Monday, November 23, 2009

Pregnancy, the Good and the Bad

Here is my top 11 list of the good and the bad things I have experienced thus far in my pregnancy (I'm 28 weeks today!):

Super Obnoxious Things, in no particular order
1. All the pseudoscience (e.g. "You are aware of the really scary link between immunizations and autism, aren't you?")
2. Unsolicited opinions and judgmental attitudes. (e.g. "You aren't one of those people who is going to try a natural birth are you?"/"You know that epidurals cause serious side effects for the baby."/"Oh, ew, I don't like that name! Sounds like a dirty old hippie name/other insult.")
3. Unsolicited sharing of terrifying birth stories by virtual strangers.
4. Pregnant women moaning about becoming "SO HUGE" in a room full of other huge pregnant women.
5. Becoming huge.
6. Random touching of belly by strangers.
7. The Baby-Consumer-Complex.
8. It's hard to get out of bed.
9. Being sick and tired for the first few months.
10. Weird body stuff. Nuff said. (This covers A LOT of ground.)
11. No alcohol.

Super Great Things
1. That very immediate unreal sensation/denial/excitement/surrealness of peeing on the stick and seeing the word "Pregnant".
2. The first feeling of kicks.
3. Having an ultrasound. Like, holy cow, that's awesome!
4. Polite strangers who let me on and off the elevator first, who wait for me to cross the street, who tell me to get more food when in a buffet line, etc. etc.
5. How excited everybody gets about babies!
6. Imagining what the baby looks like, hir personality, etc. etc.
7. Eating. A lot.
8. Sleeping. A lot. (Even more than usual.)
9. Everyone wants to know & even seems to care how I feel. (This could arguably go on the first list.)
10. The Bump. (Again, on some days, I could put this on the first list.)
11. And finally, best of all, the realization that there is, like, a Miracle happening in my belly.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Got It!

Well, just found out that I got the career development award I applied for several months ago. This means that starting next summer I get: a faculty title (NTT), 3 years of 100% salary support + research funds (not a lot but enough) + travel funds. And more importantly, a freaking office!

Looks like the odds of staying here in Freezerville are looking greater...

As for grant/funding applications, including my repayment grant, I am now 2 for 2 on the first try. I think I will stop while I'm ahead!


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Staying in Academia? Why am I always job searching??

I am in the middle of a major slump. I have had these fits regularly throughout the last half of graduate school and throughout my postdoc.

The last few months of my postdoc have been going so well that I thought this phase of my life was over. I always attributed them to general grad student malaise and my love/hate relationship with academia. But now...? I'm not so sure.

I have been spending my time at work writing easy emails, reading random articles unrelated to any specific project, attending lectures, looking online for jobs for Spousal Unit, looking online for dream jobs for me-academic and non-academic, putting together a baby registry, thinking about relocating to a different state, freaking out about money, checking on the status of my manuscripts under review, engaging in email discussions about unsolvable controversial issues, worrying what I will do if I receive the recent career development award I applied for, worrying what I will do if I do not receive the recent career development award I applied for, and generally avoiding real work.

Why do I do this? Why can't I just get started on a new project and make some headway on something new and/or some long-lost project at the bottom of my pile of things I really don't want to do?

Is this ever going to stop? Am I ever going to stop fantasizing about the "perfect" job where I wouldn't face these temptations and these periods of uselessness?

Is this just because my work is so deadline oriented that when I don't have a deadline I can't get anything done? This is definitely part of the reasons my dissertation phase was so looooonng and so horrible.

It's times like this where I convince myself I need to do some real work and start looking at the government and non-profit sector listings.

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Monday, November 09, 2009

21st Century Etiquette

I don't think this is one Miss Manners has covered yet. What would be a good hostess gift for a gay man hosting a baby shower?


Friday, November 06, 2009

News from the Frontlines

So I have an inside scoop on a big application for a career development award I put in a few months ago from a participant from the review committee. And it looks good! Apparently MDs and PhDs were ranked separately and among the PhDs I was ranked either 1st or 2nd based on 3-4 committee members' rankings. Though time will tell; the applicants are re-ranked after the full groups' discussion and my inside scoop wasn't allowed to participate in that discussion. Only 5 people will be selected for this career development award and the odds are that only 1 or 2 PhDs will be selected, so I hope, hope, hope that I was ranked PhD-Numero-Uno. Although that means staying here in Freezerville where I have no friends, am always cold, find the food bland, and where Spousal Unit (SU) still has no job. But whatever.

I had convinced myself that it was going nowhere. Silly Julep.

On a totally unrelated note, there is no reason I should have even come into work this week. I have done zilch, zilch. Instead, I cruised the internet, wrote a few emails, stared blankly at some articles I need to read, and put together a baby registry. Seriously.

Probably the most useful thing I got out of this week was a meeting with Visiting Professor (VP) from Scandinavian Country who may prove to be a useful future collaborator. VP does research on toadstools* in my favorite continent, Africa.** VP has never before examined the effect of lullabies*** on toadstools, however, and I happen to specialize in the effects of lullabies.*** This does not bode well for Spousal Unit (SU), who for some reason, does not fully support my desire to someday relocate to Africa.** But I jump the gun.

Tootles all and happy weekending.

*Research area changed to protect the identity of Visiting Professor.
**Actual favorite continent.
***Research area changed to protect my semi-pseudonymous identity.

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