2018 Blog Delurking Week (Jan 7-13, 2018)!

Happy Festivus! I hope everyone has recovered from the relatives and/or overeating and is back to a more-or-less regular schedule.

Traditionally, the first week of January is the blog delurking week… So without further ado, I give you…

The Belated 2018 Blog Delurking Week (Jan 7-13, 2018)!



Please stop by to say ‘hi’ in the comments, whether or not you’ve ever commented before. Don’t be shy! Tell us a few things about yourself, what you hope to achieve in 2018, and/or what you would like to read about at xykademiqz in the coming year.

Thanks to everyone who has read and commented in 2017! Blogs remain a great outlet for the people who like to write and read longer pieces. Thank you all again for the support, and I am looking forward to another year of xykademiqz!

Update: This week — on January 10 — xykademiqz blog will be 4 years old! May will mark 8 years of my blogging altogether. Time flies!



  1. Hello. I’m a postdoc working on computational biology, transplanted from europe to the US, and in general thinking a lot about equal representation and opportunities in STEM fields. As such this blog is often very relevant but I’m also here because I love your writing. It’s funny and reminds me that rational-minded strong people are everywhere and come in all forms. I’m also intrigued by your semi-professional use of fiction writing as procrastination.

    I can’t muster the time or self-esteem to start blogging myself, but my goal for the new year is to make it to the top commenter list of some of the blogs I follow (without being too obnoxious about it).

  2. I’m not actually a lurker, but wanted to say hi, thank you, and happy new year! I’ve been reading for quite a while (since Academic Jungle) – which I think means since grad school for me. I’m now a new Assistant Prof at a fancy-pants university. I’ve gotten quite a bit out of the blog over the years – mostly in terms of empathy for the PI position and thoughts about organizing and guiding a group.

  3. I’m an TT AP at an R01 university. Started reading your blog about half a year ago, I think. Thanks for the interesting articles!

  4. Hi!

    I am a long-time lurker of the blog (since the Academic Jungle times!), now a recently-tenured professor at a comprehensive university in Canada. I’m not much for expressing myself, but this year I will make an effort to comment more.

    I really like your blog, and I’m happy to see that you plan on going on with it. Congratulations on the blogaversary!

  5. Hi Prof !!

    My status is pretty much same as Quantum Dad. I’ve been a long time reader (since Academic Jungle times) and this is my first comment ever. Really really sorry for not engaging properly. Somehow this post drew me out and I think it will be a good resolution for 2018 to try and be part of the conversations here.

    I really love your insider’s view of academic life. I did PhD and postdoc in the west, recently got a faculty job in Asia, and after two years in this job I plan to make another move to the western hemisphere. I think academia is just a lot more efficient in that part of the world.

    Please keep blogging, it is very helpful (and relatable) to a lot of people.

  6. I am a (white, cis-male) materials scientist at a national lab in Europe and have been following the blog since the Academic Jungle times. I mainly come here for a no-nonsense window into a physical science department in the US, and advice on leading a group of diverse young scientists. The posts on gender issues and discrimination are also very useful, and help me to keep my eyes open for things I may otherwise not notice or ignore.

  7. Hiya, I’m a tenured professor (PhD) at a major U.S. med school; I am PI of a research lab and I also currrently serve in a lot of leadership roles. I am passionate about scientific research, fairness, increasing diversity, education, and advancing women in my field. I’m a woman with kids who I raised on my own after my husband left me many years ago.

    For 2018, I’m adjusting to an empty nest, trying to develop a better balance between my personal life, health, and work without feeling too guilty, and I’m also mulling over whether I should ramp up my career or think about retiring. I don’t want to be one of those faculty who hang around forever taking up space and a salary line! Also my father died recently and it brought home that nobody lasts forever and you need to enjoy it while you can. But maybe I can still make a positive impact in my field and at my institution? Overall I feel very blessed and fortunate; I’m just trying to figure out how best to give back and navigate my aging self into the future.

  8. I’m a long-time reader since Academic Jungle, but very infrequent commenter. I love your blog, both the posts that make me think, “See, I’m not the only one who loves/hates that about this job!!” and the ones that make me think, “That’s a completely different opinion that I hadn’t considered.” I’m a woman Assoc Prof with tenure at an R01 engineering department. In 2018 I’m thinking about moving to a new university and trying to figure out what the next stage of my professional and personal live should be.

  9. I’m also a long-time reader. Your blog got me through my postdocs, job search, and first few years on the TT. I’m a third-year Assistant Prof at an R1 engineering school, and soooo many of your posts resonate with me. Thank you so much for maintaining such an excellent blog for so long–it really helps people like me.

    In 2018, I’m planning on getting through my third-year review hopefully without too much of a fuss, getting pubs out with my students, and writing more grants (what else is new?). Tenure is on the horizon, so I’d better ramp things up!

