Dr. Mom, My Adventures as a Mommy-Scientist

Discussion of my journey from grad school to postdoc to tenure with two kids, a husband, (and a bit of breast cancer) in tow.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Writing, writing, writing...

Who knew that engineers (well at least academic ones) spend so much time writing? It really is fascintaing how little exposure we get in undergrad to tasks that become of critical importance in our careers. I spent most of my undergrad learning how to solve big fancy-schmancy equations. I distinctly remember arriving at my first engineering job (an internship). I was handed a tool belt and told to build a bench scale pilot plant. Boy was that a shock! I didn't know the difference between NPT or Swagelok fittings or anything. By the end of the summer, I think I could have easily qualified as a junior plumber. But I digress:

The most interesting part of that job and my subsequent ones was the amount of time that I spent writing proposals, reports, and research papers. I easily spend about 1/4 of my time writing. And it comes in spurts. There are months were it is all I do and months were I am in the lab solid. In undergrad, I did not take nor was I required to take any classes in writing. It was a skill learned entirely on the job. What a tragedy!

Well, this is a little respite to writing and editing. Got to get this paper out today...


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