Wednesday, September 30, 2009

First paper accepted!

Yay!!! Our first manuscript was accepted after a re-tool and re-pitch necessitated by finding out I was wrong about us being "first."

Lessons learned:

1) READ the literature even MORE than you thought you have.

2) Be very flattering, polite and conciliatory in responses to reviewers even when you are not doing precisely what they wanted you to do in the revision (such as not performing a whole new set of control experiments that would only minimally add to the confidence in the result, and instead just thanking them very much for their insight and modifying the text to emphasize the controls you DID do).

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Oh, blog.

I wish I had time to write in you. There are so many things to talk about, but 2nd year junior faculty life is kicking my butt. I am barely hanging in here, with days that fill with "essential" tasks that end up having little to do with getting my grants written.

Last year I made a figure that illustrated that I still have time available in the day and should be able to maintain efficiency even when busy. I now take that back.

There should be a little window of blogging opportunity here and there, especially once the semester ends and I am working from home as a 9-month pregnant lady waiting for a baby to come out.

Until then, little substance is likely from me. :(

Monday, September 14, 2009

Working from home

Ahh, what a good idea. I was completely stressed out about an impending deadline or three, arriving back last night from being at the NIH for a mini-conference last week with a blinding pregnancy headache, in other words totally dysfunctional. It's amazing how productive a day at home can be. Tasks accomplished:
  1. Dog picked up from boarding!
  2. Internal pre-proposal deadline met, including finishing project description and designing informal budget!
  3. Laundry completely taken care of!
  4. Clean dishes put away and dirty dishes put in dishwasher!
  5. Appropriate amount of calories and units of calcium/protein-containing foods consumed!
By saving myself the three hours I spend in the car every day on my commute, and the distractions of having an office right in my lab where everything and everyone catch my attention away from the work I'm supposed to be doing, I was able to actually get that work done. It is really nice to do this once in a while.

Now I need to use some of my husband-free evening to lay out my fall calendar with the other deadlines coming up, including:
  • two manuscript submissions
  • up to four proposal submissions
  • redesign of my lecture content for teaching beginning in two weeks
  • instituting a weekly journal club for my lab to start ASAP (they need it, not least for preparation for their cume exams, last two chances to pass occur over the next two months)
  • getting my lab ready for me to be gone for 2-3 months
  • getting myself and my house ready for having a freaking baby
It's gonna be one of those semesters!!! Jeebus.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The fluuuuuueeeeewwww

I'm teaching in a big class this semester, and the other prof just told me that we've already had 2-3 students let him know they have what is very likely to be H1N1. Since I'm in a high-risk group (gestation makes you something like 6X more likely to die, based on a general death rate of 1% but a death rate in pregnant women of like 6%), and slightly OCD as it is, this totally creeps me out. Every sneeze, cough and sniff I hear in class is going to give me the heebie jeebies, and I'll be bringing my hand sanitizer to keep myself as purified as possible. Still it's extremely likely I'll get inoculated by this environment, and I can only hope it doesn't happen until AFTER I've been able to get vaccinated WHICH ISN'T UNTIL OCTOBER at the earliest!! And when we had our big institutional presentation on H1N1 to the faculty it was not clear (because nobody knows yet) what we should be doing to avoid infection ourselves in the two months of school before the vaccine is available...

Yeecchhghghg, it just weirds me out and makes me feel like everything is dirty. We already showed our class the video on Doing It In Our Sleeves and I can only hope it sunk in!