Friday, December 19, 2008

Delivering a 30-second elevator pitch speech on my work

Would love to make this public, but I guess not. The password is the same (if I had given to you before).

The "About Me" section on the right seems too vague. Oh well...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

1st Post-PhD employment

Bewildering - What I would describe about the array of group insurance programs (health, accident, life, retirement/pension??) I am told to choose from.

I am also eligible to participate in the state's Teachers Retirement System (a retirement plan for educators in this state), despite the temporary nature of my appointment. The details are still murky at this point, and will require some clarification from Human Resources.

I spent 90 minutes just to complete all of my employment paperwork at the HR office.

Oh, and paragraph 2 of my offer letter summarizes my job scope:

Your initial assignment, as discussed with (my postdoc advisor), will include planning and carrying out experiments, write scientific papers, mentor graduate and undergraduate student researchers, participate in the formulation and submission of research proposals, and work with sponsors.

In Hokkien, this can be expressed in 3 words - bao ka liao, or literally "cover everything".

The upside is that this is good training for potential assistant professors.


A PhD classmate, who is also starting his postdoc this week, albeit in Ithaca, was so excited about about the quality and quantity of girls in his new campus that he had to call to tell me about it. After 5 years of being stuck in a monastery, it is understandable. I hope he knows he will be working in a dungeon, but I guess life will be better since he has been assigned to mentor a SYT from China who is a 1st year grad student.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!

Oh the weather outside is frightful,
But the fire is so delightful,
And since we’ve no place to go,
Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!

I love the music stations for blasting out the christmas songs whole day long. They bring out the holiday cheer. The best thing to do will be to snuggle up in bed and read a good book. The Tales of Beedle the Bard, anyone?

Isn't it amazing? Just a few days ago I was sweating it out in a hot and humid urban jungle in south east Asia, and watching bikini-clad babes frolicking about by a beach.