Positive comments?

aloisia schmid a-schmi at uiuc.edu
Mon Aug 18 12:15:44 EST 1997

In article <199708181351.IAA32556 at mail.utexas.edu>, linden at MAIL.UTEXAS.EDU
(linden higgins) wrote:

> Positive comments - from one who, it appears, should have "seen the light
> and given up" (it will be 10 yrs next year since I defended my
> dissertation,and, BTW, I have followed the "rules" - 2 pubs per year
> average, always self funded,  - but never in a VIP lab, and I don't work
> with a very sexy animal (spiders)).
> So - why do I keep struggling?
> (1) I love research - even the bench work (and, as a field ecologist by
> temperment and training, it has taken me some time to enjoy chemistry)
> (2) I really enjoy teaching (which is what I do to support my "habit"
right now)
> (3) I really enjoy writing


 Of course, I do have the "luxury" of a spouse in a
> full-time position, so that I don't have to try to live on the temp.
> faculty salary (not enough to pay rent, much less rent + daycare).
> As someone long ago in this discussion said, we have to remember the
> butterflies.
> Also, there are good things about academia -
> Where else could I arrange schedules with my husband to make sure that our
> daughter spends no more than 6-8 hrs/day in day care?  Where else could we
> work, and just decide to take a half day and go hiking with her?

Dear Linden,

     I am happy for you---you sound like someone who is enjoying her life
and that is, in the final analysis, EVERYTHING.  But I just wanted to
point out that your situation is not by any STRETCH of the imagination,
typical.  Most people could never DREAM of a 6-8 hour day as a post-doc,
or faculty member.    I cannot even imagine just deciding to take off for
afternoon hikes.  And of course, I would say MOST people do not have the
luxury of not having to worry about money.  Which is what started this
whole thing in the first place.  

     I have to admit I am finding myself not enjoying this discussion
anymore.   I am not sure why---I guess it is making me depressed and
tense.  It is making me look very hard at the decisions I have made in
getting to this point and I am feeling defeated.  

      So i will leave things at this----one of the things i mentioned
earlier is that there just isn't enough feed-back from people in industry
telling us in detail how industry differs from academics and what it was
like to make the change and if you had it to do over again.....  Also, I
would like to point out that while it is comforting to think, "there's
always industry" I have been looking at those ads, and those jobs sound
every bit as difficult to get as academic posts.  Am I wrong?

              If any of you out there can tell me, I want to know!


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