Life, the universe and everything else...

nishir at ohsu.edu nishir at ohsu.edu
Tue Aug 9 12:15:30 EST 1994


First, thanks to all who responded to my test post.  

In article <1994Aug8.200216.5035 at alw.nih.gov> rachelle at picard.niehs.nih.gov
(Rachelle J. Bienstock) writes:
<most edited out>
>I have been following the discussion about children, and outside
>interests and time limitations.  I have also noticed that many
>of the woman posting are postdocs....

Let me proffer my views as a tenured associate professor...  

>Some women manage to have it all...but, I'm sure even these
>women have had to compromise on certain things and sacrifice
>certain things...There are only so many hours in the day, and
>we are all only human...

IMHO if you want "to have it all" you have to be willing to put in the work and
time it takes to make your experiments work and for your work to have an impact
on the field. Yes, if you are trying to do this while you have children you
will have almost no leisure time, but it is possible.  I waited until I was an
asst prof to have children and now I am juggling running a lab, teaching, being
on study section, etc with being the best mom I can be.  None of this would
have been possible without a husband who also cares and helps at home.  I still
don't consider myself a super woman... I'm only saying all this to tell you it
is possible to "make it" (what means "make it"?).  I managed to get tenure
here, but I would have had to wait longer at a more prestigious institution.  I
would characterize my output as a scientist as low quantity, high quality. The
sacrifice I made with my work is to not be on the top of my field; the
sacrifice I made with my personal life is less leisure time for myself, but it
is more than compensated for by having fun with two great kids. 
>
>.And my feeling is also it is
>not the number of hours a week you spend it the lab., but the quality
>of your work...so what if your work moves at a slower pace- it is not
>a race as long as what you do is fulfilling to you, don't look at what
>others are doing!  Perhaps they don't have the same responsibilities
>or outside interests which you do!

Let's face it, number of hours doesn't necessarily correlate with productivity,
but there is something to be said for taking the time to express motivation and
drive and the persistance to make something work.  Even though my output is
relatively low quantity, I've had to keep up with a very competitive field
(neurotrophic factors).  If I had tried to keep a slower pace with what
everyone else is doing, I would have been steam rolled long ago.  We just try
to look at things differently from everyone else.  If you noticed, funding is
very competitive these days and even working in a company is competitive (if
your project doesn't work out, it will get canned, and chances are you will be
competing with other companies for the same things).  If you insist on working
at a slower pace, you might find yourself out in the cold....But you don't have
to force yourself to work 18 hrs a day in the lab either.

Just my 2 cents worth.

Rae Nishi
OHSU
Portland Oregon





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