Blogrolling: Prof-like Substance

December 11, 2008

I ran across the Prof-like Substance blog a little while ago and thought you might enjoy it as well, Dear Readers. The author, Prof-like Substance (inaugural post here), is:

a faculty member at a northeastern university who started in August 2008.

and the eponymous blog is dedicated to:

Sharing the highs and lows of becoming a new faculty member in a university science department

If that’s not enough to induce you to click, read on.

Thank effing goodness:

Two days ago it looked like this trip could be a bust and that I was going to go home empty-handed, which would have made the grant we are working on significantly more difficult to “sell”. Yesterday we had some major breaks, both in terms of data and realizations about how to explain some very nagging problems with our arguments regarding our data. The whole thing is still a massive mind-fuck, but at least we have a plan and a way to explain it now.

Down to the wire

It’s a big day for preliminary data here on the ranch. We have been testing a couple of methods the material we need from our samples and are finally getting some results back today. Additionally, we are cranking up one of our new machines today for the first time and will know how that is running in a couple of days. We’re trying to provide data for two different grants and time is becoming a limiting factor.

The tenure process

Yesterday afternoon’s faculty meeting was devoted to discussing the tenure application of one of the faculty members in our department. It is unusual for departments to include untenured faculty in the discussion of another member’s tenure, so it was an interesting meeting to be in

Space Wars

As you might expect, everyone wants a space larger than what they currently occupy and new faculty, such as myself, are stuck trying to predict what they will need a few years down the road. When you have been at this for only a couple of months, that is not so easy, nor is it simple to defend your space needs when your lab is not up to capacity. By the time we occupy the new building I will have two graduate students working in the lab, but ideally I would like to have 4-6 students and two post-docs in there once I begin to bring some grants in. The trick is holding onto space that you can grow into before you have the personnel to fill it.

Does this job make my ass look big?

If I get outside at all during the day it is a little bit of a victory, unless I am running to get signatures on something because I am too close to a deadline to risk campus mail.

UPDATE: and somehow I managed to blow the money quote….

an hour-long talk by a renowned research from the UK giving a key note …looks VERY much like an elder Darwin, with one key exception – he wears a kilt and Doc Martin boots…By the time that it was my turn to speak I was a bit less nervous… Nevertheless, I had a far more shocking discovery to make….I got a couple of slides in before I scanned the crowd and got an unexpected sight. It turns out that Darwin conforms to tradition when it comes to kilt wearing and in panning the audience I found more than eyes staring down at me. I don’t even remember going through the two slides subsequent to the sight of Darwin and his “boys” observing my talk

And there’s lots more. Go read.

No Responses Yet to “Blogrolling: Prof-like Substance”

  1. Jim Thomerson Says:

    A comment on team teaching vs sequential teaching. Been there, done that! Team teaching means that all members of the team are there all (or most) of the time. The team members know what went on with the other members of the team; and are resources for, and known to, the students while they are not at the lectern. In sequential teaching, the different instructors appear and disappear individually. There is little contenuity and little connection with the students.


  2. Prof-like substance is an excellent blog and friend of ScientistMother. Thank you for highlighting his arrival!


  3. Thanks for the highlight DM, I hope people find at least a few things that they can use as new or aspiring TT profs and that the find some humor at the same time.


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