  10. Also been reading since Academic Jungle days, assistant prof at fancy-pants university, going up for tenure soon, oscillating wildly between enthusiasm and burnout as I try to balance research and management of a computational bio lab. Fantasize about doing completely different things with my life at least once per week. Always trying to find time to *think* in between the revisions and meetings and teaching. You’ve given me great help in tolerating imposter-y feelings. Thank you.

  11. I am a European on the 5th year of my TT at a US engineering school. I have de-lurked in the past 🙂 In 2018 I will put in my tenure package!!!! I cannot believe it! If you would have asked my 1year1/2 ago, I would have said I was toast…impossible to get tenure without funding. Well, last year finally money came in big time! Phewww! Funny thing is, when I spoke with my chair, he said: well, you will be my first international hire that makes tenure…the 3 before you didn’t. I had no idea! I was torn between hyperventilating or killing him.

  12. @Mathy Engineer .. I’d be very interested to hear your experiences working in Asia and why you’re going back. Have you written about this anywhere?

  13. 3rd year assistant prof, non-TT, European, back in Europe via North America. Following since postdoc times for broad and honest perspectives of the job. Do write about the daily grind, warts and all, and ways to find nuggets of joy in it! I aim to get everyone in the lab to write their longer project up in a paper, and secure some funding and students to work on the cool ideas – the usual 🙂

  14. Hi! US expat in a faculty job down under. I read this and several other academic blogs to remind myself that we’re all individuals and there are lots of different “right” ways to do this whole faculty career thing. In 2018 I’m working on starting to not give a $%!# about doing work i think other people will care about and instead doing what I think is interesting

  15. Greetings! I’m a U.S. federal research scientist in a geophysical field who reads your blog often and responds occasionally. I find many of your posts and much of your commentary resonate with me, even though I’m not in academia anymore. Some of it is because there are aspects to my job that are similar to a professor’s by choice (I advise students and post-docs) or not (committees are not a purely academic disease). Mostly, though, it seems that different cows are capable of producing the same sh*t.

  16. Hi! I’m TT in a STEM field, and my Dean gave my tenure app the green light today, so my goal for 2018 is to order new business cards.

  17. Hi Xyk — I was surprised to see the number of comments I posted in the last year (36!), although I suppose it might include some other Anons stealing my anonymous pseudonym…. Anyway, I’ve always loved your blog, your writing style, dead-on observations etc. Wish I had your career advice when I first went on the job market and before I had tenure. And before I had grad students and postdocs. Your energy, drive and productivity are truly inspirational, but must admit they also make me feel like a Big Loser. I mean, kickboxing at 4am? Come on! Publishing fiction now? You’re killing me!

    I have some big decisions to make in 2018. I’m starting to think about early retirement, if I can pull it off, plus a lot of personal stuff. My more immediate goals are to tie up as many loose ends as possible, in case I do decide to leave. I expect it will be a tough year for me.

  18. I am a long-time lurker and female associate professor in engineering at an R01 institute. Appreciate your posts!

  19. Hey we’re not a lurker but hi! One of us is an assoc prof at a large uni in the US; the other one quit a tenured position to move to Paradise.

    In 2018, I should write more…

  20. Not a lurker, as I’ve commented here several times before. I’ve been a reader since the Academic Jungle days—I appreciate your blogging style and have directed a few others to read this blog (particularly female grad students).

    I’m a male engineering professor nearing retirement—I just need to find someone to take over my course. Anyone interested in teaching Applied Electronics for Bioengineers? (For more details, see my blog posts about the course: https://gasstationwithoutpumps.wordpress.com/circuits-course-table-of-contents/

  21. @Ras:
    Thanks for asking. No, I haven’t blogged about it anywhere, probably I will at some point.

    The main reason for getting this job in Asia was the charm of returning back to my home country. I guess the romance faded when the realities hit, and they did hit real hard. Trying to do good work without facilities, funding, and admin support is just impossible for normal folks like me (people like Ramanujan are different).
    I had a frank chat with my PhD and postdoc supervisors and they seem quite confident of me landing a decent academic job in the UK. So I’m once again in application mode these days.

  22. Hi!
    I’m a recently tenured female prof in physical science at a tiny undergrad university. I’ve been lurking and reading since the days of the first academic jungle when I was in grad school. I read because I love your style, love longer written pieces, hate everything about twitter and insta-everything, and mostly because I’m one of the few people at my institution who do actual research with grants and large projects. Hearing your perspectives helps with the isolation.most recently I’ve been reading especially for posts about post-tenure pathways since I had a pretty big slump after tenure and needed to find new mojo and new inspiration for doing work I care about.
    Please please please keep writing long posts!!!!!!!

  23. A long-time lurker…expat in a European kingdom from a neighbouring European country. I am a lecturer and researcher in a STEM field at a technical university.

  24. Can’t believe you’ve been here four years…been reading since before Smurf was born. Assoc prof in STEM at US R1. Goal for 2018: get to the end of this semester without being too depressed that I’m no longer on sabbatical.

