Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Place in the lab...

I realized today that after being in post-doc lab for almost two years, that I have found my place in the hierarchy of lab personalities. Granted, the sample size of personalities is small with n=7 if you count the people in the lab upstairs and the soon-to-be leaving--note: leaving, not graduating-- grad student. (More on that place a different day- I need to digest this a tad more)

I came in as some what of a wild-card. Not only was a drastically switching fields from what I had worked on in grad school, but personality and "style"-wise, I was somewhat of the odd duck. The tattoos (which, I must say in my defense-are completely covered with a pair of jeans and a T-shirt) and the nose piercing coupled with the somewhat purple-ish tinged hair (more eggplant/dark brown) and love of rock music branded me as the rebel and, in a way, shaped the way people looked at my science for the first few months. One of my lab mates even asked the other "Why did he hire her?" This had nothing to do with my track record, nothing to do with the fact that, in all reality I am a personable person, but had everything to do with not fitting the "scientist" stereotype- you know, nerdy glasses, classical music, pocket protectors need I go on?

People around here seemed surprise that I caught on quick, worked hard, and even published fairly soon. Yet, and I may completely be off base and just paranoid, there sometimes seems to be that underlying current of because of who I am, what type of music I listen too, the clothes I wear (jeans and T-shirts, day in, day out) my science isn't quite up to par. My results (not by my boss or collaborators so much--and really those are the few opinions that really matter) are always suspect, always questioned by them. Which is good, since it teaches me to explain why I am right without totally loosing my junk.

I was told that I have a "strong personality" today. I don't know if that was meant as a compliment or not, but I guess I'll take it.

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