Saturday, February 23, 2008


Received email reminder regarding sexual harassment training renewal for university.

Potential punishment: they will notify the chair of the department.

The chair is a notorious sexual harasser who left his wife because he was sleeping with his postdoc.

Do I care if I am non-compliant????!!! They don't care if I am harassed!

Have lots of evil ideas about this. Mostly hoping something heavy will fall on this guy, a la Bugs Bunny episode, and they will be distracted by that.

Cue the anvil chorus episode.

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At 12:59 PM, Anonymous YoungFutureFemaleScientist said...


I started reading your blog recently and have been making my way through the old posts. As such, I respect your opinions and hope that you might be willing to answer a question I am struggling with.

I will be beginning grad school next year in a program closely related to cell biology. I am currently interviewing now, and have received several lucrative offers from programs I love. But, alas, things cannot be so simple. I have a boyfriend of 5 years that I am very committed to. He is also applying to a graduate program, in a different field, to all of the places I applied. We've worked very hard to try and coordinate this so we would be likely to be accepted to some of the same places. Unfortunately, that doesn't seem like it is going to happen.

I am now faced with the option to attend Big-Name U, which hosts some of the biggest names in my field, but is also very focused on graduate education - seems like the best of both worlds, right? Unfortunately, my boyfriend did not get into Big-Name U, and it seems unlikely that he would be able to get in if he reapplied next year. I feel like if I went to Big-Name U, my opportunities for post-docs and careers would be virtually endless. I don't know if I want to be a PI someday, or if I would prefer to teach at a small school, or possibly go into industry, but I want all of those doors to remain open.

My other option is Small-Name U, where both I and the boyfriend were accepted. But I didn't like Small-Name U all that much when I visited. There's very little going on there in the field I'm interested in, to the point where if I went I might actually have to work on a general cell bio project, and not the subfield I want. I worry that if I went here, I would be limiting myself and my future. I know this might come across as being very conceited, but I think that I could really be a rockstar in this field if I wanted to, and be an amazing contributor to the field.

So my question is this - how much harder is it to be a 'rockstar' if you're starting out from Small-Name U with little background in the subfield? Is it going to be really hard, or just plain impossible? Do you need the pedigree of Big-Name U to get the good postdoc position, to get the next good postdoc position, to get the good faculty position, etc... Or is it possible to get there from Small-Name U? If I went there, would I be essentially cutting off a dream?

All comments are welcome, and I can explain more about my situation if it would help, but I do not want to reveal the names of programs involved.

At 7:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

it doesn't matter if you go to small name U or big name U. being a rock star depends on your boss. next question!

At 10:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The anon posted is correct! Being a rockstar depends a lot on the adviser, and obviously on yourself. That you are awesome is given by the fact you got into big-name U. I'd suggest that you and your bf stay together in small U...


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