Thursday, February 19, 2015

Emergency class preperation

Dear Student,

This is a graduate level class. If I have posted a schedule 1.5 month ago and the schedule says that you have to give a presentation in the class about the papers that you have read (and got approved by me). Then you better fucking come and give the fucking presentation.

If you think that you can email me at 8 pm telling me that you are not prepared to give a presentation in the morning (and you haven't come to me a single time in the office hours to let me know that you are working and are having trouble), which is the only thing that I have planned for the class; I will track you down and kill your grade.

Best Regards,
Your newly appointed professor

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Academics Anonymous (AA)

Yes, I admit it I have a problem (and I love it). I want to be high all the time.

No, not that kind of high.

Every time my paper gets accepted, I get an award, I get a grant, I solve a problem, I submit a paper; I get a high. It is awesome and I love it. But the high doesn't stay longer.

I get searching for my next fix. I need it bad and need it now. I get restless.

Admittedly, it is one of those weeks where I am in withdrawal. Although I got a high from a recent federal (big ass) grant; I am looking for my next fix. I dont know if I will get it soon. Students are still in the training mode and only one paper is submitted for now. There are other things going on but they are slow.

May be there is a place called Academics Anonymous (AA). If you happen to know such a facility do let me know. I think I need help !

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Lab and College Culture

We recently got our lab space fubrished with equipment, furniture and almost all other things that are required by research students to flouish. We have a very large space, places for students to sit and work, large white board that can used by the students, couches (multiple), microwave oven and perhaps in the future a fridge.

But there is a problem. The students do not like to sit in the lab space. This is partly because of the culture of the college (most of the labs that I see do not have a lot of students working on their stuff), and partly because these graduate students have access to other places to sit. However, I want them to use this space because I worked very hard to get this from the college admins. Also most of the science is collaborative i.e. most of the ideas that one gets is coming from some other idea in someone else problem.

I want to change the culture. I cannot do it for the whole college but I can certainly do it for my lab. I have a group of positive research students but I don't know how to make them come together in a physical lab space and work.  Or may be I don't know how to do this effectively. What am I suppose to do? Be fun, make the science fun, do X, Y Z.

Any ideas would be welcome.

p.s. I got a major grant from a major federal agency very recently. I am happy.