Sunday, April 29, 2007

Book Review: Every Other Thursday

Part self-help book, part chronicle of her circle of women scientists, this book encourages us to form a group of compatriots for problem solving in our professional lives. Ellen Daniell writes the book in a straight-forward manner, telling of "Group," seven women in the Bay Area who have supported each other through structured meetings every other Thursday for over 20 years. She describes strategies for affirming choices, managing professional relationships, attaining goals, and fostering reflection. Daniell gives us the history of Group, as well as her own story (denied tenure, became successful in industry), interspersed as anecdotes throughout the chapters. The last section of the book provides guidance on how to form your own group for professional problem solving.

Parts of the book I found kind of sappy and feel-good, but other chapters had parts that really spoke to me and made me want to underline passages. I particularly liked the chapters on working with students and employees, managing institutional politics, and managing time and establishing equilibrium. Maybe it's my perch as a terrified-I'm-in-over-my-head newbie on the tenure-track, but those chapters seemed more appropriate in this context than ones on aging or dealing with family.

Some of the tips I picked up were (paraphrased):
  • Give yourself credit for distractions. Even if it's not in your job description, you still got something done. "Putting out brushfires is part of my job."
  • Institutional bureacracy and its headaches are not aimed at you specifically. Don't take every negative situation personally.
  • In order to do a job well, you need to be able to ask for all you want and need. "Recognize what I want and ask for it."
  • If students aren't hugely enthusiastic about a subject you find compelling, tell yourself "pearls before swine" and move on.
Daniell describes Group's process of writing "contracts" for themselves. These contracts are actionable resolutions that have varying levels of specificity. They may range from "I will spend two hours working on that paper today." to "I will exercise and enjoy my authority." She also tells how group members give each other "strokes" or compliments, even turning mis-steps into something to be proud of.

A lot of Daniell's descriptions of group conversations and practices reminded me our blog community. We seek and give honest advice, respect a diversity of opinions, and compliment and support each other. I think we have an informal group here in blogland, and it's time we give ourselves credit for it. That's my stroke for the day.

As for the book, it's an easy read (a few hours) that can be done in small chunks if needed. I got it from the public library and found myself wishing to underline it in a few spots. I think if I had bought it, I would pull it off the bookshelf every couple of years. But it wasn't a life-changing book, more of a life-affirming one.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

A story problem with simultaneous equations

I've got lots to do before we move to Mystery U.
I want to minimize the amount of time that Minnow spends in daycare.

In order to get work done, I need more time and energy.
In order to have more time and energy, I need more sleep and exercise.
Sleep and exercise require time and energy.

I can't figure out how to solve the above equations without invoking imaginary numbers, so I am going to have to figure out what I can let slide. And, unfortunately, blogging is one of the easiest targets. So posting is going to be pretty light around here for a while. I'm not giving it up, just easing back on the throttle. [And you thought I already had, huh? :)]

But before I go, I thought I'd share a recent photo of Minnow (who turns three months old today).

Oops. You missed it. Too Bad!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Workshop for women in science

Note: I applied for this two years running and was not accepted either time, but it looks like a great program (although obviously hard to get in).

Applications are now being accepted for the 2007 Faculty Horizons
Program at UMBC, which will be held July 12-14, 2007.

PURPOSE: The workshop, funded by the National Science Foundation
ADVANCE Program, is intended to provide post-doctoral research fellows
and upper-level graduate students, particularly women, in science,
technology, engineering, and mathematics with necessary skills to
become successful tenure-track faculty in the United States. Special
attention is paid to including women from underrepresented groups.

APPLICATIONS: Due to limited space, everyone must apply on-line
(http://www.umbc.edu/advance/registration07/) and be accepted to
attend. The application is available from April 19, 2007 - May 18,
2007. Funds are available to defray the cost of participation.

DISSEMINATION: Please share this announcement widely with those you
think may be interested in attending, or those who may know someone who
would find this workshop beneficial. A flyer for the workshop is
attached. Please post around your laboratory, department, etc.

Please email advance@umbc.edu for any additional information or
questions. For the most up-to-date workshop information, please visit
www.umbc.edu/advance and click on Faculty Horizons.

Carnival of the Postdocs!

Is now up at What's Up Postdoc! Go forth, read, comment, enjoy.

