Tuesday, December 06, 2005

What I learned

Things I learned at my meeting:

A.) I think I'm beginning to speak well and present my science convincingly because everyone kept thinking that I was junior faculty. It was hard for me to correct them, and there may have been an occassion or two where I let it slide (accidently on purpose of course). This was an important revelation because this was the first time I've gotten positive reinforcement on how I speak/present myself. There were several times where semi-famous people directed their questions to me instead of my mentor. That was nice and brought warm fuzzies to my tummy.

B.) The word DNA freaks people out. They respond better to "genetic information". I'm still trying to figure this one out, but it was a pretty consistent difference.

C.) Don't make assumptions about how supportive (or non supportive) people will be until you test them out. I ran into my grant manager, and she asked me about my next step following graduation. Upon sensing my apprehension, she immediately went into lots of career choices available to me and gave me the names of some people in a variety of "non traditional" science positions. This was weird for me because I assumed she would push me into finding a post doc. My grant is a competitive grant given to people who show promise as young researchers and is meant to train them to become research faculty. I thought she would be the last person to be honest with. I was wrong.

D.) Do not buy gloves that cost more than $5 because you will lose them the next day. It doesn't matter that you have never lost a glove in all of your life--you will lose them. Moreover, the "Lost and Found" department will laugh at you when you try to impress upon them how important it is that you find your gloves.

E.) The field of epigenetics is underrepresented in neuroscience, especially in translational research. I can't wait for this to change.

F.) When someone is critical of your work, get even more excited as you present it to them. Shakespeare was not a stupid man. Everyone wants to be entertained deep down inside.

G.) People really like my work. They really do, and I think I convinced several labs to hop on board my train and start looking at some of the things I've been looking at. I'm excited about that.

H.) There are only 3 women associated with my program who are on the faculty tenure track right now. One of them is probably going to get axed, even though she came from a famous lab and does great science, because she is having difficulty getting a grant. Apparently it doesn't matter that the tenured faculty judging her can't get grants right now either.

I may have learned a few other things, but I'm tired and can't really think right now...


At 4:27 PM, Blogger academic coach said...

sounds like you learned many useful things. Point H. is very discouraging.

At 5:24 PM, Blogger Murky Thoughts said...

You progressing are, young Jedi. Academic become you will, mind you put if should....Heck. You know what I mean.

At 5:25 PM, Blogger truevyne said...

Just so you know my proudest moment...I only 12 year old black leather gloves I bought when I was pregnant with my first child. I may have lost them a few times, but they have always come back to me. I noticed this year that the cloth lining inside is wearing out and all that stand between my fingers and the winter is a thinning layer of leather.
This, however, is unrelated to the thousands of sunglasses I've broken and lost over the years.

At 11:49 PM, Anonymous jenny said...

Wow - if you took all that away from the conference, it sounds like a huge success. Congratulations!

And you might want to invest in the little clips to hold your gloves to your coat sleeves. I'm not kidding when I say my mother just bought some - she loses more gloves than anyone I've ever seen!


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