Friday, March 27, 2009

Dissertation Town

I'm flying back to dissertation town tonight. I haven't blogged about it yet but one of my advisers is hosting a small (50 or so attendants) symposium of four speakers about a particular subject that is my dissertation subject. He invited me around January to be a speaker, all expenses paid. My work is very supportive and have given me the time off.

It's an hour time slot so I'm hoping a 40-45 min talk is plenty. No one wants to hear me talk for an hour! and I'm sure we will need time for questions and to transition to the other speaker. I get to go first, which is my favorite, and the symposium doesn't start until 10am so it's not too early.

I just finished the slides last night and although I have practiced bits a pieces I haven't gone through the entire talk yet. I'm hoping to give it one more go before my 10pm flight. I'm a bit nervous, but feel confident I have a good talk lined up and an interesting subject matter. I just hope new information hasn't come along in this past year that makes my data seem obsolete, or some background information I know about is no longer valid. I just haven't been keeping up on the subject matter that closely anymore.

Well I'm off for a fun week-end with the rugby gals from dissertation town, a day at the symposium, and two days with my best friend from dt and my godson.

Good times.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

One small step

Picture this, three professional women are sitting at a table waiting for the PO (project operations) meeting to get started. A senior principle (the founder of the company) walks in from his office and selects one of these women and says to her, "Women X, you sure are looking good this morning." Women X is very surprised and instead of her usual, oh thanks, brush off she fumbles for a while and says, "What do you mean?" The principle, of course, doesn't really have an answer for this so Women X changes the subject and says, "Oh you must mean that I got some sun this week-end, my mom and I went for a walk, ect." At which point the other two women roll with this and talk more about walking and the sun and such.

After the PO meeting Women X realizes that this principle doesn't know (or wishes to ignore) which statements make her uncomfortable. After he (I realize this is the first time his gender is stated) is finished with another meeting Women X says she'd like to see him in his office. In simple terms she states that his comment this morning was inappropriate, embarrassing and makes her uncomfortable. Of course she sugar coats it by stating that she knows he doesn't have bad motives for these statements but that they need to stop. He is taken aback and states (in summary) that these statements are professional (just wait 30 years and I'll understand), that these statements are important for safety reasons (need to make sure everyone is alert and their home life is good) and three he will do his best but give him slack . . It takes a while for an old dog to learn new tricks (his exact words).

If you have read my previous post you have likely guessed that Women X is me. I feel better now that I have confronted the issue. I feel like my point was taken, although diluted by his responses. I am worried that our relationship might suffer some. I could tell I surprised and maybe even hurt his feelings, thus I made sure to tell HR about our conversation. I don't want our relationship to suffer but the truth is it was already, he just didn't know about it.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Just a reminder

I've read a few posts now about Spring Break, and I just wanted to remind all the professors and grad students out there that some people don't get a spring break. So why you are all deciding if you should take any time off from your research or catching up on teaching prep (or lab work or admin work, ect), people like me are realizing this is the first year in almost 10 years since I've even had the option of a spring break. Enjoy as much of it as you can!!