  25. Hi there! Long time reader since GMP days and an occasional commenter. I grew up with your blog. I did my training in the US, moved to Aus just about when you started blogging. Now I am a mildly crusty, mid career associate prof, working in comp materials. I read every single one of your blog posts. I guess half the traffic from Australia to this site is because of me 🙂

  26. Lurker here. I am astonished in all the best ways by your blog and hearing a voice of candor about kids, science, crazy people and grants that meshes with my own experience. Thank you. I shall go back under my rock now.

  27. Not a lurker but I always welcome a chance to say hello! Humanities professor (tenured) at an R1.

  28. Hi! Reading since the old-blog times, when I was a post-doc in the US getting increasingly depressed at the job and life prospects. Your (and other blogs’) insights helped me decide academia was too nutty a career, at least with the current become-a-manager-or-die model. I left academia 6 years ago and leveraged my comp phys training to get into the data-science-hype wagon.

    I kept reading your blog, impressed by your drive and strong personality. Now that I’m a mom in a country not my own, I’m also always interested on your insights about passing (or rather not) your culture to your kids.

    I’m half inspired by the things you do, and half horrified by them. It’s very refreshing to read your long posts – it makes me think and reflect on various life and career topics. Looking forward to more of those in 2018!

  29. Happy New Year!
    Hi, I have been reading your blog for a while. I am an associate professor in a non-English speaking country, also a mother of two children. Quite often in what you said I find something I have felt but I have not and cannot put them into words…

  30. Long-time lurker. I was also shocked to realize I have been reading your blogs for over 5 years. I have always enjoyed your writing style and take on life in academia. My research field is pretty different from yours (fisheries biology) but many of the experiences regarding women in science and running a research lab group resonate. Also interesting to think about our different immigration experiences. I am also from a small country in Europe, but left when I was young and lost my accent in high-school. Lastly, as I progress in my career (soon to be associate professor at research university) it is fun to think about career evolution and trajectory.

  31. Not at all a lurker, long time reader. We started blogging at about the same time, though I took a hiatus during my big tenure push. Tenured prof in a physical science. So much of what you write resonates with me. I am glad you will keep on writing!

    In 2018, I hope to spend more time on the big picture and keeping up with literature and less time on annoying tasks that eat up time. One way I plan to do this is to stop being such a perfectionist, especially on thankless service tasks. I need to get OK with good enough, like everyone else seems to be.

  32. I’m generally a lurker. I’m on the tenure track at a large medical school, been following you since Academic Jungle days. I wish there were more bloggers around. I don’t have a circle of other women scientists that share the highs and lows of leading a lab, so yours is the only voice I hear these days. I know there are people sharing these things on twitter, but I just can’t do that–I don’t need the distraction. Your blog is much appreciated, please don’t stop!

  33. Hi there! Not a 100% lurker, but almost. Sorry for that, I can imagine more comments would be motivating for you to continue writing. Very happy you do intend to continue, even though you developed new interests (I love fiction, fantasy, science fiction, but such a short format is not as inspiring for me 😦 )

    I am a forever biophysics postdoc stuck in a two-body problem and with a 2-year old in a European country which is not very open to resolving dual careers challenges. Considering my husband’s great position, life with a small child, and a great place where we live, I am not as motivated as I once was to push my career further. Also very disappointed in my department that kind of insured me that there will be a permanent position for me and then backed off for reasons that have nothing to do with my work, but are mainly departmental and institution fights. Not sure of my future, except that i still have at least a few years to do science that I like.

    I follow you probably since before Smurf was born, while finishing my PhD and through postdoc. I enjoy all the insight into American academia, life with kids, immigrant issues. Thanks!

  34. I’m a (recent) associate prof in the earth sciences at a comprehensive university. A semi-lurker who’s been reading and benefiting from your writing since Academic Jungle days. Also love your book and have recommended/lent it to other faculty.

    The bookmark for your blog is the top one in my blogs folder because of your terrific writing and the frequency with which you write. Reading your blog was been hugely beneficial, helpful, and enjoyable as I went through the tenure track process. And I’m probably going to go back and re-read some of the material as I look ahead toward sabbatical next year and applying for promotion to full a few years down the road.

  35. Have been reading your blog since GMP days. Absolutely love your blog, you come across as one of those rare people who are very good at what they do, aware of their own brilliance and yet very open in reflecting about their insecurities. I sincerely hope you keep writing this blog, the posts as well as the comments collectively present a very comprehensive view on issues that you raise

  36. I delurked on the analogous post last year, and I’ve tried to leave a few comments here and there this past year! I’m a late-stage (female) grad student in a physics-y engineering field, and I’ve been reading here for a couple years now. I love the unique perspective your blog provides, and beyond that, I really enjoy your excellent prose. I look forward to reading more of your thought-provoking and insightful blog posts this coming year!

  37. I’ve been lurking silently for many years. I’m a female associate professor in the natural sciences at a large research university. I love your perspective and your blog and wish I knew you in real life. Thanks for what you do!

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