21 March 2004

That was the week that was

A very odd week, by all accounts. And since I'm doing the accounting, I get to declare that it was odd.

It was a week where I either got quite a lot done or very little. I'm still not sure. Every time I turned around, it seemed as though some thing or other would leap into my field of view and demand attention.

The best example was on Wednesday, when I got an "urgent" email to revise some figures for a paper I have coming out in Arthropod Structure and Development. Someone at the publisher's emailed me, saying that two of my figures weren't reproducing properly, and that they needed new, revised copies right away if this article was to go into the next issue of the journal, which is scheduled to "go to bed" next week. I spent a good chunk of the afternoon making the changes, and emailed them back. I promptly got an auto-response email saying, "I'm away from my desk, and will be until next week." I love the irony of someone declaring this to be urgent but not being there to deal with it. In fairness, though, someone else at the publisher did check the email and let me know they'd got one of the figures.

I was also a bit nonplussed that after a week's break, I didn't see any of my Honors students until Thursday. And there's one I still haven't seen since the break. Note to myself: light fire under butts of students.

In my capacity as Search Committee chair, we've also started the process of looking for a fifth position. Which means more folders to make, more forms to mail, more phone interviews, more travel arrangements, and so on. Assuming we get any applicants, of course.

And because I don't have enough to do, I'm working with a group on campus that is trying to put together a so-called RIMI grant (short for "Research Infrastructure at Minority Institutions"). I'm going to try to write up a request for a confocal microscope, a very useful (but still very expensive) piece of kit for a biologist to have.

And yesterday was day five away from the office this year. I went and tried to find some new clothes. I got to feel guilty about being away from the office and feel guilty about spending money all at the same time. It was really awful. I had the worst feeling that something bad was going to happen because I was away from the office. Okay, not "Universe about to collapse" bad, but maybe "small section of university turned into piles of rubble" kind of bad. (Yes, my sense of self-importance is that over-inflated.)


Let me take the opportunity to welcome Christopher Eccleston to the role of Doctor Who. To the best of my knowledge, I've never seen anything he’s done, which is great. It’ll be wonderful to experience the role afresh, with no per-conceived notions as to how someone’s going to play it.

Good luck, mate. You'll need it.

No comments: