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.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Teaching: "The Giant Sucking Sound"

A few of you older readers might recall Ross Perot's failed presidental campaign in 1993. When referring to his opponents' support of NAFTA, he indicated that this country would hear a giant sucking sound as low wage jobs were shifted to foreign venues. An interesting and colorful analogy, I think I can hear that giant sucking sound coming from my time management (or lack thereof).

I love teaching. I love it, I love it, I love it.

And I hate it. It is taking up ALL of my time. I am trying to get a handle on it, trying to do less, but how can you give students any less than 110%. Meanwhile, my focus has got to shift. I cannot be the only one of you out there who got a lovely form letter from NSF informing us that they will have little to virtually no money available for new grants because of the federal government's inability to pass a 2007 budget. This means that I will have to beat the bushes harder than ever to fund my lab. AND I am still sitting on one paper from my postdoc that really, really needs to get out. [On the positive side I pushed out two papers in Nov-Dec, so I am feeling good about that.]

One of my friends who is a year ahead of me on the tenure track said that she thought being a faculty member would be like a gentle assent up a hill and found that it was more like being kicked in the pants up a sheer cliff. I think that I affirm her analogy. BUT I still love it. I can't believe they pay me to do this.


At 3:53 PM , Blogger SciMom said...

Welcome to the footprint club! That sucking sound is also the sound of a lot of good researchers being sucked out of academic science because of the federal funding predicament. Good luck and happy climbing!


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