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.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Update

Some of you have asked for an update...so here goes. I finished chemo two weeks ago (yay!). I start radiation in a week and that will continue for 6 weeks. Then I have a break for a few months before reconstruction surgery.

That's the semantics, but how am I really doing? Actually well. One nice thing about this job is that there is plenty to keep you busy. I have written and submitted several papers and am currently working on several grants.Tenure is official so you can call me an Associate Professor now.

There are many things that have come up in the last few months that I would love to talk about here, but in the interest of time, I will list some and provide only short comments.

  • Why am I treated differently for having cancer than women who have babies? I didn't have nearly the same problems getting people to take over my classes etc. as some of my pregnant colleagues.
  • Why am I not getting invited for external seminars? Is it cancer related? or am I not networking hard enough. And how do you get invited for external seminars anyway? Is it appropriate to ask?
  • Why do my papers in this one field keep getting rejected? I have some research in a new area and it is like pulling teeth to get papers published in this field. I don't know many of the key players and this may be why, but still, *someone* new has to publish there eventually.
I guess that's not much, but some short comments for now.






18 Comments:

At 12:57 AM , Blogger Elena said...

I'm glad you posted, Dr. Mom. I have been wondering how you are doing. Sounds like you are persevering through this. Best wishes!

 
At 3:49 AM , Anonymous Andrew said...

"Why am I treated differently for having cancer than women who have babies? I didn't have nearly the same problems getting people to take over my classes etc. as some of my pregnant colleagues."

I imagine it might be because having cancer just unambiguously sucks, whereas with pregnancy you have the baby to look forward to.

 
At 9:33 AM , Blogger EcoGeoFemme said...

Glad things are going well. Hooray for the end of chemo!

I have organized a couple of small conferences, and yes, people have asked to be invited speakers. Both men and women have done it, too. In some cases, I think there was confusion and the person thought they had been invited, but in others they were just like, "my talk is gonna be awesome and you should invite me." Bear in mind, we also took contributed talks so being invited wasn't the only way to speak.

 
At 11:31 PM , Blogger ScienceGirl said...

Glad to hear you are keeping your head up through all the treatment, you are an inspiration! And congrats on getting tenured :-)

 
At 11:26 PM , Blogger GMP said...

Congrats on getting tenure!
As for seminars, you have to work on it. Have elders recommend you for conference talks (as in, tell PhD or postdoc advisor to throw talks your way), also invite mid-career faculty to speak at your place and they usually return the favor (big shots may not be that gracious).

Breaking into a new field? Very hard. Just keep at it. I find that starting with a couple lower-profile papers does the trick; ramp up from less flashy to flashy; they won't let you make a big splash right off the bat even if you deserve it.

Good luck!

 
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At 4:19 AM , Blogger Mark Sandel said...

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