Monday, February 14, 2011

Put a fork in me....

I'm done.

One of the things I have learned from my husband is adaptability and the ability to handle whatever life throws at me without having major meltdowns.  But this morning-everything just seems to be too much. 

It could be that I am stressed out and Mr. Dr. Zeek is stressed out making my main support network/cheerleader obsolete at the moment. 

It could also be that I was in work mode all weekend since we hosted the speaker giving the colloquium seminar today which meant being in lab all day yesterday talking about my data and his data and how we can collaborate and the what not.  This also included going to a nice dinner on Saturday night with him, big boss man and collaborator from not so far away.  And today, more of the same.  Hosting the "student" lunch, going to the seminar, going to dinner with him and a few other PIs.  While I feel fantastic about our conversations and the fact that I have quite possibly forged a new alliance, I did not decompress at all this weekend.  Being a slight introvert, I do need some time away from people to figure out what is going on.

It could also that I still have these two manuscripts sitting on my desk right now, needing to be written.  It is not the writing that's hard, it is the analysis.Or maybe that I have three undergrads this semester--one of which I cannot trust to make media.  Or that big boss man may add another undergrad this summer, but to do that he needs a scholarship which means I have to write a detailed training plan for him by Thursday.  It could also be that I agreed to take on a side project on something I have never worked with before using equipment I have only read about in books.  It could really be that I have not learned to say no.

Or it could be that I have decided to write the K99 (thanks CPP for the advice) even though I am still waiting to hear from my F32 PO.

It could also be that my little POS car, which had been in the shop twice now in the past two weeks for a gas inlet valve replacement and then for a major gas leak, is now leaking oil like a sieve and is undriveable.  And that Mr. Dr. Zeek yelled at me yesterday about it, wondering why things only go wrong with the car when I drive it.  Like it was my fault.

It could be to that Mr. Dr. Zeek has a Dr. appointment this morning (which he is not going to be pleased with when he finds out what time I made it for) and is worried that he may need to go back in for major surgery. 

It could also be that my sister just had a fairly hard break-up and my mom is calling extremely concerned about her well-being, which means I have to take the concerned, empathetic role.  Even though, honestly, it is just not in me today.  It could be a lot of things.  Normally, I just put on the big girl panties, suck it up, and keep going.  Things could be so much worse than they are right now.  I just do better when it is one or the other-work or home--not when both the major components in my life seem to be sucking at my soul.

Maybe things will look brighter after another cup of coffee.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

To K99 or to not K99....

So, here is the question, write and submit the damn thing or focus on getting out papers etc. in the next 6 months.
  • A little added info-- I was planning on starting to apply this coming fall/January to start in summer of  2012.  
  • Applying to/shooting for a mid-tier research institute (ok, so MIT and Harvard are not in my cards, but I don't want to end up at small tiny university in Podunk, USA if I don't have to- big boss man agrees that I can hack a second tier research institute and is fully supportive of this career move.  God knows he has seen enough of us coming through to know if you have the shit needed to be successful or not).  
  • As of September 2012, I will am 5 years our from my defense, so no longer eligible for the K99
  • I currently and in the second year (started year two in Dec 2010) of a three year F32 (YAY!)
  • I have 4 first author papers out, two that I am writing now and three more that need to be written up in the next six months (minor experiments need to be finished)-I am also middle author on three papers right now from our collaborator's.  That number may increase
  • I don't do "Glamor Mag" science--I mean the science, technical merit, caliber of the actual work is worthy of Glamor Mag status but the topic- not so much.  I am a basic science research sort of person.  While what I do is important and there is a HUGE interest in it, it is not generally thought of as Scieney paper stuff-which is common in my subset of the broad sweeping category of Chemical Biology.  I am OK with that, though.  
  • Sometimes, when you look at my CV, I look like the jack of all trades (and I feel like the mistress of none sometimes)--I switched fields (big switch) coming into my post-doc, but I can apply some of the techniques I used in grad school which is useful
  • Recommendations will be great.  And right now, I am working for one of the biggest names in the field at a highly ranked research university-so I have that going for me.
So, do I take the chance and "waste" my time writing one of these (especially knowing I heave a bit of a deadline for a resubmission etc. to stay qualified) or should I just pound out the papers and hope I look good enough on paper to the search committees.  Any clues/help/advice would help at this point.  My boss looks at the K99 as an "meh-no biggy- let me see the papers" sort of thing but I worry he might be a tad old school.  So, feel free to discuss below.  I'll tell you later in the comments which way I am leaning......