Veni, vidi, vici
0 comment Tuesday, June 10, 2014 |
Yes, OK, I'm back! (And I'm excited so commas will be abused in this post and I don't even care.)The conference was awesome and my talk was a smashing success if I do say so myself. I thought that my voice was shaking the entire time, but BH said he only heard it once. I got lots of great questions (and some helpful suggestions) during the Q & A period, and had several RockStar PIs approach me during the breaks to discuss my findings. They were all very complementary and encouraging and genuinely excited about my work. Not only that, but they were asking me what I thought about their questions and results in light of my findings - as if I were a colleague. Hot damn! It was really nice to discover that (most) people actually can interact with me as if I actually know something about what I'm doing - what a surprise to discover that most people don't think I'm a tool. I mean, deep down I know this, but around here most of the feedback I get is criticism. Constructive criticism usually - which is helpful, but rarely, "you're doing a great job". I hadn't realized just how much energy I invest in telling myself everyday that I'm doing good, important work...until I heard it from all these other people and could stop stoking those fires myself for a moment. It is so nice to have that externally validated, and by the experts in my field no less.Even GrAdvisor had nice things to say. He actually stopped me during a social session, introduced me to the other RockStar he was talking to, then said "your talk went really well". Holy fucknoly!! Usually I have to ask for feedback, and what I get in return is an uninterpretable head nod/shake. This was a) unambiguously positive, b) in front of someone else whom he respects, and c) he used an adjective to modify his positive descriptor! AA scores a Hat Trick!Even more exciting to me was that one of the RockStars was so pleased with my talk that he grabbed my elbow as I was leaving the session to tell me that he thought my work was really elegant and systematic and impressive. (Oh RockStar I think I love you...I never dared to aspire to "elegance" before now.) He actually told me that he thinks that this paper, once published, will become one of the classically cited papers by everyone in the field. Zoiks! Now, the guy's pretty ebullient so I'll take that with a grain of salt (or a tablespoon) but still, a nice ego boost. We ended up chatting a bit later and I mentioned to him my concern that we would have difficulty publishing in Top-Notch Journal of my choice because the techniques are classical and un-sexy, and one of the conclusions is likely to get the "yeah, but we always thought that was true anyway" brush-off. (Of course, no one's actually done the experiment until now, so we didn't actually know.) Anyway, he mentioned that he had a paper rejected from TNJ because the techniques weren't sexy enough, but his opinion was that it is worthy of a good journal and that all it needs is a reviewer who recognizes the importance of the work. He said that we were welcome to request him as a reviewer and that he would be thrilled to see it go to TNJ. Sweet!I also got a chance to speak with the PI on whose work I have been basing the hypothesis of my second manuscript. We were able to hash out some details and she shared with me her unpublished results for the experiments that I was planning to now I don't have to waste my time trying to find stuff that isn't there - she's already done that. Hooray for people who are generous with their findings. This sends my hypothesis in a different and potentially more interesting direction. Coupled with my "elegant" studies this new direction might even increase the sexy factor and get it into TNJ without too much of a fight. We'll see.

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