Friday, December 7, 2012

The "quiet" life of a newly minted Asst Prof....

Yes, I have been extremely quiet.  I was waiting for the "new professor smell" to wear off.  I was waiting for a solid few hours of alone time with which I could write a post.  I was waiting for the lab drama (yes, lab drama that was no fault of my own nor of my post-doc but has essentially been tossed in my lap) to end.  I was waiting for me to feel like I am not flying through this first semester by the skin of my teeth.

I'm still waiting.

But, I am not waiting for that last piece of equipment or random chemical to arrive.  In fact, my post-doc and I are rocking out in the lab and things are starting to work.  We have gone beyond the lab maintenance experiments and are now doing actual science!  Which is a good thing since I have an R01 resubmission deadline looming in the horizon (March, to be exact) and need all the preliminary data we can get our grubby little hands on.  My post-doc (who also happens to be one of my closest friends) has saved my life too many times to count in this place already- and I think my biggest fear may be letting her down.

Other than that, things have been interesting.  I am on a search comittee this semester for an open-rank position in a diffent department (yes, it is early for me to do this, but looking at the other people on the comittee I can see that I was asked to help with...erm...diversity)--it is weird being on this side of the table.  Could be that I still have deep-seeded anxiety about the entire process, but I feel a certain kinship with the applicants.

Anyway, life is good.  Even with the politics, bullshit and drama that has permeated my daily life, I can still sit at the bench, play on the cool equipment that we wanted and got and get back to the entire reason I wanted to do this in the first place-figuring out some really cool science. And this place is starting to feel like home.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Done did moved

I have been awfully quiet and promise to write some new craziness about this TT-thing...but Mr. Dr. Zeek, Kitty Zeek and I have survived the cross-country move to TT-city. While we sit on lawn chairs and live out of a suitcase for two more days, I wonder what I have gotten us into.  Things, folks, are bound to get hairy.....

Thursday, April 19, 2012


I've been awfully quiet around here lately.  Things have been a whirlwind.  Looks like we have a house, a moving date, an OK on the start-up funds and an official start date and semi-organized sample boxes to FedEx ahead of me.  Things. Are. Good. 

Except, of course for trying to leave with my sanity intact.  There are major unblogable things going on right now, but let us say that I have very little patience and completely sick of doing the impossible for the ungrateful.  At least big boss man has been completely and totally cool.

The shitstorm is only going to get greater in the next two months before we pack up and leave.  Stay tuned for more....

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

And now the fun begins-

TT- position at the med school I fell in love with and wanted to work at was offered.

TT- position has now been accepted.

Looks like I'll be an Asst. Prof come fall (or the middle of summer which is when Mr. Dr. Zeek and I will trek half-way across country to start up all over again.  He's as excited as I am....).

I am scared shitless, reveling in the thought that we "have a home" to go to come this summer and panicking about all that I should be doing right now.  But for a moment, I will sit back,drink my coffee and realize this is why I have worked my ass off for for the past too many years to count.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Rejection letter...oh wait, you didn't send one

I don't understand why it is difficult for a university to send a quick e-mail saying "Thanks, but no thanks".  Honestly, I received e-mails saying "we have received your application package" and so on and so on, but only four of the schools I've applied to have sent out rejection letters.  Three schools were crossed off my list this week since I heard through the grapevine that they have already made offers (from friends who have received said offers from these schools) and I crossed off two more after I saw that they have posted their "faculty candidate seminar schedule" on their websites and my name was not on there.  I just wonder how difficult it would be to send off a quick e-mail.  Then maybe my heart would stop skipping a beat every time the phone rings or an alert pops up in my inbox that someone has "googled" me. 

That being said, the two interviews I have gone on were fantastic.  The feedback from both were extremely positive and now, I wait (again).  Offers from both schools will go out at the end of the month.  One more interview slated for next week (and for which I am extremely nervous about).  Seriously, this job hunting thing is way more stressful than I ever thought it would be.  I just want to know where (or if) I will be going somewhere soon.  I wonder if this is what college football players feel like during the weeks prior to the NFL draft. 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Still alive

In grant hell right now.
On-site interview went swimmingly well.
First phone interview resulted in an on-site interview starting next week.
Another phone interview tomorrow for  *gasp* a non-academic position*gasp*.
Sill 24 schools that I have not heard a thing from (good or bad) via phone, e-mail or smoke signal.
Cautiously optimistic at this point.
Back to grant writing hell......stay tuned for more. Soon. I promise.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Not so stressed?

The twitch, it seemed, magically disappeared once I determined that I had purified active protein in an amount that was suitable for the scientist in my lab to do his voodoo-magic with (which, by the way need to be done soon-- the RO1 is due to the grants office in roughly two weeks).

Still, I am surprised about the lack of nervousness I am feeling.  Tomorrow is my first phone interview ever and Monday I fly out to another interview at a fairly decent university (got the call yesterday).  Two rejections (one via snail mail, one via e-mail) didn't even put a dent in my mood.  Coupled with grant writing and general lab BS, I really thought that my brain would be toast by now and my nerves completely shot.  The thought of going shopping this week for some appropriate interview clothes should be sending me in a tizzy (I hate clothes shopping- especially on a deadline).  But no, not so much. I am feeling very..."meh" at this point.  

At least, for right now.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Twitch Part Deaux

The twitching has increased exponentially as I have received an e-mail asking for a list of time/dates that would be ideal for scheduling a phone interview for a TT- faculty position.

I'm smiling, no really.  Ignore the twitch that is turning my face into a sneer. 

Maybe I should BoTox my eye before any on-sight interviews.....


When I was writing up my thesis, I was beyond stressed.  Mr. Dr. Zeek and I had moved to post-doc city which was about an hour-and-a-half commute  from grad school city (and hometown).  No biggy, in the great grand scheme of things, until you realize that grad adviser was still having me set up experiments.  I was running experiments until the week before my thesis defense.  That meant a Mon-Wed-Fri or Mon-Tues-Thurs-Fri 3-hr round trip commute to grad school.  This along with writing the thesis, adjusting to a new city and lab (I was unofficially working in post-doc lab before I defended) and taking care of Mr. Dr. Zeek, who had just had major surgery exactly 1 month before we moved to post-doc city, made for one stressed out soon-to-be Dr. Zeek.

This went on for three months and it was three months of hell.  During that time, I =had developed a "nervous" tick.  My lower left eyelid would *twitch* (it's hard to describe, but I could feel it moving).  No one could see it moving until I got really stressed.  It was the most annoying thing in the world.  No, wait, the vertigo that followed (another stressed-out tick?) was the worst. Thing. Ever.

After all the bullshit was over, the nervous ticks went away and I wondered how I got through those few months.  I never thought I would ever be that stressed out again.  Never had the twitching eye again either, or the vertigo.

Life is good, no?

That is until last week when I noticed that weird wiggly feeling in my left eye. Which has progressively been getting worse.  Which has now reached the noticeable stage. Which also seems to come on stronger when I think about job applications, grant writing, failed experiments.  Even the internal debate of "what am I going to make us for dinner" seems to trigger a bout of uncontrollable eye movement.  Now I knew I was stressed a bit these last few weeks, but I didn't realize how stressed out I was until the eye-twitching.

As long as the vertigo doesn't come back, though, I think I'll be good.