Archive for: December, 2011

12 months of Fumbling

Dec 22 2011 Published by under Uncategorized

At first, I wasn't going to do a 12-month first-sentence round up--a meme started by Drugmonkey, and since perpetuated by my esteemed colleagues Prof-like Substance and Gerty-Z. But then I thought to myself, Self, this year has been (in the words of Joe Biden) a Big Fucking Deal, has it not? We began the year collecting unemployment but smack dab in the middle of interviews, went on a self-promotion tour, took a brief visiting scientist position (my "post-doc sabbatical"), accepted an offer of a tenure-track assistant professor, moved to a new city, and started setting up a lab.

This may have been the single most important year of my WHOLE LIFE. So allow me the indulgence of revisiting, will you? And for those of you who've only just joined, I encourage you to take this opportunity to do a little catching up!  This afternoon I'm off for a long weekend at what I like to call the Christmas Country House, where I will be preparing a traditional Christmas eve dinner of slow-cooked brisket and potato latkes.

Wishing all of you have a safe and festive holiday with people who make you happy.

January: I've heard on several occasions that when a person first learns they'll be losing their job, the number one stressful thought isn't "How will I provide for myself and my family?" but "What on earth am I supposed to do all day?"

February: In a rare turn of events, J passed out before me last night, and it crossed my mind that I might take the opportunity to have a teensy sip of Basil Hayden's and do a little scribbling.

March:  My lovely, lovely readers, it fills me with immense joy to bring you the following news: I just signed a letter. From a university. Offering me a tenure-track faculty position.

April: Probably.

May: I was chatting with some department peeps a few weeks back, and a post-doc from one of the big labs here remarked that a nice perk of being in Famous Dude's lab was that it was much easier to get people at other institutions to send him their reagents.

June: I've got a big fat post in the works with all kinds of juicy goodness regarding my recent mini-holiday in New Job City, so for those of you who remain interested in this Great Space Coaster ride of a career path I'm on--and let's face it, you're DYING to know what color scheme I went with for the lab--watch this space.

July:   You know, when I first stumbled into this crazy bloggy world, I had no idea how things worked.

August: ....and we are LIVE in New Job City!

September:  You might not guess it by looking at me, but I've been to a lot of orientations in my life.

October:  Every October, science bloggers across the 'sphere band together to supportDonorsChoose.org, an organization that helps fund struggling K-12 classrooms by channeling donations straight to the project of your choice!

November: Gah. VENDORS, amirite?

December: I read somewhere that during the few months when Top Chef is filming, Padma Lakshmi gains around 15 lbs.

 

 

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Does this faculty search make me look fat?

Dec 16 2011 Published by under Uncategorized

I read somewhere that during the few months when Top Chef is filming, Padma Lakshmi gains around 15 lbs. It's totally understandable--I mean, she has to taste all that food, like, as her job. Now that the faculty interview season is upon us, I can see that I may be facing a similar fate, since it is now also a significant part of my job to eat a bunch of food. As the newest faculty member and the "hip" ex-New Yorker, I have been placed in charge of all restaurant reservations for our candidate visits, and let's just say I'm not getting us a booth at the local Ruby Tuesdays, understand? I have embraced this responsibility as if it were going in my tenure dossier, and honestly? It probably should.

But the one eensy weensy difference between me and Padma Lakshmi (and really, this is the ONLY distinction) is that Padma Lakshmi's job is also to be totally beautiful (and say "furnished by Hot Pockets" with a straight face), and so when the cameras stop rolling for the season, she has some world-class trainer waiting to whip her scallops-three-ways-ified ass back into shape. In contrast, the other part of my job is to sit in front of my computer all day writing grants, planning lectures, and juggling about a thousand other administrative minutiae that require a mostly sedentary arrangement. So I will have to add to my ever-growing to-do list, "Magically burn 1000 calories a day." I mean, it's not like that truffle mac & cheese is going to work itself off my thighs, am I right?

Oh, and PS, for those who were wondering--my first semester has been amazing. I have been working incredibly hard and multitasking like a mofo (submitted an R-mech grant in my first 6 weeks), but the lab is almost starting to feel like a bona fide lab. I have a tech and a grad student, and they are a power duo the likes of which NJU has never before witnessed. Their taste in music is highly refined. We have equipment that spins, shakes, and allows the viewing of impossibly small things. There is a glass plaque when you walk in the building that says, "135th floor: Dr Becca's Laboratory of Awesomeness and WIN." It is unreal.

Shit is about to get a whole lot realer, though, because next semester I'll be teaching a course that I'm designing from scratch, we'll have a veritable cadre of undergrad helpers in the lab, plus another month of this faculty search, meaning at  least four more decadent meals like tonight's. Oh, and there's a new RFA with a March 13 deadline that I'd pretty much be crazy not to apply for. I may not be around here much, you guys, but I totally still <3 you and will pop in to say hi when I can! If a really long time goes by without a peep, though, you may want to get someone to check in on me--I've probably rolled under my desk, bloated from all the recruitment dinners, and am slowly being nibbled to death by carpet mites.

 

24 responses so far