Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Update: Low, tired, vegan-on-the-road, diet. Pause.

1. Low. In the past week, a couple of situations with my advisor have left me feeling crushed, frustrated, and stupid. Based on what I've heard from other people about the final years of a Ph.D. program, this is par for the course. But it sucks.

I love what I do so much, and yet it feels like such an uphill battle because subtle sexism is rampant. Moreover, many of these men don't even know they're doing it, so it's tough for them to recognize the problem, much less change their communication tactics.

I don't want to be treated like a little girl. I don't want condescending lectures about stuff I already know and know well. I am GOOD at what I do - in the field, in the lab, AND in the classroom. I have something to offer! All I want is to be able to contribute to my scientific community and share my passion for science with my student collaborators. I don't want to live in fear that I won't be able to do what I love simply because I don't speak in the same "language" as many of my counterparts. As stated in a Scientific American article published late last year:

"Scientific inquiry is surely at stake, said Mary Anne Holmes, a mineralogist at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and former president of the Association for Women Geoscientists. "Women may have a different way of asking questions about the science and communicating the consequences," Holmes said.

Studies have shown that groups make better choices when group members have diverse experiences and points of view, Holmes noted. It's not that women look at the data and see some big feminine question that's not being asked or that men don't ask good questions, she added. Men "just don't ask all the questions."

And it's funny how, when I start talking about this stuff around my male colleagues, I see a lot of eye rolling. Their perspective on this is different, and I end up feeling like a whiner.

2. Tired. I slept all day. This last work trip was an exhausting one: we were pulling long shifts, some of which went through the night. I felt fine while I was there, but as soon as I took my seat on the flight home yesterday, I felt like I'd been hit with a brick. I still do.

3. I'm going to write a post about my attempts at vegan living on the road. The upshot of it is that although I could have done it, I broke down when I discovered a well-stocked candy drawer during my midnight lab sessions. Fun-size Milky Ways taste so. damn. good. when you're exhausted and bored. And once the sugar hit my system, it was allllll over. I singlehandedly decimated that candy supply.

4. Diet. I tracked my calories until right around the time I started inhaling chocolate. Then I decided to "take a break." I'm confident I can get back on track now that I'm home.

5. Press pause. Can I do that right now? Press pause on life and take a time out? Preferably on a sunny beach with an alcoholic beverage? I'd like to.

1 comment:

  1. Hi -- just found your blog while looking up "vegan stuff" and landed on this post. I just want to give a shout out to your PhD effort -- keep at it, stay focused and optimistic, blah blah blah :) because it's really worth it and you CAN do it. It took me a few years to finish mine (and yeah, the last few years, especially the write up period, are lonely, grueling, and thankless). But you do it, and it's so wonderful when it is DONE.

    Re: "lapsing while on the road/working late/other extreme conditions of being" -- whatever, it's not the end of the world. We've all experienced "lapses" of some sort, whether it's food, poor judgment, mismanagement of time/life/diet. Move on, relax, re-focus and re-calibrate and re-energize! :)