…of the more unpleasant aspects of the job.
Did I mention that I am going to another meeting next month? In my current state of paper and grant rejection, going to a meeting doesn’t sound very appealing to me at exactly this moment. Plus, it just sounds like kind of a detour from all the paper-writing I could be hiding in my office doing during this time. This I-wanna-stay-home attitude is very unlike me- I usually really enjoy meetings, they are science camp (without the crafts but with nifty live demos)- and for me they play on everything that is best about science. Talking about new ideas with a bunch of smart people, seeing colleagues and collaborators from all over the world, thinking about my own projects in new ways and seeing what new cool technology people have developed since last time- I totally dig this. I relish sending daily meeting reports to my close collaborators who didn’t attend- and the discussion continues from yet another aspect…. and I’ve learned to ignore some of the over-the-top politicking that goes on at these things.
This meeting is a big important meeting… with all the right initials and held in secondary schools in the northeast in July, you know the kind I’m talking about. The meeting roster is the who’s who of my subfield, and the larger field that encompasses it- so it is a little intimidating. All my previous mentors will be there, plus many colleagues from various stages in my training. Two of my colleagues (you two know who you are), convinced me that I MUST go… good for my career… yada yada yada… They are COMPLETELY correct, it is good for my career, and when things are not going exactly as I would wish the last thing I should be doing is sitting home pouting. Plus, as I have posted about previously, there are not that many assistant professor level people getting funded in my area… so from this perspective it is totally useful to go and chat about great science with would-be-review-panel members. Sigh… but I don’t feel excited about it.
That is, I didn’t until yesterday. I was letting all the stupid details of deadlines and the grant rejection I was so not expecting things not going perfectly, let me get bogged down. I was mentioning this to a trusted senior colleague… who uttered these wise words….
You will enjoy this meeting if you uncouple your love of science at your justifiable misery at not being allowed to flourish.
So right, I love what I work on. I’m working on this grant and I think the project is so cool now if only someone else would, I could talk about it all day. Walking into the lab to talk with my ‘people’ and seeing what’s new in their experiments is the rush of my day. And after all, I want to finish those three manuscripts I have sitting here and send them out… because the work is done, I think it is good (though reviewers may say otherwise), and it should be out there! As for everything else, I am going to take the days grants one at a time ….