Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Truth: Still Stranger Than Fiction

Scene: Dreaded Semi-Annual Meeting With Advisor [In Which Said Advisor (Historically Speaking) Inspires In Me Two Entire Weeks Of Looking For a New Job, Whilst Moaning and Gnashing of Teeth; Also In Which Said Advisor Releases His Inner, Er, Advisor, In Consequence of Which I Am Shocked But Not Dismayed]

Advisor: So what's your plan for the next six months?

Me: Well, I'm starting an experimental wall-building series on Monday. Then every Tuesday I'm baking bricks, and every week I'm going to make a new decorative lattice until it's aesthetically and structurally sound. Once I've figured out what works best I'll start the final construction.

A: Sounds good. When will you be done with the test patterns?

Me: End of September, I hope.

A: (Technical question on clay mixtures and firing temperatures.)

Me: (Long boring answer on various details.)

A: This is going to make a really nice paper.

Me: ..... um, yeah.

A: I hope you're proud of all you've learned while you've been here. You've really made great progress.

Me: ..... Well, I'm a lot more efficient ....

A: So are you going to try to make the March deadline?

Me: .....

A: I think you probably could, but it might be a bit tight.

Me: ... uh ... as long as I defend by September, it'll be fine.

A: Well, it all looks great! You've done good work.

Me: .... [Abducted by aliens, maybe??] ....

A: I'm looking forward to seeing those walls!

Me: ... yeah, me too!

A: This was the shortest meeting I've had! It's because you're so organized.

Me: ....

Exit precipitously through office door, shaking head.


I would like to imagine that my inner science-lover would be a happy, productive researcher, and that my three-year-long-headache only a bad dream, if the Inner Advisor were let loose more often. I would revel in my experiments, rather than dreading them; the long hours in lab would be an inconvenience gladly borne in the name of interesting data. I would believe that research science is my life's work, if only I occasionally received feedback instead of receiving attacks. I would also like to imagine that the anger which leads me to blog would be much diminished if not dissipated, in which case, alas, I wouldn't have your charming company, dear reader.