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, May 31, 2007

The benefits of being a professor...(oh and some blatant harrassment)

So how happy am I that I am here right now.

Although I miss my kids terribly, I am having a fabulous time at the conference right now. It has probably been the single greatest networking event for me ever. I have had an opportunity to meet several senior scientists whom I have admired since I started my Ph.D. And more importantly, these are the folks reviewing my grant apps, my papers, and my tenure file.

On that note, this conference has given me a lot of perspective. I am very lucky and this has been an extremely good year.
* I got a grant funded
* I published two papers (from my postdoc but still good)
* My lab is set-up and we are producing data
* I had an invited presentation at an extremely prestigious conference in Europe.
* People thought the talk was good.

I think I deserve a bit of vacation.

On another note...
My roommate for the conference was propositioned last night by a much older researcher attending the conference (who is married with grandchildren). She managed to extracate herself from the situation without too much difficulty, but I was wondering if anyone else has had this experience...and how you might handle it. I know that it is not unheard of for researchers to have affairs and hook-up, but this is the first time that I saw it.

The roommate's take on the situation
So you think that a guy who has grandkids is fairly safe to hang out with at a foreign bar, but you might want to rethink that idea. Seriously, I didn't see that one coming. Nor did I see the next few lines. He was sure direct, and the crazy thing about the whole ordeal was he wasn't really going to physically be able to seal the deal until he took his pills, which he was headed for when I bolted. I should have listened to the alarm bells when he kept saddling up to me while I was working on the computer, but I tend to categorize old people as harmless, completely forgetting about the "crazy" old guys. The last quotes he gave me as I was running away as fast as I could was "I find you awfully sexy, so please stay and have some fun." Now I am going to go and curl back up in my ball and wait for the open bar tonight.


At 4:36 PM , Anonymous tenured(butstillstressed) said...

This all sounds great (except for your too friendly "friend"). Yes, gotta watch out for those old guys, especially when the alcohol is flowing. You sound like you are off to a terrific start, but one word of warning is that, at least in my experience, some external tenure reviewers do not count those "postdoc" papers, even if you worked on them significantly at your new institution. This caused confusion for my colleagues, since some reviewers counted them fully, others separated them out, and still other reviewers acted like they did not exist at all. Therefore, they each came up with different totals for my pub count. I think people should be aware that these things happen. I'm certain you will have a strong record in any case.

At 4:44 PM , Anonymous tenured(butstillstressed) said...

Oops - just noticed that it was your roommate that had the trouble with the old guy and not you. In any case, I've been there myself, and the best line of defense is to make sure you drink less than everyone else. Talking about your spouse and kids sometimes helps but unbelievably, does not always do the trick! Unfortunately, this type of experience has caused me to sometimes avoid signing up for these mixers (which is not ideal because they are networking opportunities) or to leave early, before things get too out of hand.

At 5:05 PM , Anonymous tenured(butstillstressed) said...

Just one more suggestion and then I'll stop. There is one particular fellow who has pestered me at conferences for years, even though he knows full well I am married with children. I have never given him any indication that anything would ever happen, yet he persists. I now have a group of close friends who also tend to attend the same meetings and they know when to come over and "rescue" me. They actually keep an eye out. It is sad that we have to resort to things like this but it became necessary.

At 4:01 PM , Blogger Super Babe said...

Eeww. I have never dealt with anything like that... and I hope I never will! Glad the conference/vacation in Europe is going/went well!!

At 9:22 AM , Blogger EcoGeoFemme said...

I've had this happen, but the man respected my refusal and everything was okay. He's at most meetings I attend and we are buddies.

I agree that it's better to drink less than everyone else. I always drink really, really slowly so that I always have a beer in hand but am not getting drunk.

At 12:55 AM , Anonymous Flicka Mawa said...

It occurs to me that this professor good very possibly be one from my own department. He could easily have been at the same conference as you and I would not be in the least surprised to hear he acted like that at conferences. Ugh....

At 12:55 AM , Anonymous Flicka Mawa said...

good = could (oops)

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