Sunday, September 13, 2009


Apparently writing about death makes some people wonder about your mental health. For future reference, I considered a variety of scientific careers that would have led to a much more professional interest in death than my current path, so when (if?) I write about death it's because I find it interesting (in an abstract sort of way) and not because I'm having personal difficulties. In case you care. All is well in the land of LAL.

While I'm not depressed, however, I am having some trouble getting myself out of "summer" mental mode and into "holy crap it's year two and I need to get shit done if I'm ever going to get tenure" mode. This is not helped by the fact that prior to this year I had maybe one month of summer fieldwork a year, and after spending so many weeks abroad this year my brain is saying: wait, we should have at least one more month free before we have to dive back into a work schedule! To bad, brain, time to get used to the new schedule. Seriously.

On the good side of things, I have a lab completely constructed and almost completely equipped and I'll have students in there starting this week, and that's awesome. I am also free of my previously-mentioned visiting colleague, which means I don't have to share my space. Call me petty, but that also makes me happy.

On the not-so-good side of things, I am annoyed by the following:

- paper still in review, after ONE YEAR. Slightly more than one year, really. WTF journal. Also, you appear to have updated the status recently, so I can't even harass you about not updating the author status, which was my previous excuse to harass you.

- colleague who promised data in late spring has still not provided data. I have hope it will happen soon. I think they feel bad at this point, which works in my favor.

- lots of new project ideas, but no time to implement all of them. And the one I actually really want to go forward with is the one for which the required equipment has not arrived. Of course.

Things are going well so far this term, if such a thing can even be said this early in the term. And I am, starting TOMORROW, implementing a 15-minutes-per-day writing rule for myself. Everyone keeps saying it, from bloggers to academic career guides: writing during short periods of time on a regular basis is absolutely essential to getting shit done. I know that, and I know that it's what I should be doing, and yet I haven't done it yet. Tomorrow I begin.

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