The Sassy Scientist – The crit fail

The Sassy Scientist – The crit fail

While we are getting this close to unwrapping our advent calendars, here is a question that will keep us away from the first chocolate for a bit. Rowan asks:

How do I tell my partner who is also in academia to talk less about work outside the office?

Dear Rowan,

Oh, this question hits home for many academics. Seriously, though. I don’t know the exact statistics but let me have a quick search…. Well, I couldn’t find statistics for all around the world but for the States, over 70% of faculty is in a relationship with another academic, and this is a statistic from 2008, I mean 2008! I doubt that things have changed much since then. So, when I said it hits home for many academics, I meant it – Such wisdom, I know… -.

I understand that treading the fine line between work and personal life is difficult. I have been there sister, it can sometimes be a bit blurry but frequent work-related discussions outside the office can be super overwhelming. It’s also difficult to voice that feeling, Hey! if you want this to stop or have less of it, then turn the volume up. I’m not a therapist, I mean you know this already I hope, but as far as I know, they always say communication is the key. So tell them how you feel about it, and if necessary, set some boundaries. I think you also need to remind yourself that you are more than your career. I love science but I’m also a person with other interests. So, I’m sure that this reminder – with the focus on yourself of course not me – will help you to bring up different discussion points with your partner. Of course, don’t forget to ask how their day was and when you want to stop, do a little switcheroo, roll an insight check.

Just a little warning, I don’t think you can completely stop this and to be honest it wouldn’t be good for you. I mean it’s great to have someone to whom you can complain about your rejected papers, that reviewer 2, your supervisor and ACADEMIA in general. You know what I mean?

Good, great. This one is sorted. Next!

Yours truly,
The Sassy Scientist

P.S. Yes, you are right. There was a DnD reference. You and your partner should get into it.
P.P.S. Did I nail it or did I nail it? Maybe I should switch majors. Joking, what would happen if you didn’t have this sassiness in your geoscientific life? No fun.
P.P.S. I accept Christmas gifts in the form of sweeties, so bring on the biscuits, shortbread and trifle.

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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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