Friday, July 27, 2012

Working on vacation

Tomorrow morning we're leaving to spend a week on vacation with Jon's family. I'm going straight from there to the big ecology conference (ESA). While on vacation, at the very least I've got to finish preparing my presentation (I'm planning to practice it for some willing family members). I'm trying to decide how much else I'm willing to do on vacation.

It would be good if I made a point of checking email at a regular time in case my interns have questions. Then again, they could just ask Sam.

Since I'm bringing up the subject of working on vacation, I feel like I should say I don't want to be a workaholic, and I think in general I'm not. I've learned how to work when I need to be working, and not worry that I should be working when I'm not. I often don't do any work on the weekends. That said, I do see much more weekend work in my future to finish my PhD by next summer, but I think that's worth it.

I think while I'm on vacation my goals will be to hang out with my nieces and nephews (and everyone else), exercise once a day, sleep in, explore the area, keep up on my email, and get my presentation ready. Any other work I get done is bonus. But I have that nagging feeling that I'm forgetting something.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

On scientific posters

Last year I made a beautiful, awesome poster. This year, I have to figure out how to make a new, beautiful, awesome poster that looks different than the other one. The data were analyzed differently this year, but it didn't radically change our conclusions. I'm trying to make it look unique without spending too much time on it. It's kind of frustrating. I have to finish it this weekend.

Why am I presenting a very similar thing two years in a row? Because it's for two different audiences. This year I'm presenting it at a much more specific meeting where most people are working on related topics.

Speaking of posters, how do people feel about abstracts on posters? I have an opinion but I'd like to hear first what others think.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Running with the big dogs?

I'm starting to have jobs on the brain. For so many years now I haven't had to worry about the next year, but if things go according to plan, a year from now we'll be making plans to move.

I love thinking about all of the possibilities. Every place I visit I think, Could I live here? I've got a mental list of people it would be cool to work with or projects from my PhD I could expand on. Jon and I willing to consider moving anywhere interesting for a post-doc or short-term (1-3 year) job.

Today it struck me that perhaps it might be awesome to work with Dr. Bigname who does research related to mine. I really hadn't considered it before, but I don't know why. Maybe because I'd probably need to (re)learn another language. Or maybe because I didn't think I was good enough.

I've been reading a lot of Dr. Bigname's papers recently, and I know I could learn many useful methods. And, there's the possibility that they'd have a ginormous grant that they could pay me from so I wouldn't have to write them all myself. Maybe. Maybe I can run with the big dogs. And maybe they'd even want me to.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Oh for heaven's sake!

I might have majorly screwed up in my conference budgeting and planning.

If your department has funds available for you to attend a conference "once per year", which definition of "year" do you think they are using?

A) Calendar year
B) Fiscal year
C) One year from the last time you used department funds to attend a conference.
D) Academic year

I thought B, but apparently the department meant C. I've been working under the definition of B for months in my planning. I went to submit my paperwork today and found out I might not be able to get the funds. I think I blanched.

Now I have to send a $600 email to the department head.