A Day in June

The reward for doing work is more work.

Turned in 3 reviews yesterday (1 for an initial submission, 2 for revised manuscripts, the latter two from two journals published by the same professional society). Gloated for several nanoseconds that the only thing left to review was a proposal for a federal agency.

Later that same day, I received:

A request to review a new submission from Prestigious Society Letters (the same society as the one that published the journals for which I literally just submitted two reports)

A request to write a letter of recommendation for a midcareer colleague who is seeking to switch institutions; it’s great I didn’t know he even listed me as a reference or that he was looking to switch until an international institution that is considering interviewing him solicited a letter; this is going to be a lot of work…

A request to review a proposal from an international agency (it’s really in my field)

WTF? Were they all crouching in the shadows, waiting for me to breathe a sigh of relief before pouncing?

I think I need to re-read my own post from a few months ago in which I pledge to shun service. Ugh.


By the way, in case you didn’t notice, I bit the bullet and purchased the domain name xykademiqz.com and hosting from WordPress. I am now a serious blogger, or something.  (xykademiqz.wordpress.com, academaze.com, and sydneyphlox.com all direct here.)

A Good Little Girl” had several thousand shares via Facebook in its heyday, but after the merge of xykademiqz.wordpress.com with the others above, the shares have been lost, which in an inexplicable and stupid way makes me sad. That’s the most widely read piece, technical or otherwise, that I have ever written.



The other day, I mentioned to my students the concept of a feel-good folder in the group meeting. Several cracked up, but then we discussed why it’s not a silly idea at all for those who envision their life in research (or life in general). I suppose when you have published just a few papers and maybe had the good fortune to not have received a nasty review for any of them, which holds  for most of my students, then your confidence may be nice and high. But when you get to my age and are approaching a three-digit number of publications, have written dozens of grants and taught dozens of classes with what’s probably over a thousand students total, that means you have been smacked around quite a bit by people having strong negative opinions of your ideas, your work, and even of how much you gesticulate in class. Suddenly, it’s not longer a stupid idea to have a folder with tangible reminders that you do not in fact suck as a member of the scientific community, a teacher, or a person.


Come on, Xykademiqz, finish that response to referees and get the paper resubmitted.

Come on, come on. Stop procrastinating.

If you finish by 5, you get to read “Lagoon” this evening instead of working. (Nnedi Okorafor is brilliant. I love a novelist who wastes no time farting around, but pulls you into the story forcefully and immediately.)

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