Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Good News: My Postdocly Life isn't only about Neverending, Tedious Analyses

Postdocly bullets of the good and the bad and the research proposal:

I just got word that I was approved for a NIH loan repayment program. No word yet on the amount of the award, but I just wanted to thank myself and the rest of yous guys. Thank you, American Tax Payers! Yay! This is awesome.

More good news, a 2-times revised article has just been finally, officially accepted for publication in a high impact journal. Bad news, they are very very picky about editorial issues. Bah!

Another article, dating from my very first job as a graduate student--yes, this was years ago will be submitted in a few days, or whenever I get to it.

I am applying for an institutional career development award (75% salary support + some research support.) I so don't feel ready for this yet as I'm not even done with my first year of postdoc life. But it's an annual cycle and it's due at the end of September, marking my one year anniversary. So in some ways, it's good timing. Anyway, the good news here is I finally have an idea for what to propose. Still trying to figure out if it's feasible though.

The only bad news in the hopper (besides my recent family-of-origin drama that would make you cry if I told you more about it), I can't seem to run the analyses I need to present at a meeting next Monday. This might entail weekend work. :( Super lame, except that I have been keeping really limited hours lately due to pregnancy-related exhaustion and food requirements (which require me to spend more time eating and sleeping than working.) So I owe the postdocly Gods some more time, for sure.

Any of you female post-docs or grads in science/medicine/psychology who will be applying for faculty positions in the next year? (Not that there are any openings.) There is a great program at Rice University in Houston designed to help you find the ideal faculty position. Although I might be increasing my competition by doing this(!), I do think it's a great opportunity. Check it Out, the deadline for applying is mid-August.

Happy Research!

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Monday, July 27, 2009

An Open Letter*

Thank you for your apology.

However, I doubt your sincerity. Although I knew what you would say, and had spent one month preparing my response to your negativity, and was very proud of my calm response, I cried after we spoke yesterday. You have, again, hurt me to the quick. This is our routine; I make independent decisions and you degrade them. Remember when you called me a whore? You degrade me. I don't know why. We have done this for more than 30 years.

There will be no degrading of my child's life choices. I will raise this child with love, tolerance, and support. I will do my damnedest to keep my child's life free of the ravages of hate, intolerance, mental illness, suicide, violence, lies, addiction, emotional and physical abuse, and the other toxic elements of my childhood. Inshallah, there will be no kidnapping of my child by my ex-husband in the middle of the night, no police and social-services interventions, no government cheese, no severe social and cultural deprivation. I can only imagine my excitement if my child ever makes the decision to have a child of his or her own. I would never, ever, degrade this decision. A new life is something to be celebrated, treasured.

I can't understand why you still find fault with my life/my choices. I am 32 years old. I am happily married to a stable, loving man who will provide the support to my child that I never received from a father. I have received the highest academic degree possible. I am independent and have not relied on your financial support since I was 18, not that you were offering. I own a home. I am academically and professionally successful with a promising career in front of me. I have many friends. I am healthy and happy. I have explored the world and the people in it with an open mind and have grown so much since I left your home. I make plenty of money. What the fuck have I done wrong? Are you comparing my life to yours? Please don't. Just stop.

Yes, I am grateful that I was raised to adulthood, free of any physical signs of the shit you put us through. I am healthy and have straight teeth, had a roof over my head, always got my vaccinations, and while I ate junk I had to make myself, I never once went hungry. Thank you for these things.

But I wish I was like my husband. To have a long list of family members to call who whooped with joy and excitement (maybe also some relief? disbelief?) at our news. Who already are opening their hearts and minds and making plans and preparations to welcome a new life into their family.

Remember a few months ago when you announced you were grateful you didn't have the brood of your sister as it would be such a burden to keep track of so many grandchildren? I assure you, this child will be no burden of yours.

In closing, I am grateful to my husband, my sister, my in-laws, and my countless dear friends who have wished me nothing but happiness on this new journey ahead of me. Who I can and will count on for the support and love a new family needs. I love you all.


*Yes, I know damn well that I am posting this on a public forum. While at it's best it is adolescent and vindictive, I have done this for full public disclosure, for shaming, for the opportunity to make a public proclamation of my pregnancy and most importantly, a public vow that I will be a better parent than you ever were.

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Friday, July 24, 2009

Boy Howdy, I love Jimmy Carter

I heart Jimmy. And the best part, as evidenced by this statement: he loves me!

I know, I know, for those of you still there, that I haven't been much of a blogger lately. Chalk this up to my lack of angst. Which is a good thing....right?