Wednesday, October 12, 2011

lull

Back from conferencing, with students, which was fun. My first undergrad presented a poster, which was good. Ze was really nervous at first and very worried about remembering everything, but by the end ze was happily asking people if they had any questions and giving a great overview of both ze's poster and mine, since they went together to some extent. It was nice to see that growth in self-confidence over the course of an afternoon!

This conference generally gives me a boost in research motivation, but this year I'm a little bit more depressed than excited. I think this is partially because the scheduling of things left me postering during most of the talks I wanted to see, which was lame, but the fact that I didn't have that much exciting data to present was also a downer. I keep telling myself that I'm three years into a teaching position, my most recent field seasons have been cancelled, and I'm still without significant external funding, so of course I don't have a lot of exciting new data to present, and that's ok. Especially since I still had something to show for the past year and students are getting something out of their time in my lab.

But, I'm taking on some professional service things this year, and it seems like a strange time to find myself in a dissemination lull. I'm starting to worry about stalling out just as I need my research community to value me as a member, not least so that they can write me some decent tenure letters in a few years. Those of us who are younger seem to be the only active members of our subfield who are at small colleges; I can't help but wonder whether those who are more senior will consider that particular aspect of our jobs when considering our research output.

So, there's more stress for the next few months. Now, back to grading and all the work I didn't do this week. I should probably not end up being the only one in class who has not finished the 300 pages I assigned last week.

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