Friday, February 25, 2005

Overheard

Was standing in line at the local cafe on campus just now and overheard the conversation in front of me. The woman was wearing a bag that said "Smart women vote 2004" and she was talking to a guy about grad school. She said yesterday her advisor pulled her aside and said that maybe a PhD is not what she should be aiming for, since she knows she wants to go into policy and doesn't want to be head of a lab. Then he said maybe they could make a program for her with the policy department on campus, or something. She was in shock, because she thinks he wouldn't be saying this if she were performing really well in lab (I couldn't hear what she said about whether she is or not). The guy said, "So, are you going to have to ride the little bus to your new program?"

Anyway I was just standing there wondering how to insinuate myself into their conversation, or introduce myself, or whatever socially competent people do. I ended up saying something to the guy while we were waiting for our food (the woman had since gone to their table). But I didn't introduce myself or anything because I knew I had to get back to lab, my timer is actually just about to go off and I'm kind of running late already. But sometimes I wonder if that's a situation where I'm supposed to drop what I'm doing and try to help-? Maybe I'm missing my calling, one confused grad student at a time?

***
In other news, did you see this bizarre petition that AWIS is sending around? The wording is really strange. They talk about how we need to prevent the removal of women from science, and how it's a national security issue, somehow. Now, I get that they want to make it sound really dire, and that national security is the buzziest of buzzwords, but I really don't understand where they're coming from or if they really think this is the best way to effect change. I didn't sign it. But I'm pretty disenchanted with internet petitions, I'm not sure they help.

1 Comments:

At 7:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of the post-docs in my lab who is disillusioned with academia told me that he was taught the philosophy to never discourage grad students from a career in science, despite knowing the truth of how the system works.

 

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