I am off to beautiful homestate for the Christmas. I will not be online because my folks live in the middle of nowhere and the only available internet connection is painfully slow via satellite...even slower when there's snow on the receiver.
So I will not be spending much time online waiting for pageloads. Instead I will be working offline on dissertation revisions, because NO I didn't get them all done this week. GRAH!
OK, I'm done being a grinch - hope you all have lovely holidays.
I am currently embroiled in a "discussion" with one of my labmates over whether or not feminism is still necessary.
His arguments against:
Men *should* be paid more than women because they have to spend more money on women's upkeep. (This argument went from zero to circular in about 2.5 seconds.)
People are hesitant to give women jobs or loans (his assertion not mine) and that's OK, because the women might go and have babies and ruin the employer's/lender's investment.
Men are the real victims because women are always taking advantage of men's inferior control over their own sex drive.
*He* doesn't take women less seriously because they have boobies (which I find hard to believe given the TMI about his love-life that we are all subjected to); ergo, I totally imagined all those times that men intellectually blew me off because my ovaries obviously make me a bimbo.
I should just shut up and be happy because women in Saudi Arabia have it so much worse than I do - I should just count my blessings and roll over and take the "very minor" discrimination that occurs here.
The dude is a total caricature of misogyny. But - get this - he's totally *on my side* because if he were my employer (over my dead body) he would totes make sure I had equal pay and good maternity leave. "Geez, AA, don't have a shit-fit. If there were still something to fight for I would totally help you out." Nope, he's totally not the problem. [I am confused by this since one of his justifications for lower salaries for women is that they will not be working while on maternity leave.]
Here's the best part: he is a member of a racial minority, and when I point out that one can substitute "white" for "men" and "POC" for "women" into his arguments, he concurs that yeah, these attitudes are totally wrong and discriminatory. Dude, I'm just trying to help you see a point here: white people don't get to be the authority on POC's experiences and say that discrimination doesn't happen *ever* just because it doesn't happen to *them*. We agree on this one, yeah? Same holds true for men telling women about just what is and isn't real about their own personal experiences. But he maintains that while racial discrimination is still a very real problem, gender discrimination doesn't exist (I'm totally making it all up!) because he's never been on the receiving end of it. And his white wealthy female buddy is backing him up on all this shit so it *must* be true.
So let me recap:
I, as a woman, am an expensive housepet.
My strongest desire in life is to reproduce, and in so doing, I will not hesitate to screw people out of the career productivity that they are paying me for.
All women are whores just out to manipulate men into getting whatever they want.
I am clearly delusional and irrational since the gender discrimination I have experienced could not possibly have happened.
Women in this country are a bunch of whiny bitches - we should feel totes lucky that we aren't required to cover ourselves completely and solicit the company of a male relative in order to leave the house.
No, you're right. There's totally no need for feminism anymore. [/stabs eyes out with a fork]
FUCK!! I am so looking forward to leaving this lab. Please help me not to kill anyone during my remaining time here.
Well, I'm finally decompressed from the defense. I can tell because I'm sick. This always happens to me after a prolonged period of chronic stress. Dammit.
Thing is, I really can't afford this now. I've still got one more week to get a shit-ton of work done before heading to beautiful home-state for the holidays. Dammit, dammit, dammit.
I missed the H1N1 jab-day at work because I forgot about it and took a well-deserved day off after the defense. Please, please, please let it not be that. I know someone who was out for like 2 weeks with that shit.
Cryosectioning is making me dizzy. I should go home and lay on the couch and moan and make BH bring me some soup, but instead I'm in the lab at stupid o'clock on a Sunday night trying not to fall out of my chair while cutting samples. Which would be both fun and funny if it were alcohol-induced, but it is not.
I've decided that it would be waaaayyyy better if someone else had to write the "Summary and Significance" chapter of my dissertation.
I thought that the original one in the draft I gave to committee members was pretty good. Summarized the novel findings, gave a brief explanation about why each is important, then moved on to "future directions".
Two of my committee members have expressed the opinion that this chapter is a much bigger deal than I am making it out to be. Apparently, this chapter should address the "legacy" that I am leaving my field, and describe the ZOMGAlmighty Awesomeness of my work to Infinity! so that future grad students can quake in fear of never being as awesome as I.
Don't get me wrong - I have made some novel findings and they are important in the context of X, Y, and Z. I've said all that...but I'm struggling with trying to fluff up this whole thing into OMG! Dr. AA (I'm likin' the sound of that!) is the Shit! She has demonstrated cold fusion!! Dr. AA saves the world!!!
It's kind of like when you ask someone to write you a Letter of Recommendation, then they ask you to write it yourself and they'll put their signature on it...except its like 20 pages of that kind of horn-tooting. Blech. I suck at bragging about myself.
Awesome SuperTech is repeating an assay on some new timepoints for me for the ManuBeast resubmission. Got results back today: INCONCLUSIVE. Some problem with the motherfucking probe. Shit!!!! Goddamn motherfucking fuck!
I wanted that thing off my desk next week but it looks like we'll have to wait until she can get the probe sorted. Why won't this thing just die already?
