Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Lost Another Post-Doc to a Husband

For the second time this year, I have lost a female post-doc because their husband refused to let them work. In both instances, the women were internationals and their husbands were unemployed. Both women were visibly upset by the situation, wanting to work in the group- but unable to. Without this job, they must go back to their native country and search from abroad.

I don't meddle in personal affairs, so I wish them luck and tell them they can always come back. Now, I have an open post-doc position for a funded project and I've got to hire someone ASAP.

Comments are welcome.

Monday, July 25, 2011

I don't want to be on your thesis committee if...

I am a very popular choice for thesis committees inside and outside of the department. Unfortunately, I can't be on every committee so I've started interviewing the students to select which committees I do want to be on. Here are some of the questions I ask:

1. Why do you want *me* to be on your committee? (Majority of students are unable to answer this, so maybe I don't need to be on their committee)

2. What are your grades like? (If you have any C's, I won't serve on the committee).

3. What is your project? (If you are unable to answer this, I won't serve on the committee).

4. Why did you pick this project? (This is an opportunity to tell me more about your likes/dislikes, perhaps a dynamic with your advisor, or to get me interested in your project.)

5. What do you expect my contribution to be to your thesis committee? (Somewhat related to #1, but more about what is the time commitment involved).

I usually turn away about 1/3 but I'll have to refuse more soon because I have too many obligations with the pregnancy and all. I like serving on thesis committees, but I just wish I had more time to do so.

Monday, July 18, 2011

A Special Episode of JP's Group Meeting

I told my research group that I was pregnant today! It went over much better than I expected. We discussed how long I expected to work before my due date (A: as long as possible!), how long it would take to recuperate (A: for me, 3 months optimistically), and if I would come in during that time (A: of course I would). The group was happy for me. If they have questions about how it affects them as individuals, then they're invited to ask me privately.

My joint pain has been accumulating, but I am far enough along that I might be able to start taking corticosteroids to reduce the inflammation. I'm looking forward to that!

I visited Dr. Mom last week. She's still in chemotherapy for breast cancer, but she's doing much better than earlier treatments. (You are, Dr. Mom!!). Amazingly, her hair is coming back already like a little short phoenix. It was great to focus energy on someone else and to get a break from the daily drudgery here. She is still putting out papers and here I am twiddling my thumbs! She makes me feel like a lazy-bones, so I guess I'll work on one of those papers sitting in my inbox.

Friday, July 8, 2011

I am My Best Judge

I am on an award committee, where speakers are nominated to be judged for a cash prize. I wrote to the session chairs, asking them to nominate speakers in their session for judging and to recommend appropriate judges. One session chair nominated himself (he was speaking in his own session) and recommended himself as an appropriate judge. AWESOME. So is that how I get more awards?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Creaky Elbow Got Me Down

I guess I spoke too soon, or posting about how great I felt cursed me. For the last week+, the RA has been creeping back.

I'm so frustrated because it isn't supposed to be like that when you're pregnant! Medications options are limited for the next 6 months. I couldn't take Medrol because of the baby, so my rheumatologist gave me a steroid injection in the elbow. It didn't work, and I've still got a bum limb. It's so defeating to know that this is probably going to persist and even get worse. My action plan is to go back to the meditation CDs, see the OBGYN next week, and see the rheumatologist the following week. My fantasy action plan is to saw off my arm.

On the bright side, this has taken my mind off of our current department head search situation. No chair can kiss my booboo and make it go away, so I'm presently not concerned with outcome.