the sometimes senseless ravings (and the occassional rant) of an aspiring marine ecologist who may enjoy killing things a little too much

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

I Have Completely Lost My Mind

most people would think that this is a bad sign, right? don't worry, folks. my mind is completely intact. it's the mind of my nutty advisor that is lost. i just checked my email, and that was the first line of a rather frantic email from dr. v. asking if we could change our meeting from tomorrow to this afternoon. did i mention that i was meeting with dr. v. tomorrow? i don't think i did, but i was. but now i'm meeting him today... and i'm completely unprepared to say anything remotely intelligent to him. i have not seen dr. v. in person in... 4-6 weeks, back when he gave me that pseudo-deadline for getting my project outline to him. well, i sent him the outline last sunday night (not this past sunday, but the sunday before that), but as of this past thursday, i hadn't heard anything from him. well, this prompted speculations that he was so ashamed that he was off somewhere banging his head against a wall, muttering to himself what a huge disappointment i am as a grad student, fears that i shared with charlie, only to learn that this was probably not the case. dr. v. was working on a manuscript and a bunch of other stuff that had kept him fairly swamped. anyway, i inquired about the state of my outline on thursday, and dr. v. replied that he'd look it over this weekend and could we meet this wednesday? so, that was the plan. only now the plan is different... because i have to meet him today and find out what he thinks about my chosen methods for the project.

some of you might recall that i was freaking a little over a part of my project that i thought that i would have to either drop completely or change. well, i had a stroke of (genius) inspiration last weekend while i was working on my presentation for seminar and my outline, and i think i figured out a way to assess the costs of phenol production in turtlegrass after all. it has some problems, but it was the best thing i could come up with (i won't trouble you with the details). i hope that dr. v. will provide a little feedback on that... without making me feel like a big dumbass. what i really want is for him to come in, discuss the general methods a bit, and then tell me to start writing this up so we can submit it to ACES (the alabama center for estuarine studies, though all 4 of the project sites are in florida) or some other funding agency so i can get a grant and get going on this thing already. i've been talking to kelly, another sea lab girl who is working with the same species i am and at some of the same sites, and we are really hoping to be able to get going on things in late april. that's only 8 weeks away! thus, the need to get cracking already. so i hope that dr. v. doesn't make me drastically change my plans and just tells me to start writing. if i had a free day or two, i could get it done really fast... like in just a day or two. as it is, i'll probably need about a week to get everything together.

so, in about 4 hours, i'll learn the fate of the next couple of years of my life. sounds a bit daunting, eh?


Jamie said...

I'm sure everything will be fine. You always think your stuff isn't good, but it is always better than great. I am very happy things are progressing for you. I, personally, would love to hear more about your project, as you get on with it. :) Your meeting will go fine and I am sure you will soon be regaling us with your stories of having to write it all up in short notice. :D

latina marie said...

yeah, the meeting actually did go fine. dr. v. knew i didn't have my outline with me yesterday since i arrived at the lab at 8 am to run samples, and i didn't find out until about 10 am that he wanted to meet, so he brought a copy for me. we mostly talked about how i'm going to "sell" the project, and he did just tell me to go ahead and write it up... now i just have to actually do that.

latina marie said...

one more note for you, jamie. if you get the time, you should check out mike the biologist's blog (there's a link on my sidebar). when he's not ranting about politics, what he has to say about science is fairly interesting. also living the scientific life (also on the sidebar) is a really great science blog, and she often puts random other stuff on there.