5-Min Post

– Being an associate editor for a relatively large technical journal takes a lot of time. 
– That doesn’t mean I no longer review papers. I just had to tear some authors a new a$$hole, because the work is so technically misguided, so completely clueless of prior art and main issues in the problem they supposedly solve, I didn’t even know where to start with the critique. I always feel bad after writing a scathing (it’s professional but but definitely pointed) critique. I need to go look at some kittens now. 
– ‘Tis the white-paper writing season. I spend a lot of time zooming with collaborators, hashing out ideas, talking about references, in prep for proposal writing in the fall. 
– As I discussed on and off, my affiliation implies I do applied physics, and I often get erroneously dinged in review (especially of proposals) that my work is not basic-science enough, even though it really really is. I won’t fight this any more. I have rounded up a bunch of new collaborators and we will do super applied problems with wild abandon. And then, one day, I will retire, and all this hunting-for-grants shit will be behind me. 
– Students graduating and getting nice jobs. Yay!
– Other students making nice progress in research and papers getting submitted. Yay!
– White papers and nascent collaborations. Feeling almost hopeful about my research program’s future. But hope is for suckers. 

How’s it shaking, blogosphere? 


  1. Yay for new collaborations and research frontiers! I am feeling a little stuck and tired. This too shall pass, but I am spending an awful lot of time doing things for the ‘greater good’ so to speak, and it is making me feel crabby, and then ashamed for wanting to be selfish.

  2. “I am spending an awful lot of time doing things for the ‘greater good’ so to speak, and it is making me feel crabby, and then ashamed for wanting to be selfish.”

    YES! It’s the insidiousness of female socialization, this guilt over any and all self-centeredness, even when it’s more than warranted. Most men I know (including in my family) have no such issues and waste little or no energy on self-doubt/self-flagellation over things they want/need; they just take/do. It’s never ceases to amaze/anger me how different our lives are.

  3. Thanks for this response – it really helped. I appreciate mentoring wherever I can get it 🙂

  4. Hmm…feverishly writing all of these proposals – what is it for? It is to keep students funded. It seems they should have to do some work as well. Do your students apply for fellowships? We spend so much time writing proposals instead of DOING actual work.

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