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.

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