Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Why Professor Chaos is the new Domestic and Laboratory Goddess

Except that I don't really work in a lab in the traditional sense and I'm not very domestic. And I spend more time writing papers and analyzing data these days than actually collecting it...Perhaps I'm more like the Goddess of Paper Writing and Not Burning My House Down...

Anyway, here are my five pieces of evidence that I am a new domestic and science goddess of some sort:

1) I am now an Associate Professor (yippee!). I firmly believe surviving the long slog of academic attrition should make one a minor deity of some sort. I firmly expect that the following scenario will occur at the fancy luncheon with the university president: "Associate Professor Chaos, please accept my congratulations. Also, here is your certificate of deity-hood. I see you have been made the Goddess of Random Clicking on Computers, MoleWhacking, and, uh, the much loathed third reviewer. Good luck with that last one."

2) I have a happy and healthy baby. I know that millions of years of Homo evolution means that you don't have to be a genius to keep something that can't move under its own power alive. However, since Baby Mayhem is my first child, everyday I don't accidentally kill her is a miracle to me! You'll have to forgive me if I claim this as evidence of my domestic goddesshood.

3) I currently have more papers in review or in press or in the writing phase of prep than I did when I did NOT have a baby. I honestly don't understand how this happened, therefore it must be the result of my goddess-like powers that I am just learning to control. (ok, I can't lie to my friends, the truth is it's the result of collaborating on projects with someone else's super-productive postdoc, but surely that's a goddess power too?)

4) I have continued my graduate student recruitment streak. Every year that I have recruited graduate students, I have managed to recruit my top pick. This may not sound like a big deal to some but: 1) I am not at one of the powerhouse universities in my field but I am frequently competing against them, 2) while we have a strong group of young scientists here, we don't have any big name older scientists to attract students, and 3) our stipend is so low you can't even see the competing offers from here. This year in particular I am very pleased because recruitment was done while juggling Baby Mayhem, which meant she was not infrequently at interviews with the prospective students. (Though she is so dang adorable perhaps she could be considered a recruitment bonus: we may pay you crap but I bet you can't play with a baby this cute at Mega Powerful University...)

5) I now fit into my pre-pregnancy jeans! I think you may need to have experienced pregnancy to understand how important this one is. I'm not saying they fit...well. Some of my older readers may remember when tight jeans were all the rage and it was considered "cool" to have to lay on the bed to zip up one's jeans. Let's just say I had a flashback...regardless, I fit into my old jeans

I'm not saying all this makes me a major deity like an Athena or Isis or something, but I think I could be very happy as the goddess of random clicking, mole whacking and, yeah, even the third reviewer (but only if I get to smite them now and again).