Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Things you do for your advisor

I made a huge email-skimming mistake on Sunday morning. In reply to an email thread about something else, Sam asked (I thought) if I could talk about two of my research projects on Friday morning. I thought he was scheduling a skype meeting so I said sure. I was kind of confused why he wanted to talk about one of them since it's finished, but whatever.

Then on Monday afternoon he replied with excitement saying something about how awesome his students are this semester, and mentioned another skype meeting we had to schedule. I didn't understand why his students were relevant or why he was so excited, but whatever.

Then today I got an email telling me where his class is on Friday, bring my adapter, blah blah blah "...after your presentation."

OMG. I finally get it.

I accidentally agreed to GIVE A TALK about my research, not TALK [with him] about my research. For an hour. Oops.

I am just going to throw something together from a seminar I gave last year, ESA, and my committee meeting in December. I cannot afford to spend a lot of time on this, but I also think it would be crappy of me to back out. I've talked about and thought about this stuff enough that I can wing it for some undergrads.

I'm not allowing myself to work on this presentation until I get a chapter draft sent to my committee. Writing comes first.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Selling yourself

I got an official rejection email from the cool postdoc in the same place as my sister-in-law, so at this point I only have one application out there unanswered. Time to put another iron in the fire.

Next on job application list: postdoc in Remote Foreign Country! *swoon*

I'm very excited about the opportunity. We still have friends there and it would just be awesome.  But I can't say I feel like my chances are very good (but honestly, are the odds ever going to feel good in this science economy?). It feels like every job application requires slightly different self-branding. This postdoc? It's related to the flash of inspiration I had a few weeks ago. So, yeah, I need to write an amazing application about my interest and potential for doing something I'm just getting my feet into. No, I take that back. I drove in head first. Pretty much by myself. (lifeguard, are you on duty?) I'm teaching myself how to swim.

It's intimidating. This lab collaborates with big names. In my background research I came across the lab twitter feed, which I want to follow (and I will) but I have to say I find it a little intimidating. I know that's silly- it's twitter and nobody cares but me. But I've revised my profile slightly to include more relevant keywords in case they look. It also makes me think more about the revisions I should do to my webpage to address my interest in this sub-discipline. If I even make it to the point where they look at my webpage.

I feel like I have to be a hotshot to have a chance at anything, but I don't feel nearly hot enough. I suppose unless you're a rising star these things take time, patience, and persistence. I guess I have that.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Four years ago

Four years ago today I was working on the final revisions to my prelim proposal and exchanging emails with a friend about wedding invitations. Then my sister died.

This day is hard. Her birthday is hard. She was only 21.

I am thankful that 3.5 years ago I found a wonderful counselor to help me with my grief. I am making time to remember my sister tonight, but today I have to work.

[I try to follow my own advice when someone I know experiences a loss.]