it's not a pissing contest (archived from LabSpaces)

Dec 05 2010 Published by under academia, tenure-track OTJT

originally posted 13 Sept 2010

I have been a little busy the last couple of weeks, but I have decided to take a break and share some strange observations I have made recently. Also, the f@&#ing website that I have to use for ordering is not functional right now so I can't even get that shit done. *sigh*. Anywho, I am a little too tired to put together well-thought-out paragraphs, so I'm going bullet list on this one.

-So, I have finally managed to meet some other new Asst. Prof. from other dept. w00t! Having colleagues in the same/similar position as a n00b on the TT is great. We shared the few tips that we had managd to figure out and commiserated. One of my new-found holmies, however, has puzzled me. He is constantly acting like we are in some strange contest. I figured that since we are both new faculty, in different departments and different fields, that things would be pretty laid back. Instead, I sometimes feel that he wants to "compare" how we are set up and doing. It is very odd. Right now, my strategy is to pretend I don't notice. Because really, other than this one little tic he seems to be a good guy. We shall see, I guess.

-I have started getting invitations to give seminars in other departments! This is great because it will increase my visibility and also get me introduced to new grad students. Also, it will be fun! Now I just have to figure out how to get invited to give seminars at OTHER institutions and all will be golden.

-I feel like I am getting better at writing grants. Of course, until I get some cash I don't really know how much I trust that feeling.

-My lab peeps are making posters for the Dept. retreat. How freaking awesome is THAT?

-Last week I got to use the fancy new equipment to do a super cool experiment. And it was SA-WEET!!! Today I spent a little time at the bench helping my n00b learn how to do the follow up, which was fun. These data are great: there is the potential that I will launch a whole new super-sexy project. Which, conveniently, is now set up for my first rotation student who starts in 2 weeks! As a rotation project it is the shite! Fun (and straightforward) experiments that can generate data rapidly!

-It is sort of amazing how much more crap has landed on my plate now that the school year has started. I really didn’t expect this. I haven’t been at a University for a while, since I was a postdoc at a Fancy Research Institute. So I’m unfamiliar with the whole academic scene, I guess. Since I’m not teaching this year I figured that it wouldn’t really affect me. WRONG! On the other hand, the energy in the air as the whole thing cranks up again is pretty cool.

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