was it always this bad? Rafting the Grand

Sarah L. Pallas bioslp at panther.gsu.edu
Fri Aug 22 08:46:30 EST 1997

In article <cboake-1808971155150001 at eco20.bio.utk.edu> C. Boake,
cboake at utk.edu writes:
>Academic life is not what you have
>probably been led to believe. Once you get an academic job, it is like
>juggling bricks.  As soon as you can handle the first one, they toss you
>another, with no end in sight. You may think that you will get lots of
>time to do research and be able to guide your own project, to be a
>wonderful Independent Scientist.  In fact, unless you are at a med school
>or in other rare situations, you will have to do a lot of teaching, which
>makes being a teaching assistant seem like a vacation.  Furthermore, you
>will have to participate in numerous administrative ventures, probably
>starting with being on the seminar committee, but rapidly escalating. 
>This is called "service" and it is evaluated (for tenure) at several
>levels -- to the department, the college, the university, the profession,
>and the community.  If you want to get any research accomplished, you have
>to have other people collect most of the data, and thus you become a
>personnel manager (bet you didn't get any training in that!).  On top of
>all of that, you will also have to sweat over getting your work published
>and funded.  This leaves precious little time for the activities that
>formed the core of your PhD research, and that are most likely the reasons
>that you want a career as a scientist.

I can definitely second this emotion.  I love DOING science but don't get
to spend enough time.  Instead, I teach, write grants, sit on committees,
referee arguements between students, deal with Physical Plant
inadequacies, work through vendor errors, etc etc.  Enjoy your postdoc
time, I sure miss it!!!

Sarah L. Pallas, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Dept of Biology
Georgia State University
P.O. Box 4010
Atlanta, GA  30302
email bioslp at panther.gsu.edu

More information about the Womenbio mailing list