Friday, August 24, 2007


I was going for 'end' but now I have goldfish swimming through my imagination. I fear I'll never be hip.

I think my book is written. There are massive amounts of editing to be done (Friend said this morning that she read part 1 to put herself to sleep (and that it worked well) and asked if she could one day see me park my garage in my car. Friend is mean.), but I wrote words for each chapter I outlined! I think I said what I wanted to say. The second part is terribly long and made me cry in several parts, and I don't know that I feel better about that year having written it down. But I'm oddly proud that I didn't abandon the project. I will finish. I really didn't anticipate that happening.

My confidence - professionally speaking - has taken some hits this week. I was nervous about presenting my upcoming work and almost didn't go to campus the day I had my group meeting, but I fully appreciate that peer review makes work better. It's demoralizing and sucky and exhausting sometimes, but the result justifies the process, I think.

So when attempting to present to an unfamiliar audience, it was undoubtedly wise to have my department pick apart everything I was going to say. But it still sucked. I walked out feeling as though my pretty slides and my poor ego had been thoroughly attacked. Each figure that I remake reminds me that I did it wrong the first time. But I think I've completed the necessary revisions and I readily admit it's much better now than it was before. I won't hear those particular questions, which leaves the door open for new critiques I can use to make the work better still. But it leaves me feeling sad that I didn't do better on my own.

The paper I worked and worked and worked on was mentioned when I spoke to Dr. Icing today. "Is it..." He trailed off and I braced myself. "Do you think it overlaps with what you gave Penguin?"

"I don't." I offered. There is one paragraph in common and it's based upon the results I didn't create. Otherwise, it's refocused and reformatted, much more intensive in my area and quite lovely. But, upon closer examination, the results are sort of the same in one aspect, though there are 3 more novel pieces of information. I think it's different. But I also want to think it's different. So I'll speak to Boss about it and, if need be, address Dr. Icing's concerns more aggressively. Given that the man recruited me with the promise of patients and has provided one (1, uno, a single, solitary human being!) over the span of two years, I find myself less than eager to please.

"Why do you lie?" I was tempted to ask when he noted that my projects were a priority for him and his team. "They obviously are not as you ignore the many emails I send. Which is OK - they don't have to be a priority. I know you're very busy and do important stuff. I respect that. But don't say crap you don't mean! I hate it when men say things they know are false and expect that because they're important and charming that I'll just buy it! I wrote a book about this very problem and I'm done dealing with you people and your promises that don't pan out!"

I obviously did not say anything other than "yes." and "of course." I require my salary and I like my job and I'm fond of Dr. Icing. I just don't trust him anymore. Which is a good way to know that it's time to leave an institution.

In my quest to do just that, I have applied for two jobs thus far based on location. I didn't really expect to hear about the first. I currently make more money in an area with a considerably lower cost of living. So I was OK with not being invited to interview. But this most recent job... Oh, I want it. I want that location, I want that place in industry, I want to learn some of the work. And I am - in some respects - very qualified. Yet there is one area in which I'm iffy and that's fair to point out. But I still wanted to hear something this week. Having applied on Wednesday, I wanted them to pounce on my CV and beg me to work for them. I would graciously accept, of course, and all would be well.

So while taken individually, the small hits would be tolerable. But the talk and the poster and the paper and the job... I'm feeling a bit down. And I vividly remember the feeling from interviewing before. Sighing with sadness that I wasn't good enough for some position I wanted. Feeling wounded from members of my own group making detailed suggestions on my interview talk, though they were picky because they wanted me to do well.

Poor me, right? So I'll edit my book and help Friend pack up all her belongings to move across town and try to fix my problems again next week.

And maybe I should get a couple goldfish... Would Sprout attack the tank?


TitleTroubles said...

I'm not mean. I'm sure it was just the influence of the narcotics. Come to think of it, it's probably the narcotics that let me get as far into it as I did. I mean, it's like chapter 5 and still not a single wizard, alien, or freakish creature. Well, except for Poppy. But whatever. I'll finish it--eventually. I do still get the end, right? Oh, and are you yet drunk enough to put the garage in the car? I really would like to watch.

Cee said...

Woo! Well done on finishing the book - big, big achievement, even if there is still the editing to go.

Grad007 said...

If the fish tank were closed on all sides, and bolted down, the goldfish might be safe from sprout!

I think there's nothing more nerve-wracking than a group meeting at which you are presenting. Strangely, I lost my voice and had to cancel these meetings, twice. During my last group meeting, I also felt attacked. It was horrible.

I'm still dreading the critique I'll get on a paper I recently sent to co-authors.

I'm sure you'll find a job closer to your parents that you'll like and excell at!

Anonymous said...

yay on the book being at the finished level!!

Post a Comment