Friday, April 17, 2009
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Although Gtalk won't let you know if someone has blocked you, eventually, you will find out. For e.g. if A is an annoying bugger who can only think of asking me when I'm getting married, and I don't want to deal with him, I just block him off. and think all is good. But, A might know B, who's also on my list, and they might be having a conversation online at the same time I'm talking to B. B casually mentions, "Why don't you ask tgfi, she's online" and A says "tgfi is online? Not on my list!". Heh. Even worse, is if A sits right next to B in class, and B has that green button lit up on his gtalk list next to my name, and A doesnt.
So, all it takes is one common contact and a lucky moment. Or else some clever sleuthing, which, I am sure you are up for if you are googling "how to find out if i have been blocked gtalk". Yeah?
Admittedly, I secretly enjoyed the moment A discovered he was blocked. :)
Friday, April 10, 2009
With "the" paper out of the door, life is a lot, lot better. I stand back and take a look at it, and realize that it's a really good, thorough piece of work. All that added work the referees made us do indeed made it even better, although it is still debatable whether all that supplementary data and analyses were within the scope of my work: they made us generate enough preliminary data for the next round of experiments, certainly not entirely warranted. But, whatever. It's out, its done, and its looking good. :)
I feel a mixture of pride and relief. I got really lucky in not getting scooped, although I came eerily close to it. After all, I dragged my feet on the paper for almost two years now, during which everyone had jumped onto the bandwagon. And although I had made my mark because I was the first to present this stuff at meetings and conferences, it would all be moot if somebody else published it before me. Had that happened, I would have only myself to blame. Now, finally, I can stop nervously tracking the literature everyday to see if somebody beat me to it and its a huge relief to be able to finally put my name to something that I was the first to find in my field.
Finally, this is past glory and I can only bask in it for so long. I have got to move on, to better, bigger things. Indeed, getting it out definitely helps me be more focused and confident in my post-doc trails, not to mention makes me a much happier person in general. So yeah, onward and upward!
In other news, I've been in a rather bad mood for the past day or so. Not exactly sure why. Am planning a weekend trip but not even excited about that as I would've usually been. Partly its the anti-social-ness of my lab mates that has begun to get to me. While very nice and helpful, they speak to me only when spoken to, and otherwise stick to conversing among themselves, in, of course, a language that I do not speak or understand. (No prizes for guessing which one). It has gotten quite annoying now. At the other end of the spectrum is another annoying person on the floor who greets you with the most plastic wide fake smile ever, always. I am craving for some fun hallway buddies to have a general conversation with.. Most days it feels like I come to work and go home at the end without a decent social interaction.
Thursday, April 09, 2009
Wednesday, April 08, 2009
Thursday, April 02, 2009
Sad, cruel irony it was.
Of the many things I learned in grad school, I am so glad and so proud of my presentation skills. I might've had some flair for it to start with, but Ph.D Adv.'s training has essentially made it as good as it is today. And I have always enjoyed the process of giving presentations- it gives me a high, after the initial nervousness. I love talking about science, I enjoy breaking down my work to make it presentable to an outside audience, I love leveling with the audience, making a joke or two in the course of the talk. I love it when they get me, when they ask questions and when I see lots of nodding or appreciative looks.
Today I went to a talk on campus that was horrible. The speaker was rambling on and on, mumbling, thinking aloud, doing a lot of uhh umm uhh, blinding everyone by randomly fiddling with the laser pointer, talking to his slides half of the time, and I got nothing out of it. He does some cool work, and must be a good scientist, (He better be awesome if he got to become a Professor after having such pathetic communication skills) because the data was very cool and I would've really loved to learn some more about what he had. The worst part was that he went over time, and at the end of 1 hour and 10 minutes, I left in frustration and went on a long walk outside just to get it all out of my system. It was a very painful one hour of my day.
During my walk, I couldn't help reflect on how he broke all those rules Ph.D Adv. drilled into my head, after years of repetition. Some of them were: Speak to the audience, tell them what you're going to tell them, and tell them again. Don't assume that they know what you're talking about. Have a coherent story, not tons of data. Have a clear take-home message for the data slides, and at least three main points that you'd like them to take home even if they sleep through most of your talk. DO NOT make the laser pointer dance all around the ceiling and walls and DO NOT point it to your audience's eyes either. And please, for Gods' sake, try out your ppt on a windows and mac computer before you go. C'mon, that can't be that hard, no?
Forgive and forget? Forget but never forgive? Don't forgive nor forget? I am not sure what I want to do. I definitely forgot for a while, now I need to decide if I want to forgive. I have decided to sleep over it and not give it any more thought than that, it doesn't deserve any more.
Life in the lab is kinda see-saw. I have gotten really busy, lots on my plate and am enjoying thinking about my project, formulating hypotheses etc. in between doing some experiments. Its a good mix right now, I just hope I can come up with a solid game plan for my own project. I like that boss man comes and checks in on me ever so often. And yeah..it's been a week of showing up early (9 AM) every day to the lab. YAY me! :). There are other times I feel like I am floundering and get very impatient with myself. I think I over-scrutinize myself sometimes, too wary of ending up with another bad post-doc. I just need to remind myself at those times, to relax, quit looking back, and do what I need to do without beating myself up.
Two months at this post doc, I have yet to go into the lab on a weekend. Still not sure if its a good thing or a bad thing. :)
I haven't filled my tax forms yet. Yuck.
I have yet to start going to the gym. Sigh.
I have to be very frugal with my money, given that life in this city is very very expensive. So I also take my lunch most days (or scavenge the hallways for pizza that comes with a seminar). Today I went and indulged and bought a starbucks coffee. And it kept on pinching me for a while. I am going to have trouble sleeping tonight-not because of the $3.50 I spent on coffee, but because I am on such a caffeine rush right now.
Over and out!