Category Archives: employment

the reason for my long silence

At long last, I can break my silence and explain why I’ve been away from this blog for so long. It’s because I was afraid I would spill the beans before the time was right.ultrasound clipped

I am pleased to announce that Hubby and I are expecting, and I’m due at the end of April. The ultrasound pic at the right was taken about 6 weeks ago, during my 1st appointment at the High Risk OB (consultation regarding my ADD medication).

So far, things are going well for both me and the little one. Our offspring has a good strong heartbeat, and it danced around a ton during the ultrasound! We have our real ultrasound next month, and will have more information then about its development thus far. The pregnancy has been quite easy for me overall. I had very little morning sickness, other than some food aversions and mild nausea at odd times of the day. It only lasted for about 3 weeks, and the worst of it went away when I stopped taking the fish oil supplement (prenatal vitamin adjunct).

A note about fish oil that’s relevant for ADDers, pregnant or not: This might sound stupid, but do not try taking it at night. For a month, I took it with my regular prenatal vitamin at dinner, and I had insomnia for that entire month. It was miserable. The insomnia decreased when I switched to taking it in the morning, and it helped a little bit with concentration. Notwithstanding, a single capsule was murder on my stomach. Maybe it wouldn’t have been so awful if I hadn’t been in the middle of morning sickness, but I’m also not convinced that it wasn’t the cause of the morning sickness itself.

Medication has been a bit tricky, at least at first. I was switched to a new pdoc around the same time I had the positive pregnancy test. Amazingly, my new pdoc has ADD, and she’s been amazingly helpful and supportive with troubleshooting my medication. We tried various options: I dropped back to 10mg of ritalin 3x/day, then 5 mg 3x/day, on the way to the goal of 0 mg of ritalin 0x/day. I was frustrated and miserable at 5mg, and barely functional at 10mg, but I stuck with that dose for a month before going to the aforementioned high risk OB consultation. The three high risk OBs I’ve now worked with in that office have actually been the most supportive of my medication. One of them even said to me, “If you need this medication to function, you need it to function. Period.” Their acceptance was amazingly refreshing. Of course, the reality is that we won’t know for some time if my medication has done any harm… keep your fingers crossed for us, please!

Work issues have been resolving themselves. I met with my department chair today to let him know about our upcoming addition, and he was very supportive. It looks like we will be able to put some plans into place in advance to handle my inevitable absence at the end of the spring semester, and I have some decisions to make about using my summer funding, stopping the tenure clock for next year, etc. I have time to make these decisions, fortunately. This was a big relief, but it’s really the small things at work that have made it more stressful for me this semester. For example, I outgrew most of my work pants around 6-8 weeks of pregnancy, and now I’m starting to outgrow my work shirts. I don’t look particularly pregnant, just  a bit pot-bellied… The second “minor” issue is H1N1 flu. It’s going around on my campus, and I’ve had at least a dozen students out sick with it. I was able to get the H1N1 vaccine over a week ago, but still have a few days until I will have full immunity against all the nasty germs my students are sneezing and coughing all over the place. Yuck!

All in all, everything’s going far better than we’d anticipated, and I can only hope that things continue to go this smoothly between now and the end of April!

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feeling like an irresponsible grown-up

After all the hooplah over the past year, this is what I feel like doing while at work these days:

  • Playing Scrabulous! on Facebook
  • Shopping for carpet, area rugs, washer, dryer, fridge, stove, and microwave/fan for the new house
  • Making appointments for everything that needs to get done that is not related to work (e.g., car repairs, haircut, massage, annual eye exam, etc.)
  • Shopping for a new dress for an upcoming summer wedding
  • Booking the rental car for the upcoming out-of-state summer wedding
  • Booking the moving truck for our move 9 days after the summer wedding
  • Catching up on my subscribed blogs (of course!)

Note that these items do not appear on this list:

  • Reviewing a manuscript for the third time (why, oh why, does the editor keep avoiding rejecting it? I think it sucks and am so sick of looking at it….)
  • Starting one of my three new papers that I’ll work on for the next year
  • Reading about stats I really need to learn for one of these new papers
  • Finishing revisions to a paper I’ve been working on for several years
  • Starting to draft syllabi for my fall classes
  • Starting IRB application materials for my fall and spring pilot studies
  • Finishing my postdoc work-related responsibilities
  • Eating lunch (bad, bad Dr. Addled!)

Even taking my medication, I can’t focus worth beans or make myself do anything productive at work. All the  while I feel really, really super-stressed about it. I’ve taken three days off in the last three weeks but each of these days was spent in New City (e.g., house-hunting, faculty & student meetings, etc.). What weekend time I’ve had has been dedicated to early packing (!) and mortgage applications.

I think I just really need a day off that’s truly a day off…  I think I’m going to pick the day with the best weather forecast, stay home, turn off the phone and the computer, and take the time to read and relax, all in the name of better productivity at the office.

invitation for contributions

If you’re a reader who has an idea for a contribution, this is your invitation to contribute to this blog. Please contact me using the form on the “about me” page. Send me a brief outline of your idea, your desired contributor name, and an email address. If it sounds like a good match, I’ll set you up with a contributor login for this page.

