Archive for the 'venting' category

The appropriate use of your time

Jan 06 2012 Published by under exhaustion, tenure-track OTJT, venting

Today Dr. O used her space on the Guest Blogge to make a record of how she spends her day. A commenter, Moss, was quick to point out how inefficient she was at using her time. I couldn't agree more.* Since I know that Dr. O is going to be starting her tenure-track position soon I thought I would show her the right way to use her time by sharing how I spend my day**:

4:30 am: Jump out of bed without an alarm because I'm just so damn excited to start working!
4:35 am: shower while listening to news on NPR [pro-tip: if you are only doing one thing at a time it is a total waste].
4:45 am: call labbies to make sure that they are on their way to lab while making coffee [now that I'm a PI it is my job to make sure the folks in lab are Doing Science].
4:50 am: drink coffee, scan through new papers on Pubmed or in TOC.
6:00 am: go for a run
7:00 am: get Mini-G ready for school
7:30 am: catch bus to take Mini-G to school, drink more coffee
8:00 am: get to lab. Check in on labbies, making sure to point out new papers they should have read as I saw them over 3 hours ago.
8:15 am: write grant
12:00: eat lunch at faculty seminar
1:30: back in lab. help rotation student set up experiments, make sure grad students have read the papers I mentioned before.
2:00: work on grant
5:00: work on grant some more
7:00: walk to bus stop. Miss bus. Get a sandwich and beer while waiting for next bus. Read ms sent to me for review.
8:00: get home, a little too late for bed time.
8:10: work on grant
11:00: grant not making sense. Start reading grad student applications.
1:00: go to bed.

Now clearly I'm still a n00b here. I'm sure that there are folks out there that can help me be even MOAR efficient. The most important thing to realize is that as scientists we have a very important job. There is simply NO EXCUSE for wasting your time with stupid things that are not Doing Science. I would ask how you all manage to be so efficient and such, but I'm sure that no one is wasting their time reading this blog.

 

 

*I also appreciate that s/he made a point about the waste of time that blogging is by...commenting on a blog. Just fantastic!

**I sure hope that Moss can help me find unimportant things to cut out of my day so I can be a better scientist, too!

edited to fix links (I hope)

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FTW: for the weekend

Nov 19 2011 Published by under Uncategorized, venting

This has been a very crazy week, for a lot of un-bloggable (is that a word??) reasons. This has been weird because today I really felt like I wanted to put together a post here. Every time I tried, though, the un-bloggables would rise up again. Then I had the wonderful idea to google "the best thing on the internet". Don't do this. It is a giant waste of time, and also a little disturbing, even with safe search on.

NEVERTHELESS. I realize as I sit here in my office finishing up that I actually got a lot accomplished this last week. Since I can't think of anything better to say, I will brag here:

1. I finished the first (very rough) draft of my Specific Aims for the R01 I'm writing. Now I'm just a few rounds of editing away from sending it out to colleagues for feedback. (BTW: should you include references on the Specific Aims page?? Seriously, would love to hear rational for/against)

2. Today I submitted the first paper from MY LAB, and then had a beer with the two grad student authors. It not a big story, but still I feel good about this.

3. All of my grad students and eligible undergrads got their NSF GRFP submitted on time. Of course, now I have to write letters for them all.

4. Mini-G's birthday party for this weekend seems to be planned...knock on wood. Hopefully I will be able to survive the two-hour assault of the mini-friends.

5. My super rotation student has decided to join my lab.

6. I had a couple of really awesome meetings with senior BSD in MRU that I think will lead to some really cool collaborations.

7. In a week of both strange and tragic developments (the un-bloggables) I managed not to make anything worse (I think).

8. I'm not dead yet

All-in-all, not a bad week. So, now I am going to go to finally catch up (as much as I can) on some sleeping. Have a super weekend 🙂 Also, you should go wish Tiddles a happy initiation into the world of the wed. Congrats, dude!!

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Random thoughts on the airplane

Jun 03 2011 Published by under hilarity, on the job training, venting

As I am sitting on the airplane, I have had a fair amount of time to get some thinking done without any of the common interruptions. This has been mostly very productive. I got my two talks for this trip put together, outlined a grant I am starting to write (see below), read some papers that have been piling up, and drafted some adverts for postdocs to send to select mailing lists. It is amazing how productive I can be when there is no Internet access! But,I have not been a laser-beam of focus, and to prove it I will share some random thoughts.

1. Thereof nothing that you can do to make a 4:30 am cab ride to the airport fun.
2. Why the hell are there so many people at the airport Wed at 5:00 am?
3. My resolve to take all summer off from writing grants has failed. I have decided to write up something I have been percolating for a while. I was thinking of waiting until next fall, but changed my mind after consulting some colleagues. Plans, schmans.
4. I walk faster than 90% of the people in the Atlanta airport, and I'm not even rushing to catch my next flight.
5. I don't know how to embed links using wordpress on the iPad.
6. There are a lot of folks that have already picked over Coburn's "report" about waste at NSF (see #5). So I won't even try to go through why it is so fucking ridiculous right now. But, I have made sure my representatives in the house and senate know how I feel about it. And you should, too. Be sure to tell them that is we let half-wit "reports" like this pass as truth that the terrorists win.

That's enough for now, surely. I'm off to give a seminar and then head up the coast a little to a conference. Hopefully there will be wifi!

Update: it is 3 days (or so) since I started this post. Wi-fi FAIL 🙁 I really hope that the next destination is better equipped. In happier news, I had a fantastic visit with my colleague at East coast Fancy Institute. My seminar went really well and I think that the foundation of some new collaborations have been set. Yay!

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>Tactical error

Jul 18 2010 Published by under exhaustion, jr faculty, on the job training, venting

>First of all, thanks to everyone that un-lurked for the meme post. I read all the comments, and it is pretty fun knowing who is out there. One theme seemed to be that folks were interested in how the new TT job goes. I believe that you often learn more when something goes wrong than when all is smooth. If that is true, I must have learned a SHIT-TON the last couple of weeks.

Anywho, prepare to be learned:
The last two weeks have been crazy. I don't think that I have EVER been this wiped out. It all started happily enough, by getting folks into my lab wOOt!!!!!!11!1!11!! I got an hourly employee that was super helpful- orders were getting placed, boxes were getting unpacked, NLSU rebates were being processed. So, I hire a tech and pick up an undergrad. We had a lab-warming party! Now we're gonna start making some data! All is well in GZ Lab.

This is where I mess up. It turns out...drumroll, please...training people takes A LOT of time. And I have a grant due in 12 days! A grant that I was writing on something that isn't currently on the front burner. So it was a lot of work. Except that I have to spend all my days training my peeps. Except I really need to be writing. But my peeps...but the grant...this is where implosion occurs. I haven't been getting a lot of sleep.

I know that for my lab to be successful I will need to get different projects funded. I'm OK with that. Hell, I'm excited to be able to keep all my projects going full steam all of the time. Because up to now I have been the only hands doing the work. I have always been in small labs without a lot (or any) technical assistance-all but 1 of my pubs are 2-author deals. So I stepped in a steaming pile of crap because I underestimated how much time training people would take. In the end it all worked out. I met my grant deadline, and next week experiments will be up and running! This morning, I slept in. Then I played with kiddo all day. It was good. Tomorrow I'll go back to the lab and get the next couple of grants planned out so that I can avoid the pile next time. Because one of the crystal-clear lessons from the last two weeks is that I need to be more efficient with my writing.

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