Tenure & Pipeline (long)

Karen Kustedjo kujo at cco.caltech.edu
Fri Jan 10 22:08:07 EST 1997

dcook at CAU.EDU ("Deborah A. Cook") writes:

>What are your expectations?  What kind of a scientific career do you
>want?  What compromises and sacrifices are you prepared to make to have
>the kind of career you want?  Adjust your expectations, make those
>decisons and get on with your life and career.  Nobody said life in
>academic science was going to be easy.  Nobody said we can have it all.
>There are days I consider getting out of research altogether and devote
>myself totally to teaching, but I can't just do that because somewhere
>down the line I still believe I can make a contribution and besides the
>research keeps me alive intellectually.  Judging what individual
>students tell me from time to time, I know that through teaching I've
>made significant contributions.  Yet, there are days I'm ready to
>resign, but I'm not ready to let the b******* win the game.

>Deb Cook
>Who's crabby about her class size jumping from 50 to 80

Sorry to hear about that; as a recent undergrad, I am only now beginning
to see how much *more* work it was for the teachers and TA to have a 
class to present for us at 9 am than it was for us students to just *be*
there at 9 am!  ;)

All crabbiness aside, I am still hoping that there are some of you out there
who might relate your thought process as you sorted out these questions for
yourself.  I can't speak for others on this newsgroup (and Isis help me if
I ever tried!), but I would like to learn and share this experience.

I always try to reassure myself that if it started to look like I didn't or
couldn't achieve what I expected to in science, I could divert to a couple of
back-up plans:  go to med school, or perhaps learn how to program (gads! 
HTML takes a week to learn, and people are willing to pay me $40,000 to do
that?)  Do any of you do that -- hedge your bets on your career?  Or did you
do "double or nothing"?  

Has anybody made it to tenure who was uncertain about going into science after
undergraduate school?

Helloooo!  Is anybody out there?  Or am I just asking these questions to 
the indifferent wind?

Karen Kustedjo


Karen Kustedjo kujo at cco.caltech.edu

"The folly of mistaking a paradox for a discovery, a metaphor for a

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