Friday, February 23, 2007

This Used to be a Running Blog....



The last two days Jason and I have left our apartment at 6:30am and gotten home around 8:30pm. That's 14 hours if you are keeping count. 2 hours are driving so that's a 12 hour day. Yesterday I got home and did a bit more work finishing the night out at 9:30pm.

I talked to my advisor again about the conference and told him I really didn't feel comfortable keeping my name in for the talk given that I wouldn't be going to the conference (Jason and I have gone to this conference the past two years and so we don't get to go this year) and so someone would be presenting on behalf of our experiment. This is usually fine given that there is a paper to go along with the result, but I won't have that done by the time of the conference, so there really wouldn't be enough to show.

I also have not seen my mom for 14 months. And given that 14 months ago I saw her for 2 days it's really been a bit less that 2 years. In the last two years she has been diagnosed with Breast Cancer and had a hysterectomy. I am happy to report that the breast cancer was not "the bad kind" and was taken care of with radiation and a procedure which removed the bad cells. Since there is no money on either end I didn't go visit her during all of this.

Her parents who I saw 14 months ago recognized me then...I don't know if I can say the same thing for when I see them next week as they have slowly been getting worse and worse mentally. My grandmother is pretty far gone and I don't think my grandfather is too far behind her.

My point is I guess that I wanted to go on this vacation and see my family and not be pissed that I was there and not here working on this analysis so that I won't look like a shmuck at the conference. In the end my name is on the analysis and if I think it's not presentable then well it's not. It's a very strange community here as the conferences seem to come before the analysis which I have not ever understood. Why can't someone get a result and then work on getting it ready for whatever the next conference is. Last winter Jason found a mass peak for his analysis and then worked his ass off getting it ready for the conferences. But he had something to work with, he had a starting point and proof that yes he did have this state and blah blah blah.

I would like to have the situation here ready to go so when I get back from the vacation and my trip to Washington D.C. I can jump right back into it and get a result as soon as possible. In the end my advisor agreed with me...well I don't know if agreed is the right word but told me to go ahead and remove my name from the list. I know I am dissapointing people here....but goddamn it, I get paid almost nothing and have not taken a personal vacation since last christmas. If they paid us more than minimum wages I wouldn't mind the long hours and the no vacation but jesus give me a break.

So that's that. I am off to get some work done. 1 more week and I'll be in FL!

Happy Friday.


Rose said...

Hang in there Leah - you'll be in the sun before you know it. It sounds like you do a great job of setting boundaries and standing up for yourself despite the demands of graduate science work. Good luck.

Firefly's Running said...

Hang in there, Leah. Think warm beaches and palm tree for the next week - add it to your mojo. I am glad that they took you off the presentation list. It better that way. You look more professional and not like a fool. I can sympathize you regarding your grandparents. My paternal grandfather died from Alzheimer's and my maternal grandfather died two and half years later (and had a chance to say goodbye a week before he died). It's SO hard to bear with the lack of time (and money) to visit them, but I always made the best of it when I could. I am blessed with the memories of both of them and hold on them.

Good luck! We are rooting for you during the rough time.