Monday, October 22, 2007

Plowing through is hell

I've got the blues. My labmate defended Friday and I was so excited. I was supposed to defend Friday as well. Our aim - start together, finish together. And though I was ahead of her throughout most of our studies, she snuck up from behind and finished. But she is the executer in the lab. She gets things done. I, on the other hand, am the dreamer, the visionary. I come up with hypotheses and desgn experiments with ease. But seeing them all the way through....well, I come up short. I am so working on that.

Which brings me to my current state of woe. I have a job. Having a job as an ABD is actually the norm. But, I've been fighting this feeling of disgust about my job since my third day of work. Unlike most of my peers, I am NOT teaching science courses or working in a lab while I finish things up. I'm not even doing the "bartending thing/waiting tables thing", which is also very common. No, I took a non-traditional science job in an area I am interested in -- sharing science and science related careers with inner-city residents. The job description is great. My objective fits me to the T: serve as a role model and mentor to adults from the most impoverished neighborhood in this city and help them learn about environmental science, complete environmental service projects, and lead fun learning activities about environmental science to youth from their neighborhoods. Sounds perfect.

Why do I dislike my job? My boss is an idiot -- an uninformed, not-quite intelligent boob. And the entire culture of my workplace is something altogether different than anything I've ever experienced in my life. I am the LONE scientist in a sea of social workers and similar types. I know social work is an important job and I applaud the selfless men and women who do what they do. But I do not relate to them. And as knowledgeable as they may be about social systems, helping people, etc., I have found my boss and other co-workers to be grossly uninformed and down-right ignorant about science, informal science education, and educational philosophy. It's like using the same words but speaking a completely different language.

But I am making good money and I have benefits. Nothing is perfect.

Oh, and I'm still working on the dissertation. But good news here. My statistician is back and now I can get back on the ball. Wish me lots of luck.

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