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So, I may have made a postdoc shortlist (the third I’ve made for sure since applying for postdocs last year). And I may have had a phone interview earlier this week.
Unfortunately I’ve only had one phone interview before and that experience was interesting at best. At times I lack a brain to mouth filter so I do recall referring to Janskys as “those obnoxious flux units infrared and radio astronomers use because they can’t use magnitudes” many years ago. Somehow however I got that job.
But I think this week the filter between my brain and mouth was lost again. When talking about the science I found interesting for the future, I was asked if I planned on following it up with JWST. My instant reply was that no, given the political situation with the budget overruns I’m not even counting on JWST flying. Shit. That was probably the wrong thing to say. But as it stands JWST is running billions over budget. It has/is going to be removed from the astrophysics division so it can be managed separately to help stem the flow of cash circling the drain. Ordinarily I’d say Yay JWST, but when some of the biggest supporters in Congress start to have issues with the cost overruns, I can’t help but be cautious when thinking of long term plans for the future.
And I’m kicking myself because there was other discussion about how this professor is the only one in *subfield* at this institution. I wasn’t sure if it was politically incorrect to correct them, but they were very wrong, there are people in a partner department and some others in the same department running on soft money that do some complimentary work, some of whom I see every year at the annual conferences and know on sight. In this case I held my tongue and I wonder if I should have.
But. . . now is the time for waiting. They mentioned maybe an offer this week, but nothing is on the rumor mill and it’s a holiday so I wouldn’t be surprised if all the uni admin types needed to make any sort of offer were already out until the new year. But until them I have at least one other postdoc application to churn out and a newer, better paper draft of paper #4 of my dissertation to write.
Today I am not being the visual of a scientist which most children are taught. I’m female, sitting on a big yoga ball in front of two computers working on data from a major NASA and belting out the Glee versions of Britney Spears songs.
Yes parents of the world, your children could also grow up to be scientists working on very important findings while dancing along in their seat and singing trashy pop music. Isn’t that what you always wanted your darling child to do with their grown up life?
I’m ashamed to admit this week I’ve had a minor meltdown of sorts.
It started last week in the most normal way- I had a horrible nightmare about an observing run. Or rather an observing run that didn’t happen because I was an idiot and put off travel arrangements so much that I *forgot* to go on the observing run.
Now for most astronomers I don’t think this would phase them. As I’ve learned from twitter, the observing run nightmare is common amongst most of us. I think I actually qualify as some people’s nightmares as I’m rarely ever ready at dusk for observing, though in my defense it’s because I’ve learned to go with the flow because inevitability the instrument acts up at dusk the first night. But given that I’ve been in this field for way over a decade, having my first observing run nightmare scared the shit out of me.
I came to the conclusion however that this was all because I hadn’t seen the fall telescope schedule yet. See in October while I was at the DPS meting I may have requested a week of observing in the spring. And I may have put Feb to April as acceptable months. Back in October this date range hadn’t made me think twice, but now with a defense date set in late April and a committee submission date of April 1, I was a little stressed out.
Well apparently a comedy of errors took place and in fact the night I had that nightmare was the night the preliminary spring telescope schedule was sent out to every institution except University of the Frozen Tundra. A kinda soul at one of the other universities forwarded me the schedule Sunday night. . . Guess who got scheduled for a week of observing starting March 30th?
But of course I didn’t know that University of the Frozen Tundra hadn’t gotten the schedule. . .I just though my advisor “forgot” to tell me the schedule had gone out. I spent Sunday night freaking out and trying to figure out how to draft an email with a minimum amount of 4 letter words yet a catchy subject line. Apparently the subject “Preliminary Spring Telescope Schedule, oh crap no” was what was needed.
In the end the run is getting cut down to 3 nights which I find more reasonable. Otherwise I was looking at 10 nights of travel (with the 7 nights of observing and then travel days) like I did in Late October for Hartley 2 observing support which really wore me out. And I’m still not clear if I’m observing or if my advisor is doing it for me (or drafting one of the poor grad students out of the lab that doesn’t even do solar system!) but I’m glad I had a meltdown because the resolution was a huge weight off my shoulders.
Now I just need to submit paper #3 of my dissertation and finish writing paper #4 on the wee asteroids (or weesteroids as they have been termed by some) and then maybe I can stop having meltdowns about my dissertation deadline.
For the December Scientae:
I think I may have a serious stick up my backside these days, I don’t do a whole lot for funsies. Perhaps that explains why I’m miserable in the current town. But the few things I have for funsies:
My dog provides lots of fun. I may refer to him often as my furry overlord but how could you say no to this face?
I spend far too much time laughing at him snoring or sleep barking and chasing squirrels in his sleep.
Yoga class. I wouldn’t normally refer to yoga class as “fun”, rather a way to spend some time away from the dissertation when trying not to go batshit. But given that I have 10 years of ballet training under my belt, I cause entertainment in yoga class for not doing things right. I took a while for my yoga instructor to watch and realize that I had a ballet past when reaching for the barre that didn’t exist when doing tree pose. Unfortunately all those years of ballet didn’t actually teach me any grace, so all you parents out there, be forewarned!
I have a small . . issue. . hoarding Lush. Specifically hoarding Lush bath bombs. Somewhere my inner 5 year old has way too much fun glitter bombing the bathroom and the house with Avobath. . .or playing in the tub with the seaweed from Big Blue. So when I’m stressed out you can bet the first thing I do is play in the tub. But be careful with some of the bath bombs. . . ninja star glitter is just not fun when found in delicate places.
I also have two things I miss from my old hometown. . . which I’ll willingly admit was Los Angeles.
Item #1 is Huntington Library in Pasadena. I had an annual pass and was there weekly most of the year. I loved searching around there and seeing that the gardens were all dead during the week. Unfortunately now, I see it on film and sniffle because I miss it so- the two cases this weekend were in the movie Serenity (the Lily Ponds FTW!) and the wedding scene at the end of Legally Blonde 2 which was in the rose arbor right outside of my beloved herb garden at Huntington.
Item #2- I have an insane quantity of perfume from BPAL. I even have Snow White from 2004, one of my very first purchases. Not only do they sell about a bazillion scents which I huff and wear, but there is always a new scent at full moon and will call in Los Angeles and a few other places across the US. Will Call is entertaining- imagine a bunch of women from crazy different paths in life getting together and doing a lot of OMG sniff this! Yeah that would be will call. I miss my gal pals oh so much from LA and being able to go to these events on a monthly basis.
So in summary, I’m boring and only do little things for fun. I would probably do more if I were in a location I hate less and wasn’t ~4 months away from needing to hand in my dissertation.
So given that I’m about to submit paper #3 of the 5 papers in my dissertation (which OMG is due to the committee in final format 4 months from yesterday) and I find myself worrying about the stupidest thing- which email address to associate with the publication.
By the time it actually gets published in the journal I should be defending. . .meaning that in the future if people have questions I likely won’t be at grad uni and probably won’t be keeping my account there either as it fills up with unmeasurable amounts of crap from both the physics and astro departments right now. I’d like to switch to my gmail account, it’s all prim and proper and my full name, as it will be with me no matter where I go. But I’m not sure that using the gmail account is the best idea. . . on one of the recent papers I was a co-author on, the much older faculty member refused to use my gmail account even when asked multiple times because it wasn’t “official”.
I wish I could spend more time writing than worrying about stupid crap like which email gets associated with my publications.