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Post Archive
2014 (0)2010 (39)
December (3)

It's not "goodbye," it's...
Friday, December 17, 2010

I can haz music warz?
Thursday, December 2, 2010

Two weeks
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
November (10)

Interviews, for reals!
Thursday, November 18, 2010

Can I get a pdf of this?
Thursday, November 18, 2010

SfN 2010 Day 5: A video featuring Tideliar and Dr Becca
Wednesday, November 17, 2010

SfN 2010 Day 3: A video featuring Tideliar and Dr Becca
Monday, November 15, 2010

SfN Day 2 (better late than never)
Monday, November 15, 2010

SfN 2010, Day 1: a video blog featuring Tideliar and Dr Becca
Saturday, November 13, 2010

30,000 people is not actually that many people
Wednesday, November 10, 2010

We have a winner, and a cocktail!
Sunday, November 7, 2010

You. Immortalized. In a cocktail.
Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Time for BANTER!!!
Monday, November 1, 2010
October (8)

Your PowerPoint and You
Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Have I told you lately that I love you?
Thursday, October 21, 2010

So I have an Interview.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010

It's bribe time
Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Research Blogging: The Postpartum Brain
Tuesday, October 12, 2010

It's Business Time
Friday, October 8, 2010

That time I was on TV
Thursday, October 7, 2010

What?! Only 300 thread-count and no robe? Two stars!
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
September (5)

SABOTAGE!!!
Thursday, September 30, 2010

Let me give you my card
Thursday, September 23, 2010

I gotta have some of your attention, give it to me!
Saturday, September 18, 2010

My Science Enemy
Monday, September 13, 2010

What I wish I knew before...I moved to New York City
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
August (9)July (4)
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Dr Becca, Ph.D.

Dr Becca can now be found at http://scientopia.org/blogs/drbecca .

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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Recent Comments
Comment by marguerite in SABOTAGE!!!

So nice to know I'm not the only paranoid one. :-) But sad to know that sometimes "just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean their not after you". :-( **Off to go check prices for tiny cam. . .Read More
Jan 10, 2011, 8:39pm
Comment by Lab Mom in It's not "goodbye," it's...

Best of luck over in your new digs! We'll miss you! . . .Read More
Dec 17, 2010, 9:32pm
Comment by JaySeeDub in It's not "goodbye," it's...

Awww...does this mean no ex-scientist restaurant? Google reader has been updated! . . .Read More
Dec 17, 2010, 8:41pm
Comment by NatC in It's not "goodbye," it's...

It's been an exciting few weeks for you! Congrats on this (and surviving your first TT interview), I'll definitely be commuting over to continue following your adventures! . . .Read More
Dec 17, 2010, 1:07pm
Comment by Tideliar in It's not "goodbye," it's...

Wow! Congratulations Becca! . . .Read More
Dec 17, 2010, 12:37pm
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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Yesterday was my first day back to the gym after my vacation, aka Lobster Week (like Shark Week, but with eating them!), and boy did it bring the pain. Not just because my Ass & Abs class (yes, it is actually called that) teacher is completely evil--it was so crowded! We were packed in like sardines and I had to use the yucky weights that make your hands smell all metally. Blech. As I was wondering why the class had seemingly doubled in size since the last time I was there, it hit me--the undergrads were back.

Now, don't get me wrong--undergrads are adorable. I hope to teach them someday! But what what their return signifies, other than the end of summer and less room to bust out my moves in hip-hop dance class, is the loss of my favorite writing spot. I wrote two grants and one paper this summer, and I did my best work in the evenings from a bustling coffee shop near one of New York's fine institutions. In the summer it's by no means empty--in fact, it's the quick pace and energy that I think keeps me alert and engaged with what I'm doing. But during the school year this place is an absolute zoo. People in every nook and cranny, on each other's laps, garbage piling up...we're talking fire code violations, here. And as a wise poet once said, I can't go for that (no can do).

Everyone has different environments in which they like to write. Some need complete isolation and quiet, so they lock themselves in their offices with some food rations, a gallon of coffee, and a roll of duct tape (hey, you never know), emerging a week later with a full beard and polished manuscript. Others might see writing as an opportunity to stay at home and not get dressed. Liberating, isn't it?

