Sunday, August 25, 2013

Back to school with #GRFPproblems

Since I don't have a real job or a postdoc yet, I'm still technically a graduate student and we're staying here for the fall. I am a teaching assistant again for the first time in years, and in addition I'm teaching a class with Sam at his university as an adjunct. I'm starting to worry about what I've gotten myself into!

For the past few years, I've had the great fortune to be supported by a NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. My whole responsibility was to do my awesome science. I was my own boss. I worked hard, but I had relatively few times when other people regularly needed my attention. I had huge blocks of uninterrupted time. I've been really spoiled, I know.

This fall, I'll have about 80 students between the two jobs. I've scheduled nearly all of my teaching on Wednesdays and Thursdays in the hopes of having bigger chunks of time on the other days. In addition to my teaching responsibilities, I need to be applying for jobs & fellowships and trying to get my chapters published. I could fill a semester with those tasks alone.

And I have a baby. My husband will be the primary caregiver, but I'll still be doing more work from home than I otherwise would. And when he does get called to work (it's erratic), we'll pay a couple of graduate school friends to watch her either at home or at school. My time will be even more fractured by childcare.

I also still need to pay attention to healing. More than 3 months after childbirth, I still can't lift heavy things (i.e. baby in car seat) or walk at a normal person's pace for very long. I am back in physical therapy and I need to do major pelvic floor and core work to be able to resume the level of activity that I had up until mid-pregnancy. It is very important to me that I get back to 100% and I don't think it's just going to happen without trying.

I'm sort of worried that perhaps I've jumped in too far-- maybe I shouldn't have signed on as an adjunct, too, but I think my CV and I could really use the teaching experience. After years of not paying much attention to the school calendar because it didn't change my schedule much, I find myself anxious about the start of the semester and worried about how I'll manage everything I need and want to do. I'm trying to be smart and prioritize and figure out which things to let slide. Here's hoping I've got a job and am still sane at the end of the semester.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Nicest rejection ever

I didn't get the postdoc that I interviewed for last month, but I did get the nicest rejection correspondence ever. I was told my rank on the short list and who they hired. I don't think I could have done anything differently. They hired someone who already had some postdoc experience, and said they'd contact me if the person gets a permanent job before the position ends. I am disappointed because the job was awesome, but it is a relief to know we are in Big City for the fall.

I don't think I have any viable applications out there right now, but I do have a short list of things to apply for. I've had two interviews from about nine applications so that's encouraging. Time to do more applications!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

He's just not that into you (me)

I submitted a postdoc application last week. I didn't hear anything back. The guy is at ESA. I went to his talk. I emailed him again saying I want to be his postdoc and when my presentation is. He said he'd try to make it. I can tell he's just not that into me.

I'm pretty sure after seeing his talk that I've got a snowball's chance in hell of being his postdoc. Oh well. I just want him to know who I am. I'm trying to take the long view on this one. It worked out well last time.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Not a job, but an offer

I got invited to participate in a working group for my particular subdiscipline by one of the people who interviewed me for a postdoc in the spring. I didn't get the job, but this is a pretty good consolation prize. I am flattered that I made the list of invitees! There are some big intimidating names on there. I will do my best to rise to the occasion and run with the big dogs.

Fingers crossed for the other job I interviewed for last week. I could not have imagined this particular position, but it combines several of my different skills and experiences. I was told at the end of the phone interview, "I am deeply impressed by your qualifications, and even if you don't end up here, I look forward to seeing what you do for years to come." Those are some encouraging words, but we'll see what happens.