Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Time to start looking forward to home. Field work is done, report is drafted, I still have things to do but I'm slowly checking them off my list. So I'm starting to keep mental lists of what I'll get in just under one week. Here's what I want, not in order of current cravings:

- a HOT shower with good pressure. I should be happy that I have a shower here, every day, and it's warm to warmish, but I'm really missing my own bathroom.
- not unrelated: the ability to flush toilet paper
- COFFEE. Good coffee made in my awesome coffee maker.
- the ability to have a morning routine that does not involve interacting with other people. Eating breakfast here requires a public appearance, so I can't really be the grumpy person I prefer to be for the first hour or so of the morning.
- A variety of foods, which include tacos, salads and Midori martinis.
- Reliable internet

In other news, I'm working on a manuscript draft with my graduate adviser. In this new paper I'm including parts of an old paper that we wrote when I was a student, submitted for publication, but did not revise and resubmit. I enjoy that my adviser is currently attacking her own old text as much as my new text; I feel much better about my own writing now.

Friday, February 24, 2012


We have just under two weeks left before we head back to the lovely Midwest, which now appears to be re-inventing winter just for us. I'm about ready to head home - my 6-week window of being content with research abroad apparently extends to all types of research, and not just fieldwork. I'm just as burnt out on the food and the close living arrangements as I usually am at the end of a field season, despite the fact that I've had it much easier these past few months than I do during the summer.

Before we go, we have a few touristy spots to check out and one more day of real fieldwork. I have to write a report, ideally I will finish one more manuscript, and I will give a talk on what I've been doing. Given that my proposed project degenerated into a pilot study, this talk will not be particularly exciting.

It's been nice to have a chance to do the time-intensive jobs of academia without worrying about my overall schedule. I've had more journal and grant review requests so far this year than I've had during any previous term, and luckily I've had the time to spend on them. I've also prepped a little bit for next term's courses, and I'll have a manuscript to submit as soon as I get back to finish a few details.

At the same time, I'm a little burned out on writing all day and am looking forward to teaching again. I should never apply for a publication fellowship - some days I end up spending no time on my writing projects because I'm sick of looking at them.

I think Partner is more than ready to go back to a place where he has useful things to work on and his own plans to make. He's been very supportive and good at entertaining himself, but I can't blame him for being anxious to get home. I'm glad he got to see this place, though, and I think he'd agree that it was worth it.

Back to work, self! I'm hoping that admitting the end of my time here will motivate a little bit more of a writing work ethic for the coming week.

Saturday, February 18, 2012


Back to my primary research activities, in a much colder place. I miss the sun, and T-shirt weather. I can at least be happy that I'm still beating this mild Midwestern winter by about 10 degrees. It figures that the one year I'm out of town is the year I wouldn't have had to shovel much snow.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

sharing data

A colleague worked with me last year at this project, but was unable to come this year. Before leaving for the field, I asked them to share their notes with me, as I would be collecting data necessary to complete this project and they had some of the information that I had not collected last year.

This colleague refused to share their notes.

This attitude is very much outside my experience - I'm accustomed to working very closely with a team, sharing all our data, and fully expecting to be cited or included whenever my contributions have been part of a publication, talk, etc. I've written before about being taken aback by colleagues insisting upon publication order discussions prior to even writing a manuscript, and other similar situations - I am apparently not paranoid enough.

So, I've completed my data collection for the year, and I'm writing up my report. I find myself rethinking what I'm going to include: in past years I've included all of my raw data and a discussion of what I think it means, with figures to support these ideas. Should I not be doing this? Isn't this the point of collaborative work - we all contribute ideas and build off of them? Or should I be holding my cards closer, as this (perhaps important to note, more senior) colleague chooses to do, to the detriment of our joint work on this project?

I suppose I should just feel lucky that I haven't been so burned that I feel the need to hide my data. But I also can't help but feel annoyed that this person is so uncooperative, particularly when this is a site-specific project that would be impossible to "scoop" or to publish without our names being included.

Back to report-writing, where I will probably be far too open about my own intellectual "property".