The Sassy Scientist – Palpable Positivity

The Sassy Scientist – Palpable Positivity

With a fresh start this year, Amaia is trying to forecast her scientific activities for the year. Weary by these thoughts, and considering last year’s efforts, she is puzzled:

How do you re-energize yourself for a whole new (academically daunting) year?

Dear Amaia,

You don’t. Where did you get the idea from that re-energizing yourself is an actual thing for academics? You do realize that a couple of parsnips at Christmas, some bubbles at New Year’s and a couple of laptop-free minutes with your relatives and tolerable housemates (that’s how I call my family nowadays) is not enough to forget about reality? The reality being a stack of undergrad assignments to grade, papers to review and write, and scouring the interwebs for future employment. And with scouring I mean ransacking every possible website, ravishing twitter-accounts and dumpster diving many a community email for non-soul crushing research advertisements. But enough about me, you want to know about not burning out this year. Well, it’s a testament to your own intents, i.e., to make most of it, that you ask this question. Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. People are different, and whilst some are re-energized by the thought of possible face-to-face meetings at a conference by the end of the year, others perk right up by recalling the smell of a freshly brewed flat white. Some remember the rush when observing directly the transition from bewilderment to comprehension, whereas others have missed a proper workstation and (most importantly) a comfortable chair in a (even more importantly) quiet office. How tranquil can the lone scholar be when appraising the latest cabochon of freshly published papers? Bloody tranquil, I reckon. One thing I’ll leave with you before I finish; finding a way to maintain that academic positivity is one of the daunting tasks of a scholar. Especially during times like this. However, liberating yourself from those tenterhooks is quite trivial. You know yourself, you know your skills, you know your aspirations, you know your goals. Just get another cabinet for those tenterhooks, put them there when necessary, and get them out whenever you feel you need to push yourself into that next level. Pressure is an academic’s companion on the esplanade towards self-enlightened brilliance.

Yours truly,

The Sassy Scientist

PS: This post was written in desperation, knackered by the massive undertaking it is to string along enough words into an intelligible paragraph about academic positivity.

PS2: Don’t forget about the EGU abstract submission deadline. What a waste it would be not to participate in this year’s wonder of wonders.

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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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