Friday, February 22, 2008

Cycle, Vicious or Otherwise

I rely on a certain feeling upon making decisions. I'm wildly impatient so my lack of a plan for my poor paper bugged me. I googled journals and flipped through my file of papers I'd consulted when writing. I read aims and scopes and looked at tables of contents. Through all of this, I wrinkled my nose and shook my head because nothing was quite right. It's odd, my poor paper. A mixture of loads of technically-complex analysis techniques applied to an interesting, though rarely studied, disease state. So does it belong in a clinical journal where the techniques will be seen as ultra-complicated and difficult to understand but the rationale is clear or do I go for another technical journal? So I hemmed and hawed and typed in author lists and pasted abstract text into three different online submission sites before selecting a journal whose title seems perfect. Maybe. I think.

"These are not that bad!" I cried upon reading the reviews I received upon its initial submission to Rejection Journal. I had taking several gulps of a drink Friend made, grimacing with the knowledge that though I'd asked her to make it strong, I could now likely breathe fire from the quantity of vodka I'd consumed.

"Maybe we should start drinking something else," Friend suggested as we walked through the liquor store after having waffles yesterday afternoon. I'd whined and bribed and her teeth and face had hurt enough that she did not make me drive her to campus. Instead, I spent the day fixing text and reordering paragraphs of the rejected paper that I think is quite good. It's clear and logical and could be rather important. Friend sat across the room, rubbing at her face and grimacing with pain.

"No," I decided after she instructed me to get citrus vodka and I dutifully selected a bottle. "I like the mango drink. Plus, now I have 4 bottles of Orange Passion Mango Italian Soda from Target. So we'll just get more Triple Sec," I picked up a bottle after we decided to go with the cheaper alternative, "and Peach Schnapps, then drink what we've been drinking."

The reason we had to stop for alcohol - for I'm not completely out - was that I checked on the other papers after I triumphantly approved my newest submission and rejected paper was back in play.

"You should spread out the decisions," Friend advised and I said I'd submitted them about 3 weeks apart. But this journal apparently moves faster than others might.

"They're evaluating reviews now," I told Friend and though I'm nothing but sympathetic and worried about her week of hideousness (I sort of expect her to spontaneously combust at some point soon, poor thing. I'd tell her to keep a bucket of water around to douse the flames, but she'd probably drown in it.), she spared a moment to look at me kindly. "I want them to take the paper. I really, really do."

"I know," she offered. "And maybe they will." But if we repeat this episode of miserable failure followed by trying to select a new journal followed by rewriting work I already think should get in, at least I have adequate supplies of booze. And the vague thought that perhaps leaving academia wouldn't be such a bad plan for me after all.

1 comment:

PhysioProf said...

I like stories about heavy drinking. I can't say I would have enjoyed your fruity concoction, however. Have you tried martinis?

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