The reason for this invitation: I have always wanted this blog to include more perspectives than just my own. I’m an early career social scientist. The viewpoints of a mid-career biological scientist or a graduate student in humanities could be very different than mine. Others’ strategies for managing their ADD might be different, too.  We should all be learning from each other, right?

making lemonade out of lemons

I am not a spoiled baby. Now that I’ve had a decent night’s sleep, I am better able reframe this as an opportunity for growth versus a glaring sign that I suck.

Instead of thinking about how underimpressed I was by the grad students, I’m trying to think about how I’ve never taught a graduate level course. “Weaker” grad students might be a better introduction to graduate-level teaching & mentoring than “strong” graduate students, who are likely to be more demanding and have higher expectations.

If nothing else, I’m done with this whole process for at least 2 more years, and I’ll be free from my lab. Hubby and I can move on with our lives, even if it’s not in the location we really wanted.

I’ll have a good excuse to check out the publishers’ booths when I’m at my national conference next week (i.e., saving time in the long run, while productively using unscheduled free moments during the day).

I’m still going to buy champagne for my grad department’s annual conference party, and attempt to celebrate the positive outcome of my search.

clearly I just suck

I just received a rejection letter from the small liberal arts college I’d visited last week.

  • 35 applications
  • 12? phone/initial interviews
  • 8 campus visit invitations (6 completed visits)
  • just 1 offer

Clearly I just suck, given the measly rate of return on all my effort.

still nothing

I wish I could give a more exciting update, but I still don’t have any job offers. I did, however, receive a rejection letter on Friday morning (the “cooking” job). Not a big shocker, nor a huge disappointment. I’m starting to freak out because my options are becoming more and more limited. I leave for a final interview tomorrow at a small, midwestern liberal arts college similiar to my alma mater (Keep your fingers crossed for me, please!. I also just submitted an application for a position overseas, in Hubby’s dad’s current country of residence.

At this point, I’m just feeling resigned and flat. It doesn’t help that I’m in the thick of the PMDD blues (started taking medication again on Thursday, but it’s not working very well yet), and just feel like a distracted piece of crap while trying to prepare for this interview and cope with my phone’s silence.  It also doesn’t help that Hubby’s going through a crisis at work (i.e., is so frustrated that he’s getting closer and closer to walking away and finding something else), and would love for me to get the job in his dad’s current home country. The fact that neither of us really speak the language spoken in this area is not even on his radar, while I start to panic at the thought of having to lecture in a language I haven’t studied in years.

One thing at a time… one thing at a time…. one thing at a time….

two interviews in one week

I did it — I made it through my week with two back-to-back interviews. I didn’t feel extremely tired before I went to bed and slept for 8 hours Friday night, but I woke up Saturday morning feeling pretty worn out. I guess that I made it through the last couple of days on adrenaline? I’m feeling better today (Sunday) but am still dreading tomorrow’s full day of work. Having MLK day off is just a joke!

So, to summarize the interviews… both were in similar departments at two state universities in the same state. The first interview was fine: the faculty were really, really nice, and the job has certain unique perks that aren’t offered elsewhere (sorry can’t be more specific; these perks are very ADD and “Dr. Addled” – friendly!). Unfortunately, I didn’t feel much of a connection with the department, faculty or students, and suspected that I’d have few if any options for collaborative research. Also, the teaching load was pretty high (3-3; 3 classes each semester). The second interview at the “better” university went much better in all respects, even if the “perks” aren’t built-in to the position: the faculty and students were fantastic, and the environment itself is very conducive to collaborative research. The faculty and students clearly want a new faculty member who can do strong research, but this person must be able to play well with others, so to speak. The teaching load is lower (a 2-2 load, which means I’d teach 2 classes each semester). Interestingly, the research expectations were the same at both institutions, and the salary at University #2 is much higher than at University #1. Faculty at uni #2 responded very favorably to my job talk, and the students seemed ready to help me pack my moving truck at the drop of a hat.

After just a few hours at Uni #2, I felt very comfortable there, and felt like I was “clicking” with the faculty and students. I even started to have fun, which is by no means univeral on interviews! This sense was strong enough that I felt I could safely disclose that I am married (something that freaks out some academics — come on, like my 6mm wedding band isn’t already a clue?!?). I hope this wasn’t a tactical error, but would be surprised if it makes a difference (e.g., all the current faculty are married, so why would it be a problem for me other than my saying so might make me look unprofessional?). As it happens, I later learned that the realtor had “outed” me to the department secretary, who then in turn “outed” me to the search chair. Grr… at least when I brough it up with the department chair, it was my choice! The secretary made a big deal about it right before my job talk, which was more annoying than anything else (i.e., “Is ‘Addled’ your married name? Oh, it’s not? Then what’s your husband’s name if it’s not ‘Addled’?”). Hu’s  behavior was way  more unprofessional than mine, to say the least!

Although I didn’t want to put myself into this position, I will probably be very, very upset if I don’t receive an offer from University #2. The truth is, I will be brokenhearted, because I don’t think the fit can be  better than this. I just hope that the search committee members feel the same way about me. At least I only have to wonder for 2-3 weeks, by which time all the candidates will have visited and the search committee will have had time to deliberate and extend an offer to their top choice.