Monday, December 17, 2012

Well its about time fergodssake.

I'm just finishing the draft of a manuscript of the work my students did in the lab about four years ago. I could spout to you about lack of time, etc., but the plain fact is that I procrastinated royally because 1. There was little external motivation to do so. Even going up for tenure my colleagues wrote that I was lacking in research publications, while still assuring me that things were looking good, 2. I must have some psychological fear of writing it. Am I afraid to look foolish or incompetent? Probably, and 3. I could not force myself to concentrate until put under the gun of a firm external deadline.

I got an intramural salary grant to write this manuscript this summer, and the report is due soon. I have written the majority of it in a apoplectic session in the past 4 days. In my report I will state that it is finished and out for editing among scientific peers. Good thing is, my husband is a scientific peer. :) He's also a comma curmudgeon, so it goes to him first.

I'm totally beating myself up about the time it took to get this out. Internally motivated much? Able to act professionally and accomplish what needs to be done despite fear much? Going to do well on your sabbatical where your peers have done this many, many times?

My deepest prayer is that by getting over the energy barrier, it will become much easier the next time (oh, yes we have the data for two... boom).

Friday, December 7, 2012

Crap. I may have a real problem.

I wrote that I could hardly handle it the last two years because my daughter didn't sleep well:

and especially

After complaining to the family doc about this every check-up, he finally referred us to a specialist. To the specialist we said, we have a girl who sleeps like some of her relatives that have some serious mental health issues. We think she's fine, but also know enough to realize she has some risk. We want tips on how to parent to make her more resilient, should her biology be unkind to her.

Specialist started asking questions about Girl and they were all yes, yes, yes.
She turns to me and says, "Have you ever had a diagnosis?"
"Me? No, not MY side... I did get medicine once for ADD, but it think my thyroid was off or something". "Hmm. Your daughter is far too young to have a diagnosis, and we wouldn't dream of medicating her, but the sleep problems are a harbinger of SOMETHING neurochemical being off. You need to watch her for AD/HD"

Holy crud. I thought it wasn't from my side, but Her Cuteness may have a focusing problem. From me.

Look back at this post:
In which I describe how I can't perform well in a lab like "successful scientists" because I can't focus.

and this
In which I nearly diagnose myself.

Can't figure out for the life of me why I can't get done what I have to.

Can't make myself write to save my life.

OK, before you get in a huff about Girl, here's our plan: 1. NOT be hypersensitive to ADD signs, just going to let her be 2 years old (and 3 and 4 and 5). 2. Not going to tell her teachers anything to avoid unnecessary labeling. 3. Going to follow the Doc's plan about getting her to sleep. 4. Going to dig in our heels against any kind of medicine until it is very clear she would benefit, and we have exhausted ALL cognitive methods. If, *IF * she *certainly* has a problem.

Now, ME. I have finished developing. I got a Ph.D by using cognitive methods only (though there may have been some unnecessary struggle there). We can discuss cognitive style versus pathology if you'd like. But I can say that I have reached the limits of my capacity. Maybe I will start to take that bottle of meds I've been ignoring for about 3 years. What do you think?

Monday, December 3, 2012

Signs of Adjunct/ Assistant Abuse?

Looking for an alternative hypothesis to
This seems to be a department/ institution that has "Walmart-ized" their workforce (keeping ranks low and using many adjuncts).

Came across a website for a science department of a medium sized university.

1. There were the same number of adjuncts listed as full-time faculty. All adjuncts had masters or lower.
2. Of the full-time faculty, only about a third were listed as associate or higher. Therefore, of the teaching force listed on the website, only 15% are tenured.
3. The website did not post credentials of many of the faculty other than where they got their degrees. Of the Assistant Professors, they didn't seem in their pictures to particularly young.
4. A few Assistant Professors listed the time they had been in the department. Several had been there since before 2000.
5. There were as many Lecturers as Assistant Profs.

Here, I'll start it off. Alternative Hypothesis 1. Everyone gets paid well enough that they don't feel the need to advance in ranks.