Huge thanks to Propter Doc for doing such a nice job pulling this together. I know we're all busy, but it would be great to see someone else host the carnival. And I'm not just making empty talk here, I'll be hosting in June, just before my post-doc tenure runs out. Email postdoccarnival at gmail dot com to find out how you can help.

Visual DNA

As seen at propter doc's:




I've got at least 5 things I want to/should blog about, but I am too tired to think properly. Picking pictures is much more my speed right now. Thanks to all my readers for your hearty congrats.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Big News

Today makes the two year birthday of this blog. My little project has been more wildly successful than I could have imagined.

But wait there's more...

I told ?AA? U to shove it, that I'm not going to interview with them after all.

But that's not all...

Mystery U came through with a job offer and starting in August, I'll be an assistant professor.

Happy endings do exist after all. I'm not sure how the big news is going to affect this blog, but it has survived me completing my PhD and giving birth, so I'd imagine that it will probably continue in some way, shape or form. I guess you'll have to stick around to find out.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Power of Onesies

I'm a big fan of multi-tasking, especially when it combines something I care about with something fun. So when I saw the email urging Moms Rising members to decorate onesies in support of their platform, I was eager to help. In fact I enlisted my craft group friends as well. I supplied the ridiculously small onesies (so small no one would ever really pull them over a baby's head), and my friends gamely helped decorate them with MomsRising slogans.

MomsRising is a web-based grassroots organization promoting policies that even the professional playing field for moms. They have six parts to their platform (illustrated to the left).

Their power of onesies campaign aims to have 1100 custom-decorated onesies to represent the 11000 children born in the US every day. As their website says: "Imagine a beautifully presented long chain of decorated baby onesies stretching all around your state capital as a visual representation of the real people who need the policies being debated inside the imposing buildings. Each onesie signifies one person--mother, father, child, grandmother, grandfather, aunt, uncle, or other--who cares deeply about building a family-friendly America, but can't take the time off work, or away from kids, to actually be at the capital. You."

It's not to late to help with the onesie campaign (or to join in their other activities). You don't even have to be crafty, you can pay someone else to do the fun work for you. Here's how.

Blacksburg

I'm not blogging about it, but that doesn't mean I'm not thinking about it. I just don't know how to put into words all that I am feeling.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Bringing baby to seminar

Introduction
I attended three seminars last week. That might not be a remarkable fact for most post-docs, but it probably is remarkable for mothers of 2.5 month olds. Each seminar was explicitly related to past, present, or future research and I didn't want to miss out on hearing about the cutting-edge science just because I had a baby.

Methods and Results
Seminar 1, 4 pm: I knew Minnow was in need of a nap. I drove to campus and parked about 6 blocks from the seminar location. I loaded Minnow into the front pack and by the time I made it to seminar she'd fallen asleep. The room was crowded but a kindly male prof gave up his seat by the rear door so that I didn't have to sit front and center. The chair pivoted quietly and in this fashion I rocked Minnow for the first 40 minutes of the seminar until she began to stir and cry. I moved to the door and she quieted down so I paused there hoping to hear a few more minutes. But Minnow cried a few more times so I left the room. I fed her in a restroom stall (ugh) and put her back in the pack because she was still tired. I returned to the seminar room and she promptly fell asleep. I was able to catch the conclusions slides and even got to ask a question. I'd guess that there were some in the audience who never knew there was a baby present until they looked back to see who asked the question.

Seminar 2, 10 am: Fish didn't work until noon, so I left Minnow in his care and rushed to campus. I managed to park a few hundred feet from the room and slid into a seat just before the talk commenced. I stayed for the 30 minute talk and a few questions but had to leave in the midst of a discussion. I rushed home and Fish left for work.

Seminar 3, noon: I had a meeting at 11 am on campus (rescheduled to a time when I had no sitter), so Minnow and I were on campus already. She fell asleep at 11:30 and stayed asleep in her stroller until half way through the talk. I left to feed her (same darn bathroom stall) and returned with an alert happy baby. For the rest of the talk I bounced her on my knee and made faces at her and she was happy with an occasional shriek of delight. I managed to pay attention to the talk (mostly) and even managed to ask some intelligent questions. I'd gotten the speaker's permission to have the baby there and it was a small, pretty informal group, but later someone commented that Minnow had stolen the show.

