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, June 29, 2006

The big day is coming up!

Well, I know my posts have been few and far between for the last month or so. I have been super swamped. We moved into a new house and got settled, and next week I start my job at R1U. I am so excited. In some ways it feels like I am already there. I got tagged for a review article, which I finished the second week of my 'vacation' after the move. Then, the third week I got asked to help write a grant (my first as co-PI). If we get it I get lots of money for three years so I am really excited, but it took almost the whole week. Then someone asked me to review a paper, and it was really closely related to my work so I felt obligated to look at it. Then, just as I finished that and thought I could finally settle in, I was asked to write a book chapter. The jury is still out on that one. I have already written one book chapter and a review article this year (well coming out this year anyway). Do you guys think I should do it?

Given all of this I think I now understand why my professors never had any time. This kind of stuff keeps you so busy and I haven't even started teaching yet!

Well, I hope to start my regular posts again next week (after the holidays of course).

See you then!

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Arrived at R1U town!!!

Gosh, I'm sorry I haven't written for so long, but I have been in the processing of moving so that I can start my job at R1U (research 1 university). I am so excited. We have been here about two weeks, are about 3/4 of the way unpacked, and are getting settled in. The last weeks were crazy for me. I was trying to finish all my experiments at my postdoc, which more or less panned out. Also, I agreed to write a review article that was due at the end of the month. It was fairly short, but I spent most of the last week and half finishing that up [in addition to unpacking!].

The worst part of the whole thing was probably my daughter. She has known that we would be moving since starting my postdoc two years ago. But somehow, the move came as a shock to her. She was very depressed for the last few weeks in Boston. She didn't want to leave her friends and teachers behind. She stopped eating and spent most of her time moping. She is only 4! I felt absolutely terrible, but what could I do? The good news is that we spent the week of the move with family and this really cheered her up. She is much better now and looking forward to starting summer camp next week, but it was really difficult. It really makes me think about any future moves. I plan on staying where I am at least until tenure, but I was leaving the door open after that. Now I am not so sure. It is very difficult to balance the demands of family with those of your career. But that's a good 6 or 7 years away so I'm not too concerned now.

I went into work last week. I don't officially start until next month, but they asked me to come for an site review. It was really neat because I got a chance to see what everyone else was working on. The coolest thing was that everyone seemed to know me [and vice versa]. This isn't too surprising because the review was in my area and the faculty from R1U have met me several times over the last year. But it was neat to see that the outside faculty knew me (or my work at least) as well. It was a real confidence booster. I am so excited about starting. I have lots of ideas for research, teaching, and outreach. Can't wait.

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