Saturday, February 18, 2006

My internal monologue is getting louder

I’ve caught myself talking aloud to no one several times today. I also caught an omitted clause in the abstract of my submitted paper. Without the clause, the sentence makes no sense. I’m thrilled, that within the first 200 words of my paper, my reviewers will already have found something to criticize.

11:30 am. That’s right. It’s Saturday morning and I’m at the office. I put off suit shopping until tomorrow, because I can’t brave the mall without Mr. Man and because, if I have a really productive day today, maybe I won’t be so stressed out. That’s a big if. On my plate today: an abstract, another job app (just in case), and a bunch of number crunching. Accomplished so far: a tentative title for the talk. I hate writing titles. Either I spend way too much time working on alliteration and sentence structure or I end up being horrified by my title when I see it later. All for a paltry 15 words. At least I am much less critical of my other writing (as exemplified plenty of times on this blog).

12:30 pm: Oh my dog. This is taking so long. Why can’t I just be satisfied with crap?

12:35 pm: If I just lift sentences from the conclusions of one of my papers, it nicely rounds out the abstract. Now I can eat some lunch. In the sunny break room. Rather than this windowless freezer.

1:08 pm: Back at work – time for the job app. I back to feeling like a contortionist, tinkering with my research interests to align with each new department. For a while I had a statement that I really liked, but I haven’t gotten any interviews out of it, so maybe I’ll go back and look at the one I sent to Big School and see if I can do some acrobatics with that one.

2:09 pm. Sometimes acrobatics lead to some interesting thinking. I ended up being able to formulate a new research angle based on what I know about the geographic region and the potential collaborations I want with the faculty at that school. If I end up someplace else, I don’t know that I’d revisit the idea, but it was any interesting thought experiment in any case.

2:30 pm. Mr. Man just passed his licensing exam. That means that as of Monday morning he'll actually have a paying job. Just over 4 months from end to start.

3:05 pm. Application submitted. Off to see if I can get Matlab to replicate the figure from one of my advisor'’s publications. If I use the same publicly-available dataset and the same mathematical analysis, what do you think my chances are? But first, more tea.

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