!

Dr J. said...

Thanks for the clarification- it was something I was curious about. I certainly support skipping the postdoc if at all possible, just that it´s now impossible to do so in my (and related) fields (also maybe the European factor comes into play). Good luck with it!

Reminds me of a quote, wish I could remember who it was... "If you reach for the stars, you may not quite get there, but you won´t come up with a handful of mud either."

seadragon said...

Random Bullets of Crap = New Kid on The Hallway.

ScienceWoman said...

Chica - thanks for the support. Maybe I'll take you up on your offer.

Dr J - I like the quote. I was actually trying to come up with a reach for the stars analogy when I commented. :)

Seadragon - thanks for the citation. must remember next time.