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Lady Scientist

Lady Scientist is the pseudonym of Amanda, a (hopefully) soon-to-be finished biochemistry graduate student. Growing up in a smallish, southernish town she struggles to prove that you can be both a lady and scientist. Follow her adventures as she navigates her two-body problem, science, and life.

My posts are presented as opinion and commentary and do not represent the views of LabSpaces Productions, LLC, my employer, or my educational institution.

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Sunday, August 22, 2010

The radio silence around these parts can be easily accounted for: I’m writing my dissertation. Prior to this time, I always laughed at people who said that this was the most painful part of the graduate school process. I mean, how painful could it be? All you were doing was writing up what you had done over the past N years. It couldn’t be as bad as trying-- and failing-- to get good experimental results. Writing was guaranteed results. Unlike experimenting, you knew at the end of the day you would have something to show for all your work. So, from my previous outsider’s perspective, it seemed like it would be a wonderful time of graduate school.

I’ll pause to let you all stop laughing.

As you might of guessed by now, I was wrong. Horribly, awfully, terribly wrong. It’s painful. I spend hours each day writing. I could spend hours more. I could write from now until Christmas and still have more to write (Ok, that might be a bit of hyperbole). What’s even worse is that there are days that I could have just not written anything and still be at the same place. I get pages returned to me from my Advisor that are dripping in red ink (they’re good edits, but still). It’s all horribly demoralizing.

Still, I’m making progress. Slowly, but surely. I have one chapter written in its final draft (until Advisor decides there’s something else to change), another chapter that’s just undergoing edits, and I’ve recently started on my last data chapter.

With all that writing, blogging has fallen by the wayside. I can’t guarantee that I’m going to post more often, but I’ll try. I need to do something to remind myself that writing, in general, isn’t all that bad. Also, I’ve really, really missed being around here!

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unbalanced reaction
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Hang in there! It will feel so good once you see your name in shiny block letters on the final, bound version!

Brian Krueger, PhD
Columbia University Medical Center
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Just write it as fast as you possibly can... It's so painful. I don't want to remember that week of my life.

Gerty-Z
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You wrote your dissertation in a week!?!?!??! Damn. Surely you are just being a smart-ass? Again, I say Damn.

Brigindo
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Glad to see you. I was afraid you had stopped blogging all together. Went I wrote my dissertation Angel never saw me without my laptop attached to my fingers. It gets better is really all I can say.

Brian Krueger, PhD
Columbia University Medical Center
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Yeah, I wrote it in a week. It was the way of the lab. He would only let us have that much time off for writing :P I wrote a chapter a day. It helps being organized :) It was also only 150 pages long...

Lady Scientist
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Thanks everyone for the well wishes! I really appreciate it. I started out trying to lovingly craft every sentence. Now, I'm just putting words on a page.

And, Brian, now I feel like a horrible slacker. No way could I write this thing in a week! But at least now I know it is possible...

Brian Krueger, PhD
Columbia University Medical Center
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I never said it was good :P

I keep getting people tweeting me back congrats-ing me on writing! Haha, maybe I should tweet the post with your twitter ID attached :P

Lady Scientist
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I see them, though, and it's nice. I think it's funny, though. :)

Ecogeofemme
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You can do it! It definitely sucks, but it will feel so good when you're done!
Karen

Guest Comment
I actually started a food blog to get in the regular practice of writing so working on the dissertation would be easier. It has helped and I've noticed a distinct correlation between how often I blog and how my academic writing is going. :) Good luck with the writing and keep at it - love your post!
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