Well. I don't have an office. I have a desk in one of those giant lab spaces (hey!!!) with bay after bay of bench-desk combos. And while I love all the camaraderie and whatnot that goes along with being able to talk to my lab mates even if they are 25 feet away, I cannot get any real writing done there. It is impossible, because there is just too much fun being had interactive science going on. I do sometimes work from home if I don't have anything I absolutely need to do in lab, but it's not always that productive--the cats are all over my papers, I get distracted by things that need cleaning, and I spend way too much time playing Are You Lunch?

I like coffee shops. I wrote my entire thesis in a coffee shop in my grad school town, and it was awesome. Every day for an entire month I did nothing but drink coffee, eat bagels and cookies (I have yet to meet the person whose thesis-writing experience was not a complete carb-fest), and write. When I go to a coffee shop to write, I am not distracted, because that's the coffee shop's sole purpose. Places like lab or my apartment have lots of other purposes, which makes it hard to focus. But when I'm in my favorite coffee shop, my brain is like, OK, this is why we're here, and I totally lock in.

Between job applications, another grant, and probably a paper revision (it's currently under review), I have lots of writing to do in the coming months. So I have to find a new favorite coffee shop, boo. You'd be surprised how hard it is in NYC to find the perfect combination of good coffee, free wi-fi, decent music, and ample tables for working, so if my readers have any suggestions, by all means hit those comments! In the meantime, I'm working from home today, and it's almost time for Are You Lunch?

*As you might imagine, I thought long and hard about which write/right pun I'd use for the title of this post. I could have gone with the obvious, "The Write Stuff," or "The Write Moves," or abandoned that and gone with a more highbrow reference to "A Room of One's Own." In the end, "Write place, wrong time" seemed to fit the best, as I'm discussing how it is the WRONG TIME of the year to WRITE in my favorite PLACE.

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Blog Comments

Tideliar
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Excellent post and a good title :)

I like what you've done to your fonts too.

I used to have favourite writing places, but I guess now it's anywhere I can get away from my office. Home, car, under a tree, in the pool (sike). If I'm at work i never usually get more than 20-30 mins unbroken time without my phone ringing or someone needing an emergency thing.

It is endlessly frustrating and one of the few downsides to my job/position - putter-outer of fires is always needed. 24/7.

Gerty-Z
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I was also a coffee shop writer as a postdoc (Peets, mostly!). But then I got an office and it is SA-WEET. Except for now that there are some peeps in the lab the office isn't all that much better than my old desk in the giant lab space. I would start going to have to start going to the coffee shop again...except I need to be around for folks in the lab. I'm hoping that I can start getting efficient at writing in 20 m spurts!

Geeka
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I had an office as a student, and between my office and a local small coffee shop (I think that there were 10 seats) I wrote my entire dissertation.

I can't write at home. I used to be able to, but now there is just too much to do.

Tideliar
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When I was writing my thesis I was banned from the lab. I lived kind of in the middle of nowhere and just lived in my spare-bedroom. Me and my iMac and the view of the forest.

It was fucking awesome :)

Dr Becca, Ph.D.
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Thanks for all the compliments, TL!! I'm pretty pleased with the look of things around here, too :)

And just to clarify, are you joking about having a pool or just writing in one?


Dr. O
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We have an awesome bookstore nearby work that has a library-ish feel, with a nice coffee shop at the entrance...probably my favorite place to write. Our department has now set up a few offices for postdocs/grad students to write in, and I have a great one that I'm squatting in. This can be almost as good of a place to write...as long as people in the lab don't know where to find me. ;)

NatC
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I'm lucky enough to have an office as a post-doc (not that there's desk space in our lab). And my office mate just left. But I still get disrupted by the "interactive science" and trouble shooting that needs to happen... But for me it's still better than coffee shops - I LOVE to people watch, and eavesdrop on the conversations of strangers, and flirt with the baristas Which is good for free espresso, bad for concentration. GREAT for being awake all night and getting work done then due to espresso overdose. :)

Tideliar
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And just to clarify, are you joking about having a pool or just writing in one?

Yes.

Tideliar
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I should all the comments before posting...

flirt with the baristas Which is good for free espresso, bad for concentration. GREAT for being awake all night and getting work done then due to espresso overdose.

I dated a *$ barista for a while. FREE COFFEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESQUEEEEECANTSTOPRUNNI NGANDRUNNIGNANDRUNNING

it was awesome.

Dr Becca, Ph.D.
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I was a *$ barista for a while!!! Gosh, but I don't miss that.
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