Discussion
As far as me getting to learn something, all of the seminars were a success. I was actually least enthralled by the way Seminar #2 ended up, because I had to leave early. The sleepy baby (#1) was the easiest for me (although dicey). As far as Minnow was concerned, staying home and playing with daddy (#2) was undoubtedly best, followed by the happy bouncy seminar (#3). And as far as the rest of the audience was concerned, seminar #3 probably was the least appreciated behavior. It seemed important to me to start making appearances at campus events again, and I felt like my attendance was noted by the faculty. Hopefully they were impressed that I was there. I don't want anyone to think that I suddenly a less serious scientist just because I have a child. Finally, I want to model "good behavior" to any women scientists who might be thinking of having children and any male scientists who doubt that women can be moms and still think about science. Hopefully I succeeded.

Conclusions and Future Plans
I'd do any of those three options again if I had to, but I think it will work better once Minnow is in regularly scheduled daycare. Then I will just try to be more strict about my (on-campus) working hours and only attend seminars when I have adequate childcare. It's not particularly fair for Minnow to be cooped up in a front pack or stroller when all she wants to do is play.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Scientiae carnival up.

At See Jane Compute. There are a bunch of technology-related posts on blogs that are new to me. Thanks, Jane!

I'm looking forward to the next carnival at Clarity. Keep writing and submitting posts.

Bringing baby to the field

Yesterday was a 12-hour field trip to check out sites for some work this summer. Since it was such a long day and bottle-feeding is still a bit iffy, minnow came along. Minnow did great on the 3 hur drive to the field area - playing, napping, and only needing to feed at abut the same time the adults were ready to pee. It probably helped that my colleague, Superwoman, volunteered to drive, so that I could sit in the back seat next to Minnow. So far, way better than expected. I feel much better about more upcoming 2-3 hour car-rides in Minnow's near future.

We were doing reconnaissance - which basically meant driving along gravel roads and stopping at predetermined sites to decide whether they were suitable. The first part of the day was kind of hard on me (and minnow), because the stops were short and cold, and I missed at least half of each discussion attending to minnow. Plus, she was tired of the car and the frequent stops kept her from getting a decent nap. I started to question why I had even come along the trip. Sure, I was a co-PI on the project and had technical expertise relevant to site selection, but if I wasn't going to be able to contribute, why had I subjected Minnow to the long hours of confinement?

After lunch we went to check out another set of field sites, but this time we were confronted by a gated, closed road. This turned out to be the blessing that saved the day. We decided to walk to our potential sites about 1 mile down the road. It was a beautiful, sunny afternoon and Minnow soon fell asleep in her front pack. I got to fully participate in the site discussions and see some *really* cool scenery. I had to limit my off-road scrambling around because my center of balance is a bit off when I am wearing Minnow, but I felt like a real member of the research team. Yay!

On the trip home, we combined our dinner/gas stop with Minnow's feeding. Then, Minnow got fussy around her bedtime. She decided to scream right as we were pulling onto a freeway, so we hoped that the smooth car ride would quiet her to sleep. But no luck, and a few exits later we pulled off and I nursed her again. I had brought along my iPod playlist full of womb sounds, so I turned up the volume on that, quieted the conversation and soon she was asleep. She slept until about 20 minutes from home, and fortunately I was able to keep the fussing to a minimum until we got to my house.

In the end, the trip was a success. The biggest ingredient was the world's best baby, but that was helped out colleagues who were flexible and patient (and moms themselves). It was also a totally different field trip than my normal, more vigorous data collection outings, so that probably helped, too. One suggestion a colleague had after the fact was that I could have brought along a bottle of expressed breast milk for use during the fussy period. But I hadn't thought of that in advance and since Minnow is so picky about the bottles, I'm not sure it would have worked. I also think it helps that Minnow is ~3 months old. She's old enough to not be too delicate and needy but young enough not too be too mobile and full of energy for the long car/pack confinement.

So the moral of the story: field work and baby parenting can be combined with the right mix of luck and patience.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

A little bit to the south

Congratulations to the Lab Lemming family on the birth of the Little Lovely Lab Lemming. Chuck's description of her is the most scientifically poetic thing I've read in a long while.

