Um, dear lord.

My advisor and I skyped on Friday. He’s finally back from all his comet observing runs as well so we could chat rather than email.

Topics of discussion included job applications. I applied for one big postdoc which I either have no shot in hell of getting, or every shot in hell of getting depending upon the committee. For this application I decided to go big picture, so I tied my work into models of planet formation and then may have called out a future project for having a poorly designed observing strategy while stating what I could do to help the situation and provide options that wouldn’t mess with the other priorities of the project. I’ve got a bunch of other postdoc apps to send out for things that are right up my alley, or things I could spin to my research strengths, so fingers crossed for this coming year that I can start getting job offers rather than simply shortlisted.

Another topic of discussion was the 7 night observing run. I’ve been told to put that data at the end of the queue. Yay! I was wondering how exactly I was going to do a data shuffle on my computers right now to pull that project off as I don’t have half of a terrabyte free on my desktop or laptop.

But the big topic of discussion was *ohholyshit* my defense date. We’re assuming I’m going to get a job this year. And if I want to walk in May graduation, I need to defend before then. So. . . .we’re looking at a defense at the end of April. OMG. Paper #3 of my dissertation is almost done (I found a last few references, need to calculate the mass in asteroids in this certain family and finish up the conclusions and discussion) and it can get sent off to the journal. My goal was to have a draft of paper #4 to the former boss and the advisor in about 3 weeks, so I could send a revised draft out to the whole group near New Years and submit by mid Feb. And then paper #5 can be easily written while everyone is reading and reviewing paper #4. Technically April is enough time for my defense. . .half my chapters will already be published so that ought not be a problem, though realistically I ought to get a completed draft of the whole thing out by the end of March to go to everyone. Of course I still have yet to determine if late April works for my whole committee and I ought to find out how to put former boss on my committee even though I already have an external member picked out from our geology department.

So now I guess it’s crunch time. I wonder how many days a week I’m going to need to hit the pool to deal with the stress. At least one clear upside to this kind of schedule is that I won’t have enough time to check the bleepity bleep bleep bleep rumor mill.

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