I love Fridays. I love Fridays with a passion. Every Friday morning I wake up and say to myself "Thank God it's Friday!"
You might wonder if this is a sign that perhaps I should find another job. Obviously River Tam is not really enjoying her academic life if she pines for Fridays so longingly. But you would be W-R-O-N-G. I love Fridays because it is a day I jealously guard from all demands. I sit at home, with a cup of coffee or green tea (depending on time of day) and do the science that is my reason for putting up with everything else. I write manuscripts and send them lovingly off to journals. I conduct analyses. I brainstorm new and interesting things to do. Friday is sacrosanct and I will (and have) gone to war to protect it. Department Head wants me to come in and do something? Sorry, I won't be on campus that day, let's reschedule. Student desperately needs me to come for a committee meeting? Sorry, there are four other days of the week where I am available. I know it sounds a little harsh, but I have learned that if I don't protect my ability to conduct research, no one else will do it for me.
Today, I am working on a grant. This proposal already had one go at NSF a couple of years ago as a CAREER (young investigator award), but it was obvious that the panel really wanted me to do some work that was outside my area of expertise, so I have assembled a top-notch team of co-PIs and we're retooling for a regular grant. After a few collaborative experiences recently that were less than fun, I decided to focus on working with people who I know are deep thinkers, hard workers and, most importantly, are not giant, raving assholes with a touch of misogynistic tendencies thrown in for fun. I think the last criteria is something that sometimes we do not have consciously on our checklist when we evaluate a potential collaborator, but really really should. My collaborators for this proposal are fantastic. They are fun to work with, great scientists, and have no problems working with a woman. I have seriously thought about making them sign exclusive collaboration agreements. I, the undersigned, agree to work solely in collaborative scientific projects with River Tam, who in return will acknowledge in every talk she gives that I am one of the most awesomest collaborators in ecology.
So, I am off to work on my grant. Have a great Friday, everyone! I know I will!