Friday, April 13, 2007

On the Nightstand


For me: Every Other Thursday: Stories and Strategies from Successful Women Scientists (Here's a nice review by Miss Prism)

For Minnow (and Fish): The Phantom Tollbooth

In the CD player: A whole CD made from the womb sounds, heartbeat, and running water tracks from the Lifescapes - Lullabies CD

(Eleonora: You could also try the CD that comes with The Happiest Baby on the Block: The New Way to Calm Crying and Help Your Baby Sleep Longer. I found the CD a bit jarring but it put Minnow right to sleep. The book is a bit repetitive but it's got some really good tips for getting newborns to calm down. Good luck!)

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Q&A with ScienceWoman

I feel like its been forever since I blogged. But I don't feel like doing a RBOC-style update, so maybe I'll try a interview with myself.

Q: So, how the heck are things going?
A: Oh, all right. Depends on the day. Today wasn't so hot. Minnow and I didn't sleep well last night and she was crabby all day. She still had some good times, but when she went downhill, it was fast and hard. My day pretty much mirrored hers.

Q: What's she doing now?
A: Sleeping in her co-sleeper for the first chunk of the night. The seventh night in a row as a matter of fact.

Q: How'd you manage that?
A: Turning my iPod to a playlist of womb sounds and other white noise and putting in the co-sleeper next to her little swaddled body.

Q: How's the working mom thing going?
A: Geesh, it's a lot of work. And hard. I've got a couple of problems right now. I don't have enough daycare to cover the number of hours I'm supposed to work each week. Minnow is still refusing a bottle, so when I do have someone watching her, I have to work at home, which equals a lot of disruptions. And I'm stuck on a tough problem scientifically.

Q: How are you going to resolve your problems?
A: We've got a slot in a daycare where we'll start her at the end of the month. Before then we've got to get the bottle strike resolved. Fish is doing his best but its just so heartbreaking to have her get more and more upset when she's hungry and won't take a bottle.

Q: What about the scientific problem?
A: Sometimes having a PhD means knowing how to figure out how to answer the question yourself. Sometimes it means knowing how to formulate the question well enough to explain it to someone else and knowing who that someone else is that can help. I've had to take the second approach. And I might have the start of an answer sitting in my email inbox.

Q: So, what's up with your job search?
A: Ehhh, nothing wonderful. I decided to take the interview at ?AA? U, but I'm kind of dreading it. I think I am mostly dreading the trip with Minnow. I had a phone interview for an adjunct position for fall semester. I'm hopeful about that one and it's within driving distance of Utopia, so we wouldn't have to move for a 4 month job. Other than that, there's a postdoc I really should apply for, but I haven't summoned the emotional/mental energy to do that yet. I really should though. But not tonight.

Q: Whatever happened to Mystery U?
A: They gave the job to someone else and that person apparently accepted the offer. I'm disappointed because I really wanted that job, and I keep going over little interview mistakes in my head. But I know that the biggest thing is that it was largely out of my control - they decided that another person was a better fit - and I can't control the candidate pool, just my own performance.

Q: Have you continued to indoctrinate Minnow into the wonderful world of science?
A: We haven't been in the field yet, but this afternoon I crazily attempted to bring her to a seminar. It was super-relevant to the topic of my PhD work and I really wanted to hear it. So I loaded her into the front pack and parked about 8 blocks from the seminar building. The walking lulled her to sleep and I got to hear all but the last 5 minutes of the talk.

Q: What's Minnow's latest accomplishment?
A: Other than sleeping on her own for 3-4 hours at night? 'Cause that's a biggie. It gives me a bit of freedom I've been sorely missing. Well, she's also getting pretty good at grabbing things - although she doesn't always know what to do with them once she's got them. She likes to suck on her fist. And she's started to like her swing again, which helps out with the whole cooking and eating thing. But her favorite things continue to be wiggling and watching mommy's face, preferably both at once. She has beautiful smiles.

Q: If you had the chance to do things over again, what would you do differently?
A: Funny you should ask, as I just watched Groundhog Day (for the first time) last night. I think the big thing I would do differently so far is take more maternity leave. I just didn't feel like I had much of a choice, but I'm not being a very effective worker at the moment and she's just so little to be in daycare! I think I'd take at least three months. But like I said, I didn't have much of a choice because of the peculiarities of my post-doc/financial situation, so I'm trying not to beat myself up about it.

Q: Any parting thoughts?
A: Nope. Too tired. Maybe my readers have more questions, though?

