The Sassy Scientist – I Am A Rock

The Sassy Scientist – I Am A Rock

With real-life water cooler time at a premium, Paul has found that talking about the weather and Emily in Paris just isn’t breaking the ice. By Zoom, he asks possibly the worst qualified person in geodynamics:

How can you turn your colleagues into friends?

Dear Paul,

Why would you want to? You only have a contract of up to three years, so by the time you’ve moved on from Emily in Paris, you or they have already left. Friends are the cause of hangovers, distracting coffee breaks, awkwardness in author order and an unwillingness to move to outermost Siberia for that perfect post-doc position.

Anyway, with the second (fourth, tenth, one millionth) covid19 wave crashing down over our heads, wouldn’t your time be much better spent getting to know your neighbours and working-from-home colleagues? The likelihood of you seeing you desk again before your contract ends or you reach retirement is getting remoter by the day. The advantages of getting to know your neighbours are many, including:

  1. If they know you, they might feel more guilty about hammering in the middle of your Zoom conference.
  2. You can give them the products of your baking to reduce the lockdown weight gain. They may of course retaliate with wine or baked products of their own.
  3. They’re unlikely to talk about geophysics, unless you’re unlucky enough to be locked down in student dorms.

However, getting to know your neighbours might be an even faster method of getting emotionally tied to a place, further jeopardising your marvellous career opportunities in Siberia. It might even lead to (whisper it) romance. Therefore the only safe option is to build walls, a fortress deep and mighty that none may penetrate. A geodynamicist has no need of friendship, friendship causes pain, it’s laughter and it’s loving they disdain. Along with a rather old fashioned taste in pop music.

Yours truly,

The Sassy Scientist

PS: This post was written hiding in my room, safe within my womb; I touch no one and no one touches me.

PPS: The Sassy Scientist claims no originality for the poetry in the post, and refers curious readers to the masterfully miserable Paul Simon.

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I am currently employed at a first tier research institute where I am continuously working with the greatest minds to further our understanding of the solid Earth system. Whether it is mantle or lithosphere structure and dynamics, solid Earth rheology parameters, earthquake processes, integrating observations with model predictions or inversions: you have read a paper of mine. Even if you are working on a topic I haven’t mentioned here, I still know everything about it. Do you have any problems in your research career? I have already experienced them. Do you struggle with your work-life balance? Been there, done that. Nowadays, I have only one hobby: helping you out by answering the most poignant questions in geodynamics, research and life. I am waiting for you right here. Get inspired.

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