Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Harry Potter Is Not That Great

I'm trying to tell myself I'm not missing anything, being here writing a grant instead of at home, reading.

So far it's not working.

So I had another one of those chats yesterday, you know the one where I mention to an older female professor (she'd probably resent being called older, but she's a bit older than I am) that I'm applying for jobs. They all think they know, but they all say different things. She said all that matters is where you went to school, who you worked for, and what you work on. She says if they haven't heard of any of those three things, you're out of the top pile within seconds.

So, pedigree matters. Like this is news. I went to decent schools. And it's a bit late for me to worry about working for someone Famous Enough.

Okay, fine, so I sent her my CV, and she said it looks "weird" and can I please send her the Word file so she can change it around. (Keep in mind, everyone else seems to think it looks good.) I said no, she should just tell me what's wrong with it. I hate people who "teach" by doing it for you! And perhaps more to the point, how to weight someone's opinion? This woman got her job because the university wanted to hire her husband (yes, most of the women of her generation got hired that way... but not my advisor, I'm proud to say). So I'm thinking her CV wasn't what got her hired. But supposedly she has been on some search committees, so maybe she knows something useful.

She also said pictures are the norm now in research plan statements, while the woman I met with a couple weeks ago said pictures are distracting and make you look like you're trying to compensate for inadequacies with fluff.

I guess everyone is going for the fluffy look. Lord knows we're all being told how inadequate we are.

Speaking of, last night I had dinner with a friend who is younger than me, with a degree in chemistry and a new job she's about to start at a Big Pharma. She'll be making TONS of money, and she's looking at buying houses. I'm not sure which irks me more: that she's leaving me, or that she already has exactly the kind of job she set out to get.

This has been one of those weeks, I've been wondering what exactly I think I'm doing all this for. Is being a professor going to make me Happy?

Anyway... my advisor just popped in here with a printout of an article from the New York Times about Lance Armstrong. I love my advisor, but sometimes I have to wonder if I'll have that much free time when I'm a PI. Anyway now I have to go read that... it's not Harry Potter, but it's better than editing my own unintelligible gibberish.



At 5:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Fellow scientist.
I came across your blog by googling "I hate PCR" and finding out that i wasn't the only one! Hurray!
I am an undergrad - trying to finish off my project and thinking today - is it really worth it to be a scientist?????
oh well - enough ranting.

At 6:42 PM, Blogger little kernel said...

At what point did you decide you wanted to do research for its own sake rather than teaching? Am just curious!

At 2:45 PM, Blogger Tabor said...

Some people are lucky. They have found their career passion, they are good at it, and the field pays lots of money. Some people find their passion but will never make a lot of money, and they are unwilling to compromise by doing something else that they don't love just so they can make more money. Some people want to make lots of money and will eat shit so that they can rake in the dough and maybe in the end they won't find that their ladder is against the wrong wall. But, maybe they will and then they have a mid-life crisis of serious proportions. Personally I think it is all about compromise without luck.

At 5:33 PM, Blogger Jadedprimadonna said...

I came across your blog with a Harry Potter goole search; I so empathize. I just finished my comps and am ready to propose my dissertation, but that's so scary because I'm literally terrified of the impended job search. I'd almost rather be a poor grad student forever...


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