Are they really that clueless?

So, I agreed to take the interview at ?AA? U and tickets were purchased the other day. Fish is going along to care for Minnow and I did get them to agree to pay for his ticket (+1 for them).

But.

When the hotel and plane flight itineraries arrived in my inbox, they were in his name rather than mine. As in, Fish Man accompanied by ScienceWoman rather than vice versa. Because obviously the man with the BS in business is the one coming for the interview in an -ology department, not the woman with the PhD in -ology. (-1 for their administrative staff).

Given that they have to overcome a deficit of about -25 to make up for not giving me the interview in the first place, they really can't afford any more negative points.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Inbox: Stay in science or switch fields?

From a reader (posted with permission):

"I am a research scientist in a great field (new and sexy). I kind of stumbled my way into it and my current postdoc advisor hired me because of ancillary skills. I have been in science for around 12-13 years now with the Master's, Ph.D, and 3 postdocs... And I keep coming up against feeling like I am in the wrong profession. I am not publishing at the rate that I should and I find myself often extremely bored and attempting to avoid work. I think I hate lab work, which is new for me. I know I don't like teaching, though if I became faculty in a research university, my teaching load would be low. I am simply incredibly confused. So I started to research alternative careers and hit on patent attorney. More school, but only 3 years. Almost guaranteed job at the end. And then we got a grant funded that I am a co-PI on and, whammo, I feel like leaving would be a huge mistake. Except everything is in motion for me to leave, everyone knows, and my spouse has begun making plans around this new idea (which was good for him because of a million other reasons).
It's not what you think, I am not asking you to tell me what to do. But I would love to hear your perspective on this, when you have a moment. "


Dear Reader,
If you don't think you'll be happy staying in research and you don't want to teach, then you should definitely leave. Why put yourself through all the rigors of an academic or scientific career if it's not what you want to do? There's plenty of masochists who will happily snap up any job you leave open. (Are you in my field? I'm on the market!)

At the same time though, before you leave, make sure that patent law is *really* what you want to be doing. Imagine 5 years from now if you realize that it isn't...you would probably have some major regrets. I would recommend investigating carefully your chosen path. In particular, I believe there are ways for people with Ph.D.s to be involved in patent law without having to get a law degree. That might be a great way to switch fields without committing to more school. Can you find some scientists turned patent lawyers and see what strategies they used to move fields? I think the book, Put Your Science to Work: The Take-Charge Career Guide for Scientists by Peter Fiske has an example of a PhD who moved to intellectual property law.

I absolutely would not let getting a major grant stand in your way. (But congratulations on getting it!) If you want to switch careers, leaving it behind won't hurt you. And, in all likelihood, your co-PIs will be able to carry on without you (by recruiting another post-doc?), so the science will get done.

Whatever you decide, it sounds like you've got the talent to succeed. Keep us posted.

To my readers: What do you think? I told the letter writer that you are all way more brilliant, insightful, and knowledgable than I. Can you help this person out?

Book Review: A Mile in Her Boots

I like reading about the outdoors. I like reading adventure stories. I like reading short stories and essays. And I like reading books with women protagonists. So I knew I'd like A Mile in Her Boots: Women Who Work in the Wild, a collection of essays by 28 women scientists, park rangers, trail blazers, etc. What I didn't know was that I would love this book.

The stories are evocative, funny, familiar, and exciting. They each recount some specific experience in the wilderness, but also give insight into why these women choose to work outdoors and how that choice shapes who they are. And all the essays are written in engaging story-telling voice, drawing the reader into the authors' sense of excitement, fear, or joy.

I think I'll remember of few of the essays for years, if not decades. One particularly notable selection recounts the rescue of sea turtle hatchlings from a nude beach on Maui. The author, Judy Edwards, gives a hilarious account of trying to dig up the turtles while surrounded by a throng of nude bathers and trying to avoid the "dreaded penis in the eye." Jane Duncan tells the strange saga of a headless Alaskan bear in her essay "The Rest of Elvis." I'd explain, but it'd be better if you just read it for yourself. Lori Messenger shares her trials with expressing breastmilk for her 5 month old daughter while fighting forest fires and jumping out of airplanes. (And I thought I had it rough!)