I am soooo glad that she is doing this assay and not me - I would be wanting to cut myself at this point, but she's cheerily saying, "No problem, I'll just make up some new probe and do it again next week." I love her. I think I need to get her a really freaking awesome gift when I leave. Any suggestions? (CPP - she's not a big drinker so MFJ ain't gonna fly here.)
OMG! Have I mentioned how much dissertation revisions suck!?!
I don't even have any major ones at all and I want to just throw a tantrum over having to do this. Mostly, just because I mentally checked out of this document once I distributed the completed draft to my committee prior to the defense.
Mercifully, I have NO text revisions from two committee members, so the to-do list is only 3/5 as long as it could be.
One member that did give corrections asked me to add a cartoon diagram to my Intro chapter (easy, but v. time-consuming), pointed out two discrepancies between figures and their respective legends, then a list of things like "typo, page 57, paragraph 2, 4th line from the bottom". Funny, I can't find any typos at any of the landmarks mentioned. How strange. Meh. Cross these off if there are no typos to be found.
GrAdvisor asked me to add an Appendix section on the 2-years-of-no-results project...so that he won't forget that about the negative conclusions and make someone else try to do this down the road. Blergggggghhhhhhhh. Why didn't he mention this months ago when I gave him the dissertation outline? Or the draft? But I'll do it so that no one else will unwittingly suffer through that debacle again.
And then the beastly part - Techno-geek Committee member wants me to add a bunch of technical specs to one of my chapters. Which is probably a good idea, but since I am a complete auto-didact in this technique I have no idea which specs are relevant to replicability on a different system and which ones are not. Hmmm. Also wants a re-formatting of the tech-y chapter so that it better "tells a story". Funny, that's how it was originally written, with all the tech development stuff separated into it's own section so as not to interrupt the flow. Then GrAdvisor asked me to combine these sections, but couldn't be bothered to read the draft before submission. Somewhat vindicating I guess, but I don't want to work on this document anymore. I have better things to do, like the ManuBeast resubmission and wrapping up my collaborative project...and I want it all done before the holidays so I can relax.
Thanks for holding down the fort peeps and not burning the place down. I took about 4 days off after my defense. It was great. Had a massage, finally relaxed, realized that I hadn't had a day off in the previous six weeks (I do not recommend this). Am feeling much better now and generally awesome (because I'm a DOCTOR, bitchez!).
Til I got to the lab this morning and glanced at the stack of hardcopies on my desk....*sigh*. Time to get cracking on the revisions. They aren't terrible but dang, I am tired of this fracking thing. Revisiting it is about the last thing I want to do. One last push til it's done and then I AM OUTTA HERE. So just a few more weeks with my nose to the grindstone (dissertation, manuscript revisions, and wrapping up my collaborative project), then off for the holidays and come back to a shiny new post-doc.
I'm a little bummed about my second project. I'm going to have to roll it into the ManuBeast, which has come back from review. Not because these two projects can't stand alone, but because I'm running out of time and this is not a priority to, um, anybody but me apparently. This is far from ideal: while some results can bolster my ManuBeast findings, including these results is going to open us up for more experiments that I anticipate the reviewers will request. GrAdvisor's talking about sending it to a different (lesser) journal if that happens. The findings from the second project are pretty awesome and I really don't want to let them get buried under the other story in this manuscript. Also, it means one big data paper for me, not two. The alternative however is to resubmit the ManuBeast without the results of my second project and let these findings linger here in GradLab, probably indefinitely. Our lab is downsizing and the people who will remain after I leave already have 150% workload as it is - "passing it off" means letting it die. I really don't want to let these things get lost, so the best option given the circumstances is to publish them all in the same story. While I am mourning that second paper, part of me will be glad to finish this up and start with a clean slate. I worry about how the thin publication record will affect my chances for post-doctoral fellowships. Hopefully I'll still get a first authorship out of the collaborative project.
I'll probably be off-line for a few days killing hepatocytes decompressing, but you're welcome to throw a party in the comments section if you're so inclined. Just try not to set the furniture on fire OK? See you when I get back.
Ambivalence - a state of having emotions of both positive and negative valence or of having thoughts or actions in contradiction with each other, when they are related to the same object, idea or person (for example, feeling both love and hatred for someone or something [i.e., grad school, or academia]).
"...AA is a tremendous asset to the lab, an accomplished experimentalist, and will one day be a valued peer in the research community...." -AA's PI
"...AA is a take-no-prisoners bad-ass with zero tolerance for bullshit and douchecaones. She is not the easiest person to work with, but she exacts a high standard of excellence from herself and others...." -people who know her better
Better Half - My sweet and charming significant other, also a very talented scientist.
DangerDog - My contribution to our fur family. He is adorable and hyper-excitable and would probably be easier to live with if Ritalin were approved for dogs.
GrAdvisor - My well-meaning PI/graduate advisor. We have our differences, but I can chalk most of them up to disparate communication styles, which makes it easier to live with the fall-out of our communication-fails.
New PI - So far an awesome mentor. Needs a moniker. Will take suggestions.
Thing 1 & Thing 2 - BH's cats. Actually, I'm not sure if they really are cats or some alien life forms bent on world domination.