Archive for: November, 2011

Ripped from the headlines!!

Nov 30 2011 Published by under awesomeness, grants, queer

I am in the midst of writing an R01, and I am struggling. Because this grant really, apparently, wants to be TWO grants. But I don't think I should submit two applications this go-around. I'm afraid that I won't do as good of a job as if I focus all my energy on just one. I have spend the last hour or two typing and erasing to try to cut through what is floating around in my head. In doing this, I am basically writing rough drafts of the Aims pages for both. Then I will run them by folks to see which seems to resonate the best. All I can say is that I am very lucky to have many folks that are willing to let me bounce ideas off of them. And that is awesome.

But, of course, none of that is "Ripped from the headlines". No. But a little bit ago I got a little distracted from my grant and started clicking around on the internet. And I ran across a couple of things that I want to share (in the hopes this will clear out a little of the clutter in my head right now).

1. Have I mentioned that Emily Hauser is pretty kick ass? I thought so. In case you haven't started reading her blog, go over there now. She has a super breakdown of how treating adultery the same as sexual harrasment/assault contribute to rape culture. Excellent stuff, as usual.

2. If you have a friend that is LGBT/Q, you have already seen these two videos. But they are AWESOME. If you wanna feel good about people, watch them.

Zach Walls, son of a lesbian couple, speaks to the OH IOWA legislature

The best ad ever for marriage equality

4 responses so far

poster tradeoffs

Nov 27 2011 Published by under academia, help

It has been a while since I gave a poster at a conference. I've been to a lot of meetings recently, but was lucky enough to be chosen to give talks. I always jumped at the talks, as I was either on the job market or just starting my own lab and was happy for the publicity. But, to be honest, I kind of miss poster sessions. The amount and type of interactions you have with folks at a poster is much more intense than in questions after a talk. Of course, you are more likely to have someone hunt you down at the bar to grill you about your talk.

In any event, I am going to be giving a poster at the next conference I go to. On the event of this special occasion I am considering having my poster printed on fabric instead of the normal glossy print. That way I can just pack it up with the rest of my stuff and don't have to worry about leaving my poster tube on the plane. Again. Ahem.

Tonight, I asked folks on twitter what they thought of the fabric posters. Especially those that just got back from SfN. Several folks (Nam, Dr. Becca, GR) were encouraging. The poster ninja, Dr. Zen, pointed me to a post he wrote about the fabric posters. But others (@benchwise) were convinced that posters should be shiny to make a good impression.

What say you, beloved blog readers? Can a fabric poster rock your world-or is high gloss a must? If you have seen fabric posters that you liked (or didn't) was there a specific reason*?

Is the tradeoff of more convenient transport worth losing the high-gloss print?


* I'm a little concerned about how images look when printed on the fabric.


34 responses so far

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!!

14 responses so far

Hockey Pool, Week 6

Nov 13 2011 Published by under awesomeness

This is my second year of playing along in the VWXYnot Hockey Pool, organized by the most-excellent Cath. And, so as not to be a slacker, I volunteered to post the update for the 6th week of the hockey season here. I might be late with this, because I didn't have the brain capacity to figure out when the week actually ended. Nevertheless, here are the data!

Figure 1: Week 6 points earned

The clear winners this week were Bob O'Hara and Modscientist. Well done! Ricardipus also did pretty well, and there were several of us clustered near the middle. In an uncharacteristic showing, Lavaland had a really bad week.

Figure 2: overall points from week 5 to 6

Even with the less-than-stellar showing this week, Lava's lead is intact. Smaller, but still there. Mod and Bob made giant (and identical) gains, moving them up into the top cluster with Lava, Chall, Scientist Mother and Ricardipus. I'm stick in middle-land, with Cath, Beth and Mr. E Man clumped at the bottom.

There you go! The hockey season is still young, and anything could happen. I just hope that I can continue to remember to make the picks on time each week.

8 responses so far

General Exam Questions from Hell

Nov 09 2011 Published by under academia

A right of passage for most graduate programs is the General (or Qualifying) exam. These vary in format between programs (and disciplines-but I am only familiar with the biologically-centric flavors). IME, these consist of a 2-3 hour oral exam, where the student presents and defends their dissertation project and is also expected to be answer "general" questions related to their chosen field of study. Most students work pretty hard to prepare for these exams. In my grad program, it was often stated that the day of your general exam was the smartest you would ever be (because you would not be able to recall much of what you learned after another year or so).

Well, it is now my turn to sit on the other side of the table. The season of general exams is upon us (at MRU), and I have to give several of these exams in the near future. These are a bit of work, because I have to think up good questions that test the breadth and depth of the student's knowledge and reasoning skills. Which leads me to...#GeneralExamQuestionsFromHell, a twitter game that Odyssey and I have been playing. Here are some of what we have come up with so far:

Do you have any General/Qualifying Exam horror questions? If you are a student, what do you remember from your exam?

17 responses so far