Other essays perfectly capture experiences I've had in the woods. "Hours til Dawn" by Elizabeth Dayton accurately describes the way I felt when I first camped on my own. It's all good until it gets dark and you start to hear strange noises in bear country. Jennifer Bove, the collection's editor, submitted "First Night at Field Camp", which tells about trying to be one of the boys on the field crew - sitting around the fire, drinking beer, and making crude jokes - and feeling bad for the girl who wouldn't take part.

In short, this book was just about perfect. The only disappointment? I have to give it back to my mom.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Every Other Thursday?

A reader asked me whether I knew about the book "Every Other Thursday: Stories and Strategies from Successful Women Scientists." In fact, the previous day, I had discovered the book on Amazon. I almost ordered it, but the $18 price tag held me back (instead I spent $25 on toys for Minnow).

Has anyone read the book? Would you recommend it?

If no one has read the book, or if it comes recommended, I'll order it, read it, and review it here. Maybe we can learn something.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

back to work-days 1 and 2

Monday, I attempted to go into work while fish took care of minnow. For the first time ever, she refused to take a bottle, so I came home at noon. Which is okay, because for the first time ever my breasts didn't yield easily to the pump, so I wasn't going to be able to replace what she would have consumed from the supply. On the plus side, in the afternoon, I got busy and finished an annoying little data task left from the pre-minnow days.

Tuesday, ScienceGrandma took care of Minnow in the afternoon, while I tried to work at home. No bottles were attempted, no breasts were pumped. But I was within earshot, which was really hard every time that Minnow cried not from hunger. ScienceGrandma did a good job, but she's still figuring our little one out, and after 3 hours both were exhausted. My data analysis task was much less straightforward, so between hearing the crying and puzzling over excel, I was exhausted too.

Today is another 1/2 day with ScienceGrandma. I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

An emotional return to work

I go back to work tomorrow. I’ve got mixed feelings.

  • Sad – Because I know I’ll miss some of Minnow’s firsts (she rolled over on Friday! Months ahead of schedule!). Because in the past few weeks I’ve kind of gotten into the groove of staying at home with her – started to really enjoy the afternoons taking walks, playing on the floor, napping, and reading. I’m not sure what sort of rhythm will develop when I am working part-time, especially since I’ll also be needing to do some work while I am at home with her.
  • Happy – There have been times these past few weeks when my world has felt a bit, well, small. Like last week when I spent an afternoon at the office and realized how out of the loop I was and how my colleagues were talking about meetings and grants and all I could say was that Minnow had started to bat at things.
  • Frustrated – The prospect of sunny afternoons chained to the computer making endless Excel files and graphs when I could be out walking with Minnow and the Princess Pup – or at least in our sunny living room. Somehow the nitty gritty aspects of my job suddenly seem less appealing – almost unimportant. (It probably doesn’t help that it is spring.)
  • Excited – to be re-engaging with that portion of my brain that enjoys science. I’m glad I’ve kept up with email and attending meetings here and there. It’ll be nice to do more critical thinking than just planning when I am going to run errands and how badly we really need carrots for Princess Pup.
  • Worried – Will Fish and ScienceGrandma be able to calm her down when she’s really upset? Will Fish let her be passive and watch TV? Will my mom let her cry it out?
  • Nervous – Will she continue to take a bottle? Will my milk supply change with pumping? Will we have enough milk ready for any given day? Will routine bottle feeding throw off our breast feeding rhythm?
  • Anxious – We all procrastinate. The average American worker goofs off ~2 hours per day. I can be pretty good at it too (but mostly less than average) – blogging, blog reading, ovusoft bulletin boards, craigslist, email to friends, chatting with SuperWoman and NewGirl. If I am only working part time, I’ll have to figure out how to scale back my non-productive periods (especially because I’ll need pumping breaks too) so that I am actually accomplishing something every time I sit down to work.
  • Curious – Can research be done on a part time basis? Will I continually feel pressure to work more time? Will that pressure come from myself or others? Will I manage to get things done on time? Will I ever read a journal article again? Will I ever get the third dissertation chapter revised and submitted or do anything with that other hard earned dissertation data?
  • Enormously relieved – That I have a generous and understanding boss and colleagues; that I will only being working part time and will still have part of most days with my precious baby; that I have the flexibility and resources to work at home sometimes or to change my work hours as needed (mostly); and that Minnow will be in the arms of her loving family until she is at least a little older.