Friday, October 24, 2008


So, I have spent the last 10 days in multiple cities and time zones and being uber-social. While my husband claims I am an extrovert, I say I'm just a really good actress. Oscar-worthy.

The first round was in DC with granting agencies and program managers trying to figure out what they really wanted. Their announcements say one thing, but what they really want to fund can be a little different. But finding out what they really want, can make a big difference. But it is a trip like any other: airplane, hotel, food, etc. All to get 30 minutes of face time with a program manager. After the first meeting, I've found that PM's are much more receptive to follow-up phone calls. But for initial contact, they really like meeting you.

Then I went onto a conference, gave a talk, got the typical "your talk was really impressive. I was really surprised." Um, not really sure how to take this. Now, I just say thanks, and walk away. I used to press the person to actually explain what they meant - try to make them feel uncomfortable and actually admit that they thought I was going to give a crappy talk because I'm short and female. Now, it just isn't worth the effort.

After that, I want to a "school" retreat. School = everyone in my "division", not the whole university/college. This was fun and stressful. Everyone was there, even the dean, and there were a lot of people I had never met before, so many names came at me very fast. And I'm really, really bad with names.

Then onto another conference. One more talk. Again, the "you gave a good talk and I'm surprised" comment. Yes, I know. I look like I'm 18. I'm not. One of these days, I'm just going to lose it. Let's just hope it is post-tenure.

But, now I'm back, and my students are extremely happy. I spent all of yesterday in the lab with them. And I'm hoping to spend part of this afternoon and all day tomorrow in the lab (if they are there tomorrow, it is their choice). But the lab is 99% done, and I want to have it completely done by Monday. I feel responsible for it not being done. If I had been here over the past 10 days or so, it would be done. So I feel really bad for delaying my student's research progress.

Oh, and I had three grants not go through and a young investigator award (YFA/YIA) not go through. Oh well. That's life. But I filed two more grants last week (they had the same due date), and next week I'll file at least one more, and another YFA/YIA.

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