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
http://www.gsu.edu/~wwwbio/neurosci/



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