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a morale question in scientific community

Doktor DynaSoar targeting at OMCL.mil
Wed Feb 25 17:16:51 EST 2004

On Wed, 25 Feb 2004 10:03:54 +0000, Jack <jack at nowhere.edu> wrote:

} Hi,
} I have a morale question. I apologize if this question offends some people.
} I am a postdoc in a research university in US. I extremely like my 
} research and I am fully capable to work alone. However, I cannot pay 
} enough attention to my project. I have been always bothered by the 
} american master degree students in the lab, because somehow they dislike 
} me or the other. I am a foreigner. I consider myself polite, middle 
} level considerate. I am not an expert for socializing in US but I am a 
} nice person. The question in my mind is, why some people are willing to 
} spend >90% of his energy/time to bother other people instead 
} working/enjoying the research which he claims to be his goal, which is 
} also for his future income. They can sacrifice all these just to make 
} somebody they dislike unhappy and consequently themselves happy.
} Before I came to US, I thought americans are hard-working for success, 
} straight, easy to get along. I have been US for more than ten years and 
} received my PhD degree here. My oberservation is generally a person 
} spends >40% brain energy on how to get along with people around. ALMOST 
} EVERYBODY in the lab work in some kind of mood, one way or the other, 
} with a strong sense of self-defense. Scientific research is an 
} intellectual activity. There would not be any REAL progress with such 
} mood in a person's mind except generating data and etc.

First, this is something you should discuss with your supervisor
and/or lab director. If the collection of people who are in your lab
now do have a problem as a group, this is something for the people who
run the lab to take care of.

Second, consider the possibility that you are interperating their
behavior according to your culture. They may be acting perfectly
normal for them in their culture, but in a way that's not acceptable
in yours. If you see them acting a certain way and find it bothers
you, you may be concluding things about "why" they are doing it which
are not correct. Consider also that your "culture" includes that of
science now, as well as your native country. You have expectations
from both.

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