Brain Asplode

I should not have had that third cup of coffee. I feel a little ill. Why am I drinking a diet coke with lunch? I must secretly like the idea that my heart will explode and my veins will leak and my eyeballs will shoot out the back of my head at any moment. Not to mention my stomach oscillating around like an amœba.

  • PZ Myers (and some French scientists writing in Nature) on public outreach in the sciences. Does Friday Rock Blogging count?
  • RIP, awesome compost pile. Damn. [via]
  • Even Microsoft fears the wingnuts. Bastards. Another reason to be glad I bought a Mac. [via, via I forget]
  • Dr. Crazy and Dr. Schwyzer both weigh in on the lives of female grad students. Depressing! La Lubu offers practical advice:

    The best, most effective trick I had—the one I still recommend? Get “older”. You can’t increase your actual age, of course, but listen to the stories of the old timers, and become a minor historian of your Local. Talk freely about “when you were a kid”. Get real “old school” on ’em. This was an effective strategy for me (I look young, so verbal “aging” techniques helped me gain that critical respect); I recommend that to young male apprentices that are having a hard time being taken seriously, too.

    I’ve also had some luck invoking Caltech’s reputation to get people (drillers, etc.) to take me seriously as a smart person, but it’s never done much to allay my worries about the kinds of sexualization problems Hugo and Crazy are talking about, and I don’t expect it to work in grad school, either. I suppose one could always desexualize oneself by gaining a lot of weight, but I doubt it’s a worthwhile tradeoff.

    Remind me sometime to write about Hoity-Toity School privilege vs. male privilege, it’s a potentially interesting parallel.

  • Awww, a kitten.

Who’d’a thunk I’d need to work so much overtime just to quit my stupid job? The money is nice but I’d really rather have the time. Blah.


  1. Moebius Stripper wrote:

    God, I can relate to the “get older” thing. I’m no longer a grad student – I’m a college instructor who is younger than many of my students. At the end of last term, I started dressing like an adult, and damned if it didn’t make all the difference.
    Of course, there’s the related issue that when my students discover that their non-traditional (young! female!) math instructor isn’t warm and fuzzy and nurturing, they react (it seems) with more indignation and hostility than they would if they were studying under an older, male professor who is no less warm or nurturing than I am. My grad school experience was similar (where was that post…oh, here) – I was surrounded by sensitive male classmates and professors who thought that they were just the SHIT for working alongside a wo-man, but there was always this underlying sense of “isn’t it cute?” to their interactions with me.

  2. yami wrote:

    I like to be warm and fuzzy and nurturing, at least on good days, so that’s not so bad… but WORD on the “isn’t it cute?” reaction. It’s one of those things where you can never quite tell reality apart from paranoia, too, which makes it way aggravating.

  3. Moebius Stripper wrote:

    I’m guessing that your notion of “warm and nurturing” is somewhat distinct from “gives me lots of marks and tells me I’m doing well even when I have no concept of the material,” though. I’m not knocking genuine, run-of-the-mill warmth and nurturing, and I’ve even been known to act that way on occasion.

  4. yami wrote:

    Yeah, I was kinda thinking of “says a lot of solicitous things when I’m not doing well” vs. “is brisk and businesslike and does not ask me how I feel about the material”.

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