Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Fresh air, fresh ideas

After a storm last night, the outside temperature went down a little bit. Today I feel more energetic and I actually managed to achieve something. Unfortunately no mathematical research yet.
I discussed with S#4 some more details of her thesis project, and gave her advice about telephone interviews and the next postdoc application. I reviewed with PD#1 and S#6 our joint paper, which seems finally to be in an advanced status of completion. Hopefully it will go on the web by the end of July. I outlined to S#9 my suggestions for the next step of his thesis project. He is also working on a side project that he came up with on his own, and for which he has managed to find the relevant literature. Sounds good.
On the service front, I had several meetings with a small but significant number of colleagues. I managed to get an extra grant for an advanced undergraduate student who wants to visit for a few months (all pro bono work, he is not in my field) and collected all the relevant information for a very important future meeting with the administration. I spent maybe three hours doing that; it seems I that no matter how much I hate administrative work, I am better at it than most of my colleagues or rather, as I suspect, they pretend to be not so good so that I do it.
I might soon have to tackle an administrative task of greater responsibility. I feel a bit ambivalent about this. On the one hand, I already have too little time for everything I like, and administrative work can be quite time-comsuming.
On the other hand, at least I can maybe stop complaining inanely about lousy and/or nonsensical decisions. I can do what I always wanted: work to change the system from within. And hope that the system doesn't change me instead.
Update: I even started writing up an article on women and science. In my own language! For the general public! I'm very happy, although I know that I will repent having accepted to do this.

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